Sunday, August 31, 2014

Share Goodness

Here is a short video about using social media to flood the earth with goodness. 
I was recently contemplating deleting my FB account. Now I am considering how to better utilize my time and my influence on my FB page to #sharegoodness. 

I encourage you to watch this video and think about how you can share goodness with the world. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Yummy Stir-Fried Zucchini

In an effort to eat healthy-fresh more often and because zucchini is so prolific right now, I have concocted this little number.  The Mediterranean Seasoning is from the 21-day Fix Eating Plan.  Yes, she is trying yet another weight-loss plan--it's a journey.

Fresh zucchini, cut into bite-size cubes (about 3 or 4 medium to large)
Mediterranean Seasoning, to taste (about a teaspoon or so)
Olive oil, about a tablespoon

4 T. dried parsley, crushed
4 t. dried onion flakes
2 t. dried basil, crushed
1 t. ground oregano
1 t. ground thyme
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper

1.  In a medium or large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

2.  Add zucchini and stir to coat with oil.  Add desired amount of seasoning.  Stir-fry for about 3 or 4 minutes.

3.  That's it!  Enjoy!  Goes well with many things.  I have had it with grilled chicken breast, a veggie burger, or just as part of a veggie plate.  Last night we had it with sliced garden tomatoes, boiled potatoes, and I just had to have some fried green tomatoes.  I know--fried.  It's a Southern thing.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

You gotta know that roasting veggies (and nuts) makes your recipes taste SO much better!


  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 T. oil
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 T. oil 
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 t. thyme, chopped
  • 3 cups veggie or chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c. aged cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. grainy mustard (optional)


  1. Toss the broccoli florets in the oil along with the salt and pepper and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  2. Roast the broccoli in a preheated 400 degree oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  6. Add the broth and broccoli, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  7. Puree the soup until it reaches your desired consistency with a stick blender.
  8. Mix in the cheese, let it melt and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Mix in the milk and remove from heat.
Source:  Closet Cooking

Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Eggs in Avocado

Although I love oatmeal and have it most mornings, sometimes I grow tired of the same-old, same-old.  I thought I'd break out of my routine a bit and give this a shot.  Glad I did!

1 ripe avocados
2 eggs
salt, pepper, chopped chives

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Slice avocado in half and remove the pit.  Scoop out about 2 Tbsp. worth of avocado from pit area of each avocado half.  This allows for more room for the egg.
3.  In a loaf baking pan, arrange a large sheet of foil so that you can kind of scrunch it to make an area for the avocados to rest without moving.  Place avocado halves in pan.

4.  Sprinkle each avocado half with salt and pepper  (The pic doesn't show it, but I'm suggesting it after the fact!).  Crack an egg into each half, slowly.
5.  Bake until egg whites are set.  (Original recipe said 15-20 minutes but it took my oven 25-30 minutes.)
6.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with more salt and pepper, if desired, and garnish with the chopped chives.


Friday, August 15, 2014

1/2 and 1/2 Bread

My family loves this bread!!!

6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
6 Cups Luke Warm Water
2 Tbls. Yeast
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

Mix together and let rise until doubled and bubbly then add:

2 Tbls. Salt
8-10 Cups White Flour (dough should be pulling away from the side of the mixing bowl and be a bit sticky)

Mix on medium speed for 10 min (the only mixers I know of that can handle this is a Bosch or a Kitchen Aide, but if you use a Kitchen Aide you need to cut the recipe in half).

When done mixing remove dough from mixing bowl and form it into 4 large loves on a floured surface. Place in greased bread pans.  Let rise until slightly above the lip of the pans.  Bake at 350 for 30 Min.  Remove from pans and place on cooling racks then spread butter on the tops of them to soften the crust.  Let cool before placing them in bread bags.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fresh Peach Preserves

I don't can often, but when I do.......I love to make these Fresh Peach Preserves.  So good.  And really easy.  I got this recipe back in maybe 1994 from a good friend who shared it with me when I had a 1/2 bushel box of peaches and needed to do something with them--like right then.  Since then, if I ever have the good fortune to have some totally sweet awesome peaches in bulk, this is my go-to recipe. I don't even bother freezing any.

5 cups well mashed peaches
1 cup crushed pineapple (with juice)
10-15 chopped Maraschino cherries
1 tsp. Fruit Fresh
2 pkgs. Sure-Gel
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 t. butter
5 cups sugar

1.  Combine first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan.  Add the butter and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.

2.  Add sugar quickly.  Return to full boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3.  Immediately fill CLEAN jars and put lids and rings on.  Hand-tighten rings.*

4.  Invert jars for 5 minutes, then return to normal position.

5.  Have fun hearing the lids POP as they seal at random moments.

6.  Give out to your "framily". Keep some for yourself.

YIELD--about 10 1/2-pint jars. 

Source:  Pat Sorenson via Tonya Shepherd Sorenson.

*  If you have never canned  before, be sure to check out instructions on Google or go to the Ball Canning website for tutorials.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sausage Potato Bake


1 pkg of smoked sausage, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
sweet paprika
dried thyme
a handful of grated strong cheddar cheese


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a large baking tray (wtih sides) with several sheets of foil, and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  Put the sausage rounds, onion and potatoes into a large bowl.  Drizzle with a couple of T. of olive oil and season to taste with salt, pepper, paprika and dried thyme.  Toss together with your hands until everything is evenly distributed.  Pour this out onto the baking tray, and spread it out as much as you can.

