Monday, December 28, 2009

In My Kitchen Today...


...homemade hamburger buns, whole-wheat bread, and a blueberry coffeecake.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Cannoli


My mother-in-law asked me to make these special Italian treats for her for Christmas...which I did, and my husband hand-crafted a set of cannoli rollers for each of our married children and their families. We gave them the rollers, along with our special 'make-over' (lower fat, healthier ingredient) recipe. The cannoli and the rollers seems to have been a big hit all the way around!

Fresh From The Garden


My husband has kept his raised spinach bed covered with plastic throughout the cold weather. Not bad for the 21st of December...huh?

Gingerbread House


We're not real proficient at it, but this is the first gingerbread house that we've ever made.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HEARTH AND HOME - DECEMBER 15, 2009

Greetings, Dear Friends! And MERRY CHRISTMAS!



As I sit here this morning, contemplating another edition of HEARTH AND HOME, the cold (it’s 10 degrees outside right now) tries it’s best to infiltrate our home, but inside hearts are warm as we anticipate the glorious celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! What better time to reflect back upon all He’s done for us, and to share His love with others, than at Christmas? Can you believe that it’s only10 days away? My! How the time does fly!



Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving? We sure did! We celebrated here with our church family on the Sunday before, then, spent the day of with my mother-in-law at my husband’s cousin’s home. That evening we went on up to our youngest daughter’s home in North Kansas City and spent a couple of nights with her and her husband. While there we visited with old friends and more family members. It was a beautiful and memorable holiday weekend.



Well…shall we get started? Why don’t you grab a cup of something hot (tea? coffee? cocoa?) and join me…won’t you? Here we go…



HOUSEHOLD TIPS…



*Try adding holiday eggnog to waffle, pancake and French toast batter. It adds great flavor!

*Clean dirty glass Christmas ornaments by wiping them with a used fabric-softener sheet. It not only cleans, but it repels dust, too!

*If you’re short on counter space, use your ironing board for cooling cookies. Just cover with a flannel-backed tablecloth, and you’ve got plenty of extra surface for baking sheets.

*Use a melon baler to measure cookie dough. It’ll be easier to scoop, and all the cookies will be the same size.

*Measure gift wrap like the pros do. Use string to measure the box, and then line the string up with the paper. You’ll cut perfect size paper every time.

*Before spraying artificial snow on windows, spray the window with a light mist of cooking spray. The snow will wipe right off when the holidays are over!

*Before mixing a cake, spray beaters with cooking spray. Batter won’t cling, giving you more cake and less cleanup!

*When making caramel corn or popcorn balls, pour the popped corn into one big bowl. After shaking it a bit, the unpopped kernels drop to the bottom. Transfer the fluffy corn to another big bowl, then proceed with the recipe. There will be no unpopped kernels in your holiday treats!

*When melting bulk chocolate or almond bark to coat candies, fruit or pretzels, try using your slow cooker. It keeps the chocolate warm for repeated dips.

*When stringing popcorn, cranberries, or beads, try using waxed dental floss. It’s stronger than thread and everything will glide right on.

*Don’t have pastry bags and cake decorating tips? Decorate holiday cakes and cookies by piping the frostings from plastic food storage bags with the corners cut out.



DOLLARS AND SENSE…



*Make your own gift baskets. Include small jars of jams and jellies, specialty coffees and cookies. Here’s a great idea for something along that line:

Purchase cheap white or decorative coffee mugs. Place a packet of hot cocoa mix in

each one. In Saran Wrap, add 3-4 mini marshmallows, a couple of Hershey’s

plain kisses and a small candy cane.



Using ribbon, attach this poem to the handle of the cup:



Snowman Soup



Was told you've been real good this year

Always glad to hear it.

With freezing weather drawing near

You'll need to warm the spirit.

So here's a little snowman soup

Complete with stirring stick,

Add hot water, sip it slow

It's sure to do the trick.

(This idea sent to me several years ago by my friend, Crystal.)

*Shop the day after Christmas. I did this last year and saved a fortune on cards, gift wrap, bows, candles, etc.

*Take advantage of post-Christmas specials to buy gifts for those you know you won’t see until after December 25.



THIS, THAT, AND THE OTHER…



* I’ve discovered several new holiday scents this year. Here are a few of my favorites…



- Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap

- Fresh Balsam

- Frosted Orange Spice



- Febreze Air Effects

- Cranberries and Frost

- Fresh Evergreen

- Winter Evening and Warmth



- Glade Candles

- Homemade Gingerbread

- Clean Linen



* All autumn long I wanted one of those great big scarecrows that Walmart had, but I didn’t have the extra $8.00 to spend on one. A couple of days ago we were in Walmart and guess what? They had the big scarecrows marked down to $2.00 each and the little ones…the kind that come on a stick that you can poke down into plants and stuff…they were marked down to 10 cents a piece! I literally got a whole shopping cart full of scarecrows for half what I would have paid for one big one earlier in the season. Now I’m ready for fall decorating and gift giving next year!



* I can’t remember where I got this recipe. It seems like someone sent it to me and…for the life of me…I can’t think who. If this recipe came from anyone reading here, please, let me know so I can properly credit my source. Thanks!



TEA FOR A SORE THROAT



Place in coffee filter in coffee maker 1 tsp dried Echinacea Purpurea root (Whole Foods Market bulk herbs) 1 Tsp dried loose Green Tea (Jay's International) 1 tsp dried loose orange pekoe/black tea 2 Wild Berry Zinger tea bags Add 10 - 12 cups water and turn the coffee maker on. Add just a few drops of honey per cup. Tastes great and is very healing. God's herbs are great!







THE CHRISTMAS STORY (from Luke 2:1-20)…

“1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2. ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.15. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17. And when they had seen [it], they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.18. And all they that heard [it] wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.19. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered [them] in her heart. 20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”



STOCKING STUFFER IDEAS…

For Dad…

*a Home Depot or other gift card

*breath mints in a tin box

*golf tees

*travel-sized toiletry items

*disposable razors



For Mom…

*lavender drawer liners

*an assortment of free samples from the local fragrance counter

*travel-size toiletry items

*candles

*knee high stockings or hosiery



For a young adult…

*gift certificates for movies, music, or food

*phone cards

*batteries

*stamps

*rolls of quarters for laundry



For a child…

*small flashlights

*travel-size board games

*coloring books and crayons

*art supplies

*stickers



LETTERS FROM READERS…



* Following the November 14th issue of HEARTH AND HOME I received this e-mail from Beth in Oregon. Beth says…






Years ago, we moved into our house in Springfield, and discovered we had a flea problem. At that time, we discovered Flea Busters. We called them, and they came out and treated our house------non-toxic, natural product! We lived there for 5 years with our dog----never had another flea! Even had the carpets cleaned during those 5 years, and still never had fleas and never had to have the house re-treated.



Then, we moved to our current home. The former owners had a cat....yep----fleas again! So, we called Flea Busters. We've been here for 13 years, and have never had to have our house re-treated!



Do you know what Flea Busters uses? BORAX!! They use a specially refined Borax and they put it all around the house in the carpets, then they take their machine that has swirling brushes that brushes the fine Borax deep into the carpet. The fleas eat the borax, but it ends up cutting them to shreds. In two weeks, the flea eggs hatch, and they then eat the borax....same thing happens to them!



Some years ago, our son got another dog---while he was still in HS-----we had to treat the dog-----I bought a box of Muleteam Borax and treated the dog and his bedding......never had flea problems after that.



You can take the Muleteam Borax and sprinkle it all over your carpets, then get on your hands and knees if need be, and with a scrub brush, brush the Borax deep into the carpet. Voila! You will have successfully eradicated your flea problem!



I'm going to use your carpet freshener recipe------that sounds WONDERFUL! So the orange oil doesn't cause the carpet to attract dirt?? Just curious....guess you don't use that much oil to cause that problem....



Anyhow....I'm going to reread your newsletter, Rebecca---there were so many neat things in it! Thanks!



Hugs,

Beth>



(Thanks so much for sharing, Beth. What an awesome testimony to the flea-fighting power of borax! As for the orange oil…I’ve never heard of it causing a problem. Like you pointed out…you use so little I don’t see how it could. If anyone out there knows for sure, please, write in and share! Thanks, Beth! Have a very Merry Christmas!)





