Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Homemaking Tip – New

my nephew, Justin, and Rachel

I love the way my sister Rachel set goals for character development this year and thought it was a good tip to share.  She wrote:

“Did I tell you how I'm doing my goals this year?  A jar of 20 ideas.  I pull one out each day and only work on that particular thing.  Less overwhelming and easier than trying to improve in every area I wanted to all at once.  Today I get to “smile” more.  That's it.  That's what I'm focused on to help build my character.

Cali wrote Rachel back and asked for ideas.

Rachel replied, “Here are some of the things in my jar.  It's growing. (Mostly by other people slipping in suggestions.  It was not meant to be a suggestion box.)  
  • Smile
  • Act of kindness towards fellowmen
  • Act of kindness towards nature
  • Act of kindness towards pets/animals
  • Extra prayers throughout day as thoughts pop into my head for people in our ward
  • List the positive things I've done for the day
  • No sarcasm
  • Write a letter (besides to Jane or Justin)
  • Visit with a stranger (I'm actually looking forward to this one because I already have it planned out.  I get to go buy a candy bar from the gas station...)
  • Give compliments
  • Give more physical touch
  • Take more individual time with family member/s
  • Phone call (And Bert said this one COULD be to Jane or Cali... it could even be him if it got me to talk on the phone better)
  • An extra job I've procrastinated
  • Read more books to Hy
  • Take a walk
  • Lent (give up things that aren't good to eat on this day)
  • Don't procrastinate
  • FREE DAY (I might stick a couple of these in there, and crumble the edge...)
  • Donate (Just a word to live by for the day)

 I like Rachel’s idea and plan to incorporate it down the road.

One mini-goal I set for myself this year was to try one new recipe a week.  What with so many good cooks posting recipes on their blogs, and Trevor and Michelle giving me the Food Network Magazine there is no excuse for me not to improve.  I am pleasantly surprised at the Food Network Magazine.  Do you watch the Food Network?  Have you ever seen a copy of the magazine?  I don’t watch the Food Network so I didn’t know what I was missing.  From the recipes printed in the magazine, evidently I have been missing a lot. (I love that Paula Deen has unabashedly reintroduced cream and butter into cooking.  That woman knows her fats.)  

Here’s the recipe I tried last week from Your Homebased Mom  We really, really liked this cookie.  It was a refreshing change.

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

1 C  butter, softened
2/3  C light brown sugar
1/2  C  sugar
1  large egg
1  Tbsp  grated orange rind
2  tsp  orange extract
2 1/4 C flour
3/4  tsp  baking soda
1/2  tsp  salt
2  C  white chocolate chips

Mix together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg, orange rind, and extract, mix well.
Add together the flour, baking soda, and salt; slowly add to sugar mixture, mix just until blended. Stir in white chocolate chips.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment covered sheet
Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheet and then move to a cooling rack.

(I one-and-a-halfed the recipe without increasing the chips, used butter flavor Crisco, and baked them for 8 minutes at 375° instead.  I did this not because I thought I could improve the recipe but because I needed 48 cookies instead of 36 and didn't have any more chips, feel safe using butter flavor Crisco because my cookies are always more uniform with it, and 8 minutes because that is how I bake all of our cookies and so habit took over.)


Donna Chapin said...

I love Rachel's idea. If she is looking for someone to write to, I would love to get happy mail especially from Rachel. Love your posts.

patsy said...

I think this is an idea I can do~
thanks for sharing.

Deanna/Mimi said...

This is a fantastic idea. We have FHE on the first Monday of each month with all of our children and grandchildren. I told them at the Jan. FHE that February's was going to be a fun one. This is the perfect idea to do that night for fun. I will have the cookie type glass containers for each family, the suggestions that your sister gave and then ask each one present to give their ideas. Then to the tables and everyone will write, cut and fold and put in their jars. I am excited. I should bake something yummy that has a message hidden inside...cupcakes perhaps? Thank you for sharing the idea. Also, thank you for making comments on my blog. Hugs, Deanna

michelle said...

How very very funny that it turned into a suggestion box! Great idea for self-improvement that is not too overwhelming. The cookies sound good, too.

Becky said...

This is a wonderful idea! Tell Rachel thanks for sharing.

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Barb said...

Hmmm, I'm *on* FHE treat tomorrow. Plus I'm going to have a house full of 11-yearold flutists after school. Thanks for the recipe!

Jill said...

This is a great idea, I enjoyed reading Rachel's ideas and cracked up about the crumpled-edged free day slips.

I would really like to incorporate your new recipe idea as well, we eat the same things around her all the time.