MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

Friday, December 17, 2010

A New Recipe Blog Link

I just stumbled across another great blog. It's called: Fun with Food Storage, Finances and More.

The web address is: or you can click here to get to it.

The blog has links to and posts about:
  • Food storage lesson
  • Dave Ramsey's financial advice
  • Emergency preparedness ideas
  • Canning tips
  • Delicious recipies
I will also put link to the site on the side of this blog.

Thanks Katie and Lori for the great blog.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner 2010

In case you haven't heard, I became a grandmother last week.

Savannah was born on November 19th.
She was 8 lbs 15 oz

She is so precious.
I traveled 10 hours by carand then 6 hours by shuttle bus to meet her in Idaho.

I was there over the Thanksgiving holiday and got to make theThanksgiving dinner for David, Janelle,and David's Grandmother.

We had: Turkey, Gravy, Stuffing, Rolls, Mashed potatoes, Green bean casserole, Cranberry Jello salad, and, Punkin crunch for dessert

Several years ago, I figured out that making the turkey the day before relieved a lot of stress on Thanksgiving day. It allows you to get the turkey all cooked, carved and cleaned up without having to worry about all the last minute things that go on with serving the holiday meal. After I have cooked the turkey, I carve the whole bird and put the sliced meat in one or two 9 x 13 pans (depending on how big the turkey is) with a can or two of Swanson's chicken broth to keep the meat moist. Then I put tinfoil over it and heat it up the next day 15 to 20 minutes in the oven before dinner is served.

After the turkey is carved, I put the carcass in a big pot and cover it with water and add onions, carrots, and celery. I let it boil for about 45 minutes. After it cools down I remove and discard the bones, and cooked vegetables and put the broth in the fridge or freezer. You can use this broth to make turkey vegetable soup or creamy turkey soup for the days ahead with some leftover meat, new vegetables, noodles and spices (such as Mrs. Dash).

Why Eat Together?

When we were in Utah last week for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Deseret News had an excellent article entitled: It's Time for Dinner (with family) by Carolyn Campbell . I would suggest that you click onto the link and read the whole article.

Here is a little section of the article that I thought was interesting:

So why eat together?

Family bonding

Eating a family meal creates an environment that fosters conversation. During dinner, the family has the opportunity to spend time together, author Janet Peterson says.

"Because they are sitting down together at the table, looking across at each other, it is a level playing field, with the parents not standing taller than the children, which creates a more relaxed atmosphere," she says.

Saving money

"Restaurants are in the business to make money," Peterson said. "Their labors, real estate and profit margin all cost. If they don't make money, they don't stay in business." She says if you multiply the average of $812 spent annually per person on eating out, it doesn't take a CPA to tell you that it's costly, especially for a family with children.

"Restaurant prices in recent years have risen slightly faster than inflation, making it even more expensive to eat away from home," Peterson says.

Healthier meals

A study published in the British Archives of Family Medicine found that having a family dinner was not only associated with a healthier way of eating, but also had a positive effect on the family's physical and emotional health.

The study reported that those who ate dinner with their families were more likely to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. The home-cooked meal is more likely to contain a variety of food groups. Milk or water is more likely to be served, and less soda pop or high fat foods are typically offered.

Commercially prepared foods are notoriously high in sugar, starch and fat, although some restaurants do list low-fat items on their menus, says Peterson. She adds that home cooking allows a family to select healthful ingredients, tailor meals to suit their own particular nutritional needs and tastes, serve portions appropriate to age and activity level, and monitor methods of preparation.

We also eat more when we eat out.

"Everything is super-sized," Peterson says. "Restaurant portions continue to increase. The usual restaurant plate used to be 10 inches in diameter and now it is 12 inches."


Preschool children who eat with the family have better language skills, according to the Rockford Clinic. Dinner-time conversation exposes them to a broader vocabulary, especially as they listen to adults and older children. Eating together as a family can teach good communications skills, such as listening patiently and expressing one's opinion in a respectful manner.

According to researchers at the University of Illinois, children age 7-11 who did well on school achievement tests ate the majority of their meals and snacks with their families.