* And this letter came from my friend AJ in Canada. AJ says…






I soooo look forward to your newsletter each time! Just thought I'd tell you... :o)



Question:

I read somewhere (maybe a previous newsletter of yours) of ideas to use shampoo and conditioner that one doesn't like for another purpose. For example using the shampoo as hand wash soap or to scrub down the tub.... any ideas re. conditioner? We bought some cheap stuff which normally is fine but this batch of cheap shampoo & conditioner is getting a bad reaction .:o) So besides wasting it - which I refuse to do - what else can we do with it? Ideas? :o) …



In Christ's Service,



AJ <>< >



In response to AJ’s letter I wrote the following…



<<


In response to your question...is someone in your home allergic to the conditioner? Or is it just not doing the job that you want it to do on your hair?



If no one is allergic...how about using it to make fabric softener? If you need the recipe for that, let me know. Regardless, I will check around and see what other uses I might be able to come up with to use it for.>>>



After doing a little research here are a few of the ideas that I came up with on alternative uses for hair conditioner…



* The last few drops of your conditioner will work fine to wash your panty hose or fine washables

* Shine your stainless steel. Place some on a soft cloth and as you rub the stainless steel watch the shine return.

* Rub on your leather boots or shoes to protect from salt and chemicals during the winter time

* Rub on hinges to stop squeaking

* Lubricate your zipper to keep it from sticking

* Rub on the shower rod so that your curtain will slide easier

* Use as a lubricant when shaving legs. Rub some on after too to soften and condition skin.

* Place some on a cotton ball and remove your make up. It will make your skin soft too.

* Rub some on your tools to help prevent rust

* Rub some on the wheels of skates and skate boards

* Some hair conditioner on a soft rag will make your houseplants shine

* Rub on the window glide to help with a sticking window

* To soften dry cuticles, rub a little conditioner on them

* Help remove a bandage from your child’s sore

* Rub some into your hands prior to working on your car or painting to help remove grime after



And…last, but not least…here’s the recipe that I use for homemade fabric softener. It was sent to me by my oldest daughter several years ago and I've been using it off and on ever since. I absolutely love it!!!



HOMEMADE FABRIC SOFTENER



6 cups water

3 cups white vinegar

2 cups hair conditioner (the best I've found so far is Suave Ocean Breeze...Mmmmmm!)



Use as you would any softener (I use mine in my Downy ball). It won't leave a residue on your clothing or towels.



(I hope these ideas help, AJ! Have a Merry Christmas, my friend!)





RECIPES…



* An old friend shared the following recipe with me…



SUGAR-FREE CAKE ICING



Easy and good…



1 box sugar-free pudding, any flavor

1 cup cold 2% milk



Mix well. Fold in 1 cup sugar-free Cool Whip. Enjoy!



(Thanks for sharing, Charlene. I bet this would be good on an angel food cake!)





* My cousin’s daughter-in-law shared the following recipes with us over Thanksgiving weekend…





CORN DIP



1 lb. cream cheese

1 cup real mayo

2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 cans Rotel tomatoes

1/2 cup sour cream

small of Mexican corn



Mix all together. Serve with chips.





BUFFALO DIP



Spread two 8 oz. packages of cream cheese in a rectangle pan. In saucepan mix together 2 large cans chicken and 3/4 c. buffalo sauce. Simmer. While hot spread on top of cream cheese. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted.





CUCUMBER DIP



2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese

1 cup Miracle Whip

4 cucumbers peeled, seeded, and diced

onion chopped



Serve with crackers.



(Thanks, Courtney! The buffalo dip was AWESOME! Thanks, too, to my own daughter-in-law who was kind enough to copy these down and send them to me. Thanks, Angie!)





* Our youngest daughter made this delicious pie for us over Thanksgiving weekend…



TRIPLE-LAYER PUMPKIN SPICE PIE



2 cups cold milk

2 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Pumpkin

Spice Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (8 ounce) tub COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed

1 (6 ounce) HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust

1/2 cup PLANTERS Pecan Halves

1 tablespoon honey



Beat milk, dry pudding mixes, and cinnamon with a wire whisk until well blended. Spread 1-1/2 cups onto bottom of crust. Add 1-1/2 cups of the whipped topping to remaining pudding mixture; stir gently. Spoon over layer in crust; top with remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate 1 hour. Meanwhile, cook pecans and honey in skillet on medium-low heat 2 to 4 min. or until pecans are caramelized, stirring frequently. Spread onto sheet of waxed paper, separating larger clusters. Cool. Sprinkle over pie just before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.



(Thanks for sharing this pie, as well as the recipe for it, with us, Grace. It was very good!)



Well, dear friends, I guess that’s it for this issue of HEARTH AND HOME. I wish each and every one of you a joyous Christmas season, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. God’s blessings over all and…remember…Jesus IS the reason for the season!



All My Love,

~Rebecca

Rerun - HEARTH AND HOME - December 2003

Greetings, Dear Women!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And welcome to the December 2003 issue of HEARTH AND HOME!

What a joyous season Christmas is when we celebrate the true meaning of
Christmas! This year the Lord is really dealing with our family about getting
away from the world's commercialized rendition of Christmas and returning to the
foundation of what Christmas is really all about. Praise be unto Christ Jesus as
we celebrate His birth!

Now, grab a cup of something hot (tea, coffee, or, perhaps, hot chocolate) and
let's get started on this wonderful holiday issue of HEARTH AND HOME! I pray
that you enjoy it! Here we go...

***************
HOUSEHOLD TIPS
***************

* Save used coffee grounds, tea leaves, and crushed egg shells and feed them to
your poinsettias and other houseplants. They love the nutrients!

* Make holiday pancakes by lightly greasing heavy metal cookie cutters in the
shape of Christmas trees, etc. and placing them on a hot, lightly greased
griddle. Pour pancake batter (approximately 2 tablespoons) into each cutter.
Using tongs remove cutters after 1 minute; cook pancakes two more minutes, then
turn over and cook until done. Serve as usual. The children will love them!

* Decide what table linens you will be using for Christmas now and Scotchguard
them; it's a great fabric protector and spills will be easier to remove.

*Keep candles in the freezer until ready for use. That way they don't have a
tendency to drip or spark when lit.

*When candles do drip on your pretty tablecloths, fear not. Lay paper towels on
the ironing board over and under the drips and iron the wax spots with a
medium-to-hot iron. Keep moving the paper towels around until the wax is
absorbed into them. Presto! The wax is gone and the cloth is saved.


******************
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings
of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the
city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

******************
^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
******************
WHAT CHILD IS THIS, WHO LAID TO REST ON MARY'S LAP IS SLEEPING? WHOM
ANGELS GREET WITH ANTHEMS SWEET, WHILE SHEPHERDS WATCH ARE
KEEPING? THIS, THIS IS CHRIST THE KING; WHOM SHEPHERDS GUARD AND ANGELS
SING: HASTE, HASTE TO BRING HIM LAUD, THE BABE , THE SON OR MARY.
******************
^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
******************
DOLLARS AND SENSE
******************

* Save odd containers throughout the year to be used again at Christmastime. For
instance:

- Save empty nut cans and attach Christmas wrapping paper to the outside.
They're perfect for Christmas goodie gift giving! (Try filling with CHRISTMAS
PECANS recipe below!)

-Try stacking cookies in empty Pringles cans covered in red and white
striped paper, then wrap the whole thing in cellophane with ribbons tied at both
ends so that the package resembles a piece of wrapped peppermint.

* Make your own hot cocoa mix for about 7 cents a cup. Mix 1/3 cup of dry milk
with 1 teaspoon each of cocoa and sugar. Add 1 cup of hot water. Or mix with
cold water and prepare in microwave.

****************************
THE LEGEND OF THE CANDY CANE
****************************

The legend is that the candy cane was invented by a Christian in England in the
seventeenth century. At that time, the government would not let people celebrate
Christmas. So, a candy maker made candy shaped like a shepherd's crook to be a
secret symbol of Jesus. the white stripe represented the purity of Jesus and the
red stripe represented His blood that He shed for each of us. The candy was a
double gift: a sweet treat and a symbol of Christmas.

**************************************
HOW TO SPEND WITHIN YOUR HOLIDAY MEANS
**************************************

By Thanksgiving at the latest (I know it's a little late for that, but it's not
TOO late for those of us who haven't started yet!), realistically estimate how
much you can afford to spend. Then, make out a list of people to whom you want
to give gifts, what you would like to buy for each person, along with the
approximate price of the item. A quick total may show that you must scale back
on the amount spent for each person or trim the number of people on your list.
Take the list with you when you shop and stick to it!

Don't forget to budget for the "hidden costs" of Christmas. These include tree
decorations, gift wrap, Christmas cards, and postage, and any entertaining you
do.

