Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Better to Look Up

In June I attended a fireside where Elder Carl B. Cook and his wife spoke. He was sustained as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy at April 2011 General Conference. He told us about an experience he had very shortly after being called. He was at the church office building in Salt Lake, coming down the elevator. He had just been in a meeting where he was given a huge stack of papers and manuals to read and learn. His new responsibilities were kind of weighing him down. He stood in the elevator, looking down toward the floor, when the elevator stopped at one of the floors and a man walked into the elevator. But Elder Cook did not look at the person. He continued his downward gaze. Then he heard a voice say, "What are you looking at down there?" He immediately recognized the voice as that of President Monson's and quickly looked up at him. President Monson was looking down, as if to try to figure out what he was looking at.

"Oh, nothing," Elder Cook quickly answered.

"It's better to look up," President Monson said as he pointed and looked up. I can just imagine his voice saying this, in his special uplifting way.
Obviously, that is good advice for all of us. Where should we look when we are weighed down? Where should we look when we have questions? Where should we look when we need help? It is always better to look up. That is where we will find strength, answers, peace and love.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sesame Chicken Salad

I made a really fresh and delicious salad for dinner tonight. It's a Better Homes & Gardens recipe. The recipe just called for cooked chicken, but I wanted to add some flavorful chicken so I marinated chicken in a mixture of Teriyaki Baste and Glaze and Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing before cooking in a skillet.

Saucy!
This is similar to Chicken Salad with Spicy Sesame Sauce and Won Ton Salad, but they each have their own unique flavors. We really like this one and I have added it to our files to have again. I like rice vinegar and sesame oil and loved the orange juice in the dressing. We ate the salad with won tons (one of Sabrina's favorite foods), but I didn't get a photo with them. Maybe you'll remember to toast the sesame seeds, but I forgot. 
Sesame Chicken Salad

1 (10-oz.) pkg. torn European-style or Italian-style salad greens
2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken
1 (8-3/4-oz.) can whole baby corn, drained and halved crosswise
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 c. sliced radishes
1/2 c. orange juice
1/4 c. rice vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 t. toasted sesame oil
1/4 t. black pepper
1 1/2 t. sesame seeds, toasted*
In a large bowl combine the salad greens, chicken, baby corn, green onions, and radishes.

For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine the orange juice, vinegar, sesame oil, and pepper. Cover and shake well.

Pour dressing over greens mixture; toss gently to coat. Divide greens mixture among 6 salad bowls. Sprinkle with sesame seed. Makes 6 servings.

*Note: To toast sesame seed, in a nonstick skillet cook and stir sesame seed over medium heat about 1 minute or just until golden brown. Watch closely so the seeds don't burn. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool completely.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What Am I Saying?

"On those days when we're not ready to stop being offended, not ready to forgive, still determined to dish out the silent treatment, what we're actually saying is, 'Thanks, but I don't want to become more like the Savior today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today.' Perhaps those are the times when we need to pray the hardest, the times it becomes clear that a change in behavior is not enough--that we must have a change in nature."
Sheri Dew, "Saying It Like It Is"

"Nephi said, 'I will go and do' not 'I will sit and stew'." 
John Bytheway

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Broccoli Crunch Slaw

I know it seems like all we eat at my house is sugar, but we really do eat real food. I'm not much of a meat and potatoes kinda girl. I l-o-v-e salads. I made this one for our family dinner at my parents'. Since a few people have allergies, I didn't include the almonds. I was going to put sunflower seeds in instead, but wasn't sure who would like that. So I just julienned a carrot instead. Thanks to Everybody Likes Sandwiches for this yummy, easy slaw/salad.
Broccoli Crunch Slaw

1 large head of broccoli
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 c. roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 T. Greek yogurt
2 T. mayonnaise
Juice of 1/2 lemon (or to taste)
Couple of dashes of hot sauce
Small squirt of honey
Salt & pepper to taste
Use a large knife to thinly chop up the broccoli into a rough slaw. Dump into a medium sized bowl along with the red onion, almonds, and cranberries. Put the remaining ingredients into a small jar with a lid and shake. Taste & adjust seasoning if necessary. Pour onto broccoli slaw and toss until everything is coated.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Homemade Milky Way Bars

Found this candy recipe at Erin's blog Making Memories with Your Kids recently and couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to make it. (Stop by her blog to see a much better picture of it.) When I needed to take something to a dinner, I knew it was a good time to make these. The filling was so sticky that it took more time to cut, peel off the knife and reshape each piece than I had planned on and then I had to dip them. I only had time to make a few look semi-okay and hurried with the others which didn't look so pretty. I'd eat it either way. These are really chocolatey and very addictive.
Homemade Milky Way Bars
1 (12-oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
3 T. evaporated milk
1 (7-oz.) container Marshmallow Cream
1 (14-oz.) bag of caramels, unwrapped
3 T. evaporated milk
Milk chocolate for dipping (about a pound)

Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir. Continue to microwave in short bursts (about 30 seconds) until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the marshmallow cream and 3 tablespoons milk.

