Thursday, October 23, 2014

We were sent to endure and return to Him with honor

“…We are not talking…about a passive patience which waits only for the passing of time to heal or resolve things which happen to us, but rather a patience that is active, which makes things happen. Such was the patience Paul described in his epistle to the Romans when he used the words ‘by patient continuance in well doing.’
Angel Abrea
“What a strange paradox that our best intentions can become the very things that lead to our defeat. That is why we all need the grace and atonement of Jesus Christ; to save us from ourselves,
and to help us reach beyond the limitations of our own abilities.”
Steven A Cramer
“It was not by avoiding the realities of life’s temptations that the Savior’s holiness was perfected. No one ever walked the earth more conscious of sin than Jesus Christ. His holiness and purity came, as should ours, by the resistance and conquest of temptation. The more we resist, the holier we are.”
Steven A Cramer
“Christ stands at the door and knocks, but he never kicks it in. We must open the door.”
Stephen E. Robinson
“God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation.”
Thomas S. Monson
“In 1968 a marathon runner by the name of John Stephen Akhwari represented Tanzania in an international competition. A little over an hour after the winner had crossed the finish line, John Stephen Akhwari . approached the stadium, the last man to complete the journey. Though suffering from fatigue, leg cramps, dehydration, and disorientation, a voice called from within to go on, and so he went on. Afterwards, it was written, ‘Today we have seen a young African runner who symbolizes the finest in human spirit, a performance that gives meaning to the word courage.’ For some, the only reward is a personal one. There are no medals, only the knowledge that they finished what they set out to do’. When asked why he would complete a race he could never win, Akhwari replied, ‘My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; my country sent me to finish the race.’ He knew who he was-an athlete representing the country of Tanzania. He knew his purpose-to finish the race. He knew that he had to endure to the finish, so that he could honorably return home to Tanzania. Our mission in life is much the same. We were not sent by Father in Heaven just to be born.
We were sent to endure and return to Him with honor.”
Robert D. Hales

Billion Dollar Bars

Billion Dollar Bars
Bottom Chocolate Layer:
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or half semi-sweet)
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup peanut butter
Melt milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a pan over low heat; stirring constantly. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13″ baking pan lightly coated with nonstick spray or lined with plastic wrap which is long enough to drape over sides of the pan. Spread mixture and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Nougat Layer
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cups marshmallow creme
1/3 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cups chopped salted peanuts (optional)
Melt butter over medium heat in pan; add sugars and evaporated milk; bring to a boil, and cook additional 5 minutes while stirring. Remove from the heat and add marshmallow creme and peanut butter. Pour over the bottom layer and gently spread mixture. If you use peanuts, scatter across the top. Place in the refrigerator for 15 - 30 minutes.

Caramel Layer
1 (14-ounce package) caramel candy
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon butter
Place the unwrapped caramel candy, butter, and cream in a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until the mixture has completely melted and is smooth. Pour in the pan and quickly spread over nougat layer. Place in the refrigerator for 15 - 30 minutes.

Top Chocolate Layer
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or half semi-sweet)
1/3 cup butterscotch chips
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
chopped almonds
Melt milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter in a pan over low heat, stirring consistently. Pour over the caramel layer and spread. 
Sprinkle chopped nuts over top of chocolate while still soft. 
Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares. These are very rich, cut into small squares. If eating right away, place on platter and serve. If the bars start to get too soft, place in refrigerator to firm up a bit. 
Store in an air-tight container in refrigerator.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Because our Savior lives

“…Because our Savior lives, we do not use the symbol of His death as the symbol of our faith. But what shall we use? No sign, no work of art, no representation of form is adequate to express the glory and the wonder of the living Christ. He told us what that symbol should be when He said: íf ye love me, keep my commandments’  

Gordon B. Hinckley

by Emily Harris
The linen which once held Him is empty.
It lies there,
Fresh and white and clean.
The door stands opened.
The stone is rolled away,
And I can almost hear the angels singing His praises.
Linen cannot hold Him.
Stone cannot hold Him.
The words echo through the empty limestone chamber,
“He is not here.”
The linen which once held Him is now empty.
It lies there,
Fresh and white and clean
And oh, hallelujah, it is empty.