To avoid being haunted by the ghosts of Christmas credit past, use cash or a
check whenever possible. Using cash slows down your spending and forces you to
weigh your purchases more carefully.

If you must use charge cards, clip half an index card to the back of the credit
card. Each time you use it, enter the amount of your purchase on the index card
and keep a running total, so that you are continually aware of how much you will
have to come up with when the bills start rolling in during January.

Say no to holiday charge accounts that allow you to buy now and delay payment
until February (unless you have assured bonus or other cash reserve coming to
cover your bill). The allure of "free money" is a trap you would be wise to
avoid.

Ensure that you will be able to do next year's buying in cast by estimating how
much your Christmas spending will be, dividing that amount into 12 monthly
allotments, and then setting aside that amount each month in either a Christmas
club or a money market account.

(Taken from the "15 Minute Home and Family Organizer" by Emilie Barnes.)

****************
CHRISTMAS PRAISE
****************

Thank you, God, for quiet places far from life's crowded ways, where our hearts
find true contentment and our souls fill up with praise. -Author unknown

****************
^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
****************
GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN, LET NOTHING YOU DISMAY; REMEMBER
CHRIST OUR SAVIOR, WAS BORN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, TO SAVE US ALL FROM
SATAN'S POWER WHEN WE WERE GONE ASTRAY. O TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND
JOY, COMFORT AND JOY, O TIDINGS OF COMFORT AND JOY.
*****************
^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^
*****************
CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
*****************

* Cookies in a Jar Gift Ideas:

http://achristianhome.com/GoodThingsandRecipes/Cookies%20in%20a%20Jar.htm


****************
O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL, JOYFUL AND TRIUMPHANT, O COME YE, O COME YE TO
BETHLEHEM. COME AND BEHOLD HIM, BORN THE KING OF ANGELS. O COME LET
US ADORE HIM, O COME, LET US ADORE HIM, O COME, LET US ADORE HIM, CHRIST, THE
LORD!
****************
"Christmas will be as special or as ordinary as you make it. You can be the
architect of memories your children will carry with them for years-memories that
will not only strengthen family bonds, but will also deepen their spiritual
ties." ~Emilie Barnes

*************************
MORE CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS
*************************

* When making snack mixes for Christmas gift giving, try packaging them in
resealable plastic bags that have holiday prints on the outside. Be sure to
include the recipe inside of the bag.

*For the babysitter try filling a merry mug with this recipe for Teddy S'more
Bark or wrap it in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

TEDDY S'MORE BARK

2 pkg. (16 sq.) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1 cup Teddy Grahams
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Microwave chocolate in microwavable bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until
chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is
completely melted. Stir in 3/4 cup each of Teddy Grahams and marshmallows into
bowl with chocolate. Spread on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Decorate with
remaining grahams and marshmallows. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Break into
pieces. Make 15 servings (4 1-inch pieces per serving)

* For the photography buffs and scrapbookers on your list how about giving a
disposable camera and a couple for free film developing.

* A phone card or postage stamps slipped in a card is always a welcome
gift...especially for those who are away from home for the holidays.

* Make tasty treats by dipping plastic spoons into melted chocolate, sprinkling
crushed peppermint candies over them as they harden on waxed paper. Wrap in
cellophane, tie a ribbon and place
several in a mug with hot cocoa packets.

* For the children on your list...try this:

Peppermint Play Dough

Ingredients:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup salt
6 teaspoons cream of tartar
3 cups water
3 tablespoons oil
peppermint extract

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan.

2. Cook over medium heat until mixture pulls away from side of pan.

3. Be sure to stir constantly.

4. Knead and add color if desired.

This concoction will last up to three months in the refrigerator, if kept in an
airtight container.


*************************
A CHRISTMAS TRADITION: THE MANGER WITH BABY JESUS
*************************
(I really liked this!!! It was taken from the "15 Minute Home and Family
Organizer" by Emilie Barnes. This is something that we are thinking of
incorporating next year!)

"This tradition is probably the sweetest and most meaningful of all. A good
friend of ours, Janet Patton from northern California, provided us with a
home-built manger, that includes straw and a baby Jesus wrapped in meshed cloth.

As you build a "worship center" on a table in plain view for the whole family,
have the following poem written using calligraphy and framed. Place this next to
the manger:
_______________________________________________________________

With excitement we anticipate the special Christmas morn.
Rejoicing daily
that our Christ child soon will be born. We'll spread our love
throughout our
home by preparing a cozy bed. A bed of straw to place his tiny little
head.
As each day passes throughout the month we'll add a piece of
straw for
special love we've spread to one another, special little gifts or
deeds and fun
surprises to each other
What fun our family will enjoy as we spread our love around.
On Christmas morn with joy and glee, we'll celebrate the
Christmas tree.
But most of all rejoice with praise the birthday of our King!
_______________________________________________________________

Everything is displayed except Baby Jesus-hide Him away, but be sure to remember
where. Next to the empty manger is a pile of straw cut into six-inch pieces.
Beginning the first week in December, we gather as a family and talk about the
manger and straw. Every day each member of the family does a good deed on his or
her own, such as sharing toys happily or taking out trash without being asked.
Then everyone puts a piece of straw in the manger. This can be done at the end
of each day. Make sure to talk about the happiness you have given to one
another.

As the month continues, the straw in the manger grows, and soon a cozy bed of
straw fills the manger. Still no Baby Jesus appears. On Christmas Eve, after
all the children are nestled in their beds and asleep, Mom and Dad will find
Baby Jesus and place Him in His rightful spot. Straw or no straw, Baby Jesus
always appears. Some years the manger may not be real cozy, but we have found
that December is the best month of all for good behavior. Watch the excitement
as the children race on Christmas morning to see if Baby Jesus has arrived. They
head straight for the manger even before looking under the tree. Why? Because
during the month we have been focusing on the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus'
birthday."

***************************************************************************
O HOLY NIGHT, THE STARS ARE BRIGHTLY SHINING; IT IS THE NIGHT OF THE
DEAR SAVIOR'S BIRTH. LONG LAY THE WORLD IN SIN AND ERROR PINING TILL
HE APPREARED AND THE SOUL FELT HIS WORTH. A THRILL OF HOPE, THE WEARY
WORLD REJOICES, FOR YONDER BEAMS A NEW AND GLORIOUS MORN. FALL ON
YOUR KNEES! OH, HEAR THE ANGEL VOICES! O NIGHT DIVINE! O NIGHT WHEN
CHRIST WAS BORN! O NIGHT DIVINE! NIGHT DIVINE!
*************************
CHRISTMASY TIPS AND IDEAS
*************************

* Instead of cutting little bits of wrapping paper off a large roll, try
wrapping small gifts in pretty Christmas paper napkins.

* Reuse old Christmas cards by splitting them and using the fronts for Christmas
'postcards' next year!

* Create a Christmassy atmosphere throughout your home by setting out pine,
evergreen, or cinnamon-scented potpourri in decorative containers in every room.

*Try tucking favorite Christmas cards into picture frames and mirrors throughout
the house.

*Sew small brass jingle bells along the hem of a tablecloth.


***************************
JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD IS COME! LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING! LET
EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING, AND HEAVEN
AND NATURE SING. AND HEAVEN AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING!
**************************
ARTICLES AND SITES THAT TRULY FOCUS ON THE SEASON
****************************

*Christmas Decorating by Teri Maxwell: http://www.titus2.com/corners/12-03-m.htm

*Fostering An Attitude of Giving in Your Family by Lysa TerKeurst:
http://crown.org/newsletter/default.asp?issue=311&articleid=242

*********************************************
ANOTHER TRADITION: FAMILY ADVENT WORSHIP TIME
*********************************************

"Many families have established the Advent wreath as a wonderful tradition
during their Christmas season. Here are some guidelines you may want to use:

1. Make a wreath using straw, evergreens, ribbon, etc., and place four red
candles and one white candle around it.
2. Fourth Sunday before Christmas-Light the first red candle. Share Isaiah
2:1-5; 11:1-9; 40:3-11 showing the coming of the Messiah.
3. Third Sunday before Christmas-Light the second red candle. Share Luke 1:26-56
and Isaiah 7:13, 14 telling of the mother of Jesus.
4. Second Sunday before Christmas-Light the third red candle. Share Luke 2:8-20,
telling about the shepherds and angels. Share Matthew 2:1-12, telling about the
wise men.
5. Last Sunday before Christmas-Light the fourth red candle. Share Matthew
2:13-23, telling of the flight into Egypt.
6. On Christmas Eve-Light the white and last candle. You may enjoy reading the
Christmas story found in Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2: 1-20. Let the candles continue
to burn until bedtime.
7. Rejoice! It's the birthday of the King who says, "I am the light of the
world" (John 8:12).

