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Monday, April 6, 2015

Bride Alert

All you beautiful spring and summer brides: run to your nearest favorite store and buy pastel Easter candy at half price for your reception candy bar! (Hide and) freeze the unopened bags and the candy will stay fresh and delicious. GO! 

What You Need To Know Before Making A Wedding Candy Bar

Here's a great link from the The Knot Blog that explains how to create an amazing candy bar: 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter and Passover

Please take a few minutes to watch this inspirational video about Jesus Christ and see how He can change your life:

I wrote this metaphor about a computer to help explain the need for the Atonement

Tune in Friday, April 3 as Kim and I share interesting Easter and Passover facts on BYU SiriusXM Radio 143 at 3 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Mountain, also online at

When Moses spoke with the Lord on Mount Sinai, Jehovah gave the prophet the Ten Commandments and instructed him to have Israel celebrate several annual feasts or holidays including the Feasts of Passover and Sukkot (see Leviticus 23.) 

For the second year in a row there will be "blood moons" during Passover and Sukkot, with a solar eclipse in between. Is there a significance to these heavenly events? Rabbi Ari Enkin suggests that these occurrences accompany significant events in Jewish history such as the Jewish expulsion from Spain and discovery of America in 1492, the Six Day War in 1967 when Israel liberated Jerusalem and one on the eve of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 following a war and the Holocaust.

Christ told us that before He returned, these signs would occur. In modern revelation, the Doctrine and Covenants 45: 42 states "And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven." Now the scriptures are clear that no man will know the exact day of His coming, but in his compassion Jesus has let us know that as we keep His commandments we will not be caught offguard:

If you are teaching children about Jesus Christ's sacrifice and atonement, here is a wonderful little activity that can be used for Family Home Evening and church classes.

From the brilliant ladies in Newport Beach; thanks for sharing.

A simplified account of Christ's atonement is told in these Easter Miracle Eggs. Each egg contains a scripture and tiny object that represents part of the Easter story. After the eggs are gathered, open them in order and read each scripture.

All you need are a dozen plastic eggs and a few items to tuck inside. Number the end of the eggs 1 -12 with a permanent marker. Print the following text, cut into strips and place inside the corresponding numbered eggs by highlighting them, pressing control and "p" on a p.c. (choose "selection") , or command and "p" on a mac. The objects inside the eggs are:

1. a small cup (check craft stores for a small unfinished wood thimble)

2. 3 dimes

3. 2 - 3" of twine

4. a chunk of soap

5. A tiny red robe shape cut out of felt

6. wooden or heavy paper cross

7. dice

8. 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square of white fabric, torn almost in half

9. a 1 1/2" x 11/2" square of white fabric

10. a small rock

11. a few whole cloves and a bay leaf

12. This egg will remain empty

Tell the story about the sacrament of the Last Supper and Christ's night in Gethsemane, how he paid the price for all of mankind's sins if they repented andthat they might be able to return to heaven and live with the Father . The following scripture verses are taken from the New Testament in the Holy Bible. 

1. "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke 22:42 - 43)

2. Zechariah, a prophet of the Old Testament foretold that Christ would be ransomed or betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirtypieces of silver. " (Matthew 26: 14 - 15)

3. "When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Matthew 27: 1 -2)

4. "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. (Matthew 27: 24)

5. "And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they hadplaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head." (Matthew 27: 28 - 30)

6. "And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross." (Matthew 27: 31 - 32.)

7. "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." (Matthew 27: 35)

8. "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27: 50, 51, 54)

9. "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, namedJoseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth" (Matthew 27; 58 - 60)

10. "And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." (Matthew 27: 60, 65, 66)

11. "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow...Andthe angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (Mark 16: 1, Matthew 28: 2 - 5)

12. "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead" Matthew 28: 6 - 7) 

Here's an easy-to-make treat for you published on April 1st. The instructions and recipe are on these great websites: 

Deseret News in Utah:

Deseret News Service nationwide:

News OK Syndicate in Oklahoma:

Herald Times in Indiana:

Aberdeen News in South Dakota

Daily American in Pennsylvania:

Thanks everyone for sharing this recipe! 

Easter 4-in-a-Row

Make multiple prints of this page, cut them up and rearrange them then glue onto cards. Tell the Easter story and have children mark the pictures as they listen. The first to get four in a row wins. 

