Archive for July, 2012

Chicken BBQ night

July 31, 2012

I consider myself lucky that I am blogging again for the Relief Society. Last time I totally spaced it and didn’t blog all week. This week. . . only a day late.

For all the summer BBQ lovers here is my favorite Chicken Marinade. It tastes just like the Yoshida Marinade that I have bought at Costco. . . .  but even better and it is all stuff that I always have on hand.

Tropical Island Chicken

1/2 c. soy sauce

1/4 cup oil

1/4 c. water

2 Tbsp. dried minced onion

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds ( I am out of these and usually skip them because I think they are mainly for looks right?)

1 Tbsp. sugar

4 garlic cloves ( I have been skipping these also because the dentist is worried about garlic breath)

1 tsp. ground ginger

3/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ginger

Combine and marinate with Chicken Breasts or Thighs about 8 hours, stirring often if they aren’t immersed.

Serve with Western Potato Dish

4 Large Potatoes, cut into french fry strips

1/2 cup evaporated milk (or half and half or cream)

1 Tbsp. dried parsley

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Cover with grated cheese.

Bake in covered dish at 400 for 40-45 minutes.

Happy Summer!


Friday Favorites Spotlight by Pam

July 27, 2012

This week’s spotlight is Sue Gong.


Sue Gong was born in Price, UT where her Dad was starting a flight school.  She left there at 18 months, to move to Montana where he was running a health  spa in a uranium mine. Sue’s childhood continued to be filled with the adventures that accompanied those of her  parents.

At 18 Sue attended BYU where she received a BA in English.  She went off to Hawaii for a year and lived in Boston for another.  She  fulfilled a mission in Uruguary and Paraguay, and then returned to BYU where she received a masters in English.  She was teaching English at BYU  when she met Brian Gong who was helping with a learning and teaching seminar taught by his father.  After the concluding faculty session held in Pajaro Dunes, California, Sue decided she wanted to sleep on the beach.  While Brian thought she was a little crazy, he helped rustle up a sleeping bag for her and quoted to her the W.B Yeats 106-line poem, “A Prayer for My Daughter” under the full moon shining on the dark sea.  That worked.

Sue and Brian were married two years later and raised Gloria Jean, Angela, Ben, and Jacob while Brian  finished school in Palo Alto, Ca and worked in New Jersey, Kentucky, and New Hampshire.    Sue considers New Hampshire her true home since in addition to the fact that she has lived here longer than any one place in her life., her great, great, grandfather left from here in 1832 to walk to Ohio and meet the young prophet, Joseph Smith. The Church is deep in her blood along with the New England culture that she loves.

Wednesday Words by Pam

July 25, 2012

Our Sunday lesson in RS was taken from President Boyd K Packer’s address at our latest general conference entitled “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them”. I will put some important quotes from this talk below.

The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children.

One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah’s prophecy that “a little child shall lead them.”4


I was number 10 in a family of 11 children. So far as I know, neither my father nor my mother served in a prominent calling in the Church.

Our parents served faithfully in their most important calling—as parents. Our father led our home in righteousness, never with anger or fear. And the powerful example of our father was magnified by the tender counsel of our mother. The gospel is a powerful influence in the life of every one of us in the Packer family and to the next generation and the next generation and the next, as far as we have seen.

I hope to be judged as good a man as my father. Before I hear those words “well done” from my Heavenly Father, I hope to first hear them from my mortal father.


Fathers and mothers, next time you cradle a newborn child in your arms, you can have an inner vision of the mysteries and purposes of life. You will better understand why the Church is as it is and why the family is the basic organization in time and in eternity. I bear witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that the plan of redemption, which has been called the plan of happiness, is a plan for families. I pray the Lord that the families of the Church will be blessed, parents and children, that this work will roll forth as the Father intends. I bear this witness in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


July 23, 2012

Emergency Essentials order is due this coming Sunday, the 29th.  Give your orders to Sis. Smith in the library.

There will be a linger longer this Sunday after church. Please bring two items of food to the linger longer for all to enjoy.

