The Gneiting's Corner
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Word for the day: PUMPKIN

More recipes from "Betty Crocker" . . . AKA . . . Me!

So I've been baking up a storm again. What's gotten into me? Who knows - but, I know that my family is enjoying it. Here are a few recipes and the main ingredient is pumpkin. Enjoy!!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies 
(I got this recipe from my friend Sheena-thanks Sheena-we think they are the best cookies ever!)
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli ....they're soooo good, and they're extra big) 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Cool on wire racks.

Moist Pumpkin Bars (These are a family favorite)
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
1 1/2 sugar
1 c. oil
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, soda, and salt. Combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar and oil, add to flour mixture. Beat well. Spread in large cookie sheet. Bake in 350º oven for 15 to 20 minutes or till done. Cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cube butter
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered Sugar (as much as needed for desired thickness)
      Mix softened cream cheese and butter with mixer till smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and creamy.

(This next recipe doesn't have pumpkin in it but it is really good at this time of the year and it goes well with the pumpkin desserts.) 

Chili Con Carne Pie
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (1 lb.) can tomatoes, cut up
1 (20 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 Tblsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg of corn bread mix (I use Marie Callenders) 

Cook onion, garlic, and beef until beef is well browned, then drain grease.  Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, kidney beans, chili powder and salt.  Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the corn bread mixture, according to directions.

Place hot meat mixture into a baking dish; sprinkle with cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Pour corn bread mixture over the top.

Bake in 350º oven for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please take the time to watch this alarming video!

This is important!! We may not be voting on this issue in our own states right at this point, but it can affect our families, neighbors and nation if we don't pay attention.

Encourage your friends and families that live in California to get out and vote YES for Prop 8 on Nov 4.

Watch it HERE!  (Pause my music below first)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Going bananas. . .

I don't seem to do much baking these days.  Mostly because I just don't have alot of extra time but mostly because I end up eating too much of the goodies, which I don't need. 

I don't know what is it about this time of year that makes me feel a little more "domestic" but I always love cooking and baking on cool fall days.  So . . . since I had several over ripe bananas I decided that I should put them to good use.  Needless to say, we enjoyed some really yummy Banana Bread and Banana Cookies.  And what is even better was the fact that they went so fast I didn't even end up eating more than my share.  Well maybe only a couple extra but don't tell anyone! :)

Anyway. . . I thought that I would share these great recipes so that you can put your old, nasty, over ripe bananas to good use too.

Sour Cream Banana Bread

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
1 c. mashed bananas
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350º.  Grease and flour bottom only of 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. (This recipe makes one large loaf or a couple smaller ones)  In large bowl, beat together sugar and oil.  Add eggs, bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; blend well.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off.  Add flour, soda, and salt to mixture.  Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour into pan and bake at at 350º for 50-60 minutes.  Check with toothpick.  Cool 5 minutes in pan then remove.  Makes 1 loaf.
(This bread is really moist because of the sour cream in it.  We love it!)

Banana Cookies

3/4 c. shortening  
2 c. flour
3/4 c. brown sugar  
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
1 egg  
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. banana flavoring  
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix shortening, brown sugar, banana, flour, and egg together.  Then add soda, banana flavoring and salt. Mix well.  Drop by spoonfuls on cookie sheet.
Bake at 350º for 10-12 minutes.  (Do not over bake)
Frost with Brown Sugar Frosting when cooled.

Brown Sugar Frosting
Warm in microwave:  
6 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp canned milk

Add and mix well:
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered Sugar to right thickness 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Book Review - Part two

(Ok I promise this post won't be as long as the last one.)

This is such a great book. I recommend it to all women everywhere!

If you are interested you can find it here.

Here are a few highlights that I enjoyed while reading it.
1. President Hinckley said, "In all living-have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"

2. Our lives can be filled with happiness & joy, but the choice is up to us!

3. Happiness is:

* Courageously doing what you want to do, even if you are scared.

* Experiencing your life as an exciting journey!

* Stimulating your mind and caring for your body!

* Realizing that you already have everything you need to make yourself happy!

* Knowing that you are the only one who can decide what is right or wrong for you!

* Accepting that you are okay even when you blunder and learn from your mistakes.

* Knowing that what people say or do is a reflection of them not you!

* Listening to your inner wisdom.

* Giving and receiving love unconditionally

4. Joy doesn't have to wait until all the planets are aligned, and all our issues are resolved, and our behavior is perfectly executed. Joy is here for us now. Joy is God's gift to us.

5. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full. (D&C 101:36)
So toss the guilt and catch the joy - God's joy - that is our birthright!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy

Recently I have been reading a really good book called "Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy: A Woman's Guide to a Better Life", by Merrilee Boyack. If you are interested in it you can buy it from Deseret Book Here.

Anyway it's really a good book and so I thought that I might share with you a few thoughts from it as I'm reading.

