Strawberry Chocolate Mousse Cake


I have been wanting to try this cake for some time.  I found it on pinterest and it looked so good.  I am a sucker for chocolate mousse and strawberries.  I tried it yesterday for Sunday dinner and it was a huge hit.  Even for Dave who is a dessert sceptic.  Making it is a little time consuming and mine didn’t quite look like the picture–a little more rustic, but well worth the time.


1 cup sugar

3/4 cup + 2 TB. flour

1/4 cup +2 TB cocoa

3/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup boiling water



6 TB unsalted butter

12 oz. good quality semisweet chocolate

3.5 oz. white chocolate

1 3/4 cup whipping cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. unflavored gelatin

2.5 TB. cool water

2 quarts strawberries

Alternate Mousse.  I did not like the recipe above as well as my go to mousse, but some may not like the raw eggs in the recipe.  If you want to try that one, go to Rocky Road Cake and follow that recipe.


2/3 cup cream

5.5 oz. semisweet chocolate

I would double this as I did not think there was enough to pour over and make smooth

 Chocolate Curls:

3.5 oz. semisweet chocolate

1 TB shortening.

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350. , grease a 9 inch round baking and line the bottom with paper. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla.

Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and mix until combined. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and place on wire racks upside down.

To make the Mouse   

In a small dish, soften 2 tsp. gelatin in 2.5 TB water, set aside. In a heat proof bowl, combine chopped semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate and butter. Melt over double boiler until smooth. Set aside and cool. Heat softened gelatin and stir to dissolve and free of lumps. Set aside. Mix 1 3/4 cup whipping cream and vanilla until medium peaks form, gradually adding powdered sugar. Mix in gelatin. Pour a little of the whipping cream into chocolate to lighten it and then add back to whipped cream, folding in until incorporated.

To make the ganache:

Heat the cream and pour over the chocolate, mixing until smooth.

How to assemble the cake:

Place the cake into a 9 inch spring form pan. Spoon some mousse over the cake (about ¼ inch). Cut stem off strawberries and slice in half vertically. Place around the edges of the cake with the pointed edge up. Spoon or pipe the remaining mousse over the cake. Place in refrigerator until set.   I added more strawberries over the top of the cake before adding the mousse. After set, pour over the ganache and place back in refrigerator until set.

In the meantime you will make the curls by melting the chocolate and the shortening and pouring it on to a cookie sheet. Spread thinly and place in the freezer for about 6-8 minutes. Take out and using a small spatula, start at the bottom and scrape the chocolate into curls about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place on top of the cake and add strawberries if desired.

When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges and lift out of spring form pan. Marvel at your masterpiece!!!!

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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in Recipes, Uncategorized


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Bruschetta Flatbread


I love anything with tomatoes, basil and balsalmic vinegar.  I mean anything.  But my favorite is flatbread.  There is a restaurant in Farmington (Twigs) that serves this as an appetizer and it is so good.

Well I found the best recipe for grilled bruschetta flatbread and I am somewhat infatuated with it.  I could eat this every night.  It is fast, simple and so delicious.

    • 1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough  ( white is great too)
    • 2 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
    • 3 teaspoons basil, chopped plus more for garnish
    • 1 ½ garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar, plus more to drizzle
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Pinch of pepper
    • ½ cup pesto
    • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks
    • For the drizzle, I use balsamic glaze.  You can make your own or it can be found at most supermarkets.  The store bought stuff is really as good as the homemade without the whole house smelling like vinegar!!
  1. Heat grill.
  2. In a medium bowl toss, tomatoes, basil, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle. (It’s easier to grill this way)
  4. Soak a paper towel in a bit of olive oil, quickly run the towel on the grates to prevent the dough from sticking. Using your hands or a pizza wheel, place pizza dough directly onto the grates of the grill. Cook until slightly charred, about 2-3 minutes. Flip dough over.
  5. Spread a ⅓ of the pesto over the pizza then dot with ⅓ of the cheese. Close the lid and cook until the dough is cooked and the cheese is melted, another 4-5 minutes.
  6. Remove flatbread from grill and spoon tomato mixture over. Sprinkle with extra basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze

This would be great for Super Bowl Sunday!!





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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Recipes, Uncategorized


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New Year-New Resolutions and a Quiet Book

This past year has brought many struggles and triumphs as we have dealt with Dave’s diagnosis and treatments.  We have grown more this past year than any other time in our lives.  I am so grateful to a wonderful husband that I have learned so much from.

As this new year starts, one of the things that I have decided to be better at is this blog.  Not that anyone really cares about it , but that it is therapy for me.  A place I can share my thoughts and also some of the successes in my life.  I need to do that at this time as I feel so dependent on outside factors.  It  is really hard to not live from one MRI to another.  This outlet helps me so much and I need to carry on with it.

As some of you know I have the most beautiful, intelligent, funny , sweet grandbaby in the world.  A sweet little spirit straight from God that has pulled us through some very dark times.  I always know when Dave needs an EM fix and she can sure cheer him up!!  She has him wrapped around her little finger and I am sure there will be nothing that she wants that he will not move mountains to give her.

