Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feeling guilty?

While reading a book, I came upon this quote by Sister Wendy Beckett:

"I don't think being truly human has any place for guilt...contrition, yes, but guilt no. Contrition means you tell God you are sorry and you're not going to do it again and you start off afresh. Guilt means you go on and on belaboring and having emotions and beating your breast and being ego-fixated. Guilt is a trap. People love guilt because they feel if they suffer enough guilt they'll make up for what they've done, whereas, in fact, they're just sitting in a puddle and slashing. Contrition, you move forward. It's over. You are willing to forgo the pleasure of guilt."

A lot of times I find myself thinking of something I have said or done in the past. Something I have repented for. It is usually at a time when I am feeling down or tired. I understand it is there to be a reminder, but I think it is true that sometimes we throw stuff back up into our own faces (splashing so to speak) as a way to feel sorry for ourselves, or find another reason to stay angry with ourselves. I don't want to get back into the puddle once I have already jumped over it.

What say you?

Sausage Vermicelli

This is something you could throw together pretty quick. The longest thing to do is cook the rice. Ember loved it. Jaxen ate it. Owen didn't eat much (but he never does). Shaunton and I both liked it. It is a keeper.

Sausage Vermicelli
1 lb pork sausage                     4 1/2 C water
1 onion, chopped                     1 C uncooked long grain rice
1 C celery                                2 pkg chicken noodle soup mix

Cook the sausage, onion and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain.
Remove meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In the same skillet, combine the water, rice and soup mixes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in sausage mix, heat through.

Mo tips: Cook the sausage and stuff on medium high...or even high. I hate waiting for the meat to cook. As long as you are standing there and stirring, you'll be fine.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Boutique in the Barn

I just saw a bunch of cute stuff that will be there!!!

Saturday May 1, 2010 ~ 8am-5pm
13010 South 71st Street Tempe, AZ 85284

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is what "helping" looks like...

This is what helpful looks like. At least your almost eight year old's version of it. Even after you specifically say not to change a poo diaper. Even when you tell him that you appreciate the thought, but your baby won't even sit still for you to change his diaper. This is being helpful anyway.

Let's not mention the poop that is now all over your baby. When I say all over...I mean all over. I won't get too graphic. I will have nightmares about it for days to come.

It was mentioned later that, maybe, I shouldn't have tried to change a poo diaper... Maybe.

I can just change pee ones, right?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Something's missing...

My little girl is growing up so fast!

Basil Cream Chicken

Oh My...was this delicious...even with the mushrooms! Definitely putting this on the dinner rotation. (It tastes better than it looks!)

Basil Cream Chicken

hot, cooked and drained fettuccine                 3 T flour
1 lb chicken cubed/shredded                          2 C chicken broth
1 C minced onion                                          1 T chicken bouillon
3/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced                       1 C heavy cream
2 T oil                                                           2 T minced fresh basil
3 T butter                                                      1/4 t pepper (or more!)

Saute chicken, onions, and mushrooms in oil for 4 minutes.
In large saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Add chicken broth, bouillon and cream. Stir in basil and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Combine with chicken mixture. Serve over fettuccine.

Mo Tips: I just cooked the chicken first and then shredded it. Then I cooked it with the onions and mushrooms. I brought it to a boil, and then turned it off and let it sit so it could thicken a bit. I don't do mushrooms. At least not as a main part of a dish.I will do them in things (like a lasagna I had once) but don't go out of my way to have mushrooms added to anything I eat. This was sooo good. You couldn't "taste" the mushrooms, but I am sure it added to the flavor!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Good excuse

I think the sewer roach staring back at me from inside my washing machine is a good enough excuse not to do laundry today.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Makes for an interesting title. Makes for an interesting dessert. Who said all the new recipes I tried had to be main dishes, right? So, here I am on a Thursday planning on making cake from scratch. I go to Fry's in the morning after dropping of two kids and a bike at school. Today was Ember's show and tell. I don't want to stunt her growth or throw off her mojo by not letting her take her bike. Her teacher said it was OK (she was the one the was supposed to nix the idea, I thought she had my back!). I even called to be sure...just in case Ember was "remembering" a conversation that never happened. I could just see her as a young adult saying, "You remember that one time I wanted to bring my two wheeler bike to school for show and tell...and you didn't let me? I have yet to get over it!" (I don't want her casting her life problems on me.) So, one van seat and car seat removal later, we have a bike in the back and a not so safe 7 year old riding shot gun. I didn't hear him complain. (Until I picked him up and he was disappointing that there was no bike where his seat should be, granting him shot gun status.)

