Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kleiner Cookies...

I want to start with a disclaimer right from the start... I LOVE Rasmussens!!! But, Kleiner cookies, not so much. I will try to give an unbiased report of the event, however, don't be mad at me if some opinion seeps through. Remember, you love me, too.

It all starts at Grandma's house. We arrive 6:20ish and the girls immediately start helping Grandpa shell the spice, can't remember exactly which one, and watched with rapt attention as he crushed it.
The official pose of said spice crushing.Grandma's at the stove making fudge, for Dirk. A whole pan of fudge for Dirk. Susan said he can take it to the office instead of leaving it home with her all day. :)
Melissa has mad-stirring skills, even when she's upside down. Rachel Ray, we dare you!
Close up!
In true Rasmussen fashion, kids are on the counter to get a good view of the goings-on.
We took a quick break to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Melissa gave us a FHE lesson on Nephi building the ship. Paul, where's the picture you took?
The Kleiner Expert, Grandpa, gave lessons & supervised the folding.
Melissa is a very hands on girl & likes to start trying to do it right away.
Here's the special cut of the dough.
Folded, pre-fried.
Dirk decided he needed to learn how to make caramels. Grandma digs out the recipe while he makes a face for me. I love this face! I love it when I see some of his fun personality.
Susan & I bonded over our opinion of these holiday cookies, and the other goodies that were made. That's all I'll say!
Jacob's new hobby is opening the microwave, putting a cup in, closing the microwave, & repeating! Jennifer wasn't really cooperating.
Now it's time to fry the Kleiner, can you tell it's getting harder to keep my unbiased tone? Carl told Paul to put half a large carton of Crisco in the wok and melt it. Paul made this grin for me, he could see my eye starting to sort of twitch.
Dirk delighted in my twitching. He grinned, "Pure fat, pure sugar!" They sure are cute boys!
Grandpa came over to give Paul a lesson on frying... the cookies were comin' out a bit too dark.
This is where my favorite part of the night began... Paul & Dirk start a healthy banter of smack-talk.
The conversation even turned to who is hotter...
I love Dirk's expression!
Good family times together!
the finished project
This year Paul & Grandma decided they would dip Kleiner in chocolate. Carl forbid it, but that didn't really work. Sorry, Grandpa.

It was an awesome night together. I have to say, you Rasmussens are the dream family to marry in to. But that is another post altogether.
Can't wait til we're together,
Love, Caryn

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trip to the Hong Kong City Mall

Yesterday I took a trip to the Hong Kong City Mall to do some Christmas shopping on my way to see Isaac's "Hip Hop" Boys Dance Class. (It was amazing by the way, they dance to "The Boys are Back")

Whenever we go to the Hong Kong City Market, we try to buy a couple of new things to try. We've had some doozies. Yesterday, I bought this "dragon fruit." It was on the expensive side, but it was so beautiful. They would look amazing in a fruit arrangment. And I was very curious how it would taste.
So tonight, for dinner, we had Lemon Chicken (wish you were here Julie), chicken ricearoni, pomegranite, papaya, and dragon fruit. I also got the papaya at the asian market. I already had the pomegranite.
Helen taught me the easy no mess way to get the seeds out of the pomegranite. You fill up a bowl with cold water. Then hold the quartered pomegranite in the water while you release the seeds. The juice doesn't squirt all over and the paper stuff floats to the top. Just skim off the paper stuff, and strain. Stores well in frig.
Here is the recipe for Lemon Chicken
Make before you start frying:
In saucepan, combine:
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tb margaine
1 1/2 Tb cornstarch
zest all the peel off the lemon you are using
1lemon juiced
speck of yellow food coloring. Best if you use "egg drop soup" coloring from asian market, makes the color look just right. I have a 100 year supply if you want to borrow some.
Heat and stir until comes to a boil and thickens.
2 chicken breasts, Cut in 1 inch cubes or strips
In Bowl #1:
1 cup crushed ice water
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
(mix, lumpy)
spring another 1/4 cup flour on top of batter

In Bowl #2
1/2 cup flour
Heat oil in small wok or other pan, several inches, enough to deep fry
Roll chicken in plain flour, then dip in batter and let drip. Put in oil and fry. Flip, stays pretty light. Eat with sauce. MMM

PS... dragon fruit tastes a lot like a kiwi. A little milder in flavor. Very refreshing

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Half way into removing our asian jasmine

The completed project

slowly invading beyond the fence into the grass

If your sins are like asian jasmine, repent now...

About five years ago, our back fence neighbor planted asian jasmine along his back fence. This is the indestructible vine/hedge that they plant around the greenbelt entrances here in Kingwood. It wasn't long before the vine was creeping through into our yard. So, for five years one of the things on my "to do" list was to get rid of the vine. I made several "round up" attempts over the years. I just could not understand why it did not die.

