Friday, February 28, 2014

Kenny Rogers Corn Muffins

Kenny Rogers Corn Muffins
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2  cups flour
3/4 cup cornmeal (I grind my own cornmeal in my wheat grinder, I use popcorn and it is great)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup tender corn (optional)
Cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs, and salt in a large bowl.  Add dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.  Add milk while mixing. Add corn to mixture and combine by hand until corn is worked in.  Pour into greased 8 or 9 inch pan or 12 cup muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or till golden brown.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Reuben Pigs in a Blanket

I needed to make Super Bowl food like I needed another hole in the head.  This wreaks havoc on trying to lose weight, but man, this stuff is yummy.  I got this recipe from Our Best Bites and it was a favorite at my house.  My husband said I hit a home run with the pairings this year.  Well, it wasn't in football terminology, but it was appreciated.  My grandsons even liked it--of course, they had to pull the pig out of the blanket.  Purists...
Do you see that square-ish little part of a sandwich in the bottom right corner?  Yeah, that one.  Future post.  Stay tuned!

8 all-beef hot dogs (Oscar Mayer has some great choices here)
2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut, well-drained (about a 15-oz. can--I used the Bavarian style with the caraway seeds)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  Cut the hot dogs in half, cross-wise. 

3.  Divide the crescent rolls at the perforations.

4.  On the wide end (opposite of the pointy end) of the crescent roll dough, place 1 tablespoon drained sauerkraut, 1 tablespoon of the Swiss cheese, and a hot dog half.  Roll it up, being careful to tuck in the edges to hold things in.  Place on lined baking sheet; repeat with the rest of the dough.

5.  Brush the beaten egg over the tops of each "pig" and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

6.  Makes 16 wrapped up piggies.

7.  I served these with Thousand Island Dressing and Spicy Brown mustard for dipping. OBB also suggests Creole mustard.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu

    Pinterest strikes again! This was a gem of a find. Delicious, and not too complicated, although it looks and tastes like it. My kids even gobbled it up! (Always a big endorsement around here).

Chicken Cordon Bleu


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (like you’re butterflying, but finish the cut)
  • 12 slices deli ham
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 6 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard (more if you like a strong mustard flavor)
  • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons melted butter; set aside.
  3. Lay all of the chicken breast halves in a single layer in the bottom of your baking dish. Top each breast with two slices of ham and 1 slice of cheese, so that the entire breast is covered. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs over the top of the chicken.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (clear juices), the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are golden brown. You may want to broil the chicken for a minute or two to really brown the bread crumbs.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour to form a roux, cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk and chicken broth while whisking constantly, make sure there are no clumps. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Parmesan cheese, until the cheese is melted. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm.
  6. Remove chicken from oven, plate, and top with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. I added the parsley to the sauce itself.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Abs Diet Trail Mix

This recipe comes from my favorite healthy diet called "The Abs Diet".  It's all about using power foods that give your body excellent fuel for healthy living.  I am not a trail mix snob.  I enjoy all kinds of trail mixes.  Of course, my favorite ones include some dark chocolate.  Give this one a try and Happy "Trails" To You!


1 c. whole almonds
1 c. pecan halves
1/3 c. plain oats
 cooking spray
2 T. honey
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. orange-flavored dried cranberries (craisins)
1 large packet dried apricots, roughly chopped


1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place nuts and oats in a bowl and spray evenly with cooking spray (about 3 shots).  Drizzle with 1 T. honey and add cinnamon, stirring to coat.

2.  Spread nuts evenly on a pan and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  Once they've cooled, stir in the second T. honey and mix in the dried fruit.

Source:  The Abs Diet

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Come, Join with Us

Something distinct that sets apart the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from other religions is our belief in modern-day prophets and apostles.  Like the ancient prophets highlighted in the Bible, prophets today act as seers and revelators, giving divinely-inspired relevant and helpful information and guidance. 

