Oct 30, 2011

Spiritual Feasting #1

I’ve had a nagging thought on my mind since General Conference that I need to start Spiritually Feasting. It’s gotten stronger and stronger ever since and it’s getting to the point that I can’t ignore it anymore.
A few months ago I had this same nagging feeling so I started listening to the scriptures via ‘The Mormon Channel’ app on my iphone. I finished the Doctrine & Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price and I’m starting on the Book of Mormon. But it still doesn’t feel like enough.
During General Conference, someone talked about sharing your “spiritual feast” with your friends and those around you. I’ve never been good at that since an unfortunate incident when I was a kid, but I have been open to answering questions whenever the situation arises.  They talked about how sharing little tid-bits here and there via Facebook and Twitter can make a difference not only in your own life but in the lives of others. Well, I got rid of Facebook back in March, which I’m very proud of, and I’m not going to get sucked into Twitter. So, here is my outlet.  I want to make sure that I spend the time during the week to really find something to feast on. Not just listening to the scriptures like ambient noise in the background but really feasting.
There may be an experience I want to share, a Mormon Message that touched me, a scripture that hit home, or just a quote that made me smile. This is where I can share, with those who want to read, how I’m feeling and what has inspired me.

This year I am very grateful for the General Relief Society Broadcast. I have to admit that I wasn’t going to go. There was a dinner thing and then the broadcast and in total would take like 4-5 hours… At first I had no desire to go. I don’t feel like I fit in right now and that could just very well be me. I’m in the awkward stage of newly-married (2 ½ years) and no children yet. I even had someone say to me at a baby shower a while ago “How do you feel being the only here not expecting or having children?” I was stunned at that remark!  But anyway… …My mom pushed, my Relief Society President pushed, even my husband nudged. He was more encouraging than the others. Me, I wanted to stay home with him. I wanted to cuddle on the couch with my husband and enjoy relaxing with him and eat dinner with him. I hate spending time away from him. He makes me feel better then ever! And the last time I went to a luncheon someone thought that I was18! Thanks but I’m 23!! (Well, 22 at the time) So, I made a compromise with the whole situation. I would have dinner at home with my husband and show up right before the broadcast started. In this instance, I could have my cake and eat it too!!! :)
I love President Dieter F. Uchtdrof. He always has uplifting messages that hit me to the core. His words at this conference were definitely something I needed to hear.  You should read the whole talk HERE. He tells this story of the Forget-Me-Not flower and how it got its name. Then he gave us 5 things to “Forget Not…”
1) To be Patient with Yourself ~ How important is that? We women in general aren’t patient with ourselves. I know that I’m not. Patience is not my strong suit at all! We need to be patient in all things.  Example: I want to feel skinnier but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen over night. Patience is a virtue and it’s something I work on daily!
2) The difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice ~ When President Uchtdorf started talking about this one he gave some funny examples. It made all of us in the chapel laugh because we’ve been there or we’ve watch our mothers and friends go through a potentially bad sacrifice or exasperating sacrifice. But my mother is an amazing example of “good sacrifice”. For Winter Formal my senior year of high schoo,l she made my dress. Well, she made all my formal gowns… My sister came to pick out fabrics and I decided that I wanted to do something a little different and went with a Cinderella cut for the dress. The fabric was hot pink satin. My mother worked on that dress for weeks. She finished it 3 days before the formal. I tried it on and instantly cried.  It was horrible! It was the worse dress ever. And not because my mother didn’t make the dress right, but it was the most unflattering pattern and color on me.  I was freaking out. My mom was freaking out. We ran to JoAnne’s and bought the most gorgeous satin maroon fabric and defaulted to the peasant style pattern that had never disappointed us with the empire cut. In 3 days she made me a whole new formal gown and it was stunning. I felt like a princess! What was an exasperating and frustrating sacrifice was in my eyes the perfect sacrifice from my amazing mother. She has always shown to us that she loves us through service and sacrifice and boy oh boy… does my mother love me! (I started tearing at that memory. I have lots of dresses that show great sacrifices my mother made for me. :))
3) To Be Happy Now ~ You’d think would be easy right? But I’m learning that it isn’t always as easy as it should be. My goal this year was to be in the moment and stop living in the future. In living in the future and constantly planning, I was not in the here and now and was stressed and grumpy all the time. I still have my “future planning” moments where I get stressed and grumpy and my husband can attest to that. But I’m trying and harder now more then ever before to be happy now!!!! We need to be in the present and enjoy the present and stop stressing about our futures. It’s a whole lot easier said then done, but I’m earnestly working on it.
4) The Why of the Gospel ~ You hear all the time that the church is true. It’s not necessarily the church that is true but the Gospel is true. The church is full of people and people make mistakes. We’re only human. But the Gospel is magnificent.  In the church, we feel like there are a lot of to-do lists with callings and keeping everything put together… But when you subtract out the to-dos and focus on what lies underneath, you remember that there is a reason for everything that we do. The reason is that Heavenly Father gave us this great Gospel with the Plan of Salvation to help us so that we can live with Him again. The understanding of the Plan of Salvation and what the Gospel really is, is what we need to cultivate. We need to break it down to the bare essentials and feast on the “whys” to fully understand. I melt over President Uchtdorf’s words. READ what he says again and again and it will make more sense. I promise!
5) That the Lord Loves YOU ~ How many of you have felt like you were forgotten? I know that I have. I had a horrible summer a few years ago where I felt like the Lord had abandoned me and I was left on my own… struggling to keep my head above the water. When I look back on that summer, I realize that the Lord was teaching me patience and how to be humble. Out of that horrible summer came the best and most amazing thing that could have ever happened to me and that was my husband. If I hadn’t been brought down to a more humbling sphere, I don’t think I would have ever seen him. I needed to be melted, before I could be molded. From that experience I’m still learning and understanding how much the Lord does love me. He loves me so much that He let me struggle and learn and meet the man who has changed me for the better. The Lord loves me more than I will ever know. He loves me so much that He led me to a man that is ever encouraging and never ever lets me give up no matter what! My husband has helped me learn and grow in ways that I could not have done with out him. The Lord places people in our paths to help us when He can’t physically do it for Himself.  Don’t ever forget that you are loved! The Lord loves us so much that he gave us the agency to choose. To choose to do the right and make it back home. Many of you have kids, you see how hard it is to watch your child choose and in some cases choose the wrong and struggle for a while. That is a glimpse of what the Lord goes through with all of us. He aches when we struggle. He cries when we cry. He carries us when we can’t walk any further. But we have to make the ultimate choice to follow His path and return to Him. He will always love us. Regardless!

