Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pies in a Jar

Lattice Top Peach Pies in a Jar
makes eight to ten 4 oz. pies

for the crust
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup ice water

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Quickly chop up the cold butter, and pulse it into flour mixture, several times. Drizzle in the ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times, just until the dough is combined.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Divide into 2, flatten dough into discs, and wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile prepare the filling.
for the peach filling
8 – 10 medium peaches
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for top of pie
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground instant tapioca

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. Liberally butter 8 – 10 4 oz. glass canning jars.
Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. In your sink, prepare a large bowl with an ice bath. When the water is boiling, quickly immerse the peaches in the water, remove to the ice water, and peel off the skins. Slice the peaches in 1/2” thick slices.
In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, lemon zest and juice, sugar, salt, and tapioca. Set aside while you prepare the crust.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough discs. For the bottom crusts, cut out a 5” square, and press into the jar. For the tops, use a jar to press out a circle, and, with a sharp knife, cut it into 1/4” strips. Carefully arrange the peach slices in the jars and spoon in several tablespoons of the liquid filling. Weave your lattice and crimp the edges. Sprinkle the top of each little pie with 1/2 teaspoon or so of sugar.
Place prepared pies onto heated cookie sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheet, turn the heat down to 350 degrees, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, until crust is light golden and filling is bubbling vigorously.
Allow pies to cool completely and serve, or keep covered with a lid for up to three days.
for the blueberry filling
makes four to five 4 oz. pies
3 cups blueberries
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for top of pie
big pinch salt
1 tablespoon ground instant tapioca (I use my coffee grinder)
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 cups blueberries, zest and juice over medium-high heat. Stir frequently, and allow the sauce to reduce a bit, until it coats the back of a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and combine in a medium bowl with the fresh berries, sugar, salt, and tapioca. Set aside while you prepare the crust.
for the cherry filling
makes four to five 4 oz. pies
3 cups cherries, pitted and halved
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for top of pie
big pinch salt
1 tablespoon ground tapioca
In a medium bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Set aside while you prepare the crust.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. Liberally butter 8 – 10 4 oz. glass canning jars.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough discs. For the bottom crusts, cut out a 5” square, and press into the jar. For the tops, use a jar to press out a circle. Use the scraps to cut out the stars with a tiny star cookie cutter. Spoon in 4 tablespoons or so of filling, press top crust into place, and crimp edges with a fork or your fingers. Add the star, and make 4 very small incisions in the top of the dough to vent. Sprinkle the top of each pie with 1/2 teaspoon or so of sugar.
Place prepared pies onto heated cookie sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet, turn the heat down to 350 degrees, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, until crust is light golden and filling is bubbling vigorously.
Allow pies to cool completely and serve, or keep covered with a lid for up to three days.

