Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dessert to Die For....


 English Sticky Toffee Pudding

Recipe courtesy Marie Simmons
The Food Network
Show: Cooking LiveEpisode:

Bonnie here...I don't really bake often but this recipe is amazing.  Jim's cousin brought it for Christmas Eve and it vanished quickly and with raves.  I wanted to share it with you and save it in my files just in case I really get inspired to go in the kitchen.

Picture of English Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe Photo: English Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
Rated 5 stars out of 5
Total Time:
1 hr 5 min
20 min
45 min


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish. Sift the flour and baking powder onto a sheet of waxed paper. Chop the dates fine. Place in a small bowl and add the boiling water and baking soda; set aside. In a bowl of electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Add the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack. Toffee Sauce: Combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small heavy saucepan; heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil gently over medium low heat until mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Preheat broiler. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the sauce over the pudding. Spread evenly on top. Place pudding under the broiler until the topping is bubbly, about 1 minute. Serve immediately spooned into dessert bowls. Drizzle with toffee sauce and top with a spoonful of whipped cream.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook~October 25, 2013

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Friday, October 25, 2013
Outside my window...it is beautiful and clear and still and 2:10 pm.  I can hear the nails pounding outside and Jim and Dave and Ron are putting up the 22 tresses that will support the roof of Jim's workshop.  It is a little bit overkill but you know what?  He can build any kind of a palace out there he wants.  He has dreamed of a wood working shop since he was 17.  So outside my other window I see them, it looks like they are building an arc.  When it gets painted forest green it will be practically camouflaged.  I cannot see the barn at all from the house and this will have the same roof and finish.  So outside my windows all is well.
I am thankful for....the peace and quiet that will return to our home one of these days.  The project has had three phases and we are getting near the end of the third phases and three years.  He does a little here and a little there and always beside him, his best buddy David.  Who could ask for anything more?  I love their friendship.  When they are not working here they are helping someone else.  Never a dull moment for or with them.

From the learning room....I am learning how to do Swedish genealogy right now.  I am barely beginning!  It is so much harder in another language as you might imagine.  But once you get familiar with the cadre of vocabulary words specific to genealogy it gets easier.  I could never pronounce these words but they are beginning to share their secrets with me.  I didn't ever think I could find our family in Sweden and we have plenty but with the help of some highly qualified people I have picked up bits and pieces of four new generations.  All the people are there I just have to decipher the records, transcribe them and put them in our tree.  I say "just" like it is no big deal but it is hard.  The last man I put in was born in 1766.  He is a several greats grandfather of mine.  I am also attempting some work on two of Jim's lines.

I am reading...Swedish Records!  And genealogy blogs.  I need to get to my sweet friends on regular blogs soon.  Nellie, Susan and Marie, God Bless You!  You are always in my heart if not on my finger tips.

 From the kitchen...Date night so it means some healthy snacks and then later tonight popcorn with our movie.  No idea what I'll come up with for a movie but I always find something.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...just how much I love being a Christian.  How much I love being a Latter-day Saint, how much our church culture has enhanced and filled our lives with wonderful friends, wholesome fun and good and worthy service activities.  But best of all the love of our Savior who helps us daily...no, hourly in all we do.

I am hearing...The sound track from Call the Midwife. "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"  A moldy Oldie.  The other question would be...why do we not think "we" are fools when we fall in love?  It is only "them!"

One of my guilty pleasures...afternoon riposo, just like the Italians.  They have good living down pat.  Two work periods in every day separated by a decent length of free time and rest to recapture your energy, spend time with your whole family when you are not exhausted from a ten hour day.  And then you begin in earnest again to finish the work of your day.  It is brilliant.  It is like 14 more productive and more meaningful days in your week.

Pet Peeves...I don't know why I have a hard time thinking of these when I do the Daybook.  I seem to run in them repeatedly through out the week.  Rude people is always a good standby.  We have run in a few this week.  Carol, you can relate!  The only thing that makes me madder than when people are rude to me is when they are rude to my family or friends.

I am quoting...Pinterest... 

Autumn just envelopes me with happiness.

If I could change one thing it would be...that special needs children could get a break from the so-called teachers and administrators that are supposed to be teaching them something good and worthwhile and administrating the programs for them.  There is no excuse for what Hazel is dealing with or her parents and grandparents for that matter.  Federals laws are being broken in a very cavalier way and it is not going unattended to by our great kids.  They will take this all the way and then hopefully help other parents of future kindergartners do the same.  Too many parents have rolled over and played dead for too long.  The buck stops here.  They be messin' with the wrong Mama Bear this time.
An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...We watched Moonstruck last week.  Ya know, Cher is a good actress.  She is also magnificent in Tea With Mussolini, I think we'll watch it tonight.  Beautiful if you haven't seen it. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright...need I say more?

