MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

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: marthastewart.com/dyeing-eggs
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
String
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!

Deseretnews.com 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.  

Monday, March 22, 2010

Red Velvete Cake



Click onto the above recipe to see a larger view.

I'm de-cluttering my piles of papers and came across this recipe I wanted to make, but haven't had a chance to yet. It looked yummy, so I thought I'd post it. If anyone tries it, let me know how it turns out.

Fruit Biscotti


Click on the above picture to see a larger version of the recipe.

I got this recipe from my Sister-in-law, Lynn, when I asked if she had a good "healthy appetizer". When she sent this recipe, she said, "It tasted yummy and wasn't very hard either. It was a little card we get in the mail, every so often, from our Real Estate guy."

I just made this recipe and in the section for the top/filling I replaced the 1/4 cup sugar with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. It made the white top/filling a little more light and fluffy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Long Will This Food Store and Stay Fresh?

You've got questions. There are answers.

Moms always have all the answers and my mom has proved it once again.

(This is a picture of me and my mom that was taken this past Christmas time.)


She sent me an email with a link that has all the answers - thousands of them. Check it out by clicking here.

Below is a cut and paste of the email she sent.


How long can that bottle of ketchup stay in your fridge before it goes bad? I'm thinking 5 or 10 years. But if you want an expert opinion, go to the web site below. This site lists all kind of foodstuffs and how to keep them fresher, longer: As well as when to get rid of them. If you have a question, just click on the particular picture, and a whole list of great things appears!! WHAT A GREAT SITE THIS IS!!



www.stilltasty.com



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How to Prepare for Financial Emergencies

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a great web page on providentliving.org about how to handle handle family finances. This web page has many links that will take you to topics on:
  • Paying Tithes and Offerings
  • Avoiding Debt
  • Using a Budget
  • Building a Reserve
  • Teaching Family Members
I like what our First Presidency has to say on the topic:

"We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. . . . If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts."
—The First Presidency

Click here to go to that web page.

Here's another post on how to handling financial emergencies from:

www.LivingOnADime.com

Click here for the link that was posted on March 9, 2010 on how to be financially prepared. Below is a cut and past of the article.

How to Prepare For Financial Emergencies

The best way to survive unemployment or any financial challenge is to be prepared ahead of time. Many of us prepare for all kinds of emergencies -- keeping an emergency supply of food, first aid kits and other emergency supplies. Here in Kansas, we keep one room prepared where we can go in case a tornado hits. But few of us prepare for something that is almost guaranteed to hit every one of us at some time-- unemployment.

I hope that today's ideas will inspire you to prepare for a financial emergency that is sure to happen at some point in your life in the same way you prepare for other emergencies.

As hard as it was at the time, I can honestly say that I'm glad I had the various experiences that I had with unemployment. I really wouldn't be the person I am now if I hadn't. At the time, you wonder why God is allowing these things to happen in your life and think it is so unfair but, years later, you find out many of these things taught you something that really helped you in the long run.

If my husband hadn't been laid off the first time, we wouldn't had started a business he loved. That business enabled him to be at home with the kids and me. I restarted that same business years later, which helped me save my home and helped us avoid living out on the streets. In fact, this web site wouldn't exist if it hadn't been for the job losses I experienced in my life and the things I learned from them.

The best way to rid yourself of fear and panic is to be prepared for a situation. I love the story of Joseph in the Bible (Gen. 41) where God told Joseph that there was a famine coming. What did Joseph do? Well, he didn't pay any attention to the news of the day, nor did he worry about what others were saying. He also didn't just sit there knowing that tough times were coming and say, "Que Sera Sera, what will be, will be".

He started preparing-- preparing in a big way. Maybe we don't have grain elevators to fill like he did (Well, on second thought lots of people in Kansas do :) ), but we can take practical steps now to prepare in case a "famine" should come in our lives.

I am so tired of listening to people moaning and groaning about what is going to happen to the world financially. Stop complaining about it! Take the time and energy you are wasting pointing out how awful things are and do something constructive about it in your life.

Here are a few things you can do to insulate yourself against potential financial emergencies:

  • Get rid of credit card debt. I know I sound like a broken record, but credit card debt is something that can make or break you when money is tight. Once we had a gas card and furniture card, both of which were maxed out for a total of $500. The thing that hurt us the most when we had a job layoff was that credit card debt. We could have paid most of our bills with a part time job, but each month we had to make that credit card payment. It almost broke us-- and our debt was nothing compared to some others.

    Don't take this lightly. You can lose everything just because of that debt. I don't care what you need to do. Get serious and aggressive about paying if off. Visit our web site and refer to our books where we give you thousands of ideas about how to do it.

