Saturday, December 29, 2012
20 chocolate wafer cookies
1 T. sugar
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
10 oz. DOVE 71% Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate, chopped
4 (8-oz.) packages cream, fat-free 1 cup sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder
½ c. heavy cream
5 oz. DOVE 71% Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate
1 t. sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper.
Place the cookies and sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. While the processor is running, drizzle in the melted butter and continue processing until well-mixed. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the buttered pan, packing well and making sure to leave a level surface. Bake 5-7 minutes, until set. Let crust cool while you make the filling. Do not turn off the oven.
Melt the 71% chocolate in a double boiler or in a glass bowl over simmering water. When it’s melted, remove from heat and allow it to cool until it is lukewarm but still liquid.
While the chocolate cools, cut or tear the cream cheese into chunks and place it in the food processor. Add the sugar and cocoa powder and process until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, processing thoroughly between each one. While processor is running, drizzle in the lukewarm chocolate and continue processing until thoroughly mixed.
Pour the filling over the crust and smooth the top. Bake for 55-60 minutes, until center is lightly set and looks dry. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to make sure it doesn’t stick as it cools. Cool on a rack for one hour, then refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. Do not remove the ring of the springform pan and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
To make the ganache, stir together the chocolate, cream and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Cool slightly, then pour the ganache over the cheesecake, spreading it to the edge of the top, but not over. Chill for one hour, until the topping is set.
Before serving, allow the cake to sit at room temperature for one hour.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
I copied and pasted the recipe as it was originally, but I did some things differently. It calls to just put it into a loaf pan and there will be "some" fudge leftover, so I put it into an 11 x 7-inch pan, thinking it is bigger than a loaf pan so all the fudge would fit into it. But I could quickly tell there was too much white cherry fudge for just that pan so I also put some into a loaf pan. There was enough fudge to fill both pans well.
Also, I did chill the first layer for 6 hours before adding the second, as directed, but the milk chocolate layer kinda falls off of the white layer. So next time I will make the white layer and chill it just while I make the milk chocolate layer and then add that on top. And believe me, there will be a next time!
Chocolate Covered Cherry Fudge
Bottom layer: White Cherry Fudge:
3 c. sugar
3/4 c. butter
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 (12-oz.) pkg. white chocolate chips
1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow crème
1 t. vanilla extract
2 (approx. 10 ounces each) jars maraschino cherries, drained, rough-chopped, and dried thoroughly
3/4 c. butter
2/3 c. evaporated milk
1 (12-oz.) pkg. milk chocolate chips
1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow crème
1 t. vanilla extract
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
about something that is now said often with men or women who leave their spouse. "I love you, but I'm not IN love with you and there's nothing I can do about it."
Of course, all marriages go through ups and downs and they aren't all super-romantic all the time. You see your wife without make-up or your husband sitting with his shirt up and his stomach sticking out above his pants. You see his or her weaknesses. You have hurt each other. They have sometimes failed to do what you have wanted and needed.
But through all of this many people are able to do what they promised to do, keep loving through it all and to stay with his or her spouse forever, progress together, hold hands, give hugs and kisses with meaning and feeling, make memories and say "I love you". If you have that, like most of my readers do, realize what an enormous blessing that is. No matter how much he doesn't help around the house or makes you watch stupid movies or how much she makes you late because she's doing her hair or she vents as soon as you come home from work.... It is a blessing.
Here are a few parts of the long article, but go to the link above and read it all. It's not specifically an LDS perspective, but it is religious perspective and cites many Bible verses.
“The excuse ‘I’m not in love with you anymore’ is nonsensical. Let me tell you why. There is no such emotional condition as falling out of love; it’s a justification for doing whatever you are planning on doing. It’s a way to let your spouse down easy.
“What you’re really feeling and should be saying is ‘I don’t want to love you anymore.’ It usually means that the attitude towards your spouse and marriage is not what it once was. Perhaps you are talking yourself into having an affair or perhaps you have already had an affair.
“The person who says ‘I’m not in love with you anymore’ is searching for a feeling. The marriage has stopped giving them a feeling they want and expect to have.’” (Angie Lewis from the Helium.com article titled “Testimonies: Falling In and Out of Love" — which you may want to read to learn more on this issue.)
"As I said before, feelings can come and go.
