Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lot's o' baking

It's been a while since I have updated the blog. I have been a bit busy preparing for Germany and travelling. Here's a little update on my baking for the last few months.
Dad's Chocolate Pecan Pie he made for Thanksgiving. It was...rich. :)

These are Cranberry Poppers. They sort-of pop in your mouth when you bite into them. I don't recommend these unless you love cranberries.

I made these cookies for a ward activity. They are called Marguerite's.

You first make a shortbread cookie and then spread on a thin layer of raspberry jam.

Then you add a layer of Meringue frosting a bake for a few more minutes.

I thought they were really yummy. A mixture of buttery crunchy cookie with sweet meringue and a moist tart raspberry interior. The only downfall is that they were quite time consuming to make.

I bought some acorn squash at the store and tried a great recipe from Williams Sonoma.

Honey-Mustard Acorn Squash

Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Place 1 Tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon (or more) Dijon mustard, and 1 Tablespoon honey into each cavity. Bake at 375 F for 1-1.5 hours or until soft. Baste acorn occasionally with honey-mustard sauce. Enjoy!

These are low-fat Lemon-Raspberry Muffins with Streusal Topping.

They look better than they tasted. My analysis: they needed more fat! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spanish Rice: A first.

It's not that I have never experimented with recipes before or that I have never made Spanish Rice before. It's just that I have never experimented with a recipe and had it actually turn out edible. But for the first time ever, I modified a recipe and it turned out delicious!!! You'll have to try it.

Kymmie's Spanish Rice:
Adapted from the Pulham Family Cookbook
1 medium onion diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long grain rice
1 16 oz. can stewed/diced tomatoes (I used the lime/cilantro style tomatoes from Western Family)
1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
2 cups water

Saute onion in olive oil until transparent (~5 min). Add rice and saute until browned (~10 min). Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer until the rice is cooked and all the juices are absorbed but the rice is still moist. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Well, I just couldn't keep out of the kitchen for long. I went to the library on Saturday and I found this fantastic book from the Pillsbury company called "Muffins and Quick Breads." It had so many yummy recipes that I sat in the parking lot at Harmon's for almost 20 minutes just trying to decide which one to make (you know how good I am at making decisions :) ). Suddenly I realized that I had only 30 minutes to get my grocery shopping done, get home, unload my goods, and get to the church for a service project! I made a mad dash through the store for apples, plain yogurt, and few things to eat the rest of the week. Luckily I had everything else for the cake. Miraculously I made it to the church in time to go help serve at the soup kitchen.

This is what it looked like before I baked it and without the streusel topping. Gorgeous!

It was a fantastically simple cake to make and it looks so gorgeous! I really like this book because most of the recipes are low fat (substituting yogurt or applesauce for butter/oil/eggs). Because of the yogurt, the cake was amazingly moist. The streusel topping was sweet and crunchy. The apples were vibrant and soft-crisp. It was a contrast of textures and flavors that was a perfect for fall.

Surprisingly everyone in the lab loved it. Even Michelle (who is my hardest critic) said that this was one of her favorites. It's definitely a "do-over" recipe.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ cup margarine or butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 cups thinly sliced, unpeeled apples


¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8- or 9- inch round spring-form or 8-inch square pan with non-stick spray.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, mix well. Beat margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, blend well. Alternately add flour mixture and yogurt to margarine, beat well after each addition. Spread batter in pan and arrange apple slices over batter.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients except margarine. With pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine/butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over apples.

Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. If desired, remove from pan.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well it took me a few days but here is some of the great food from Conference weekend.

We met Cindy, Larry, Leslie, Chad, Rorie, and Kerry at Spaghetti Factory. The food was…Spaghetti Factory food. I get the same thing every time I eat Italian…Three Cheese Ravioli. I did like the Spumoni though. But it was most fun just to catch up with everyone.

On Saturday, Dad, decided to make Cinnamon Rolls. These rolls are from the famous Williams Sonoma baking book. They looked fantastic and tasted pretty good. Dad is definitely up for the monthly Daring Bakers Challenge.

We had a fun quesadilla dinner on Sunday with Nic and Bret and the kids. I think everyone had fun and liked the food (a miracle when you are trying to feed 4 adults, three and a half kids, Grandma and me (I haven’t figured out which category I fall in yet!)).

I also made a Tivoli Torte from the Junior League of Colorado cookbook. Each layer was made with ½ cup of batter and then broiled for 1 minute. The cake was not sweet enough and the frosting was too sweet. It was not my favorite but it looked pretty cool. Definitely a “been there done that” recipe. I am definitely ready for some more baking though…we’ll see what comes next.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You Win Some You Lose Some

I have been a little delinquent in updating my blog. I have some fun pictures of the Tivoli Torte I made conference weekend but I just haven't downloaded them yet.

Instead I thought I would highlight some culinary concoctions by Peter. So Dad decided to make some Crab Bisque last Sunday. He got the recipe from the Lion House Classics cookbook so you would think it would be good. But...it was a disaster. Here is a quote from Peter, "It wasn't the best, and mom didn't like it. She only ate 2 bites. We through [sic] the rest of the 12 servings away." Maybe it was the fact that the recipe had four different kinds of soup combined...tomato, cream of celery, cream of mushroom and split pea soup (Dad actually used Split Pea with Ham...bleh!!!).

Doesn't even sound good. Mom, it's a good thing you didn't invite Grandma!!! You might have killed her!!! :)

Well, you can't win them all Dad. Keep trying!

Monday, October 1, 2007

A Weekend Bake Off

Well I still don't know exactly how it happened but suddenly I became the ward caterer. I signed up to bring a dessert to the Bishop's Fireside on Sunday. Then they needed someone to bring a cake to the General RS Broadcast at the Stake . Then I found out that the RS was helping with the dinner at the Fireside on Sunday so I asked if I could help and was told to bring two 7-layer bean dips.

