# firsts

It was a week of firsts over the last few days. Our Labor Day weekend was pretty low-key, which was nice and allowed us time to catch up on house things, together time, reading and rest. Always the sleep.

It all started Thursday with Joe’s first USU game against in-state rival Utah. “The Battle of the Brothers.” To top it off, it was nationally televised. This is Joe’s reaction upon reading that on his phone. #dowhaaa

Joe surprised

The game was close, but the Utes (Utah) took the win. They did show the Aggie (USU) Marching Band, though, which was awesome. Joe was pleased with how the kids did, especially after such a rough week.

USU Aggie Marching Band 1  USU Aggie Marching Band

Bella had her first trip to meet her new vet. You can see the instagram photo on the sidebar to see how excited she was about that.

On Saturday, Joe and I had our first LDS experience at Eric’s funeral. I don’t know what I was expecting, but their church looked much like the one I grew up in and was absolutely packed with people for the service. Other than a few foreign-to-me terms, it felt very familiar and welcoming. Man, these people are so nice.

Eric's service

After the service, which was south of Salt Lake City, we took advantage of being in the city to check out In-N-Out Burger. Joe had been before while spending his summers in California, but this was my first time. Even vegetarians like burger joints. All I snapped with my phone was this view of my sugary satan drink, but I didn’t think the veggie option (basically a burger without the meat) was anything awesome. I much prefer Five Guys’ mushroom burger and heartier fries.

In-N-Out Burger

Anytime there’s a holiday, whether it’s Labor Day or Thanksgiving, Joe and I always try to cook new or special things. It’s how we celebrate. Food. This time we picked an old favorite to celebrate Fall, the first of September and the start of cooler temperatures: Roasted Sweet Potato Risotto. A few years ago I had no idea how to make risotto, at least a good one, but now that I’ve learned the technique there’s no going back, much to my hips’ chagrin. There’s something so relaxing as you stand over that pot and coax, coax, coax that starch. I love it. And, funny fact: Any time I cook with wine it takes me riiiight back to when my parents had a gourmet cooking group, circa late 80s. They must have cooked with a lot of wine, because it makes me feel like I’m standing right there watching them. So, cooking risotto is intoxicating to me for that reason too. Like a culinary trip down memory lane.

Our new recipe we tried came from The Pioneer Woman, who at times makes me cringe with how she makes Oklahomans appear, but in all honesty her recipes have never let me down. Joe and I were intrigued by these Apple Dumplings. Its recipe sounded too crazy and too easy to be true, but I’ll vouch for it, right here right now. These were oh-so-so good. We topped them with vanilla gelato and called it quits. Nothing else can be done at that point. Try them!

Apple Dumplings

From: The Pioneer Woman
Serves: 8 (2 dumplings each)

2 Granny Smith apples
Two 8-oz. cans of crescent roll dough
1 c. (2 sticks) butter (can cut this amount in half)
1 ½ c. sugar (can cut this amount in half)
One 12-oz. can Mountain Dew
cinnamon to taste
vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Peel and core the apples, cutting them into eight equal wedges.

Wrap each apple wedge in 1 piece of crescent roll dough, beginning at the wide end and ending at the point. Place the rolls seam side down in a buttered 9×13 (or larger) baking dish.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir for a few seconds. No need to dissolve the sugar, you want the mixture to be grainy. (Marci note: If and when I make this again, I’d cut the butter and sugar mixture in half.)

Pour the butter mixture evenly over the rolls. Then, pour the can of Mountain Dew over the top. (It will look very liquidy, but don’t fret.)

Sprinkle cinnamon over the top and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream, spooning the Mountain Dew sauce on top, and marvel that Mountain Dew and crescent rolls can be so gosh-darn damn amazing.

Apple Dumplings

Sorry for all the phone photos…I need to get out those BGCs more often around here.

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