Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kitchen Confessions

Okay, here it is.  I don't like pie.  I know!  Crazy, huh?  Especially since my last name is Pyper.  I, of all people,  should love pie.  I have really tried to like pie.  I have made all kinds of pie, pie in a jar, pie pops, all to no avail.  This is what I discovered:  I really only like the filling.  I don't like crust.  It is a necessary evil to keep all that luscious filling together in the oven.  I have tried all kinds of crust.  Finally, I found one that I love.  It is made of cake mix and butter.  That's it.  And let's face it, anything with butter is going to be good.  

Some people call this recipe Dump Cake.  This makes my husband laugh for some reason.  I prefer to call it Easy Cobbler.  Or, pie-that-must-not-be-pie.  Whatever you call it, you will want to eat it.  Right out of the pan.  For breakfast the next day.  Every time you pass through the kitchen.  It is that good.  So here goes:

The huge ingredient list is as follows:

1 box yellow cake mix
2 cans pie filling (I like cherry)
1 1/2 - 2 sticks butter

Preheat the oven to 375 F and then spread the pie filling in a pan-this is a 10x10, I think.
You can use a 9x13, but I like a little thicker crust.

Then, sprinkle the cake mix all over the filling.  

Finally, slice the butter into slices about 1/4 inch thick and put them all over the top of the cake mix.

Put in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until the crust is turning a nice golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

I don't pretend to know what kind of wondrous alchemy takes place between the butter and the cake mix, but it is magical.  Buttery, sweet, chewy and crispy--and then all that luscious filling!

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
And cold for breakfast, with diet Coke.

Enjoy this non-pie from the Pied Pyper!

linking up to thirtyhandmadedays.com

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Women's Conference Workshop: T.O.D.A.Y. While the Sun Shines

Here is the workshop I taught a while ago for our stake women's conference.  

“Today While the Sun Shines”
Intro:  How many of you have that nightmare where you are standing in front of a crowd, wearing your bathrobe, completely unprepared for what ever it is you are supposed to be doing? (Side note-  I actually started off my class wearing my bathrobe over my dress.  I think some ladies thought I was crazy.)  You have so many roles that you don't even know which one you are not fulfilling! 

Read the Girl in a Whirl (found here)

Q:  How many of you feel like the girl in the whirl?  Are we in such a whirlwind in our lives that we are missing out on the important things? 

Discuss the parable of the 10 virgins :  No one wants to be caught without oil.

Read:  Ephesians 6:15—preparation is not one of Satan’s ideas.  He wants us to eat drink and be merry,  or tells us all is well in Zion.  Preparation is part of God’s plan.  Instead of being caught up in everything we think we “should” do, I have tried to identify 5 basic things that we CAN do each day that will help us feel we are “preparing to meet God”.

T-talk to Heavenly Father
O-add some oil to your lamp
D-do something for someone else
A-be active
Y-take a moment for you

Here are some of my journal entries (just to keep it real) :


did you think to pray?
I did, but as I was praying for my precious children, I heard one of them screeching at the other one followed by some violent sounding noises. Does this mean I should stop praying and go intervene? Should I pray for divine intervention? Or is this the Lord's way of saying, "Seriously? You think you have 5 minutes for spiritual communion? Get real and get to work, girl!" I just don't know! :)

Adding oil:
Alma 32:10-11
How can I better worship God?  Am I just a Sunday Saint?  More like a Sacrament Meeting Saint.  Sometimes, I go from feeling good, to wanting to kill the kids, all in the 5 minutes it takes us to get home!

Time for me

Today, taking time for me consisted of eating seven, yes, seven! Reese’s peanut butter eggs! 

Let's discuss each goal in detail.

T—talk to Heavenly Father

Read:  Alma 34:19-27
Read:  2 Ne. 32:8-9
Why do I not feel like praying sometimes?  What happens when I don’t pray?  Is it worth it to me to give up 2 minutes on either end of the day to talk to the Lord. 
Lamoni’s father—Alma 22:15
Willing to give up all he had, and then all his Sins to know God.
When we don’t pray, we are not tuned in to the right frequency.  We are flying deaf and blind.
Q:  What am I trying to accomplish with prayer? 
Here is a little story about my family.  My husband adores our children.  He loves to talk to them and spend time with them and wants them to be happy.  One day when he came home from work, our little Ellie told him that she had to sit out recess because she had lost a special ruler that the teacher had sent home.  (Probably mommy lost it, but we did look really hard)  He felt so bad for his little girl and I was almost surprised by this.  But then I realized that he truly delights in the happiness of his children and aches for their sorrows, big and small.  That kind of interest from an earthly father surely can't be greater than the one our Heavenly Father has in us! 