This barbecued lamb is tender and delicious, even those who don't like lamb may enjoy it.
            In a small bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves, crushed or 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
            In plastic bag, place marinade and
4 lamb loin chops
            Squeeze out air, seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 - 4 hours

            To barbecue, drain marinade and dry chops, cook on oiled grill over medium high heat 7 - 10 minutes per side until done to your liking. 

Image result for the country bunny and the little gold shoes 

This delightful children's book tells the story of a young bunny who followed her dream to be an Easter Bunny with the help of her family. 

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

On March 17th, we celebrate the life of a great missionary of the anniversary of his death; St. Patrick. He devoted his life to serving the people of Ireland and over 1500 years later is beloved as their patron saint. 

This delicious glazed corned beef is baked instead of boiled. (Pam McMurtry, Pam McMurtry Designs)
The following is an article I wrote for the Salt Lake City  Deseret News that was published on Wednesday, March 11, 2015.

"Did you know that St. Patrick was an English missionary who shared the message of Christianity with the people of Ireland and that his color was actually blue? ( and Or that corned beef was an American food that Irish immigrants ate when they moved to New York? (See
Facts aside, the cheery green-tinted holiday that graces March 17 provides a treasure trove of possibilities for service, celebration and fun.
Leading up to the big day, my family has a Shamrock Service Week. We each receive glittery shamrocks and the challenge to do secret acts of service for one another, leaving a shamrock to mark the spot. At the end of the week, the shamrocks are collected and sprinkled on the table as a visual reminder of the kindness we have extended and received. We also have a Leprechaun Treasure Hunt where each family member has a personal treasure hunt with a small gift left by the leprechauns, which have apparently been converted to Christianity and are now more generous than their forebearers, at least at our house.
As a caterer and artist, I tried — and ruled out — green-tinted pancakes and milk for our St. Patrick's Day breakfast. Green egg and bacon burritos made with spinach tortillas and green smoothies were more successful. We follow the trend of serving a glazed corned beef, potato and cabbage meal; it's a great way to enjoy a lot of healthy vegetables. We top off the day with shortbread shamrock cookies that are easy for children to make and fun to decorate with green sugar sprinkles.
1 corned beef brisket, about 4 pounds, rinsed with visible fat removed
1 can of ginger ale
1 tablespoon whole cloves
½ cup prepared mustard
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the corned beef fat side up in a baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 2½ hours or until fork-tender. Drain off any liquid, then baste with the ginger ale. Score the meat and stud with the cloves.
For the glaze, stir together brown sugar and mustard, heat in a small saucepan until the sugar is melted and the glaze is almost boiling.
Brush on the glaze and return to the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes uncovered. Let the beef rest for 15 minutes, then remove the cloves, slice the corned beef across the grain and serve with additional glaze.
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cornstarch
green sugar sprinkles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With a mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the powdered sugar and blend until the mixture is soft and fluffy, then stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, salt and cornstarch and add to the creamed ingredients, mixing just until the dough is crumbly and holds together.
Between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper, roll the dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut the cookies with a shamrock cookie cutter and place on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with green sugar if desired. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until barely golden around the edges."

Tamar Tephi and the High King Of Ireland
Did you know that there are old stories about 2 Jewish princesses that were taken  by the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah out of Jerusalem before it fell to the Babylonians? They were Zedekiah's daughters and great-granddaughters of Jeremiah. The stories say he took them to Egypt for safety; all of Zedekiah's sons were killed in front of him except Mulek who escaped to America. As Egypt was about to fall, they sailed up to Spain where one eventually married into the royal family there. He then took the other to Ireland and she married the chief high king. Her name was Tamar Tephi and the sacred burial ground of Tara was built for her and her husband when they died. The interesting thing about this story is that when a DNA study of population of Europe was complete, the people with the most closely matched DNA were in Spain and Ireland. Perhaps this helps explain why the people of Ireland were interested in the message of Christianity, it came from a branch of the House of Abraham, their ancestors in the Holy Land. Remember it was the Stewart (Stuart) King James that had the Bible translated into English. I believe he was a descendant of ancestors from Israel. The lion and the unicorn in British heraldry represented the tribes of Judah and Joseph. I also read that the British Union Jack had two meanings; one was the kingdom united under King James, the other was the reuniting of the Biblical patriarch Jacob's family.

