Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Mom's Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough
Ingredients:
1 c warm water
2 T-1/4c sugar
2 T yeast
1 t salt
3 c flour

Directions:
1. Proof yeast in warm water with sugar, until bubbly.
2. In a large bowl, or mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the middle.
3. Poor yeast into the flour well and combine until a ball is formed.
The dough can now be rolled for pizza, or for a fuller crust I highly recommend letting the dough rest in a lightly covered bowl (with a damp dish towel) for at least a half hour. Then lightly knead the dough; if it's still sticky, knead in more flour.
You can use cooking spray for the pans or cornmeal for more texture to keep the dough from sticking to the pan.
While this can all be done by hand I really like the smoother texture that comes from mixing the dough in a mixer with a kneading hook or a bread maker on the dough setting.

Refrigerator Muffins--Buttermilk Raisin Bran Muffins

Buttermilk Raisin Bran Refrigerator Muffins
Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 c oil
1 quart buttermilk
5 c flour
3 c sugar
5 t baking soda
2 t salt
16-20oz box of raisin bran cereal (equals apx. 10 c)--or bran cereal if you're not a raisin fan.

Directions:
1. In a really big bowl mix all the ingredients well.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 24hours.
3. Make however many muffins you would like at a time baking them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
--The batter is good for at least 2 weeks in the fridge. The muffins are also very tasty and somewhat sweet. If this is too much for you just halve the recipe.--

Frozen Raspberry Squares


Frozen Raspberry Squares

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes Servings: 9

Ingredients:
2 cups crushed Keebler® Vanilla Wafers (Cookies)
1/4 margarine or butter, melted
1 quart frozen reduced-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
1 container (8 oz) reduced-fat sour cream
1 T grated lemon peel
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened red raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or small whole strawberries

Directions:

1. In small bowl combine wafers and margarine or butter. Press half of mixture on bottom of 8-inch square baking dish.
2. In large bowl stir together ice cream, sour cream and lemon peel. Gently fold in raspberries. Carefully spoon over wafer mixture in dish, smoothing top. Sprinkle with remaining wafer mixture.

3. Cover and freeze at least 4 hours or until firm.

4. Let stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting. Cut into squares.

This dish is nice and bright, perfect in the summer (or any time really). You can use whole strawberries that are thinly sliced as a substitute. Also, I skip out on the "reduced fat" part and use the regular ice cream and sour cream.

Almond Bark Haystacks


Almond Bark Haystacks
1 c captain crunch
1 c rice crispies
1 c stick pretzels, broken
1 c salted peanuts
Coating:
1 c milk or white chocolate chips (or 6 oz almond bark)
2 T peanut butter (can be substituted with 2 T shortening)
Directions:
Mix together cereals, pretzels, and nuts in a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate & peanut butter until smooth.
Poor the melted mixture over the dry mixture and coat well.
Drop by teaspoon-full on to wax paper and let set. Enjoy.
This is a recipe from my Grandma I grew up with, especially around Christmas.
The top picture is obviously not this recipe. For that recipe please visit http://christmasnotebook.com/2007/12/18/candy-jumble/. It is fairly similar in style. Honestly, you could substitute your favorite combos as long as the over all volume remains the same.
The other picture is what almond bark looks like. You can usually find it in the baking aisle.
Tips
Melting chocolate:
--Saucepan: Place desired amount in saucepan. Melt over low heat about 8 minutes, stirring until smooth.
--Microwave: Place in a microwave dish and microwave for 60 seconds, then stir well. Continue to microwave for 15 second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until smooth.
Never…
Overheat, scorch, or caramelize chocolate.
Use water, milk, oil, margarine or butter
Do…
Use only dry utensils for melting or stirring. Moisture could cause the chocolate to solidify or separate.
Use shortening when thinning chocolate.


Candied Yams (No Marshmallows!)


Candied Yams

3 c. cooked plain mashed yams
1/2 c. soft butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs (beaten)
1/3 c. canned evaporated milk
Topping Follows

Mix the above ingredients together in a bowl and place in an 8"X8" baking dish. Then add the crumbled topping on top of the yams and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Topping:
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

Feel free to double the recipe and use a 9"X13" pan instead. A little goes a long way.

