Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Personal

I thought it would be fun to do a twist on a personal ad:

My name is Embily. I'm female, a quarter century, 5' 4", and look like a-buck-twenty. I like men because I am married to one, and I am seeking deeply satisfying friendships with other women. I have (2.0 + X) children and reside in a pet & smoke free home (I do combine shipping for Ebay orders--Paypal only). I enjoy going for long walks by the river, a few movies, reading nerd books, talking people's ears off, baking for everyone, and kissing my husband! So for a good time, with one good woman, call me @ 555-CRTR.
Make your own if you dare.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smashed Cauliflower

London Broil with Steak Sauce Gravy, Smashed Cauliflower with Cheese, Ham and Red Chard
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Show: 30 Minute MealsEpisode: Leave The Carbs Behind

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons
butter, cut into pieces
1 cup shredded white extra-sharp Vermont Cheddar (recommended: Cabot brand)
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano
Coarse black pepper and salt
A generous grating nutmeg


Place cauliflower in a medium shallow pot or pan. Add stock, cover and place pot over high heat. When liquid boils, reduce heat to simmer and cook covered 10 minutes. Remove cover, raise heat to medium high and allow the broth to reduce by half, 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and the cheeses and smash the cauliflower with a masher to the same consistency as desired for mashed potatoes. Season the cauliflower with black pepper, a pinch of salt and nutmeg.
Emily's comments:
I use less chicken stock. Or you can adjust the reduction time to allow for the difference in elevation (it takes longer for things to boil). Also, I use whatever cheese I feel like and I usually use extra. The nutmeg does make a nice difference. Any other smashed potato add-ins also work great for this dish.
I have not actually made the other two items in this recipe but from the reviews, they seem good. For those recipies, please visit

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Tyler's UltimateEpisode: Ultimate Sunday Dinner


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling potatoes after cooked
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lay the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle the oil, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper over the potatoes. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes in oven or until tender.

Take sweet potatoes out of the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.

Pan-Fried Asparagus

Pan-fried Asparagus with Shallots
Recipe courtesy Danny Boome
Show: Rescue ChefEpisode: Hot Date


1 pound asparagus, thinly sliced on a bias
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute then add the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes and season with a little salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Emily's comments:
Make sure to snap off the woody ends first. I used a regular onion in place of the shallot, regular butter, and added some minced garlic. It was the best aspargus I've had in a long time.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe courtesy George Duran
Show: Food Network SpecialsEpisode: Ham on Turkey


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted
butter, softened
1 cup white
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose
2 teaspoons
baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk
chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or
parchment paper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips.
Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.
Emily's comments
The cookies will be a bit flat, but they are scrumptious.

Apple (& or Pear) Crisp

Apple and Pear Crisp
2007, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved
Show: Barefoot ContessaEpisode: It's Friday Night Again

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated
1/4 cup all-purpose
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the topping:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted
butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish. (I used a 9 by 13 inch pan & it worked fine)

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.
Emily's note's:
This is a really tasty (hence, the fat, salt & sugar content) dessert and is definitely one that should be made with plenty of guests over.
I made mine with all Gala apples (12 total) and it turned out great. Granny Smith would also work, though it is more tart. So, consider lessening the lemon or omitting it altogether.
The topping is also great to make ahead of time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?

Have you ever wondered what you would look like through your own eyes? I mean, really, what you would actually look like if no one else was around (not physically speaking, but emotionally)?

Try to visualize a black & white photo or painting of yourself. Which parts are colored or tinted? What colors are there? What textures exist? Or, is there more lacking than you would like? The cool thing is, you're the artist and you can change it how ever you want to--you do have a Master teacher to refer to for an example.
I can certainly tell you that the way we see ourselves is most likely not how Heavenly Father sees us (because one day our vision will coincide and be as one). Yet for now, in the truest sense, we are " what we think".
So,. . . .here comes the honest truth of how I feel about myself. **please know that I'm not expecting anyone to actually post what it is that's negative about themselves--I'm not telling what my colors mean.** My personal rainbow, for now, isn't much of a rainbow at all. My deepest roots are currently BLACK, GRAY, & BROWN. Yet, I realize that brown is at least a start. After all, brown is made up of complimentary colors--Red & Green; Blue & Orange; Yellow & Purple. Quite simply, I'm still working on my "Stuff," "Baggage," "Kwap," or whatever else it could be called.
And so Christ is my rock and my salvation, my Savior, a sure foundation. He is "White" as far as this analogy goes. The amazing thing is that as I let Him into my heart, as I truly change not only what I think, but how I think of myself my "rainbow" will become lighter in it's character. And it is through the Atonement that the stains of life can be completely removed, if we give it to Him. For truly pure light is knowledge and contains every color imaginable that makes each of us so beautiful.
So, what makes you beautiful?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Perfection &Our Arrival

So, after my last thoughtful post, I went to church with the idea of creation and perfection in mind. During the Relief Society lesson on the Plan of Salvation, a certain portion stuck out to me.

Joseph Smith said, "We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, til he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him. But we consider that this is a station to which no man ever arrived in a moment."

Perfection is a process and an eternal lifetime at that.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reserve the Date

Attention one and all! For those of you who don't know yet, I'm having a birthday party. I started a new tradition last year that I would like to continue each year--to celebrate my life I celebrate womanhood and all the wonderful women I'm glad to know.

This year I will be having a ladies night of sorts--A Pajama Party. It will be Friday, November 14th (I'm thinking around 7:30pm or so). Pajamas are required. There will be lots of chocolate goodies, made by yours truly, milk and ice cream. If there are any special dessert requests, please let me know. We will also be watching the Emma Smith Movie which I absolutely love. And for any breastfeeding moms, precious babies are more than welcome.

Hopefully you all can come, and if not, I appreciate the desire to.

By the way, my actual birthday is November 7th and is reserved for my husband. I'll be turning 25 this year (a whopping quarter of a century).

as a disclaimer, 25 is not "old" by any means. I'm happy to be getting older and wiser and feel more like myself.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Perfection is usually a relative term. I heard someone once define it as "doing the best you can with what you have." If that is a valid definition, then certainly we all have our moments of perfection. I like to connect perfection with progression, learning & growing, creating.

Recently, at a women's conference Dieter F. Uctdorf said,

"Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
"What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? 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.
"If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it."

So, though I am lacking many skills there is hope in knowing that I can create something entirely new. For me, the focus right now in my life is new ways of thinking and perceiving situations and conversations. Though I may have had a rough start in this life, it is where I am headed that matters most.

Here's a startling confession (add sarcasm), I'm not perfect. I do the best I can, and sometimes what I know now will not suffice for the long haul. Quite simply, creation and perfecting one's self, comes one day at a time and is most visible years down the road.

So, yes I would like to do things differently and be entirely changed now, but that is too overwhelming and impossible. So the questions remain: #1 What can I do today to do a little better? and #2 What does my Heavenly Father think of me today? That is where perfection and creation begin--in the love of the Lord, our hearts, our desires, and our actions.

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