Browsed by
Month: February 2007

The crazy things we make with beans

The crazy things we make with beans

I promise, this will be the last food post for a while because you are all probably getting tired of hearing how excited I am about this silly cookbook and you want to hear about cool things, like how Micah saw a huge stingray (and squirrel fish, and scorpion fish, and a pod of dolphins) when he went scuba diving this weekend. But please, indulge me just once more.

I tell you, this new cookbook has opened up all sorts of new doors for me. I’m cooking with beans and trying all sorts of things I would never think of before. Like hummus, for instance. I have eaten hummus before I got this book. Micah and I have bought a tub or two from Foodland to put on bread as a sort of quick-and-easy meal. But I was never overly impressed with the stuff. This may be because my introduction to hummus was during my mother’s vegan phase, so I associate the garbanzo bean puree with all of the foods I refused to eat because I didn’t believe in veganism. As I was flipping through the cookbook, however, I found a recipe for hummus and in the introduction to the recipe they said that the tubs of hummus you can buy at the store really aren’t any good. Since I now have the perfect recipe for hummus, and I have made it a goal to cook with beans, it was only a matter of hours before we were at Foodland gathering the necessary ingredients. And this is the part where I confess my sins: there was no tahini at Foodland (we honestly didn’t really know what it was), but after consulting The Internet we discovered that some people find peanut butter an acceptable substitute. So, no our hummus is not as authentic as it will be one day when we have access to tahini, but it certainly is delicious! We’ve made it twice now (once to be taken with some pita chips to a baby shower, where it was a hit), and I think it may just become a staple in the Heiselt home.

Perfect Lizzie Cookies

Perfect Lizzie Cookies

Again, I do not refer to myself when I call these Perfect Lizzie Cookies. They get their name from Lizzie Skinner, who was famous for them among her friends (including Micah). I mentioned in a previous post that I loved them and have wanted the recipe for some time. Well, now we have it, and let me assure you friends, there will be no going back to the old ways. The actual name for these cookies is “Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies” and they do deserve the name. They are indeed both thick and chewy. They are also big, so they look like something you would find in a gourmet cookie shop, yet they are easily made in under an hour.
These are the kind of cookies that you eat with a big glass of milk or as an ice cream sandwich or make to show off what a good cook you are. I imagine myself ten or fifteen years from now pulling these cookies out of the oven just as school is getting out and then sitting around the table with the kids and eating perfect cookies as we chat about the traumas of growing up. Now that I have the perfect antidote to a not-so-perfect day, I can’t wait.

T Minus 10 Weeks: Another Pregnancy Post

T Minus 10 Weeks: Another Pregnancy Post

I’ve had some requests for a belly picture, so here it is:


My current stats as of today:
Gestational age: 30 weeks
Fundal height: 31 cm (up two cms from two weeks ago)
Weight: Well within the recommended limits . . . or should be by the time I deliver
Blood pressure: lower than last check-up

Dr. Shimizu says everything looks perfect. I don’t feel uncomfortable at all, and I still have room to grow into my maternity pants. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of the pregnancy and labor and delivery will be as good to me as it has been so far. I will say that I only sleep well about half the time, and I’m wondering if maybe the little guy isn’t getting a little bit tired of being in his confined space. Sometimes it feels like he is trying to break down the walls of his prison. It makes for great entertainment on a slow weekday night, but can get downright annoying when I’m trying to fall asleep.

And in keeping with the dream theme: I had a dream recently that he was born bald (or nearly so), like I was. They presented him to me as if he were some sort of delicious food–on a silver platter with a fancy silver cover–but I wasn’t fooled. I didn’t think he was done (because he didn’t have any hair) and I wanted them to put him back until he was finished. When I woke up I realized that I do kind of hope he has hair, but after reading this article from the NYTimes, I guess I should prepare myself for a bald baby.

Scuba & My Underwater Friend

Scuba & My Underwater Friend

Last fall we discovered that BYU-H has a dive club. They work with a local dive shop and put together SCUBA certification courses and go on dives and such. The deal that the club gets on everything is really good and they were nice enough to adopt me as a member, despite not being a student. (I think the fact that I look like a freshman helped a lot.)

So, this semester I joined the club and the adventure began. For starters, I had to purchase a new basic set of snorkel gear. You may think that the $25 Walmart special would suffice, but that is not the case. I had to get a new mask, a fancy-schmancy bendy snorkel, new super cool flippers, and booties. Lizzie really likes the booties and made me take a picture of them to show you all. I just like the fact that I can now walk far out into the water before having to don my flippers.