“Often we do not know what we can endure until after a trial of our faith.”
Robert D. Hales

“There is much that I do not know. I do not know the details of the organization of matter into the beautiful world we live in. I do not understand the intricacies of the Atonement, how the Savior’s sacrifice can cleanse all repentant people, or how the Savior could suffer ‘the pain of all men’. I do not know where the city of Zarahemla was, as referred to in the Book of Mormon. I do not know why my beliefs sometimes conflict with assumed scientific or secular knowledge. Perhaps these are matters our Father in Heaven described as the ‘mysteries … of heaven’ that will be revealed at a later date.  But while I don’t know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don’t know or don’t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then, as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge. By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord.”
Richard C. Edgley

“It will take study of the word of God. It will take prayer and anxious seeking of the source of all truth. It will take living the gospel, an experiment, if you please, in following the teachings. I do not hesitate to promise, because I know from personal experience, that out of this will come, by the power of the Holy Ghost, a conviction, a testimony, a certain knowledge. Many people in the world seem unable to believe that. What they do not realize is that the things of God are understood only by the Spirit of God. There must be effort. There must be humility. There must be prayer. But the results are certain and the testimony is sure.”

Gordon B Hinckley

“May the Lord bless us as builders of faith. May our testimonies strengthen and become as anchors to which others may secure their faith in hours of doubt and concern. May the candle of learning ever burn in our minds.”

Gordon B Hinckley

Brie and Fresh Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Brie and Fresh Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

A Bountiful Kitchen

1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of hot pepper sauce
8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
3 cups spinach, fresh, chopped, divided
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup Brie cheese, cubed (outer layer trimmed)
1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 lb fresh mushrooms, washed and stemmed

Saute the onions in a saucepan with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add garlic, 2 cups of chopped spinach and hot pepper sauce. Cook just until spinach begins to wilt. Take pan off of heat.  Add cream cheese and stir into saucepan until cheese, onions and spinach are mixed thoroughly. Pour into medium size bowl and add rest of ingredients (including the remaining 1 cup of fresh spinach). Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Place washed mushrooms on cookie sheet or other baking pan bottom side facing upward. using a tablespoon, scoop out prepared filling into each mushroom, mounding the filling on each mushroom.
Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden.

-If baking ahead of serving time, bake for 15 minutes, let cool.  Cover and refrigerate.  When ready to serve, take out of refrigerator about 30-45 minutes before serving.  Preheat oven to 350, re-heat the mushrooms  for about 5 minutes.
-I prefer small bite size mushrooms when making stuffed mushrooms.  If you are using larger (two bite to be polite) mushrooms, the 375 for 15 minutes will be just right. If you use a smaller mushroom, 375 for about 10 minutes will do.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Of His Infinite Gift

Of His Infinite Gift
Stephen Robinson
All the negative aspects of human existence brought about by the Fall, Jesus Christ absorbed into himself. He experienced vicariously in Gethsemane all the private griefs and heartaches, all the physical pains and handicaps, all the emotional burdens and depressions of the human family.  He knows the loneliness of those who don’t fit in… He knows the anguish of parents whose children choose wrong.  He knows these things personally and intimately because he lived them in the Gethsemane experience. Having personally lived a perfect life, he then chose to experience our imperfect lives.  In that infinite Gethsemane experience, in the meridian of time, the center of eternity, he lived a billion billion lifetimes of sin, pain, disease, and sorrow.
God has no magic wand with which to simply wave bad things into nonexistence.  The sins that he remits, he remits by making them his own and suffering them.  The pain and heartache that he relieves, he relieves by suffering them himself.  These things can be transferred, but they cannot be simply wished or waved away.  They must be suffered.  Thus, we owe him not only for our spiritual cleansing from sin but for our physical, mental and emotional healings as well, for he has borne these infirmities for us also.  All that the Fall put wrong, the Savior in his atonement puts right.  It is all part of his infinite sacrifice of his infinite gift.
You Are His
Emily Freeman
You are Christ’s. In moments when you question all you know, remember those words.  In moments when you feel alone or frightened, whisper that simple phrase. In moments when you face something that seems bigger than you, consider the promise those three words testify of. You are Christ’s. You are. His.
He will not forget you. He will not forsake you. “The keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel and he employeth no servant there.”  He is there. Always. Constant. Forever. Bringing peace. Bringing comfort. Bringing hope. He has graven you on the palms of His hands because you are precious to Him, because you are worth it, because you are His.