Involve the whole family and take turns lighting and blowing out the candles. we
believe this celebration of Christmas is pleasing to the Lord. It has taught our
children the meaning of Christmas and helps us all to remember His birth and
feel His presence in our homes."

(Taken from the "15 Minute Home and Family Organizer" by Emilie Barnes.)

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SILENT NIGHT! HOLY NIGHT! ALL IS CALM, ALL IS BRIGHT 'ROUND YON
VIRGIN MOTHER AND CHILD. HOLY INFANT SO TENDER AND MILD, SLEEP
IN HEAVENLY PEACE, SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE.
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RECIPES
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WINTER WASSAIL

Makes 13 cups.

2 teaspoons whole allspice
2 teaspoons whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks
2 quarts apple cider
2 cups sugar
2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 cup water

TIE first 3 ingredients together in a piece of cheesecloth or coffee filter.
BRING cider and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spice bag; reduce heat,
and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Remove spice bag; discard.
STIR in orange juice and remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes or until
heated. Serve hot.

CHRISTMAS PECANS

5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 cups pecan halves

STIR together 4 tablespoons sugar, melted butter, pumpkin pie spice, and orange
rind. Add pecan halves; toss to coat.
PLACE on lightly greased aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with
remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
BAKE at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring once.

CHEESE SALMON BALL

1 7 3/4 ounce can salmon drained and flaked
1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients except parsley. Shape in to a ball. Roll ball in
parsley.

Yield 1 cheese ball.

HOLIDAY WREATH APPITIZER

Serves 20

1 (12 ounce) package refrigerated buttermilk flaky biscuits
1 (8 ounce) container chive and onion flavored soft cream cheese
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 400° degrees. Separate biscuits horizontally in half to
form 20 biscuits. Arrange six biscuits in a circle in center of a baking sheet
or stone with edges touching. Arrange remaining biscuits, edges touching in
another circle around center ring of biscuits. Flatten biscuits together to
seal, leaving outside edges scalloped for a petal effect. Bake 11-13 minutes or
until golden brown. Cool one minute. Combine cream cheese, pressed garlic and
dill and spread over cooled biscuit ring. Sprinkle with broccoli, cucumber and
tomato. To serve, pull apart biscuits.




CHOCOLATE MICE


1 jar stemmed cherries (12 cherries), drained very well
Hershey Kisses, wrappers removed (12)
almond bark chocolate or chocolate chips
2.5 oz bag sliced almonds (to be used for the ears)
either small amount of white chocolate melted or tube of red cake
decorating gel (this will to be make the eyes)

Procedure:

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
2. Dip cherry in the melted chocolate, then attach a candy Kiss onto the
front of the dipped cherry (the stem is the tail and the point of the Kiss is
the nose, of course).
3. Attach two sliced almonds between the flat side of the Kiss and the
chocolate covered cherry, one on each side.
4. Dot Kiss with either white chocolate or red decorating gel to make the
eyes.
5. Let them cool on wax paper in the refrigerator.

Serving Size:

12 Christmas Mice


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O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, HOW STILL WE SEE THEE LIE! ABOVE
THY DEEP AND DREAMLESS SLEEP THE SILENT STARS GO BY, YET, IN THEY
DARK STREETS SHINETH THE EVERLASTING LIGHT: THE HOPES AND
FEARS OF ALL THE YEARS ARE MET IN THEE TONIGHT.
************************************************************
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CHRISTMAS PRAYER
************************************************************
May the spirit of giving
Go on through the year,
Bringing love, laughter,
Hope, and good cheer.
Gifts wrapped with charity,
Joy, peace, and grace,
Ribboned with happiness,
A tender embrace.
-Norma Woodbridge

****************************************************

Well, dear ladies, that's it for this time! Have a joyous holiday season and a
very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'll see you again in January! God bless one and all!

Love and Holiday ((((Hugs)))),
~Rebecca
(wife, homeschooling mom, and homemaker)
Proverbs 31:10-31; Titus 2:3-5

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI RING


(This is one of the dishes that I am making for our family Christmas get-together tonight.)

2 cans crescent rolls
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups shredded Monterey cheese
1 can of chicken or 1 to 2 cups cooked chicken,
chopped

Leaving a 3-inch circle in the center, form a sun with crescent rolls on a pizza stone. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place on rolls around the center. Tuck points of rolls over meat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are brown.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Blessings 1-3

I intended to start this on December 1st...my own little advent of sorts. I'm starting a few days late, so will play catch up now. :)

Christmas Blessing #1 - 12/1/03 - Tuesday was one of the best days I've had all year. I didn't have to go anywhere...didn't have any catastrophies or disasters (big or small)...got the laundry done...the house cleaned...and decorated for Christmas. Was able to sit down with my husband and son that evening and watch a Christmas movie. It was amazing! Thank You, Lord, for a quiet and peaceful day!

Christmas Blessing #2 - 12/2/03 - Wednesday was another good day...quiet...peaceful...no disasters. My daughter called in the morning and invited me over for lunch. After that we spent the afternoon looking through old photograph albums and discussed a few Christmas ideas. Wow! We actually spent the day doing something 'normal' for a change. Thank You, Lord, for another good day!

Christmas Blessing #3 - 12/3/09 - Thursday - My husband got a good report from the doctor. Praise the Lord! How truly blessed we are! With all the things that have happened this year the Christmas season could have been so much different! Thank You, Lord, for Your healing touch and Your magnificent love and protection over our physical bodies!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes



I plan on making these for breakfast tomorrow...

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

For a spiced breakfast treat, whisk 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt; 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg; and a pinch of ground cloves. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup milk, 6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 egg; fold mixture into dry ingredients. Melt some butter in a skillet over medium heat; pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. Makes 8 to 10.

(From Martha Stewart)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Refrigerator Roll Dough

Over the holidays I always get a lot of requests for this recipe, so I thought I'd share it here...

REFRIGERATOR ROLL DOUGH

1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/2 teaspoons bulk)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup unseasoned lukewarm mashed potatoes
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 to 7 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate at least 8 hours but no longer than 5 days.

When you get ready to make the rolls, divide, and bake at 400 degrees until golden brown (about 15 minutes).

Friday, November 20, 2009

One-Bowl Brownies


I posted this recipe not too awful long ago, but, by request, I am reposting it...this time with a picture of the batch I served at last night's jewelry party. This recipe is as good as any boxed brownie mix that we've ever tried without
all the extra added junk! Enjoy!

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
2/3 cup olive oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and nuts. Add
oil, eggs and vanilla; stir just until moistened. Do not overmix. Spread in a
greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

HEARTH AND HOME - NOVEMBER 14, 2009

Greetings Dear Friends!

I pray that this issue of HEARTH AND HOME finds you and yours healthy, happy, and ready to celebrate another BEAUTIFUL holiday season!

I tell you…this year we have so much to be thankful for! SO much! There have been so many things this year that could have turned out so differently, but God in His infinite grace and mercy saw fit to work all things for our good and His glory, and we can’t thank Him enough! He is so good to us! So faithful! Praise the name of the Lord!

So…what do you have to be thankful for this year? How do you and your family plan to celebrate all the wondrous things that God has done for you?

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Okay… why don’t you grab a cup of hot tea…or coffee…or cocoa, settle back, and join me for a fresh issue of HEARTH AND HOME. Here we go…


FAMILY NEWS…

* On the 10th of October my daughter, two daughters-in-law, five grandchildren, and I enjoyed a tea hosted by a local historical site (the Harry S. Truman Birth Home in Lamar, MO). We had such a good time! If you’d like to see pictures, here’s the link to my Blogspot…

http://rebeccashearthandhome.blogspot.com/2009/10/nursery-rhyme-theme-tea-101009.html

* I think the biggest news that’s happened in our family over the past few weeks is that two of our children and their families have been able to stop renting and move into homes of their own. We’d like to congratulate both households and wish them all the best!

HOUSEHOLD TIPS…

* Discarding boxes from new electronics you just bought could bring trouble (you’re announcing what goodies are inside your house). Turn computer and entertainment system boxes inside out before you recycle them.

* Stop flu from spreading with frankincense. The oil has antibacterial properties that destroy airborne viruses on contact. Don’t like the scent? Thyme works, too! Just add 10-15 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle filled with 1 tablespoon witch hazel and 2 cups water.