When we pray,that is what we are trying to do—talk to our Father

O—Add some oil to your lamp

Scripture reading gives us spiritual fuel in the same way that oil/electricity/flame gives us light.
Read:  Alma 37:38-46  Think about how the scriptures give you direction.

Do pondering exercise:

Read the following scripture:
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a a
steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life.”  2 Nephi 31:20

Take a moment to think about this verse.
What impressions come to your mind? 
What do you feel you can do TODAY to apply this scripture in your life?

Three things scriptures do for us:
1.    Enlarge our memory: Alma 37:8
2.    Convince us of the error of our ways-Hel. 3:29
Discuss when the scriptures have shown you the truth?
3.    Bring us to a knowledge of God
We can learn to “delight “ in the scriptures!

D—Do something for someone else
Don’t think about service—DO IT

Mosiah 2:17
John 13:4-17
Luke 10:29:37
Question:  How do little acts of service bless your life? 

A—Be Active
Exercise and be actively grateful.
Benefits of exercise:

1. Exercise improves your mood.  Helps with depession
2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.
3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.        
4. Exercise boosts your energy level.
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

Benefits of gratitude 
Read from Ensign articlefound here
Gratitude is the beginning of desire
1 Ne 1:20  Be grateful for the tender mercies in your life

Y—take a moment for you
2 Ne 2:25—Joy
Discuss Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk on Happinessfound here
How do we fill the measure of creation?
Why is it important?

Share this quote:  "Greatness is not found in a single, magnificent act.  It lies in doing the tedious, the mundane and the wearisome with enthusiasm and intensity."  -Elder L. Aldin Porter

Little things matter.  Prayer, scripture study, service, gratitude, and tending to our well-being daily will make a difference.
Read 2 Nephi 9:50-52
Let’s spend our time and labor on the things that matter—Christ will give us what we need if we do this every day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

I love camping

Especially when I don't have to go!   :)

My lovely husband wanted to go camping on President's day weekend.  Me, not so much.  Something about having to do all the same things I do all day, but without electricity, running water, an oven, 1000 thread count sheets, just doesn't seem very relaxing to me.  I'm just saying.  But luckily, there are three other ladies in the house who are more than eager to conquer the outdoors with their dad.  So, after we returned from stake conference on Sunday afternoon, they packed up and off they went.  Leaving me all allone.  Except for the two dogs who require my constant attention.  So pretty much alone.  

Here they are, the happy campers!  Ready for a nice hike.  If only we didn't live in Oklahoma where it is completely flat.  

Daddy built a lovely fire and they all snuggled around.

 Here is Rachel, proving that a real woman looks fabulous with no makeup on whatsoever! ( I have found this doesn't hold as true once you pass forty.)

 Bekah is completely absorbed in recording their adventures in her trusty notebook.  She loves to write about her daily life.  And her dog Timmey is intently following along.  She is probably writing about the nice purple sleeping bag her daddy bought her so she would stay warm.

Here is the father of them all, topping off the night with some "hot delicious schmoes"!  (Movie line, anyone?)      Scrumptious!  Oh yes, and the smores look good, too!

And what did I do for about 20 hours all by myself?  Well, I didn't have to put ANYONE to bed!  I did not cry myself to sleep.  I blissfully and unapologetically reveled in the silence--and then I did about 5 loads of laundry and cleaned bathrooms and all the normal stuff.  But it was quiet!  It was nice to have everyone back  on Monday afternoon, but would I do it again?  Yes, yes, and yes.  I love camping, remember?  

dr seuss day

Happy Dr. Seuss day!  I had asked the girls about taking a treat to school today, and we saw some different ideas on pinterest, but they weren't that excited about them.  So, I put on my cat-in-the-hat thinking cap and this is what I came up with:

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish cookies!

I made these with oreos, dipped in candy melts.  Then, my lovely assistant Ellie topped them with a swedish fish and a blue sweettart fish!  Cute and easy.  

And truffula tree cupcakes!

These were also easy.  I just bought some mini cupcakes at Walmart.  Of course, they didn't have any green ones, so I used some of the color spray you can get in the cake decorating aisle to turn them green.  Then we planted pretzel tree trunks and topped them off  with marshmallow tree tops!  Those were actually marshmallows we found on the easter aisle, originally shaped like ice cream cones.  I just chopped off the cone part with scissors.  Super easy, fun, and cute!  And, Bonus!  I didn't even turn on the oven!  Plus look at the cute girl that came with the truffula cupcakes!  I think I picked her up at walmart, too!  :)