Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Young Women's Camp

We used to donate a homemade quilt at Girls' Camp each year in our current stake.  It was the best service project!  Below is the first Girls Camp Schedule that my oldest daughter attended.  It was a S.A.F.A.R.I. theme (Stand As Faithful And Righteous Individuals) and was held at a state park in Georgia near an actual safari park with exotic animals.  I always loved going to state parks and girl scout camps for Girls Camp.  It was fun to see other locations to camp at.  This camp was well-organized combining the traditional with a new twist.  It's a nice memento and might be useful to others.  
Here's some camp songs.

I recorded these fun YW Camp crafts here in case the link ends up missing from http://www.christysclipart.com  Even though my own girls never did these particular crafts at Girls Camp, we still got to do them at home.  I've been a fan of Christy's sight for maybe ten years! 

YW Value Matches:  Using crayon wax, dip "strike anywhere" matches in the colors of the Young Women Values and put in ziploc snack baggies with this poem attached:  "In my hands I hold a match whose flame is small to see.  And if I give but one light to you, my life is filled for me.  But...In your hand you hold a torch for many eyes to see.  So hold it high that they may light their candlewicks from thee." 

YW Theme Shelf Sitter - Value Experience 6 (Christy's Y.W. Pages) 
Purchase a 4" x 4" post.  Have the folks at the hardware or lumber store cut it into 4" lengths.  Sand the sides and corners of each cube.
On the night of the activity, have the girls paint their blocks one of their favorite colors, using acrylic craft paints (they dry faster).  You can dilute the paints and do a dry brush "wash" effect, or a pickling effect by putting the paint on then rubbing parts off.
As the blocks dry, have a short lesson on the YW theme, and what different parts mean.
When the base coat is dry, the fun begins.  You can have stencils, patterns, images (to decoupage) and sandpaper ready.  Have the girls paint the words to portions of the theme on each side of the block.
1. Sacred Covenants
2. Stand as a Witness
3. Strengthen Home and Family
4. Receive Ordinances of the Temple
5. Blessings of Exhalation
6. We are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father
When the painting is done, use the sandpaper to rough the edges, and age the blocks.  You can also add a light coat of stain to age them even more.
During the week, the YW can have a different part of the theme showing for each day simply by turning their shelf sitters.

Hobby Lobby Sample
Fabric Scrap Flip Flops in the Young Women Value Colors
flip flops
bandannas in value colors
Pinking shears
Trim off the hemmed edges of each bandanna.  Cut 1" x "8 pieces from the bandannas.  Use pinking shears to trim around each piece.  Wrap the pieces around the straps of the shoes and tie a knot.  Alternate the colors and push close together to make fuller.  Repeat until both straps are covered.

 Sample Stake Girls Camp Itinerary 

See Also:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Creamy Italian Dressing in a Jiffy!

Do you ever prepare a salad for dinner only to find that after everything's ready there's no dressing?!  I've been making this Creamy Italian dressing for a few years.  Homemade dressings may seem daunting, but  this recipe is easy.  I always have the ingredients on hand, and it tastes delicious.  Also, Italian dressings are pretty much universally liked.  One ingredient I didn't have on hand was Italian seasoning.  I just mixed up my own recipe which is recorded on my post, For Seasoned Cooks.  The recipe made more than I could fit in my spice jar so I put the rest in a small baggie with the recipe for Creamy Italian dressing written on the bag.  I plan on giving this away as a small gift for a friend.

Creamy Italian
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 small onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Place all ingredients in blender container; cover.  Blend on medium speed 15 seconds or until smooth.  Cover; chill.  Makes about 1-1/4 cups.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Yankee Corn Sticks

Here's a new recipe I recently found and absolutely love!  Yankee Corn Sticks are light, fluffy and easy to make in my cast iron corn stick pan.  These are delicious with my Camp Stew recipe.

Yankee Corn Sticks (Print)
1 cup yellow cornmeal 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 c. sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease the iron corn stick pan with Crisco, making sure that you really work the grease into the mold and the top of the mold so the corn sticks will come out easily.  Let the pan heat up in the preheating oven for about 10 minutes while mixing up the batter.

Mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Add the eggs, milk, and oil.  Beat just till smooth (do not over-beat).  I always let my corn bread batters "rest" for a few minutes before filling the pan.  They will come out fluffier.

Spoon into the hot, greased corn stick pans; fill 2/3 full (be sure not to over-fill).  Immediately place in the oven 12 to 15 minutes.  The muffins might be a little stuck together or to the top of the pan so I use a knife with a sharp tip to loosen the baked corn sticks from the pan.  Yield: 20 corn sticks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peanut Butterscotch Morsels

Had a creative week during Christmas break.  Maybe it was because I was so used to working on Christmas crafts that I started to go through withdrawals and needed a "fix."  So besides coming up with (and maybe someone had already discovered it) Chicken Macaroni Salad, I decided to see what sweets I could quickly create.

I had half a bag of butterscotch chips and half a can of salted peanuts on hand.  That was pretty much it unless I wanted to do some baking--WHICH I DID NOT!  I threw the butterscotchies in a microwave-safe bowl and zapped it for 45 seconds twice, stirring in between.  The bowl was hot so I carefully took it from the microwave and added my peanuts.  Then with a teaspoon I dipped out very small amounts onto wax paper, using a spatula to make sure not one speck of melted butterscotch was left in the bowl.  The spoonfuls set pretty quickly since they were small.  In about 15 minutes the Peanut Butterscotch Morsels were ready.  SERIOUSLY GOOD!

Now that I have this easy, quick fix for a sweet tooth, I'm going to have to increase my workout time for sure.  I'm writing the recipe for my kiddos who inherited their parent's sweet tooth.

