Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Predictably Irrational

Predictably Irrational....I liked this book almost as much as The Tipping Point....
When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're in control. We think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we?

Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Christian

Thanks, Christian, for being the first to make me a grandma!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lemonade Chicken

Super simple and super yummy!

You won't need the cornstarch if you cook this on the stove(or oven) instead of the crock pot.

Lemonade Chicken

Put flour, salt and pepper in a zip lock bag and toss the chicken parts in to cover with flour:

chicken - about 6 boneless breasts or whatever parts you like
flour, salt and pepper for dredging
Brown in a large frying pan with:
3 T olive oil (or whatever you want to brown the chicken in)

Mix the following:

12 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
2/3 C catsup
1/2 C brown sugar
2 T vinegar
Pour over the browned chicken, cover the pan with a lid and cook about 25 minutes until done.
Serve over rice.

I used to cook this in the crock pot...cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours...but the sauce doesn't thicken up like it does in the frying drain it off and thicken with 2-3 T cornstarch before serving...the browned flour on the chicken stays nicer if you do the fry pan method.

This would make a great novel....

I found this story of one of our ancestors the other day....someone could use it as the basis for a great novel!

Grandma Della (Eck)'s father was Joseph Pearson...his father was Elias Frazer Pearson who at the age of 20 drove a wagon for Heber C Kimball in one of the 1847 companies that left a few days after Brigham Young...,15792,4017-1-276,00.html ....

Elias' father was Jacob Ephraim Pearson, who was the convert, baptized in Massachusetts and emigrated with the Saints to Nauvoo...both Jacob and his wife Rhoda died at Council Bluffs in the winter of 1846.
Jacob's father was Ephraim Pearson...I had his place of death as Savannah, Georgia...and always wondered how he ended up's the story:

Halifax is in Nova Scotia....Algiers is in Northern Africa...imagine if he had kept a journal of his adventures!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


No secret recipe....but always yummy!


1/2 C butter

1/2 C Crisco

1 1/2 C sugar

2 eggs

2 3/4 C flour

2 t cream of tarter

1 t soda

1/4 t salt

Mix; roll into balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Bake at 400 on ungreased sheets for about 10 minutes.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

East Coast Niemans

We wish we could see more of these guys!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cool Old People Related to you: Gilbert O Nieman

Here are 4 generations of Niemans...Walter, Gil, John and Karl(wrapped in the blanket)

Grampa Gil with Kaity...1987

Weltman Bros. used to be a 2 story building...the old Wausau Garage. Gilbert Nieman was born in the apartment over the garage on August 13, 1914.

From the back of the picture..."Gilbert Nieman making love to Geraldine Hahn...March 5, 1916)

Gilbert with his little dog on the milk wagon...1917

The Nieman family home build in 1895 by Joachim Christian Nieman.

Gil and his little lambs...1918

Maple Grove School, Hamburg, Wisconsin. Gil drew an arrow on his white shirt pointing to himself...

Gil in the tent...on a camping trip to Wright's Lake in 1926. On the left is Uncle Bill, his dad's brother.

Gilbert about 1927...13 years old.

Gil is on the lower right with the hat...some of Jeanne's boys look like him in this picture.

1932...about the time he graduated from high school.

On a family vacation to California...about 1933.

1932-33 A college student - University of Wisconsin
He received a degree as a Mining Engineer.

1935... years.

1938...Gil at the fox farm at Bonny Doon, CA

1950..Gil and Virginia with John and Eddie at Bonny Doon


This is the bishopric of the San Jose 1st ward. Gil was bishop for about 10 years.
Front row...Murray Gardner, Bishop Nieman, Clair Gerwin.
Back row...Gerry West, Orson Tyler

A family trip to Wisconsin...Gil on left, Virginia in center back. Can you find John, Ed and Jeanne?

Gil and Virginia, Ed and Jeanne, in Australia. Gil was called to be in charge of the Church Building Missionary program in Australia and New Zealand in 1960. They were there about 3 years.

Grampa Gil at work at Western Cast Stone in Chula Vista. This is the company they started after the Building Committee was disbanded.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This One's For You Jess....Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cake!

I'm not too addicted to chocolate myself...but this was great! (And has no redeeming nutrient value...when it's done..."lock all the doors, draw the shades, don't answer the phone and get out the milk!)

Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cake
(from Tasty Kitchen)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large pan on the stove, cook to a simmer,then turn the heat off:

1 1/2 C Dr. Pepper Soda
1/2 C oil
1 cube butter
4 T cocoa powder

Mix dry ingredients slightly:
2 C sugar
2 C flour
1 t baking soda

Stir into the chocolate mixture; don't overbeat.

In a small bowl, lightly beat:

2 eggs
1/2 C buttermilk

Then add this to the pan and combine well.

Pour into a 9x13 pan and bake about 25 minutes; don't overbake.

1 cube butter
4 T cocoa powder
1/2 C milk
4 C powdered sugar

Melt butter; add cocoa and milk and cook until smooth; gradually add the powdered sugar (I sifted mine so it wouldn't be lumpy). Pour this thin glaze over the warm cake when it comes out of the oven...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Recently Read

This was our book club selection for February...we had a great discussion...some hated the book, others really enjoyed interesting premise...

I really liked this book...14 interviews of such a variety of LDS Mollie Mormons here...and perhaps the variety is more typical of women in the church...

