Monday, June 30, 2014

Yes, it is worth it

Difficulties allow us to change for the better. - Thomas S. Monson
The greatest test of faith is when we don’t get what we want, but still we are able to Thank our Heavenly Father.
“O God, when I lose hope because my plans have come to nothing, Then help me to remember that your love is always greater than my disappointments & your plans for my life are always  better than my dreams.”
"It is critical that we learn to recognize when we have enough. If we are not careful, we will begin to chase after the temporal more than the spiritual."
God understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say them.
"All me have their fears, but those who face their fears with Faith have Courage as well"
"Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an effort of once a week or once a day. It is an effort of once and for all."
Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God's approval.
You are beautiful not by the standards of this world,
YOU are beautiful simply because God made YOU in HIS Image.

Old Fashioned Cocoa Cake with Caramel Icing

Old Fashioned Cocoa Cake with Caramel Icing

Trisha Yearwood
  • Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more to grease pans
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 sticks (2/3 cup) butter, plus more to grease pans
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
  • Caramel Icing:
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Special equipment: candy thermometer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans
For the cake: Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in stages with 1 1/3 cups water, beginning and ending with the flour.
Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Turn the layers out onto racks that have been sprayed with cooking spray.
For the caramel icing: Mix 3 cups of the sugar and the milk in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil and keep it hot. Caramelize the remaining cup of sugar in an iron skillet. Do this by cooking over medium-high heat and stirring and scraping the pan with a flat-edged spatula as the sugar melts. Continue to cook until the syrup turns to medium or dark brown in color. This occurs at about 320 degrees F to 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Do not scorch the syrup. Stream the syrup into the boiling sugar and milk mixture and cook to the soft ball stage, about 238 degrees F. Add the butter, vanilla extract and baking soda.
Pour the hot mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat as it cools until the icing is creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Watch the icing because it will go from runny to too thick very quickly. Spread on the cake layers while the icing is still warm. If it becomes too stiff, add a few drops of hot water.

Friday, June 27, 2014

He does not leave us in the ashes

We need not fear the future, nor falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us. …
When our only desire is to please Him, we will be blessed with a deep inner peace.
Bruce D. Porter
Fear not, for I am with You
Isaiah 41:10
"Look unto me in every thought - Doubt not, fear not"
" We must live by faith and not by fear." Quentin L. Cook
“Our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us… our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. Fear not. Be of good cheer.
The future is as bright as your faith.”
"Lay the burden at the feet of the Savior.
He has invited you to do that so that you can be free from pointless worry and depression."
Richard G. Scott
Oh how he loves us!
The Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity....but he does not leave us in the ashes...
Linda S. Reeves
He lights the way and is always there watching over us


“Everyone is tested. One might think it is unfair to be singled out and subjected to a particular temptation, but this is the purpose of mortal life to be tested. And the answer is the same for everyone:
we must, and we can, resist temptations of any kind.”
Boyd K. Packer
"Thanks to His love, it is possible to change. It is possible to leave our weaknesses behind, it is possible to reject the evil influences in our lives, control our anger, become meek, and develop the attributes of the Savior."  Ulisses Soares
“Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will still give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.”


Aunt Trish's Salad Dressing

Aunt Trish’s Salad Dressing
Pioneer woman
§   3/4 cups Olive Oil Or Canola Oil
§   Juice Of 2 Lemons
§   4 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
§   1/4 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
§   Freshly Ground Black Pepper
§   1/4 teaspoon Sugar
§   Dash Of Paprika
§   1 clove Garlic, Peeled And Left Whole
Preparation Instructions
Place all ingredients into a jar. Shake it up and store in the fridge at least 24 hours before serving.
Serve on your favorite green salads. Also works well on pasta salad.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

His everlasting Love

When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid &, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand & caught him." He reached down from on high & took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. Psalm18:16
"The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage." Henry B. Eyring
You may have gotten off to a rough start in life, but it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.
His everlasting Love is at work in every event in your life.  