Cookies-and-Cream Oreo Cupcakes

Cookies-and-Cream Oreo Cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes:
24 chocolate cookies with cream filling
1 box devil's food cake mix
3 eggs
½ C. oil
¾ C. buttermilk
¾ C. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Cookies-and-Cream Buttercream:
½ C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4–5 C. powdered sugar
⅓ C. cookie "powder" (see directions)
1 T. milk, if needed
Extra chocolate cookies for decoration
1. Preheat oven to 350 and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Cookie preparation: Split 24 chocolate cookies in half so that only one side has the cream filling. Place one cream-side cookie in the bottom of each cupcake liner, cream side up. Put the cookie halves without cream in a food processor and pulverize them. Sift out any chunks. Set aside the cookie pieces that go through the sifter; they are the cookie "powder" that will be used in the buttercream.
3. Sift cake mix into a small bowl; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, use a whisk to combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
5. Add cake mix; stir until smooth.
6. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full, placing batter on top of cream-side-up cookie halves; bake for 17–22 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
7. For Cookies-and-Cream Buttercream: Beat butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and slowly add powdered sugar until buttercream is a consistency slightly looser than what you want the final product to be. Fold in cookie "powder." Use milk to thin out the buttercream if needed.
8. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with another cookie.
Makes 20–24 cupcakes.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Faith and Doubt - choose one!

Faith and Doubt - choose one!
"It's not a race; it's a journey. Enjoy the moment."
"Happiness is found only along that well beaten track, narrow as it is, though straight, which leads to life eternal."
David O. McKay
“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.
Walt Disney
"Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever."
Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.
God often bestows significant but subtle Blessings.
David A. Bednar
"When we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music,
it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time."
Neal A. Maxwell
"Our refuge, our peace, our well-being lie in walking in the way of the Lord."
Gordon B. Hinckley
"Only by aligning our wills with God's is full happiness to be found." Neal
A. Maxwell
"As we look heavenward, we inevitably learn of our responsibility to reach outward.
To find real happiness, we must seek for it in a focus outside ourselves."
Thomas S. Monson
"In the Lord's time, solutions will come, peace will prevail, and happiness will be yours."
Richard G. Scott


Chicken, Apple, and Smoked Gouda Salad


Chicken, Apple, and Smoked Gouda Salad

2 Gala apples, thinly sliced (about 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (6-oz.) package baby spinach and spring greens mix
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1/2 of a small red onion, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup salted cashews or pecans
Honey-Mustard Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2-3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
dash salt

For Salad:
Toss apple slices with lemon juice. Layer salad greens, apples, chicken, and next 5 ingredients in a large glass bowl.
Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.
For Dressing:
Whisk together all dressing ingredients, or use immersion blender, and blend until combined.
Toss salad with 1/4 cup Honey-Mustard Dressing just before serving. Or, layer salads on individual plates and drizzle with dressing.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

....... Enough

“It is well that we remember that the trials, difficulties, and experiences
of life all have purpose. There came to me on the occasion of a year in my
life to be remembered when the lovely sisters of our Relief Society wrote
this as a prayer in my behalf. It was entitled ‘May You Have’:
Enough happiness to keep you sweet,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
Enough hope to keep you happy,
Enough failure to keep you humble,
Enough success to keep you eager,
Enough wealth to meet your needs,
Enough enthusiasm to look forward,
Enough friends to give you comfort,
Enough faith to banish depression,
Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.”
Harold B. Lee
Day after day, on your path toward your eternal destiny, increase your faith. Proclaim your faith! Let your faith show!”
Russell M. Nelson
“One of the advantages of having lived a long time is that you can often remember when you had it worse. I am grateful to have lived long enough to have known some of the blessings of adversity.”
James E. Faust
“When you are given a gift… if you want to keep it, you must take care of it.
It is the same with the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Ann Jamison
It is in our adversities that we truly find & know The Savior and His love for us, He can take our heaviest burdens disappointments and heartache and in time replace them with peace that passeth all understanding.  We don’t know the answer or outcome to all things but we know God loves us and knowing that for the moment is Enough.
The winds were fierce and cold the night
He walked upon the sea.
Lord save us, called his frightened friends.
"Leave fears, and follow Me."

And so He calls to each of us
Upon our stormy seas.
Leave friends, leave gold, leave fears, leave all
And come, and follow Me."


Soft Ginger Snaps


Soft Ginger Snaps

Pinch of Salt Lake cookbook

3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses (light or dark)
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
granulated sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add eggs and molasses, mix until smooth.
Add flour, soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Mix just until wet and dry ingredients are incorporated.
Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour or until chilled.
Form dough into balls ( I used a 1-inch cookie scoop) and roll each ball of dough in granulated sugar. Bake on ungreased baking sheet for 6-8 minutes or until set. Do not over bake. Cookies will be puffy when removed from oven, but will flatten as they cool. Tops will look cracked.
Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.

-You may make the dough and store in refrigerator up to one week until ready to bake.
-You may use powdered sugar if you like the cookie to have more of a white appearance on top.
-When freezing, lay flat on a jelly roll pan or large plastic container. Place cookies in single layers in pan, separate with wax or parchment paper.