  • It may seem impossible but stop buying on credit now. Lots and lots of people don't buy on credit and do just fine. You can too. If you don't have cash to pay for something, live without it until you can save enough for it. We can live without most things that we think we can't live without. My daughter and I have each gone through a winter without a refrigerator until we had the money to buy one. It was a pain keeping the frozen stuff in the cold garage, but we survived.

  • Pay off your mortgage. If you are barely making your house payment, you may have to consider buying a less expensive house in order to accomplish that goal. The thing that saved me more than once was never buying a house I couldn't reasonably afford. Also, except for a couple of years after losing a lot of money on one house sale, I have had my house paid off since I was in my middle 30's. You can usually make enough money for minimal food and utilities in tough times, but it is the house payment that can make or break you. Pay it off and you won't have to worry about that anymore.

    During the depression, the people who survived the best were the ones who had their homes paid for and had no debt.

  • Save. It's a toss up when it comes to deciding whether to save first and then pay your mortgage or visa versa. For me, having my mortgage paid lifted more of a burden from me. Additionally, the interest I made on my savings was so much less than the interest I paid on my mortgage that I was better off getting rid of my house payment.

    Different people feel differently about their situations so do what is most comfortable for you. The most ideal thing, of course, is to pay your house off and have a small nest egg.

    Don't panic when you hear the word "savings". It is so easy to think "there is no way I can save" but even if you save only $5 a week, that is something. Most people waste significantly more than that each day. I found out that having even an extra $25 helped because it could buy an awful lot of bread and bologna to feed us.

  • Stop worrying about things like college funds until you can get your finances under control. Those are nice to have but they aren't as big a necessity as most people think, especially when you're trying not to lose your home. If your child wants to go to college, he can go to a community college, get a scholarship or even work to pay his own way (What a concept).

  • Learn useful skills. Learn how to do basic sewing, home repair, car repair, cooking and yard work. Learn to grow a garden. You may not have a need to do these things now, but someday you could find yourself thinking "I wish I knew how to ____, because it would save me so much money." Teach your children life skills as well.

  • This last suggestion may seem a little odd but install a wood burning stove in your home if you don't have one. For those of you in colder climates, this can save significant money on your heating bill.

    When we were in our toughest times, I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had a wood burning stove to heat my home (or at least part of my home). The heating bill would have eaten me alive, but I could always find free wood. Even when I had to have the heater on to keep the pipes from freezing, I could keep it low enough to save me huge amounts of money.

There are so many things in our lives that we have no control over. Life happens, but there are some things we can prepare for and unemployment is one of them.

Get serious with your money and stop being foolish with it. God didn't give us prosperity solely to satisfy our "wants". It is important to use it wisely, to provide for your needs in good times and bad. Use the money you have to build a strong foundation for you family so, when the storms come, your family will be safe and can ride it out better.

Don't be selfish, spending too much of your money on things that give you instant gratifications and pleasure for the moment. Yes, you do enjoy that big screen TV, that golf game or those expensive shoes and purses, but what will you feel like further down the road when you have lost your job and have no clue on how you are going to save your home or feed your kids?

People who aren't prepared react very badly to losing their jobs. They play the blame game. It's the fault of the boss, the company, the government, the bank or these hard economic times. We play the blame game when we are caught doing something foolish or wrong. You may say, "but I did nothing wrong by losing my job." No but did you do something foolish by failing to prepare in case you did lose it?

I'm not saying any of this to judge or condemn anyone. You know your own circumstances. I'm just telling you this to try and open your eyes to the importance of being prepared, and not just because of what is going on now. Unexpected things happen all the time, but the more prepared we are, the better equipped we are to handle any financial challenge that presents itself.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls


I ran across this recipe this morning. It look so good, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to post it.

Click here to get the recipe.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lentil Soup

INGREDIENTS:
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups dry lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin (more or less to taste)
Other assorted chopped veggies - carrots, celery, potatoes, yams, etc.
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Lime or lemon juice







DIRECTIONS:
1.Bring chicken stock and lentils to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
2.Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes.
3.Stir onions into the lentils and season with cumin and cayenne. Continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 10 minutes. You can also add other chopped veggies like celery, carrots, potatoes, canned tomatoes.
4.Stir in cilantro and lime/lemon juice to taste before serving.

Lentils are low in fat, high in protein and fiber and CHEAP. This soup is especially yummy if you eat it with cooked rice.

BYU Mint Brownies

Brownie layer
1 c. margarine
1/2 c. cocoa
2 Tbsp. honey
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped walnuts

MINT ICING
5 Tbsp. margarine
dash of salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. mint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring

Chocolate Icing (can also use a can of store frosting)
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine, softened
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
approximately 2 TBS milk

1. Melt margarine and mix in cocoa. Allow to cool. Add honey, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add nuts. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool.