The first chapter is entitled "Women of Joy, Not Guilt." She shares a funny poem about how we compare ourselves with the "Perfect Woman" that doesn't really exist yet we put unrealistic pressure on ourselves to be like her and we then feel extreme guilt if we don't live up to this standard. Why to we do this to ourselves? Here is the poem (it's a little long-but worth reading. Enjoy,and have a good laugh.

The Girl in a Whirl-by "Dr. Sue" (a.k.a. Vickie Gunther)

Look at me, look at me, look at me now!
You could do what I do if you only knew how.
I study the scriptures one hour each day.
I bake and I garden. I scrub and I pray.

I always keep all the commandments completely.
I speak to my little ones gently and sweetly.
I help in their classrooms! I sew all they wear!
I drive them to practice! I cut all their hair!

I memorize talks by the General Authorities.
I focus on things to be done by priorities.
I keep our home organized, clean and attractive.
I drop by with goodies and see the less-active.

I play the piano! I bless all with my talents!
My toilets all sparkle! My checkbooks all balance!
Each week every child get a one-on-one date.
I attend all my meetings (On time! Never late!)

I'm taking a class on the teaching of Paul,
But that is not all! Oh no, That is not all. . .

I track my bad habits 'til each is abolished.
I floss everyday! And my toenails are polished!
Our family home evenings are always delightful.
The lessons I give are both fun and insightful.

I do genealogy faithfully, too.
It's easy to do all the things that I do!
I rise each day early, refreshed and awake.
I know all the names of each youth in my stake!

I read to my children! I help all my neighbors!
I bless the community too, with my labors.
I write in my journal! I sing in the choir!
Each day, I write "thank yous" to those I admire.

I exercise and I cook menus gourmet.
My visiting teaching is done the first day!
(I also go do it for someone who missed hers.
I love filling in for my cherished ward sisters.)

I chart resolutions and check off each goal.
I seek each "lost lamb" on my Primary roll.
I bottle our produce each summer and fall.
But that is not all! Oh, no. That is not all. . .

I went back to school to update my degree.
My studying earned me a new PhD.
I split with the Sisters who cover our ward
To spread the glad truth that the Gospel's restored.

I go to the temple at least once a week.
I make my girls' prom dresses-modest, yet chic!
My sons were all Eagles when they were fourteen!
My kids get straight A's! And their bedrooms are clean!

I have my own business to help earn some money.
I always look beautifully groomed for my honey.
I grind my own wheat and I bake all our bread.
I plan nutritious meals six months ahead.

I make sure I rotate our two-year supply.
My shopping for Christmas is done by July!
(It's out of the way early on for a reason.
I then can prepare for the REAL Christmas season.)

These things are not hard. It's good if you do them.
You can if you try! Just set goals and pursue them!
It's easy to do all the things that I do!
If you plan and work smart, you can do them all too!

"It's easy!" she said. . .
. . . and then,

she dropped dead!!

Do any of you know someone like this. . . (if so let me know her number so I can call and see how she does it and also warn her of her inevitable fate.) But in reality. . . how many of us think we should be like this? I know that I have had unrealistic expectations for myself over the years.

The author challenges us to stop and ask ourselves, "What is really required to enter the celestial kingdom?"

She says that we don't need to be a size 6, have an "important" calling, can, quilt, bake, sew, or even be organized to return to be with our Heavenly Father. So what is required? - she says that we can start with setting a goal to be a "Celestial Woman". By doing this we will naturally increase our desire to have faith, repent, and try to be a little better every day.

So lets don't judge each other and especially don't be hard on ourselves. We need to have a Godly perspective on what our work is here on the earth and not be distracted by the worldly perspective. Remember that the Lord will not only look to see what we have done but also at who we have become - and as we strive each day to be more like our Savior we will be . . . (not perfect) but. . .Celestial Women. That is where we will find true joy in our lives. Now that is worth striving for!

Tune in friends, in a couple of days to find out how we can go about doing this. And I promise it will be shorter :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Change is in the air!

Joe and I have been taking alot of drives to see the fall colors lately. It has been so beautiful and we are so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty. These pictures were all taken with in a half an hour from our house.(Sorry these pics are so small - you may have to use your imagination to get the full affect)

The colors have been so fibrant and bright. This hillside looked like it was on fire. I don't think these pictures really show how beautiful it really was.

This area is just down the road from our house. For those of you that attended Ricks College/BYU-Idaho you may have gone bridge jumping at a place called "Monkey Rock". This is where these pictures were taken.

We even saw a huge Moose not far from our house walking through a field.

Today we went up to Island Park and West Yellowstone to do some business. It clouded up and this is what we had to drive through to get home. Well I guess fall is almost over here in our area. These pictures aren't very good but YES . . . you don't need to take a double take. . . you are seeing SNOW!!! OH BOY!!! I'm not sure that I'm ready for winter.

Luckily as we came out of the mountains back home it was sunny and just a little rainy. No snow here. . . yet! But I have a feeling that winter in the valleys is just around the corner. Brrrrr. . . I'm freezing already just thinking about it!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sit back and enjoy!

My niece had this on her blog and since this is my most favorite song I just had to put it on my blog too. This is such a good video of it so I wanted to share with you all.