Sunny Side Up Technique

To have an egg truly sunny side up, the yoke still needs to be runny, which I personally think is gross. However, I decided to test this technique just to see how everything would turn out, and I was very pleased with my solid yoked egg. Rather than being dry and barely palatable, my solid yoke was still moist and delicious. Plus, this has got to be the easiest way in the world to cook an egg. There was no scrambling, no flipping and praying the yoke didn’t break, and no boiling water.

To accomplish this technique:

  1. Heat a frying pan to medium-low heat.
  2. Coat with butter (this applies to both non-stick and regular pans).
  3. Crack the eggs into the pan.
  4. Salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the pan with a lid.
  6. Enjoy when yoke is desired texture.

For a true sunny side up, you would only let it cook covered for about 45 seconds, and then be done. But for those of us who can’t stand an egg to be runny or even a little bit gooey, cook it for 2-3 minutes. The low heat and the steam trapped by the lid will keep the egg from burning, and you will have a very delicious egg. Also, something to look for if you’re cooking it for longer, the white of the egg will start to bubble. It actually looks kind of cool once you get over the initial shock of “what is my egg doing?”

The Importance of Food

I know that when I started this blog, I was way into cloth diapers and my 101 Goals, and I still do think about this stuff, and plan on blogging about it when I can get to it, but lately my focus has been on food. My life revolves around food. If you didn’t read my mom’s blog post, it will explain a lot of why I care so much about the food my family and I eat. For me, eating well means being happy, having energy, enjoying complex, delicious flavors, being productive and having a happy family. So, while a lot of the time it means missing out on things like Kneader’s fruit tarts, Breyer’s Vanilla ice cream, and Sprite, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks based on food lately, and this one by Carolyn Steel struck me as correct. She talks about the need to bring food production back to our conscious thought, and how we should build society around food. I think she’s right. Come some crazy disaster, nobody is going to care how much money you have, or how much gold you saved, or even how smart you are. All that is going to matter is who has food and who doesn’t. Those who know how to produce food are going to be looked to for help and guidance.

This is one of the reasons why I have immersed myself in Shelf Reliance. Through this company, I am building my home store (a concept that too few people understand), which I hope someday to contain at least two years worth of food for my family. I, also, am able to store healthy food that tastes good and will last a long time. Plus, the network of consultants this company has produced is so diverse that you can find just about any kind of food made using this food storage, and a lot of them post the recipes online.

Shelf Reliance helps me to have food on hand always, but I, also, want to be a producer. I grew up gardening with my mom, but right now, with two under two, it’s rather challenging to always be weeding a large area of land just to make sure that my baby plants don’t get suffocated by massive weeds. Our ward (church) just started a Sunday school class called “Provident Living.” We have been learning about square foot gardening, and Brother Lindsay has been showing my family how to do it. He is so helpful. About once or twice a week he comes over to check on our progress and explain the next step. He is even helping us get the right supplies, so that next year, when we build more boxes, we will know what to do and how to do it. We, also, want to teach other people how to do this.

If you want to learn more about being self sufficient, these are two books I suggest reading:

The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency Used by the Mormon Pioneers by Caleb Warnock
All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

There are also websites based off these two books, just Google them.

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

This is one of the first meals I learned how to make. It is so wonderfully delicious, that this is all we would make for dinner when we made this. Probably the most fun part about making this for others is when they ask, “what’s the sauce?” Nobody is expecting to hear that it’s mayonnaise. It’s super simple and keeps your house cool during the summer.

Pasta Salad


  • 1 16 oz bag of swirly pasta
  • 2 5 oz cans of tuna
  • ¾ - 1 C mayonnaise
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 carrots, shredded or diced
  • salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large bowl (it needs to be pretty big), combine tuna and mayonnaise until almost soupy.
  3. Add cucumber, tomatoes, and carrots. Mix.
  4. When pasta is done cooking, rinse with cold water, until there is no more heat in the pasta. Add to the tuna mixture.
  5. It takes quite a bit of salt to cover everything, so don't be shy. Add pepper. Mix.
  6. Serve.

This is what the tuna and mayonnaise is supposed to look like.

I love to snack on the pasta while I’m cooling it down.

Minestrone Soup

There are two ways to make this soup. One in a crock pot, and the other on the stove. I prefer to make it on the stove, but it tastes just as good if you make it in a crock pot. This recipe was originally a crock pot recipe that I converted to a stove top recipe. I’ll post the crock pot instructions in a later post.

Minestrone Soup


  • 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 t parsley
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t garlic salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 small head of cabbage, sliced thin
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of kidney beans
  • 1/2 C noodles


  1. Cook garlic, onion, celery, tomatoes, parsley, salt, garlic salt and pepper in EVOO.
  2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  3. Add cabbage, carrots, and whole tomatoes.
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add kidney beans and noodles.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Spelling Practice

I recently saw a bunch of pins about how to make spelling “fun.” It made me roll my eyes. Not everything is fun, but it sure feels good when you get 100% on the spelling tests every single week. My mom was really good about drilling our spelling words with us every day of the week. Spelling for the week went something like this:

Day 1

  • Bring the spelling list home. She would take us back to school to get it if we “forgot” it.
  • We were supposed to review the words ourselves so that we didn’t waste her time on the next step. Needless to say, we rarely did this step.
  • While cooking dinner, she would read our words, and we would spell them out loud to her. If we missed any, she would read them to us again after the whole list was done.

Day 2

  • While cooking dinner, she would read the words to us, and we had to write them on paper.
  • Depending on how old we were, and how trustworthy we were, either she or we would correct the paper.
  • If any were spelled incorrectly, we had to write them five times, correctly.

Day 3

  • Same as day 2, only this time the words got all mixed up, just to make sure we really had them learned.

Day 4

  • Same as day 3, except for the random tests that ended up being on a Thursday. On those days, she would read our list out loud, and we would spell them to her out loud, while driving to school.

There is nothing “fun” about this, but I thought it was great. Her consistency and involvement show that she loved us and that she cared about us doing well in school. I rarely missed any words on my spelling test, and was able to enjoy the thrill of showing my mom a perfect spelling test. I know that this is how I grew to love learning and gained a desire to always do well in school and life.