These inspired words from President Uchtdorf have meant the world to me in the last few weeks since the Broadcast.  I made myself a little flower cut out. I have it in a spot at my desk where I can see it every day. I hope that his words bring you as much comfort and peace as they bring me.

Oct 26, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

I tasted Spaghetti Squash for the first time last year and loved it. We made a different recipe last year and we couldn't find it. Now, I have no excuse for losing this one :). 
This recipe is super healthy too. It serves 6, but I guess that also depends on the serving size too. The website I got this from said it has 147 Calories which isn't bad all but they didn't specify the serving size.
So with out further ado, here is a great fall recipe!!!

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (ish)
3/4 cups crumbled feta (ish)
3 tablespoons sliced black olives (ish, we used 3/4 of a can)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (we used dried)
8 cooked Chicken Tenders

Preheat oven to 350*F

Halve the squash and de-seed

Lightly grease a baking sheet

Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance

Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat

Saute onion in oil until tender

Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes
(If you wanted our chicken to have a little flavor you could cook with the garlic and remove before adding the tomatoes)

Stir in tomatoes and cook only until warm

Use a large spoon or fork and scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl

Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil

Serve warm!!

Linked To:

Oct 25, 2011

Tuesday Tip #5

I thought of my sister-in-law when I found this tip. There have been a few times when we have been at their house where she has deep fried her corn tortilla shells, so this if for her... And others who would rather make their hard shells instead of buying them!