Along with the gear purchase, I also received a class packet with things like a dive log, time charts, brochures for expensive stuff, and a 260 page text book that I had to get through in about a week. So, after hours (no, really) of studying we had two 4 hour days in the classroom where we reviewed the material and took tests and stuff. (I don’t want to brag, but I only missed one question on the final.) Then, the next day we hit the pool, where we finally tried out all of the cool SCUBA gear that we had read about and seen in movies. The pool night was fun, but very tiring. It lasted almost 6 hours without a break and was full of drills and skill tests.

Finally, after a crazy week, Saturday rolled around and we made it into the ocean. For the first dive we just swam around and got used to how it feels. We then got out, replaced our tanks, and got back in to do some more skill tests. The ocean was beautiful and the day was fun and tiring. Two more dives and we would be done. Those dives took place yesterday. We had a nice first dive and saw lots of really neat fish that I had not seen before. The dive was followed by more skill tests, swapping out tanks, more skills and a final bit of exploration.

By this point I was tired and rather cold. The ocean is wet and I don’t have too much insulation on me. I was enjoying myself, but I was looking forward to wrapping the whole thing up, drying off and heading home to my lovely wife. Then we saw the turtle. He was about 15-20 feet away, following the top of a wall that were were swimming along the bottom of. We went a bit farther and turned around, and when we did he came down and joined our small group. At one point he was gliding right beside me and then took a bit of a dive and swam directly under my torso. I could have given him a nice big turtle hug if I had wanted (and if it wasn’t illegal). It was so ridiculously cool. I could see so clearly all of his beautiful details. He was actually a small green sea turtle (only about 2.5-3 feet long) but it made me forget about being cold and tired and I just enjoyed the rest of God’s amazing world for the remainder of the dive.

So, I have now officially finished my Open Water Certification. This means that I am trained to dive in normal conditions up to about 60ft. I get a cool certification card that allows me to legally rent SCUBA gear and go on dives by myself (with a buddy, of course). I have also decided to continue on to my Advanced Open Water Certification in a week. Once I finish that, I will be trained in water up to about 100 feet and I will specialize in deep diving, wreck diving, boat diving, fish identification, and something else that I haven’t decided on.

Diving is great and I hope to have the chance to experience it with you someday when we are all independently wealthy.

Test Kitchen

Test Kitchen

When Micah and I were dating, I decided to make him dinner one night when he had a big project to finish and couldn’t be bothered by little things like eating. This was the first time I had cooked for him by myself as we started cooking together when we started dating, and I was eager to impress. I looked through the cookbooks and found a recipe that I sort of almost had the ingredients for. I know I had pasta. And it called for dijon mustard, but I figured I could just use yellow mustard. I didn’t have the cheese soup it called for, but I did cream of mushroom that I was sure would be just as good. I didn’t have ham, either, so I thought I would make it a little bit more healthy by substituting celery. That was the night that I found out Micah doesn’t like celery . . . especially cooked celery. I thought it was fine, though, so I ate the leftovers for the rest of the week.

For Valentine’s Day Micah got me a cookbook I have been wanting for a while now, and I think maybe the memory of that meal is part of the reason I am now the proud owner of The New Best Recipe. This is the book that tells you why you can’t just go around substituting salted for unsalted butter (or celery for ham), why you need to mix the batter for only 37 seconds, why it is okay to use the same pan to saute the tomatoes that you just sauted the mushrooms in. It’s great for someone like me who reads cookbooks the same way she reads novels, and who needs a little extra motivation to keep from throwing all of the scraps into a pot and calling it dinner. Another plus: this is where our friend Lizzie Skinner got her recipe for Perfect Lizzie Cookies (as her friends like to call them), which I have been dying to make since I first had one.

Of course, last night as we were making dinner, I found myself biting my tongue on multiple occasions as I was reading through recipes and thinking, “Well, we don’t have fresh tarragon, but I’m sure basil would be just as good . . . .”

It’s Good for the Heart

It’s Good for the Heart

Since we were both secretly planning to make each other breakfast in bed, but then we spilled the secret, we decided to make breakfast together this morning. Micah was hoping that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out of bed before 7:00, which is usually the case, but I was just so excited about making breakfast together that I woke up at about 4:00 and had a hard time sleeping at all after that. So at 6:00 we were hard at work making banana pancakes and broiled grapefruit. It was a great way to start the day. Tasty, too.

If you try the broiled grapefruit, we recommend going easy on the cinnamon as it did overpower the grapefruit a bit. Still, it looks so nice, and let’s be honest, how can you go wrong with grapefruit? I’m pretty sure Paco enjoyed it because he seemed to be doing backflips over it.

