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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Lemon Asparagus Pasta (from http://www.kitchenparade.com/)

Serves: 4
Points: 6

8 oz. bow-tie pasta
1-1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed

1 T. unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped finely
3/4 c. fat free half’n’half
Zest from 3 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
Juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
0 – 2 tsp. sugar
About 1/3 c. fresh dill, chopped
Freshly grated black pepper
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in well-salted water and drain. Steam asparagus until just slightly underdone (it will finish cooking in the sauce). Cut into two-inch lengths.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat, add shallot and slowly soften. Add half’n’half, zest, lemon juice, salt and sugar. Stir in asparagus and gently warm until spears reach desired tenderness. Stir in hot pasta, letting it soak up sauce. Gently stir in dill and black pepper.
Transfer to serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!


" . . .the rich[est] rewards come only to the strenuous strugglers" (As quoted by David O McKay, The Teachings of David O. McKay, by Mary Jane Woodger, 2004, 300).

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--He Loves Us Perfectly

More Awesome Quotes from Conference:

"Since the beginning of time, love has been the source of both the highest bliss and the heaviest burdens. At the heart of misery from the days of Adam until today, you will find the love of wrong things. And at the heart of joy, you will find the love of good things. And the greatest of all good things is God" (President Dieter F. Uchdorf, "The Love of God," General Conference, October 2009).

"God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn’t care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely."

"We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken" (President Dieter F. Uchdorf, "The Love of God," General Conference, October 2009).

"My dear brothers and sisters, don’t get discouraged if you stumble at times. Don’t feel downcast or despair if you don’t feel worthy to be a disciple of Christ at all times. The first step to walking in righteousness is simply to try. We must try to believe. Try to learn of God: read the scriptures; study the words of His latter-day prophets; choose to listen to the Father, and do the things He asks of us. Try and keep on trying until that which seems difficult becomes possible—and that which seems only possible becomes habit and a real part of you" (President Dieter F. Uchdorf, "The Love of God," General Conference, October 2009).

The divine love of God turns ordinary acts into extraordinary service. Divine love is the motive that transports simple words into sacred scripture. Divine love is the factor that transforms reluctant compliance with God’s commandments into blessed dedication and consecration. Love is the guiding light that illuminates the disciple’s path and fills our daily walk with life, meaning, and wonder. Love is the measure of our faith, the inspiration for our obedience, and the true altitude of our discipleship. Love is the way of the disciple (President Dieter F. Uchdorf, "The Love of God," General Conference, October 2009).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Minnesota Sloppy Joes (adapted from http://www.kitchenparade.com/)

Serves: 4
Points: 6, with bun

1 pound ground turkey or lean ground beef
3/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
To taste, chopped onion
To taste, chopped celery

In a skillet, cook the meat until done, breaking apart into small clumps as it cooks. (For double or triple batches, cook the meat in a couple of skillets for more surface area.) Meanwhile, collect all the remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir in the cooked meat, cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally if possible, for 4 – 5 hours, longer is fine too. Can be made ahead and rewarmed for later. Freezes well.

To serve, scoop meat onto a bottom bun, top with pickles and chips, put the top hat on. Serve and savor and – yes – smile.


No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!

For what we love determines what we seek.

What we seek determines what we think and do.

What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.

(President Dieter F. Uchdorf, "The Love of God," General Conference, October 2009)

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Grapes and Jalapenos

Yay! The text from General Conference has been posted! For the next few posts, I'll probably be quoting some of the AWESOME and INSPIRING quotes from conference. So many quotes, so little time!

"I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit" (Elder Richard G. Scott, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance," General Conference, October 2009).

"Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do it" (Elder Richard G. Scott, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance," General Conference, October 2009).

"The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other" (Elder Richard G. Scott, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance," General Conference, October 2009).

"Because the Spirit is often described as a still, small voice, it is also important to have a time of quiet in our lives as well. The Lord has counseled us to 'be still, and know that I am God.' If we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games, or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us" (Vicki F. Matsumori, "Helping Others Recognize teh Whisperings of the Spirit," General Conference, October 2009).

"Sometimes Sister Bednar and I wondered if our efforts to do these spiritually essential things were worthwhile. Now and then verses of scripture were read amid outbursts such as “He’s touching me!” “Make him stop looking at me!” “Mom, he’s breathing my air!” Sincere prayers occasionally were interrupted with giggling and poking. And with active, rambunctious boys, family home evening lessons did not always produce high levels of edification. At times Sister Bednar and I were exasperated because the righteous habits we worked so hard to foster did not seem to yield immediately the spiritual results we wanted and expected.

Today if you could ask our adult sons what they remember about family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening, I believe I know how they would answer. They likely would not identify a particular prayer or a specific instance of scripture study or an especially meaningful family home evening lesson as the defining moment in their spiritual development. What they would say they remember is that as a family we were consistent. . .

In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.

Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brushstroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes" (Elder David A. Bednar, "More Diligent and Concerned at Home," General Conference, October 2009).


I have to apologize for my lack of posts lately. Since Ty lost his job, I have gone back to work and life has become a little more. . . well, complicated. I will still try to post at least two or three times a week, but I don't think I can manage a post every day. Keep checking back though, and PLEASE continue leaving comments. Your comments are always that little push that keeps me going with this project. Love you guys!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Baked Apples (from http://www.kitchenparade.com/)

Serves: 9

Points: 5

1-1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Dash cinnamon
Dash nutmeg
1-1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
9 small or medium apples

In a 1-1/2 quart saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and spices; stir together with a wooden spoon to remove any obvious lumps. Add water and stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add butter. Cook until thick, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, rub a 9x9-inch glass dish with butter. Wash and core the apples and place right side up in the dish. Pour the sauce into and over the apples.

Bake 45 minutes at 325F. Halfway through baking, remove from oven and cover the apples with hot syrup again. Return to oven to complete baking. Serve hot or cold.


"It is true that the answers to our prayers may not always come as direct and at the time, nor in the manner, we anticipate; but they do come, and at a time and in a manner best for the interests of him who offers the supplication."


On Prayer:

"Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, "Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private."

"It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer" (Richard G. Scott, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer," Ensign, May 2007).

Don't worry about your clumsily expressed feelings. Just talk to your compassionate, understanding Father. You are His precious child whom He loves perfectly and wants to help. As you pray, recognize that Father in Heaven is near and He is listening" (Richard G. Scott, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer," Ensign, May 2007).

"I have discovered that what sometimes seems an impenetrable barrier to communication is a giant step to be taken in trust. Seldom will you receive a complete response all at once. It will come a piece at a time, in packets, so that you will grow in capacity. As each piece is followed in faith, you will be led to other portions until you have the whole answer. That pattern requires you to exercise faith in our Father's capacity to respond. While sometimes it's very hard, it results in significant personal growth."

"He will always hear your prayers and will invariably answer them. However, His answers will seldom come while you are on your knees praying, even when you may plead for an immediate response. Rather, He will prompt you in quiet moments when the Spirit can most effectively touch your mind and heart. Hence, you should find periods of quiet time to recognize when you are being instructed and strengthened. His pattern causes you to grow" (Richard G. Scott, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer," Ensign, May 2007).

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Autumn Pumpkin Bread (from http://www.kitchenparade.com/)

Servings: 12 slices per loaf
Points: 3 points per slice

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
16 ounces (2 cups) pumpkin
3-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 9x5 loaf pans with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, buttermilk and sugars and beat until smooth using an electric hand mixer. Add eggs and pumpkin; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Separately, combine flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and combine until just blended. Remove beaters. Add pecans and stir in with a wooden spoon. Pour evenly into two loaf pans and bake 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into center is removed cleanly. Remove from oven, let cool five minutes Remove from pans and continue to cool.


Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God's love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence. "Live in thanksgiving daily," said Amulek, "for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Around Every Corner

Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? I know, it sounds creepy, but sometimes, I truly can feel someone not only watching me, but really looking out for me. I felt that way today as the announcement was made that a temple will be built in my hometown. I know there are probably millions of very deep, spiritual and temporal reasons for that particular announcement at this particular moment in time. Still, I can't help but feel that Heavenly Father is bringing a temple to Brigham City just for me. I think of the weeks the Spirit has been working on me, whispering that it's been too long since my last visit. I think of the last three attempts we made to go to the temple...babysitter backing out, no gas money, and no gas money. Could it be that with all the other reasons, Heavenly Father really, truly did think of me? Now, with this thought in mind, I recommit myself to regular temple attendance, as a token of my gratitude. I love that He loves me.

What about the day I needed size 3 diapers...NOW, but pay day wasn't until Friday? How was it that I went to the store anyway, knowing full well that diapers cost more than $4, only to find a ripped open, then taped back shut bag with a clearance sticker that read $3.50?

Or what about the day I went school shopping and completely "forgot" to buy jeans for my daughter, to come home to a large bag of hand-me-down, brand-name jeans in new condition, sitting on my doorstep?

I also think of God's love for me whenever a sunset in my favorite colors: bright orange and hot pink, canvases the sky just at the moment I am at my breaking point. I feel cared for when my alarm clock is set for p.m. instead of a.m. and I wake to someone whispering my name and a touch on my shoulder, and turn to see no one there except for my sleeping husband. And I am overwhelmed with gratitude each time I make a tremendous effort to get my large family out the door for 9:00 church and find myself sitting in a Young Women's lesson that turns out to be just the answer to prayer for which I was seeking so desperately.

I do not believe in coincidences. There are lessons, opportunities, testimonies, evidences, and consequences, but no coincidences. I do believe in God's love and what my dear friend, Diane, refers to as "arranging angels." I thank God for His watching care and the evidences of His love for me. . . around every corner.