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Dark German Chocolate Cake Bars

My husband lived in American Samoa for three years as a child (ages 8–11) while his parents taught at the LDS church school there. Eight years later his dream came true and he was honored to serve as an LDS missionary in both Western and American Samoa for two years.

Dark German Chocolate Cake Bars

Sam loves the Samoan people and everything Polynesian. One of those things he came to love is anything with coconut. For his birthday this year, I looked for a coconut recipe that was a little different for his birthday cake. We ate this at our family party last night and it was a delicious hit. Thanks Paula Deen!  [click to continue…]


BYU Football: No More Carl’s Jr.

Last year I wrote an open letter to BYU athletics about their affiliation with the slimy Carl’s Jr. franchise. Later I wrote a followup noting that, all claims to the contrary, some local franchise profits do (of course) get funneled to corporate advertising.

BYU Football: No More Carl's Jr.Carl’s Jr. doesn’t even try to be subtle in its objectification of women and everyone seemed to understand this except the people at BYU collecting the cash. As Keith Berry commented on an AdWeek article about the latest sleazy commercial:

Wouldn’t it be better to scrap all the masturbatory innuendo, and just simply have a guy furiously pleasuring himself as she walked by? Sure, it lacks all the subtlety and artistic prowess of a typical Carl’s Jr. spot, but a little more on brand, no?

“On brand” is right. And the BYU partnership with such branding created more than a little cognitive dissonance. I sent the letter to every person in both BYU Athletics, the BYU Corporate Partnership Staff, BYU administration—anyone I could get contact information for. I did not receive a single response from anyone, in any capacity, in any department.

Yesterday, however, I received some very good news. The 2015 BYU football seaon tickets do not feature Carl’s Jr. and no hint of CJ can be found anywhere in the brochure!

To all those who spoke up and to all those who took action, thank you!


Today I intended to write about the vile and disgusting Planned Parenthood and all the companies that support them (and, thus, with whom I will no longer do business, such as Wells Fargo and Liberty Mutual (BYU Alumni Association, heads up!), et. al.), but that it being put off to attend to the Mormon Newsroom revelation published this week.

BSA Homosexual Leaders Sexism

But first, some background…

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Slow Cooker Asian Garlic Chicken and Veggies

Slow cooker Asian Garlic Chicken & VeggiesSummer cooking gets me down for all sorts of reasons.

  1. It is too nice outside to stay inside and cook.
  2. Cooking makes things hot(ter).
  3. Cooking.

And thus I am always on the lookout for dinners that are quick, healthy, and tasty, without burning up the house.

Today I found a simple dish that uses my favorite appliance, the slow cooker. I modified it just a bit to suit our needs and threw it in the crockpot in just a few minutes.

Using baby carrots and the really teeny baby potatoes (I used golden potatoes today) makes the recipe even easier, since there’s no peeling or cutting or prep.

The original recipe called for skinned chicken thighs, but I don’t like my food swimming in all that extra fat, so I pulled it off. After I removed the skin, I put it in a microwavable bowl and quickly cooked it up for our pets. They love it!

This meal also makes a tasty cold lunch the next day. Just add some fresh fruit and you’re set. Monica is in rehearsal for about six hours per day for Wizard of Oz at Sundance, so tonight I packed up her Asian Garlic Chicken in our Easy Lunchboxes and sent her off. No starving allowed!

Summer yum!  [click to continue…]


Happy Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime DayIf you are a regular Amazon customer like I am, then take note! Today is Amazon Prime Day! That means you’ll be treated to Lightning Deals and incredible specials even better than they offer on Black Friday.

Look for:

  • 40% off Kindle
  • 30% off clothing, shoes, and jewelry
  • 20% off fixtures and household needs
  • More Lightning Deals than ever

If you are not an Amazon Prime member, you can get a free 30-day trial by clicking on the image above. We’ve been members for years now because it saves us so much money.

This is a great time to stock up on your back-to-school or homeschooling supplies at big discounts!