“A person who says, ‘I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you,’ is making a distinction between 2 different feelings. But NEITHER of those feelings are love! When a person says, ‘I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you,’ they’re saying that I CARE about you but I’m not EXCITED about you.
"...You can’t MAKE your spouse participate in your marriage in the way he or she should, but you can ask God to keep your heart and mind and focus centered on doing things His way, and to give you peace of mind in the process."
I know too many people who are hurt and alone. The divorce rate just seems to climb. I know there are times to leave like when there is any abuse or often if there is addiction or adultery. But too often people just give up because they want to move on to someone and something new. I know this is not what the Lord wants for us or our children. This is not what we need in this world.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I get tired of seeing liars and hypocrites seem to get away with what they do and even earn praise and popularity from others. This world just seems to get worse and worse, but I need to focus on the positive things and the good examples I know.
Elder David A. Bednar, "Be Honest," New Era, Oct. 2005, 7
President James E. Faust also used the same word that I now like to describe integrity in his talk Integrity, the Mother of Many Virtues
Complete and constant integrity is a great law of human conduct. There need to be some absolutes in life. There are some things that should not ever be done, some lines that should never be crossed, vows that should never be broken, words that should never be spoken, and thoughts that should never be entertained."
Friday, December 14, 2012
And it's not because I happen to think she has a pretty great name.
We'll be in touch to get the books to you soon. I hope they are great.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Decal Geex has decals from small for laptops to large for walls. (Make sure you check the size before ordering.). Don't spot what you're looking for? He does custom orders, so just send him a message and he'd be happy to fun-ify your wall. If you like Decal Geex on Facebook, he'll send you a code for free shipping.
Visit Kelly's etsy shop called The Vintage Bob, where she has cute and fun jewelry and headbands. (I featured her a couple of years ago and even gave away one of her beautiful headbands. And I wore my headband from her yesterday.)
And just for fun, I'm throwing in a giveaway. It can be a Christmas gift for you or you can give them away so it's one last thing you have to shop for.
A couple of years ago, I went to a few book signings and bought these books (got all three signed). It was back when I would have been able to read for fun, but then I started school full-time and haven't been able to read them. I'm giving them away to a reader so they can be read by someone.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Peanut M&M Cookies is #1 by far.
Swirled Lemon Raspberry Poundcake with Raspberry Glaze
Chocolate Covered Raspberry Cheesecake Bites
White Chocolate Lemon Truffles
Homemade Milky Way Bars
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Jam Layer Bars
Larger-than-Life Praline Cheesecake
Monday, November 26, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
"This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments."
President Gordon B. Hinckley, If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear, Oct. 2005 General Conference
I'm sure we all know people who want to break the commandments and avoid doing the basics we are taught to do (go to church, pray, read our scriptures, do as we are told by our local leaders and follow the words of our Father through our prophets...), yet think that they can still be blessed with those blessings that only come to those who are imperfect, but willing to follow the commandments and keep doing those basic things. It's kinda like the thief running away from someone trying to stop him and catch him while he is praying not to be caught.
There are consequences which come from sin and one of them is the loss of the Holy Ghost. How can we be guided to what Heavenly Father wants for us when we are not doing what we already know we should be doing? Or in the words of a bishop in my stake who recently spoke at stake conference, "We cannot know what we are supposed to do if we aren't where are are supposed to be."
Another consequence is the loss of peace. There is a peace that is only felt when we are living in the way that we know we should. I plan on writing a separate post on peace sometime soon...when I can.
The first of the talks that I re-read this morning that I wanted to share is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by Elder Pearson.
"True faith must be centered in Jesus Christ. 'Faith is a principle of action and of power' (
"Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: 'Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment of faith' (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 264). If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient.
"These Six Destructive Ds—doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief—all erode and destroy our faith."
Elder Kevin W. Pearson, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, April 2009 General Conference
If we want to feel more faith, we have to be more obedient. How simple. We cannot live contrary to what we know is right and then just pray for a desire to stop and for faith to know what to do. We must live it and know it before we will be endowed with more faith and we will also be given more strength to continue to live righteously.
