Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today Hailey and I made home-made pizza. I used to make it a lot when my family was younger but now getting a pizza is a nice break from making dinner so I don't make home-made pizza. However this is an easy recipe and a good one to have in your arsenal.


1 c. hot water (too hot will kill the yeast, so not much over 120 degrees)
1 T. yeast (I like SAF-Instant yeast)
1 tsp. sugar sprinked over water and yeast

When yeast mixture is foamy add:

1 tsp. salt
3 T. oil
3-31/2 c. flour

Mix into a ball and let rise until double. Roll dough into a pizza shape about 1/4" thick. Add toppings to raw dough.
One can tomato sauce
sprinkle with Italian seasoning or basil and oregano
Top with your choice of toppings, browned ground beef, black olives, or mushrooms etc. I like thinly sliced ham (I use deli meat) and pineapple (not the unsweetened kind.)
Sprinkle grated cheese over all. I use mozzarella or Italian blend from the store.
Bake in a hot oven.( at least 475 degrees) until crust is browned and cheese is melted.
I use a round pizza pan but I have a friend who bakes her pizzas on oven-safe dinner plates.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Frozen Bread Dough

This week we made cinnamon rolls from frozen bread dough. (Rhodes bread dough) I learned to become a fan of frozen from Grandma Kern and others. We always had it baked fresh at the cabin. I learned it was pracically indestructible. It was punched down multiple times. Somtimes it would burst the seams of of the plastic bag it was sold in while waitng it's use in the fridge. At any rate, it always tasted delicious. When people would ask our daughter-in-law, Emily, for the secret to her delicious creations, She would say, "It is an old family recipe."
I have borrowed her reply and unabashedly use frozen bread regularly from "an old family recipe".

Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Thaw 1 loaf of frozen bread dough and roll out to a rectangle about 12"x 18" or 24". Spread rolled out dough with melted butter or margarine. Sprinkle with white sugar, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts as desired. Roll dough and fillings in a long roll. ( the 18-24" side making the length of the roll). Cut into individual rolls with a sharp knife or string. Place on greased cookie sheet. Set aside and let rise until fluffy and light rolls are formed. (If you desire, you can squish down each roll with the heel of your hand. It will still rise.) Bake raised rolls in a 350 degree oven until done. (About 10 min. or less) Frost baked rolls with a simple glaze made of powdered sugar, a few Tablespoons of milk and vanilla or your choice of flavorings like almond, butter or maple.
I have used Rhodes frozen bread dough for a number of things such as scones, Parker House rolls, or Sticky Buns. Emily R. Kern even made calzones for us once. They were delicious.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exercises For the Soul

I spent all morning yesterday typing a post for "Exercises For the Soul". I didn't publish it because of an interruption. I tried to find it this morning but can't so this week I guess you'll just have to use your own creative innovations for family home evenings. See you next week.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Wednesday we didn't have the correct ingredients so Hailey and I didn't cook until Thursday. Friday I had to go to the hospital in I.F. for a bladder study test. Thursday I spent all day getting my digestive tract getting "cleaned out"
It reminded me of my Dad's opinion of chiropracters. He said, "The best thing about them is that it feels so good when they quit!" It wasn't particularly painful, just a big embarrassing mess. Anyway, I am glad to be on this end of it and think my problems before weren't so bad afterall. Here are the recipes of what Hailey and I made. The first is a recipe I cut out of an Ann Lander's column. She says there is no excuse to not give an expensive gift when you can give this "Economical Pound Cake". The berry topping I learned from Mary Ann Stanger, a lady in my Nampa Ward. I like it because you can make Strawberry Shortcake or anything else with Berry Topping without having to buy junket or "Danish Dessert" type of sauce.

Ann Lander's Economical Pound Cake
3 sticks (3/4 pound) good quality margarine
3 c. sugar
5 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon extract (or 1 tsp. grated lemon peel)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 c. sifted flour
7/8 c. ginger ale (or similar soda)

Cream margarine and sugar until fluffy and light. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in 1 c. flour then add extracts and a little of the ginger ale. Continue adding flour and alternating with Ginger Ale until all ingredients are used and batter is smooth. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured loaf pans or 1 greased and floured 10 " tube pan. (Ww used non-stick cooking spray.) Bake in a pre-heated 275 degree oven for 1 hour 45 minutes or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean and cake has begun to shrink frrom sides of pan. (Baking time will be slightly longer for 10" cake.)
Serve plain or with your choice of toppings.

Berry Topping

1 pkg. berry flavored Kool-aid
1 c. sugar ( more if desired)
2 c. cold water
2-3 T. cornstarch mixed in a little cold water

Mix and heat until thickened
Add frozen or fresh berries .

(This can be served on any kind of shortcake too.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Exercises For The Soul - Prayer

Note: Prayer is one of the most important things you can teach your children so that even when you are not with them they wil always have someone to access for blessings, protection and guidance and they will never feel alone.

Start the lesson by asking family members to share a time when a prayer was answered. The following is a story that really happened to Grandpa Kern when he was a boy.