It’s About Time

Having carefully waited a week beyond his passing—and with the funeral safely adjourned—I will weigh on a tiny speck in the life and death of Boyd K. Packer. He was called to the Quorum of the 12 when I was only five years old and so I don’t really remember a time that the general authority list didn’t include him. My perception of him is mostly that of a hard-liner who brought in unexpected bits of straight-faced humor.

Boyd K. Packer - The Unwritten Order of Things

The Unwritten Order of Things

In the mid-90s Packer gave a speech at a BYU devotional that has haunted me ever since. “The Unwritten Order of Things” somehow made its way from university diversion to doctrinal declaration and was used to wreak havoc in church practice. Dozens of times since, I have heard the apostolic declaration of an “unwritten order” used to entrench tradition (tradition meaning “I saw this at least once somewhere”) or preference into LDS practice.

Some outcomes:

  • Local leaders fabricate policy based on personal experience/preference/whims/peer pressure, etc.
  • Practice is the result of “the telephone game.” If the new bishop’s former-stake-president father-in-law declares a policy, it is implemented. If the new stake president’s former mission president mentioned the words of an area authority, it is part of the plan.
  • Accountability is removed. Directives can’t be pinned down or sourced, but neither can they be questioned. They must simply be followed.
  • Members are unsure about how their behavior aligns with gospel principles.

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The Perfect Blog Commenting System

This week I was discussing blog comment systems with a developer. Over the years I’ve looked at various blog commenting systems. None provided enough of my desired features to warrant a switch from native WordPress. I’m open to being persuaded but, ultimately, I won’t switch unless you give me a compelling reason to do so by solving problems and providing features.

The Perfect Blog Commenting System

Below are the things I would like to see in a comment system. Some are imperative and others just niceties. Please share what you use and why in the comments!  [click to continue…]


For as long as I can remember, I have been a heterosexual, cis-gendered, any-ethnicity-with-melanin female with bold opinions about transgenderism trapped in the body of a heterosexual , cis-gendered, pasty white female who cannot bring herself to express her bold opinions about transgenderism for fear of being vilified and castigated.

Today—in the spirit of courage and heroism—I am opening the door to reveal my authentic self. I am sure you will be supportive, loving, accepting, and tolerant.

Transgender Jenner Feelings

In spite of my typically cynical, flippant approach to everything else in the world, I’m going to try really hard to be respectful. In spite of the fact that I look askance at many priesthood issues, gender issues, temple issues, and a host of other issues more sacred than “gender identity,” I’m aware enough to know that our culture simply disallows certain things. You can mock Mormons, but you can’t mock Muslims. You can bash women who wear knee length dresses and twist their hair in odd configurations, but you can’t bash men with large Adam’s apples and five o’clock shadow who totter about in heels. It’s just the way of the world. I reluctantly embrace it—for this post—to the extent I can muster.

Remember, it is improper to contradict, disrespect, or shame the truly authentic.  [click to continue…]


Public School Fail: Mother’s Day Report Card

A first grade class at Ridgecrest Elementary in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, (and scads of other schools around the country, too, if the 1,994 downloads are any indication) made a Mother’s Day “gift” to take home. Was it a sentimental card? A loving poem? Perhaps the impression of the child’s hand forever memorialized in plaster of paris? No.

Public School Fail: Mother's Day Report Card

Some teacher (or in this case it may have been Principal Teri Mattson) thought it was a grand idea to have six-year-olds rate their moms on personal behaviors. The “report card” reveals how well “the mom” lives up to expectations! Kids get to rate (with smiling, neutral, or frowning faces) their moms on these items:  [click to continue…]


Maybe I’m weird, but never in my 50 years of Mormondom have I hung my head and cried:

Oh, if only I could have wine with dinner, my entire life would be complete!

Freedom from the Oppression of the Word of Wisdom

Here are some other things I’ve never said:

My life is empty without getting sloppy drunk at least three or four times in my life!

I’ve always wondered what a screaming hangover feels like. Mormons are so deprived!

Coffee. Oh, please heavenly beings, just let me have coffee and I will do whatever you ask of me!

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