The second talk is called Hold On by Ann Dibb. She talks about the iron rod. Some people mistakenly believe that if there is something fun that takes them away from the iron rod, they can go participate and then quickly return to the rod, just where they left. How wrong they are. When we let go of the iron rod and indulge in worldly things, our hearts and desires are changed. It is hard to feel the Holy Ghost so we might not hear the callings to return. And even when we do, we may no longer want to return, after having tasted of the world and all it has to offer. Some people take the long and hard process of repentance, that is always harder than people think it will be, but some people never return and remain lost in the fog and darkness.
"Our mortal probation is not easy, and it is not brief. We are blessed to come to this earth and gain a mortal body. This life is our opportunity to prove ourselves and exercise our agency (see Abraham 3:25). We can choose to follow Heavenly Father’s eternal plan of salvation (see Jarom 1:2; Alma 42:5; Moses 6:62) and redemption (see Jacob 6:8; Alma 12:25; 42:11), or we can try to find our own way. We can be obedient and keep His commandments, or we can reject them and face the consequences that will surely follow.
In the scriptures we learn about another key piece of safety equipment—a “rod of iron.” Disciples of our Savior, Jesus Christ, are invited to hold on to this rod in order to safely find their way to eternal life...In modern terms we might say we are invited to 'get a grip.' We must hold on tight to the iron rod and never let go."
Ann Dibb, Hold On, October 2009 General Conference
Our Heavenly Father loves each of us and wants us to return to Him. He wants to reward us with increased faith and strength against the adversary, so he gave us clear instructions, an iron rod. We must each make a choice whether we will hold strong to what we believe or whether we will choose the world. It is a choice that we can make every day. I am grateful for the oppportunity to show my Heavenly Father how much I love Him by following His commandments.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Banana Split Salad
1 (21-oz.) cherry pie filling
3 medium bananass, sliced
1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 c. shredded sweetened coconut
1 c. fresh strawberries, sliced
Garnish: Pecans, coconut, strawberries and chocolate fudge (all optional)
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking sheet
Monday, November 19, 2012
2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, sliced fairly thin
1 each red, green and orange bell peppers
Salt & Pepper, to taste
6 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. soy sauce
2/3 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. lemon juice
3/4 c. canola oil
Mix marinade ingredients well and place HALF of it in bowl or bag with chicken in marinade. Marinade for at least 3 hours.
Slice bell peppers into rings (or half-rings). Warm skillet with a small amount of oil on medium heat. When warm, place bell peppers in skillet and cook until tender. Remove from pan.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken (not marinade) in skillet and brown both sides of chicken, pouring liquid out of skillet if too much accumulates. When all browned, but not cooked through, put bell peppers on top of chicken, and pour reserved marinade over all in skillet. Let chicken cook through completely.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Brother Barrett read Mosiah 3:19.
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
We are told that we should "yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit" and that "through the atonement of Christ the Lord" we can change from a natural man to being Christlike and childlike in every way, including, as the class was about, in our relationships with a spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers or anyone.
In 3 Nephi 11:29, it is very straight-forward in telling us that contention is of the devil. It doesn't say, if you are right, it's okay to fight until the other person sees it your way.
For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
This scripture follows the direction to the Nephites on how to baptize and is giving this direction on how they need to be united. Because it is a commandment and part of the baptismal covenant, Brother Barrett taught, we are empowered to do the 4 things that L. Lionel Kendrick says are necessary in practicing Christlike Communications.
I love how he opens his talk, speaking of the importance of communication.
"Heavenly Father has given us a priceless gift in our capacity to communicate with each other. Our communications are at the core of our relationships with others...Our communications reflect in our countenance. Therefore, we must be careful not only what we communicate, but also how we do so. Souls can be strengthened or shattered by the message and the manner in which we communicate."
I'm sure we have all been uplifted by someone's words to us and we have also felt hurt by other words. And the words we use will be recorded.
"We will be held accountable for all that we say. The Savior has warned 'that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.' (Matt. 12:36.) This means that no communication shall be without consequence. This includes the slight slips of the tongue, the caustic communications that canker the soul, and the vain, vulgar, and profane words which desecrate the name of Deity."
This is a good incentive, besides the pain we could cause to others, to choose our words and tone with care. Those who think they can say whatever they are feeling, hurt others, and blame the other person for "taking it the wrong way" will see someday that they are accountable. It is still our choice to be offended or not, but that doesn't let them off the hook.