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is one of the modern-day prophets who seems to speak directly to me.  It always amazes me how his conference talks discuss principles that I need to hear and learn about, in order to strengthen my faith and become a better person and daughter of our Heavenly Father.

I am a convert to the Church, meaning that I did not grow up as a Mormon.  I, instead, grew up Baptist, and throughout my childhood and adolescence received a very strong conviction of the importance of church and the Savior in my life.  As I have grown stronger in this Church, my testimony of the Savior has grown even stronger, and my life has been changed for the better as a result of my devout membership.

The conference talk "Come, Join with Us" by Dieter F. Uchtdorf enumerates many reasons why someone would consider joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Several of the reasons that speak to me include the following:

1. The Church provides opportunities for doing good.

President Uchtdorf states, "Believing in God is commendable, but most people want to do more than listen to inspirational sermons or dream of their mansions above.  They want to put their faith into practice."  He further states that church members see service opportunities "not as burdens but as opportunities to fulfill covenants we gladly make to serve God and His children."

2. Being a devout member of the Church brings blessings.

In this conference talk, several of the blessings discussed are peace, purpose in life, profound joy, and eternal salvation.  Furthermore, President Uchtdorf states, "Those who follow this path faithfully avoid many of the pitfalls, sorrows, and regrets of life."  Therefore, not only are righteous members of the Church receiving the positive blessings of peace and joy, but they are also avoiding the negative avoidable regrets of life.  President Uchtdorf provides comfort in his statements, "Those who suffer or grieve find healing here.  Those burdened with sin find forgiveness, liberty, and rest."  How wonderful!

3. Having faith and casting out doubt are of utmost importance.

With so many nay-sayers and religious critics in the world, it may become easy for Christians (of any denomination, not just Mormons) to lose their faith.  President Uchtdorf gives the following advice: "Please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.  We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."  We must hold strong to our faith and know with a certainty that our Heavenly Father loves us and desires us to return to him after this brief visit to Earth.

For the full conference talk, including more reasons to consider investigating the Church (or remaining faithful in the Church), please see President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk here:
Come, Join with Us

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eczema fighting lotion

This is a super moisturizing lotion. My sister first gave me a sample of some that she made and after I ran out of that, I made a batch of my own. I love it. After leaving the humid environment of Florida, my skin suffered. I use this at night and my hands and knuckles have improved a lot.
1/4 C. Avocado Oil
1/2 C. Coconut Oil
1/2 C. Beeswax pastilles
1/3 C. Shea Butter
1/2 tsp. Vitamin E oil (about 5 capsules, cut open and squeezed out.)
20 drops of essential oils (optional)

1. Melt the avocado oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler, or a glass mixing bowl over simmering water in a pot. 
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
3. Add the vitamin E oil and essential oils (if using). Stir to combine. Let cool completely.
4. Place the cooled lotion in a mixer or beat with a hand mixer until smooth (this is optional.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lion House Rolls

On a recent trip to Utah, I stumbled upon a package of rolls in, of all places, a bookstore in downtown Salt Lake City.  Now, I've been to the Lion House once for a wedding reception and I remember it was very tasty; but I don't remember the rolls.  Well, after taking one bite of the rolls I bought at the bookstore, I was hooked.  I found a recipe online through a Google search and although mine weren't as good as the original, they were pretty dang tasty and a big hit at my house.

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp. yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 egg
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
melted butter

1.  In a large bowl combine the water and dry milk powder; stir well until milk is dissolved.  Then whisk in  yeast, sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of the flour.  Whisk well.
2.  Add another 2 cups of flour and whisk well.  Add 1 more cup, stirring well (here's where I get out my big wooden spoon).  Add remaining flour a bit at a time just to the point where your dough is no longer really sticky but isn't dry and stiff.
3.  Dump dough onto a floured surface and pour a Tablespoon of vegetable oil on the sides of the mixing bowl.  Return the dough to the bowl, flip it over to coat the surface.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours).
4. Punch dough down and turn onto floured surface.  Either roll out and cut or form into roll shapes by hand.  (I divide the dough in half, then half again, half again, etc. until I end up with 2 dozen blobs of dough.  I shape these by hand into rounds).  Place in a greased pan (I used two 9x13 greased pans), cover, and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top.  Brush with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.