One of the women in the above book that I read about, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich won the Pulitzer Prize in History for this book:

A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard

This book shows how Lincoln was an "early adapter" of his generations cutting edge technology...the TELEGRAPH...the beginnings of the electronic age...
In this day of instantaneous communication it's hard to realize what life was like when the only way to transmit information was by messenger on horse or by train.
Lincoln became way more than the titular "Commander-in-Chief".... the development of the AP wire service (they banded together because telegraph fees at the time of the Civil War were 5 cents a WORD...worse than cell phone overage charges)...the beginnings of the ability to mold public opinion...

The second book of the trilogy that began with The Hunger three is due out this summer I left you with a real cliffhanger, definitely not a stand alone book!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roasted Veggies

I was looking to get more veggies into our diet...this was a yummy way. This was a recipe from one of Kathy B's friends:

Roasted Veggies

Preheat oven to 450.
2 pears (Bosc, D'Anjou), peeled, cored and cut in 8ths
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2" chunks(it would also be good with sweet potatoes)
2 medium tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
1 large leek (I think I'd just use a large onion, chunked)
8-10 cloves garlic, sliced (the recipe called for 2...but we like garlic)
2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
fresh ground black pepper

Toss to coat well with the oil. Spread on large jelly roll pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender, about 40-45 minutes

Random Family Photos

I thought I'd post some random photos as I get them scanned....
Here are the Nieman boys (Mike, Dave and Mark) with Scott P (1987)

Mark and his Uncle Dick (1987)

Kendra and Lindsey G (1979)

Kaity and Gpa Roger (1987)

Dave's 4th birthday at Pixie Playland (1986) with friends from the front, Dave and Aaron Welch, Mike and Ben S, Scott P and Sam S, Andrea P and Kendra...I was glad to have one child with a summer birthday

Nieman family...1986

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Carson's Comments....

Baby bows and arrows! Maybe he can try out to be Cupid next Valentine's Day!

Carson went to Utah with his Wirig grampa(Papa) last weekend...this I gather was their main activity! Carson is a really good shot if those arrows in the target are his(of course he may only have been 4 feet away...but still)...

But I mainly wanted to steal this "Carsonism" from Kendra's blog because it was so hysterically funny to are many things Carson say...

The other day Kendra and the boys were driving in the car and Brady said "Did you know Redwood Trees are the OLDEST LIVING THINGS ON THE EARTH?". To which Carson added, "Redwood trees and GRANDMAS."

You can see why I loved that...maybe that's why my skin is kind of like bark lately!

Future Brain...

I love reading "brain books"....this article on Meridian this morning was interesting, thought provoking and inspiring...
Some funny stuff...he talks about Kim Peek who was the mega-savant that the movie "Rainman" was based are some of Kim's jokes:
"Kim, you know all about Abe Lincoln. Any idea what kind of stomach ailment afflicted him at the end of his life?" Kim answered: "I think he had a bad Gettysburger."
Kim made up a knock-knock joke about Utah's senior senator, Orrin Hatch:
"Knock-knock." "who's there?""Hatch.""Hatch who?""Gesundheit."
A math genius asked him how far out he could calculate pi. Kim answered: "3.14159265, then Dad takes me to Marie Callender's and we have pi forever."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Politician Penny

I'd vote for her candidate...wouldn't you????

"To Die For".....Apricot Bread Pudding

Years ago some "bakerish" store I used to frequent (maybe Sunrise Bakery in Walnut Creek) used to make a delicious (if you like bread pudding) bread pudding with dried apricots and was way better than the "regular" kind of bread pudding with raisins...although I love that too...especially at Mimi's...but I've always been on the lookout for the apricot kind...

Having some of those good Trader Joe's slab apricots tucked away in my pantry it occurred to me the other day that wonder of wonders I could now "Google" the recipe...this is why the Internet was created,right?

At any rate, I found numerous possibilties and, drawing on that hard to describe "recipe intuition" instinct, came up with this recipe, which is quite delectible (again only if you are one of those people who consider a big bowl of bread pudding just this side of heaven, only surpassed perhaps by a big bowl of Flan...) But I digress...of course... also no health claims are being made for this dish...other than the thought that any "comfort food" you make at home has to be way better than something you'd buy.

Apricot Bread Pudding

2 eggs
4 egg yolks
3 1/2 C milk
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
5-6 C cubed bread (I used 6 slices of the Sheepherder's Bread from Safeway, trimmed of crusts and cubed into 2" pieces...some sort of french bread is better than regular soft white of those roundish loaves sliced for sandwiches)
20 (or so) quartered(use scissors) dried apricot halves (again...stay away from the "turkish" dried apricots, generally more available...they're sort of pale orange and puffy...)
1/2 t ground cardamom
1/2 t ground nutmeg
Topping: 1/4 C sugar mixed with an additional 1/2 t cardamom
1 T butter cut up

Put the cubed bread and apricots in a 2 qt. casserole dish.
In a pan or in the microwave, "scald" (as we used to say) the milk(don't boil, just get it good and hot)....meanwhile...
Beat the eggs/egg yolks (I use my electric mixer because I don't want to run into any little egg stringy pieces in my could just whip madly with a wire whisk)...add the sugar, vanilla, and spices....pour the hot milk into this, mix, and pour over the bread cubes. Push the cubes down into the milk if they pop up making sure they get soaked. Sprinkle the sugar topping over this and dot with a few little dabs of butter.
Bake at 300 in a water bath (see below...set casserole in larger pan and pour some hot water around it about halfway up casserole...this keeps a crust from forming). Bake about 45 minutes, until firm in the center. Let cool on the counter...if you put it in the refrigerator right away it gets watery on top.

It seems like I've gone on and on about a really simple recipe...can you tell I really CARE about my bread pudding! I made it yesterday...Kendra came over and had some...I think Dad had some last night, Mark didn't have was gone before midnight.