* If keeping up with the dust on curtains and drapes seems overwhelming, try this: Remove hooks or rings and throw them in the dryer on a no-heat setting with a damp towel and a fabric dryer sheet for 20 minutes. The towel will attract the dust, and the dryer sheet will make the curtains dust-repellent.

* To lift dried candle wax off a tablecloth cut two pieces from a brown paper bag. Slip one beneath the waxy area of the fabric, the other on top. Iron the area using medium heat until the wax melts and is absorbed into the paper.

* When snow and ice are in the forecast, keep your windshield clean with this trick: After parking your car, lift the wipers, cover the windshield with two cut-open paper bags, then put the wipers back down. When you want to go, just remove the bags and the windshield will be clear!

* No need to buy fancy drawer liners. Instead, cut paper bags to fit inside your drawers, allowing a little extra to fold up the sides a bit. Your homemade liners will work just as well as the pricey products.

* To make inexpensive luminaries decorate paper bags using a craft punch in any shape. Fill each with 2 inches of sand (to keep luminaria upright), and place a tea light in a votive holder inside each bag. Light to set a path or tabletop aglow.

* I keep getting a lot of requests for this item, so I am reprinting here…


HOMEMADE CARPET FRESHENER

1/2 cup of borax
1/2 cup of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cloves and/or cinnamon (cloves help keep moths out of the closet too)
Or, if you've got pets, instead of the spices, use about 20-25 drops of sweet orange oil (I use the spices AND the orange oil), which is a natural flea repellent; be sure to mix in the oil into powder mixture thoroughly and never use directly onto your pets.
DOLLARS AND SENSE…

* Host holiday parties without spending an arm and a leg…just have appetizers and dessert, do brunch, make it potluck, or BYO (cheese and crackers, desserts, etc.).

* Coupons are still the single best way to save on groceries. Check out online coupons by going to coupons.com and smartsource.com. (Make sure your grocer accepts printable online coupons. Some don’t.)

* For more money-saving advice on grocery shopping…especially during this holiday season, here’s Teri Gault…

GROCERIES FOR NEXT TO NOTHING
by Teri Gault - TheGroceryGame.com
(article from the November 17, 2009 Woman’s Day magazine)

* Stick to staples – “Go with traditional foods – that’s where the best sales will be, “ says Teri Gault. “The supermarkets think of Thanksgiving week as their annual open house to attract new shoppers, and they do it by selling traditional foods at the lowest prices of the year.” Once you stack manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons, many baking supplies, cranberries, and broths are actually sold at a loss, as manufacturers try to hook new customers.

* Get coupons – Grab the weekly circulars and inserts during the three weeks running up to the holidays. “Often, coupons don’t run in the Sunday paper the weekends before Thanksgiving and Christmas because manufacturers know readers don’t have time to clip them, “ Gault says.

* Stock up – “There are going to be incredible sales, so buy extra,” says Gault. The baking aisles reach their lowest prices of the year, and so do margarine and butter. “That’s a terrific opportunity to buy extra and freeze it for later.”

* Shop local – Don’t forget your town’s weekly farmers’ market – veggies are often a steal.


LET’S TALK TURKEY…

This link was shared with me by my friend, Beth in Oregon and I thought I’d pass it along to you. Thanks, Beth! J

http://www.safeway.com/IFL/Grocery/Thanksgiving-Recipes?contentURL=http%3A%2F%2Fturkey2009.skyworld.com%2Frecipe.cfm%3Frid%3D1%26catid%3D2#iframetop


* For everything you need to know about turkey check out Butterball’s site. They’ve got EVERYTHING!

Just click here: http://www.butterball.com/


RECIPES…


* Make your own…

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE

1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8. tsp cloves

Mix ingredients well. Makes 1 teaspoon. Use in any recipe calling for Pumpkin Pie Spice.


* Here’s a wonderful recipe that my daughter-in-law, Angie, came across. She’s made it a couple of times for family get-togethers and it’s a huge hit! Thanks for letting me share, Ange! This is one of my all-time favorites!


CAULIFLOWER SALAD

1 head lettuce chopped
1 sm. chopped onion
1 lb. cooked bacon crumbled
1 head fresh cauliflower chopped
half a jar of parmesan cheese
Real mayo ( must be real)

Layer lettuce, then onion, then bacon, then cauliflower, sprinkle cheese on top, then spread mayo on very top. Put in fridge to chill do not mix together till right before serving.

Well, Ladies, it’s not much, but that’s all I’ve got to share for now. Please be praying for me. There’s been a lot going on, but it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

Until next time…

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Thursday, November 5, 2009

REPRINT - HEARTH AND HOME - November 15, 2002

Greetings Dear Sisters!

Welcome to the second of two, big THANKSGIVING issues of HEARTH AND HOME! I’m so glad that you’re here! I pray that this year’s THANKSGIVING is a special time of love and fellowship in your home and that many heart-held memories are made. God bless you! And HAPPY THANKSGIVING from my home to yours!

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Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known
his deeds among the people. (1 Chronicles 16:8)
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The Origin of Thanksgiving

by Jennifer Shay

Did Governor Bradford initiate the Thanksgiving celebration as history traditionally suggests? In the American colonies, that answer would be yes. But the practice of setting apart a particular time for giving praise to God was no new idea. This custom may be traced back to the time of Moses.

The Israelites' feast of the Tabernacles prefigured our Thanksgiving tradition. This Hebrew feast was held annually following the ingathering of the harvest. During the time of its observance the people dwelt in tents or "tabernacles." The purpose of this activity was to remind them of God's faithfulness during their wilderness journey, for the Old Testament Scripture uses the tabernacle as a symbol of divine protection. For seven days the Jews would praise Jehovah for their deliverance from Egyptian bondage.

The blessings of America's first harvest evoked the same spirit of praise from the colonists that it had from the Israelites. The Pilgrims had weathered many severe trials and had finally seen the fruits of their labor. God's protection was once again evidenced. Hardships did not end with the first Thanksgiving. But, as in the days of Moses, the colonists could thank God for deliverance from spiritual bondage. For they now enjoyed the "milk and honey," knowing they were where God wanted them to be.

Reprinted from FAITH for the Family (1977).


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O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good; for his
mercy [endureth] for ever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


HOLIDAY ACCENTS AND GARNISHES:

*For your harvest table, decorate with small seasonal gourds and fall foliage—glue a beautiful leaf to place cards.

*Cover your holiday table with white butcher paper, wrap with wide gold ribbon (like a wrapped present) and scatter glittery confetti on surface. Light votive candles in clear glass votive cups for dinnertime.

*Involve the children in decorating the table by having them gather the choicest acorns, seedpods and leaves they can find in the neighborhood. Wash and dry their harvest carefully, then arrange it in a shallow glass bowl and display as a centerpiece.

*To make a festive Thanksgiving centerpiece try this:

Use a nail to make holes, roughly one inch apart, in a small pumpkin. Insert short-
stemmed mums in each hole until the whole pumpkin is completely covered. Presto! A
beautiful centerpiece for your dinner table.

*Use minced or whole sprigs of green herbs like parsley, rosemary, dill, cilantro and sage for garnishing.

*Citrus colors, flavor and scent make things festive. Fill a glass bowl with lemons, fresh cranberries and sprigs of rosemary.

*Freeze small pieces of orange (with some rind) with mint leaves into ice cubes.

*Thinly slice oranges and dry on cookie sheets in a slow oven, turning to dry evenly; fill a bowl with dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, whole allspice and star anise.

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Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks
at the remembrance of his holiness. (Psalms 30:4)

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HOLIDAY TIPS:

*Pack ice cream into buttered muffin tins or decorative molds early in the day, and simply plop them out on pie slices at serving time.

*Gain space for a tall turkey and heaping side dishes by removing the fruit and vegetable drawers from the fridge. Then use the empty bins to chill beverages on Thanksgiving Day. Fill with ice and set outside.

*A turkey doesn’t need to be trussed, buttoned, or stapled to keep the stuffing from spilling out during roasting. Simply seal the stuffed cavity with a bread heel and pop the whole thing in the oven.

*Big platters often pop their wraps in the fridge. For a tighter seal, dip a clean finger in water and moisten the rim of a food-filled dish before you cover it with plastic wrap.

*Thinking ahead to next year...starting in January why not buy a few extra canned or other non-perishable items when you go grocery shopping and place them in a special Thanksgiving box. Bye the time the holiday rolls around next year, you will have a nice assortment of items to give to the local shelter or food bank. By buying items throughout the year, you will hardly miss the extra money spent.