When He helped me to become more

By Emily Freeman
Mosiah 18:15 – Mosiah 21:30
Sometimes life requires us to make a choice.
Either we can remain in the place where we are, or we can become something more.  Sometimes the choice is made in quiet moments.  Other times the choice requires great courage.
I am reminded of Alma who, after listening to the testimony of Abinidi, experienced a change of heart.  After pleading with the king to save Abinidi, Alma fled for his life.
In that instant everything changed.
He had come to know the Lord, and through that personal experience he came to understand that he was meant for more.  That knowledge led to a journey that changed the course of his life.
After Alma left the King he began to teach privately among the people.  “And as many as would hear his word he did teach.”  (Mosiah 18:3)  Those who believed his words followed the same path as he had
they too came to know the Lord.
The scriptures teach us that “all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer…”  (Mosiah 18:30)
But it wasn’t the scenery that made it so beautiful to the people; it was the fact that it was in that place they had come to know the Lord, their Redeemer.
As I have studied the life of many Disciples of Christ I have found that this experience is not unique.  Each disciple had a Waters of Mormon experience an experience during which he came to know the Lord.
In that moment each disciple allowed the Lord to change His heart, to make him more.
A man on the road to Damascus, a young boy in the Sacred Grove, a silent listener in Noah’s Court, a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda, three witnesses surrounded by fire, the list goes on and on.
This lesson leads me to wonder, what are the Waters of Mormon experiences in my own life?
The beautiful places where I have come to know my Redeemer where I have let Him take me by the hand and allowed Him to make me more than I could have ever become on my own.  Glimpses come to mind a hospital room at the University of Utah, kneeling beside my bed in the darkest hours of the night, walking down a tulip lined sidewalk in March.  These are moments I will never forget, because they are mile markers on my own journey toward discipleship.  They are sacred to me, because they are the places where I have come to know my Redeemer.  Defining moments when He helped me to become more than
I would have ever become on my own.
Sometimes we have to make a conscious choice to watch for these Waters of Mormon experiences.  Like the silent listener in King Noah’s court, often that choice includes sacrifice.  For some it might be time.  For others it might be pride.  Perhaps we are too afraid to hope.  Maybe our priorities will have to be adjusted.
There is one thing I am confident of, when our desire to know the Lord becomes the priority of our life, the most important things will not pass us by.
Often the greatest sacrifice leads to the greatest understanding.
Interestingly the sacrifices made along this road seem to pave the pathway toward obtaining more, not less more opportunities to know the Lord, more opportunities to experience His love,
and more opportunities to become His disciple.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup sour cream
6 Cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons softened butter, divided into six 2 tablespoon sections
1 1/2 Cups packed light brown sugar, divided into 1/4 Cups
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk, to thin icing
1.Cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.
2. In 2 batches, place in plastic wrap in a disc shape and chill for at least 2 hours for best results.
3. Once chilled, cut each disc into thirds and place on a Silpat or parchment paper. Roll into a 1/8 inch thick oval, 10 x 6 inches inches.
4. Spread each rolled pieces of dough with 2 tablespoons softened butter, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon. Start rolling from the long end closest to you, rolling the dough into a log shape. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch pieces of dough then placing onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet.
4. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese until softened and smooth, and then add powdered sugar and milk until it looks like frosting. Frost cookies then place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

We can weather these storms

 “The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none.”
Thomas Carlyle
“Every marriage is subject to occasional stormy weather. But with patience, mutual respect, and a spirit of forbearance, we can weather these storms. Where mistakes have been made, there can be apology, repentance, and forgiveness. But there must be willingness to do so on the part of both parties.
I believe in the family where there is a husband who regards his companion as his greatest asset and treats her accordingly; where there is a wife who looks upon her husband as her anchor and strength, her comfort and security; where there are children who look to mother and father with respect and gratitude; where there are parents who look upon those children as blessings and find a great and serious and wonderful challenge in their nurture and rearing. The cultivation of such a home requires effort and energy, forgiveness and patience, love and endurance and sacrifice; but it is worth all of these and more.
I have learned that the real essence of happiness in marriage lies not so much in romance as in an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. Thinking of self alone and of the gratification of personal desires will build neither trust, love, nor happiness. Only when there is unselfishness will love, with its concomitant qualities, flourish and blossom.
Marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither exercising dominion over the other, but, rather, with each encouraging and assisting the other in whatever
responsibilities and aspirations he or she might have.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
“Most people struggle with life balance simply
because they haven’t paid the price to decide what is really important to them.”
Stephen R. Covey
“I’m convinced that we can write and live our own scripts more than most people will acknowledge. I also know the price that must be paid. It’s a real struggle to do it. It requires visualization and affirmation. It involves living a life of integrity, starting with making and keeping promises, until the whole human personality the senses, the thinking, the feeling, and the intuition are ultimately integrated and harmonized.”
Stephen R. Covey
“As we draw near to Heavenly Father, we become more holy. And as we become more holy, we will overcome disbelief and our souls will be filled with His blessed light. As we align our lives with this supernal light, it leads us out of darkness and toward greater light. This greater light leads to the unspeakable ministerings of the Holy Spirit, and the veil between heaven and earth can become thin.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible Gods and Goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature, which if you saw now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no “ordinary” people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
C.S. Lewis
“When your own thoughts are small and pure, they also can penetrate to the place where God resides. You must use the same medium to speak to Him as He uses to speak to you. Study to be calm. For only then will you be like Enos and proclaim: “I did raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.”"
Denver K. Snuffer, Jr
“God will send aid to no one more readily than he will send it to a child and to the parent of a child.”
Jeffrey R. Holland
“If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. Have I imperfections? I am full of them. What is my duty: To pray to God to give me the gifts that will correct these imperfections. If I am an angry man, it is my duty to pray for charity, which suffereth long and is kind. Am I an envious man? It is my duty to seek for charity, which envieth not. So with all the gifts of the Gospel. They are intended for this purpose. No man ought to say, ‘Oh, I cannot help this; it is my nature.’ He is not justified in it, for the reason that God has promised to give strength to correct these things, and to give gifts that will eradicate them.”
George Q. Cannon