One study points out how family dinners are strong preventative medicine. Joseph A. Califano Jr., president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, reported: "Intensive research and teen surveys have consistently revealed that the more often children eat dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs."

Family tradition

Food served at the family table helps shape and give lasting meaning to our cultural heritage, says Katherine Carson, associate professor of food science at Pennsylvania State College.

"Positive food memories created during childhood are cherished for life," she says.

Peterson adds that food provides a connection among families.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Meatball Soup

20 meatballs (homemade or store bought)
1 TBS olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced OR 1 tsp crushed garlic from jar
1/2 cup diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
3 cups spinach, de-stemmed and chopped coarsely (1 cup if using frozen spinach)
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil. Saute onions, garlic, carrots.

Add chicken broth, orzo pasta, and meatballs. Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add spinach and boil for 5 minutes longer.

Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4-6.

This soup is from Trader Joe's cookbook and is officially called "Italian Wedding Soup." My friend Carrie invited me over to have some when I was having a very bad day. It filled my tummy and evening with happiness!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Homemade Eye Glass Cleaning Spray

1 cup of water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/8 cup rubbing alcohol
2 drops of dish soap

Combine above ingredients and fill into a spray bottle.

To clean glasses:
Spray both sides of each lens and rub clean with a soft cloth. Never use paper towels, toilet paper or kleenex as they contain harsh abrasives that will scratch your lenses.

Scott cleans his glasses every day, sometimes twice, so he asked if I could find a recipe for a cleaning solution for his glasses.

The above recipe is a combination of two recipes that I got off the Internet. It takes pennies to make this compared to the cost of picking up something from the store.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

½ lb cooked bacon, ham, or breakfast sausage(or any combination of the 3)
chopped veggies (optional. We like to use broccoli & tomatoes. You can also do red peppers and onion if you want even more flavor)
12 eggs
1 c. milk
1 pkg. (1 b.) frozen shredded hash browns
1 c. cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp pepper

In a bowl, beat eggs and milk. Stir in all other ingredients. Put in greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 45-55 min or until well set. Serve topped with salsa.

Scott's secretary served this at a work breakfast the other day. He mentioned how good it was. When I asked Jo Ann for the recipe, I recognized that is was the same recipe that was posted on Family Favorite Recipes that can be found on my blog list (on the side of this page).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Crunch

1 package Yellow cake mix
1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nuts
1 cup butter, melted
Heat oven to 350°. Mix pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bow. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Then sprinkle with nuts. Drizzle with butter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, served chilled. Serve with whipped topping.

I saw this recipe in the paper this morning. Once again I got off
Later....I was looking for another pumpki1n recipe on this blog and noticed that I already posted this recipe in 2008 here. Silly me

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Someone's been eating my.......

You all remember the story of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears.... Someone had been intruding on the poor bear family and ate their porridge, sat in their chairs, and slept in their beds.

I can relate to the bear family because someone has been eating my winter garden of peas, carrots, and lettuce. The tender sprouts were growing so nicely. It was a little unnerving to get up each morning and see my tender plants plucked and dug right out of the ground. Ugh!

I called our city's animal control and they said if I caught the critter, they would release him into the hills. My neighbor came to the rescue with the trap and advice. The little critter was caught red handed and is now roaming the hills above the beautiful city of Duarte. We'll see if he has a mate, and if he does, hopefully we'll be able to reunite them soon.

You can read part II of this saga by clicking here

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
1 cup raisins (optional)

Pre-heat over to 400 F. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients with beaters (milk, pumpkin, butter or margarine, egg). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir in raisins last if desired. Line muffin tins with liners or grease with spray. Fill each up 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 min. Makes 12 muffins.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cookie Sandwiches

Purchase the boxed cake mix of your choice + whatever frosting you would like to pair with it (or make your own!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Cake mix of your choice

2/3 cup shortening

2 eggs, beaten

Place walnut-sized balls of dough onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Pam (or whatever you prefer). Bake cookies for 8 - 10 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, move to a cooling rack until completely cool. Spread frosting onto the backside of a cookie and top it with another.

Typically makes about 45 cookies = 22 cookie sandwiches, plus a bonus cookie to eat as you frost. :)

Try these AMAZING combinations!!!