Peanut Butterscotch Morsels
1 cup Hershey butterscotch chips (brand melts the best)
1 cup salted peanuts (I wonder how cashews would taste?)
In a microwavable-safe bowl, melt butterscotch morsels for 45 seconds.  (Start with 20 seconds at a time to see how long your microwave takes--it may need more or less time).  Stir just a bit to loosen; microwave for another 45 seconds (depending on your microwave).  Stir morsels just until nearly melted; stir in peanuts to coat.  Dip out mixture with a teaspoon onto wax paper placed on a flat surface.  Let it set for at least 15 minutes--unless you like to eat them gooey :) like I sometimes do.  Once set, they store very well in a ziploc baggie.  Recipe can be doubled.  This would make a nice candy to place on cookie and candy plates you give out at Christmas time.  They are very pretty and would look nice in a pretty dish at a party.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Coffee Cake (Biscuit Mix)

As shown, I make Christmas Coffee Cake with pecans on one side because my son doesn't like the nuts.  I use my own homemade baking mix (like Bisquick) that has wheat in it to make this beautiful coffee cake.  This way I can rotate my wheat a little faster and the coffee cake tastes sooo much better.  If you make Wheat Quick Mix, you can use regular shortening (that's what the original recipe from Southern Living magazine called for), but I like it even better with butter-flavored Crisco.  Find a scrumpious pancake recipe using Wheat Quick Mix found near the bottom of Some Favorite Campy Things, camping part 2 post.  For delicious homemade 7 Up Biscuits see Homemaker's Journal post Easy, Perfect Biscuits.

Christmas Coffee Cake (Biscuit Mix)
1, 3-ounce package cream cheese
1/4 cup margarine or butter (I prefer butter)
2 cups biscuit mix or Bisquick
1/4 cup milk
1/2 can pie filling of your choice (I like cherry)
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Cut cream cheese and butter into biscuit mix till crumbly.  Add milk; stir until mixed.  On lightly floured surface, knead dough 10-12 strokes.  On waxed paper, roll or pat dough into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle.

Invert onto greased baking sheet; remove paper.

Spread filling down center of dough.  Make 2-1/2 inches cuts from long sides toward center at 1 inch intervals.

Fold strips over filling and pinch in center.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.  FREEZE at this point if desired.  When thawed, drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze.  Yield:  12 servings.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
In a bowl stir together 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and enough milk to make a drizzling consistency (1-2 teaspoons).  If using peach filling, add 1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring to glaze mix and a little less milk.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter Days: Cleaning Schedules

I admit, my New Year's Resolution could only be exciting to a Homemaker.  I resolve to clean my entire home and yard in an organized manner!  Yes, I am very excited about this!!  A personal cleaning schedule is something I want to include in my own homemaking journal I am putting together for my kids.  The idea came from recently rereading all of the Little House books (Laura Ingalls Wilder) and finding a cleaning schedule in Little House in the Big Woods.

"Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday."

I think everyone would take a restful Sunday more seriously if they had to work hard six out of the seven days a week.  Little House in the Big Woods takes place before everyone had kerosene lanterns and coal burning stoves.  Very few women could work outside the home because there was so much to accomplish at home.  I really feel for the women back then who believed they were not talented at homemaking.  You really had to make the effort anyway!

I've been reading old Relief Society manuals from the late 1980's and 1990's.  I love how much emphasis the Church used to put on Homemaking Skills, keeping homes clean and tidy, and being organized.  Now I remember where I get this from.  I had my 19 year-old daughter read a lesson by Russell M. Nelson, (Apostle) about abortion.  When she was through reading that lesson, she became so interested in the other lessons that she asked if she could take the book back to school with her.  (I'm so proud!)

Some of my Daily Chores are pretty hefty and may take splitting the chores up for that day and completing them over two weeks.  Also, we only have 1400 sq. feet (by choice) so I don't have a huge house to clean.  If the kids are around with nothing better to do (like homework...) they help me.  Here's my Daily Schedule:

Each Day:
Personal Prayer
Laundry (1-2 loads daily)
9-10am, Work Out (Leslie Sansome Walk at Home)
10-12am, Daily Chore (listen to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Conference Talks during chore):
Daily Chores List:
Mondays:  Mop floors and vacuum (furniture too), wash rugs, clean porch room floor
Tuesdays:  Clean personal bathroom (husband and son share a bathroom that they clean), my bedroom, and dust my bookcases (takes up one whole wall), blinds and fans (including bath exhaust fan)
Wednesdays:  Dust a different room each week including porch room, (blinds and fans, corners and ceilings included and wash windows, clean leather chairs).
Thursdays:  Bake bread, clean out fridge and clean appliances (exterior)
Fridays:  Water plants, vacuum and wash truck (my personal vehicle) thoroughly, pay bills, create menu (using up stuff in the fridge and pantry) and create list for the rest of my groceries, grocery shopping
Saturdays:  Deep clean (a different one each week)--
cabinets (any throughout house)
laundry room (and vent system)
range hood and filter
vinyl siding
exterior windows and screens
paint any wood exterior (this years' project)
yard work

12:00-2:50pm, While resting, study either GRE test, a past bookmarked Ensign article, or the Sunday School lesson (scripture study)
2:50-5:00pm, School pick-up and fix dinner
5-7pm, Pay bills/File papers, menu and grocery list updated, help with homework
7:00pm - bedtime, Do something creative (catch up on scrapbooks, sew dress and fleece shawl, complete sanding and cleaning repurposed furniture, complete cross-stitch project).
Family Prayer, Personal Prayer/Read novel

Here's my checklist for the week:


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