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I will praise the name of God with a song, and will
magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalms 69:30)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

LET’S TALK TURKEY:

HOW MUCH TURKEY TO BUY-

For turkeys 12 pounds or smaller, allow about one pound per person. Larger birds have a higher proportion of meat to bone weight. For a 12- to 24-pound turkey, allow about 3/4 pound per person. If you want leftovers, allow 2 pounds per person when buying a turkey 12 pounds or smaller. Allow 1 1/2 pounds per person for 12- to 24-pound birds.

TURKEY CARVING TIPS-

1. Remove Drumstick, Thigh

Remove the drumstick and thigh by pressing the leg away from the body. The joint connecting the leg to the backbone will often snap free or can be cut easily with a knife.

2. Dark Meat (Drumstick)

First, separate the drumstick from the thigh. Remove the meat from the drumstick by slicing away from you and toward the cutting surface.

3. Dark Meat (Thigh)

Thigh meat can be cut by holding it firmly with a fork and cutting slices evenly and parallel to the bone.

4. Carve the Breast (Base Cut)

To make a base cut, first cut parallel to, and as close to the wing as possible. All breast meat cuts will stop at this horizontal cut.

5. Cut Thin Slices

Carve downward, ending at the base cut slightly higher up on the breast. Remember to try to keep slices as thin and even as possible.

6. Kitchen Carving Method

OR… if you're cramped for table space, try this method. Remove the whole breast from one side of the turkey. Place it on a cutting board (possibly in the kitchen) and slice evenly across the grain. Repeat with the second half of the turkey.
GOT A QUESTION ABOUT COOKING TURKEY?
The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is open until Dec. 21. Professionally trained home economists and dieticians will be available to answer questions about cooking turkeys by phone or via e-mail.

The Talk-Line number is 1-800-288-8372. The website address is: www.butterball.com.

ROASTING TIME FOR TURKEYS-

Oven Temperature 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)

Size Stuffed Unstuffed

8-12 pounds 4-5 hours 3-4 hours
12-16 pounds 4 1/2-6 hours 3 1/2-5 hours
16-20 pounds 5 1/2-7 hours 4 1/2-6 hours
20-24 pounds 6 1/2-71/2 hours 5 1/2-6 1/2 hours

These times are guidelines only. The meat thermometer should register 185 degrees F (85 degrees C) in the thickest part of the thigh when done. Juices should run clear when the bird is pierced with a fork between the leg and thigh.

How To Grill A Turkey-

Grilling a turkey makes good sense for busy cooks, especially if you're dealing with a small space kitchen. With the turkey cooking merrily away on the grill, the oven is free for other chores such as cooking large pans of dressing, side dishes or even home baked pies. And, as always, grilling cuts down on clean-up time so you'll have more time to relax and enjoy the day.

Whether you have a gas or a charcoal grill, you can use it to prepare a moist, delicious turkey, if you keep a few tips in mind.

· After removing the plastic wrapping, prepare the turkey by freeing the legs from tucked position and removing the neck and giblets from neck and body cavities. Rinse the turkey and drain well. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position. It's not necessary to truss a turkey for the grill.

· You can marinate the turkey by using a fork to make random holes over the entire bird. Place the turkey in a large, plastic cooking bag or clean plastic trash bag and pour in the marinade. Close the bag securely and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Before cooking, scrape off excess marinade and discard.

· Do not re-use marinade to baste the turkey.

· Do not stuff a turkey that's to be grilled as it can take too long for the temperature of the stuffing to reach the required temperature of 165 F degrees.

· Keep the lid on the grill closed as much as possible to prevent heat loss.

Grilling

Use indirect heat to grill the turkey. Prepare the grill by removing top grill rack and opening all vents. Mound 50 to 60 briquettes in center of the lower grill rack or the bottom of grill and ignite briquettes. When coals become ash-gray -- about 20 to 40 minutes -- divide them into two equal parts, positioned on the outside edges of lower grill rack or bottom of grill.

Place a foil drip pan or a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil between the two piles of coals.

Lightly grease the top grill rack before repositioning it on the hot coals. Place the prepared turkey in the middle of the grill rack, directly over drip pan, and replace the lid on the grill.

You can figure roughly 12 minutes cooking time per pound of turkey. Be sure to check turkey's doneness by using a meat thermometer. Breast meat is ready at 170 °F degrees, thigh meat at 180° F degrees.

Maintain grill heat during cooking by adding 5 to 8 briquettes to both sides of hot coals every hour or as needed.

How To Deep Fry A Turkey

Deep frying a turkey may sound like a strange concept, but trust me, it doesn't come out like you'd think. Deep fried turkey is moist and delicious and not at all greasy.
Of course, an idea like fried turkey originated in the south, the frying capital of the United States, but it is gaining popularity nationwide. In fact, a recent block party I attended in South Central Los Angeles had three fried tukeys going. Several groups of neighbors had gotten together and split the cost of the oil and special equipment needed to make this dish. Needless to say, their tables were some of the most popular.

You Will Need

In addition to a turkey, you'll need a 40 or 60 quart pot with basket, plus a propane gas tank and burner, a candy thermometer, a meat thermometer and lots of oil. You should also keep a fire extinguisher and plenty of pot holders nearby. An injector to add marinades and seasonings to the meat is also good to have, although you can make a plain turkey without it.

As far as the turkey itself goes, smaller birds work better for frying. Try not to go over ten pounds. Before cooking, you can inject the turkey with your favorite marinade, rub it with a dry spice rub, or even coat it in seasoned breadcrumbs. You will need about five gallons of oil in which to fry the turkey.

Where to Fry

Because so much oil is flammable, you should never fry a turkey indoors. Place the fryer, outdoors, on a level dirt or grassy area. Avoid frying on wood decks, which could catch fire. You will also want to avoid concrete surfaces, unless you don't mind oil stains.

How to Fry

Before beginning, determine the amount of oil you'll need by placing the turkey in the basket and putting this in the pot. Add water until it reaches about two inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level by using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Remove the water and thoroughly dry the pot.

Using the candy thermometer to determine temperature, heat the oil to 350°F. This usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Once the oil is hot enough, place the turkey in the basket and slowly lower it into the pot. With whole turkeys, you can estimate on about three minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check the temperature with meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 170° F. in the breast and 180° F. in the thigh.

Hints & Tips

· Do not stuff turkeys you plan on frying, it just doesn't work.

· Be sure to measure for the amount of oil you'll need BEFORE you marinate or bread the turkey. A good time to do these tasks is while the oil is heating.

· Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with raw turkey to avoid cross contamination.

· Consume cooked turkey immediately and store leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.

· Never leave the hot oil unattended.

· Don't allow children or pets near the cooking area.

· Allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing it.

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But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I GIVE THEE HUMBLE THANKS

For all the gifts that Thou doest send,
For every kind and loyal friend,
For prompt supply of all my need,
For all that’s good in word or deed,
For all of health along life’s way,
For strength to work from day to day,
I give Thee humble thanks.
For ready hands to help and cheer,
For listening ears Thy voice to hear,
For yielded tongue Thy love to talk,
For willing feet Thy paths to walk,
For open eyes Thy Word to read,
For loving heart Thy will to heed,
I give Thee humble thanks.
For Christ who came from heaven above,
For the Cross and His redeeming love,
For His mighty power to seek and save,
For His glorious triumph o’er the grave,
For the lovely mansions in the sky,
For His blessed coming by and by,
I give Thee humble thanks.



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Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY EATING TIPS:

Turkey-

· Don't stuff the turkey with the dressing, as it absorbs much of the fat. Bake it in a covered casserole instead.

· Saute onions and celery in a small amount of butter/margarine, i.e., 1 tablespoon. Use chicken or turkey broth for additional moisture.

· Roast the turkey on a rack so the fat drips away from the bird.

· Use a fat separator for the roasting pan juices and skim off all fat before making the gravy.

· I use a dry package of turkey gravy mix for added flavor and thickening.

Pumpkin Pie-

· Make pumpkin pies with canned, evaporated, skimmed milk.

· Use half the amount of sugar in the recipe - SUBSTITUTE BROWN SUGAR FOR WHITE, as it's more flavorful.

· Use more spices than the recipe suggests. I double the amount.

· Use light or fat free whipped topping.

· If more than one choice of pie is offered after the meal, choose ONE, not a bit of each - always choose the one that "rings your bell" (a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10).

· Eat the filling of the pie and just a bit or none of the high fat crust. Cover the crust with a napkin so you won't nibble on the crust.

Potatoes-

· Mash the potatoes with chicken broth and canned, evaporated, skimmed milk. HOLD THE BUTTER - NO ONE WILL NOTICE!