I have spent the last six months working on a quiet book for her.  I really should have thought this one through.  I can’t say how many hours I have spent on this or what it finally cost me.  Also it really set a precedent and I know I will be making more of these in the future.

I think it turned out pretty cute and she loves it.    Just a little slide show to show off the pages .

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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in DIY, My Favorite Things, Uncategorized


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Peach Slab Pie


I love this time of the year when all kinds of fresh fruit is available.  One of my all time favorites is fresh peaches.   There is an orchard by our home that has the most amazing huge peaches and when the harvest starts, I stop by every several days for another box.  That is even before the canning starts.  I love peaches in every way possible but I think my favorite is just a big bowl of cold sliced peaches with maybe a little sugar.

I had a big bag of peaches today and wanted to do something good for Sunday dinner.  Dave is really having a hard time finding anything that tastes or smells good.  Chemo does a real number on smell and taste.  I love the smell of peach pie cooking so that was my choice   I love all kinds of desserts but pie is probably my least favorite.  I am just not a fan of all that crust.  This was good as I am trying to cut out sweets and I may be able to turn my back on pie.  Chocolate on the other hand–maybe not.

My mother in law is the queen of pie making and I have tried to learn from the best.  Today I changed things up a little and made a “Peach Slab Pie”.  It was easy and so pretty.  This is really a much easier way to serve pie than the traditional pie shape and would be good for a crowd.

I used my go to pie crust recipe from “Pioneer Woman”.  I just have not found one I like better.  I have posted this before, but for ease, I will post it again.

Pioneer Woman Pie Crust


  • ◾1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • ◾3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • ◾1 whole Egg
  • ◾5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • ◾1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • ◾1 teaspoon Salt


In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.) When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan. With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.



  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 cups fresh sliced peaches
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 rectangular pieces of pie dough rolled out to approximately 11×14-inches*
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Heat oven to 400-degrees F. Position oven rack in bottom third of oven.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add peaches and lemon juice; toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. Fit one piece of pastry dough into an ungreased 9x13x1-inch sheet pan (quarter sheet pan). Allow access overhang. Do not trim. Pour peach filling into crust and spread evenly.
  4. Place remaining piece of dough on top.** Pinch edges of two crusts together to seal, tuck under any extra pastry crust, as needed. Use a knife to cut vents across top of pie crust.
  5. Brush crust with beaten egg. Optional: evenly sprinkle top with about a tablespoon of sugar.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely before slicing (if you can wait that long!).
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Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Recipes, Uncategorized


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It is What it is!! continued




It is What it is!!

When we arrived home on Saturday, we were met with a great roast beef dinner with rolls and all the fixings from Texie. She is like me in that I show my love by feeding everyone. .  It really hit the spot after hospital food and it was so great to be in our home and sleep in our own bed.  I had slept the night on the couch in Dave’s room and let me say it was not a pillow top.  In fact there wasn’t even a pillow.

The word had gotten out and the phone and doorbell did not stop ringing.  I was so amazed at the love that was poured out to Dave and our family.  It was truly amazing.  He is a very loved person in the neighborhood, ward, friends and clients.

The one thing he wanted before he had surgery was to take a long horse ride. There were no promises as to what the surgery would do to his capacity to do the things he loved, mainly work, ride and rope.  He never did mention that he was afraid that he would not be able to mow the lawn!!

So he and Jace went for a long ride out on Antelope Island and it was so good for him. He was able to do the thing he loved the most with one of the people he loved the most.

He came back very tired so I fixed him a nice big dinner and we put on a movie (Nacho Libre) and just spent some time being together.

Again I was amazed at the peace that came over me and I knew we would be okay. Looking back, I can now see that sometimes my okay is not the Lord’s okay.

Sunday we all attended church together and then again just spent the day being together. One’s perspective on life changes dramatically when you go through things like this.  I cannot believe that the man that I was so ticked at for some idiot thing just days ago (can’t even remember what it was) was the same man I was seeing now.  I thought how silly it is to waste a minute on these small things when life can change in an instant.

From the day he received the news in Moscow he never faltered.   His comment time and time again was “IT IS WHAT IT IS”, meaning for him, he was not going to waste time worrying about something he could not change.  He talked so much to me and the kids about the atonement and how the Lord loved us each so much, that whatever happened was what was meant to be in his life and would be for his benefit.  I cannot say that I had ever loved this man more than I did at that time.

What I didn’t realize was that for us the nightmare had just begun and we were to be tested in a way that we could never have imagined.  I am grateful for little tender mercies and periods of peace and comfort that attended us during these trials.  For us the villain was still very much alive.




It Is What It Is!!

This past few months have been like nothing I have ever experienced before in my life.  I have hit the lowest lows and some of the highest highs as we have dealt with a devastating diagnosis with Dave.  At the start of our journey, I started journaling my thoughts, but it just became to hard to put them on paper.  I am going to post the first things I wrote and then try to fill in the rest, as I think it is so important that I get these down and recorded.  We have been schooled and tested and grown in ways that I felt impossible.  And the journey is far from over.

It is What it is!!