This is a recipe that I was given by Shannon Anderson around 2005.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rolo Pretzel Turtles




Rolo Pretzel Turtles
*Warning: Easy to make dessert that is highly addictive!*

Rolo chocolate candies
Mini pretzels (Can also use round, or waffle (square) pretzels)
Nuts - toasted pecans/almonds/hazelnuts/walnuts Or M&Ms

Preheat your oven to 350

1. Unwrap your Rolos. Place pretzels on baking sheet. Top with a Rolo.

2. Bake in oven for 3-5 minutes, until the chocolate just begins to melt. The Rolo should be soft but not completely melted.

3. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and immediately squish the chocolate with a nut. Watch the caramel ooze out.

IMPORTANT: Eat as many as you can while they are still warm. Go ahead; I give you permission to stuff yourselves with sugar.

Recipe taken from http://www.steamykitchen.com/

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ducks-in-a-row

So, today I decided to look at the actual newspaper. On the top corner of Deseret News's Life Etc. section there is a quote by Sally Huss that I quite like.

"Just when you think you've got your ducks in a row, life changes the line-up. Stay flexible."


This is the story of my life, every day really. My life has rarely gone the way I thought it would. For example, in my plan I was going to serve a full-time mission for the church, come home, finish school, and hopefully find a guy who could handle me and me him when I was 25 (the age I am now). Yet, at 18, I found myself with a nagging desire to find someone to marry--at 19 I did. I now have a wonderful husband and 2 kids, and only my associates degree finished. Not where I thought I would be at this part of my life.
And yet I have learned along the way. I am more blessed than I ever could have imagined being ten years ago. It is so wonderful to have a loving Father in Heaven who knows what I really need the most and what I can and will grow to become. I'm still learning about myself and what I am able a capable of...and I know that there is so much more in store for me that I can barely even imagine. After all, heaven will be what I make of it.

The Past Two-Three Weeks

Let's see what happened, shall we?

I got to see my sister Angela (it had been a year--She's usually in Iraq).

My birthday came & went (Oh, I'm 25 now and my insurance went down!)...I got to sleep in, my husband made breakfast for me (waffles, from scratch), and later that evening we went out to TGIFriday's for dinner and a play written by our friend Mahonri Stewart.

My husband quit his construction job (hence he was home on a weekday). During the 2 weeks without work he tended the children & home while I wrote up resumes and filled out applications for him on-line (I'm much faster at typing). He had 3 interviews in one week and went with SOS Staffing and now works at US Synthetics making synthetic diamonds for drill bits. Just yesterday he was offered to be hired on after 3 months of training. Though it doesn't pay a ton, it will (in 3 months) have full family medical benefits that we won't be paying out of pocket for. It's a company that takes care of it's employees, and it will work with a school schedule. So, it is just what we needed. He does however work from 3 to 11pm Monday to Friday. Quite the schedule change! And in between all of this my husband had a paper route (needless to say neither of us was getting solid sleep).
I had my birthday party! It was so wonderful to be surrounded by so many amazing women who are all good examples to me and strengthen me. We enjoyed a chocolate truffle torte I made along with ice cream, good conversation and company, and a good movie (along with a good cry).

As of recent, I now have more compassionate service committee members! Finally!

Also, last night I taught a cooking class/group-thing for an Enrichment focus group. It was fun and a learning experience for me. And everyone seemed to like the food.

Chocolate Scotcheroos (AKA "Fat Bars")


Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 24
Ingredients

1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I add an extra 1/4 c. & highly recommend name brand pb--it tastes better)
6 cups Rice Krispies®
or 6 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies®
1 package (6 oz., 1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions

1. Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm. Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars when cool.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Little Stars

video

This is Daniel singing with passion. He loves to sing. I think he will be the kid you can hear the most in the primary program while waving "hi, mom/dad".

video

This video definitely shows both sides of Joseph. Maybe some time I can catch him screaming "what's that?" For those of you who have heard him, you know what I am talking about.

video

This was from a few months ago on a Sunday morning while watching Veggie Tales. The song playing is Barbara Manatee.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Diagnosis

Well, we've found out that Daniel is mildly autistic and may even have Asperger's. He definitely has a PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) which affects him socially mostly and verbally as well. We will know more specifics once some more diagnostic tests are administered. So, we'll let you know more when we know more.

The blessings are that we live in a great school district with Kids on the Move to help us. We have great family and friends to help support us. We have medical insurance for both boys (before the diagnosis was made). And, having a "label" will enable us to facilitate an environment of learning & growth experiences. We will also soon be learning American Sign Language as a family. We'll be getting referrals for a more tailored treatment and Daniel will still get to be in preschool, which he loves.

Challenges (and blessings)....here we come!

Autism Awareness