Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Baked Potato Pizza
1 prepared pizza crust
3 med. unpeeled potatoes, baked and cooled
1 T. margarine, melted
¼ t. garlic powder
¼ t. Italian seasoning or dried oregano
1 c. (8-oz.) sour cream
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
3 - 5 green onions, chopped
1½ c. (6-oz.) mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ c. cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400 º. Prepare crust according to package directions. Press dough into a lightly greased 14-inch pizza pan; build up edges slightly. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until crust is firm and begins to brown. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes. In a bowl, combine margarine, garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Add potatoes and toss. Spread sour cream over crust; top with potato mixture, bacon, onions and cheeses. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.
So many people in the world think they are satisfying their hunger with the way they live their lives doing whatever they want supposedly with no consequence and no one to answer to. They think that those who don’t satisfy their hunger in the same way are stupid, brainwashed, repressed, or so many other negative words. One day they will truly awaken and see that they have been trying to satisfy needs with temporary happiness and not things that will lead to true and eternal joy.
It made me think back to my junior high and high school days. My parents had taught me my whole life the standards the Lord sets for us to be close to Him and to be happy. My sister and I were often the only members of the church in our school growing up. (I have 5 brothers and sisters, but usually my sister Sheri was the only one in my school.) Luckily, I had some good friends who chose not to smoke or drink, but they didn’t have all of the same standards that I did. And most people in our school didn’t have any of the same standards we do. I often heard, “You don’t watch rated R movies? You won’t date until you’re 16? You’ve never even tried a beer?...You don’t know what you’re missing.”
It’s that last sentence that I’ve been thinking about lately. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
When it was time for me to go to college, I decided (a bit reluctantly, but knowing that’s what Heavenly Father wanted) to go to BYU. I moved to Utah, where I had never even visited before. I had some awesome roommates who let a lowly freshman move in with them. They were such good examples for me. Thanks Valerie (yep, same name), Andrea, KayLynn, Thommy and Francis!! We went to church, family home evening, and dances together. We even went boating down at Lake Powell together once. They were lots of fun and still spiritual and smart. (Imagine! Those can go together.)
One night after coming home from a dance and then stopping for a shake, I got a phone call from one of my high school friends. She was telling me all about this “great” party she went to. Since she didn’t drink, she was always the designated driver. She was telling me about drunk guys hitting on her and then how she drove her drunk friends home. One of them almost threw up in her car, but she was able to pull him out of her car in time and take him in his house. The whole time she was telling me this story, I thought of what people always told me. “You don’t know what you’re missing.” Really??? I had a great time with friends, dancing to fun and clean music with guys who respected me, and had a not-too-healthy, but not mind-altering, shake afterwards, walking home with my friends making plans for a family home evening activity we were in charge of. To me, there was NO comparison. I was so sad that my friend didn’t know what SHE was missing.
One day all the good people who just didn’t see what they were missing and all the people who deliberately defied what is good and right, will all awaken and see that their souls are empty. The world’s ways do not satisfy for long. I’m so grateful to know what so many people are missing and that I have the opportunity to learn what I need to do to progress and become more like Christ, our Savior.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
This was just a week or two ago. I can't remember why she was upset, but she just went from bad to worse!
See her tear on the left side of her face???
Monday, February 22, 2010
It is breaded, fried and covered with heavy cream so we don't have it often. Why do my favorite foods always have to be so bad for me???
Chicken With Basil Cream Sauce
¼ c. milk
¼ c. dry bread crumbs
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
3 T. margarine
1 T. olive oil
½ c. chicken broth
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 (4-oz) jar diced pimiento, drained
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c. minced fresh basil
1/8 t. pepper
1 t. cornstarch
Preheat oven to 350º. Place milk and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with breadcrumbs. In skillet over medium heat, brown chicken on both sides in butter and olive oil. Remove and place in preheated oven to keep warm.
Add broth to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir to loosen browned bits from pan bottom. Stir in whipping cream and pimiento, boil and stir for one minute. Reduce heat. Stir in Parmesan, basil and pepper and cook until heated through. Mix cornstarch with extra chicken broth and stir into skillet if needed to thicken sauce. Pour over chicken.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Nichole Nordeman - I Am
Pencil marks on a wall,
I wasn't always this tall.
You scattered some monsters from beneath my bed.
You watched my team win.
You watched my team lose.
You watched when my bicycle went down again.