 I have read so many fiction and nonfiction books that start out explaining an ordinary day in very vivid detail.  Most of these start out with those exact words— “It was just an ordinary day” and you know right then that something big is just about to happen.  It never fails.  Well for us it was just like that.  For Valentine’s day, I surprised Dave with plane tickets to go and visit Jace and Krystal and little Emmie in Moscow Idaho, where they were living while Jace finished his last year of vet school .  We flew up on Thursday and were going to spend Friday taking a nice little trip in to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. On Saturday, we had plans to go and watch Krystal barrel race.  Sunday we were going to bless Emmie and planned on flying home on Monday.  I was so thrilled for this trip because Dave had not yet seen Em in person.  Jordan and I flew up when she was born in January but this would be Dave’s first in person meeting and I was so excited to see him in action as a grandpa.

We flew in Thursday and spent the day just oohing and aahing over Em and just enjoying being together. Friday morning we got up and Krystal had a wonderful breakfast for us and we all started getting ready for our trip in to Coeur d’Alene.  We were going to do a little site seeing and then have a nice dinner to celebrate Dave’s birthday. 

Friday morning at breakfast, I started noticing that Dave was giving me some really strange looks as if he was mad or something.  I didn’t think much of it, but also noticed he became very quiet.  Shortly after, he followed me downstairs and told me that he could not remember the names of the people upstairs—Jace, Krystal and Em.  I did a quick assessment of him, asking him things like where we were, what year it was and who the president was.  He was able to answer some, but names just would not come to him. 

Thinking he was having a stroke, I told him we were going right to the ER. I expected some resistance, but he just said “I think that is a good idea”.  I really thought that he was having a stroke or at least a TIA and knew that time to treatment was crucial.  We went to the little hospital in Moscow.  I wish I could remember the ER doctor but he was very good and had Dave down for a MRI within about 15 minutes.

I was sitting in the room alone, when the doctor came back in and told me that it was not a stroke, but a brain tumor. I almost expected him to say “Just kidding” as it came as such a shock.  I remember thinking maybe that is better than a stroke, remembering Leonard’s experiences with strokes.  How wrong I was. 

They medicated him with some Dexamethasone and anti-seizure meds and slowly his memory came back. There was then talk of where to send him.  They wanted to life flight him to the university of Utah, but after checking with insurance and hospital policies, they would not cover that since there were other hospitals much closer that would be able to treat him.  They told us that if we were to pay out of pocket to get him to Salt Lake, it would be around $100,000 and not any of it would be covered.  I talked to the doctor explaining that I had medical experience and could we fly him commercial.  The next flight available was the next day and they did not want to wait that long, so they encouraged us to go to Spokane.  I really wanted him at the U, so we finally convinced them to let us drive him there.

Jace and Krystal, Em and, I drove to their house and quickly loaded up all of our stuff along with 3 horses and 2 dogs. We got everything loaded in less than 30 minutes.  We drove back picked up Dave along with any meds we may need on the trip back, and off we went. I can’t remember much of that trip other than a peace that came over me that everything was going to be okay.

It took us about 11 hours driving with only one stop to let the horses out and we pulled into Kaysville around 3am. I grabbed a few things and loaded Dave in the car and we headed to the University of Utah, where they were standing by for our arrival.  Not much was done that night except to evaluate and  stabilize him.

The next morning, we were told that since it was Sunday, they really did not want to do surgery to remove the tumor , but wanted to do it when they had the whole OR crew on. They finally sent us home for  2 days since he was stable.  We were given  instructions to return on Tuesday morning for the surgery.  We saw so many different people those first few days, and were told so many very frightening things.  It kind of seemed like a very bad nightmare.  If only we had known that the nightmare was yet to come.  It is kind of like the horror movie when the killer is dead and then the person turns his back and is grabbed by the leg by the still alive and very scary villain.  We had tuned our backs!!!!


em and dave 3



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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Uncategorized


Thai Lettuce Wraps

I love, love , love lettuce wraps.  I have seen a lot of recipes for them and have tried a few, only to be a little disappointed.  I don’t like ones that have a ton of ingredients.  I found this recipe at Williams and Sonoma and I love it.  It is fast, easy and really good.  It is made with things I usually have on hand and I whipped these together in about 20 minutes.  Since there are so few ingredients and it is made with ground chicken, it fits into my revisiting of weight watchers (won’t tell you how many times this is for me!!).


Thai Lettuce Wraps


6 TB soy sauce

2 TB rice vinegar

2 TB sesame oil

1 TB fish sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

2 tsp sugar

Mix all of these ingredients together.

In a wok heat 2 TB vegetable oil.  Add  1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1 1/2 Tb peeled and grated ginger, and  2 cloves garlic minced.   Cook for several minutes until aromatic.  Add 1 1/2 pounds of ground chicken, cooking until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Add half of the above sauce and cook for several minutes until absorbed.

Additional toppings:

Chopped cilantro, chopped basil, bean sprouts, rice noodles, chopped peanuts.

To serve, place a scoop of the chicken mixture on a leaf of lettuce.  Add additional toppings as desired.  Serve with the remaining dipping sauce.

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Posted by on March 7, 2016 in Recipes


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