little bit of this a little bit of that

Monday, December 28, 2009

6 lessons I learned from my mom

A few months ago I heard a talk given in church that included 10 things that the speaker had learned from his mother. I started thinking about the lessons that I learned from my mother at first I couldn't think of any. Slowly I began to realize some of the lessons I learned from her and thus is the list that follows.

1. Hard work is part of life.
As a kid we all worked hard. We all had chores. We had a huge and I do mean huge garden. It all started in May with tilling and getting the soil ready. Then it was time to plant, weed and then harvest and of course after harvesting we canned! It seems like there was always work to be done outside. I hated it! I always tried to get out of the outdoor work by offering to do the house cleaning.

2. A can do attitude will help you throughout your life.
My mom was a high school dropout at the age of 16. She worked hard at many different jobs through out her life. When I was about 10, she decided to get her GED. She passed and got her diploma. Not only did she pass but she did really well getting a top score. At that point she realized that she wasn't stupid and that dyslexia would no longer hold her back. School wasn't easy for her but she persisted with a desire to gain education and make her life better. After her GED success she enrolled in a program through the state of Maine to get her LPN certification. Then she continued schooling until she got her RN and then a Masters in Nursing. School became a very important part of her life.

3.Hobbies are an important part of enjoying life.
My mom was an artist. She loved to paint. She wasn't able to paint as much as she would have liked as a younger women. She became more prolific in her later years. She adorned her home with her art. I gained an appreciation for finding that creative outlet that gives you joy and makes you feel alive.

4. I learned from my mother that I will not crumble, that strength is something you choose.
I live with pre-teen and teen girls I have heard way more than my share of Milley Cyrus. I must admit I love her song I learned from you. It reminds me of mom. My mom was strong. She had a hard and difficult life. Life was full of challenges and she met each one with determination and grace. Mom taught me that you keep moving, you get up everyday and you do what is expected and necessary.

5. Care for others.
My mom was always taking in strays. If you didn't have a place to go moms door was always open. She was always taking people under her wing, befriending and helping in any way she could. It was who she was. She nurtured and loved others.

6. You are never to old to change.
My mom was almost 30 when she got her GED and went back to school. Many would have thought she was too old. She changed her life again when she joined the LDS church at the age of 37. At the age of 41 she finally quit smoking for good.

At the very young age of 54 my mother passed away. She will forever be missed but she is a part of all who knew her and learned from her!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Challenge Dairy Shortbread Challenge Part Two

I thought I would try another recipe for the Challenge Dairy contest. You can view their website at and the contest at

Butterscotch Shortbread

The ingredients:
1 cup of softened unsalted butter
2/3 cup of sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups of flour
2/3 c of butterscotch chips for the shortbread
1/2 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c butterscotch chips for the frosting

Cream butter,sugar and salt till light and fluffy. Add flour and mix.

Add chopped butterscotch chips to dough.

prepare a 8x11.5 pan with parchment paper

pat dough into pan and bake at 300 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges are golden. Cool 15 min and carefully place on cooling rack. Cut into squares while still warm. While the cookies are cooling place the chips for the frosting (1/2 cup chocolate and 1/2 cup butterscotch) in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir till completely melted. Frost cookies with the melted chocolate mixture allow chocolate to cool and harden.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread

I love food Blogs! I just came across , an awesome blog about cooking, reading and being a mom. You can check it out here- On her blog she and
challenge butter, (you can find them here- ) challenged her readers to come up with a variation on shortbread. Looked like fun so here is my Peppermint Chocolate Shortbread! Enjoy
1 Cup Non Salted Butter softened
2/3 C Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
2 C all purpose flour
1-2 tsp Peppermint extract.
5 squares of Semi Sweet Chocolate
Crushed red and white candy canes
Preheat oven to 300
Cream butter with mixer, add sugar until light and fluffy. Add mint extract. I like mine really minty so I use two tsp of extract. Add salt and flour and mix. Line a 9 inch cake pan with parchment, press dough into the pan. smooth the top and cut into 12 equal slices. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 min. The cookies should be just golden brown. Be careful not to over cook.
Allow to cool. Melt chocolate according to package directions in a microwavable bowl. Dip cooled shortbread in chocolate and then sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. Set on parchment paper to harden.