Thursday, March 6, 2014

S'mores Rice Krispy Treats

I need some more....
One of my favorite quotes is by Bishop Gary Stevenson. He says, "The 2000 stripling soldiers had countless moments to demonstrate their courage. Each of you will also have defining moments in your life requiring courage."
Who are the 2000 stripling warriors?
Those would be the examples I use to help teach my boys and now my daughter the importance of doing the right thing. To learn to stand for the right even if you sometimes feel alone in doing so. The scriptural account of those warriors can be found
What do I find so compelling about this story?
These warriors had courage, unselfishness and unwavering faith. But- where did they tag the source of it?
"...they had been taught by their mothers that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them."
So then I turn to myself and I tell myself that there are defining moments in my parenthood -requiring courage. Courage to keep trying. Courage to keep praying. Courage to increase my own faith. 
Because storms will come. Faith will be tested.
I feel like now is a time in my life that I will look back on and say it was a "defining moment".
So I'm needing to face that moment with some more courage.
Which of course makes me think of food. :)
And some more (s'more) treats :)
So here's a take on a Rice Krispy treat that will put s'more smiles on those whom you love who may be trying their best to have s'more courage.

S'mores Rice Krispy Treats
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows or
4 cups miniature marshmallows
3 cups Rice Krispies
3 cups small pieces graham crackers
Melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
Stir in Rice Krispies and graham cracker pieces.
Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.
Melt an 11.5 oz. package of milk chocolate chips and spread evenly over treats. Sprinkle with mini marshmallows and small graham pieces. Gently press them into chocolate. Drizzle with a few more oz. of milk chocolate (I warm it gently in the microwave in a freezer strength ziploc, cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag and drizzle.)

Sometimes I think our hardest battles are those requiring us to fight when no one else can see the opponent. Self doubt seems to often pack a Goliath sized punch. So today, I'm making this treat as I gather s'more courage to keep up the faith so that our warriors can one day say.
"I did not doubt, for my mother knew and taught me to________."

These are the grahams I buy to break up for this recipe.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Miracle Bread

My prayers as a mother have changed. I used to pray that the kids be safe, be protected, or even make a free throw in a tight game ;)
But lately I've reflected on my phase of motherhood and my roll.
I've learned that fear is the absence of faith. And that in faith my true desire is not that my kids be beneficiaries of miracles because I prayed for them; but rather that they pray themselves. My prayers are that my kids will have their hearts and their thoughts turn to their Father in Heaven. I believe in miracles - lots of them. Some are big and their impact is seen and felt by many. But I believe most miracles are small, insignificant to others, but provide the one who prayed in faith a true conviction and undeniable truth that they know their Father in Heaven is mindful of them.

Lately I've seen this small miracle in my kitchen and relished in the wonder, awe, and delight of the beneficiaries.

Miracle Bread
5 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 T salt
2 scant T dry yeast
3 T soft butter or oil
2 cups very warm water

Mix together dry ingredients. Add butter or oil and water. I use my kitchen aid  dough hook for 5-7 minutes.
Divide dough in half. Briefly roll out into 7x12  rectangle and then roll tightly into loaf, tucking the ends, or simply form the loaves without rolling. Place in two greased bread pans. Let rise in warm area until doubled + or as desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Brush with soft butter after removing it from the oven.
Some say its possible to go from flour to bread in an hour. It takes a little longer in my kitchen, but is impressively quick thus earning its name of Miracle Bread. The texture is different than typical homemade bread that you make with the conventional added steps of foaming the yeast and letting the dough rise before forming the loaves, but when called upon to help a neighbor or improve dinner in a hurry, I love this recipe!

My mantra over the past year has been to "Replace fear with faith".
-To Learn to follow the path before me in faith and delight in the miracles - be they small or significant- that undeniably light the path.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

The other day, B sent me an email from college.  It read:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I don’t wanna edit these essays,
So- Can you?
I posted the rhyme on a social network site introducing it from my “firstborn”.  He was first to comment on my status and said he would rather be referred to as my “favorite child” instead of my “firstborn”.
It got me thinking about some of my favorite things and these new cookies are near the top of the list- just under my “favorite child”.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 grated 1.55oz. Hershey Bars
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick oats
2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Stir in eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and grated chocolate. Stir until well incorporated. Spoon cookies onto greased aluminum baking sheet. Flatten a bit with your fingers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10+ minutes depending on size.