The pancakes turned out pretty well, despite the fact that the bananas were really brown, and we even used wheat flour, so they were good for us (well, until I accidentally added double the sugar . . . oops!).


Happy Valentine’s Day from the two (and 2/3rds) of us!

It's Good for the Heart

It's Good for the Heart

Since we were both secretly planning to make each other breakfast in bed, but then we spilled the secret, we decided to make breakfast together this morning. Micah was hoping that I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out of bed before 7:00, which is usually the case, but I was just so excited about making breakfast together that I woke up at about 4:00 and had a hard time sleeping at all after that. So at 6:00 we were hard at work making banana pancakes and broiled grapefruit. It was a great way to start the day. Tasty, too.

If you try the broiled grapefruit, we recommend going easy on the cinnamon as it did overpower the grapefruit a bit. Still, it looks so nice, and let’s be honest, how can you go wrong with grapefruit? I’m pretty sure Paco enjoyed it because he seemed to be doing backflips over it.

The pancakes turned out pretty well, despite the fact that the bananas were really brown, and we even used wheat flour, so they were good for us (well, until I accidentally added double the sugar . . . oops!).


Happy Valentine’s Day from the two (and 2/3rds) of us!

I feel fine, I promise.

I feel fine, I promise.

This is the part where I make you all worry about me and our little one. But first, a disclaimer: I’ve been able to keep running at least up until now, and except for a little extra fatigue (which I attribute to longer hours at work and all of the stress from changes at the office), I have been feeling great. I’m not at all uncomfortable even with the rapid changes taking place in the size of my abdomen, and even though this is Hawaii and it is almost always hot and humid, I haven’t been uncomfortably hot, until today.

Tuesday is our night to work at the temple, as many of you know, and usually we have plenty of sisters working, but tonight we were shorthanded and it was really busy. Micah and I lead a session (during which time I had three Braxton Hicks contractions–I think), and then had dinner, and then I was running up and down stairs and standing for long periods of time for the next hour. And at about 8:15 it finally caught up with me. Micah and I were working at the veil when I noticed it was getting rather warm and I started to get lightheaded. I was able to finish what I was doing and kind of let Micah know I was in distress before I slid down against the wall and blacked out for a second. Our friend Meg who was standing next to me said I was a quiet faller, but I didn’t really fall. It was a very controlled blackout. As expected, they sent me and Micah home after that, and even though we have joked about me playing the pregnancy card a few times so we could go home early, we never really expected to use it.

It was kind of nice to go home a little early, though, because we were both secretly planning to make each other breakfast in bed for Valentine’s Day, and we need all the extra rest we can get. Plus it gave Micah time to go to the store and pick up a few things we need for breakfast, as well as these lovely lilies for his pregnant wife, who, rest assured, is doing just fine.

Aloha Oe!

Aloha Oe!

Our dear friend Melanie, who was the federal aid guru in the Financial Aid office (where I work), has left us for a job in Provo. Something about her husband having the opportunity to go to school there, and about him having been there since January, and about not wanting to have a long-distance relationship with her husband, and about BYU-Provo having created a job just for her. Whatever. I don’t buy it. Surely nobody would ever want to leave a job in Paradise! Okay, so there were a lot of very important things that were drawing her back to the mainland. It’s just a shame that she had to leave before us! Now that Kareena and Melanie are gone, there are two fewer reasons for me to enjoy going to the office every day. It’s a good thing Harmony is coming back from maternity leave this week, or I would be tempted to retire early. :)

Besides making work bearable, Melanie is a fellow-“Lost” fan, so we’ll miss exchanging theories and dissecting episodes on Thursday mornings (now that “Lost” is back on air), or joining her and Aho (her husband) for an episode occasionally (as we do not have a TV). Melanie is also a super good cook, so we’ll miss her food at office parties. And Aho is a good volleyball player, so Micah will miss him at open gym. Laie is a very transient place, so you would think that it would be easier to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new, but it is more difficult for those who are left behind.

We wish Melanie and Aho great happiness and much success in beautiful Provo. We look forward to seeing them this summer, when it is our turn to bid Oahu a fond aloha oe!

Pretty Boy

Pretty Boy

We went to Micah’s boss’s son’s baptism yesterday. I don’t think I’ve been to a baptism since my brother Nate (who is now 13) was baptized. It was good to be reminded of the importance of baptism and to see how excited everybody was for Ethan. But somehow through the whole service I just couldn’t take my eyes off of this little Polynesian boy with bright red hair.

The picture isn’t top quality (it was taken with Micah’s fancy-schmancy new camera phone . . . our old phones were having issues so we got new ones), but, trust me, you can’t buy that shade of red.