Monday, September 29, 2008

By request, some nummy recipes. :)

Britty was given an assignment in her health class to come up with a healthy pizza, using wheat, lots of veggies and minimal cheese. Well, we've already got that down to a science. But for her assignment's sake, we made pizza again, and this time I took pictures to document it. (So for fun, I'll post those too.) But then, I was thinking I've had enough people ask for some specific recipes, including the pizza dough, so I thought it would make sense to post them here.

Pizza Dough:
(Thanks to Diane for giving me this recipe!)

2 cups flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast (about 1 tbsp)
3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 cup VERY warm water (120-130 degrees)

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add oil and warm water. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. (I mix by hand)

Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl. Knead 5-8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Heat oven at 425 degrees.

Grease two pizza stones (or cookie sheets or 12 inch pans) with oil. Pat 1/2 of dough on each pan, and allow dough to rise again. (Here is the key) Partially bake 7-8 minutes or until crust begins to brown.

Add toppings and bake for another 10 minutes.

Now you'll never order out again. ;)

Not your average run of the mill zucchini bread. Trust me. :)

2 cups flour
1 cup wheat flour (sometimes I do half and half.)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup oil
3 cups grated zucchini
peel of one orange, washed & minced.

This recipe is delicious even without the orange peel, but is even better with. :)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter two 9-inch loaf pans and dust with flour or wheat germ. Mix all the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs, then blend in the oil. Use a spatula to mix the egg mixture into the dry ingredients in several additions, then fold in the zucchini and the orange peel. (It will be thick, you may need to use your hands). Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed lightly with a finger. The bread may cool in the pans for 5 to 15 minutes before being turned out onto a rack or plate. Makes two 9-inch loaves.

*Wanna make this into muffins? Go for it! It'll make 24, bake for 30 minutes.

"Patriotic Cookies"
(Cranberry-blueberry-white chocolate-macadamia...)

2 3/4 cups flour
(While we're on a wheat kick, why not mix it up?)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 package white chocolate chips
2 jars (abt. 6 oz.) chopped macadamia nuts
5 cups oats
1 1/2-2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter & sugars until creamy. Add eggs & vanilla. Mix in baking powder, baking soda & salt, then add flour. Mix well. Add oats, fruit & chocolate. Using a medium sized scoop, place dough about 2" apart (they will spread). Bake 14-16 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Any other recipes you'd like?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Relief Society Women's Meeting.

I actually had forgotten that it was tonight, and obviously wasn't planning on going. However, I am grateful for the events that led to me being able to go, and am especially grateful to Lori-ann for putting up with my kids while I went. I was touched by some of the things that President Uchtdorf had to say, and I know that he was talking to me (and unfortunately many many women around the world as well.) I feel refreshed, and blessed, knowing that the Lord is aware of my inner struggles, and inspired one of his servants to talk on the subject. Along the same lines, it is encouraging to know that because he talked about it, I am not alone. Although it did sadden me as well to know that there are other women struggling with the same battle as I am. If any of you are interested in watching the broadcast, it's already available on All the talks were touching on very important and inspiring subjects, but for me personally, President Uchtdorf really hit the nail in the coffin.

Here are some of the things that he said that touched me:

"I am grateful for you and who you are, treasured daughters of our Heavenly Father with infinite worth."

"No matter how perfect everything is, looks, or tastes, Harriet will apologize for something that she thinks is imperfect." (Don't we all?)

"To me it appears that our splendid Sisters sometimes under value their abilities. They focus on what is lacking or imperfect, rather than that which has been accomplished, and who they really are."

"We know that sometimes it can be difficult to keep our heads above water, in fact, in our world of change, challenges & check lists, sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to avoid feelings over run by emotions of suffering or sorrow. I am not suggesting that we can simply flip a switch and stop the negative feelings that distress us. This isn't a pep talk, or an attempt to encourage people who are sinking in quick sand to imagine instead that they are relaxing on a beach. I recognize that in all of our lives, there are real concerns. I know that there are hearts here today that harbor deep sorrows. Others wrestle with fears that trouble the soul. For some, loneliness is their secret trial. These things are not insignificant."

"Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we, as his spirit children, can and should emulate."

"Isn't it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it. Your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with the beauty, function and capacity beyond imagination."

"You may think that you don't have talents, but that is a false assumption. For we ALL have talents and gifts, every one of us."

"So what if what you create is not perfect. Don't let fear of failure discourage you. Don't let the voice of critics paralyze you, whether that voice comes from the outside, or the inside."

"Sisters, trust and rely on the spirit as you take the normal opportunities of your daily life, and create something of beauty and helpfulness. You improve not only the world around you, but also the world within you."

"When we reach out to bless the lives of others, our own lives are blessed as well."

"As we lift others, we rise a little higher ourselves."

"True words of encouragement require only a loving and caring heart, but may have an eternal impact on the lives of those around you."

"Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts. Let us notice the loneliness and despair. Let us feel the silent prayers of others around us and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers."

"As spirit daughters of our Heavenly Father, happiness is your heritage. You are choice daughters of our heavenly father, and through the things that you create, and by your compassionate service, you are a great powerful good."

"God loves you, we love you and admire you."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Autumn. Aaaah, beauty.

I escaped into the mountains the other day. Let me show you what I found on my hike...

Isn't it just beautiful?

Monday, September 1, 2008

The whole Midnight Sun ordeal.

Long story short:
Somebody leaked the first 12 chapters of Midnight Sun, and they got posted online. On Stephenie Meyer's website, she hints that she has an idea as to who the culprit is. Not sure if she was violated directly by the person she trusted the manuscript with, or if an outsider got ahold of the unprotected project. Regardless, the damage has been done. She has been violated, and now has no ambition to finish the project. I don't blame her. She opted to go ahead and post those chapters (in raw un-edited form) on her website to prevent any further illegal downloads of her work. Pretty much "Here's all that you get, thanks to that person that ruined it for all."

Well, after debating back and forth for a few days, I finally gave in and read it (legally on Stephenie's website), and am so glad that I did. Now I have a completely different perspective on Edward's mood swings, and also Bella doesn't seem like a selfish whiner now that I have seen her through his eyes. Now I feel horrible for thinking she was a brat. Now I look forward to re-reading Twilight (for the 4th time) with a whole new perspective.

Needless to say, Stephenie is absolutely brilliant, and it infuriates me that someone would betray her like this. I hope that over time she will find the desire and ambition again to finish this beautiful project. I can imagine Midnight Sun being even more anticipated and successful than Twilight. Especially now.

In a group that I belong to, I came across this post:
"She explains what happened and how she doesn't feel she can continue to write Midnight Sun. It's so sad. I belong to a group on Flickr that has a link to a petition to get Stephanie to continue writing for her fans. If you are interested here is the link:"

I understand that this petition has good intentions, but the fact is that Stephenie is distraught and broken right now, and no amount of petitions can force her to be inspired and write again this soon. She needs time to sort out this mess, and it is completely acceptable (albeit sad) for her to feel depressed & hopeless, and afraid to be betrayed again. She will write again when SHE is ready to, not when people tell her to. It is like forcing somebody who has been cheated on to love again the next day. It just doesn't work that way.

And in the words of Chris Crocker: "Leave Stephenie alone! Leave her a-lo-ooo-ooone!"