Enjoy a conversation about all things Irish today on BYU Sirius Radio XM 143 at 3 p.m. Eastern or listen here: - An article from 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Pi Day; thank you Archimedes

He loved was his circles and was the first of the ancients to discover the formula for the area of a circle or π. 

Many before him tried, the Babylonians around 1990 B.C., the Egyptians in 1650 B.C. and others,  but it was the Greek mathematician Archimedes, born in 287 B.C. in Italy, who figured out the closest value for pi or the area of a circle 

Archimedes was an inventor and physicist so brilliant that he invented machines to move water uphill and discovered the principle of buoyancy or water displacement. He also designed the first "Death Ray" when he had Greek soldiers polish their shields until they shone like mirrors, then turned them toward invading Roman ships, supposedly igniting the sails and wooden hulls. That may or may not be true, but he did have the army build catapults and lob burning tar and sulfur at the ships, which probably did do some damage. 
Pi or π is the irrational number that starts at 3.1415927... and extends to at least 10 trillion digits, according to the calculations of Alexander Yee and Shigeru Kondo.   

To pay homage to the Greek genius, turn on a movie about Archimedes and serve a Greek pizza on March 14, 2015, at 9:27. This delicious pi can be shaped like the Greek symbol π or made into the traditional circle shape beloved by Archimedes.
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
4 cups bread flour
1½-2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons yeast
1 ½ 15-ounce jars of roasted garlic Alfredo sauce
16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Other Greek-style toppings (see suggestions below)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the hot water, sugar and yeast. Leave the bowl in a warm location until foam covers the surface of the water, usually about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it to not let it go too long. Lightly grease two 10-inch-by-15-inch rimless cookie sheets with olive oil, set aside.
When the surface of the yeast/water mixture is covered by foam, stir in the bread flour, salt and olive oil. Add the whole wheat flour and knead until a smooth dough is formed.
Divide the dough in half, reserve one half and divide the remaining half into thirds. On the baking sheet, form the dough into a pi symbol: Π. Repeat on the second cookie sheet with the remaining dough. Flatten the dough with your hands. Let rise until you can make a dent in the dough and it doesn’t puff up.
Spread on the two pies the roasted garlic Alfredo sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
Add your favorite Greek pizza toppings. Suggested ones are: roasted chicken, red onion rings, thinly sliced julienned spinach leaves, pepperoncini slices, Kalamata olives, sliced sautéed mushrooms, marinated artichoke hearts, basil pesto, and/or quartered tomatoes.
Top with crumbled feta cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Serve with a salad of sliced cucumbers, pepperoncini, mushrooms, spinach, sliced red onion, Kalamata olives and tomatoes dressed lightly with Greek salad dressing.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The San Francisco Art Tour Report

My murals class at the University of Utah earned and was awarded a scholarship to travel to San Francisco for a weekend to view art. 
During the tour, I found a new favorite west coast art museum. I have always enjoyed visiting the Getty in Los Angeles, but was pleasantly surprised to find another collection that moved quickly into first place: The Legion of Honor in San Francisco. To be honest, it was Bouguereau's The Broken Pitcher that sealed the deal for me. I am a huge fan of many of his pieces and enjoy the experience of discovery and the ahah moment that takes my breath away. 

Other parts of the tour were less satisfying; Chinese artist Ai WeiWei's exhibition Perspective Realia @ Large on Alcatraz in San Francisco. While I am absolutely sympathetic to the plight of prisoners of conscience, especially when they are being held by communist and totalitarian regimes. I had a very small but similar experience being "punished" for choosing to go to church Sunday and have family time rather than touring additional San Francisco art galleries and The People's Republic of Berkeley with the rest of the group; but that might be expected from the more liberal art professors at the University of Utah. Oh horror - I may have even missed another gay male sex exhibit like the one at San Francisco Art Institute. 

On Alcatraz I enjoyed seeing the gorgeous silk dragon at the beginning of the exhibition but was distressed upon finding out that Mr. Weiwei included American traitor Edward Snowden in his group of prisoner of conscience. Snowden published lists of American CIA agents and their addresses, endangering many American lives at home and abroad. 

