Aunt Jan’s Sweet Potatoes

Every family seems to have those special recipes that are a must at Thanksgiving. My family is no exception. Without certain dishes, our holiday meal simply wouldn’t be complete. Aunt Jan’s Sweet Potatoes are one of those traditional side dishes that are a staple at our Thanksgiving feast — and happen to be my personal food assignment each year. To this day, I have never tasted sweet potatoes as divine as these. As you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast this upcoming week, I thought I would share this beloved family recipe with you:

Aunt Jan’s Sweet Potatoes

3 C. cooked sweet potatoes mashed (approx. 2 large potatoes)
1/4 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs beaten
1 C. butter melted
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped walnuts
1/3 C. flour

Combine potatoes, sugar, 1/4 C. of the brown sugar, salt, eggs, 1/2 C. of the butter, milk and vanilla.  Place in buttered 2 quart casserole dish.  Combine remaining butter, brown sugar, walnuts and flour. Stagvanroulyti . Spoon over potatoes.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Note: I usually  do this recipe and a half to fill a 9 x 13” baking dish.)

22 Days of Gratitude

“Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable.”  -Joseph B. Wirthlin-

On the first of this month, I decided that I wanted to really focus on what I am grateful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving this year. I know there are so many things that I can still greatly improve on. Though I do tend to live with a constant attitude of gratitude, I wanted to make an even greater conscious effort to focus on very specific things that I am grateful for in my “every day.” As I continue to work on this project, I have been reflecting upon just how much it has affected me. By focusing on these specific blessings in each and every day, I have been even more amazed than I already am, at how many things I have to be grateful for. Erconbootodi It truly takes my breath away.

As I continue to work on this project, I am often reminded of one of my favorite quotes from President Thomas S. Monson:

“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”
-President Thomas S. Monson-

Throughout the course of my life, I have seen how living in a constant state of gratitude not only lifts the lives of others, but also helps us gain perspective and see how truly blessed we are. As we approach this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope that we will be reminded and very conscious of our many blessings, particularly those that come disguised as challenges.

Seek First to Understand

I was teaching a class a few months ago and proceeded to pose the following question, “What is one concept, whereby, if it were practiced religiously, would completely alter every relationship in our lives for the better, and create impenetrable peace?” I am fairly certain that had I posed that very same question two years ago, I myself, would not have had the answer.

Two years ago was my first visit with Katherin Galieti at Ivy Institute, Inc. I expected to receive comfort and support through my divorce. What I did not expect, was an education that would change my life. I had visited with other therapists in the past, but this particular visit was unique from the start. I had not come prepared to listen and learn, but to pour out my heart and be heard. Katherin had greater, more Divine plans in mind for me. She did not simply want to console me, but to give me tools that would not only assist in helping me cope with the changes that were occurring in my life, but would also help me build a more positive and eternal future for myself and my children.

As my memory serves, it was in Katherin’s office that I first read Proverbs 4:7, a scripture which lays the groundwork for Katherin’s teachings: “With all thy getting get understanding.” Understanding. Such a simple concept, with such life-changing impact.

Through regular visits and instruction from Katherin, I began to see miraculous changes in my life, through the practice of understanding. Katherin urged me often to follow the counsel of Stephen R. Covey*, to “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” As I put this advice into action, I noticed that what had started out as “practice,” was beautifully becoming part of my very being. In the beginning, I had to make a very conscious effort to pause, reflect and seek understanding before reacting. However, it wasn’t long before pausing was no longer necessary. The natural reaction, when faced with negative and possibly even abusive energy, is to fight back, recoil and/or take offense. Yet, in this new place of understanding, when finding myself face to face with conflict and judgment — my heart instantly, and naturally now, sought to understand where the conflict and judgment was stemming from, instead of internalizing the judgment and acting in a negative manner. Though the harmful words and behavior were aimed in my direction, I felt instant compassion for the aggressor, instead of pain and anger. In a word, I had been transformed.

Two years later, and with much gratitude for the education I received at Ivy Institute, Inc., I now know the answer to the question I posed to my class just months ago. “What is one concept, whereby, if it were practiced religiously, would completely alter every relationship in our lives for the better, and create impenetrable peace?” The answer is, “understanding.” However, the greatest miracle is not simply knowing the answer, but knowing that I have adopted the answer and have truly become, in every way, a woman of understanding.

*  “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen R. Covey

Written by Heather D. White, Clinical Assistant, Ivy Institute, Inc.