Right, where was I...Fry's. So, I made a list this morning and head to Fry's after I dropped off the kids. Purchased all my goods, dropped them off at home, and went walking. With all this good food I have to do something to maintain my girlish figure. OK, I really don't. But I like to stay feels good.

Get home and get ready to make a cake. What?! No flour? A futile attempt at borrowing from the neighbors. I know someone was home, but no one answered. (I saw them leaving a few minutes later...) Hmmm?

Feel bad about waking up Kaysen to Fry's again. Get 10 lb bag of flour...just in case.

Come home make cake. Take picture. Take to quilting group. Hear Shaun joke that I don't ever try out the new desserts on him. He is content to know that I will bring some home.

Dessert is a hit. It is called Hummingbird Cake. Hence, the title of my post.

Because I know you like stories, I have to tell you what happened as I was putting the cake out to eat. I dropped it.

No, I didn't.

I brought it in a fancy cake those things have a name? Just, cake holder? has an anti-theft mechanism. I couldn't get the stupid thing open. I mean, how challenged am I? They put the instructions on how to open the thing write on the top. I had flashes of panic as I wondered if we would get any cake at all. Or maybe one of us would have to hold up the one side of the lid I managed to get open while another person cuts the cake. Was I even going to get to try this dessert? I was glad there weren't too many people privy to my ineptness. I have to give myself a break...I didn't want to try too hard...I might drop/bump/misplace the icing. No one wants to eat a cake that doesn't look good.

So, on that is a recipe for you...from me...from someone on a parenting forum that I used to frequent. Notice that we went with something a little more daring...everything looks better dressed in red! (Eek, mental picture, almost everything!)

Hummingbird Cake
(I guess I kind of felt like a light hummingbird while partaking.)

3 C flour                                 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda                    1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 tsp salt                                 1 C chopped pecans
2 C sugar                                2 C chopped bananas
1 tsp cinnamon                       1/2 C chopped pecans
3 large eggs, beaten
1 C vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened       1 (16 0z) pkg powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened         1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine first five cake ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat) Stir in vanilla, pineapple (w/ juice), 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9" round cake pans.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top.
Frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.
The longer this cake sits in the fridge before serving, the better it is.

Mo tips: I use canola oil with all my cooking, unless it is a deep fryer. I also bought the pecans that were pretty much pulverized. I guess it depends on how you like your nuts. I put the directions as is, but I am sure you could have figured out how to frost a cake without the explicit detail. However, I wanted you to get the recipe in it's true, unedited form.

P.S. I don't sift either.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


As I was sitting in the mother's lounge, nursing my fussy baby, I could hear, through the speakers, someone giving his testimony. He works with the youth. He talked about a versus he came across in the scripture that was cause for reflection. It had to do with God being a jealous God. (I tried to look it up, but I am still working on becoming a Scriptorian.) He went on to describe how they looked up the definition of jealous. There it was: watchful in guarding. Hmm, that definitely sounds like Heavenly Father, watchful in guarding us. Goes to show that there can be more than one definition for any given word, some of which are usually not thought of because of the popularity of one definition over another in the use of the word. Not that you don't know what jealous means, it was used in a different context, in a different time period. We use it now to mean something much more different. That definition is not a good adjective of what we would think our Heavenly Father would be.

On the dictionary note:

The last two nights I have been working on Personal Progress. I read the scriptures, thought about them, and then re-read them taking notes the next night. I broke out the dictionary people...and boy, does it shed light.

Ponder these on the Holy Ghost:

Galatians 5: 22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Fruit - the result or product of
So, the result/product of the Holy Ghost is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance
Against such there is no law - without these products, we would be without law. Nothing to help govern us.