2. Prepare mint icing: Soften margarine. Add salt, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Add mint extract and food coloring. Mix. Add milk gradually until the consistency is a little thinner than cake frosting.

3. Spread mint icing over brownies. Place brownies in the freezer for a short time to stiffen the icing. While waiting, mix up the chocolate frosting (dump all ingredients in bowl except milk and beat with mixer. Add milk to consistency desired - not as stiff at mint layer). Remove from the freezer and carefully add layer of chocolate icing.

YUMMY!

Some people don't like mint brownies because the mint flavor is overpowering. Who wants to think of toothpaste when eating dessert?? Not so with these - it's minty,but not overkill. Although I'm a BYU grad, I don't know if I ever had a BYU mint brownie in Provo.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Informational booklet on Emergency Survival


(Click onto above picture to be able to read about what you can learn from the booklet available on the link below.)
Can you tell I'm betting ready to do another class on emergency preparedness? There is such a wealth of information out there on the Internet. I came across a booklet from the Los Angeles County, Office of Emergency Management that has simple short ideas that a family can go through to get themselves emergency prepared.

Each chapter has a simple 1-2 paragraph explanation of what to do. On the next page they have a check list of how a family can get prepared in that area.

Here is a list of the chapters:

Step 1. Family Emergency Plan
Step 2 Supply Storage
Step 3 First Aid Training and Supplies
Step 4 Drop, Cover and Hold On
Step 5 Car Kit and Office Kit
Step 6 Emergency Cash and Important Documents
Step 7 Camping Out Earthquake Style
Step 8 Freshen up your Water and Food Supplies
Step 9 Focus on Children
Step 10 Learn not to Burn
Step 11 Emergency Lighting
Step 12 Gifts of Life

This is an excellent booklet to go through as a family to set some goals for emergency preparedness. They have thought of everything in this booklet in a simple uncomplicated way. Click here to see the link to this booklet.

Earthquake Preparedness


For some reason, earthquake preparedness has been on my mind. I wonder if this news story has anything to do with my thoughts?

A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Chile early on Saturday, February 27, leaving hundreds of people dead, destroying parts of southern Chile and triggering tsunami warnings for the entire Pacific basin. cnn.com

I found a blog post from Emergency Essentials on earthquake preparedness that is worth reading. click here to read the post.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Kristine's first hand experience with emergency preparedness

tsunami:  are you on high ground?
By Janelle Anderson

My sister Kristine is in the yellow shirt below.
She lives in Laie, Hawaii and goes to BYU-Hawaii.
Her house is right on the beach...

...and Saturday morning, she evacuated with her roommates
because of the tsunami warning triggered by the earthquake in Chile.
They decided to go to "higher ground."
How appropriate that that "higher ground" is the hill the temple is on
(see middle right of the picture).
Quote from Kristine: "It was really interesting seeing everybody on the hill, all the families, my professor’s families, students, and the Polynesians with their full on tarps, BBQs, and music. A lot of people had tents which I thought was really smart."

I think this picture is cool: there were men on top of the temple with cameras looking for the waves to start.
Kristine was prepared well by our mother (mom is the emergency queen). Kristine said all her roommates were teasing her about bringing so much "stuff." Kristine said, "but I didn't mind because it was true, I brought a TON of stuff but I knew if we were stranded up there we would use everything."

Having "stuff" is smart! She brought a pillow, quilt, chairs, tons of water, boatload of food, journal, school stuff, laptop, cell phone charger, $100 cash, can opener, pocket knife, first aid kit, soap, washcloths, camera, flashlight, clothes, and a tarp.

I bet she's smiling so big cuz she knows she's prepared :-)

There was even opportunity to "play." The sprinklers went off on their "campsite" and so they cooled off a bit.
So, what ended up happening? Where was the tsunami?

It didn't come. The water levels at Laie rose about a foot.
Kristine went home about 2:30pm.

But the experience was still valuable.

Kristine says: "I must say I am really grateful for this experience, seriously. I want to tell you all I have a testimony of food storage and flee bags, amen.

Dave's brother, Matt, and his family also live on the island.
They were prepared with 72-hour kits and extra water.
After the warning was lifted, they headed to the beach "to surf the big tsunami waves."

Matt says, "It was exciting, but kind of anti-climatic in a good way that there was no damage or injuries... unless you count a few fist-fights at the gas stations when people were trying to "stock up."
Good point for Matt to make: anti-climatic if you're prepared.
If you have food storage, water, a car full of gas, why fear?
When an emergency comes, will you be standing in a two hour line for food? Looking for bottled water on a shelf that's picked clean? Waiting to fill up a car at a station jammed packed?

Kristine's and Matt's experience taught me to be prepared.

Because even if a tsunami doesn't come, I'll have peace of mind.

And part of being prepared--spiritually--is getting to that higher ground.

The temple.
Laie, Hawaii temple