I am curious about...the fact that in exactly two months it will be Christmas Day!  Really?

Plans for the rest of the week...I have some projects to do including rotating out summer clothes and bringing in more fall items.  I always sort through and purge out things.  Then I want to do the same thing in my office.  I will be working, getting my hair done, visiting teaching, meeting with friends and doing family history. Stake Conference over the weekend the first November week.  But first  Halloween and the next day my mother-in-law's birthday!  She and I will be lunching out while Jim is away that day.  We should all be so spry when turning 87.  Hey the fun never ends over here.
One of my favorite things...Pinterest, always Pinterest.   It is where I go to think, rejuvenate, feel loveliness and count my blessings.  I need it every day.  It reminds me of the worthy things in life that overshadow everyday hassles and struggles.  Pinterest is packed with hope and good cheer.  It is my favorite social media since you can enjoy solitude while engaging in it. 

One thing that made me so happy this past week...Having one whole day to do absolutely anything I wanted to do.  I loved that.

The most surprising thing this past week...that it went by so quickly.  Being preoccupied with work that I love seems to do that to me.  There is never enough time.  Another reason why I love riposo.  It slows down your day.  It is not just for eating and sleeping but to reconnect with yourself, others and things that interest you.  Life must be three dimensional and colorful.  We must strive to attain it in the way that works best for us.  I like to work hard, play moderately and rest easy.  That requires planning and saying no to something that wants to relentlessly eat up all of your time.

Balance requires a proactive life of making choices that work best for you your spouse and the people you care about.  Balance puts in the color of your life.  Spinning out of control all the time robs us of our joy.  Been there, done that.  Never again.  I saw my former  boss the other day.  Reminded me of all these things and the happiness I feel in being free from all of that.

A photo in two versions I am sharing this week...this morning while walking by a bank I saw this beautiful leaf covered in the morning dew on the ground.  I kept walking, then stopped and went back to photograph it.  I am glad I did. 

It was actually white and so pretty.

This is the sepia version
 Love them both!


❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Wish You Enough!

I just saw this and thought it was so touching.
 I wish I knew who gets the attribution.

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport as the daughter's departure had been announced. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said:

"I love you and I wish you enough."

The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left.

The mother walked over to the window where I sat. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry.

I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking but why is this a forever good-bye?"

"I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said.

When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"

She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled even more.

"When we said 'I wish you enough' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following, reciting it from memory,

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the
 smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through
 the final good-bye."

She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute 
To find a special person.

 An hour to appreciate them. 
A day to love them. 
And an entire life to forget them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Raise Your Hand If....

You cannot relate to this one!

Isn't it true sometimes that the cost of love is very high?  I am not just talking about romantic love but all kinds of love.  To love is to be vulnerable to loss, to grief, to sorrow and to great happiness and joy.  Love is risking those possibilities, and yet being open to the experience is always a great teacher. 

My friend of 23 years died somewhat unexpectedly last week.  The memories have been abundant, both joyful and happy and sorrowful as I watched her lose her memory and brilliant mind a little at a time until she did not remember me anymore.  That was a hard experience for both of us.  She felt her mind slipping away and would talk with me about it. I pray I will always have her memory with me as long as I live.  I believe that the deeper the love for another person the greater the loss and sorrow you will feel.  A part of you is changed because of the love you shared and when they are gone that deep emptiness that washes over you is difficult.  The memories become so bittersweet.  Loss is always a time of great introspection and solitude and for me often melancholy.  The grief we feel is for that loss, even when we know the other person is better off, we miss them terribly.

But I have learned that loving another person is about them not necessarily about you.  It is something you give.  If you are blessed to get it in return, all the better.  But the greater part of joy is in the giving of it and the way it feels to love someone.  And that is the part you get to keep even though they have gone.

When the longing returns you try to force yourself to remember that and keep going.  Hearts get broken because they do what hearts do best...they love and take a chance and something good always comes of that.  I'd rather have a broken heart any day over a heart that is incapable of choosing love at all.  To quote a line from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, "To love another person is to see the face of God."  We will all know His face well one day if we have loved at all.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Choosing Christ~Why Do We Do It?

This is one of the talks given at our General Conference last Sunday.  I love this one.  It is illuminating and uplifting and filled with hope.  I hope you will enjoy it.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Simple Woman's Daybook~October 10, 2013

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Sunday, October 6, 2013
Outside my window...It is Sunday afternoon and a beautiful day out.  Our gardeners came on Thursday afternoon and blew all the leaves into a big pile.  They put them into plastic bags and took them away.  Not 10 hours later we had a huge wind storm and down they came three times what they cleaned up the day before.  That is autumn at our house.  We have big trees and they drop a little most days and a lot when it's windy.  I do love it.  The cooler air is just so invigorating after a hot summer.  I don't know why autumn should feel like a new beginning but it does.  It is not unlike the autumn of one's life.  Also a favorite life season for us.