D&C 11: 13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
I know what enlighten means, not the dictionary version. Mine would be something like, "I learned something I didn't know". I was enlightened.
Enlighten - free from ignorance, prejudice - informed
The Holy Ghost can literally free us from the bonds of ignorance, or our preconceived notions (prejudice). We can be informed, in all righteous things, and be filled with joy. What is there not to like about that?

Dust off that dictionary...sometimes those verses take on new meaning (or even gain meaning!) once you read the different definitions and apply them correctly.

A while back I purchased a seminary workbook for the Book of Mormon that I have been using for my own scripture study each day. I feel this book has been a great asset in increasing my understanding of the Book of Mormon, broadening my thoughts on each chapter and the events written about, and allowing me to dig deeper than a surface level intellect on the subject.  

I know that I have felt the Spirit as I have focused on the scriptures and used the tools at my disposal to enrich my study. I am grateful for the knowledge I do have of the gospel, and for the capacity I have to broaden my understanding even more. I am thankful to know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost as a companion and guide in this life. I am thankful to know that I can pray and by given direction from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Question for the day

So, if you bought curlers (hypothetically) and you used them in your hair (hypothetically) and you looked like a frizzy monster (literally hypothetically) would you, could you, take back the curlers? or would you cut your losses and keep them under your bathroom sink (literally)?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Zuppa Toscana Soup

Sounds all fancy, doesn't it? It is. I just wish I had fancy dishes to showcase these fancy meals. I really like the all white look, but they aren't very photogenic.

What's that you say? You have some Kale just taking up space in your crisper? Here is the recipe for you!

Let me first start off with a lesson. This is Kale.
This is not Kale.
You'll like this.

As I am grocery shopping and checking all my price matching, I come to the produce aisle. I am pretty confident I know what Kale looks like. (It's green and leafy, it has to be what isn't lettuce...and I know what different lettuces look like.) Not that I have ever bought kale. Or even eaten it. Or...well, you get the point. So, I take my swagger over to the produce aisle. Feel around in the "kale" to find a good one. (Not that I have even the slightest clue on what to look for.) I even have the "kale" bagged and in my cart with a huge goofy grin on my face feeling all proud of myself. Wow, am I the only one that eats kale? Who are these uncouth people? Haven't they the desire to try something refined?

Hmm, what's that over there? Just off to my right at eye level. Granted, it is green and leafy. Better take a look. No one else is buying that either. It's kale. But if this is kale, what is that thing I bagged and put in my cart?

Casually pull unknown green leafy vegetable (I think it's a vegetable) out of my cart and put it back nicely. Drawing no attention to myself. Grab the closest kale and stuff it in the bag. It's not like I know what I am looking for anyway. Make my way outta there. I guess I wouldn't get very far on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?.

So, do you know what vegetable I put in my cart? (I know, I looked it up...but wanted to see if you are smarter than a fifth grader.)

Alright, stop laughing and write down this recipe. You will definitely want it. It was delicious. I had two bowls. My husband loved it. My children loved it. Except for Owen, but he doesn't count. He doesn't like anything that isn't a PB&J sandwich, bean burrito, or cereal. He would mess up the vote.

This soup is hearty and creamy. Not sure on healthy...but it has a green leafy vegetable in there, so that has got to be worth something. You can read more about the health benefits of kale here.

Zuppa Toscana Soup
3/4 cup onion, diced            2 med. potatoes, cut into cubes
1 slice bacon, diced             2 cups cavallo greens, chopped (or kale)
1 1/4 tsp minced garlic         1 1/2 C spicy precooked sausage
1 ounce chicken bouillon      3/4 C. heavy cream
1 qt water

Place onions and bacon into a large saucepan and cook onions over medium heat until they are almost clear. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. And chicken bouillon, water and potatoes, bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 more minutes, then serve.