Pumpkin Perfection

I don’t quite know what it is about November that has me so enchanted. Perhaps it is the fact that my youngest was born on the first day of November. Perhaps it is the crispness of the air that makes breathing so much easier for this little family who struggles with asthma and other breathing issues throughout the rest of the year. Perhaps it is the vibrant colors of the leaves and the first falling snow. Perhaps it is the excitement I feel when I am finally able to pack away my summer clothes and break out my beloved fall wardrobe. Perhaps it is because November seems to begin the holiday season for me — a season filled with family, gift-giving, happy memories and delicious food.

Speaking of delicious food, whatever the reason is that November seems so beautifully magical to me, it seems I instantly begin craving pumpkin the moment I wake up on November 1st. That first day marks the beginning of the holiday season when our home is constantly filled with heavenly aromas that are delighting our senses and so often widening our waistlines. . It seems only fair that I share at least two of my personal favorite “November Recipes” with you today.

Pumpkin Streusel Coffeecake

2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. butter or margarine, softened
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Streusel Topping:
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 T. butter or margarine
1/2 C. coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9-inch round cake pan (or 8 1/2″ spring form pan). For coffeecake: In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. For streusel topping: combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly; stir in nuts (optional).

Spoon half of the coffeecake batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of streusel topping. Spoon remaining batter evenly over streusel topping; sprinkle the top with remaining streusel topping. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes (50-55 minutes in the 8 1/2″ spring form pan), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

White Chip Pumpkin Spice Cake

1 pkg. Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix
3 large eggs
1 C. pumpkin
2/3 C. evaporated milk
1/3 C. vegetable oil
1 C. white chocolate chips

White Chip Cinnamon Glaze:
3 T. evaporated milk
1 C. white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt cake pan. Combine cake mix, eggs, pumpkin, evaporated milk and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes; stir in chocolate chips. Pour into bundt pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 25 minutes; invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Drizzle HALF of glaze over cake; serve with remaining glaze.

For White Chip Cinnamon Glaze:
Heat 3 T. evaporated milk in a small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat just to a boil; remove from heat. Add 1 C. white chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon.

The Relationship Entity

One of the first things I ask couples that come in for counseling to strengthen or salvage their relationships is, “What is a relationship?”  This may seem like a simple question, but it has been my experience, that there is much confusion about what constitutes a relationship.  Most look puzzled by the inquiry.  I establish the answer to this question at the outset since many couples coming in for counseling are usually looking at the other for change.  I begin explaining what a relationship is by first writing a diagram on the white board.  I write ‘H2’ on one side of the white board and ‘0’on the other side and then ask, “What is H20?”  And of course, they answer “water.”  I then ask, “Who is accountable for making water?”  Again, they answer, “They are both accountable.”  I then explain.  If a man and a woman were to sit across from and face us, we would have no idea of their relationship or if there even is one.  Unless or until some semblance of interaction took place we would not be able to determine anything at all.

Interaction is the key.  It is the interaction itself that occurs between two people that constitutes a relationship.  So, as it is with water, they are both accountable for the interaction.  A number of years ago, I had explained this concept to a couple and the husband’s hands dropped to his side as he exclaimed, “My last therapist told me that I was 98% of the problem!”  I then held up a tiny match and asked, “Who is accountable for a forest fire — this tiny little match or ten thousand acres of trees?”  It is obvious that both are accountable.

Like water and like fire, the interaction creates a synergistic outcome that is greater than the sum of its parts.  All relationships consist of interactions or communications both verbal and non-verbal.  To be more specific, relationships are nothing more than the encoding and decoding of messages.  Thus, the relationship becomes an entity separate and apart from the individuals.  So, if one wants to change a relationship, then one must change the interaction.

It is sad, but a very realistic commentary, that so many marriages turn out to become what I call “Cocoon Relationships” as a result of negative interaction.  Through the years, they become emotionally isolated and insulated from one another in two well- protected “Cocoons,” sharing only the most menial and superficial problem solving tasks, such as, who does the grocery shopping, domestic chores and the payment of bills or utilities, etc.  In contrast, it is inspiring to witness a couple who is learning how to become united.  Their oneness is becoming a “territorial fortress,” providing emotional and physical security for both.  This journey requires learning how to communicate with a language which is more pure and undefiled.  “A More Pure Language” is what I have been teaching for nearly thirty years.  It is a lifetime pursuit for us to change our thoughts, words and behavior, that we might enjoy our relationships to their full potential.  Our happiness depends on it.

Written by Katherin Galieti, MSC, LPC website analysis report . check links . find new domain server information Nuobearedustra