½ c. butter
Monday, August 31, 2009
½ c. butter
Sunday, August 30, 2009
A story is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. Somehow the mule fell into an unused well. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving. Instead he called his neighbors together and told them what happened. He enlisted their help to haul dirt to the well and bury the old mule in the well to put him out of his misery.
Initially the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back...a thought struck the mule. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a hovel load of dirt landed on his back...HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This the mule did, blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!" he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought panic and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of the well!
What appeared to be burying him, actually blessed him...all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. That's life! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give into panic, bitterness, or self-pity...The adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us! Remember that forgiveness, faith, prayer, praise and hope all are excellent ways to "Shake it off and step up" out of the wells in which we find ourselves.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Update: I ate one of the cookies today (the day after I made them) and they are still very soft, but not as fudgy as yesterday. Still super good to me.
Cherie left a comment about her surprise that none of the ingredients had fat, which got me thinking and checking. Cocoa does actually have a little fat in it. The one I used says .5 g for 1 tablespoon and there is more than 1 tablespoon in there. The information I found says that egg whites have very little, if any, fat. The corn syrup I have doesn't have any fat. But of course, it's a carb and so is the sugar so our bodies can easily turn all that into fat. This is not health food for sure, but a better option than many other things I want to grab for my sweet tooth. :)
Fat-free Chewy Chocolate Cookies
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. light or dark corn syrup
3 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray cookie sheets well with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Stir in corn syrup and egg white until blended (dough will be very thick and slightly sticky). Drop by rounded teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or just until set (cookies will be soft when pressed). Do not overbake or they won't be fudgy. Cool on wire rack. Frost when cool.
Creamy Chocolate Frosting
1 c. powdered sugar
1/8 c. unsweetened cocoa
1/8 t. salt
1/8 c. skim milk
1 t. almond extract
Combine all ingredients and mix until a smooth spreading consistency.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
½ c. oil
2 t. vanilla
3 c. apples, cubed
1 c. walnuts or pecans
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
“In the final analysis it’s not what you do for your children but what you’ve taught them to do for themselves that will make them a successful human being.”
Merrilee gives step-by-step instructions to implementing “The Plan”, a detailed list of what children can learn to do “year by year, to build confidence, life skills, and self-esteem.”
For example, she says that four year-olds should be able to:
Make own breakfast
Begin to clean room
While thirteen year-olds should (among other things on the list):
Sew simple items
Have own recipe files
Shop for groceries
Learn meat-handling rules
The CD comes with a printed list of the skills to be learned at each age. One of the first things she says in the CD is that we are to take the list and modify it to the needs of our own family and abilities of our children. I definitely agree. But it is a great resource tool to make sure we are teaching the important things. I can’t believe that I have less than 5 years with my used to be baby, now 13 year old, taller-than-me son. Then he’ll be 18 years old!
I don’t know about you, but when I read parenting books, more often than not, I end up learning important things, but also in tears because of all the things I haven’t been doing right and how much work it really takes to be a good mother. So this time I decided to take President Monson’s advice:
“Rather than continually dwelling on what still needs to be done, pause occasionally and reflect on all that you do and have done.”
“Joy in the Journey”, 2008 BYU Women’s Conference
There are important things on the list that I haven’t taught my children yet. But some things they actually know how to do ahead of Merrilee’s schedule. A couple of years ago I started teaching my children how to pump gas. I get out with them and supervise, but they use the credit card in the machine, push the right buttons and pump the gas, everything. They even beg me to do it. When we go to the orthodontist, Alexander has to check in with the receptionist while I sit down in the waiting room. They all have favorite recipes in their files that I bought them. They know how to do quite a few things on the list.
One thing we do need to work on is how shy they all are. Merrilee talks about how doing many of the things on the list makes children confident in talking to adults and in front of others. We need to work on those. Elisa has a fear of public speaking so I told her that I thought she should run for student council, which requires the student to make a 2-minute speech in front of the whole school. Alex did it and enjoyed it. But Elisa burst into tears the second I said it. So we’ll be finding a different way to try to conquer her fear.
Anyway, it’s a great talk on CD! So besides a review, I am offering a copy (not MY copy, just an extra one I picked up) to one of my readers. And I’ll throw in chocolate because everything is better with chocolate--and you deserve it for making it through the whole post! To put your name in the hat, just leave me a comment below about something that your parents made you do when you were young that you didn’t want to, but now you appreciate learning. It’s that easy! Add a comment until midnight on September 1st and I'll post the lucky reader on the morning of the 2nd. Thanks for coming by my little blog.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So now I have decided that every time I have a problem that seems to overwhelm me, I will call it my Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I am a child of God and don’t have the same perspective and view that He does. He can see why it is important and how small the problem really is in the eternal scheme. If I remember that it only seems like a big problem because I am looking at it like a child, maybe it will help me. For years, I have liked to go relax and think up on the mountains when I can look down on the city. It helps me see how many houses and buildings there are, all full of people, all with their own problems, many with problems more challenging than mine. It helps give me perspective.