One summer evening, after our weekly Young Men's Activity, my friends invited me to join them in an adventure that seemed destructive and of questionable value to me. They planned to walk home "the long way"passing a shopping center that included a 24 hour laundromat. The idea that excited them was to put coins in the large clothes dryers and jump in for a ride. There was also an old style pop vending machine that dispensed soda pop in bottles. Since the cap was exposed, it was easy to pop off the lid and use a home made paper cup to capture a free drink.
That summer I had worked as a river guide for the Boy Scouts, kayaking down the Snake River near Jackson Hole Wyoming...much more adventuresome than riding in a clothes dryer. Scouting was a major part of my life at that time and since I really didn't ever learn to play basketball (that was the regular activity for the boys my age), I had spent this particular evening with the younger boys in their Boy Scout troop meeting. I enjoyed scouting and had a very positive experience with the boys that night. I felt good. I was happy. I am no saint and not really a "goody two shoes", but the idea of riding in clothes dryers and stealing soda pop just didn't set well with me...yet I wanted to be with friends of my own age, especially since I had not been with them to play basketball.
While everyone was gathering their coats and using the bathroom, I slipped outside and knelt behind some bushes to say a fervent prayer... "Please Lord, help us find something else to do tonight."
As I joined the mob of 15 year olds we walked (actually pushed, shoved and tipped each other) down the street away from the church building to the intersection where we would normally turn right to go to our homes. That night we turned left. Almost immediately we heard gunshots, enough to make us run for cover in the bushes and behind the low fence surrounding a trailer park. After the firing ceased we huddled together to discuss the possibilities of what had just happened. and what we should do about it. We decided two boys should run back to the church to call the police. The rest of us stayed undercover to make sure no one left the crime scene (yeah right...we were so scared there was no way ant one would have approached someone leaving, but at least we figured we could memorize a license plate!).
The police were quick to respond, They put us in their squad cars for protection, grabbed their guns and entered the trailer park, (pretty exciting for us). It seemed like an eternity before they returned, looking relaxed, unruffled and calm. We were surprised they had taken no prisoners!
The policemen explained that no one had been hurt, but they had ticketed one resident for firing a gun within the city limits. Apparently he was angry with a neighbor's barking dog. I don't remember if the dog was hurt. I do remember a silent prayer of gratitude for "something else to do" that night. I was in awe of the power of a simple heartfelt prayer from behind the bushes...I am still in awe.
We continued our "long way" journey home, passing the laundromat without ever entering. No destructive rides, no stolen soda pop. We felt good. We felt responsible. We felt that we did not want to be a disappointment to the policemen we had just met. I felt a prayer had been answered, lessons had been learned and frienships had been strengthened through a common "bonding" experience. To me, a prayer had been answered.

Conclude the lesson by reminding family members that Heavenly Father answers prayers in many ways. Sometimes he says no because he knows what is better for us when we have to grow a little to understand. Sometimes he wants us to wait and sometimes he gives us something different than we are expecting. But we can be sure he loves us and wants to do what's best for us - just like our earthly father.

Hymn ideas: "Ere you Left Your Room This Morning". The name might be "Did You Think to Pray?" or "A Child's Prayer" from the Children's Songbook.

Person of the week: Grandpa Kern (Ralph) who has been kind and helpful and stuck with Grandma through this difficult stage of life even though it would be understandable to leave.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Whole Wheat Muffins

Despite multiple computer problems, I am determined to post this BLOG. I am sure my ineptness exacerbates things but maybe someday I'll be computer-literate. This week Hailey and I made whole wheat mufins including grinding the wheat kernals into flour. I have never bought whole wheat flour at the store but I suppose it would work.
I like these muffins because even though they are made with whole wheat flour, they don't taste too "healthy".


1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 c. whole wheat flour (often I use 1 c. whole wheat and 1 c. white flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. vanilla (I am generous with this amt.)
1 c. milk
1 c. chopped nuts if desired

Cream melted butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and stir in nuts. Bake in greased muffin tins at 425 degrees for 12-15 min.
Makes 12 muffins.
Serve with an egg dish like scrambled eggs or with soup. Ralph likes them with honey but since they are already quite sweet, I like them with just butter.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Exercises for the Soul

My "FHM' is turning into a "FHA" (Family Home Afternoon) but thanks to a little encouragement, I'm going to keep trying.

This week's lesson, again, has ideas borrowed from the Family Home Evening Resource Book. It's Title is:

Keeping God's Commandments

Start by telling each child about your feelings the day they were born. Explain to them that because you love them so much, you want them to be safe and happy. First, you follow rules that will ensure their physical safety. Have members of the family suggest rules that ensure physical safety. (e.g. Don't touch a hot stove.) You also want them to be happy. Have members of the family suggest some family rules designed for happiness. (e.g. Take turns.)
Heavenly Father also has rules. They are called commandments. Ask, "What are some commandments that will ensure our physical safety?" (e.g. The Word of Wisdom.) Ask, "What are some commandments designed for our happiness?" (e.g. Serve Others.)
Even animal parents want their children to be safe. When I was a teen-ager I was walking in the woods with my Dad. Suddenly he put out his arm indicating I should stop. In silence we watched a mother bear get her two cubs to the top of a tree where they were safe while she remained on a lower branch to be "guard".