A low-calorie solution for high-fat frying of corn tortillas... 
Is to place them in the oven, directly on the rack. 
Bake at 350*F to desired crispness. 
The tortillas will automatically fold over into taco shell form with just a little positioning help.

Please leave your comments on the tip!!

Oct 24, 2011

Give away at....

Happy Monday!!!!

So, I was cruising around the blogs I follow and Chef 'n Training is sponsoring a give away from Amy Cornwell .... You HAVE to check out her stuff. It is simple and elegant!!!!

Looking for Christmas Presents????

This could be the perfect place to find the perfect gift!! ;)

I love THIS necklace!!

What is your favorite piece? 

Oct 22, 2011

Apple Pie

I love apple pie and so does Marvin. My first apple pie making experience was in Thanksgiving 2009. Everyone in my family was very impressed. {again you have to remember that this was just as my phase of "not touching a kitchen" with a 10 ft pole was coming to a close.} My dad said it was right up there next to my moms' pie and that meant the world to me!!! So I'm going to post this in two installments...
Both will post today, but you know how it is... Sometimes you want just the crust or just the filling... This should make it easier to find what it is that both you and I are looking for down the road.

For the crust... 

Apple Pie Filling
6 Cups sliced Apple of Your Choice {fresh}
{8 Cups frozen apple of your choice}
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
A Few Dashes of ME, oh wait I mean Nutmeg! :)

**I'm a little lazy and cut my fresh apples and freeze them for later pie baking. When I was a kid it always looked so difficult and time consuming because my mom would do everything all in ONE day! I know that is how most people bake their pies but it's sooooo much easier to freeze and then all you have to make is the crust!

***I also defrost my apples by placing the frozen bag in HOT water in the sink.

Drain some of the juice

Combine all ingredients and let juice

This is when I move on to making the Crisco Pie Crust

Before pouring into the pie shell, you may want to drain some of the juice. You're apples are still defrosting plus all the juicing from the sugar can create too much juice.

Pour into bottom shell

^As you can see there is still a little too much juice in there...

Top with 4 slices of butter
(^I always forget to do this so REMEMBER)

Lay the Pie Crust on top

Cut the edges

Curl Edges

Vent the top of the crust
(We usually do a special message for birthdays or holidays)

Bake at 375* for 25 minutes with the edges covered with foil or Pie Crust Shield
{This recipe is for Granny Smith Apples which are softer so depending on the crunch of the apple you may to extend your time}

Remove the foil or Pie Crust Shield then bake additional 25 minutes uncovered

And as you can see below, there was still too much juice in the apples, which if you let it drain well enough {like I didn't} you shouldn't have this problem.


Linked To:

Crisco Pie Crust

I have only ever made one type of pie in my life and it's this Apple Pie. My husband Loves it. 
This crust can be a little finicky...
It honestly depends on the elevation, weather, humid levels in your house etc as to how well the pie crust will turn out. The first time that I made it, I made it EXACTLY the way the recipe said and it came out perfect. It was Thanksgiving 2009. But it has changed every time since then. 
Sometimes you need more water and sometimes less. It also depends on how flakey you want the crust to be.

2 cups Sifted Flour
2/3 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup way cold water
(^The way cold is the key)

**If cooking just the crust, so the bottom part, use:
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Crisco
3 tablespoons way cold water

Mix flour and salt in a bowl

Cut the Crisco with a Pastry Blender or fork untill it looks like fine cornmeal

Add water a little bit at a time

Roll into a ball and divide in half

Roll to about 1/8" thick

Be careful when pull the parchment paper apart so that you don't tare the crust
Gently rub/scrap it loose

Gently place on pie plate

Gently, again, pull the parchment away from the crust nudging the crust loose

Fork the crust
All over the bottom...

..And the sides

Pour apples into the crust

Put the top crust on then trim the edges

Cover the edges and bake

To see the rest of the baking directions head back of the Apple Pie Filling post!!!