Source:  LDS Living

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wrong Road

    I have a 10 year old son who is struggling with some big questions, one of which is, "Why didn't God answer my prayer?" That is a difficult question to answer. I was so glad when I stumbled upon this short video because I think it answers the question well and it seemed to help him.
    This is a question that adults struggle with just as much. Especially when we feel we are doing all of the right things to get an answer.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken

This is sooooo easy!  It always comes out moist and delicious! 

Rinse off a whole chicken (I like free range organically fed)
Put in the Crockpot (do not add any water unless the chicken is frozen then add 1 cup of water)
Season with Salt, Pepper, Sage, Parsley, and Thyme
Cook on High for 4-5 hours or Low for 6-8 Hours.
Serve with your favorite sides.

Another reason I love this is because I love bone broth!  After I have taken as much meat off the bones that I can I put the bones back in the crockpot, add 3 quarts of water, turn on low, and let cook 12 to 24 hours (you can also add onions, celery, etc.).  I then strain the bones out and refrigerate or freeze my broth for the next time I make soup.   I really believe that the bone broth has been a HUGE reason my children haven't gotten sick this winter.  If you get a chance look up the benefits of bone broth and you will be amazed.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Here's the Scoop!

Decades ago I attended a Tupperware Party.  You know, I kind of miss the cool little giveaway items they would have for their party games.  One time I got this long, skinny, cute little spoon thingy.  It was great for getting the last little bit of something out of food jars.  I lost that.  I miss that.  And then, one day I was in Walmart--any given day of the week, actually--and found these lovely smoothie straws and KA-CHING, I no longer missed my Tupperware tool.  I bought a pack of  3.  Thank goodness.  Because yesterday, while making one of several Super Bowl munchies, I had to use up the last of the mayonnaise and I just did not relish the idea of sticking my fist down in that jar to "bring out the rest" (did you get that play on a Hellman's commercial?).  It's a universal frustration. So I just wanted to share this great find with you because, well,  sharing is caring.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beef and Broccoli Pie

    My wonderful Mother-In-Law gave me a huge recipe book for Christmas a couple of years ago. I am slowly working my way through it because it is filled with recipes from some of the best cooks I know. We tried this one out last week and really liked it! It was easy to double the recipe and have one to freeze. Hope you like it as well!

Beef and Broccoli Pie


1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c chopped onion
2 T. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/4 c. milk
3 oz. soft cream cheese
1 beaten egg
10 oz. cooked chopped broccoli florets, drained
pastry for 2-9" pies
4 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese


    Brown beef and onion. Drain fat. Stir in flour, salt, garlic salt. Add milk and cream cheese. Cook until smooth and bubbly. Add a small amt of mixture to the egg to temper. Return egg mixture to skillet. Cook until thick (1-2 min). Stir in cooked broccoli. Line pie plate with half of pastry. Pour mixture inside, top with cheese. Cover with other pastry and seal edges. Perforate top and brush with milk. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes. Let stand 10 min before serving.

Source: Anne Judd

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Caramel Pumpkin Italian Cream Cake

Don't let the length of this recipe stop you from trying it.  It comes together pretty easily and is so moist and delicious.  It got rave reviews at a church function.



2 c. pecan halves
2 c. sweetened flaked coconut, divided
1/2 c. plus 2 T. shortening
1/2 c. plus 2 T. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar, packed
6 eggs, separated
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. buttermilk

Caramel Frosting:

1/2 c. butter
1 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/8 t. fleur de sel or other coarse sea salt
1 t. vanilla
2 c. sifted powdered sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 c. butter, softened 
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant.  Reserve 8-10 halves for decorating the top, then finely chop the remainder.  Set aside 1 c. chopped for the cake batter, then place the remaining chopped pecans in a samll bowl.  Toast 1 c. coconut in a nonstick skillet over high heat until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Reserve remaining coconut for cake batter. Place the toasted coconut in the bowl with the pecans and mix.  Set aside.