My coworker made the lemon cookies w/vanilla frosting and they were AWESOME!

Hiker's Stew

Potatoes, peeled and diced (or leave on the skins if you use red potatoes)
Onion, cut into big slices
Carrots, peeled
Celery, cut in large chunks
Beef of some sort (I used browned ground beef. Stew meat would be awesome. Leftover roast would work, I'm sure.)
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 pkg. onion soup mix
Seasonings to taste (I used pepper, Mrs. Dash, and Creole seasoning)

Throw everything in a crock pot and turn on low. Leave and go for a long, long hike. Come home, salivate as you pull into the driveway because you can already smell it, and eat three big bowls.

Ok, so maybe you can enjoy this even if you haven't been hiking all day. But it definitely tastes ten times better if you have.... :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

If you have some time on your hand, and want to make some cool Halloween cupcakes check out how to make them here . This web site has some pretty amazing ideas. I have a link to on my sidebar to the right.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Another Recipe for Happiness....

...Be grateful for the beautiful things in your life.

Click here to see the video

Click on the image below to see the music

Friday, October 15, 2010

Business Cards

What gift do you give your mom on her 54th birthday?

Blog business cards.

Thanks Renee! No more writing down my blog address on a scrap piece of paper when someone asks me for a copy of a recipe.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Canned Tomatoes

Pilar Fonbuena taught a canning class in Relief Society and told us about this recipe that she got years ago. I asked her to email me the recipe. Below is a copy of the email she sent me.

Here's the recipe for the Tomato Soup. I got this from Pam Hadfield in 1980 or 1981

1 lug tomatoes = about 15 lbs (I used 23 lbs in the last batch I made)

Cook the following vegetables separately

5 onions, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 bunch celery, sliced

15 medium carrots, sliced

1 bunch parsley chopped - add to carrots after carrots are cooked

1 pkg pearled barley (I used 2 cups) - cook 10 minutes, then rinse

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup salt

Add all ingredients together with 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup salt and simmer 10 minutes.

Bottle and process 15 minutes in steamer or water bath canner

Measurements are not exact, but turn out OK each time.

Eat soup as is, warmed up, or do the following:

I sauté garlic, onions and ground beef, then add soup, for a complete meal. May also use meat balls.

Can also stir fry zucchini, yellow crook neck and patty pan, then add soup. Delicious!



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Banana Bread


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
I got this recipe off Click here for the link. The bread has a nice banana flavor because it uses lots of bananas. When I made the recipe this morning I used 5 medium sized bananas to get the 2 1/3 cups of mashed bananas called for in the recipe. I made muffins out of them instead of bread. I just lined muffin tins with cupcake papers and cooked them for 15- 18 minutes.

Click here for another banana muffin recipe found on this blog. It doesn't call for as many bananas, but I'm sure it's a good recipe too.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Green Salad

Lettuce mixture:
mixed baby greens
dried cranberries
chopped red apples
green grapes

3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt

Add vinegar to sugar, whisk well. Add oil and salt Whisk everything long and fast unti it thickens to the consistency of Karo syrup.

Sugar almonds:
3 cups slivered almonds
1 cup sugar

Heat sugar in teflon coated sauce pan on low heat until melted. Add almonds and mix to coat. Remove from heat and let cool.

I was cleaning out my email inbox and saw this recipe from April Steimle that she sent last summer. We had it at the dinner that was served between stake conference sessions last August. I remember that it was really good. I would substitute rice vinegar for red wine vinegar. No one has officially taught me how to sugar almonds. I was happy to read the detailed instructions. I never knew the ratio of almonds to sugar and I didn't know that you should start melting the sugar before you add the almonds.

Monday, September 13, 2010

7 Things You Should Always Buy Generic

I read this post this morning about a money saving tip and was excited to share it here.
Be sure to click onto the video.

Have fun saving money.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fruit Salad

Hello Fall! Goodbye summer!

Fall is my favorite season. I love the fall weather, starting of a new school year, and planting my fall vegetables garden.

The one thing I will greatly miss about summer are the summer fruits. Almost EVERY DAY for dinner this summer I have served a fruit salad. Below is a picture of one we had last night.