Linked Thru Apple Pie Filling Post ^^^:
I Heart Nap Time
Not Just A Housewife
My Lil Pink Pocket
A Mommy's Life with a Touch of Yellow

Oct 19, 2011

BLT with Avocado

Now, I know this isn't a super amazing or "new" recipe, but it's a fantabulous and healthy dinner idea. The tomatoes came from our garden.


Toast your bread

Spread the Mayo

Top with the tasty BL&T oh, and the A!!!
Today we used a yellow tomato. Not as much flavor as a red one
But delicious none the less

Linked To:

Oct 18, 2011

Tuesday Tip #4

Who doesn't LOVE bacon?
When I made my Skillet Squash Pastsa I had a few response that said "you had me at bacon." 
It made me smile!! 
So here are few types regarding bacon.

Before opening a package of bacon, roll it. This helps separate the slices for easy removal of individual pieces.
No "curly" bacon for breakfast when you dip it in cold water before frying.

As always, don't forget to comment on how well these types worked for you!!!

Happy Tuesday

Oct 16, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I recently received the "Versatile Blogger Award" from the gals over at Babblings And More!! The are a group of four sisters and share some amazing things. Go over and visit them and let them inspire you with all the things they share...
Thank you!!!

The rules for the award are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave the award to you.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Send it along to 15 other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them!

Here are the 7 things about myself:
1. I wouldn't touch a kitchen with a 10 foot pole until after I got married and now I'm pretty much in the kitchen whenever I get the chance :)
2. I'm a certified professional photographer and I love photographing. It's been stressful being a photographer because I have time job so I enjoy photographing the food the make and and seasons as they change. You could frequently find me on the ground with my camera getting those shots that no one else really sees.
3. I'm LDS! aka a Mormon
4. I recently developed a love for crafting. I have surprised my parents more in the last few months then ever before cooking and getting all crafty.
5. I'm sewing my first article of clothing which is a skirt that I found HERE
6. I grew up back east and moved to Montana my senior year of high school and this is now HOME!!! I love living in the west!!
7. I twirled flag in the Westlake High School Marching band between '03-'04 & '04-'05.

The Nominated Bloggers are:
(I only had 12 that I follow right now... And they are the BEST 12!!!!)

Oct 14, 2011

Holiday Sweet Swap Features 64-81

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

We didn't have as many people link up to the party so I only picked my favorite 3 and it was tough. Don't forget to pass along the information and get your friends and family to link up.

Feature #1

Kahlua Brownies
They look AMAZINGLY delicious!!!!
My mouth was watering while looking at the pictures. 

Feature #2

Milk & Cookies a New Slant on an Old Favorite
This is an amazing idea to create something new out of something old. 
Who said that you only had to up-cycle furniture?

Feature #3

Honey Butter
Babblings and more is a group of sisters who post their doings and the best part is that this recipe is from one of the sisters 7 year old sons!
I fell in love the moment I read it.

Thanks ladies for linking up. Share the word and keep linking. 
The party doesn't end until December 31!!

Oct 12, 2011


If you check out my previous post, you'll see that I guest posted this over at Newlyweds on a Budget today. I thought that I'd put it up over here as well so that I have the recipe in my growing collection.
So here is a new and VERY simple mexican dish.

I got this recipe from my sister-in-law who got this from a friend of hers

1 1/2 cups chicken - cooked and chopped
1 cup picante sauce (salsa)
3 oz cream cheese
3-4 green onions (optional)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano

Cook and cub your chicken
*I defrost and cook in the microwave... 2 minutes at a time.

Combine salsa, cream cheese, cumin & oregano in a pan on the stove and stir together on medium heat until all mixed

Add the chicken and stir together until all warm

Scoop into tortillas

Roll like a burrito

Place in pan

Cover with cheese

Bake in the oven at 350* for 15-20 minutes
(or until cheese is melted)

Serve with your favorite toppings!!!!
If I had them, which I thought I did, I would add lettuce and tomatoes!
Oh, and refried beans too, but I just had refried beans the other day ;)
Totally delicious!
Oh, and the sauce reminds me of the Taco Bell sauce on their quesadillas! BONUS!!!