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blessed are they : )

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Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
Sometimes you just have to move on and let it go
Choose faith over worry
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

love begets love

“You can’t repent too soon because you don’t know how soon it will be too late.”
ElRay L. Christiansen
“Do we frequently reject the Lord’s love that He pours out upon us in much more abundance than we are willing to receive? Do we think we have to be perfect in order to deserve His love? When we allow ourselves to feel ‘encircled about eternally in the arms of his love’ we feel safe, and we realize that we don’t need to be immediately perfect. We must acknowledge that perfection is a process. This is a gospel of eternal progress, and we must remember to appreciate the journey.”
Bonnie D. Parkin
“Although you may not have been blessed with so miraculous a harvest, you have been given words by the Holy Ghost when you surrendered your heart to the Lord’s service. At certain periods of your mission, such an experience came often. If you will think back on those times and ponder, you will also remember that the increase in your desire to obey the commandments came over you gradually. You felt less and less the tug of temptation. You felt more and more the desire to be obedient and to serve others. You felt a greater love for the people. One of the effects of receiving a manifestation of the Holy Ghost repeatedly was that your nature changed. And so, from that faithful service to the Master, you had not only the witness of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ but you saw evidence in your own life that the Atonement is real.”
Henry B. Eyring
“A fascinating thing about joy and love, with which you are surely familiar, is that when we enlarge our capacity to love, other people become real individuals, not merely functions. Gospel duties cease to be mere routine and become, instead, doors to delight. Every doctrine of the gospel is a door to delight that, when opened, exposes us to a vista of things we have not yet fully comprehended.”
Neal A. Maxwell
“They do not love that do not show their love.”
William Shakespeare
“Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.”
Thomas S. Monson
“Christ has told us a major way of glorifying and magnifying him: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Implicitly, if we love Him but falter in keeping His commandments, we are to love Him enough to repent! Hence, repenting and improving are actually ways in which we truly glorify Christ!”
Neal A. Maxwell
“No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!
For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do.
What we think and do determines who we are and who we will become.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Love each other dearly always.
There is scarcely anything else in the world but that: to love one another.”
“Above all the attributes of godliness and perfection, charity is the one most devoutly to be desired. Charity is more than love, far more; it is everlasting love, perfect love, the pure love of Christ which endureth forever. It is love so centered in righteousness that the possessor has no aim or desire except for the eternal welfare of his own soul and for the souls of those around them.”
Bruce R. McConkie
“It is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love show forth our kindness unto all mankind, and the Lord will reward us with everlasting increase; cast our bread upon the waters and we shall receive it after many days, increased to a hundredfold.”
Joseph Smith

