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Monday, July 27, 2009

Refrigerator Dinner Rolls

It seems whenever I cook potatoes, I have one or two leftover potatoes. Not enough to use for the next meal, but too much to throw away. I came across this great recipe for potato rolls. Whenever I have extra cooked potatoes, I mash them, measure out a cup, put them in a small plastic bag, and freeze them. When I want to make rolls,
I take out a bag and defrost it in the microwave.
Colleen's Potato Crescent Rolls

1 cup cooked, mashed potatoes
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (not instant)
1 1/2 cups warm water
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup butter, melted (I leave this out. The rolls are still delicious without it)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

When yeast is ready, mix in mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, and 3 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough has become stiff but still pliable.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Here's the dough before kneading.

This is what it looks like after kneading. I like to knead by hand, but of course, you can use your mixer or bread maker.

Using a large bowl, with plenty of room for the dough to rise,

Spray with oil,

Place dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap,

Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 5 days.

When you are ready to make rolls, deflate the dough, and turn in out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces,

Roll into a 12 inch circle.

Text Color
Brush with 1/4 cup melted butter (optional). Cut into 16-18 wedges. Roll up tightly,
starting with the large end.

The grandkids enjoyed rolling the wedges up. Put on lightly greased baking sheets with the points placed underneath. Cover, let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400, cook rolls for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Activities for Children
Do you have a bored child? Try downloading coloring pages from the internet. Enter "childrens coloring pages" in your browser. There are many sites to choose from.
A favorite one is You can find coloring pages,
as well as games and puzzles to print.
An even better place to look is This site links you to all of the coloring pages in the Friend, as well as games, puzzles, and other activities you can print for your children. This web site is a wonderful resourse for Family Home Evening.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hawthorne Ward Enrichment Project
Hawthorne Ward recently had a great Enrichment project--they made food storage shelves! It was a great project and the sisters enjoyed working on them. Some sisters didn't know how to use a drill, they learned new skills and were better then they thought!!!
Contact Kim Peterson, the Hawthorne Relief Society president, if you would like more details on making these shelves.

Thanks for sharing, Hawthorne! If your ward or branch has a project you'd like to share with the rest of us, please let us know.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quinoa is a grain-like food that comes from South America, where it has been eaten for thousands of years. It is actually the seed of a plant that is closely related to spinach and beets. It is very high in protein, and contains a balanced set of amino acids, and is a good source of fiber, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. Quinoa is truly a super-food, gluten-free, and can be used in place of rice, or cooked as a cereal, or added to homemade bread. You can find Quinoa at most grocery stores, including health food stores.
It makes a great addition to your food storage.
Here is a recipe for a healthy, delicious Quinoa dish from

Black-Bean and Tomato Quinoa
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup quinoa
1 (14-15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

The zest of a lime (or lemon) is just the very outside layer--the green part. Don't grate down into the white part. The white part of the peel is bitter.

Wash quinoa well in cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve.

Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 Tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve.

Set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve).

Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. This recipe serves 6.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Controlling Weeds in the Garden

...cursed is the ground for thy sake...thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee...
Genesis 3:17-18

Weeding the garden is a necessary but ongoing chore. Like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, just when you finish it is time to start over again. There are several tricks
to making weeding easier.
One trick is to plant things close enough to cover the space. Weeds need sun to grow, and if they are prevented from getting sunlight they will not thrive. Remember that healthy plants need breathing room, so don't plant things too close together.
Tools are a good way to make sure you get the root of the weed. Pulling the top of the weed and leaving the root ensures that you will be seeing that same weed in a few days.

Make sure when you weed that the ground is wet but not muddy. There is nothing more difficult than pulling weeds out of dry soil.

Use one of the many products available to keep the weeds from sprouting up to begin with. Lay down gardening fabric, cutting an "X" for your plant. Garden fabric keeps weeds from growing while keeping the soil moister and warmer.

In time, your plants will cover and hide the garden fabric.

You can use other things as ground cover. Newspaper is great for this purposed, but don't use ads. They are made of a different kind of paper, have too much colored ink, and don't decompose like regular newspaper.