Mo Tips: For the record, you can use bacon bits if you are too lazy to thaw out a pack of bacon for one or two slices. I used a 1 pound roll of sausage, regular flavor. I used more potatoes and kale and eyeballed it. Keep the skin on the potatoes. Its healthy too...see? Yummo. can thank me later!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chicken Bombay

I am not usually a sweet meat person, but this was delicious. I was disappointed in not making the full batch of sauce. I only had about a pound of chicken, so I halved the recipe for the sauce. I didn't think about adding over the rice. It wowed the husband, and the kids gobbled it down...which says a lot. This dish was not spicy, even given the ingredients, so for those that don't do hot, don't be afraid to try this. It has a unique flavor and I will definitely cook again. Enjoy!

Chicken Bombay
1/4 C Butter                1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 C Mustard            1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 C Honey               1/4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp seasoning salt      1/4 tsp pepper
3 lbs chicken

Combine all in ingredients, except for chicken, in a sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until smooth and slightly warmed.
For OAMC (Once a Month Cooking): Let cool and add to a Ziploc bag with uncooked chicken. Freeze. When ready, thaw overnight and bake at 375 until cooked through.
To Cook now: Roll chicken is sauce. Place in casserole dish and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
TIP: I coated pieces, put in pan, then added the remainder of the sauce over it. I used the sauce over the chicken and rice to add flavor to the rice.

What's on Your Plate?

So, for the last two weeks I have been incorporating new dishes into the rotation. Dinners that I have gotten from cookbooks, friends, or online recipe places. I am hoping to document each new meal on my blog.My goal is to try at least 5 new meals a month, if not more. We had 5 new meals in the last two weeks. I didn't think to document them until now. Right now we stand at 3 YUMS and 2 NO THANK YOUS. I might go back and tweek the two that we didn't like to see if I can make them Yummy. The ingredients and things would make for a perfect meal, just a little more of something here...and in one case a little less of something, would probably make the dish a keeper. 

Are you tired of eating the same thing? Do you trust me? Why am I asking, of course you do! Come back again and get the scoop on what I had for dinner, whether we liked it or not, see if it looks good to you and if you want to try making it for dinner at your house! You can thank me later.

This should be fun.

P.S. You should be proud of me, I even bought mushrooms for one of the meals...instead of just leaving them out.


I was bummed that Easter fell on Conference weekend. Not because I don't like General Conference. I was bummed because we ALWAYS go up north on Easter weekend. We usually do the big egg hunt on Saturday and go to church on Sunday.

Up north, where Shaunton's grandma lives, there is no running water. She has a t.v. but it doesn't get any channels. It is only good for movies...and movies are for special occasions. So, the t.v. hardly sees any play time and hides behind an old sheet for "protection". Internet? Um, no.  So, we can't watch General Conference. The stake center is at least 30 minutes away at a minimum.

Surprisingly, my kids were bummed too. They like to listen for words we choose and get snacks associated with the words. I guess it is a start. Guess we will have to watch it on the internet or just read it when the Ensign comes in.

Here are some Easter pics for your enjoyment.

Easter Bunny


Hunting...(look at all those eggs in his basket!)

Hunting...and making it look good!

One of Grandma's hogans we passed looked for the cattle.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Weight lifting...

is not for the faint of heart.

Owen decided to lift weights. Eight pound weights. Okay, maybe just one. Key word is try. As you can tell, it didn't go to well.
 Grainy cell phone shot

Five hours in the ER and lots of friends later (where else can you pass the time by talking to complete strangers. If you don't you would go insane!), we come to find out the tip is broken. The nail is a we soon found out after a bath. He will still grow a nail, at some point. It may not be as nice as the nail he had. I hope it doesn't hold him  back in life. Some girls are really into feet.
After the bath
Moral of the story: Don't work is dangerous to your child's health.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Ember has no doubts on who is a very important person. I am not even upset that it isn't me.

So...was it her dad? Her grandma or grandpa? Santa or the Easter Bunny perhaps? (You know it wasn't one of her brothers!)


Translation for those who can't read Kindergarten: "Jesus is important because he made the world."

Definitely a keeper!


around Target for an hour while you wait for the portrait studio to open, because you didn't look up the hours, can cost you. Not just time, but money.
NTS: Portrait studio opens at 10. If you get there early, just sit and wait. Do not, under any circumstances, browse while you wait!