1 1/2 c sugar 1 c sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, softened
1 3/4 c mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 c butter
4 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp milk

1. Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 9x12 inch cake pan. For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. Stir in walnuts.
2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.
4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm).


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Singular moment on the earth

Gratitude for Gethsemane
Andrew C. Skinner
When Eternity hung in the balance…
All of Heavenly Father’s planning and preparation, all of His interest in His children and all of His desires for them, all of His aims and goals for the entire universe came down to a singular moment on the earth in a garden called Gethsemane.
None of us in this life will escape sin, trials, tribulations, pain, or suffering. To whom, then, shall we turn for the help we so desperately need?  Who possesses the kind of power to fulfill all the promises of redemption and exaltation made in the scriptures? 
It is Jesus Christ in him we are secure in our hope for help.
Through his experience in Gethsemane, the Savior extends his mercy to sinners and his comfort and help to the forlorn and forsaken. He can never forget us nor forsake us… it is simply not in his makeup to be able to do so or even to think of doing so.
The Savior’s Atonement is able to bring us back into a right relationship with God, which we call the doctrine of justification and set us on the path of sanctification until we actually become like God. Because of Gethsemane, all of life’s unfair circumstances will be made up to us. Because of Gethsemane, Jesus is able to be a merciful God and also a just and perfect God as well.  Because of Gethsemane, Jesus is able to lift us to new heights and a new way of life, able to empower us, build us, and put all things right for us.
The Savior’s power is of staggering, even infinite, proportions in its ability to change us and make us into something we could not otherwise become.  The Savior’s experience in Gethsemane removes the effects of the Fall, the bitterness of life,
and allows us to glimpse Heaven.

Fourth of July Coleslaw


Fourth of July Coleslaw

Trisha Yearwood
  • 1 firm head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet bread and butter pickles
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
Remove and discard any bruised or undesirable outside leaves from the head of cabbage. Quarter the cabbage and grate it into a large bowl using the coarse side of a hand grater or the shredding blade of a food processor. Grate the carrot and add it to the cabbage, tossing together to combine. Add the onion, pickles, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Stir together until thoroughly mixed. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In the heart

Like Flame Unquenchable
Emily Freeman
Last week I had the opportunity to walk along pioneer grounds.
It’s something I have done many times because there is something about those trails that speaks to my heart.  But this time was different. Fresh snow lay fresh on frozen ground.
The cold Wyoming wind blew straight through layers of clothing, chilling any warmth the sun might bring, and slowly freezing my fingertips until they were numb.
The ground held onto the water, it puddled everywhere across the terrain and soaked into every step on the wet and muddy path.
I have walked those trails in 90 degree weather, dust blowing up around me, thirsting for cool water. But not last Wednesday. On that day I wondered where those pioneers found warmth.  At the end of each day, and in the middle, and when morning began again… And then I remembered the fire of the covenant that burned in their hearts.
Let the fire of the covenant which you made in the House of the Lord, burn in your hearts, like flame unquenchable” (Brigham Young, 1846)
I read the front page of our news here in SLC today. It chilled me.
We, too, are walking on pioneering grounds.  Important conversations are being had.  But in the meantime I worry that hearts are growing cold. It is an important time to remember our covenants.
To let them burn in our hearts, like flame unquenchable. Our covenants must remain more important than our conversations. The answers that are being sought can be answered within those covenants. In quiet, not in crowds.
In the heart.

Texas Gold Bars

Texas Gold Bars
1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 stick butter, melted
1 box powdered sugar (reserve 1/4 c. for topping after cooking)
4 eggs
Grease and flour 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, 2 eggs, and melted butter. Spread into prepared pan. Combine cream cheese, 2 eggs, and powdered sugar. Pour over first mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved powdered sugar. Cool and cut in squares.

Monday, June 23, 2014

He was always turned outward. Always.