Grass clippings make good, free mulch. Don't use grass that has recently been treated with weed killer. Don't cover the plant. Some plants such as squash and melons will suffer from stem rot if covered with mulch. In the fall add dead leaves, saw dust, or straw in equal parts, and mix into soil. Grass alone leaves the soil with too much nitrogen. Equal parts "green" and "brown" materials make a better mix. By next spring, you will have a nice, composted soil.

A produce like Roundup is perfect for some spots, such as the cracks of your cement.

A garden that is weeded on a regular basis has fewer and fewer weeds as time goes on. Without old weeds to germinate new weeds, the number of weeds decreases. Spend some serious weeding time early in the summer, and you will have less to do as the season goes on.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Be Prepared-72 Hour Kits

One of the focuses of our Stake Relief Society this year is to encourage everyone to have a 72 hour kit for each family member. We would like to see each member of our stake begin their preparedness program with a 72 hour kit. The information in this post come from Jodi Gorham from the Shepherd Ward.

What is a 72 Hour Kit?

A 72 Hour Kit is a collection of tools and supplies needed to sustain life, minimize suffering, maintain dignity and independence, and help you do what you need to in an emergency that requires evacuation. It can be assembled for a family, but normally it would be tailored to fit the needs of an individual, and each person in the family
would have their own personalized 72 Hour Kit.

The particulars will vary from person to person, but each kit should contain the following things: water, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation supplies, medical supplies, contact information, identification and other vital documents, aids to mobility and navigation, and comfort items. A backpack, or other carry-able container, is also needed.

Your kit should be assembled in advance and kept in a safe, but convenient, location in your home or automobile, where it can be grabbed on short notice. You will always choose to endure an emergency at home, when you can, because that’s where most of your emergency preparations are. When you are forced to evacuate, you will always choose to take your personal vehicle, if you can, because that is how you are the most mobile and can take the most stuff. Your 72 Hour Kit is essential to your emergency preparations because it is what you take with you for the remainder of the journey if your car breaks down or if you are
forced to leave home on foot.
One of the many websites that lists items to include in your 72 Hour Kit is This site also has their list available as a pdf file that can be printed out and used as a checklist. There are companies that sell prepackaged 72 Hour Kits, but at best, those kits are a starting point for the real thing because they will not be specific to the needs of you and your family, nor will they contain personal items such as ID or documents.
It's takes time and money to assemble a 72 Hour Kit, but on the flip side, what will it cost you to be caught unprepared?

(Some information taken from Tucson North Stake Relief Society's Preparedness Notebook.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tips for the Garden
There are several things you can do to help your garden be more productive.
Here are a couple of ideas: Keep your garden weed-free. Weeds steal water, nutrition, light, and elbow room from your plants. Weeds can overtake your garden in no time. We will cover weed control in a future post.

"Deadhead" your flowers. Pinch off old blooms. Flowers that are deadheaded will produce more blooms and look better (compare the top flower picture to the second picture).
Deadheading takes just a few minutes if done regularly.
Pick ripe vegetables from your garden plants. Just like deadheading a flower,
picking ripe vegetables keeps your plant producing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Recycling Jeans
Denim Stand-up Bag

If you are like me, you probably have a pile of worn-out or out-grown jeans waiting to be recycled. Denim jeans are a great source of free fabric and are good for a variety of projects.

This project uses one leg of a pair of jeans.

Cut the raggedy edge off the bottom

Measure 12-18 inches up from the bottom of the leg. My example is 12"

Mark with a marker and cut.

You will now have a "tube" . Set on top of a flat piece of denim fabric from the jeans you are using. Using a marker, mark around the fabric the tube is on, about 1/2" out from the edge of the tube.

Now your fabric will be marked like the picture below. If you look closely, you can see my black marker dots marking the fabric. My bag bottom is oval, but you can also set the tube in a more circular shape and make it round

Cut it out.

Pin to the bottom of the tube, right sides together and stitch, using a 1/2" seam.

Fold top down, toward the wrong side, about 1/2" to 1" .

Stitch close to raw edge, leaving an opening for the drawstring.

Now your bag looks like this:

Cut a piece of string or cording about 1 yard long. Pin a safety pin to one end to make it easier to thread through the casing

Knot the ends of the cord to keep it from

Decorate with buttons, ribbons, or other decorations.

Now you have a bag for lunch, toys, gifts, or anything else you can think of,
and best of all it is fast (less than 30 minutes) and free!