2.  Cream the shortening, butter, sugar, and 1 c. light brown sugar together until fluffy on medium speed.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated.  Beat in the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 t. vanilla until well mixed.

3.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/2 t. salt.  Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Stir in 1 c. reserved (untoasted) coconut and the reserved 1 c. chopped pecans.

4.  Beat the egg whites until stiff in a medium bowl.  Gently fold into batter.  Divide the batter equally among 3 (9 inch round) cake pans that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and lined with parchment paper or wax paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire rack.

5.  When cakes are completely cool, make the caramel frosting. Place 1/2 c. butter, 1 c. light brown sugar, 1/4 c. heavy cream and the fleur de sel in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to rapid boil and boil for 1 minute while stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and beat in 1 t. vanilla and 2 c. powdered sugar with a handmixer on medium speed until mixture is thick and spreadable.  Immediately spread half of the frosting on the first cake layer that has been placed on cake plate or cardboard cake round, bottom side up (flat side up).  Place the second layer on top, bottom up, and spread the remaining frosting to the edges.  Place the third layer on top, bottom side up.

6.  Make the cream cheese frosting.  Beat the butter and cream cheese until creamy and fluffy with the whisk attachment on high speed.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until fluffy and smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  Frost the outside and top of cake with frosting.  Carefully press the reserved coconut-pecan mixture into the sides of cake, then place pecan halves on top for decoration.


Sunday, February 9, 2014


Today, in church with the young women, we were discussing our Heavenly Father's plan of happiness. We talked about who we are and where we came from and also we discussed our Savior Jesus Christ. 
My husband was listening to a lesson on the computer this morning and it kept emphasizing the importance of knowing Jesus Christ and loving Him and recognizing Him as our personal Savior. The analogy was given of a man that had fallen into a pit, a very deep pit. He was unable to get out of it on his own. Then, someone lowered a ladder. The man had to climb the ladder to get out of the pit but without that ladder he would have been doomed to be stuck in that pit forever. That is how the atonement is. We are all stuck in the pit. Jesus Christ as a perfect person was not subject to be in the pit. He is the one that offered us the ladder. Through the atonement, we can climb that ladder out of that dark pit and back to level ground. 
 In that vein, here is a simple poster I found that I love. 
Let's read this and ponder on it. He truly has the ability to change us, to help us become better, to help us face trials, to help us overcome. 
Jesus Christ is our Savior, He is the Son of God, He came to earth to suffer for our sins and to die for us. He was resurrected and through Him, we too will have the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father, if we so choose. That we may choose that is my prayer. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coconut Curry Chicken

This is a simple curry to make. I love the addition of the lemon zest and the fresh basil.

Coconut Chicken Curry
3-4 Chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 can-about 1 1/2 cups- coconut milk (may use lite if you prefer)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar (may use honey)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1. In a large skillet, cook chicken in a little bit of olive oil. Remove from pan. 
2. Combine Milk, soy sauce, sugar and salt in small bowl.
3. In a small bowl, put garlic, curry powder, zest and pepper flakes 
4. Add oil to skillet over med-high heat. Heat for 30 seconds. Dump in the garlic and spices. Stir fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the coconut milk mixture and bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cook until the sauce thickens slightly. Return chicken to pan. Heat through. Add basil.
5. Serve with rice

Feeds about 6-8 people.

source: Amy Harnois

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pizza Crust

While I love a raised dough for crust, I often fail to plan enough time to allow for it.  So when that happens (which is often!) I turn to this recipe.  Not too thick, not too's just right for me!