An experience disobeying: Also when I was a teen-ager, the whole family came home from church one Fast Sunday starving hungry. My mother was hurrying to fix us a good Sunday dinner. She had just taken some steaming dinner rolls out of the oven. I couldn't wait until the family gathered for prayers and broke our fast, so I stole a roll and took it into the front yard to eat it alone where nobody could see me. The warm, delicious smelling roll did not taste as good as I thought it would and I have had to spend my whole life remembering that Fast Sunday.

Activity: Have family go on a Treasure Hunt with clues you have prepared ahead of time. (e.g. a picture of a bed where you have hidden the next clue.) The treasure can be a favorite family treat. Remind family members that not following the clues is like not following the Commandments to find our "eternal treasure".

Hymn suggestions: "How Gentle God's Commands" or "Keep the Commandments".

Person of the Week: Blake Manwaring who gets the children ready Sunday morning while Josie has YW meetings and has a good attitude about it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This week Hailey and I made omelets. Really, it was a chance to use my omelet pan which is a novelty and makes omelets so easy. You can make them in a regular pan which I have a sneaking suspicion Hailey already does but she is so nice she would never tell me. Oh well, here are the instructions in case any of you don't have this already have this mastered. If I am serving a large crowd and don't want to make individual omelets for everyone I just make scrambled eggs and put all the fillings on the side so people can mix in what they want. They tasted so good Ralph even made them for his brother who was visiting and just discovered he has Celiac disease and is on a gluten-free diet.

We made two-egg omelets. These were a meal for us but if you want a bigger serving, three egg omelets work too.
For each egg add a tablespoon of water and mix together well. Put in pan and swirl around until the pan is coated. Place over medium heat. When egg mixture just starts to set, add fillings to 1 side (1/2) of omelet. Salt and pepper to taste can be sprinkled over the top of omelet in the pan or added to the egg mixture before putting in the pan. My biggest tendency is to overfill the omelet and then you just end up with a pile of ingredients. If you are not sure you may want to start out by just making a cheese omelet with cheese only for a ffilling.
For fillings I use what I have on hand but my favorite is the following:

ham -diced in 1/4 in. pieces
zucchini - unpeeled and diced in 1/4 in. pieces
a small amount of finely chopped grreen onion
cheese - the amount you like (cheese can also be sprinkled on top if desired)
Fold over empty half of egg mixture and cook a few moments or until cheese melts. ( Be sure to leave a margin around the outside of filling so filling will be sealed inside.) Cook untl egg is cooked and filling is warmed through. (Not long - like frying an egg)
Serve with fruit and some kind of bread and you have a meal.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Exercises For The Soul - Agency

When I was a kindergarten teacher, I would spend one of the first days explaining the classroom rules. Afterwards I would ask, "Who is in charge of making sure you follow these rules?" Hands would shoot up with answers like, "The Principle, you (the teacher), our moms". Then someone would raise their hand, almost bursting, because they were sure they knew the right answer. I knew they were a regular "church-goer" because they would say, "God or Heavenly Father". They would be surprised when I shook my head no to all these answers. Then I explained that they were in charge of their arms and legs and making sure the rules were followed. This was a revelation to most and very empowering.

Teach the "Great Plan of Happiness" in a simple way so your children can understand it. Emphasize the fact that Heavenly Father presented a plan which Satan rejected and Jesus Christ promised he would carry out. Teach the meaning of the word "agency". Emphasize that one of the reasons we come to earth is to prove how we will use our agency - making good or bad choices.

Play a game where children show "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to a list of every day good and bad choices. Agency can also be practiced and discussed by playing the board game "Chutes and Ladders"

Serve a bowl of colored jelly beans or another favorite candy and allow children to choose the one they want. Discuss the great gift of free agency from our Heavenly Father.

For older children, you may want to discuss the book "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, a member of a WWII prison camp. He learned that even though he had no choice in what he wore, what he ate or when and how much he worked, he still could choose his attitude.

Person of the week: Jessica Kern - When Jessica was very young she came to visit Grandma and Grandpa. During family prayers I blessed all the grandkids. Jessica said, "What about me? I didn't hear my name." She reminded that each individual is important. Now when I say my prayers every night I ask Heavenly Father to bless each grandchild by name and think about their individual needs.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Promise...

Yesterday I had a few distractions so I didn't publish my FHM (Exercises For The Soul) post. Hailey got me off the floor and onto the couch and I have been holding very still since. I promise to get a FHM post out tomorrow. Probably no one cares or reads it but I am surprised by statements from people other than family who comment. I know this sounds like one of those "what kind of pizza I had last night" BLOGS but I really do it for me as much as anybody and I hope there is something valuable in them.