Well...after a visit to the nursery I discovered that round up does not phrase this plant. It may weaken it if you spray on a really hot day and add dish detergent. But the only way to really get rid of it is to pull it out, then cover the area with black plastic for a length of time.

My neighbor who originally planted it has done the "pull out and cover it thing" about a year ago. But of course, by now, it had intruded into our yard and the other neighbor next to him and also behind us. Nevertheless, this month has been kill the vine time. Finally today, I was able to finish pulling out the vine and covering the ground with plastic. It has not been terribly fun. Thus...if your sins are like asian jasmine....don't procrastinate...getting rid of them is only going to be more laboureous the longer you wait.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dupuytren's Contracture

Carl (January 22, 2010). It is one week after surgery, and he is just heading in to see the doctor and have the bandaging removed. Bandaging was partially a hard cast and was to remain on undisturbed for one week.

Just leaving the doctor's office after the bandaging has been removed. Dissolving stitches still in place.

Both hands together. Left hand was the recent surgery

This is Carl's right hand. You can see where he has had surgery before.

Here is Carl trying to lay his right hand flat on the table. Notice the "pinky" finger does not go flat. This is due to scar tissue in the joint from previous surguries and some newly forming dupuytrens.

Here is Carl's (newly operated) left hand. Look how flat he can get it on the table.

At night, Carl is suppose to wear this partial hard cast to keep scar tissue from forming in the joint while the fingers heal and causing the problem he has in his right hand. It is NOT comfortable apparently.
There is lots of information on the net about Dupuytren's. It is a genetic disorder that impacts the hand, mostly in men.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are you up for a Challenge?

Everyone can use some motivation to get fit, I know I do. I found my motivation by being a Beachbody Coach and I love it! I have come up with an idea that might help you get motivated. I am starting a Biggest Loser Challenge that will start on January 18th 2010 and run through February 25th 2010 (30 days). I am personally doing ChaLEAN Extreme and I am LOVING it! If you need help picking out a workout program or deciding what flavor of Shakeology you want let me know and I will help you out. We can all get in shape this year so let's start 2010 out right and stick to it!

The person who has highest percentage of weight loss will win a prize.

The goal of this is challenge is to get you motivated to get active and help you continue to stay motivated with the prize you will win.

What you need to do:
1. Be a TeamBeachBody Member (free or paid doesn't matter). If you already are one cool, just make sure I'm set up as your coach. Send an email to and tell them you want Caryn Rasmussen (my screen name is CoachCaryn) as your coach. If you are not a member already go to click “join” and decided which type of member you would like to be and sign up.
2. You will NEED to purchase a workout program (at over a $30 value or more), or one month of Shakeology, from me at my site click shop OR pay $30 to join the challenge.
3. Starting January 18th 2010, just like The Biggest Loser you will need to "weigh in" and send me your weight before midnight on 1/25/10. I will need your weight in pounds.
4. If you miss more than one weigh in you will be disqualified.
5. This contest is depending heavily on the honor system, since most of you I won't see on a daily basis I'm taking your word for it. Remember this is to help YOU to get motivated and start changing your life.

WINNER will get one of the following Workout Programs free (Turbo Jam Maximum Results or Turbo Jam Fat Burning Elite package, Hip Hop Abs, Yoga Booty Ballet, Slim in 6, Rockin' Body, Power 90) or a free month of Shakeology.

Now that you know what you need to do and what the prizes are,
Please place your order at my site with enough time to get
Your program before January 25th 2010 (we do offer 2 day shipping)
And send me an email at by
January 25th with your starting weight so let me know you are interested
and I will send you the game plan and tools to use!

To purchase products view online catalog at

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kitchen essentials: Microplanes & Rice cookers

Tonight I made Beef Vegetable Stirfry (see family recipe below) and used two of my new Christmas gifts...a microplane from Helen and a new rice cooker from Sarah. I have concluded that both are essential Kitchen tools. I used to think that the Pampered Chef zester was does zest well. But I think the microplaner is destined to replace it. The only problem with the microplane is that it does such an efficient job that you end up with a big pile of your ingredient instead of just 1/4tsp (thus we had a very gingery dinner). So all you hubbys, if your wife doesn't already have one...forget the flowers for Valentine's Day, get her a microplane or rice cooker instead. Well...maybe you had better check in on that, not everyone finds a microplane as romantic as I do.

Beef Vegetable Stir Fry
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1tsp sesame oil
2 gloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp ginger (fresh or powder)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame seeds

8 ounces beef sirloin, cut in thin slices
Vegetables, a big bowl full, maybe about 4 cups or so. Examples: cabbage sliced into thin strips, onion, carrots, celery, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms, green pepper, etc. etc.