2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup very warm water
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1.  Combine yeast, sugar, and water and whisk together.  Let sit for 8 minutes.
2.  Add flour and salt to yeast mixture.  Knead for 2 minutes.
3.  Roll out onto a greased pizza pan that is sprinkled with cornmeal.
4.  Top with desired sauce and toppings.  Bake at 500 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until edges reach desired brownness.

Makes 1 pizza crust for a round pan.  I usually double it and roll it onto a large baking sheet.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Family History

Photo of Marie Garff Gudmundson

I am in the Primary Presidency in my ward and this year the Stake has set a goal that every child  from 8 to 11 submit a family name to the temple.  I was completely overwhelmed by this, thinking how can I encourage these kids to do something I don't do?  So this last week I started and I am so grateful I did.  It has been amazing to work with my 9 year old son finding out all we can about our family history.  I have truly felt the spirit of Elijah in our home.  I found out that one of my ancestors ironed shirts for Abraham Lincoln, that I have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower, and that many of my ancestors were pioneers who gave up everything for their faith.  My great grandmother wrote a poem for her grandmother thanking her for the sacrifices she made.   This poem touched my heart greatly and made me realize how being asked to encourage the children in primary to do family history is such a small task compared to what others in my family have been asked and were willing to do.  The poem is as follows:


Today we sang the old songs you sang so long ago,
Today I read your history, proud to let my friends all know
That in my veins runs noble blood, so fine so pure and true
Inherited from pioneers, such fearless ones as you.

All is well, I hear you singing by your campfire on the plains,
As the darkness of the prairie vibrates the sweet refrains;
I see your fretful baby nestle closer to your breast,
As those strains of gentle music, lull the little one to rest.

I see the baby start with fear get closer, hold you tight,
As the cry of a hungry wolf pack breaks the stillness of the night,
Perhaps your heart would start to pound and wake him from his sleep
A thousand dangers threatened, as your vigil you would keep.

I see your husband lowered in a hole beside the trail
Watched by weeping children, and you so weak and frail,
The spot obliterated, and a few miles farther west,
In a little prairie grave your tiny girl is laid to rest.

I see you pushing on your heavy laden cart,
Laughing talking with your boys, to hide a breaking heart;
Your hands and face, that in Denmark had been so soft and fair,
Now calloused, blistered, bleeding, and tanned by sun and desert air.

How the memory of your homeland must have caused your blood to burn,
Comparing this with life back home, if you would but return;
But you kept your face turned westward, praying for a helping hand
To guide you and your hungry boys into the Promised Land.

And then your reach that summit of that last steep rocky hill,
And you look down in the valley, barren, desolate, and still,
As you viewed that land of promise you had come so far to gain,
Ah, Grandma, did your heart ache, did you whimper and complain?

No, bravely down the mountain side with blistered feet you go,
Cheered by smoke from chimneys in some mud roofed huts below,
That curling smoke, and those little huts, and the fragrance in the air,
Bespoke of warmth and friendship, that pilgrims long to share.

To the mountain tops of Zion, you had wandered from afar,
Security and freedom had been your guiding star,
But when you go to bed that night, weary sore and weak,
Your bed is made among strangers, whose tongue you cannot speak.

A frail little Danish mother, with hand unused to work,
Must feed four husky hungry boys, you must not could not shirk,
Your money gone and nothing left to feed the little breed,
Your dear dead baby’s precious clothes were traded off for food.

Volumes could be written on the hardships that you bore,
Sometimes it seemed the heavens were sealed, and your prayers were heard no more.
The faith that had sustained you through those long, long weary miles,
Was often weakened, almost lost through unexpected trials.

You passed by ninety milestones, never reached a place of fame,
But you left a great posterity, who honors your dear name.
No earthly goods you left behind, to cause discord or strife,
No bells tolled, nor flags flew half mast, when you passed out of life.

The world moved on without a pause, and when your bit of clay,
Was tucked back into mother earth, and the mourners went their way,
Me thinks I hear the angel ushers, there at Heavens Gate,
Say, “Welcome, and well done Marie, take your place among the great!”