And When I was weak unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said Elbow healer, Superhero,
come if You can, and You said I Am
Only 16, life is so mean, what kind of curfew is at ten PM
You saw my mistakes, You watched my heart break
Heard when I swore I'd never love again
When I was weak, unable to speak,
still I could call You by name,
and I said Heartache Healer, Secret-keeper,
be my Best Friend and You said I Am.
You saw me wear white, by pale candlelight,
I said forever to what lies ahead
two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
too much it might seem when it's two Am.
When I am weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name-
Oh Shepherd, Savior, Pasture-maker,
hold on to my hand, and You say I am.
The winds of change,
And circumstance blow in and all around
us so we find a foothold that's familiar,
And bless the moments that we feel You nearer.
Life had begun, I was woven and spun,
You let the angels dance around the throne. Who can say when,
But they'll dance again, when I am free and finally headed home.
I will be weak, unable to speak,
still I will call You by name-
Creator, Maker, Life-sustainer,
Comforter, Healer, My Redeemer,
Lord and King, Beginning and
the End, I Am, yes, I Am.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
“Thank you so much, President Samuelson. You're blessed to have this wonderful man as your president. But I miss him at Church headquarters--greatly and personally! It's always easy to praise Sharon because she represents, as does my wife--as do so many others--the faithful women of this dispensation, without whom this work simply could not be done. They are the kind of souls who are high yield and low maintenance.”
I thought that was an interesting way to describe someone—high yield, low maintenance. Then I started wondering if someone could describe me as that.
We all know some high maintenance wives—likes to be the center of attention, wants gifts and money, isn’t happy with what she’s given, only likes things done her way. (Of course, guys could be like this too!) And we know high maintenance ladies that we have visit taught or home taught. They think that their problems are so much harder than everyone else’s. They are not considerate of your time or schedule. They are not grateful for the help you give and always want more attention. Sometimes they complain about others.
I immediately started thinking about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Am I a high yield, low maintenance daughter of God? And what does that mean? I thought of a few characteristics of a person who Heavenly Father might describe as high yield, low maintenance.
1. Is happy to follow the commandments.
“Eventually, spirituality becomes such an integral part of our being that we can follow our heart’s true desires without doing anything wrong. Nephi, the son of Helaman, reached that point where there was no conflict between what he wanted and what was right…This kind of spirituality requires that we consciously move away from all that is unkind, unholy, impure, or unchristian. It requires that we let go of anger and revenge. And it yields a peace of heart and soul. It makes us able to find good things to do without constantly being asked, pushed, or reminded.”
Mary Ellen Edmunds, “Spirituality—More Than a Feeling,” Ensign, Oct. 1985, p.14
2. Has a grateful heart. It’s easy to give thanks, but harder to feel true gratitude even during trials.
3. Serves others (including in a calling) with love and without expecting acknowledgement or remuneration.4. Is humble enough to change (even to make an about-face) when prompted by the Spirit
5. Seeks for more knowledge and tries to use it to become a better follower of Christ“In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks, The Challenge to Become,” Ensign, November 2000, 32; emphasis in original).
“Those who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and those who love it are not equal to those who live it.” Confucius
"The Lord expects each step upward in knowledge to be followed by a step upward in performance.”
William Baker, "Knowing, Doing, and Being", BYU Devotional (7/25/2006)
After making up this list in my head, I decided to do a search on high yield, low maintenance. Many of the results were talking about agriculture (makes sense), but I did find another time that Elder Maxwell used this phrase.
“Part of discipleship should be to become high-yield, low-maintenance members of the Church. These members are not high profile; they won’t be on the six o’clock evening news when they die. But they have done what Heavenly Father has wanted them to do meekly and humbly.” Neal A. Maxwell, “The Holy Ghost: Glorifying Christ,” Ensign, Jul 2002, 56–61
I plan on using this phrase to motivate me when I start being a bit lazy or needy. Of course it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reply completely on Heavenly Father and on the Savior’s atonement, but we should be willing to continue to go forward without immediate blessings or recognition.
What other characteristics would you add to my incomplete list?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Some of you may have noticed that I haven't had a dessert recipe in a while. I've been trying to eat better and I've been doing pretty good--not perfect, but I'm trying. I still wanted to give away some yummy treats.
