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September 11, 2011

Sunday Recap

by Ashley

Did this weekend fly by or what?!  Man, I just don’t even know where it went.  If your weekend flew by like mine and you’re wanting to catch up on some of my weekend posts, here they are:

What’s for Breakfast: Peanut Butter ‘N’ Banana Pancakes

Running, Shopping, and Baking

Trail Mix Cookies

Family Reunion + Easy Dinner

Personal Questions Part II

Yesterday was a crazy, nonstop day.  (Hence the lack of pictures taken.  Oops.)  I felt like a chicken with its head cut off from about 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  Sunday mornings can always be a little hectic for me because I am trying to make sure all of my volunteers have the supplies they need, the kids are where they are supposed to be, and everyone is doing what they need to be doing.  Although chaotic, I also love every bit of it.  Getting to see my volunteers’ loving and willing smiles, receiving warm hugs from my church family, and seeing all of the children’s bright and cheery faces each Sunday make my week. 

I was feeling a little bit more “all over the place” than usual yesterday because I conducted my first quarterly meeting with all of my Children’s Ministry volunteers after church.  I was very excited for it as I have been organizing it for the past month or so, but also a little nervous.  I wanted people to enjoy the meeting and leave with the feeling that they got something out of it. 

We had a fabulous lunch that consisted of various chicken salad, turkey, and ham croissant sandwiches, salad, and cookies.  I haven’t had a croissant in way too long, and it was heavenly.  I love the buttery, soft, flavorful taste of them.  The activities I had planned (including the one involving the foot cookies) turned out to be a success.  I think my goal of everyone enjoying themselves and getting something out of the meeting was achieved!  I received positive feedback from it, and I hope everyone else thought it went as well as I did. 

We had a small group get-together/barbecue soon after the meeting ended.  After I finished cleaning up from the meeting, Cody and I hightailed it to Costco to pick up some milk, bread, peanut butter, and one of their lifesaver pre-mixed salads to bring to the barbecue.  We stopped at home to drop off the groceries and make the salad, and left in a rush to get to the barbecue in time.  The salad we brought from Costco is one of my favorites.  It’s a premix of various lettuces, cabbage, spinach, candied almonds, feta cheese, dried cranberries, and a vinagarette dressing.  It’s incredibly easy to throw together and is quite tasty too.

A friend sent us home from church with some mega pumpkin muffins that I decided to share with everyone at the barbecue too.  Cody doesn’t like pumpkin, and I know I could easily finish those babies off in no time if I chose not to share.  It was a tough parting for me and the pumpkin muffins, but I did it.  🙂

source

We had a really nice time at the barbecue with everyone.  Our hosts grilled a variety of spare ribs, polish sausages, bratwurst, and stadium sausages.  Everyone was asked to bring a side dish so there was plenty of food to go around.  I enjoyed a stadium sausage, half of a corn on the cob, a heaping side of salad, and a couple pieces of sushi (I was so excited someone brought homemade sushi!).  I finished with a small piece of chocolate cake.  I’m not a huge fan of cake, but I was all about the icing! 🙂 

By the time we got home last night, I was ready to plop on the couch and relax.  Needless to say, it was an eventful Sunday, but certainly a wonderful one.

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September 7, 2011

Great Harvest Pit Stop

by Ashley

Guess where I stopped on my way home from work today?! 

I made a Great Harvest pit stop!  Let me tell you, it was most definitely a fabulous idea.  I have only been to Great Harvest Bread Company once before about a year ago, but I only vaguely remember it.  I do remember how delicious my sample piece of bread was, but didn’t think much of it again after that.  Then I started reading Kath’s blog…  Reading how delicious all of her goodies and breads from her Great Harvest bakery are every day convinced me that I need to go back and buy a loaf of my own.  I also just discovered as I was looking up Utah locations online that there is a Great Harvest right on my way home from work.  Perfect!

Tonight my plan was to make a chicken parmesan dish for dinner.  I wanted to get some bread to go with it, so I thought Great Harvest might be a good choice to pick some up.  I was famished by the time I got off work, so I figured a free sample slice (I love how they call them “samples” when they slice you a hunkin’ piece) would be a nice treat too.  The nice girl at the counter offered me a sample slice right when I walked in, and I immediately agreed to one.  At first I thought my choice would be difficult, until I spotted the chocolate chip pumpkin loaf.  Of course I requested a piece of it and couldn’t wait to eat it.  Someone was waiting behind me, so I quickly bought a loaf of this goodness and headed out the door before I bought the whole bakery.

As I got into my car, I gobbled up that chocolate chip pumpkin bread so quick I don’t even know if I had time to breathe.  Yes, people, it was THAT good!  I am totally not exaggerating here either.  It was perfectly moist, sweet, flavorful, and had just the right amount of chocolate chips in it.  Obviously it was in my belly before I even thought about snapping a picture of it, but you get the idea.  It was probably a wise decision not to buy a loaf of the chocolate chip pumpkin bread to take home, otherwise I might just have eaten the entire loaf on my way home. 😉

The loaf that actually ended up home with me is quite good too.  Yes, I already sampled it.  If you notice in the above picture, the end is nibbled off…that would be me a mouse.  As I said, they call it their Three Cheese Garlic Bread.  It is so dense, and has a perfect blend of garlic and cheese.  I think it’ll go perfectly with tonight’s dinner!  I have a feeling Great Harvest might start being a frequent pit stop on my way home from work… Uh oh! 🙂

Questions:

  • Have you ever tried Great Harvest’s breads?
  • Do you have a favorite bakery that you frequently buy baked goods from?
  • What are you cookin’ up for dinner tonight?
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