I’m sure thinking a lot lately about my favorite child, hoping he (or she) finds happiness in his (or her) every day journey. Over the past year, life has been full of transitions and re-defining normal.  The key to continued peace and happiness seems to be to simply take delight in the blessings of today.   No doubt I’m finding a bit of happiness in my new favorite treat.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chocolate Chip Brookies

Yesterday, I reserved a U-Haul truck.  This morning I ordered boxes, and other packing materials.  It’s beginning to seem more real that we are packing up our home and changing our zip code. It’s been an unexpected turn in our family’s course; but peace continues to be our companion through the experience.
On a house hunting trip that I took alone a few weeks ago, I ventured to a favorite bakery/cafĂ© everyday for lunch- Kneaders. It’s exactly what I needed to refuel my efforts physically and mentally. I ordered the same thing everyday- Turkey sandwich on Asiago bread.  Absolutely delicious.  One day my “pastry” of choice was a brownie cookie bar.  I call them Brookies because they are a treat where brownie meets cookie. 

Chocolate Chip Brookies

*Begin by mixing and a brownie mix according to package directions.  (I use 2 mixes- I like Ghiraradelli Triple Chocolate or Betty Crocker Original Supreme- in a 10 x 15.5 airbake pan.) 
*Spread brownie batter into desired size pan
*Set Oreos (either whole or cut into pieces) into brownie batter.  I used 24 oreos in the 10 x 15.5 pan.
*Bake 28-32 minutes. (This really depends on what size of pan you use.  It may be a few minutes more or less depending on the thickness of the batter.)
*Mold Chocolate Chip cookie batter with your hands and piece together a layer of cookie dough to cover the baked brownies.  Dough should be about ¼-3/8 inch thick. 
*Bake an additional 12 minutes at 350 degrees. 
*Remove from oven. Cookie portion of bars will be soft, but will set up nicely.  Over baking them will result in crunchy cookie and dry brownie layers.
*Let set.  Cut.  Share. 

I certainly am appreciating the afternoon “pick me up” these treats provide as I prepare for our big move.
But even more than that, I’m appreciative of and am ever aware that my steps are being guided, my hand is being held, and angels are bearing me up.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Cream Cake

Sometimes there simply are no words to convey the emotion. Today is such a day. So what do I do?  I bond with my Kitchenaid. I've already made these,these, and these, and found places to deliver them. However, on a day where wrapped candy treats prevail in the lives of children, my season has changed.
My focus today is of great reflection. Today, my freshman in college received some much anticipated mail. Within this envelope is a call to action that comes with great responsibility.
Reflectively, this envelope represents not just one decision, but countless little ones.  Each decision following or forming a path. Sometimes the path seemed well marked and seemingly easy to follow and at other times -  more difficult where steps to proceed were small, yet well defined.
As we journey through life,we are daily asked to go and do. Choosing so, and without exact knowledge of where our temporal path will lead; we walk by faith. And as our decisions clear a path that leads not only to our own happiness, but also the joy of countless others, we can pause, reflect, and celebrate. 
Today we will celebrate with this Reese's Peanut Butter Cream Cake:

Reese's Peanut Butter Cream Cake

Begin by making Yummy In My Tummy Chocolate Cake, omitting the chocolate chips.  Cool completely. 

For the Peanut Butter Cream:

8 oz.  cream cheese
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
16oz. tub of Cool Whip

Whip together cream cheese and peanut butter.  Add powdered sugar and beat until well blended.  Fold in Cool Whip. 

Layer cake and cream as desired.  Frost with remaining cream.  Chill thoroughly.  Garnish with your favorite chocolate sauce or ganache and chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

 He's been called to serve in the Resistencia, Argentina Mission.