· Use pineapple and/or orange juice thickened with corn starch as a glaze for carrots or sweet potatoes. (I add a pinch of pumpkin pie spice to the glaze.)

Miscellaneous-

· Sprinkle hot vegetables with dill for flavor instead of butter.

· Use low fat canned cream soup in the traditional green bean casserole.

· Use all fruit spreads on rolls vs butter or margarine OR, SKIP THE ROLLS due to so many other "bread" items, i.e., stuffing, sweet potatoes, whipped potatoes, etc.

· Use the 1-10 rating system during Thanksgiving dinner. Rate each food that is passed on a 1-10 scale - 1, not appealing - 10, WOW, my favorite! Eat only 9's and 10's. Pass up the rest!

· Don't skip meals before the big meal that day. You'll be too hungry and may overeat. Treat it as a regular day - 3 meals and fruit snacks.

· Begin the meal with a salad. You'll eat less during dinner.

· After dinner, go for a long walk!



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And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord
Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17)

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FOR THE CHILDREN:

Mixed up Bible Verses: Select Bible verses to unscramble that relate to being "thankful". Create them and print them out ahead to make things easier for you. Make sure you have pencils with erasers on top and Bibles to hand out to each participant. You can give the first person that completes unscrambling the verses a prize or just use this as an activity without the pressure to "win".

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Take a turkey fun quiz at: http://home.aristotle.net/Thanksgiving/turkey-index.asp

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FOR FIVE FAMILY FUN CRAFT PROJECTS:

1. A Center-Stage Bird
2. Corn-Print Place Mats
3. Hatband Napkin Rings
4. Ship-Shaped Favors
5. Pilgrim Place Cards

Visit:
http://family.go.com/crafts/season/feature/famf117tabletop/famf117tabletop4.html

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ThanksLiving Treasures:

It might be too late for this holiday season (and I‘m not sure about that...you‘ll have to check), but don’t miss the opportunity to share this wonderful family memory-maker with YOUR family.

http://www.familylife.com/thanksliving/

(This is what we’re doing this year! It is a FANTASTIC 6-day program that REALLY promotes love of God and family togetherness. It‘s a wonderful resource!)

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“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit...and I will give peace in the land.” (Leviticus 26:3,4,6)

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RECIPES:

HERB ROASTED TURKEY
Prep Time : 15 min.
Cook Time : About 4 hr.
Ingredients:

1 can (14 oz.) Swanson® Chicken Broth (1 3/4 cups)
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried basil leaves, crushed
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
1/8 tsp. pepper
12- to 14-lb. turkey

Directions:

Mix broth, lemon juice, basil, thyme and pepper.

Roast turkey according to pkg. directions, basting with broth mixture.

Stand 10 min. before slicing. Discard any remaining broth mixture. Serves 14.

HERBED TURKEY BREAST

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 bone-in whole turkey breast (5 1/2 to 6 pounds)

In a small saucepan, combine the first eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Place turkey in a shallow roasting pan; baste with butter mixture. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees, basting every 30 minutes. Yield: 10-12 servings.


ROASTED TURKEY PAN GRAVY

Ingredients:
1 can (14 oz.) Swanson® Chicken Broth (1 3/4 cups)
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Directions:

Roasting turkey from roasting pan. Pour off fat.

Mix broth into flour in roasting pan. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Serves 6.


LOW-FAT GRAVY

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 cups reduced-sodium fat-free beef or chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch pepper

In a saucepan, saute onion, mushrooms and parsley in 1/4 cup broth until vegetables are tender. Combine cornstarch, pepper and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until smooth. Add to pan with the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; boil for 2 minutes. Yield: 2 cups.


CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated skim milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
Light whipped topping and additional cinnamon, optional

In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk, eggs and sugar; beat until smooth. Add the spices and salt; beat until well mixed. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Pour into a 9-in. pie plate that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. If desired, garnish with a dollop of whipped topping and sprinkling of cinnamon. Store in the refrigerator.


DOUBLE APPLE SALAD

1 large Golden Delicious apple, diced
1 large Red Delicious apple, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons thinly sliced celery

In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Yield: 10-12 servings.


Well, Sisters, that’s it for this time! May God richly bless you, your family, and your home during this beautiful Thanksgiving season! I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!

Love and Hugs,
~Rebecca Knox

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

JOURNAL ENTRY - WEDNESDAY, November 4, 2009

By Rebecca, simply yours

~I Awoke...

...very early (3:30 a.m.) with lots on my mind, so I went ahead and got up. Have accomplished a lot already this morning.

~I Am Hearing...

...the sound of the dryer as it finishes up a load of clothes.

~I Am Praising The LORD For...

...meeting a very real financial need in a totally unexpected way, for the beautiful fall weather, and for answering our requests...even when we're not quite sure how to pray.

~Things That Make Me Smile...

...the assurance of God's presence, sunny days, good friends, and family.

~I Am Thinking...

...about how blessed we truly are, and about how, half the time, we don't even realize it.

'Lord, please, help me to never take You, or the things You've give me, or the people that You have placed in my life, for granted. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.'

~My Plans For Today...

...school, do a little house straightening, attend afternoon Bible study, and go to the grocery store.

~What's For Dinner...

...turkey burgers and homemade potato wedges

Monday, November 2, 2009

REPRINT - November 1, 2002

Greetings Dear Sisters!

Welcome to the first of two, big, THANKSGIVING issues of HEARTH AND HOME. Each one is chocked full of holiday ideas! I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed putting them together! I’m so looking forward to the holidays! Aren’t you? Hang on to your hat! Here we go!

(NOTE: The second THANKSGIVING issue is scheduled to be sent on November 15, 2002.)


“Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.” (Psalm 95:2)

HOUSEHOLD TIPS:

*To keep track of whose cup is whose write each person’s name in ink on wide rubber bands and place them around each person’s cup. This helps avoid each person using more than one cup and it aids in ending the spread of germs. Take the rubber bands off when doing the dishes and they’re ready to be used again!

*When kneading bread or making cookies on your kitchen table, place masking tape over the seams of the table. This will prevent ingredients from getting lost between the table’s leaves and make cleanup a breeze.

*Kitchen sponges come out clean when thrown into the washing machine along with your other kitchen rags. Dry the sponges in the dryer.

*Most pie recipes instruct you to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil when it begins to brown. Before you begin baking form a foil ring around the cold pie edge, then when the edges begin to brown simply set the already formed ring in place.

*To polish silver, add one tablespoon of ammonia to your silver polish. You’ll get a super shine, plus it prolongs the shine well into the new year.

*Use a pencil eraser to take black heel marks off your linoleum.

*Murphy’s Oil Soap is a great stain remover for almost any stain. Spray on garment, rub, and then wash as usual.

*To remove paper stuck on wood moisten the paper with olive oil and then, rub it off.

*Clean piano keys with a piece of silk moistened with rubbing alcohol.



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This tip came from one of our readers in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

“I use oven cleaner for my drip pans on the top of the stove. Mine are white and always getting stuff in the pan...and it’s a big mess. I spray oven cleaner on the dry pan after washing and let it sit.... then the "stuff" is easy to come clean.”

Thanks for sharing, Cindy!

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If you have a household tip that you'd like to share please send it to Rebecca Knox at: [email protected]

Be sure and put "Household Tip" on the subject line. Thank you!



“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”(Philippians 4:6)

DOLLARS AND SENSE:

The average American often feels overwhelmed by debt and doesn’t know where to start or how to go about getting rid of debt. It’s a misconception that the more money you earn the easier it is to save. Here is how you can save over $7000 in just one year cutting a few things from your grocery bill. They are painless, simple and add up over time. If you don’t think that cutting out one bag of potato chips or one soda will add up, look at the numbers at the end of a year. If you’re trying to save so you can be a stay at home mom or for a down payment on a house, pay off some credit card debt or just have some emergency money, here are 13 ways to do it without depriving yourself.

By eliminating one $2 bag of potato chips (not all...just one bag) from your grocery bill each week you can save $104 per year. Cutting out one six-pack of soda will save another $104. A weekly $4 box of granola cereal adds up to $208 a year. If you eat out one less time each week at $30 a meal, you can save $1,560 and ordering one less delivered pizza at $20, can save you $1040 per year. Similar annual savings can be realized by cutting out weekly purchases of fruit rolls ($130), daily gourmet coffee at $2.50 per cup ($910), a daily liter of soda ($365), snack cakes ($455), one cup less juice per person in a family of four ($546), 3 lbs. less meat a week ($390), and by eliminating a $4 lunch five days a week ($1040).