Saturday, September 8, 2012

His Sacred and Holy Name

Quotes by Jeffrey R. Holland
“Ye have entered in by the gate; … but now, … after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; … press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, … and endure to the end, behold, thus … ye shall have eternal life.”
Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing.”  I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to “abide” in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy name. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life. In Him we not only will endure but also will prevail and triumph in this holy cause that will never fail us.
May we never fail it nor fail Him I pray in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.
 “As surely as the rescue of those in need was the general conference theme of October 1856, so too is it the theme of this conference and last conference and the one to come next spring. It may not be blizzards and frozen-earth burials that we face this conference, but the needy are still out there the poor and the weary, the discouraged and downhearted, those “ falling away into the forbidden paths” we mentioned earlier, and multitudes who are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” They are all out there with feeble knees, hands that hang down, and bad weather setting in. They can be rescued only by those who have more and know more and can help more. And don’t worry about asking, “Where are they?” They are everywhere, on our right hand and on our left, in our neighborhoods and in the workplace, in every community and county and nation of this world. Take your team and wagon; load it with your love, your testimony, and a spiritual sack of flour; then drive in any direction. The Lord will lead you to those in need if you will but embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been taught in this conference. Open your heart and your hand to those trapped in the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Martin’s Cove and Devil’s Gate. In doing so we honor the Master’s repeated plea on behalf of lost sheep and lost coins and lost souls.”
"In the course of life all of us spend time in 'dark and dreary' places, wildernesses, circumstances of sorrow or fear or discouragement. Our present day is filled with global distress over financial crises, energy problems, terrorist attacks, and natural calamities. These translate into individual and family concerns not only about homes in which to live and food available to eat but also about the ultimate safety and well-being of our children and the latter-day prophecies about our planet. More serious than these ”and sometimes related to them ”are matters of ethical, moral, and spiritual decay seen in populations large and small, at home and abroad. But I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve, to help the prophets, and indeed to help the Savior of the world Himself. Matthew records in his gospel that after Satan had tempted Christ in the wilderness 'angels came and ministered unto him' Even the Son of God, a God Himself, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality.
And so such ministrations will be to the righteous until the end of time."
"These are surely some of the days which our faithful and farsighted ancestors saw in the earliest years of the Restoration. In a general conference of the Church in April 1844, the brethren recalled those first gatherings of 1830. One of them said: 'We [talked] about the kingdom of God as if we had the world at our command; we talked with great confidence, and talked big things, although we were not many in number; . . . we looked [and] if we did not see this [congregation], we saw by vision, the church of God, a thousand times larger than it was then, although at the time we were not enough to well man a farm, or meet a woman with a milk pail. . . . All the members of the Church met in conference, in a room 20 feet square. . . . We talked about . . . people coming as doves to the windows, that all nations should flock unto the Church. . . . If we had told the people what our eyes behold this day, we should not have been believed' (Times and Seasons, 1 May 1844, 522-23).

"If this was their feeling in that fateful year of 1844, just prior to Joseph Smith's martyrdom, what must those same brethren and sisters see from their eternal home on a day like this! So much has happened since then for which they and we need to be grateful. And, of course, this is not the end. We have much work yet to do, in both the quality and quantity of our faithfulness and our service. George A. Smith, counselor in the First Presidency to President Brigham Young, once said by way of caution, 'We may build temples, erect stately domes, magnificent spires [and] grand towers, in honor of our religion, but if we fail to live the principles of that religion . . . , and to acknowledge God in all our thoughts, we shall fall short of the blessings which its practical exercise would ensure' (Deseret News Weekly, 17 July 1872, 348). We must be humble and conscientious. The honor and the glory of all that is good goes to God, and there is much still ahead of us that will be refining, even difficult, as He leads us from strength to strength."
“God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future; He expects you to embrace and shape the future to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities. God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream.
In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.”
 “The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.”
 “You are doing God's work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you, and He will bless you, even now, especially when your days and your nights may be most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master's garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and weep over their responsibility as mothers, `Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.'
And it will make your children whole as well.”
No one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another.
I testify that He loves each of us insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all.