Included in this salad is:
  • Watermellon
  • Cantalope
  • Honey dew melon
  • Green grapes
Other fruits that I have included in other salads are:
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Red grapes
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Mango
In our town of Duarte, we have local food markets that sell produce at a fraction of the cost of grocery store chains. I can go into one of these markets and for $20 have a basket full of fresh fruits and vegetables to last the week.

We have a lime tree in our neighbor's yard that hangs over our fence. We love to slice a few up and squirt some lime juice our our fruit salads to give it a lime zip to the salad.

Lisa served fruit for a work event the other day. She said she served about 100 people for $22. She went to a local market that sold fresh fruit. She bought watermelon, cantaloupes, honey dew melons, grapes, and pineapple. She said she would have bought strawberries but the market didn't have any that day. Then she cut the fruit into big chunks and put them on skewers, and served the skewers off a serving platter. That was a great idea to serve lots of people fruit.

Goodbye summer and fruit salad. Hello fall and homemade apple sauce and apple crisp. (Made from apples grown on our apple tree in our back yard.)

Tub and Shower Spray

I saw this in the paper from Mary Hunt's column entitled: Ordinary Ingredients Can Produce Magic Results .

If you haven't experienced the power of original blue Dawn plus white vinegar, you are in for a treat. Remove the top of a plastic spray bottle, and fill half of it with white vinegar. Carefully heat it in the microwave until the vinegar is hot, taking care not to melt the bottle.

Fill the rest of the bottle with blue Dawn liquid dishwashing soap. Apply the top tightly. Gently shake the bottle to mix. That's it. You now have a powerful cleaning product that will melt soap scum and tub and shower buildup and clean sinks, appliances, and just about anything else. Just spray it on, scrub, rinse and be amazed. For tough soap scum buildup, spray the mixture on and allow it to sit as long as overnight. The scrub and rinse.

9/17/10 I made this and used it to clean my tub and stovetop. I thought that 50/50 ratio of Dawn to white vinegar is too strong on the Dawn. I since have tried a 5% Dawn to 95% vinegar ratio and it worked a lot better. The other way was just too soapy.

Weed Killer

I saw this in the paper from Mary Hunt's column entitled: Ordinary Ingredients Can Produce Magic Results .

Here's a recipe for weed-killer that has the power of Roundup for a fraction of the price. Mix 2 cups of ordinary table salt into 1 gallon of white vinegar that has 5 percent acidity. Add 8 drops of liquid dish washing soap.

Label it, and keep it out of the reach of children. This is not toxic, but it will kill any and all vegetation, even the good stuff, so be careful where you spray it.

Another caution: Spraying this multiple times in the same area will sterilize the soil so that nothing will grow there for a long time. It is ideal for killing weeds that grow between cracks in your sidewalk and other areas where you don't want vegetation.

I think I'll whip me up a batch and spray the brick path in my front yard!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cafe Rio Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1/2 bottle Zesty Italian Dressing
1/2 cup water
2 t. chili powder
2 cloves of garlic
1 pkg Ranch dressing
2 t. cumin

Place chicken in crock pot.

Mix all other ingredients together and pour over chicken.

Cook on High for 5-7 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with fork. Serve on flour tortilla, with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa...the works.

My sister-in-law, Brittney, is queen of finding AWESOME recipes. I don't have to look for recipes...I just wait until she serves a yummy dish to Dave and I, and then I know it's a good enough recipe to steal! "The boys" LOVE this meal...and "the girls" love how easy, quick, and satisfying it is!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another New Recipe Blog

Lisa discovered another new recipe blog that I will include on my blog list. It is called, Favorite Family Recipes.

or click here to go to it.

Happy cooking!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dawn Wells Potato Peeling Video

Sam asked, "Isn't it easier just to peel the potato with a potato peeler?"