And instead of trying to rush through or around the castle (problem) to get to the fun rides, I might be able to learn what I need to while I’m “stuck” in front of it. I might remember to have joy in the journey, enjoy the colors, the flowers around it, listening to sleeping beauty sing, even while I’m stuck standing in the heat while everyone around me seems to be having fun running from ride to ride.
“First, each one of you is living a life filled with much to do. I plead with you not to let the important things in life pass you by, planning instead for that illusive and non-existent future day when you’ll have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “Joy in the Journey”, 2008 BYU Women’s Conference
Mine is a silly analogy, but that’s what came to my mind. Once I thought of it, I remembered a quote from my quote file. It is much more eloquent and true.
"A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth." Richard G. Scott, "Finding Joy in Life," General Conference, April 1996 (Ensign, May 1996, p. 24)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
I did make a few changes. I used tart cherries since that's what I found. Then the recipe as written yields 16 BIG cookies, but I wanted to share them with friends so I made 4 dozen out of the one batch. So they were a lot smaller and cooked faster. Since I had more than two cookie sheets going in once some were done, the whole changing the oven temperature part of the recipe didn't work for me. I just baked them at 335º for about 8-10 minutes. It worked for me. Also, I doubled the filling, but that was only enough for 3 dozen of the 4 dozen cookies. Next time I'll triple it, just for my taste. I probably used too much filling. Also I didn't have bleached flour so mine aren't as pretty and fat as Anna's. These are fudgy cookies with a delicious topping!
Sour Cream Filled Chocolate Cherry Cookies
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c. plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 lg. eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. plus 2 T. Hershey’s dark cocoa powder
2 1/4 c. bleached all-purpose flour (bleached makes for fatter cookies)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. regular cold sour cream (not light)
1 t. egg yolk
2 1/2 t. sugar
3/4 t. flour
1/3 c. dried sour cherries, chopped (more or less)
Cream butter and sugar until well-blended; Add eggs and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and beat in cocoa powder, then scrape sides of bowl again making sure everything is well mixed.In a separate bowl, thoroughly stir together flour, salt and baking powder. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill dough for 1 hour or more.
Prepare filling. Mix together sour cream, egg yolk, sugar and flour. Stir in the cherries.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Divide dough in half. Keep half the dough chilled and shape remaining dough into 8 equally sized balls. Working one dough ball at a time, mold a large hole in the dough and fill it with about a teaspoon of the sour cream mixture. Do this with 8 balls of dough and arrange them a few inches apart on the cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Without opening oven, reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 8 minutes or until cookies appear set. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
While one batch cookies, make remaining 8 cookies.
The current Target price is $3.29. You can print this coupon for $2 off one from Dove AND go HERE and scroll down to find the Target coupon for $1 off Dove deodorant (and get others while you're there). You can use these two together! I found this deal at a great blog called Utah Deal Diva. While you are visiting there, enter to win the Thanksgiving Point 4-pack family tickets--if you'd be in the Utah County area to use them. But even if you aren't in Utah, she has lots of deals that you can use anywhere in the U.S.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Homestyle Refried Beans
2/3 c. onions, finely chopped
4 t. canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
2 (15 -ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. water
4 t. lime juice
In a large saucepan, saute the onion in oil until tender. Stir in the garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add beans and mash. Add water; cook and stir until heated through and water is absorbed. It only takes a few minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice.
Monday, August 17, 2009
When I was growing up we moved a lot. I never lived in the house my parents now live in. When I visit I feel at home because they live there, but I don’t have a lot of memories there like others who go back to the home they grew up in. But when I visited my Grandma, many memories came rushing back. She lives in the same house that she lived in since before I was born. I was born in California and used to live there (off and on) until I was in second grade. I realized when we were there how different the visit was for me than for my brother. He is nine years younger than me and never lived in California. He only visited a few times and didn’t know our grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins well while growing up. A lot in the neighborhood has changed, but Grandma’s front yard and house inside look the same, just some different plants and a new fountain that my two of my uncles made for my Grandpa not long before he passed away.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
1/4 c. butter
32 (about 3 oz.) Junior Mints
1 c. flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 lg. egg
1 lg. egg white
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Combine butter and mints in a 2-cup glass measure; microwave at high 30 seconds or until soft. Stir until smooth, and set aside.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, soda, and salt in a bowl. Combine sugar, cocoa, egg, and egg white in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add mint mixture; beat well. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely on a wire rack.
Yield: 16 brownies at 121 calories per brownie (Yeah, right. Like I ate 1/16 of a pan!)