When The Soul Is Troubled
S. Michael Wilcox
When Jesus was burdened with heaviness, sorrow, or care he turned outward to give solace to others.  It is one of the greatest elements of the last hours of his life.  Immediately preceding the last hours of his life he said something interesting.  Notice his thoughts as he approached the defining moments of his life: “Now is my soul troubled.” Keep that word in mind, troubled. He is moving into his last hours, and his soul is troubled. “And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour, but for this cause came I unto this hour” John 12:27. That verse is a window into his soul. He is troubled as he faces those last painful moments of his life.
….sitting at the Last Supper. He looks around at the faces of his disciples.  What does he know as he looks at these men?  He knows Judas has already betrayed him.  He knows Peter will deny him three times before the morning light.  He knows that all of the other Apostles will leave him.  He knows that within hours, the whole weight of the suffering and sins of the world will descend upon him in Gethsemane.  He knows he will be scourged and crucified.  If ever there was a man in the history of the world who needed someone to comfort him because his heart was troubled, it would have been Jesus at that time.
…. as the heaviness of the hour begins to settle upon him.  Yet as we read the account of the Last Supper and the last moments of Christ’s live, who comforts whom?  Remember our key word is troubled.  Some of the beautiful statements from the Last Supper are the following, but we have to read them knowing that Jesus’ own soul was troubled. “Let not your heart be troubled,” he told them.  “ye believe in God, believe also in me, In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.”
These words are so familiar that most could quote them from memory.  They are some of the most beautiful statements Christ ever made, but he made them when he himself was heavy and troubled.  Later Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Moments later he says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
They depart for Gethsemane where he prays prior to his solitary moments with the Father.  He is now minutes from the full atoning weight.  It is already starting to descend upon him.  We know this because he tells his disciples as he arrives at the garden of Gethsemane that he is heavy and amazed.  Christ himself is astonished at the agony of suffering that is beginning to settle upon him as his understanding of human misery becomes intense.  He now prays. Who does he pray for?
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world:…I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine….And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are…I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil…..And for their sakes I sanctify myself….  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am…. I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. John 17:6, 9, 11, 15, 19, 24, 26
That’s a magnificently beautiful prayer, but it’s not for himself.  He’s not saying, “Father, help me, strengthen me, I’m going to go through this awful agony.”  He is praying for others. He looked outward throughout that prayer.
On the very cross itself, who was he concerned about? … assigning his disciple John to care for his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!... Behold thy mother!” “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise”
Was directed to those crucified with him. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” showed his concern even for his very persecutors and tormentors. He forgave them in the very act. It is one thing to forgive when the sin is over and the initial pain is gone, it is another to forgive at the very moment you are sinned against.  He was always turned outward. Always.

Give Him your Heart

By Emily Freeman
It has taken three days. I have poured over notes.
I have sought inspiration from the Spirit on the journey my heart needs to take for the next six months.
as I have carefully read through the quotes I wrote several stood out…illuminated…and I have noticed that there was a theme from Conference that stood out to me. Perhaps the same thing happened for you.
I wonder if we each hear a different theme according to the place where we stand on our journey.
I think that must be true.  Because the Spirit speaks to each of us individually.  And what your soul needs right now might be different from what my soul needs.  And that is the sheer beauty about how the Spirit works…weaving together the words that I needs and the words that you need so that each of our hearts are lifted…encouraged…motivated.
This year the theme from Conference that captured my heart was the message of love.  of acceptance.  Of reaching out and embracing all of God’s children.
There were several quotes that mentioned this cause. But my favorite came from Elder Holland…
“take heart.  Pure Christ like love flowing from true righteousness can change the world.”
take heart because it will take your heart. All of it.
So my quest is to begin to understand this pure Christ like love.  To pray for it.  To practice it.
AND To understand what it means to have true righteousness. To live in true righteousness.
Both sound like a condition of the heart, so that is my goal for the next six months.
Take heart, everywhere I go,  and in everything I do.