I feel I am still trying to get back into being home.  It has taken awhile but I am getting there in the last three days I have done the housework just peppered in here and there between some technical writing and our Church's Semi-Annual Conference.  It was five two hour session between today and yesterday.  It is held in Salt Lake so most people stream it or watch it on TV.  It has been a spiritual feast and we all look forward to it every six months.  So in between this and that I have gotten a lot done.  Just finished cleaning out the frig...my last thing for today in that department.  Sheesh, I do hate that job.  So it's dead last on my list.
I am thankful for....All the wonderful and uplifting and hope building talks we heard from our church leaders from the conference.  And the beautiful exhilarating music.  There is just no choir like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The talks centered on finding our refuge in our Savior Jesus Christ it seemed.  By following him and his example of goodness we can rest in his love in difficult and trying times.

The other theme was to never give up on yourself because He never will.  Repentance and retuning is important.  It felt like a gathering in a sense.  Join us in His plan of happiness or come back and be lifted up in his word. There is something so uplifting and unifying and wonderful in knowing we are sharing this time twice of year with 15,000,000 others.  It makes me think of the amazing people that we know and love from all over coming together to be spiritually feed.

From the learning room....I have learned that I love the freedom of narrative writing and really struggle with the technical.  I spent many hours working on some training articles for genealogy last week and it was hard to slice it all up into little understandable bites and to sequence it so people could hopefully just sit down and do it.  But I worked on it with my sweet friend, Carol, and that was really great.  Don't know what I'd do without her.  She made it bearable!

I am reading...just work related stuff and trying to catch up on so many things.  I am also reading The God Who Weeps.

From the kitchen..I just need a quick trip to the store towards the end of the week so we are good.  I have been feeling that crockpot kind of thing like comfort foods for the long nights now.  Signal to get back to Weight Watchers very soon.  I have also been stocking up our pantry and that feels good.  I remember when the kids were growing up on the day I'd get the shopping done and all the cleaning I'd love to just relax at the end of a long day and feel the coziness and contentment.  It is kind of miraculous what I could do in a day back then.  Now it takes a lot of time.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...that I am so thankful we have so many things in our lives that give us meaning and purpose.  I use to think about retiring one day and how Jim and I would sit out on the porch in our rockers and waste away day after day.  Wow that was something that could not be farther from the truth.  I must have gotten that notion from Ma and Pa Kettle because none of it remotely mirrors anything in our earlier life or now.  And I am grateful it doesn't. It is important to have something to do that helps you feels you are still needed and a contributing member of society. 

I am hearing...early evening familiar sounds outside.  A dog barking here and there, some crickets, car meandering down the street now and again and the muffled voices of a few people outside.  I just turned my playlist on and up came Love Somebody by Maroon 5!....lest you think I am am old biddy!  I bought this tune and put it on my computer.  Here's why! The 1st time I heard this song,  I was car dancing with our teen grandgirls and their mom driving down the street with all of us singing at the top of our lungs.  It was a warm summer night, all the windows were down and it felt good.  It created a heart print memory that comes back in a flash like only associated music can do.  (See why those vacations require a recovery time when I get back!  Hahaha!)

One of my guilty pleasures...Max Raabe singing 30s and 40s music with his orchestra  He is such a character and sings funny songs sometimes.  I have been collecting some of them because they just make me feel like a party.  (That is not a common experience otherwise.)  Check him out on YouTube sometime.  Jen's husband got me hooked on this German singer. Purely delightful.

Pet Peeves...That I have only been done with everything I needed to do once in my entire life and then it only lasted about 30 minutes.  Sheesh!  It was a magical moment though.

I am quoting...Pinterest.  I Just Love This~The Things That Make LDS Families Strong.

If I could change one thing it would be...that people would use more common sense and be filled with more compassion and thoughtfulness where others are concerned.  This especially applies to children.  Hazie's school doesn't understand this concept at all.  This is making a wreck of us all.  Especially her parents who already have enough on their plates.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...We watched Pelican Brief the other night.  It had been years and it was really good.  It has held up over time, one of Jim's and my criteria for a good movie!  Love Julia Roberts and Denzel in that one.  So sweet together.

I am curious about...how some people sleep at night?