He lists four NO's of Christlike Communication, which I have written in the order Brother Barrett discussed them in class, not the same order as Elder Kendrick
1. No lying. "To lie is to be untruthful, deceptive, deceitful, and dishonest."
I've been talking to my children a lot about the sin of lying lately because it seems I have seen it so much around me lately and it makes me sad to see so many people who think it is a little thing.
"It is a serious sin to lie. The scriptures teach us that 'lying lips are abomination to the Lord' (Prov. 12:22) and that 'he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out' (D&C 42:21). "
Brother Barrett mentions that lying is not just an outward telling of an untruth, but keeping something from someone in an attempt to deceive, making promises that we don't keep and not following through on our end of a deal, however small that deal may seem.
Besides it being hurtful and a sin, when another person knows that we are dishonest, it "minimizes our power of influence" on that person, as Brother Barrett pointed out.
2. No anger "This is perhaps the most common form of un-Christlike communication. Anger causes anguish to the souls of all of those who experience the feeling as well as to those who are the recipients of this emotional explosion. Anger shows a lack of self-control and an inability to relate in a righteous way to others".
3. No criticizing. "This caustic communication is cruel, and it tends to crush the character of all of those about whom it is directed." Brother Barrett reminded us that we are to inspire people to change and to help them lovingly see problems and correct them, but not bring them down. He talked about sarcasm as "humor wrapped in barbed wire" and said that it is not a good way to communicate.
4. No blaming. "This is a condemning communication... It has been from the beginning and it will be till the end that the natural man will have a tendency to rationalize and to blame his behaviors on others or on certain circumstances. When we attempt to place responsibility for our choices on others, we are responding in a less than Christlike manner."
Finally, Elder Kendrick's words at the end of his talk are beautiful and can help serve as a guide.
"Christlike communications are expressions of affection and not anger, truth and not fabrication, compassion and not contention, respect and not ridicule, counsel and not criticism, correction and not condemnation. They are spoken with clarity and not with confusion."
Friday, November 9, 2012
The band got to play on KSL when they were participating in a competition. My favorites of their songs are Stay and Sad Song (scroll down on the music player to listen to it).
I think this picture is a little old. On KSL, they had 6 guys playing/singing. If you like their music, they have 3 EPs you can buy.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
So a lot of you have probably heard this one already. I heard it three times on the radio today and I wasn't in the car much (the only place I listen to the radio). When I first heard this song on the radio, I thought it was very Mumford & Sons-y and was surprised when the DJ said it was Phillip Phillips. I remembered him from American Idol, but didn't realize this is the song he sang to win American Idol. I do remember loving the song he sang, but didn't remember what it was. Who knew that since he sang it on AI, it was featured in a Clint Eastwood movie, the summer Olympics and an insurance commercial?? Well, probably a lot of people, but I didn't know.
I love it because of the sound of his voice and the beautiful guitar, but also because the words really speak to me, and I'm sure to lots of people.
This is my favorite part of it.
"Settle down. It'll all be clear.
Don't pay no mind to the demons.
They fill you with fear.
The trouble, it might drag you down.
If you get lost, you can always be found."
Someday the reason for all our troubles, trials, weaknesses and heartaches will be clear. And who wants us to forget that? Satan and all his angels (demons), who want us to feel fear because faith and fear cannot exist in the same place at the same time. But if we can make it through all of this, we can make it home. Just some positive motivation and awesome music.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
For those of you who don't speak Spanish...this picture I saw on Facebook says,
"Son, be careful where you walk. Father, you be careful. Remember that I follow your steps."
That is so powerful. Our children really do watch our footsteps and see what we do, how we do it, what we say, our attitude, our devotion and where our heart really is. Once we become parents, we are no longer responsible just for our own salvation, but to teach and lead our little ones to know the truth and the word of the Lord. Our children should be able to feel the love of our Heavenly Father through our love for them.
With the announcement that the age of young men to go on a mission has been lowered to 18, I felt an electric shock go through me. What??? I already was afraid I wouldn't be able to teach my son all he needed to go out into the world as it is and now I'm losing an entire year with him? He is 16, getting close to 17 and I am not ready. I've been thinking and making lists of all the things I want to teach him and that I wish he can have in his heart, not just in his head. I know he knows a lot of the gospel and has a desire to do what is right, but we are all learning and growing as we go.
