Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Union Station

We had a fun visit to downtown Ogden today.

Bella adored the "choo choo trains", as she called them, and had even more fun shoving rocks in the side compartments of them.

We also did a test photo shoot with some old buildings as backdrops. I love the textures of chipping paint and rusty walls. Bella wasn't in the mood, but she survived. Choo choos were her reward, so she was happy.

She was NOT happy to be sitting on this wall.

I love this garage door - I wish I had her looking AT me!

This lighting made Bella's eyes look so blue, especially with the green in the background. It was about 10:30am on a bright sunny day, with the sun obviously hitting the other side of the building. I like this lighting mucho!

I'm getting more brave with my manual settings on the camera, but it's still scary.

Tonight we had our neighbors over for some Cafe Rio style dinner - sweet pork, creamy ranch dressing, cilantro rice and beans...all the deliciousness my taste buds could handle. It was a relaxing fun evening!

If you are feeling adventurous, try it out!

Cafe Rio's Cilantro Ranch Dressing

1 packet TRADITIONAL Hidden Valley Ranch mix (not BUTTERMILK)
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. buttermilk
2 tomatillos, remove husk, diced
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
1 jalepeno (we like it SPICY so we kept the seeds in it, if you like it mild, just remove the seeds)

Mix all ingredients together in the blender. That's it!


1 c. uncooked rice (long-grain, white rice)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.


2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/3 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

In a nonstick skillet, cook garlic and cumin in olive oil over medium heat until you can smell it. Add beans, tomato juice, and salt. Continually stir until heated through. Just before serving stir in the cilantro. (**NOTE** we added a can of corn, drained, to the beans with a dash of cumin and chili powder, it was AWESOME! We recommend doing this even though it's not "traditional Cafe Rio")

Sweet Pork, Cafe Rio Style
2 pounds pork (we use boneless pork rib meat)
3 cans Coke (NOT diet)
1/4 c. brown sugar
dash garlic salt
1/4 c. water
1 can sliced green chilies
3/4 can enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, medium spiciness but any will work)
1 c. brown sugar

Put the pork in a heavy duty ziploc bag to marinade. Add about a can and a half of coke and about 1/4 c. of brown sugar. Marinade for a few hours or overnight.

Drain marinade and put pork, 1/2 can of coke, water, and garlic salt in crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours (or until it shreds easily, but don't let it get TOO dry) or on low for 8 hours. Remove pork from crock pot and drain any liquid left in the pot. Shred pork.

In a food processor or blender, blend 1/2 can Coke, chilies, enchilada sauce and remaining brown sugar (about a cup, you can add a little more or less to taste..). If it looks too thick, add more Coke little by little.

Put shredded pork and sauce in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours. That's it!


  1. I am so excited you put all of these recipes up!!! I was actually trying to think of what to make for lunch on Thursday when you're here and I thought, "Cafe Rio sounds so good! I need to find a recipe!" And here it is!! But I'll make something else for you guys now, ha ha!

    Can't wait to see you!

  2. I LOVE Bella's face in that picture on the wall!!! I'm cracking up!! Great photos Em!! you're good


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