Friday, March 30, 2012

Recipe: Chocolate Cream Angel Food Cake

I LOVE angel food cake! When I found this recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, how could I not make it?? I changed it up a little, and it turned out delicious. Light angel food cake & chocolate whipped cream. What's not to love? It would be good with your Easter dinner!

Chocolate Cream Angel Food Cake
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 pint of whipping cream
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. toasted, slivered almonds (optional)

1 pre-baked or store bought Angel Food cake

In a mixer bowl with whisk attachment, beat the cream at medium speed until it just starts to thicken up. Add in vanilla, powdered sugar and cocoa. Mix at low speed until the powdered sugar and cocoa start to be incorporated into the cream, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. When the powdered sugar and cocoa are incorporated, beat at medium high until soft to barely stiff peaks form. You don't want the cream to be too stiff or too loose.

Cut the angel food cake in half to form two circles. In the bottom half, remove a little cake from the middle all the way around, to form a ditch. Fill the ditch with chocolate cream. Place the top half on the bottom half. Cover the top, sides, and the sides of the center hole with the chocolate cream. Sprinkle with toasted almonds if desired. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to set. Slice & serve.

**I used a store bought cake, which tends to be smaller, so 1 pint of cream was plenty. Mel used a homemade cake and her recipe calls for 3 cups of cream, 2/3 c. powdered sugar and 1/3 c. vanilla.**

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tender Mercies

I'm sharing this video because it's been an amazing day. It reflects my feelings and what I know to be true.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gotta get from A to B

{My Asics. Still the best!}

My running is going well. Slowly, because I'm cautious like that, but well.

I actually reached the end of the training program I was using. The "end" being that you can run for a full 20 minutes. No walks mixed in. This would be point A. Of course, after this point you are just supposed to increase the time to 30 minutes, and then it says, "Soon you'll be running your first 5k!" But I find this a little too vague for me. I want specifics.

Note: I'm proud of myself for getting this far, since until age 44 I never thought I'd even attempt to be a runner.

So Monday evening, at age 44 and a half, I bit the bullet and I registered myself for a 5k.

And now I'm a little tiny bit nervous. In a month I have to go from running 20 minutes (a little under 2 miles) to running a little over 3 miles. And I need to run it in under an hour. This is point B.

Here's the plan, with those specifics I like, to get from point A to point B:

I am picking up the Cool Running Couch to 5k plan at the end of week 6/beginning of week 7. I've got 4+ weeks til the 5k, so this should get me there.

I'm really not all that nervous...I can walk a 5k in under an hour. I just want to RUN this one, with no walking. The best part is, Jeff and Nicole are doing it with me. I'm excited about that. I will finally run with them!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's all there in black and white

{MRI of Jake's knee. The big patch of white is the swelling}

So here's the story.

My son Jake, while riding his dirt bike (motorcycle) up and down our street on Saturday, tried to pop a wheelie and ended up jamming his knee from both top and bottom. It instantly hurt badly, and then swelled to about 3 times its normal size. He couldn't put any weight on it at all, and it didn't take too long to figure out it could be serious. We kept him off of it over Sunday, and had him ice it every hour or two all day long.

We saw our sports medicine doctor on Monday, who looked thoroughly at the knee and took x-rays. The x-rays were suspicious for a fracture of the tibia (shin bone). He was also concerned about ligament and cartilage damage, so he ordered an MRI. We also had that done Monday.

Today we went back to the sports med clinic to see the results of the MRI. Let me just say that Jake REALLY did a number on his knee. NO doubt about that one.

This is a shot of problem number 1. Yep, there are more than one. X-ray didn't show this one, so it was a surprise. That is a fracture of the femur, surrounded by bleeding in the bone. And it's actually dented. That was quite the impact!

Problem number 2. Fracture of the tibial eminence, which is displaced. This is the biggest problem because the ACL (main knee ligament) attaches here. Having the bone it attaches to broken and displaced functions like an ACL tear.

Problem number 3. Damage to the meniscus (probably from being pinched by the bones on impact) causing bleeding underneath. But the good news is it isn't torn.

Lastly, (finally!) damage to cartilage on the outside of the knee, with bleeding involved. This should heal on its own.

Next up for us is a visit with an orthopedic surgeon to talk about surgery to put a screw in the tibial eminence so that it will anchor the ACL securely and heal correctly. There will be more updates to come. It's gonna be a looooong spring for Jake, unfortunately.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The 3rd fastest car in the state!

Jared is a member of the TSA at his school. TSA stands for Technology Student Association. If you know Jared, you won't be surprised by this. TSA students get to do all kinds of hands-on projects, and Jared is nothing if not hands-on. If he can build it, he will.

He was tasked with building a CO2 car. He made it completely on his own and did a lot of the work here at home. From designing it, cutting it out, to sanding, painting and finishing, it's entirely his own work!