The next RS activity will take place Wednesday, Aug. 8th at 6:30. We will demonstrate how to use your Emergency Essentials items for every day eating.

Joy Gleason is going to the storehouse/cannery in Worcester on September 8th to can some food for her food storage. She is willing to pick up items for people.  There are copies of the order form  in the library of the items available at the cannery and their prices.  If you are interested, fill out the order form and give the  money to Joy no later than August 31st.

There will be a Stake RS temple trip on September 15th and a ward temple trip on the following Saturday, September 22nd.

The Young Women still need canning jars, both wide mouth and regular mouth in quart and pint sizes.  They don’t need the lids.

They would like to borrow sewing sheers for the weekend of the YW conference next month.   They will be returned promptly.

There is still a need for yard length pieces of fleece for the YW conference, too.

Please bring all items to the YW room.

Monday Menus by Pam

July 23, 2012

Today I would like to share with you some  recipes that can be used with some  of your food storage items.   One is a quinoa  salad recipe that I adopted from one Ashley Defreitas gave to me, one  is a recipe for sweetened condensed milk, and the last is a no-bake cheese cake recipe that uses the sweetened condensed milk.

Quinoa salad:  

Here is the recipe that Ashley gave to me:


black beans

sauteed onions

kalamata olives

feta cheese



Kraft Extra virgin olive oil  Greek vinaigrette with feta cheese and oregano

I don’t really care for olives and I couldn’t find the special flavored salad dressing, so I changed a few of the ingredients.

1 cup of quinoa, rinsed (always rinse your quinoa well.)

2 cups of water

1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup of finely chopped red onions

1 cup of feta cheese

two medium tomatoes, diced

1 large cucumber, peeled and diced

4 ounces of Ken’s Lite Italian dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

Put  the quinoa and water in a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes.   Remove from the heat, remove the quinoa and refrigerate until cold. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together well. Add salt and pepper to taste.  This is a light and healthy tasting salad.

Sweetened condensed milk

1 cup of dry milk

2/3 cup sugar

pinch of salt

3 T margarine or butter

1/3 cup water

Mix together the first ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Heat the water and the butter in a small pan until boiling.  Add the water and butter to a blender or a food processor. ( I like using a food processor–it is easier to get to the condensed milk when it is made.) Gradually add the milk mixture to the hot water and blend until all of the dry mix is combined.  It usually takes a minute or two. Use in any recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk.  This is equal to one can of condensed milk.

No-bake cheese cake

one 8 inch graham cracker crust

1 pkg cream cheese softened to room temperature

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (use the recipe above)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 t vanilla

pie filling or fresh fruit to serve with your pie.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until it is light. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and beat until blended. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla.  Turn mixture into crust and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  Garnish with fruit.

I hope you enjoy these fun summer recipes.

Wednesday Words: The Living Christ

July 18, 2012

I was away for an alumni mini-residency at Vermont College of Fine Arts this past weekend. The schedule was packed, but there were enough members of the church there that we received permission from the local bishop to hold our own sacrament meeting in a lounge early Sunday morning.

After partaking of the sacrament, we shared scriptures and testimonies. One sister recited The Living Christ. It was one of the most spiritual meetings I’ve ever had the privilege of attending, and it’s made me want to learn The Living Christ as well. Anyone else want to memorize it with me?


Monday Menus: Zucchini Salad

July 16, 2012

I recently came across a simple zucchini salad from California Olive Ranch. It was so good, so simple, and perfect for a hot summer day.

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Pumpkin Seeds and Shaved Parmesan

This recipe is a great summer salad to serve on hot days. The zucchini is raw which gives the salad a delicious crunchy texture.

Serves 6

  • 8 ounces green zucchini
  • 8 ounces yellow zucchini or squash
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves, torn
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Shaved Zucchini Salad

  1. Slice the green and yellow zucchini as thin as you can with a knife. Place into a mixing bowl with the pumpkin seeds, Parmesan, basil, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Mix together well and serve.