Pour into a lined and greased 8 x 8-inch pan. Place in the fridge to harden while you make the caramel layer.

Put the caramels and the rest of the milk into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir. Continue to microwave in short bursts (about 30 seconds) until melted and smooth. pour over chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Once firm, remove from pan and cut into squares. Melt the milk chocolate over a double boiler (or in the microwave) and start dipping.

Sundance 2011

After being rained out of our plans to go to Sundance several times, we finally made it. The girls tried on hats, but Alex didn't want to.
We saw some wildlife, but nothing like bears or cougars.
We went up the ski lift and Sabrina liked it.
But Elisa was scared. And Alexander loved teasing her all the way up. Have you ever seen a more mischievous smile??? 
View from the lift going up
Stewart Falls, which I hiked to with my sisters Tiff and Heather and bro-in-law Tom before
We got off the lift at the top to look around and hike a bit.
The trail was right on the edge and Elisa felt dizzy
See Stewart Falls again?
I didn't think it was good to have a dizzy girl on that trail so close to the edge so we didn't hike long...again.
There were some cool birds giving us an aerial show.
And back down we went
You know how sometimes you're so scared you don't know what else to do but laugh???
For some reason, when we got to this spot, Sabrina wanted me to take a photo here and change it to black and white like it was old. So she wanted to look unhappy like they used to in a lot of photos. Funny cuz that's how she looks in quite a few of her own.
We took a lunch up and Alex, Elisa and I got a super smoothie from the deli. Sabrina doesn't like smoothies so she opted for a Sundance apple. It wasn't grown there, but that's what she called it since we bought it there. We ate outside and had this little friend come and go.

Have I mentioned yet how Sabrina wears her purse around her neck? She wants to start a new fad. Think it'll catch on?

While we were there, they shut down the lift becuase of a storm coming in. After we got in the car and were headed back into Provo Canyon, it started raining. So glad we finally got to take our little trip to Sundance.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Staycation

I was gonna try to squash all our remaining staycation activities in one post, but it would be too many photos for anyone to go through. So here are the next three days after days 1 and 2.

On day 3 we were supposed to go to Sundance, but there were lots of clouds and the forecast said thunderstorms all day. I have bad luck with Sundance. Remember last year? Thunderstorms at Sundance then and several other days that I have planned the little trip this summer. So we figured out a plan B and went to Color Me Mine, a ceramic studio, where the kids each chose something and painted it. They each had such fun ideas and they all came out so great. 

Gotta mention Elisa's hair. Look at that! She had done that to her hair the day before and planned on going to Lagoon like that, but I told her that it would come out and all over on the roller coasters so she had taken it down. I know you can't see it well, but it got a few stares and hushed comments. "Did you see that girl's hair???" So funnnnny! 
The artists hard at work
They painted their pieces and then we left them. Then a few days later, after being glazed and fired by the studio, we picked them up. Look how different the colors look in the after pics.
 This is Sabrina's mug
Elisa's bowl
And Alex's bowl--He painted half of it for BYU and the other half (on opposite sides on the inside and outside) the colors and letters for his high school

Another day, we went to my brother Jared and his wife Debbie's house to visit with them and my nephews and spend some time at their pool. As usual lately, I didn't get any photos of the adults and I didn't even get a photo of Alex, who didn't want to swim.


After swimming, my brother had to go to work and the kids all played while Debbie, a super hostess, made a delish dinner for all of us.

I love how my nephews have different colored eyes from each other just like my kids.
The next day was Saturday and it was cloudless so we could have gone to Sundance, but I wanted to go on a weekday for less crowds. So instead we went to hike at Rock Canyon behind the Provo LDS temple. It was hot and Alex and Sabrina lagged way behind and complained the whole time so we didn't actually hike very long. We were passing someone who was coming down the trail when he told us he had seen a scorpion on the trail just ahead. Elisa told me not to tell Alex and Sabrina because it would give them another excuse to leave.
This was the calm part of the water. All the way up (as far as we went), we could hear and sometimes see the rapid waters. Almost everyone who passed us had earphones in, listening to music. They missed the awesome sounds of the water and the birds and all the other nature sounds.

Pepperoni, Mozzarella & Broccoli Pasta Salad

I have been making this for a very long time and can't believe I haven't blogged it before. My family got this recipe when my sister...