Have I done my part? Even with family home evening, church attendance, scripture reading, and all the normal stuff, there is so much more we can do with our children to "inoculate them from the evils in the world", as one of the speakers today said Elder Packer said in a meeting yesterday.
Right after President Monson's announcement, the first talk of the October 2012 conference talked about families, along with other subjects.
Then the following really hit me, as it is what we’ve been told and what I’ve been thinking about, but was such a strong reminder of our duties.
“Parents, the days are long past when regular, active participation in Church meetings and programs, though essential, can fulfill your sacred responsibility to teach your children to live moral, righteous lives and walk uprightly before the Lord. With President Monson’s announcement this morning, it is essential that this be faithfully accomplished in homes which are places of refuge where kindness, forgiveness, truth, and righteousness prevail. Parents must have the courage to filter or monitor Internet access, television, movies, and music. Parents must have the courage to say no, defend truth, and bear powerful testimony. Your children need to know that you have faith in the Savior, love your Heavenly Father, and sustain the leaders of the Church. Spiritual maturity must flourish in our homes. My hope is that no one will leave this conference without understanding that the moral issues of our day must be addressed in the family. Bishops and priesthood and auxiliary leaders need to support families and make sure that spiritual principles are taught. Home and visiting teachers can assist, especially with children of single parents.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook, Can Ye Feel So Now?, October 2012
Brother Winkle, a counselor in our stake presidency who also happens to be my daughter's friend's dad, said that he's been thinking about Elder Bednar's talk (which you can watch below) from October 2009 called "More Diligent & Concerned at Home". Brother Winkle also spoke of a boss he had who was a very hard worker, spending countless hours at the office and expecting the same of others and accomplishing much in the business world. This man found out he had cancer and was dying. What do you think his advice from his hospital bed was to Brother Winkle? "Spend time with your family. Love your family. Work on building lasting relationships with those you love."
A bishop from another ward was asked to give his impromptu thoughts for 3 minutes. Of all the things he could have spoken about, he chose to speak about families. He said that one of his biggest fears is that the may say or do something that may have a negative effect on his grandchildren's testimony or future. It reminded me of the picture above.
Then an Elder's Quorum President from another ward was asked to speak (sorry I didn't write his name down) said that he asks himself, "Am I the type of father my children can look up to as an example to show them what to do out in enemy's territory and that they can come to for spiritual guidance?" (Well, that's my version of what he said since he spoke faster than I could take notes.)
I feel an increased need to make sure that the MTC is a review, not a revelation for Alex, but also to prepare all my children to be strong, good adults who love their Heavenly Father and follow his commandments, and to be loving spouses and parents, which is the most important thing we can do on this earth. That's all. So I better keep working at it since that job that is easy to explain takes so much time and energy and guidance from the Spirit to accomplish.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
These are so good and I especially like the sugary crumb coating. The only problem I had is that the dough was too sticky to actually roll in the crumb coating, so it was a bit messy. I just didn't have time to stick it in the refrigerator for a bit to aid in rolling into balls. I forgot to count how many it made and the recipe, which I found at Chocolate & Chipotle , says the yield is 18. I'm not sure how many cookies that is per serving since it's more than 18 cookies, but it makes a bunch! Plenty to enjoy and to share.
I do have to admit that I disobeyed the recipe since it says not to put on the cookie sheet since I didn't have any parchment paper. I sprayed it with Pam first and as long as I didn't let the cookies sit long after taking them out of the oven, they didn't stick at all.
Apple Cobbler Cookies
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
1 ½ t. cinnamon
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. white sugar
1 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
¼ c. apple juice
½ c. apple butter
2 c. tart apples, peeled and diced
1 c. pecans, chooped
1 c. craisins (optional)
2 ½ c. brown sugar
3 c. quick oats (not instant)
2 ½ t. cinnamon
1 c. butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 325°. Combine flour, baking powder, salt & cinnamon, set aside. Cream butter then add the sugars and cream together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth. Add apple juice & apple butter and thoroughly mix. Add flor mixture, scraping sides ½ way through. Mix in apple, pecans and craisins until just blended. (Dough will be sticky) DO NOT OVER MIX!