Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Food Nanny

I was up late last night (with grandbaby) :-), I was watching BYU TV and this great show came on. I have been a Mom for many years with my oldest 25 and making dinner each night can be be a pain. As I watch I realized I had lost sight of what the purpose of dinner was. Liz has such a great attitude and I loved her planning ideas. I used to plan but with so many kids and things to do the plans went out the window years ago. I see that I need to get back to a plan and really make that time a priority for my family!

Go to her great site and make your plan with her great planner

Family dinner is back!

Nothing can replace family dinner. The Food Nanny philosophy is built around the idea that the most important thing you will do each day is cook dinner for your family and sit down together to eat. The smells and chemistry that permeate the home throughout the dinner hour are without substitute. Research has shown that kids who eat dinner with their parents are healthier, more advanced in literacy, and less likely to get involved in drugs and alcohol. You can make a more unified, happier family in just one hour a day.

The key to a successful family dinner all comes down to planning. My famous Nanny Plan liberates you from the hassle of last-minute meal planning. Never again will you be faced with inventing a meal at 5pm! Using my Theme Night system each week is the best method for success. Your family will have something to look forward to if you choose consistent weekly themes. My Nanny Plan will also simplify your shopping efforts and reduce trips to the store.

The proof is in the pudding. Or in the cinnamon rolls. Or in the pot roast. Whatever foods your family loves, I’ve got the recipes to put smiles on the faces of even the pickiest eaters. My recipes are easy to make and delicious to boot. You’ll get a sampling of them in the online Nanny Plan, but for a complete list of mouthwatering recipes, my book The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner is your best bet.

About The Show

The Food Nanny is a new reality makeover show that takes a disastrous dinner situation and whips it into shape. From innovative tips and tricks on creating engaging conversation and enlisting your kids’ help with meal preparation to advice on refreshing tired meals, The Food Nanny will give you the recipe you need the most—a successful family dinner.

About The Food Nanny

Food Nanny Liz Edmunds wants to help you make over your dinnertime routine! For over 20 years, this vivacious dinner coach, author, and mother of seven has helped bring countless families back to the dinner table, night after night, for delicious meals and memorable conversations.

About The Book

The book that started it all, The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner will introduce you to the wonderful world of Liz. With over 200 delicious budget-friendly recipes, plus instructional pictures and pages of Liz’s expert advice, it’s so much more than just a cookbook. The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner is the next best thing to having Liz in your kitchen!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Elder Larry R. Lawrence - Courageous Parenting

This talk is from my past Stake President, this was the counsel we received many years ago when my oldest was 11 years old. (she now is 25) President Lawrence and his wonderful wife held a fireside for Parents with children under the age of 12. The words rang so true to me, we had already had two bad experiences with our oldest daughter staying the night at others years before and had already made the decision not to do sleep overs.

I knew what he was saying that night was right and it was wonderful to hear it. Donny and I as parents took this counsel to heart. We faced much opposition through out the years, even from our extended family. But I knew may first and primary concern was the health and well being of my children.

My nine children now range in age 5 to 25, two of them are married.

It is still a battle at times, but now the world has heard it and I hope we will all support each other.

Thank you Elder Lawrence

Friday, October 15, 2010


I love the season of Fall. I enjoy each season but would have to say I enjoy winter the least (I do love Christmas snow). There is something about the colors, pumpkins and the nip in the air. I am not a big fan of Halloween all the scary witches, ghouls and blood, to me there is an evil to it that I just do not like.

But when it comes to celebrating Fall I love it!! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, hot cider, the changing of the leaves on the trees, corn stalks, apples and hay rides.

The corn maze for 2010

This year I took the kids to Cornbelly's at Thanksgiving Point, I had never been there before. There are fun activities for everyone to enjoy. We watched pig races, went on a hay ride and walked through the huge corn maze. The had fires burning where you could sit and cook s'mores.

Lindsay on the Jumping pillows

It's a Cow Train?!
An ol' favorite, no visit to Cornbelly's is complete
without a ride on our cow train.
Squeeze Lindsay

You have to pump the water to make the ducks race

on the Hay Ride

on The Grain Train

Okay, Devin belongs on the other bus! Not on the Cool Bus

Princess Lindsay looking off in the distance
This is a great chair!

I need some of these!

Spooktacular Jack-O-Lanterns


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Caramel Apples!!

Easy Caramel Apples

Every fall I look forward to making caramel apples. What great memories I have buying a caramel or candied apple at the Fresno Fair every year. It's funny growing up in California where so many things grow, I had never seen an apple growing on the tree until I was married with two kids. I was in Ohio where Donny's parents had an apple tree growing in their back yard. I guess it is like when people see oranges or lemons on the tree for the first time, when you grow up with it you don't realize how cool it is.