Garden Pasta Salad


  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked tri-color spiral pasta
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup Italian-style salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse under cold water, and drain.
  2. Mix chopped carrots, celery, cucumber, green pepper, tomatoes, and onion together in large bowl.
  3. Combine cooled pasta and vegetables together in large bowl. Pour Italian dressing over mixture, add Parmesan cheese and mix well.
  4. Chill for one hour before serving.
I got this recipe from at this link. The original recipe called for 2 (16 ounce) bottles of Italian-style salad dressing. That was way too much dressing, so I changed it to 1 cup. That might even be too much. You could just add it to taste. Also, the recipe didn't call for sliced olives, but I noticed in the picture that was posted with the recipe that olives were added. I bet you could add what every garden vegetables you would like to this recipe that you think would make it taste good.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Freeze Tomatoes

What do you do when your tomato crop explodes ?

1. Give some to your friends and neighbors who would like some fresh garden tomatoes.

2. Freeze the rest to use later when you make a pot spaghetti or chili on a winter's night.

This post will tell you how to get from this.... this.

I found a web site that explains how to freeze tomatoes much better than I could. You can get to the site by clicking here or you can read how to do it below.

Freezing is the easiest and safest way to preserve tomatoes from your garden or the farmers market. Freezing locks in summer fresh flavor and nutrients so you can enjoy delicious tomatoes in soups and sauces all winter long!

Things You'll Need:

  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Serrated paring knife
  • Stockpot
  • Boiling water
  • Large bowl of ice water
  • Zip closure freezer bags

Step 1

Vine ripened tomatoes taste best fresh or frozen. If you didn't grow your own tomatoes, pay a visit to your local farmer's market for a wide selection of ripe tomatoes. Pick tomatoes that are fully colored and tender, but not mushy or soft.

Step 2

Clean the tomatoes by rinsing them individually under a stream of running water. Gently rub the surface of the fruit to remove any soil. If you aren't sure if the tomatoes are organic, wash them with a mild fruit and vegetable cleaner to help remove pesticide and herbicide residues, then rinse well.

Step 3

Pop the stem off the tomatoes. If it is stubborn, use a knife to carefully remove the stem.

Step 4

Fill a stockpot with water and bring it to a rapid boil. Dip 2 to 3 tomatoes at a time into the water. Remove the tomatoes from the pot with a slotted spoon when the skins begin to loosen (after about 30 seconds).

Step 5

Plunge the tomatoes immediately into an ice water bath. This stops the tomatoes from cooking and further loosens the skins.

Step 6

Slide the skins off the tomatoes and compost them. Use a serrated knife to remove any stubborn bits of peel and cut out the core of the tomato. At this point you can freeze the tomatoes whole or cut them into halves or quarters.

Step 7

Pack the tomatoes into freezer bags, leaving one inch of headroom at the top of the bag. Freezer bags that have a zipper seal work best. Squeeze the air of the bag and zip the top close.

Step 8

Save room in your freezer by laying the bags of tomatoes flat on a freezer shelf. Once frozen, stack the bags wherever you would like in the freezer. Frozen tomatoes stay fresh for up to one year and taste best cooked into soups, stews, and sauces.

When I do step 6, I take it one step further and after I quarter the tomatoes and put them in a big bowl. Then I take my clean hands and squish them all up. (who likes big chunks of tomatoes in your spaghetti sauce? Not my kids!) Then I ladle them into a quart ziploc bag. Walmart brand are a cheaper price. (Be sure you squeeze the air out of the bag.)


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Banana Split Cake


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Mix and spread into 13x9 pan. Chill


1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together. It will crumble at first, but keep mixing until smooth. Spread on crust.


1 container of whipped topping
1 can (15 oz.) pineapple, crushed or chunks (your choice)
1-2 bananas
Strawberries or other fruit
Ice cream
Nuts or toffee bits
Maraschino cherries

Slice bananas on filling, top with pineapple and then any other fruit you want. Spread with whipped topping. Drizzle with either chocolate, caramel, butterscotch sauce or favorite ice cream topping. Sprinkle with nuts and garnish with cherries.

I got this recipe off:

Pasta Veggie Fruit Salad

This is a super dish to make up in the morning. Then, when dinner time comes and everyone is hot and tired, just set this dish on the table. Voila! Dinner is served.

Pasta Veggie Fruit Salad

1 1/2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup green grapes, halved
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (6 oz.) water chestnuts, drained
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped


1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ranch dressing
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta. While it is cooking, chop rest of ingredients and mix. Mix dressing together. Add pasta and mix everything. Chill. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds if desired.

