Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spaghetti and Colossal Meatballs

Each year after Young Women Camp, I am inspired to step up my cooking game. Our camp cook prepares meals from scratch, using fresh ingredients. It is remarkable to see what she plans and executes for 100+ people 3 meals, 1 snack, and 1 dessert per day. All of this is done with a calm, beautiful spirit for $10 per person per day. No pre-made frozen meals, no hot dogs, nuggets, etc. just an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, and delicious well-balanced meals.

One of her crowd pleasers is homemade spaghetti sauce and giant 3-meat meatballs. I prepared this meal for Ron on Father's Day and he is a believer. Megan loves the sauce, but since she does not eat meat, I don't have her opinion on the meatballs. Katherine loved the sauce and meatballs. She is working hard to change her eating and she appreciated the homemade sauce with little sugar and no preservatives. She loves the meatballs, also.

As for me, I have had 1 meatball per day since Sunday and they are almost gone. I am looking forward to having Andrew home soon and I will plan to prepare this meal for him. (There will be no leftovers, I am certain)

Colossal 3-Meat Meatballs
1 1/2-2  C Fresh Bread Crumbs (don't use pre-made)
3/4 C Heavy Cream

1 C Chopped Prosciutto Ham
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Ground Pork
3 Eggs
3/4 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
2-3 T Fresh Parsley- minced
2-3 T Fresh Basil - chopped
1 T Fresh Oregano
5-6 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Pepper, ground
1 tsp Sea Salt, or to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Soak the bread crumbs in the heavy cream for about 30 minutes.
Saute the garlic in a small amount of Olive Oil, set aside and cool.
Mix all other ingredients, except the Olive Oil, well. Use your hands (I wear disposable gloves)
Add the bread crumbs and garlic
Mix well.
Form into 2 1/2 inch meatballs and place on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and lightly coated with Olive Oil

Bake at 400 for about 25-30 minutes.
Watch to see when meatballs are brown on the outside.
I turned mine at 15 minutes and they baked 15 more minutes.
This made 20 large meatballs. See photos below.

Spaghetti Sauce
Saute in Olive Oil:
1 Large diced onion
4-5 Cloves minced garlic

3- 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (use high quality)
1- 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
1  tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Dried Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 C Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/4 C Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
1 T Fresh Oregano

Simmer on low for 2-3 hours, stirring.
I put the sauce in the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. No need to stir or watch closely.

Serve with cooked spaghetti noodles or the pasta of your choice.

Confession: Most of my adult cooking life, I have used spaghetti sauce from a JAR.  It will be a rare day that I ever go back to using pre-made sauce in a jar.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Paris In The Spring

 We are home from a dream.
Two and a half days in Paris!
We went with the expectation of seeing two main things: The new Paris LDS Temple and the Eiffel Tower.
We decided that anything else we got to see or do was a bonus.
We had a major bonus!
Our first day, we saw the Paris LDS Temple then walked to Versailles (already a bonus) It was as magnificent as imagined. After Versailles, we went to the Eiffel Tower. From that point on, everything else we saw or did was a bonus.
We became familiar with the train system and off we went to all points Paris.
We also bought a "hop-on-hop-off" tour the city bus pass like we did in Munich. This was time and money well spent.
These photos are from our first day, which was a half day as we gave ourselves the luxury of a jet  lagged nap which proved to be exactly what we needed before we hit the ground running for the next 2 full days.
My hashtag for this trip is #parislikeabosswithmrhoss
Loved this trip, albeit short and can't wait to return and experience The Louvre to Megan and have Katherine help us speak French.
The Paris LDS Temple
It has been noted in the press releases and photos that there is no Angel Moroni on top of the temple.
With the reason given that it does not fit well with the design and aesthetic of the area.
After spending time in Paris, I totally agree this was the correct choice.
There is a beautiful garden in the back with a white marble statue of Christ.

 It was difficult to photograph this Temple. The photos in the press releases are much better than any I could take. It is gorgeous inside and out. The stained glass is breathtaking.

Versailles is within walking distance of the Paris LDS Temple
Well worth the walk and such a contrast in feelings from one building to another.

 We are not  from the selfie generation but we tried many selfies this trip. We do have a selfie stick and have set a goal to learn how to use it before the next trip. Even that sentence makes me sound so old!

More photos later. This is just a start. We packed a lot in to 2.5 days, only because we wanted to and not because we felt like we had to.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Banana Pancakes

Posting for my own reference, however, if you are reading this, enjoy!

I avoid processed sugars and flours, which requires some rethinking and creativity.
It isn't difficult, just a change in mind set.
I look at Paleo and Whole 30 websites for recipes and meal idea.

This Banana Pancake recipe is a combination of a few recipes that I have tried. I make a little differently each time. You can adjust amounts to your taste.

In a blender, combine:
4 Eggs
2-3 Bananas
3-5 Tbs Almond Flour ( or a combination of Almond and Coconut Flour)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (more or less depending on tastes)
2 T Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
Dash of Salt

Cook on a griddle on med-high heat. I put coconut oil on the griddle so they wont stick and for added flavor.
Make the pancakes small as they tend to not get cooked inside before they start to get over cooked on the outside.


Cafe Rio at Home

Because I live in Florida, there is no other choice but to enjoy Cafe Rio at home.
Thankfully, many people have shared copycat recipes that help make this possible.

Andrew is home and Cafe Rio is on the menu for tonight.
Below are two links for Cafe Rio copycat recipes. I have used both and they are delish.

1)  Favorite Family Recipes
2)  One Good Thing By Jillee

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Womens Day

Celebrating the women in my life on this International Women's Day
I stand on the shoulders of many amazing women 
who have helped me do what I know is right, even when it is difficult or not popular.
Women who have marched, stood up, and been world changers.
Women who have taught me how to love and forgive.
Women who have taught me that people and relationships are much more important than things.
Women who have taught me I can do anything yet I know I don't have to do everything.
My life is blessed by good women past and present
To the all the women in my life, I am grateful for you!
I miss President Gordon B Hinkley. He was a champion of women. 
The quote below was from an address given at the National Press Club in 2000. 
Read the full text HERE

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For Such A Time As This

I love Elaine S Dalton.
This is a link to a recent address she gave to LDS Single Adults at the University of Utah Institute.
When she was serving as General Young Women President, I clearly remember having a confirmation that she was serving at exactly the time in history the Lord needed her, that the world needed her. She was serving just as Esther, "for such a time as this".
Such power and strength in her words.

I have had a few opportunities to be "up close and personal" with her. She is the real deal.

Esther 4: 14

14For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Forty Days and Upcoming Lent

As I began the study of Acts in the New Testament, I was impressed to study the significance of the number 40 and the many places this number appears in the Scriptures.
After His Resurrection, Christ spent 40 days teaching His Apostles.
This was a sacred time of purification and preparation.

Without much research, I began to list other times the number 40 is used. Forty days, Forty nights, Forty years, etc.

Some of the things I instantly remembered were:
Noah's Ark 40 days and 40 nights of rain  and 40 more days of waiting (cleansing of the earth)
Christ fasting in the wilderness 40 days (a time of temptation, preparation, and purification)
Moses was on Mt Sinai for 40 days (preparation, purification)
The Children of Israel wandering for 40 years (trials, temptations, refining, preparation)
Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent or be destroyed (trial)

The number 40 is used to represent Preparation, Trial, Cleansing, Purification, Refining.
In Old Testament times, Kings reigned for a period of 40 years, and 40 years represented a generation. During punishment, 40 lashes were given.
It has been interesting to see the many ways and places the number 40 is used.

I gave a Family Home Evening on this subject and we studied much more about the significance of 40 in the Scriptures.
We all committed to do something or not do something for 40 days with the goal as self-improvement.  My commitment was to give up refined sugar for 40 days, something I was eating very little of at that time and now I am not eating at all.  The 40 days ends on March 17 and I can honestly say I am not counting the days. This has been easier than I expected.

Anyhow, this brings me to the subject of upcoming 40 Day period of Lent, starting Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter. Many people give up things like I did recently, sugar, vices, smoking, etc. Today, I read this article, 19 Things to Give up for Lent That Aren't Chocolate, and it resonated with me. These are wonderful suggestions of things to "give up" or eliminate from life.

For many, the season of Lent is a sacred time of purification, a wonderful way to prepare for the Holy Week of Easter. I am grateful for this deeper understanding of the number 40 and look forward to experiencing the blessings of purification, refinement, and sacrifice.

I have only skimmed the surface on this topic. There is so much to learn and use for spiritual and personal growth.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Love One Another

Teaching the New Testament this year has given me a 
deeper desire to love as the Savior, Jesus Christ loves. 
It not always easy to love a person, but this quote by Mr Rogers, 
someone who knows how to be a good neighbor and friend, 
expresses the sacred nature of appreciating and loving others.
In loving those I thought I could or would never love, my life is blessed with a depth and fullness that only comes through  extending myself, leaving my comfort zone, and applying this fundamental principle.
Everything in life feels better when I make the effort to love. Yes, sometimes it hurts, deeply, but the hurts are over come by joy and blessings that remind me I must not be afraid to love and appreciate others.
Blessings always outweigh hurt and pain in the end-always.

Happy Monday!