I recently saw this recipe on justJENN Recipes and thought it would be fun for Valentine's day. But I added a little almond extract to the white layer and raspberry extract to the pink. I didn't measure how much, but it was a bit more raspberry extract than I should have added. I couldn't even taste the almond extract. But that's okay. It was still good. I didn't have any mini chocolate chips so I used regular ones. They were too big to cut the little hearts well so next time I'll be sure to buy mini chocolate chips. It's a crisp, pretty cookie.
Make sure to cut the long slice thin since these spread and the shape gets a bit deformed if it's too thick to begin with. I dipped a few of the cookies in chocolate. Then I was going to make a white filling and sandwich it between two cookies and roll that in coconut, but I never got time for that. Maybe next time. Neapolitan Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
Pink gel food coloring
2-4 T. cocoa
3 T. mini chocolate chips
Prepare a loaf pan by lining it with plastic wrap for easy removal later. Make sure the plastic wrap is long and hangs over the edges.
In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, then the vanilla. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix.
Divide the dough into three bowls. Add the gel coloring to one for the pink layer. In the second bowl, mix in the cocoa powder. Add in the mini chocolate chips.
Spread the chocolate dough on the bottom of the loaf pan first, followed by the vanilla. Then the pink.
Cover and refrigerate a few hours until firm. Once the dough is firm, preheat your over to 350º. Using the hanging plastic wrap, carefully pull your dough out and take off the wrap. You might need to place in a larger, shallow pan with some hot water to remove the dough.
With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4 inch slices. Then slice into cookies or use cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets at least 1 inch between cookies.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove while still soft, before white layer browns.
Friday, February 12, 2010
First I'll show a few of the ones they decided not to use. I know it's too late for your kids to take them to school this year, but maybe to use on Valentine's Day or next year. And besides lots of these blogs are great.
Cute and simple from A Little Art and Lots of Love
And Gabrielle (AKA Design Mom) also came up with the one below.
Blonde Designs. actually also had the cute photo lolipop valentines, but first I found these felt bracelet Valentines there. Hearts for girls and arrows for boys.
Ulla is an artist and has a fascinating blog. And this is totally off topic, but check out these paper shoes from her etsy shop. She sells the tutorial for them. Wouldn't they be beautiful for an inviation to a girl's birthday party? Just glue the info inside the shoe. Okay, back to Valentine's Day...
Here is what they ended up doing until 10:00 last night. We found these ice cream cones filled with cotton candy valentines at Just a Country Girl Lost in the City.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
By the way, ignore the unappetizing dark blob above the maduros (friend plantains). It's just black beans.
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 (2-4 lb.) roast
2 T. soy sauce
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
Salt and pepper
Place the rings of onion in the crock pot. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper to taste. Place the roast on top of the onions. Next add the 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce, just pouring over the top of the roast. Dispense the cranberry sauce on top of the roast. Cook on low for 6 hours. About one hour before serving, shred with two forks and continue to cook for final hour.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Some of you helped with the bake sale or came to buy goodies and help out so I wanted to update you on Kamilla. She moved to Texas with her parents and siblings since that’s where they would do the transplant. They had to leave behind their family in Utah and wait in Texas for months until the doctors decided Kamilla was ready to be on the transplant waiting list. Then this week, her beeper went off, and her parents had to rush her to the hospital for the operation while the lung which was donated (with love and heartache, I’m sure) was still viable. It was a very long and risky surgery, but it went well and Kamilla is in recovery. She is still in our prayers that she will continue to do well, but we are so glad that she has made it well through this step.
Kamilla---before and after the surgery
About a year and half ago, Denisse, my visiting teaching companion, and I got our new assignment to visit Mariela (Kamilla’s mother). I didn’t know her well, but knew her family who has been in our ward since the branch opened. Mariela had recently moved into our ward after living in Salt Lake City. Denisse and I dropped by to introduce ourselves and we found out that she was going to have her baby the following week. So we were her visiting teachers through all the difficulties having her baby in the hospital for so long, having her finally come home and then get sick and have to go back to the hospital and then to find out she had a genetic disorder and would need a transplant.
Another Before shot of Kamilla
“My grandfather Francisco Lara told our family the fable of the Oak tree and the Almond tree.
There was once two young trees planted by a poor farmer to whom the trees had been given. One tree was an oak the other was an almond. These trees grew on the edge of the Sonora desert and as the trees grew it became apparent that water was scarce on this farmland.