Stir fry vegetables, remove and set aside. Stir fry meat. Add sauce and cook until bubbly and thick. Readd vegetables. Serve over rice or chow mein noodles.

Friday, January 8, 2010 is the picture. They tasted good.


Helen passed along these two recipes this week. I tried them both. She made the potstickers at Christmas. I liked them very much again this time when I made them myself. The picture is of the strudels. I have concluded that Filo dough just isn's my thing. Eric says they taste good, about like quiche. Is there i reason I should switch from quiche to Filo dough? Thanks Helen, keep the good recipes coming.

Shrimp Potstickers with Ginger Lemon Sauce
1/2 lb shrimp cut into tiny peices
1/4 c. green onions, diced
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
wonton wrappers, round are great
4 Tb. oil

3 Tb. fresh lemon juice
2 Tb. soysauce
1 Tb. BBQ sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 green onion thinly sliced.

Mix, the shrimp, green onion, egg, salt and pepper.
Place 1 tsp shrimp mix on wonton, fold in half, seal with water.
In a skillet, heat 2 Tb oil over medium heat. Add half the dumplings and cook 2 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup water, cover and let steam 3-4 minutes. If the dumplings are sticking as you go to remove, just let cook a bit with the lid off. Repeat with other dumplings.

Wisk sauce together, add green onion.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Studels
In a small sauce pan:
2 Tb. butter, melt
3 Tb. flour, add
1 cup milk, add and heat until thickens
1/3 cup shredded swiss cheese, add to mix
2 Tb. grated parmisean cheese, add to mix
1/4 tsp salt, add to mix

In a skillet:
5 eggs, cook until almost set.
1/4 lb. finely chopped ham, add
Add cheese mix made above.
Set aside.

Place one sheet of phyllo dough on worksurface (keep rest wrapped up). Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tsp bread crumbs. Fold in half lengthwise. Brush again with butter. Spoon on 1/3-1/2 cup filling onto dough. Fold edges over fillings and roll up.
Brush with butter. Place on greased baking sheet, sprinkle with tsp cheese and 1 tsp parsley. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


VALUES: Twenty years ago, values were the in thing! Hyrum Smith (founder of Franklin day planners) had several books about "governing values." Covey had his own version with mission statesments etc. From that time period, here are THE….

1) Respect Yourself
2) Respect Others
3) Respect Property
4) Respect God
5) Live Worthy of the Temple
6) Get an Education
7) Learn to Work
8) Manage Your Money
9) Give Service
10) Take Time for Fun

As the new year rolled around, I found myself thinking about another book I had read on values from this same timeframe. It is titled, "Helping Your Child Learn Right From Wrong..A guide to Values Clarification" by Sidney B. Simon and Sally Wendkos Olds. (Naturally, I had just sold the book to Half Price Books and ended up reordering it…oh well)

The book explains the authors "seven steps to values." They are:

Plateau #1 CHOOSING
1-Option Exporation: What can I do?
2- Consequence Count: What will happen if?
3-Free Choice: Do I really want it?
4- Accent on the Positive: Am I happy and proud about it?
5-Rooftop Shout: Do I let the World know about it?
6- Values Action: What can I do about it?
7- Pattern Building: What can I do—and do—and do?

So, this week I find myself pondering where I am on the ladder on various item that I both value, that I want to value, and some that I feel like it would be a good idea to value. A classic for contemplation this time of year is "body stewardship" (a nice term for health and diet). What step am I on now? What would it take to move up? Etc. etc. Any thoughts of your own?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A House of Order...

is peace of mind. I don't know if this really constitutes a "roof top shout" but it's something I've been working on lately. I've found that the mess really starts to drive me crazy after a while and I tend to get angry more often and the spirit tends to leave our home. So my motto for our family this year is "I will clean up after myself." This for me is basically a challenge to change the way we think as a family so we can keep our house more in order. It's all those little things like putting your dishes in the dish washer rather than the sink, putting the scissors away after you use them rather than leaving them on the counter even if you think you might need them again sometime, and putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket rather than on the floor 10 feet away. All these little things seem to add up and then the house is a mess. To kick off our motto we had a family home evening where we talked about a house of order. We put shapes in order and we put blocks away in the correct bins and at the end of the day our family room looked like the last picture, not perfect, but much better. Of course creating order means there has to exist some sort of order in the first place so I have been striving the give everything in our home a "place." I organized our kids art supplies in one closet. I had Brian put up more shelves in the office closet so I could organize my sewing and scrapbooking supplies as well as the office supplies. I bought a tv cabinet to hid our tv cords and provide some more toy storage space. I'm not saying my house is spotless or that this process doesn't take a lot of time and money, but I think it will be well worth it in the long run if we can keep it up. Only time will tell!...please don't judge me next time you come over a still are finding toys on the floor:)