Weiwei also exhibited images of men held at Gitmo that were involved in the 9/11 attack on the U.S.; displaying them as prisoners of conscience. This made me made me very angry; my reaction was magnified by the fact that my dearly beloved soldier son has been deployed three times to the Middle East and has seen friends and innocent civilians die at the hands of consciousless thugs such as these. And this is being exhibited at a National Park, with my tax money supporting it.

Did I mention I missed my flight Friday morning because I was detained and searched by TSA, a result of the "precautions" in place because of the effects of terrorists and the attacks on 9/11? Venting over, thanks for listening. Peace out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Birthday Ashley Girl!

Happy birthday to my beautiful oldest grandchild, Ashley. I love you from the bottom of my heart. 

February 19th marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year for 2015. It is the Year of the Ram; an animal known for it calmness, strength and vitality.

Throughout Asia, families have scrupulously cleaned their houses to get rid of the "dust" and troubles of the previous year and to start off the new with a fresh and positive beginning. On this day and for the next fifteen, families and friends will gather to wish one another good health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year. The children will receive red envelopes filled with money in even amounts; odd is for funerals. They will play games and if they are really lucky, a dragon will drop in for the festivities bringing, good luck and dignity to the celebration. 

One of the dishes enjoyed at Chinese New Year Feasts for over a thousand years is crunchy, yummy won ton. My recipe was published in the Salt Lake City Deseret News on February 18th, just in time for the party! 

1 pound lean ground beef, turkey or chicken
3 green onions, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 raw eggs, beaten
1 handful raw bean sprouts, chopped (rinsed canned bean sprouts can be substituted if you can't find fresh)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (Kimlan brand)
1 package won ton skins (available in the grocery store produce or deli section)
For the filling, brown the ground meat in a skillet. Remove from heat and add the green onions, eggs, bean sprouts and soy sauce.
Set aside filling. Lay out on dry surface a dozen won ton wrappers. Moisten the edges of two sides of each wrap with water, and place about 1 teaspoon of filling in center.
Fold in half diagonally to make a triangle and pinch the edges closed. Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry the won ton until light golden, turn and cook the other side, then drain on paper towels. Salt lightly. May be chilled, stored airtight and reheated in a 375-degree oven until sizzling. Serve hot with sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

1 cup chicken broth
1½ cups pineapple juice
¾ cup vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup cornstarch
Whisk ingredients together in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly until thickened. Serve hot or refrigerate and reheat before serving.

1 cup light soy sauce (Kimlan brand)
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 or 3 drops hot sauce
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Shake the ingredients together in a jar with a lid until combined. Refrigerate leftovers.

Thank you Deseret News for sharing these delicious recipes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

Please join Kim Power Stilson and me as we discuss creative ways to show your love on Valentine's Day (and discover what to do with the grid below...)

Friday, February 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern/3 p.m. Mountain
BYU SiriusXM Radio 143 or listen online:

Here are comfort food recipes with a somewhat healthy twist for you to love this Valentine's Day

Italian Meatloaf    
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl stir together
1 lb. ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey or a combination)
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs 
1 cup marinara sauce
2 eggs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
2 TBSP dried minced onions
1/8 tsp pepper
      Form the mixture into a heart and place into a round cake pan of a loaf and place in a 8" x 4" bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, pour over 
1 cup marinara sauce 
      Return to oven and bake another 15 - 20 minutes until the meat is browned. Serve with spaghetti squash and salad.

Spaghetti Squash
     Cut a spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down in a baking dish. Add about an inch of water and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes with the meatloaf. Carefully scoop out the squash, serve with the meatloaf and added marinara sauce.

Add a loaf of crusty sourdough bread and this yummy green salad

Green Salad
      Toss together
2 green apples, cored and diced
¾ cup dried cranberries
½  head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup glazed nuts
1 wedge Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Light Lime salad dressing

Rich and Easy Fruity Cake
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour into a 9" x 13" baking dish
2 cans of fruit pie filling or crushed pineapple (cherry and/or berry)
     Sprinkle over the top
1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
      Melt and pour over the cake mix
3/4 cup butter
     Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.


Will these 36 questions bring you closer together? Dr. Arthur Aron says 45 minutes and these exercises will do the trick!

Here are a list of romantic movies to enjoy this Valentine's Day: