Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's Thursday!!!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) A keen intellect.  The world calls that a woman's intuition.  My Patriarchal Blessing calls it keen intellect.   Whatever you want to call it, it has been amazing to have these past few days

2) The blessing of the Holy Ghost in my life.
Goals for the Day:

1) Get everything on my "to do" list at work done

2) Get a nap!  I keep trying but it NEVER happens.  Staying up till midnight and waking up at 5 am just isn't good! 

3) make dinner
4) laundry
5) Watch Scandal! - yes!
6) and....and.....whatever else comes along
From the Heart:

In keeping with our theme, acts of kindness, here is another great idea....
Host a Cookie Exchange....it's not just for Christmas.
(Hint:  you could give the cookie recipe below.)
It's that time of year again! This year, host a cookie exchange with a purpose. Get your friends together to bake a whole bunch of different kinds of holiday cookies, but instead of just bringing your portion home share with your family, donate them! Bring some holiday cheer to your local hospital. Or you could charge a "fee" at the door and donate the money your guests bring to your favorite charity.  If you love to bake, this is your chance to use that skill to help others!

Benefits:

Everyone loves cookies! Even if they can't eat them they are fun and festive to look at. The recipients will feel special and appreciated, and you will be surprised at how fun it is to give them away. Why wait? Set up a cookie exchange today!

Step It Up:

Invite as many people as you know and have everyone bring a full batch of cookies and a donation to your house. Once everyone is there, mix and match the cookies to make fun plates-full to give away. Collect all the money and decide where you would like to donate it. You could donate it to a local hospital and drop off the cookies at the same time! Or have everyone bring a plate of cookies and a wrapped toy. Then you can drop the cookies off somewhere and drop the toys off, too. Many families with children in the hospital over the holidays don't really get a chance to celebrate. Help them out! Commit to doing this once every season with different treats each time.

Keep It Simple:

If you don't have time to organize a cookie exchange, simply bake or purchase some cookies yourself and bring them somewhere to show your appreciation: a hospital, library, school, office, neighbor, fire department, postal office, etc. Make someone feel special this season! If you really don't have time, you can order a gift basket on line and send it to someone that way.
From the Kitchen:

Homemade Fortune Cookies



This simple recipe is adapted from Paula Deen. The butter or oil that is normally found in other fortune cookie recipes is missing, but I figured if Paula leaves out the butter it must be okay!

Before starting the cookies make slips of paper to fill the cookies. Simply download, print and cut the paper into strips.

Fortune Cookie Recipe

2 egg whites
1/2 cup flour (sifted)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Makes about 12 fortune cookies

Instructions

Set oven to 400F degrees.
1) Place egg whites in a bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until very frothy, almost soft peaks.
2) Add sifted flour,
3) Add sugar, almond, and vanilla then mix.
4) Stir in 2 tablespoons of water to thin batter.
5) Using a Silpat baking mat, parchment paper or  un-greased baking pan place 1 tablespoon of batter on pan. (I liked the Silpat mat the best.  I did not have a problem removing them from my un-greased pan. When I greased the pan the batter did not stay in a circle. Since the moisture content in the batter is high, it does make the parchment paper wrinkle slightly but it still worked.)

6) Working from the center in a circular motion, spread the batter into a 5 inch circle.

7) Start with two cookies. Once comfortable with the process more can be baked at one time.  I was only able to ever bake two at a time. I used two pans and staggered the baking time so I had time to form the cookies.

8) Bake until edges are lightly browned. Mine baked for 6 minutes. Start watching closely at 4 minutes.

9) Working quickly, remove cookie from pan with a very thin spatula.

10) Flip the cookie over and place slip of paper on top.

11) Bring sides up and pinch together.

12) Next bend cookie over the edge of a cup. The whole process of forming the cookie should take about 10 seconds. Once formed place cookies in a muffin tin to help them keep their shape while cooling.


 Here is another idea on how to shape your fortune cookies.....
To Shape:
Simply lift one cookie off of the sheet using a very thin spatula.
Flip cookie over so the "wrong" side is up.
Place your pre-printed/cut fortune paper flat on the cookie.
Fold in half so the edges line up nice and neatly.
Then, using the lip of a bowl, bend the cookie over it and shape with your hands.
This whole process should take about ten seconds.

Place in a muffin tin to cool.
And repeat with remaining cookies.

