Monday, March 31, 2014

With God's help

Pray hardest when it is hardest to pray.  Bishop Charles H. Brent
•“Pray to your Heavenly Father. …He will guide you in what to do. He will open doors, remove roadblocks, and help you overcome obstacles.”
Neil L. Andersen
“Unfailing faith is fortified through prayer. Your heartfelt pleadings are important to
Him. Think of the intense and impassioned prayers of the Prophet Joseph Smith
during his dreadful days of incarceration in Liberty Jail. The Lord responded by
changing the Prophet’s perspective. He said, ‘Know thou, my son, that all these
things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.’”
Russell M. Nelson
‘If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the gift that will make us perfect. … 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.’
Dallin H. Oaks
“If you seek His help, be sure your life is clean, your motives are worthy, and your willing to do what He asks – for He WILL answer your prayers. He is your loving Father; you are His beloved child. He loves your perfectly and wants to help you.”
Richard G. Scott
“With God’s help, good cheer permits us to rise above the depressing present or difficult circumstances. …
It is sunshine when clouds block the light”
Marvin J. Aston
“God will never stop helping us to become quality people. I promise you this. He
will constantly help us to be our best when we walk in the light of truth, hope, and
appreciation. Make yours a quality life, for you are important to the Lord and to us.”
Marvin J. Ashton

Hear with your Heart

“We live through each part of our lives only once. We don’t go back. So, instead of wishing that any part of it were over, instead of living always for something that is never now... we should find some sweetness and accomplishment in every hour.” ... Like a rock tossed in a pool starts a ripple from the center which continues to enlarge until every part of the shore is touched… so your thoughtfulness, goodness, kind deeds, and encouraging words lift the lives of everyone around you.”
The Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones and maybe our own figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him.
He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally.
He wants to build us up, not tear us down.
Linda S. Reeves
“For after much tribulation come the blessings.
Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory.”
I testify that the Lord has a plan for each of our lives. Nothing that happens is a shock or a surprise to Him. He is all-knowing and all-loving. He is eager to help us, to comfort us, and to ease our pain as we rely on the power of the Atonement and honor our covenants. The trials and tribulation that we experience may be the very things that guide us to come unto Him and cling to our covenants so that we might return to His presence and receive all that the Father hath.
Linda S. Reeves
Do not expect to become perfect at once. If you do, you will be disappointed. 
Be better today than you were yesterday, and be better tomorrow than you are today.
"When ALL is said and DONE, What will matter to our Heavenly Father will be how well we have Kept Our Covenants and how much we have tried to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ."
Linda S. Reeves
We’re all at different places on the path. But we can work together to help each other “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a Perfect Brightness of Hope, and a Love Of God and of all men.”
'Claim the blessings of your covenants'
Carole M. Stephens
Tell your Heavenly Father how you feel. Tell Him about your pain and your afflictions, and then give them to him. Search the scriptures daily. There you will also find great solace and help."  
Linda S. Reeves

Lemon Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Oreo Cheesecake Bars

Cake layer
1 lemon cake mix, I used 16.5 ounce Duncan Hines
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon water
1 cup white chocolate chips
Cheesecake Layer
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
20 lemon oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

Lemon Glaze

1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 inch glass pan with non stick cooking spray.
Mix the dry cake mix (do not follow directions on box), butter, egg, oil, and water together with a fork.  Then add in the white chocolate chips.  Spread evenly in the greased pan. Get all the way to the edges.  Set aside while you make the next layer.
For the cheesecake layer, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl and blend together well.  Then add the vanilla, eggs and lemon juice.  Stir in chopped oreos by hand with a spoon.  Carefully spread the cream cheese layer over the lemon cake mix layer.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  (I cooked mine for 32 minutes)  Carefully remove it from the oven to prevent it from sinking.  Mine sunk just a little bit.  Let it cool for about an hour.  While it is cooling you can make the glaze.  For the glaze mix the powdered sugar and melted butter together.  Add enough lemon juice to form the consistency of thick frosting.  Then mix in the cream cheese. When bars are cooled, cover with lemon glaze.  Refrigerate for an hour or so to let the bars set up before cutting.
Makes 24 bars