Yesterday he got to attend the State TSA competition. He competed in a problem solving exercise and also the CO2 car race. His car took 3rd for the entire state! He was very proud of himself, as he should be. Good work, Jared!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pineapple Coconut Bundt

Somehow, I got it in my head about 4 days ago that I had to make a pineapple cake. I don't know what it was...the warm spring weather we're having? I just REALLY wanted something springy and tropical tasting. I tried to ignore no avail. So I started looking for a good recipe. I couldn't find one that was just what I wanted. Either it had too much butter and sugar (as in a pineapple pound cake recipe I found) or it was a layer cake with fancy pineapple filling and frosting. I just wanted something simple with pineapple in it!

I finally just adapted a couple of different ideas and did my own thing. No fancy filling, no sugary frosting. Just a simple dusting with powdered sugar is all it needs. If you're so inclined you could drizzle it with a buttercream glaze. We ate it with a little whipped cream on top. Some of my kids wished I'd left out the coconut. I'm sure that could be done without any problem.

Pineapple Coconut Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cube of butter
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Soften the butter and combine with dry cake mix on low speed. Add undrained pineapple and coconut and mix til just combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased bundt pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate. Cool, and then dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Or so she says

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Book Review: The Tehran Initiative

{Image from the author's website}

Time for another book review! I really enjoy books that have basis in fact and reflect current events. This is one of those types of books. In fact, all of Joel Rosenberg's novels fit this category. I recommend all of them, but I will talk about The Tehran Initiative for today.

If you've been keeping up with events in the Middle East lately, then you know all about Iran and the nuclear warhead questions. You also know that Israel is threatening to take out Iran's nuclear capability. This is what The Tehran Initiative is all about.

David Shirazi is the hero of The Tehran Initiative. He is an American of Iranian descent. He's a CIA operative, and he's their best hope for finding out if, in fact, Iran does have nuclear warheads and where they are. David is in great danger and is working against the clock, as Israel's PM Naphtali has promised to take action sooner rather than later. We all know there would be tough consequences for the whole world if Israel and Iran go to war, and the book reiterates this.

As David works, The Twelfth Imam has reappeared in Iran and is showing one face to the world and another to those who surround him and do his bidding. To the world, he wants peace, but those closest to him know the truth: Islam must reign at any price. That price includes the lives of the Jewish and American people.

The Tehran Initiative is a gripping read that will have you reading instead of doing other maybe laundry. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If you live at our house... have to be a UTE fan. Yep, even the dog. Five months til football season!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A little bit of get up and go

Last week I had the flu...the kind that requires Nyquil, "The night-time sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, so- you-can-rest medicine." And rest I did. I also had to rest from my running regimen.

While I rested, I started thinking about a running playlist for my ipod. I found some great ones and thought I would share:

This one makes me run at a 5mph pace. Love it!

Gwyneth's hubby Chris Martin has a good one too. :)

I, for one, have not forgotten the Dixie Chicks. Dear Dixie Chicks, when are you going to have a new album??

"I'm alive!" Makes me feel great.

Well, that's enough for now. What songs help you pick up the pace?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Brooks vs. Asics

**Note. This is my own, non-affiliated, non-paid, personal & biased review based on my own experience. The end.**

Just last week, I posted about some of my favorite things and I included the Brooks Ghost 4 running shoes I had. I said they were helping my shin splints, and they were. BUUUUT....(big but) my feet were burning like crazy in them. We're talking fire on the bottom of my feet within 10-12 minutes of starting to run. Not good. Very uncomfortable. I tried thicker socks, thinner socks, lacing my shoes tighter, lacing them loser, running with my inserts, running without my inserts. Nothing worked, so I finally concluded that it had to be the shoes. I'd never had burning feet before those shoes. I was sad, because I liked everything else about them.

This is the great thing about Salt Lake Running Co. They were absolutely awesome to help me out with this. My third time in there after purchasing the Brooks, they helped me choose another shoe. We decided to go with the cushiest neutral shoe out there. Cue the Asics:

These are the Asics Gel Nimbus 13. I LOVE THEM. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I love them just about as much as I love dark chocolate, and that's a lot. I walked in them Monday, ran in them Tuesday, and my feet got a little warm, but no burning. And literally, they are like running on clouds. This has got to be a good thing for my knee. Plus, the black and green colors? Love those too.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Playing around

For FHE last night, this is what we did. We played hopscotch!

Those are my feet. I should definitely have worn my cushy running shoes to hop around in instead of the ones I was wearing. Knees don't like hopping in crappy shoes.

Nicole and I laughed way too hard...mostly SHE was laughing at ME. I know, totally rude. :)

Typical Dad and Sarah...he is always teasing her and she dishes it right back.

Cute little Libby! She spent almost 4 days of last week being sick, so I am glad she is feeling better.