When I made it, I omitted the basil and yellow squash, and decreased the olive oil to 1/4 cup. I recommend using a really good olive oil (like one of the varieties of California Olive Ranch), since the flavor is pronounced in this dish.


Do You Know Patricia Smith?

July 6, 2012

I get the great opportunity to visit teach Patricia Smith (some of you may know her as Patsy). I love to go visit with her and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her more, so I thought I’d let all of you get to know her more as well if you haven’t met her yet. ~Joy Gleason~

Patricia Smith:

I was born and raised in NH.  I joined the church in 1976. I got married in 1977 here in the Portsmouth Chapel. A year later we moved to Casper, WY. where my first son, Jonathan, was born. A year later we moved to Vancouver, Washington. My second son, Joshua, third son, Daryl, and my fourth son, Brandon, were born there. In 1984 we moved to Cedar City, Utah and lived there for 6 months. From there we moved to Orem and then to West Jordan, where my fifth , Stephen, was born. While there  I made some really great friends which I still visit and connect with often. We moved back to NH in 1992 and have been in the same house for the last 20 years. I became a grandmother at age 42 and now have five grandchildren. When I can find time I love to spend time in my yard to tend my many gardens and I also love to sit and listen to my favorite music by Josh Groban and paint. I am currently teaching in Relief Society.

Patsy, Thank you for sharing with us. If you haven’t seen her artwork, you should. She is amazing.


July 5, 2012

~Joy Gleason posting again.~

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July! We were having so much fun, I didn’t get this posted yesterday.

This past Sunday we, Brian and I,  had a lesson on Gratitude (in Primary). Some key things we discussed with our class helped me to realize sometimes how ungrateful we can be. I thought I’d share an exercise we went through with our class.

1 – Think of something you are grateful for.

2 – Why are you grateful for it? (You are adults…you can take some time to think about this.)

3 – How can you show Heavenly Father that you are grateful for it? (Again, really think about it.)

The last question was one that stuck out to me. How can I SHOW Heavenly Father I am truly grateful? There’s the usual of praying and saying thanks, performing service, etc. I was thinking of all the things we have especially with the celebration of our countries independence. How can we show Heavenly Father we are grateful for our Independence? I’ll leave that up to you to think about. Sometimes we say we are grateful, but do we truly show it? I don’t want to go on too much about this. I want to give you the opportunity to think about it for yourself.

I wanted to challenge all of us to really think about how we show we are grateful.

“Our realization of what is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings.” ~President Thomas S. Monson~

Happy First Monday in July

July 2, 2012

~Joy Gleason reporting that it’s HOT out there.~

We made it to July! I love July. It is hot and sticky, but there isn’t any sign of snow or chance of snow. I LOVE July.

We just got back from a very fun vacation to visit family in Utah and Idaho and then we boarded the train and rode it back to Boston. One thing we love about vacation is that we get to go out to eat to some of our favorite restaurants. How many of you make lists of restaurants to eat at when on vacation to old stomping grounds? I’m sure I’m not the only one. After a few months of having those favorite dishes, I start to crave them again. I then go to good old Google and start searching for the best recipe that matches and cook them up. Most of the time, I’ve found some great recipes. There are a few that have been deposited in the garbage. I decided to share some of our restaurant “at home” recipes. Hope you enjoy!

Rumbi’s Hawaiin Teriyaki Chicken: This is a Hawaiin grill recipe that I really like. The website also has a recipe for coconut rice. It is so yummy even for breakfast. The veggies and chicken isn’t anything new, but the recipe for the sauce is one of our favorites.

Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana: A winter favorite or whenever you like to eat soup. I love to make this with hot breadsticks and salad. Then I set the table all fancy and it is our night out at Olive Garden!

P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps: I have only been here once because I wasn’t paying. I was very excited to find this recipe.

Gyro’s: We always seem to go to sandwich shops. I think it’s the bread lovers in our home. I love collecting and trying bread recipes and I’ll save those for another time. Lately, I’ve been big on Gyro’s and finding a great recipe. I really like this one. I prefer it with more veggies and omitting the meat.