Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CTR - Choose to RESOLVE

The Primary theme for 2012 is "Choose the Right". In 2012, D4 Relief Society will also have a CTR theme - but - ours will be Choose to Resolve (or Resolve to Choose)...Come What May!
It is so amazing that the Lord has given us time frames in this Second Estate. It helps us understand and make goals and measure them.
Let's RESOLVE to make measurable goals that will help us see the Face of the Lord one day!
Come to Relief Society this Sunday and be thinking of what types of goals to set and ways to make them happen this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Remembering Rachael's Oranges

I will soon have all of my children here for Christmas and the "busy-ness" has begun. I have all ready gone back to a store to "add" to a gift or buy more groceries or drive aimlessly around trying to find an address or person!
Last Sunday, Rachael Roark brought us a bag of oranges and handed them out to the women in our Relief Society. She said it reminded her of how happy she was to get oranges in her Christmas stocking and to remember simpler times and put our "WANTS" versus "NEEDS" in perspective. (I edited her words - kinda!)
I loved her reminder of gratitude at this time of year. We really do have so much good at this time, in this country - in our lives.
I hope I will remember Rachael's oranges, take a deep breath, savor the people in my life, read Luke in the New Testament and think of that serene night - long ago - with a simple manger, a little baby, a new mother, clean hay, and beautiful stars that gave light to it all.
We love you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Party Recipes

Here are the recipes from the Relief Society Christmas party held December 6th at Annie Ried's home.

Chicken Scaloppini
Lemon butter Sauce
Chicken and Pasta
  • 12-15 chicken tenders or 6 chicken breasts
  • Olive oil, for sautéing chicken and mushrooms.
  • 1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for dredging
  • 6 ounces bacon, cooked
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 ounces artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon capers
  • 1 lb angel hair  pasta, cooked
  • chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. To make the sauce.
  2.  Heat the lemon juice and white wine in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3.  Bring to a boil and reduce by one-third.
  4.  Add cream and simmer until mixture thickens (3 to 4 minutes).
  5.  Slowly add butter until completely incorporated.
  6.  Season with salt and pepper.
  7.  Remove from heat and keep warm. The sauce does not have to be hot, just warm.
  8.  To make chicken and pasta:
  9.  Cook pasta and drain
  10.  Pound the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap so that the chicken is about 3/8” thick.
  11.  Heat a small amount of oil large skillet.
  12.  Dredge chicken in flour and sauté in pan, turning once, until brown and cooked through. This only takes a few minutes because the chicken has been pounded thin.
  13.  Remove chicken from pan.
  14.  Add some of the mushrooms to the pan with a little oil.  The mushrooms should only cover the bottom of the pan.
  15.  Heat until mushrooms soften and a slightly brown on each side.
  16. Remove from pan and cook the next batch until you have cooked all of the mushrooms. 
  17.  Put all of the mushrooms back in the pan. 
  18. Add the bacon, capers and the chopped artichoke hearts to the pan. 
  19. Add the chicken back to the pan.
  20.  Add half of butter sauce to chicken mixture and toss.
  21.  Taste and adjust. Add more sauce if needed.
  22. To serve:
  23.  Place chicken mixture over pasta on each plate.
  24.  Add a little more sauce to each.
  25.  Garnish with parsley.

If you want to make this ahead of time keep the sauce, chicken, artichoke-mushroom-bacon-caper mixture, and pasta separate until you are ready to serve. Put the pasta in boiling water for a minute.If you keep the sauce over night it may separate.  Just heat it up just until it meltsin a pot on the stove and whisk it back together.  It doesn’t do great in the microwave.
Panna Cotta
1 cup low fat buttermilk, room temperature
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 t pure vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 cups heavy cream
1. Have 8 dessert cups or ramekins ready
2. Pour buttermilk into a small bowl, sprinkle on the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Set aside for about 15 minutes or more.
3. In a medium sauce pan combine cream and sugar. Stir in buttermilk mixture.
4. Place pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is just under a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
 5. Pour mixture into ramekins or dessert cups. Place them on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 5 hours or overnight.
6.  To serve pour a little strawberry sauce on top, with a dallop of whipped cream, a fresh strawberry slice, and a little mint.
 Strawberry Coulis Recipe (Strawberry Sauce)
Recipe can be multiplied as needed.
  • 5 and 1/2 cups of sliced strawberries , this is about 18 ounces
  • 1 of a cup of plain white sugar (granulated)
  • ¼ cup of water
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring the mix to a boil. Once it is boiling and the sugar has been dissolved into the liquid, turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a blender.
  2. Blend until it is very smooth, and then pass the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds. (The straining step is not strictly necessary and it won’t make things taste any better, but the sauce is more enjoyable when it doesn’t leave you with strawberry seeds to pick out of your teeth!)
Serve on top of some good vanilla ice cream or as a topping for cheesecake or Panna Cotta and pop the rest into the freezer to be used as needed.

Store in the fridge for up to a week and in the freezer for months

Olive Garden Salad Dressing
Serves: 12

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp.
lemon juice
2 Tbls. beaten egg (see Notes, below)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup corn syrup
3 Tbls. grated Romano cheese
2 Tbls. dry, unflavored pectin (see Notes, below)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh minced garlic
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch red pepper flakes

-Pour the vinegar, lemon juice, and egg into a blender; blend for 10 seconds, then allow to rest for 10 minutes.
-Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend on low speed for 30 seconds.
-Chill at least 1 hour before serving, the longer the better.