So while the roots of the Almond tree stretched out to soak up all the water the roots of the Oak went deeper into the earth searching for every drop of water it could find.
Both trees grew up very nicely; the Almond tree with his wonderful blossoms and sweet nuts and the Oak tree became very majestic. One day a great wind began to blow in from the south and blew harder all during the day. It started to strip the leaves from the trees and snap off the small branches of the trees. The Almond tree panicked and cried out to the Oak tree as the wind blew stronger into the night. The Almond tree cried out during the night to the great Oak tree for help and the Oak tree encouraged the little Almond tree to persevere and lean into the wind.
When the daybreak came the Oak tree could see off in the horizon that the farmer’s house was missing a roof and the chicken coop was blown away. He watched the old farmer make his way down to the trees. The Almond tree was blown over dead, its shallow roots thrust up into the air. The farmer and the Oak tree wept. The farmer came up to the Oak tree and patted its bark and called him “fuerte, grande y fuerte.” Large and strong. And while the great Oak tree was saddened, he was thankful because of the lack of water that his roots had run deep into the earth, anchoring him against the storm of tribulation.
Paul Buckingham , Life’s Afflictions and Self Inflictions, BYU Devotional, July 10, 2003
Trials are not easy to go through personally and it’s difficult to see others suffer. But I’m grateful for the knowledge “that all these things shall give [me] experience, and shall be for [my] good” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7) as long as I endure it well. Enduring well means not complaining (too bad because I’m pretty good at that), being patient and trusting that God is always in control and knows what is best for me, now and in the future. I’m so glad to have so many examples of this in my family and friends.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition aspired, and success achieved." Helen Keller
(Oh, and in case you don't speak Spanish. Pobrecita means poor, little girl.)
Monday, February 8, 2010
3 - 4 chicken breasts (2 c.)
9 cooked lasagna noodles
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 lg. carton cottage cheese
1/3 c. margarine
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ t. salt
1 t. minced garlic
1 t. lemon juice
¼ c. flour
2 t. chicken bouillon
3 c. milk
1 T. parsley
Stew and season meat, cut up into bite size pieces, set aside. Mix cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, and eggs. Set aside. In a skillet, sauté margarine, mushrooms, salt, garlic powder, and lemon juice for 5 minutes. Add bouillon and flour, mix well. Add milk and parsley. Stir until thickened and add chicken. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, layer 1/2 c. sauce, noodles, cottage cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese. End layers with sauce and cheese. Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbly.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
They have two children on a mission right now-a son and a daughter. I know the daughter just a little and she’s great. She bore her testimony one day in sacrament meeting. Since our children don’t speak Spanish, if they aren’t wearing the headsets to hear the translation (from super translators that have to translate the whole meeting), then they don’t understand. Unfortunately the headphones don’t fit my girls’ heads very well and they don’t work well (too much static), so they don’t like to use them. So usually they read scriptures or the Friend during sacrament, although Elisa usually just listens even though she can’t understand.
Well at her farewell, Elsa’s daughter bore her testimony and it was simple but so amazing. I think every single person in the room felt it. After the meeting, I told Elisa that I wish she could have understood her testimony because it was so powerful. Elisa said, “I could tell”, but I thought she was being kinda sarcastic since she couldn’t understand. But when I looked at her as if to say, “Not nice” she said, “No, I’m serious. I don’t know what she said but I could feel the Spirit and I knew she was bearing her testimony.” Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to express your testimony so people could say that? Anyway, she and Elsa’s son are both super missionaries and more than one person has called from both of their missions to tell their mother what a big difference they make in the lives of investigators and members.
But back to Elsa…She mentioned that in Mexico she used to do a craft called “migajon” which I had never heard of. She said that you use take sliced bread and cut off the crust. What is left of the bread is called the “miga”. I don’t think we have a word for that. You would never guess what they do with it…unless you already know. They mix the “miga” with glycerin and Elmer’s glue to make a clay dough that you can tint and shape into decorative pieces. I’ve seen these before but never knew what they were made of. Here are some examples I found online. And I included a little video (in Spanish) with directions, even though they just show how to mix it, not how to tint or shape it. And her frogs are pretty ugly. Who wants to try it?
She also shared a few experiences and heartaches. There is nothing like hearing someone else’s trials that makes you feel so blessed! Also her unwavering faith even through her trials is such an example to me. I am so glad she came over for a visit and I hope it isn’t the last.
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