When I woke up on Saturday to a cold and rainy day I thought, "Mmmm…A perfect day for baking." I ran to the store and got all I needed and started with "That Chocolate Cake" from The Essence of Chocolate. While I was making it I realized that it's the same recipe that is on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder. I have made that cake before and it is delicious. So I was excited that I would have a good cake to take to the RS Broadcast.

You can imagine my shock when I found that in the middle of the baking the cake centers fell. At first I thought I could still use them but once they cooled it got even worse!!! How sad! They got tossed in the garbage.

So I ended up making a Duncan Hines Chocolate Bundt Cake. I was so embarrassed that it wasn't "homemade" that I used my extra cream to make a caramel sauce for the top. It was my first time ever to make caramel and it turned out pretty good. I ended up putting the leftovers on the pumpkin cheesecake.

Despite the chocolate cake mishap (which I think was due to too much baking powder at high altitudes). The Pumpkin Cheesecake turned out perfectly. The spiced graham cracker crust was delicious (although it stuck to the pan???). And I had 5 people ask for the recipe!

The 7-layer beans dips were also a hit. But to be honest after all that baking...I need at least a few days off before I try anything else. (But I'll probably be ready to try something new for conference weekend!!!)

Maria was a big help with the picture taking and carrying stuff into the church!!! Thanks Maria!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Arrival

Guess what? My new cookie book arrived in the mail. It's called "The All-American Cookie Book" by Nanci Baggett. It has been on my Amazon Wish List for a few months but I keep telling myself that "I don't really need it." But after I finished my R.I.P. (Research In Progress) presentation last week I decided I deserved a treat...so I ordered it. Only $10 on Amazon. Yea!!!

I checked this book out of the library a few months ago and I fell in love with it. It is filled with recipes that originated in the early colonial period but have been modernized for current ingredients, ovens, etc. I am so excited to try the recipes!!! I'm sure I'll be taking lots of pictures to post on my new blog.

(The picture is of Dad's Cocodrillo bread that he made this weekend. I decided to post it to encourage him to start his own blog!!! I have not yet embarked into the world of bread making (I don't have the patience to wait for it to rise!) but yours looks fabulous Dad!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

My First Blog

Well, it's official! I have my own blog. I know it won't be as funny/creative as Bret's Blurps or as cute as The Clarks but I think it will be fun to be able to keep up with each other. I'm trying to get Dad to start his own blog. Do it Dad!

Thanks so much for all the phone calls of support for my talk yesterday. It was terrifying to speak in front of 6000 people with Elder Holland, Elaine S. Dalton (General YW Presidency), four Stake President's, two Mission President's and their wives but what a phenomenal opportunity.

If you want to read the talk, check it out below (But remember...DON'T GO OVER 4 MINUTES!!!):

In his final testimony, Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated, “I feel and the Spirit seems to accord that the most important doctrine I can declare and the most powerful testimony I can bear is of the atoning sacrifice of the Lord, Jesus Christ.”

It is on this same topic, the atonement of Jesus Christ, that I wish to briefly speak today. In doing so, I wish to use the example of Peter from the New Testament.

Peter was one of the first to whom the Lord issued the call “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). And Peter straightway forsook his net (or the cares of the world), and followed him who is the creator of worlds without end. (Mark 1:18). Although the Lord knew that Peter was not perfect, He also knew what Peter had the potential to become and thus he was “called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (John 1:43).

It is Peter who shows his courage and faith as he steps out of the boat carrying his fellow apostles and walks on the sea of Galilee towards the Savior. And although his faith wavered at the onslaught of wind and waves, Peter knew to whom he should cry for help. “Lord, save me,” Peter cried. And immediately Jesus reached out and caught him by the hand.

Near the end of the Saviors life, during that final sacred supper, we find Peter promising is complete devotion to the Lord as he declares, “I will lay down my life for thy sake.” It must have been with great sorrow and perhaps confusion that Peter heard the gentle rebuke of the Savior, “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” And we know that this prophecy was fulfilled. For shortly thereafter, even while Christ was in the midst of his sufferings and that illegal trial in the palace of the high priest, that thrice Peter denied even knowing His master. And when the cock crew for the second time, as Luke records, “…the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.”

I can scarcely imagine what that moment must have been like as Peter’s eyes met the piercing gaze of the Savior. For without a word, the Master teacher, gave a rebuke so powerful that “Peter went out and wept bitterly.” But, I also think that is was in this moment that the power of the atonement became real for Peter. For it was the atonement of Christ the gave Peter the power to repent, the power to change, and the power to eventually became that stone that would fearlessly defend the Savior even to his own death.

I think that many of us and I know that I myself am much like Peter. We have such good desires and intentions to follow and serve the Lord. We leave the behind the cares and influences of the world to answer the call of the Master.
But despite our best intentions sometimes the winds and waves of the world seem overwhelming. Or perhaps because of our carelessness or disobedience we do that which is not right in the sight of God and feel the disapproving gaze of the almighty penetrating our soul.

It is during these times that I hope that we will look to the example of Peter and use the power of the atonement in our own lives. For it is in the midst of the storms of life that we can cry out to him who has suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind to find understanding, peace, and a helping hand. And when, despite our best intentions, we falter in our discipleships it is back to the stretched our arms of our Savior that we should run just as Peter ran to witness the miracle of the empty tomb.
Although we must always remember that the pathway to perfection requires patience. Let us never lose hope. For it is in the sacred sufferings of the atonement that we find the power to repent, the power to change, the power to find peace, and the power to eventually become what our Savior knows that each of us can individually become.