So Yummy!!

5 Granny Smith apples - washed, well dried . We used Golden Delicious apples: golden skin, firm, sweet, the Granny Smith are a little to tart for us. Choose smaller apples - they'll be easier to make, easier to eat, and will give you a better caramel to apple ratio! Yummy
5 wooden sticks 
1 (11 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (the kids love unwrapping them)
2 tablespoons water

With a family our size we have to double and even triple this amount


Insert wooden sticks 3/4 of the way into the stem end of each apple. Place apples on a cookie sheet covered with lightly greased aluminum foil.

Combine caramels and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring often, until caramel melts and is smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Dip each apple into the caramel and gently run apples around insides of saucepan to scrape off some of the caramel. Scrape excess caramel from the apple bottoms using the side of the saucepan. Place on the aluminum foil and chill until ready to serve.

Kraft vs Brach's

Our experience: The Kraft caramels were creamy, light in color and stayed on the apples. The Brach's caramels were creamy but created air bubbles (so they didn't look as nice), the color a little darker but the caramel did not stay on the apples. So the outcome, we will use Kraft for now on.

Tricks and Advice

You can use a combination of different colored apples: red, green and yellow.

Choose uniform-sized apples--small apples work best.

Before dipping apples in caramel, set them on an even surface and cut half-inch slices in the top of each apple to ensure that the sticks poke straight up.

Dip apples in one quick motion; let excess caramel drip off. Holding apple upright, press toppings into caramel to hold them in place.

Use latex/vinyl gloves (available at drugstores) when pressing on toppings.

Use a pastry bag with a small tip and melted chocolate to make polka dots.

Set dipped apples on wax squares or parchment paper.

And remember: caramel apples are always best eaten the same day they are made!

Ingredients to Make Your Own Caramel

Recipe without Corn Syrup
Makes enough caramel to coat 6-8 apples.

Brown sugar (1 and 1/2 cups)
Butter (1 and 1/2 tbsp)
Milk, cream or water (6 tbsp)
Vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon)

Recipe with Corn Syrup
Makes enough caramel to coat 6-8 apples.

Brown sugar (1 cup)
You can use regular sugar, but brown sugar gives a deeper caramel flavor.
Corn syrup (1/2 cup)
Use either light or dark corn syrup. Dark corn syrup has a stronger flavor.
Milk (1/2 cup)
Cream (1/4 cup)
Condensed milk (1/2 cup)
Butter (2 tbsp.)
Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)

More Ways to Make Caramel Apples

If you want to give your caramel apples an extra kick, here are a few ideas:

Flavored Caramel

Flavor your caramel for an interesting twist on your caramel apple.
Vanilla extract goes perfectly with caramel; double your vanilla for more vanilla taste.
Add maple extract for a fall-like flavor.
Add peanut butter.

If you're melting caramel candies, melt chocolate caramels instead of regular ones!

Caramel Apple Variations

Re-create a popular flavor combination:

Turtle Caramel Apples: Add pecans and chocolate on top.

Rocky Road Caramel Apples: Marshmallows, chocolate, and pecans.

Peanut Butter Crunch Apples: Peanut butter cookies and chocolate drizzles

S'Mores Apples: Marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers.

Seattle Caramel Apples: Trail mix and chocolate chips.

Cherry Almond Caramel Apples: Almonds, cherries, and chocolate.

Sweet and Salty Caramel Apples: Chocolate and sea salt.

Oreo Caramel Apples: Crushed Oreo cookies and white chocolate

Chocolate Caramel Apples

You can always dip your apples in a second layer of milk or dark chocolate. If you're not a fan of chocolate, use white chocolate for your coating instead. Then, if you wish, add a third layer of crushed nuts or candies.

Check it out - There are 139 recipes to do with caramels on the Kraft website

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MyGetTogether - Chex Mix Party

It is always fun to be asked to give your opinion about a product. I was chosen to be a MyGetTogether host for their Chex Mix Snacks “Game Day” get-together. I was sent bags of the Traditional, Honey Nut, and Turtle flavors. I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE to make Chex Mix at holiday time every year and we have tried the prepackages before. It was good (but in my opinion, not as good as the homemade traditional mix) But it was an overall hit, it is easy, fun and there is something for everyone. Great for party's, picnics and on road trips. (plus there are box tops on each bag)

The host kit, a box full of goodies, plates, napkins, a fun bowl and coupons to share 

It is always great together with family and friends.

What is great about Chex Mix is it has 60% less fat than regular potato chips
and there are flavors to satisfy everyone!!

Disclosure: MyGetTogether provided several bags of Chex Mix, the football bowl, coupons, plates and napkins. The opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.