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lift a Heart

“We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in
the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.”
Thomas S. Monson
Know ye not that ye are in the Hands of God.
You cannot lift another soul until you are standing on higher ground than he is. You must be sure, if you would rescue the man, that you yourself are setting the example of what you would have him be. You cannot light a fire in another soul unless it is burning in your own soul.”
Harold B. Lee
“Resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life. Slow down a little, steady the course, focus on the essentials, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.”
Thomas S. Monson
“Stretching our souls in service helps us to rise above our cares, concerns, and challenges. As we focus our energies on lifting the burdens of others, something miraculous happens. Our own burdens diminish. We become happier. There is more substance to our lives.”
David Baxter
“We will not only be lifted up at the last day but refreshed and encouraged along the way.”
Henry B. Eyring
“Often the greatest lifts we receive come from within the ranks of our families. Sometimes the hands needed most are those closest to us. Often the hands closest to us are the strongest…God has decreed family members are to help family members. God has decreed family members are to be a blessing to family members. When some of us in a discouraged frame of mind identify a family member as not worth a hand or a lift, may I remind us that when we continue to lift, regardless of the apparent results, added strength is ours. The more we lift, the more we are able to lift.”
Marvin J. Ashton
“Jesus spoke frequently of having hearts that could know and feel, ears that were capable of hearing, and eyes that could truly see… Each of us knows those who do not have sight. We also know many others who have their eyesight but who walk in darkness at noonday. These in this latter group may never carry the usual white cane and carefully make their way to the sound of the familiar ‘tap, tap, tap.’ They may not have a faithful seeing-eye dog by their side nor carry a sign about their neck which reads, ‘I am blind,’ but blind they surely are. Some have been blinded by anger, others by indifference, by revenge, by hate, by prejudice, by ignorance, by neglect of precious opportunities. Of such the Lord said, ‘Their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
Thomas S. Monson
“The desire to lift, the willingness to help, and the graciousness to give come from a heart filled with love.  ‘Love is the most noble attribute of the human soul.’ And William Shakespeare cautioned,
‘They do not love who do not show their love’
Thomas S. Monson

Snickers Brownies

Snickers Brownies
Brownie Layer
     1 box fudge brownie mix (make sure it's a box that will make 9 x 13 in. brownies)
     Ingredients called for on box
     1/4 cup hot fudge topping
Nougat Layer
     1/4 cup unsalted butter
     1 cup granulated sugar
     1/4 cup evaporated milk
     2 (7 ounce) jars marshmallow creme
     1/4 cup peanut butter
     1 1/2 cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped
     1 teaspoon vanilla
Caramel Layer
     1 (17 ounce) jar of caramel topping, preferably Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel
Candy Bar Topping
     1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
     1/4 cup peanut butter
Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for a 9x13-inch pan, adding 1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, unheated and straight from the jar to the batter. (Make sure to follow the high altitude directions if you live at high altitude.) Cool completely.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Add in the marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Turn off heat and fold in peanuts. Pour evenly over cooled brownies. Use a spatula to help spread the mixture. Cool. (Stick brownies in the freezer for about 15 minutes to speed up the process.)
Place caramel, with the lid off, into the microwave and heat for two 30 second intervals, letting caramel rest for a few seconds between. Pour over nougat layer. Make sure to pour it evenly, covering as much of the nougat as possible. Spread with a spatula to cover any bare spots. Let cool. (Again, you can stick in the freezer for about 15 minutes.)
Place chocolate chips and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, then heat for another 30 seconds. Repeat until smooth. Pour over caramel, drizzling over as much of the surface as possible. Spread evenly over surface and place in fridge until chocolate is set. After chocolate has set, cut into squares and serve.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy

Lloyd D. Newell
A long time ago, noted preacher Dwight Moody told his congregation a story about a boat, helplessly rocking and plunging on a stormy, starless night near the Cleveland harbor. The mariners on board could see the lighthouse, but they needed to find their way through the narrow passage in the treacherous rocks that surrounded the harbor. Normally a light on the shore, aligned with the lighthouse, marked the passage to safety. But on this night, the lower lights had gone out.
Finally, the desperate captain decided they had no choice but to proceed into the harbor without the guidance of the lower lights. “With a strong hand and brave heart”—but in almost total darkness—“the old pilot turned the wheel.” Tragically, he missed the channel, crashed the boat upon the rocks, and lost the lives of his sailors.1
Moody then explained the lesson to be learned from his story: the Master will take care of the great lighthouse, but He depends on us to keep the lower lights burning. Philip Paul Bliss was directing the singing at the meeting that night and was so inspired by Moody’s story that he wrote what would become one of his most popular hymns, “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy.” He also composed the music, a hymn tune known as “Lower Lights,” which was first published in 1871.
The storms of life put many around us in peril. They may long to approach the light of “our Father’s mercy” but are unsure how to navigate the obstacles in their way. We all know how they feel, because each of us has been lost at sea from time to time.
Most often, God uses us to rescue them. If we can keep the light of faith burning in our hearts, if we align our light with the Light above, we can guide an exhausted mariner safely home. We can be the lower lights that “send a gleam across the wave. Some poor fainting, struggling seaman we may rescue, we may save.”


Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Reeses Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
     6 cups Cocoa Krispies Cereal
     16-18 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, diced
     5 Tbs butter or margarin
     3 Tbs light karo syrup
     1 (10 ounce) package plus 2 heaping cups miniature marshmallows
     1/3 cup peanut butter
     1/2 cup chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine cereal and diced Reeses. Set aside. Spray a 9 x 13 in. pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large pot melt butter over low heat. Add karo syrup and marshmallows and stir continuously until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal mixture into the pot and fold together just until cereal is evenly coated. (Peanut butter cup pieces will fall apart as you fold together your ingredients, so don't over mix this.) Press mixture into the sprayed 9 x 13 in. pan. Set aside.
In a small microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter. Microwave for 30 second to a minute to melt. Set aside to let cool slightly. In a separate small microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate at 30 second intervals, stir between intervals, until smooth. Set aside to let cool slightly.
When peanut butter is cool enough to handle, transfer into a small zip lock bag. Clip a small piece out of the corner and pipe onto rice krispie treats, zig-zagging back and forth. Repeat steps with chocolate, placing in a small zip lock bag, and piping over the peanut butter. Either let treats sit at room temperature to allow chocolate to set up, or you can pop the pan into the fridge for about 5 minutes to speed up the process. Cut and serve.
Makes a 9 x 13 in. sheet of treats.