Truth in blogging tidbit: Family Home Evening isn't always this much fun at our house. Jeff and I hear a lot of this kind of stuff:

"So-and-so is touching me!"
"So-and-so is bugging me!"
"Do we have to have a lesson?!"

Once in awhile, it's fun to just get out and play. It was a nice change of pace.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dear Nie--

I loved your post today.

We have something in common. Something cute, but maddening!

It's those pesky deer. I totally liked when you said, "I used to think deer were so enchanted and adorable." Yeah, me too. I still remember when Disney's Bambi came out. I was 8. My daddy took me to see it. Just me & him. And then he took me to Village Inn. And later I won a cute plastic Bambi in a coloring contest. It was great. (Wish I still had that plastic Bambi!)

So unfortch, not all deer are like Bambi. You know, cute and sweet with cute little friends like Thumper.

They come into my yard and do this:

That's one of my day lilies. They also leave my tulips looking pretty much like yours. I get mad, too. Really mad.

If you figure something out, will you let me know?

One of your millions of faithful readers,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A few more of my favorite things

This is the orchid Jeff gave me for Valentine's Day. The one he joked about making him unpredictable, since I didn't know he was going to get it. It is as pretty now as the day he brought it home! I had no idea orchids lasted like this. Love it!!

Running has been helping me with my headaches and I've been getting them less frequently, but when I do get one, this is the best thing ever for taking the edge off while I wait for meds to kick in. It's a mixture of peppermint and lavender essential oils. You just roll it on your temples, the back of your neck, and your wrists and it really works wonders. I'm a firm believer in the power of essential oils.

I've been using this every night for several months now, and I really like it a lot. My skin feels really smooth and soft after using it and it doesn't give me break outs. (Yes, break outs are still possible in your 40s!) On the plus side, it's cheap--around $3 depending on where you buy it.

My Brooks Ghost 4 running shoes are great. Light, flexible and supportive. My shin splints are thanking me by going away since I got these shoes.

Got a new fave you love? I'd love to hear! Leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our own Marley

"Marley & Me" is one of our favorite movies, even though it's definitely a sad one. Sometimes our dog, Duke, reminds us of Marley, in lots of ways:

#1-He barks at people.
#2-He gets into the trash.
#3-He drinks lots of water. Sometimes it doesn't come from his bowl.
#4-He's been known to chew up prized possessions. (I'm still mad about that one).
#5-He plays and plays and plays and plays and plays and plays....
#6-And then he plays some more.

And lastly, sometimes he shows a very sweet, caring side. Yesterday was one of those times. My two youngest were sick, and Duke noticed that they were not getting ready for school like everyone else. He went into their bedroom and laid his head on Mia's pillow and looked at her with his big brown eyes, as if to say, "I'm sorry you're sick." Then he went to Libby and gave her a little lick on her cheek, as if to say, "I love you."

Then he laid down in the L-shape made by the way their beds are arranged, and stayed there for awhile. You can see their hands reaching down to pet him. It was the sweetest thing.

And then he decided to go back to playing.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Real life with diabetes

{picture from}

I haven't said too much about my son Jared and his diabetes on this blog. The last time was here. If you have not read that post, it will explain why the JDRF link in my right sidebar is named "Helping diabetes go die in a hole."

Unfortunately, although there are great strides being made in Type 1 diabetes research, it hasn't died in a hole yet. In fact, it reared its ugly head last night. Or early this morning. 3:30am to be exact.

I woke up to Jared coming into my bedroom. He said, "Mom, I'm high (diabetes lingo for high blood sugar) and I realized that my pump ran out of insulin about two hours ago. My stomach HURTS!" Well, the adrenaline started going, but I calmly said, "Go get some insulin in your pump. Quickly."

This is scary business. In the graphic above, it shows how high blood sugar leads to a keto-acidic state, which basically poisons a diabetic. Having had no insulin for two hours (especially while sleeping) is serious, because it takes as little as 3 hours for a Type 1 diabetic to become extremely ill, and only a little longer than that before coma can set in.

Jared got his pump filled and then came back and said, "What blood sugar should I use?" This meant that not only was he using the lingo when he said he was "high," but he was literally "hi"--the result he gets on his blood sugar meter if it's higher than 500. Not good. I said, "Use 500," hoping that it wasn't much higher than that. And then I continued to pray that the insulin would work quickly.

The story has a happy ending. Once again, we're very blessed in the care of this disease. Jared tested himself again about 4:30am and his blood sugar had fallen to 355. This is a significant drop for less than an hour. He was feeling better and things were moving in the right direction so I sent him back to bed.

This morning as he was getting ready for school, I asked him if he felt better. He said he was. Much better. Then I said, "How did you run out of insulin?" He said, "Well, I knew I needed to change the {insulin} cartridge last night, and then I just forgot." He's normally very hyper-vigilant about this stuff, so I was surprised. I said, "You won't do that again, will you?" He said, "No way!"

I am so grateful for answers to prayer! I literally couldn't do this without it.