If this is too thick after it is chilled you can add a little water.
Mixing the raw egg with vinegar and lemon juice will kill any Salmonella present. You can also buy pasteurized eggs at many supermarkets. Pectin can be found in most supermarkets near the Jell-O® or with the Mason® jars; it is used as an emulsifier, to keep the mixture from separating.

December Thoughts

Well Christmas is fast approaching, and as I addressed Christmas Letters to family and friends who don't live in Dallas, I thought what a blessing I have enjoyed living iin the Dallas 4th Ward for oh so many years. The Relief Society Christmas Party was an amazing start to the Christmas Season. I loved Bonnie's marvelous food, Annie's beautiful home, and all of you sisters with your special gifts which you shared that night.
I had the Laurels and Priests come and sing Christmas Carols in my home. I had the Bishop stop by with a beautiful Widow's basket, and my neighbors came caroling last night, and brought a big box of Texas grapefruit. It is a great place to live.
I am excited about studying the teachings of George Albert Smith this next year in Relief Society. He was so loving and kind, and he always took time to get to know people, and make them feel like the most important person he had met. When he died, he got lots of accolades, even from the President of the United States. However when his little 5 year old neighbor knocked on the door to come and visit him, and was told he had died, he said,. "Oh, no, he was my best friend." The family asked him to be an honorary pallbearer.
President Smith once said, "Our Happiness is in direct proportion to our Charity".
That is so true, when we forget self and serve others, when we stop looking in the mirror and look out the window to see who needs help we find our greatest happiness. December is a great month to look around, see who might need our "special touch" to ease their burden or loneliness. or just increase their joy!
Our R.S. Presidency has decided on a new theme for the coming year: Resolve to do it - Come what may! Be more loving, more charitable, a better wife or mother or grandmother, a better student of the scriptures, a better temple attender, a better disciple of Christ, whatever we resolve to do - Come what may! Whatever our details, whatever our trials, we as Daughters of God in the Dallas 4th Ward, will resolve to do it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Church Schedule

Christmas, December 25: We will have Sacrament meeting only, starting at 9:00AM

New Year's Day, January 1: We will have all three hours of church, starting at 11:00AM

January 8: Fast Sunday

Friday, December 9, 2011

Final Judgment

This Sunday we will be studying chapter 46 from the Gospel Principles manual. This chapter is on the Final Judgment. From the manual we read, "In reality, every day is a day of judgment. We speak, think, and act according to celestial, terrestrial, or telestial law. Our faith in Jesus Christ, as shown by our daily actions, determines which kingdom we will inherit." What must we do to be ready for the Final Judgment?

Is It Still Christmas???

I came home from an enlightening and enjoyable "book club/interest group" Christmas event at Barbara Doerk's home last night and looked back over all the other Christmas fun I have all ready enjoyed and wondered...is it still December?
I feel so grateful for all the work that went into our Relief Society Christmas "Make It A Great" etc. AND, so many sisters made the effort to come out on the coldest night of the year and share their warmth with the rest of us. Annie Reid was generous with her lovely home; Bonnie Muir gave us a "4Star" meal; I learned how to make panna cotta; we listened to beautiful music by Wes Dean, Jamie Taylor, and Katie Peterson; and we heard from many women about their special gifts and memories - it set the holiday spirit for me.
As a Presidency, we have also had the opportunity to make Christmas ornaments and take treats around and visit and see the good and the needs of others in our ward. For me, that is a huge part of what Christmas should "become".
I still have a grandson to be born this Monday and family coming in for the holidays, but, I feel so fed by all of you and your Christmas Cheer I have been wondering...is it still December...hasn't Christmas all ready come?

Saturday, December 3, 2011


The Relief Society Lesson for tomorrow Sunday, December 6th will be about what a wonderful gift our Heavenly Father gave His children by providing His Son Jesus Christ as our Redeemer, Savior, Exemplar, Advocate and friend.
Neal Maxwell said, "There are some of us who prefer to" chew on old bones in the outer courtyard", than come into the resplendent, revelatory banquet, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
We have to be converted to Christ, repent and accept his atonement to work in our lives, so that we may truly enjoy the banquet of blessings that the Lord spreads before us. Come prepared to discuss the blessings that we have received from the Premortal Christ, the example we saw in the Mortal Christ, the majesty of the Resurrected Christ, and the anticipation of the 2nd coming of Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We cannot make it back to our Heavenly Father's presence without this conversion, and thereby deep gratitude to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Made for Me

A few Christmases ago my dad made me a magnet board. He picked out the wood, made the frame, painted it, and attached the magnetic sheet to it. On one of the edges, the wood has a hole. He told me he chose that piece especially for me because it made the board unique. I cherish this gift for several reasons. First, my dad put time and effort into making it just for me. It hangs in my bedroom and holds pictures of my neices and nephews, who all live far away. But more than that, my magnet board serves as a reminder of my dad. He currently is suffering from Aphasia. Some days are harder than others for him. Some days he can still do woodwork, but it takes him much longer than it used to. I am grateful to have something tangible that he made with his hands. Throughout the years I have received numerous Christmas, birthday, and special occasion gifts from my dad. But the one I remember most is this magnet board.

This coming Tuesday each of us will have an opportunity to BRING a gift that was MADE for us. It might be small, it might be big. But each gift has a special meaning. Each sister will have two minutes to SHOW the gift and TELL who it is from and why it is important to us. Please join us for our Relief Society Christmas Dinner at Annie Reid's house. Directions to her house will be handed out this Sunday in church and sent to your email Sunday night.