Living on a Dime Newsletter has done it again. I found this in my email and it looks like a great, easy, delicious summer time dish.

Forgiveness: A Great Recipe for Peace in the Midst of Tragedy

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Table Center Piece

We had a work party at our house this this past week. I used these flower blooms from our yard as table center pieces. I was happy with the way they turned out and you can't beat the! (You could also use canning jars with raffia bows to put the flowers in.)

Does any one know the name of the flowers? They are always in bloom around the 4th of July and make great center pieces this time of year.

Julie Cole let me know that this type of flower is called, agapantha. She said, "They come in purple and white....once you grow them, the 'bulbs' multiply. They are easy to separate and then you have more. Very easy to grow." Thanks, Julie for the information!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

White Trash


  • 1 1/2 lbs quality white chocolate 
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups Cheerios toasted oat cereal
  • 3 cups corn  or Rice Chex
  • 3 cups small pretzels
  • 2 cups nuts (I use unsalted dry roasted peanuts from Walmart)
  1. In a double boiler, melt white chocolate and shortening.
  2. Stir chocolate mixture until blended and smooth.
  3. In the meantime, combine all the cereal and nuts in a very large bowl.
  4. Pour melted white chocolate over the cereal and nuts, gently stirring to coat all pieces.
  5. Scoop mixture out onto large cookie sheets or jelly roll pans to set.
  6. After the white chocolate has hardened, break into pieces and store in a large airtight container or Ziploc-type bags.
  7. Enjoy!

I had this treat years ago when I attended a PTA function at Temple City High School when Scott was working there. I was told that the delicious treat I ate was called White Trash. I have looked for the recipe on and off since then but couldn't ever find it. I was so happy when I ran across it at this site the other day.

My input for the recipe is this: For the quality white chocolate that is listed above, I used Almond Bark that I got at Walmart. (It came in a 1 1/2 lb. pkg) I didn't use the shortening because the packaged said to use the shortening to thin the bark. I followed the microwave melting direction on the back of the Almond Bark package.

You will love this treat!

ps Someone asked me why I used Almond Bark instead of white chocolate. I used it because they looked like they were the same thing, except white chocolate chips were A LOT more expensive. I looked up the definition of Almond Bark on wikipedia and this is what it said:
Almond Bark (also known as vanilla flavored candy coating) is an artificial chocolate made with vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter  and with coloring and flavors added. It can be found in 1.5 pound packages, in blocks, or in round discs where candy supplies or holiday nuts and crackers are sold. The confection is commonly used to cover or dip fruits, nuts, cookies, or crackers, in place of real chocolate. It can also be used with peanut butter and crackers, as with this recipe.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Whipped Cream


* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/4 cup powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla


Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks. Spread over top of cooled pie or dollop on bread pudding, gingerbread, cobblers, or other desserts.

When I grew up, I learned how to make whipped cream by watching my mom put in a glug of vanilla and a bit of powdered sugar into the whipping cream. Several people have asked me how to make whipped cream, so I looked it up on the Internet and posted it here. Beware: if you whip the cream too much you'll turn it into butter. I think every cook has done that at least once. (I have) When ever a recipe calls for cool whip, I'll usually use whipped cream instead. Cool whip is too fake for me.

Friday, May 21, 2010


Click on the above newspaper and read the letter to the editor: Lunches by mom

In case you can't read the article, this is what it says:

Lunches by mom

The Guest View article by Trulie Ankerbery about school lunches caught my eye. (May 5) She said, “Millions of families do not have the funds to send their children to school with nutritious homemade lunches.”

I disagree with that statement.

It is possible to make nutritious homemade lunches for a minimal cost with a little time, effort, and planning. My six children are living proof of that. We don’t need another government program feeding our children their school lunches.

What we need is mothers and fathers taking care of their families.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Californias Mormon Helping Hands Day.mp4

I know this isn't a recipe post, but SERVICE is a sure recipe for happiness. Our family was privileged to participate in the Helping Hands Service Day in California and Hawaii. A fun time was had by all. Our stake helped at the Peck Road Water Conservation Park in El Monte.