Plans for the rest of the week...Well, I started this Daybook on Sunday afternoon and it is now Thursday morning so I have already lived most of my plans for the week!  I decided I did not have time to go for a re-do on this so am completing it and sending it out a little after the fact.  Today I am going to the Genealogy Library to work on some Swedish genealogy projects. We have actually three Swedish lines and we are at the very beginning of researching in Sweden.  We have two experts that work Thursday mornings so I am going in.  The overriding thing is I can have lunch with my good friend also.  There is a lot of construction going on over here and I need to get away from the loud noise of the tractor going up and down the side of our house for a little while.  On Saturday I will be in the Library also at an all day Swedish Genealogy Seminar being presented by a team of Swedish Genealogists touring the US.  We are privileged to have them come to our library. 
One of my favorite things...Seeing Jim and Dave work together.  They are tireless in this workshop project.  I love that they have such a great friendship.  It has been so much work and they are doing an excellent job.  We will all be happy when it is all done even though they are enjoying the process immensely! 

One thing that made me so happy this past week...Our condo we share with Jennifer and Lowell in Utah is in contact again.  It went on the market and had a few offers withing a couple of days.  Sold on day three then the buyers decided on another condo closer to their current location.  Then just a few days later one of the original couples bought it.  So hoping it gets done soon so the kids can move to Salt Lake.

The most surprising thing this past week...getting a letter from a good friend letting me know his mom had passed away suddenly a few days ago.  Val was a very special lady to me and we shared a unique friendship for many years.  She was like a mother figure to me, also a great sister in the Gospel, an example of an elegant, beautiful and virtuous woman, and my literary mentor.  She was a published author, a poet and an avid journalist, a well-educated teacher and a tremendous servant to her family and friends and her community.  She was 88 years old.  Even when you know this is coming it is a hard pill to swallow.  Thoughts of her have been flooding my mind and remembering all of our shared times has been bittersweet.  She was a completely devoted wife and mother to her four sons.  I want to be just like her when I grow up!

Some photos I am sharing this week...There is something about these colors that make my heart sing!  It may have something to do with autumn.

Pinterest Pins

Here is my Pinterest link to my Burnt Orange Crush!


❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Resurrected-An Old Post With 500 Hits-DIY Pumpkins

My kind of DIY craft & tutorial!
Cheap, Fast and Awesome!
I'm Hooked!

Go to a store with great bargains~
Buy some cheap, fake, ugly, mini pumpkins.
Go to Jo Ann's and buy a can of copper~
spray paint behind the locked cabinet doors.

Spray the pumpkins, or better yet
have your awesome hubby do it!

From Crass to Class in 120 seconds!
They really are pretty...

It would be fabulous on walnuts, pods or pine cones also!

Enjoy in numerous ways.

If you want some but don't want to store them...
buy the real mini ones at the grocery store and toss
after the autumn festivities.

They would make great place markers at Thanksgiving.
Just prop a cute little name tag against the stem.

I like  the different shapes!

In case you can't stop over for dinner! 
Click Click for a closer look...

I promise our walls are NOT lime green,
not sure why they are coming out
this way with our new camera!

Friday, October 4, 2013

2 Dozen Reasons To Be Happy Now!

My Favorite Season!

  1. The color: PUMPKIN
  2. Excited grandchildren that love picking out their own pumpkins.
  3. Carmelized Apple Cider From Starbuck's.
  4. Local Fall-Fest activities
  5. Dried, salted pumpkin seeds
  6. Nesting
  7. Bringing out the cozy blankets and throws
  8. Watching movies near the fireplace with Jim
  9. The anticipation of the entire Holiday Season
  10. Crockpot cooking
  11. Candles and candy corn
  12. The crackle of leaves beneath my feet
  13. The smell of fireplaces burning in cozy homes
  14. Goards and other seasonal decorative items
  15. Carving Jack-O-Lanterns with the kids
  16. Not having to dream up costumes anymore!
  17. Pumpkin bread
  18. Corn stalks and hay bales
  19. Scarecrows
  20. Red, gold and yellow leaves on and off the trees
21.  I also love all the fun photos of the kids playing and having fun this time of the year. Isn't it sad that we don't do this kind of stuff when we grow up? Maybe we all should in a few weeks when the leaves are deep on the ground and it is cool and crispy out. Thanks for the idea, Zachary!

22.  This Beautiful Autumn Wreath that my good friend, Sydne, made for me. I love this wreath! I love all the feelings of the approaching holidays it stirs up within. It is my favorite time of the year.

23.  Pinterest for the most beautiful array of fall photos you have ever seen. Take a peek  

24.  The crisp cool air, the need for a sweater, hoodie, or jacket.  It is invigorating.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Beautiful Couple~My Parents

Married 72 years ago last week
 on September 28, 1941
I miss them and feel grateful for
 Their wonderful parenting everyday!