3.  Place into the heated oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender.  Turn off the oven.

4.  Scatter the cheese over top of the cooked meat and potatoes.  Pop back into the oven a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Source:  Unknown

Monday, August 11, 2014

Peach Cider Sorbet

My husband picked up some Peach Cider at South of the Border a couple of weeks ago, probably because we once had a Peach Cider Slushie at an Amish country store that I still think/talk/drool about.  I decided to try making sorbet out of it but couldn't find a recipe specifically for peach.  So I looked over a few recipes I found on the internet and combined/tweaked/added to come up with this one.  It was a big hit with the family!  It tastes like fall, but since peaches are a summer fruit it's best in summer.  Of course, you could always try frozen peaches.  Or you can try it with apple cider and apples, maybe add some whole cloves in with the cinnamon stick.  I'm sure that would be great!

2 cups peach cider
2 large, ripe peaches (peeled, pitted, and cut into bite sized chunks)
1/4 cup white sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp. salt.

1.  Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Peaches should be soft.  Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for a bit.
2.  Remove the cinnamon stick and discard.  Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl.  Allow to cool to room temp, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3.  Pour chilled mixture into ice cream machine and process until frozen and thick.  Transfer sorbet to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What a Beautiful World

If you read my recipe posts you know I spend a lot of time on Pinterest.  Okay, maybe too much time.  But one thing I love about watching my Pinterest feed is seeing all the beautiful photos of places that people want to visit, want to duplicate with watercolors or oils, or just want to pin because of the beauty.  Our earth is truly a magnificent place.

Whenever I see gorgeous autumn color or a spectacular display of flowers or a rich sunset I almost always think how much our Heavenly Father loves us to have given us such a beautiful place in which to live.  My mother once told me that sometimes when she sees a beautiful scene she just says, "Thank you" as a little tiny prayer to Heavenly Father.

Communing with nature is such a powerful way of connecting with the divine.  Prayer and meditation are often best enjoyed in a quiet, majestic, natural place.  What a beautiful world we have--our hearts should be full of gratitude for the beauty of this place.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Spinach Chopped Salad

Ever since my sister posted this recipe two years ago, I've been in love with chopped salads.  I've followed recipes and also just played around with putting together my own favorite ingredients.  It always seems to turn out great.  I came across this recipe the other day and thought I would try and share.

P.S.  I also like to eat chopped salads with a big spoon instead of a fork!  Much, much easier.

8 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
1/2 cup kernel corn
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 large avocado, sliced and diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Dijon or Dusseldorf mustard
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Combine all salad ingredients in a very large bowl.
2.  Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together.  Pour over salad, a little at a time, and toss.  Serve.

You may not use all the dressing; it just depends on your taste.  Also, if the dressing has too much tang for you, add a little sugar to it.  Taste it first before you dress the salad.

Source:  Recipe Girl

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Live It Like The Stripling Warriors

My family has participated in an LDS outdoor drama for the past 6 years.  There are a couple of scenes from the Book of Mormon, one of which involves the stripling warriors--a group of 2,000 young men who were valiant and courageous.  The first couple of years we were in the pageant, my son Spenser was not tall enough to play the part of a warrior.  How blessed the day when he reached the height needed to play that part!  This is a picture from last year's pageant.  Spenser is second one from the right.  He was much taller for the part this year!

From the Book of Mormon, the prophet Alma states, "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness."  (Alma 57:21).  Is that not a mother's dream come true for her children?

M. Russell Ballard:  "This was an extraordinary task for a group of 2,000 young men, but they were extraordinary young men.  According to the scriptural record:  "They were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all---they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

"Yea they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him" (Alma 53:20-21)

The rest of the story tells how these young men fought valiantly against the much older and much more experienced Lamanite army.  Acccording to their leader, Helaman, "They....fought as if with the strength of God;....and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war" (Alma 56:56)

Imagine that?  These inexperienced young men were so spiritually and physically prepared, and so powerful, that they frightened their foes into surrendering.  Although all 2,000 of the young men were wounded in battle at one time or another, not one was killed (see Alma 57:25).  Again quoting Helaman, "And we do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God, because of their exceeding faith in that which they had been taught to believe---that there was a just God, and whosoever did not doubt, that they should be preserved by his marvelous power" (Alma 57:26) we are fighting a battle that in many ways is more perilous, more fraught with danger than the battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites.  Our enemy is cunning and resourceful.  We fight against Lucifer, the father of all lies, the enemy of all that is good and right and holy...

This isn't a time for spiritual weaklings...As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I call upon you to begin right now---tonight---to be fully and completely worthy.  Resolve and commit to yourselves and to God that from this moment forward you will strive diligently to keep your hearts, hands, and minds pure and unsullied from any kind of moral transgression."  ("The Greatest Generation of Missionaries." Ensign, Nov 2002, 46)

Ezra Taft Benson:  "You are to be the royal army of the Lord in the last days.  You are "youth of the noble birthright." (Hymn, 1985, no. 255)

In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today's sons of Helaman.  Remember well the Book of Mormon account of Helaman's two thousand stripling warriors and how the teaching of their mothers gave them strength and faith.  These marvelous mothers taught them to put on the whole armor of God, to place their trust in the Lord, and to doubt not.  By so doing, not one of these young men was lost. (See Alma 53:10-23; Alma 56:41-56) ("To the 'Youth of the Noble Birthright'," Ensign, May 1986, 43)