This video (produced by another stake) captures the spirit of the day. Just watching it will make you happy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Red Potatoes

2-3 red potatoes per person, depending on size
Parsley or green onions

Peel a strip around the middle of each potato if you want to prevent cracking. Boil potatoes until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain. Toss with butter until coated. You can sprinkle with parsley or green onions.

I got this recipe off

Bacon Pea Salad

1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen peas, thawed
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 cup cauliflower, in small pieces
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Combine first four ingredients. Combine dressing and sour cream; pour over salad and mix well. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Before serving garnish with bacon and sunflower seeds.

I got this recipe from Living on a Dime Newsletter. ( I haven't tried it yet, but you can be sure I will.)

Lemon Custard Cake

1 prepared angel food cake (about 10 inches)
1 (3.4 oz.) box lemon pudding
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
1 can (21 oz.) cherry or strawberry pie filling

Tear cake into pieces and place in a 13x9 pan. Mix pudding, milk and sour cream, beating until thick. Spread over cake, then spoon pie filling on top. Chill until ready to serve.

You could make this in layers in a large glass bowl for something special. This is also a good recipe to store in with your Christmas or Fourth of July recipes.

I got this recipe from Living on a Dime Newsletter. ( I haven't tried it yet, but you can be sure I will.)

Play-Dough Recipe

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp cream of tarter
1 cup water
Few drops of food coloring
1 Tbs. oil

Mix dry ingredients. Mix water, food coloring and oil. Combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with large spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of pan and forms a ball. This takes only about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Remove to counter with a little flour on it and knead until smooth. This makes a soft dough that keeps it's shape when molded.

It will dry out but not enough to make things like jewelry. If kept in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator, it will keep for many months.

I used this recipe a lot when my kids were little. You can give the kids a rolling pin, cookie cutters, and plastic knives to use when they play with the play-dough. Add a Disney CD or other children's music and they'll be entertained for hours.

Another fun activity to do with kids that will keep them entertained for hours on a summer afternoon is to give them a paint brush (from the dollar store) and a bucket of water and have them "paint" outside. They can "paint" the sidewalk, fence, garage wall, etc.

Potato Salad

  • Boiled potatoes – generally one medium or large per person
  • 1 hard boiled egg – per person – for a large crowd ½ egg per person
  • Cut up sweet pickles – to taste
  • Green onion – to taste
  • Miracle Whip salad dressing thinned down with sweet pickle juice and add a little prepared mustard.

I learned to make potato salad by watching my mom make it. I will add some more direction here. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Cover and boil in salted water. When tender, drain off the water and put the pot back on a low burner to dry out the potatoes. Then just start adding "stuff". I have also used baked potatoes or red potatoes and added different things like celery, yellow or purple onions, Mrs. Dash seasoning, etc. That is the beauty of potato salad. Each batch is unique.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Benefits of Meal Time

I stumbled on another good recipe blog. It is called:

Click here to go the the site.

I'll also put a link to this site on My Blog List.

Speaking of meal time, there is all kinds of research that talks about the benefits of eating meals together as a family. Click here for a good article on the subject.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yogurt Parfait

Once every few months, Scott brings breakfast to his administrative staff meeting at his work. A few times I have made yogurt parfaits for him to bring. They are so easy to make, yet look like a gourmet treat.

Below are the supplies you"ll need to make them and my commentary on where to buy what brands. You can use any brands you want. The suggestions below are just my favorites.

Smart and Final

Plastic wine glasses - package of 50 (They look like a parfait dessert cup. I also have pictured a clear plastic cup from Costco which is cheaper to buy but doesn't look as fancy)

Smart and Final brand Honey & Oats Granola w/almonds - 3 lbs. box. (You could use any brand of granola. I just like the cost and taste of Smart and Final's granola)

Fresh &Easy

I like the taste of Strawberry and Peach Yogurts from Fresh and Easy. 32 oz containers are cheaper to buy. (I also like Yoplait brand of yogurt. Usually the different grocery stores have their name brand of yogurt which is inexpensive compared to name brand yogurts.)