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Laughter is the shortest distance between two people."

“One great thing the Lord requires of each of us is to provide a home where a happy, positive influence for good exists. In future years the costliness of home furnishings or the number of bathrooms will not matter much, but what will matter significantly is whether our children felt love and acceptance in the home. It will greatly matter whether there was happiness and laughter, or bickering and contention.”
Ezra Taft Benson
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
If we can’t laugh at life, we are in big trouble.
One day when our children were young, I made a casserole. And I really did a good job.
When I took it out of the oven, our son Dick said,
“How come you baked the garbage?”
Marjorie Hinckley

Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound penne pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2cups coarsely grated smoked mozzarella
1 1/2cups shredded roast chicken
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2cups whole milk, heated to a simmer
2 cloves garlic
1.      Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Butter a 1 1/2-quart gratin or baking dish.
2.   In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain, run under cold water, and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.
3.     In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and a pinch of salt, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly golden, about 10 minutes
4.     Add onion to pasta and stir to combine. Add mozzarella, chicken, 2/3 cup Parmesan, and rosemary; stir to combine.
5.    In a medium heavy saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add flour and cook over low heat, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add hot milk, whisking vigorously, then add garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking; then reduce heat and gently simmer, whisking occasionally, until b├ęchamel is thickened (the sauce should thickly coat the back of a spoon), about 10 minutes. Discard garlic before adding b├ęchamel to pasta, season with pepper, and stir.
6.      Transfer into baking dish and smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and more pepper. Bake until bubbling and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

There is a whispering within

 “By our very endowment as children of an Eternal Father, we have had implanted within our souls the urgency to be free. It is natural for us to want to be accountable for our own fates, because there is a whispering within us confirming that this accountability is absolutely essential to the attainment of our eternal destiny.”
Dean L. Larsen
“Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect.  ’This is the day which the Lord hath made ….‘Rejoice and be glad in it.’  …No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish.  There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“How do we keep ourselves headed in the right path for the achievement of our goals and eventual eternal life? Only by disciplining ourselves and by repenting each day of those old habits or weaknesses that will keep us from reaching our God-given potential and destiny. We know that we have to work constantly to attain anything worthwhile in life.”
N. Eldon Tanner
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” Let us walk these clearly defined paths. To help us do so we can follow the shortest sermon in the world. It is found on a common traffic sign. It says, “Keep right.”…….Let us shed any thought of failure. Let us discard any habit that may hinder. Let us seek; let us obtain the prize prepared for all, even exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God.
 Thomas S. Monson
Joe, who had been asked to get up at six in the morning and drive a crippled child 50 miles to a hospital. He didn’t want to do it, but he didn’t know how to say no. A woman carried the child out to the car and set him next to the driver’s seat, mumbling thanks through her tears. Joe said everything would be all right and drove off quickly.
After a mile or so, the child inquired shyly, “You’re God, aren’t you?”
“I’m afraid not, little fellow,” replied Joe.
“I thought you must be God,” said the child. “I heard Mother praying next to my bed and asking God to help me get to the hospital, so I could get well and play with the other boys. Do you work for God?”
“Sometimes, I guess,” said Joe, “but not regularly. I think I’m going to work for Him a lot more from now on.”
…. will you? Will I? Will we? I pray humbly, yet earnestly, that we will.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Thomas S. Monson

Black Forest Ham Sandwiches

Black Forest Ham Sandwiches
1 (12 count) package King's Hawaiian Bread Rolls
1 pound black forest ham, cut into 12 slices
12 slices swiss cheese
1 (8 ounce) container Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream Cheese Spread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut rolls in half and place the bottom halves in a 9x13" baking pan.  Place a slice of ham on each roll and top with a slice of swiss cheese.  On the top half of each roll, spread a generous amount of cream cheese spread.  Replace the tops of the rolls to make sandwiches.  In a small bowl, combine melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, minced onion and Parmesan cheese.  Pour over sandwiches and let sit for 20 minutes.  Cover baking pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The heart has no wrinkles

Kind words can be short & easy to speak, BUT their ECHOES are truly ENDLESS.
Guess who they are????
Dieter F. Uchdorf and his wife, Harriet.
Often we assume that they must know how much we love them.
But we should never assume, we should let them know.”
"My heart is entwined around yours." - Joseph Smith to Emma Hale Temple Marriage
 “A marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. Spouses should do all within their power to preserve and strengthen their marriage. They should be best friends, kind and considerate, sensitive to each other’s needs, always seeking to make each other happy.”
Dallin H. Oaks