After a few minutes I flip the cooling cookies over to allow the moisture to release.

Store cookies in air-tight containers for up to a week

Then, package in some festive Chinese take out containers…

and you have a sweet way to celebrate!
NOTE: The cookies are VERY hot. It is easy to burn fingers on the cookies as they are being formed. Try wearing thin white gloves to protect fingers.

From the Spirit:

“When we have entered into divine covenants, the Holy Ghost is our comforter, our guide, and our companion. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are “the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment” (Moses 6:61). The gifts of the Holy Spirit are testimony, faith, knowledge, wisdom, revelations, miracles, healing, and charity, to name but a few.”
–D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants”, Ensign, May 2009, 19-23
From the Schmidt's:

Tonight we are running a few errands.  We still have to get something in the mail for Curtis.  He ordered a couple hats and he has new glasses we ordered online from Zenni Optical.  If you haven't tried Zenni, you should check it out.  Cheap prescription glasses for very cheap prices!  We usually go to our eye doctor and get a pair from them based on the guidelines our insurance provides and then order others from Zenni when we need them.  But because Curtis goes through glasses so often, we took him to the eye doctor at the beginning of this year to make sure his prescription was as current as possible.  Then we paid the $20.00 co-pay and got him a really nice pair of glasses at our eye doctor.  Then because he breaks glasses ALL THE TIME we also went online to Zenni and ordered another pair.  The online pair cost $40.00 with shipping and everything.  Keep in mind if you use Zenni you have to know your pupillary distance.  You can also scan a photo of yourself into their website and see how the glasses look on your face before ordering.  It's pretty cool!  We have ordered several pairs of glasses from Zenni and love it.  My parents have ordered over and over again.  I mentioned the website to co-workers and friends who have all used the website.  It's great!  AND it doesn't take long to receive your glasses at your front door.  Just a day or two longer then it would take your doctor's office to receive any glasses they would order and make for your to pick up.  So, check it out.  
Now back to my package for Curtis.  We also have some Hi-Chew candy to send and some mash potatoes - Curtis loves to make mashed potatoes.  Then we need to pick him up some Benedryl.  Since he had that allergic reaction in the MTC, I want him to be prepared just in case it happens again.  He has had random parts of his body just swell up whenever he has a reaction.  I guess that happened in the MTC.  You should see him when his ear does it.  It's pretty wild!  It happens to me too, but I take an over the counter allergy pill to safeguard myself from the swelling..

Huh!  Maybe that has been my problem all these years....I'm not fat.  I'm just having an allergic reaction.  LOL!  Who knew? 
Don't I wish that was the issue.  

This weekend is General Conference!  Woot!  Woot!  I love it!  I call it church in your pajamas day.  It's nice to hang out with the family and watch all the sessions.  It's the best!  PLUS with Easter...it's even more fun.  We plan to have some kind of dinner here with the family.  
Saturday night we are having all of the kids over with their friends to play games after the Priesthood session.  The men are going to the session and then meeting up here for games and snacks.  It should be fun.  

Tonight my show is on.  I actually have two shows to watch.  Scandal...of course, and then I watch The Black List on Hulu on Fridays because I can't watch two things at the same time.

I also need to get something going for my kids for Easter.  Nothing too crazy. We just like to have some kind of Easter candy and things around.  It will be good.  No egg decorating though.  Oh well.   
Well, Danielle stopped by to see her dog, who cannot stop barking!  Arg!  I need to go.  I hope you all have a wonderful Easter and enjoy watching Conference.  Take care, and we will talk soon.
From Our Missionary:

Hey Everyone,

I'm in my new area.  I got my iPad!  It's P-day......
My companions name is Elder Sorenson.  He is pretty
awesome!  He wants to go basketball contacting sometime,
so that will be cool.  I don't feel like I'm in New York right now. 
Ha Ha

Oh yeah, I'm in an area called King's Bridge.  It's the west side of the Bronx.  It's so cool!  We are in the clerks office of our church building emailing.  It's pretty awesome here.  The weather is nice.  It snowed the day we got here, which was cool to see.  How are all of you doing? I don't know what to write, so ask me some questions and I will try to answer some later.

Love,
Elder Schmidt
(from my iPad)

If you want to write our son on his mission this is his address:

Quote of the Day:

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