Layer ingredients in the glass, starting with the yogurt. As you put the middle layer of granola, use a spoon and place the granola around the edge of the cup so it will look nice from the outside of the cup after you put on the third layer, which is yogurt. Then the final layer is granola.

Delicious and yet so easy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pies Baked in a Jar

I ran across this recipe by accident. It looked so clever and cute I had to post the link to the recipe. Click here to see how to make these pies in a jar.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Freezer Jam

There are a couple of signs that let us know when spring is here at the Mag Pad.

One, is when the flowers on our front hill are in bloom.
(click onto the picture to get a better view of the flowers)

Another sign of spring is when we replenish our strawberry jam supply.

Making homemade freezer jam is so easy. Just follow the directions that come in the Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin box for freezer strawberry jam. I buy the Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin box from Smart and Final along with the 8 oz plastic containers that I put the jam in. You can be sure we always make enough jam to last us until next the spring.

Please pass the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (made with homemade strawberry jam, of course!)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Eggs Post #2

Our neighbor, Rebecca, invited Sam over to dye eggs with her boys the other day. Sam came home with these beautiful eggs. (see picture above) She had Sam use electrical tape to make square cutouts and then he placed them on the eggs. Then he dipped the egg in a light color dye. Next, he removed a few of the cutouts and patted the egg dry. Then he dipped the egg a second time in another color. The eggs I just described how to make are the bottom two in the picture above. The top egg was made to look like a cracked shell. He cut the electrical tape in a jagged shape and wrapped it around the egg and then dipped one half of egg in one color and the other half of the egg in another color.

Rebecca reused the electrical tape by placing the used tape on wax paper in between doing each egg.

The homemade dye recipe Rebecca used is:

1 cup water
2 Tlbs vinegar
6-8 drops food coloring

She made the dye in the 8 oz plastic containers with lids that you can get at Smart and Final. She kept the dye in these containers and saved the dye to use for several different egg coloring sessions.

Rebecca got the idea off of Matha Stewart's Living Magazine. You can watch these eggs being made on a how to video on her webpage:
or you can click here to go to the web page.

Rebecca's husband, Landon, was REALLY cleaver and figured out how to make this egg:

Now that is a manly Easter Egg!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Eggs

About 15 years ago Virginia Teater taught me how to color Easter eggs using all natural materials. We have been doing our Easter eggs this way every year since she taught me this method. I have taught the children in my kids' elementary classes, teenagers in my seminary class, neighbors, ladies in my church, and now the blogging world how to do this. Every egg is beautiful and unique.

Material needed:

Raw eggs
An old pair of nylons
Onion Skins
Flowers with space between the petals*
We have Marguerite flowers growing in our yard, which work great.

Put a flower in the toe of a nylon sock - facing toward you.

Put a raw egg on top of the flower in the stocking.

Bring the nylon over the egg

Twist the stocking and tie a piece of string in a knot at the top of the egg.  This step holds the flower against the egg.  This is a two person job.
One person holds the nylon with the egg and the other person ties the string.

Repeat the above procedure several times up the stocking.
Put a layer of onion skins on the bottom of a pot.  (I go to my local grocery store and gather up
all the stray onion skins in the onion section of the produce department)

Lay the eggs that are in the nylon on top of the onion skins
(remember these are raw eggs at this point.)

Cover with water and boil the eggs for 10 to 12 minutes. (You are basically hard boiling the eggs at this point. The onion skins are coloring the eggs a beautiful golden brown color.)

When the eggs are done boiling, lift them out with tongs.

Cut the stockings.

Reveal your beautiful Easter egg

Happy Easter! had an article about using onion skins to color Easter eggs. One of their last steps was to "Finish the eggs off with a light coat of olive oil." I tried doing that this year and it added a nice shiny touch to the eggs.

Spring time is a reminder of the Resurrection
" Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ;... and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of Him. (Christ)"
2 Nephi 11:4
Book of Mormon

*2017 update:  We moved to Utah this winter and I've been on the lookout for petals type flowers and haven't found any.  That is until I went to the garden department at my neighborhood Walmart.  I found this plant which worked great as I made the eggs with my grandchildren this weekend:
I plucked every other petal off to make space in-between which makes a prettier design on the egg.  You could also use a fern type plant with space in-between the leaves.