Friday, August 12, 2011

Peach Heaven

I discovered a little slice of heaven yesterday.
And if heaven were an end of summer days dessert,
it would be known as Cheescake Stuffed Peaches.
Simple. Easy. Amazingly delicious. And Gluten free. What more can you ask for?
Here's how I made mine:

8 Peaches halved and pitted
3 Tbsp. Sugar with 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1.5 tsp. Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15x10 baking pan with aluminum foil; set aside.
Trim a very thin slice from the round side of each peach half so halves stand flat on the baking pan. Arrange peach halves, cut sides up, in prepared pan. Sprinkle cut sides of peaches with cinnamon-sugar; set aside.
2. in a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Spoon cream cheese mixture into peach centers.
3. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Serve warm!

I served these with vanilla bean ice cream. Heaven. Simply heaven.

A little talk on Confidence

I want my kiddos to be chalk full of confidence. I wish for them: Confidence in themselves. Confidence in the love Mom & Dad have for them. Confidence in their skills at school. Confidence in their friendships. As well as confidence in their beliefs...which of course, are growing, and are greatly guided by what Dan & I believe. That’s how life works, right? As a parent, you impart to your children the things that are important to you. Whether those things be a love of nature, a love of cookies, a devotion to perfecting some sweet basketball moves, or a love of God; what’s important to you will shine through and rub off on your sweet little chitlins.

Just like you, I had parents that taught me lots and lots of things. My mom taught me the importance of education. She taught me how to study, how to memorize just about anything, and how to knock the socks off any spelling bee competitor I came up against {except my older brother that is}. My dad taught me how to create art & beauty from seemingly nothing. He taught me how to ride a bike {in the grass so I wouldn’t skin my knees}, how to do long division, how to drive, how to get toilet paper out of tree limbs taller than our house {he was a jr. high school teacher – we got t.p.’d often!}, how to recognize feelings of the spirit, and how to share those with others.

From the time I was three years old, he helped me write “talks” for church. In our church, children have the opportunity to share their growing understanding of God and Christ’s teachings in “Primary”. Every week, a different child is selected to give a {very} short speech on a specific topic. Can I tell you – I love this! I am so grateful that I had the opportunity at such a young age to become comfortable in front of a crowd, and to gain confidence in myself.

My dad was pretty awesome at helping us write our talks. He wanted us to be able to stand and say what we wanted to say without any help. This might seem a wee bit impossible for a three year old who can’t read yet…but that’s where his creative mind went to work. He would draw us storyboards of our talk, then rehearse it with us until we were more than ready to stand up in front of all of our friends and teachers and present our talk with confidence.
Here’s a sample of one of the talks he drew for me way back in 1983, when this little miss was only five years old:

{He obviously let me draw myself in the last frame. I must have been hoping to hop up and dance on the podium}

Now, I have the opportunity to do the same thing for my kids. I’m not as intent on my babies having their talks memorized, but I do create storyboards to help them remember their speech. It has been so much fun to help my girls as they have prepared for and delivered several talks over the last five years.

Bella is a natural performer. She begged for a chance to speak the day she toddled into primary, and has delivered every talk by heart {even the ones that I remembered about while we are already sitting in our pew for Sacrament meeting, and scrawled out on the back of the program for her to use}. Azure doesn’t care about memorizing, but that girl can give a talk with gusto. She loves preaching the good word!
Last week, Calvin joined the talk-giving ranks.

He worked hard. He knew his talk. But, his little nerves got to him, and when he stepped up to the microphone, he turned to me with a blank stare and asked “what do I say?!” I whispered the beginning of each section to him, then he would remember, and BELT IT OUT through the microphone. I’m pretty sure it was headache inducing to all the teachers present…but it was a great confidence builder for him. He tackled a challenge. He succeeded. And he wore the BIGGEST smile when he was done. This is the little talk he gave:

This is a talk Azure gave last December: And Bella, well she is sooo experienced, and sooo much older... so now she helps me write her own talks with a lot less pictures, and a lot more words. This is one she did last year: So, among many laudable programs…one thing I love about our church is the opportunity Primary provides for my children to learn, to share, and to build ever-important confidence. And it's something I am confident will bless their lives forever.