Sunday, September 18, 2011

{Crossing to Safety}

By Wallace Stegner

I thought this was the way lds missionaries around the world might feel... haha
"There is nothing like a doorbell to precipitate the potential into the kinetic. When you stand outside a door and push the buton, something has to happen. Someone must respond; whatever is inside must be revealed. Questions will be answered, uncertainties or mysteries dispelled. A situation will be started on its way through unknown complications to an unpredictable conclusion. The answer to your summons may be a rush of tearful welcome, a suspicious eye at the crack of the door, a shot through the hardwood, anything. Any pushing of any doorbell button is as rich in dramatic possibility as that scene in chekhov when just as the zemstvo doctor's only child dies of diphtheria and the doctor's wife drops to her knees beside the bed and the doctor smelling of carbolic, takes and uncertain step backward, the bell sounds sharply in the hall."

I often felt that people overrate big colleges. This speaks about the way I feel.
"Don't you feel the way we do, how young and promising it is, and how much there is to be done, and given, and taught, and learned? Sid and I feel so lucky. Back in Cambridge some people felt sorry for us, going away out to Wisconsin as if it were Sieria. They just don't know. They don't know how warm and friendly and open and eager it is. and bright too. Maybe the students aren't as well trained as Harard students, but a lot of them are just as bright. If there are Winesburgs int he Middle West it's because people don't give them a chance to become anything. They expect too much too soon. They won't stick it out and give what they ought to give. Instead they run away to Chicago or New York or Paris. Or else they stay home and just grumble and knock and talk about spiritual poverty. but Sid and I think a little city like this, ... is the real flowering of the American Dream." p39

I would prefer to use the term circumstance instead of luck. But I hate to say that I totally agree. I would say that God is in there somewhere too.

"Talent is at least half luck. It isn't as if our baby lips were touched with a live coal, and thereafter we lisp in numbers or talk in tongues. We are lucky in our parents, teachers, experience, circumstances, friends, times, physical and mental endowment, or we are not. Born tot he English language and American opportunity we are among the incredibly lucky ones. What if we had been born Bushmen in the Kalahari? What if our parents had been undernourished villagers in Uttar Pradesh, and we faced the problem of commanding the attention of the world on a diet of five hundred calories a day and in Urdu? What good is an ace if the other cads in your hand are dogs from every town?" p44

Friday, September 16, 2011

{Four-cheese Baked ziti}

What's not to like? It's like gourmet mac and cheese. Instead of buying the alfredo I used our best bites guiltless alfredo sauce. It was yummy yummy.
Recipe and Image from
1 package (16 ounces) ziti or small tube pasta 
2 cartons (10 ounces each) refrigerated Alfredo sauce
 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese 
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese 
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley 
1-3/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook ziti according to package directions; drain and return to the pan. Stir in Alfredo sauce and sour cream. Spoon half into a lightly greased 3-qt. baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese and parsley; spread over pasta. Top with remaining pasta mixture; sprinkle with mozzarella and remaining Parmesan.
Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Yield: 8 servings.

{Nacho cheese beef bake}

Okay so this name is totally wrong for the dish. When I read this I think fatty, disgusting, Gonna have the runs when I'm done kind of meal. It's totally not that way. It was so yummy and healthier than it sounds.

Recipe and Image from
2 cups uncooked egg noodles 
1 pound ground beef 
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained 
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed nacho cheese soup, undiluted 
1 jar (5-3/4 ounces) sliced pimiento-stuffed olives, drained (I don't like these. I did not add them.)
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies 
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 
 2 cups crushed tortilla chips 
1/3 cup prepared ranch salad dressing 
Shredded lettuce, sour cream and/or salsa, optional

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, soup, olives and chilies. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in noodles.
Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Top with tortilla chips; drizzle with salad dressing. Serve with lettuce, sour cream and/or salsa if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

We always put a ton of lettuce and fresh tomatoes on top. We served it with fruit. Can totally serve 6.
Nacho Cheese Beef Bake Recip

{candy bar apple salad}

Candy Bar Apple Salad ReciRecipe and photo from

We cut this recipe in half for our family and it was perfect. So delicious. Fresh and sweet. And can be even lower calorie if you use what we did. 

1-1/2 cups cold 2% milk (we used skim)
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix (we used regular, but you could use sugar-free)
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed (we used light)
4 large apples, chopped (about 6 cups) 
4 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (can't leave these out... :))

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Fold in apples and candy bars. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup each).

We ate this with spiral Stromboli
Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup equals 218 calories, 9 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 174 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.

{Spiral Stromboli}

I am loving taste of home's weeknight solutions. They're quick and easy and have sides all ready to go with them. I loved both parts of this meal. we served it with Candy Bar Apple Salad.

These recipes kind of give you that homemade taste without the homemade work.

1 tube (11 ounces) refrigerated crusty French loaf
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 pound thinly sliced hard salami (we left this out and subbed some pepperoni - cause that's what we had.)
1/4 pound thinly sliced deli ham
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimientos, drained (we used fresh diced tomatoes because pimientos are expensive.)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese 

Unroll dough on a lightly floured surface. Pat into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle; sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar cheeses to within 1/2 in. of edges. Layer with salami, ham and pimientos.
Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting from a short side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut with a serrated knife. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 6 servings.

Totally yummy.


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