(This article was taken from New Millennium‘s “HOME CARE HINTS AND TIPS”-Winter 2002)


If you have a dollar-stretching tip to share please send it to Rebecca Knox at: [email protected]

Be sure and put "Dollars and Sense" on the subject line. Thank you!

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FUN FACT: Pumpkins are 90 percent water.

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THANKSGIVING PLANNER

WEEK ONE OF NOVEMBER:

*Begin holiday organization.

*Invite your guests for Thanksgiving dinner. A cheery phone invitation or a written invitation is always welcome.

*If you’re ordering a fresh turkey, do it now; if you’re buying a frozen turkey you have time, but don’t wait until the last minute. Start watching those sale ads now.

WEEK TWO OF NOVEMBER:

*Make up Thanksgiving dinner menu. At the same time compile your grocery list. You can pick up the dry goods and staples for your meal now. It’s easier on the budget and makes shopping faster later. Check off items on the marketing list as you purchase them.

*Plan your Thanksgiving table setting and centerpiece early. Check your silverware, plates, and serving dishes to be sure you have enough for the number of guests you are inviting.

*Name cards can also be completed ahead of time. As a family sit down and find verses with a thanksgiving theme. Take a blank 3” x 5” index card, fold it in half, and stand it on the table. On the front write the name of the person who will sit at that place and inside write a Thanksgiving scripture. When everyone is seated, each person then reads his verse.

WEEK THREE OF NOVEMBER:

*Make any last-minute arrangements for Thanksgiving. If you’ll be going out of town, ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers. If you are cooking, finalize your menu and entertainment plans.

WEEK FOUR OF NOVEMBER:

*Special holiday events will be happening Thanksgiving week. Decide which event you want to attend as a family, then schedule one special event for each child individually.

FOUR DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING:

*Start defrosting a large (15 to 20 lbs.) frozen turkey in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING:

*Prepare the serving pieces, plates, flatware, glasses, etc.

*If using cloth napkins or tablecloths, iron them now.

*Make the cranberry sauce; a couple of days in the refrigerator will give the flavors time to develop.

*Cut and cube bread for the stuffing now, and set the cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet to dry.

ONE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING:

*Pick up the fresh turkey and purchase perishables.

*Prepare the stuffing. Refrigerate overnight.

*Make the giblet stock for gravy.

*Assemble and bake pies.

*Peel the potatoes; refrigerate in a pot of cold water.

*Make side dishes that require baking and reheat them tomorrow; or assemble them today and cook them right before dinner tomorrow.

*Set the table tonight or first thing in the morning.

THANKSGIVING DAY:

*Remove the turkey from the refrigerator and cook as desired. (Some people...like me...even prefer to slow cook the turkey overnight.)

*Make mashed potatoes and bake or reheat side dishes.

*Prepare coffee, but do not brew until about twenty minutes before it is to be served.

*Prepare iced tea and other beverages early and refrigerate.


“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving...”(Colossians 4:2)

TO MAKE:

Edible Cornucopia Favors for Thanksgiving


Very simple and fun. Kids will enjoy helping.

1. Melt chocolate chips in microwave oven or double boiling pan.
2. Dip the wide opening of a sugar (dark) ice cream cone about halfway into the melted chocolate chips, set on wax paper to cool.
3. Fill with candy (Maybe some candy corn or mallow creme pumpkins for instance?)
4. Also put a little paper inside, asking guests to think of what they are thankful for. Then have volunteers share.

APPLE CANDLE HOLDERS

Take large apples and core out enough to hold a votive candle. Squeeze lemon juice around the cutout area and then insert the candle. The apples can be set on your holiday table in front of each person’s place or down the center of the table with autumn leaves, pods, grapes, pears, corn, eggplant, and even squash and nuts. When the candles are lit, you’ll have a beautiful harvest display.

If you don’t have votive candles, use tall tapers or whatever you have available.

(This idea can be used for Christmas with red and green apples.)

ORANGE SHELLS

Here’s a simple, decorative way to serve your sweet potatoes or yams. Cut oranges in half and remove fruit and pulp. Add the fruit to your holiday punch or let the children enjoy it as an extra treat. Prepare cooked sweet potatoes or yams and spoon into the orange shells. For an extra touch, flute top edges of orange shells with a knife and top with miniature marshmallows. Place in oven until the marshmallow melts. Nestle oranges around turkey on platter.



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FUN FACT: The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighted over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs, and took six hours to bake.

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LET‘S TALK TURKEY:

*To store a fresh turkey, loosely cover it with waxed paper or foil. Keep the turkey in the coldest part of your refrigerator and cook within three days.

*You can special-order a turkey from your favorite market. Give them the weight you want and request that it be fresh, not frozen. Pick it up the day before Thanksgiving. You now have a fresh turkey that is ready for the oven.

*Fresh or frozen, don’t forget to remove the giblets and save them for gravy stock or for use in stuffing.

*After cooking the turkey, it may be stored three or four days in the refrigerator or frozen and stored up to three months.

*The majority of turkey’s fat can be found in it’s skin. Be sure to remove the skin from leftover turkey before adding the meat to the dish you are preparing.

*Make homemade turkey stock. Put the turkey carcass in a kettle with cold water and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, skimming the foam off the top. When the stock is done, strain it and refrigerate. Remove fat from the surface before using.

*Keep a frozen turkey in the freezer until a couple or three days before you want to cook it. Whole turkeys can be kept frozen for one year, turkey parts for six months.

*The refrigerator is the best place to thaw your frozen turkey. It keeps meat cold while it defrosts. Place the bird on a rimmed baking sheet, and let it thaw in the bottom of your refrigerator. Allow five hours per pound to thaw.


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Interested in finding out more about cranberries? Check out The Cranberry Institute at www.cranberryinstitute.org. Everything you ever wanted to know about that tart little berry can be found on these pages that are chockful of fun facts. There are lots of recipes, too.

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RECIPES:

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

2 cups biscuit/baking mix
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
syrup

In a bowl, combine the baking mix, brown sugar and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine the eggs, milk, pumpkin, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with syrup. Yield: 1 dozen.

PUMPKIN WAFFLES

1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, well beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Stir together pumpkin, eggs, milk, and butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cook according to the directions for your waffle maker. Serve immediately with berry or maple syrup, fresh berries, or ginger whipped cream.

CORNISH HENS WITH POTATOES

4 Cornish game hens (20 ounces each)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large red potatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
4 bacon strips, cut into 1-inch pieces
Lemon-pepper seasoning and garlic powder to taste
Minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, brown hens in oil. Place the potatoes in a 5-quart slow cooker. Top with the hens and the bacon. Sprinkle with lemon-pepper and garlic powder. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender. Thicken the cooking juices if desired. Sprinkle the hens with parsley. Yield: 4 servings.

(Great served with green beans and French bread.)

SWEET POTATOES IN ORANGE SAUCE

1. Bake 6 medium sweet potatoes in oven until almost tender (about 45 minutes) at 375 degrees.

2. Peel and slice potatoes into a lightly buttered casserole dish.

3. Blend together and pour over top of potatoes:

1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons cornstarch

4. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.



MOLASSES COOKIES

(Only 41 calories per cookie!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

In a mixing bowl, beat oil, molasses, 1/4 cup sugar and egg. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; add to molasses mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in remaining sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set and surface cracks. Yield: 5 dozen.

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

In a large bowl

BEAT: 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Gently stir in 1 tub (8 oz.) thawed whipped topping. Spoon into 1 prepared graham cracker crust.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until set. Makes 8 servings.



FOR THE CHILDREN:


Bible Verse Hunt: Make a list of the Bible verses that you feel relate to Thanksgiving. Just list the Bible references and put enough space for them to print out the verses too. If you have enough people you can make teams with two people in each team. One can write out the Bible verses and the other person can look up the Bible verses. Just as in the "Mixed Up Bible Verses" make sure you have pencils with erasers on top and Bibles to hand out to each participant. This can either be a game or activity which ever you prefer.

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Q. Why did the turkey cross the road?

A. To prove that he wasn’t a chicken.

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Well, Ladies, that’s it for this time! Until next time I pray God’s blessings upon you, your family, and your home. May He be with you and guide you as you seek His will for your life this Thanksgiving season. God bless you!

Love and ((((Hugs)))),
~Rebecca

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just A Reminder...

Tonight's the night to set your clock back by one hour and install new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Reformation Day Recipes

Last year we held our first 'annual' Night of Reformation celebration; this year we've been so busy that we've not had time to plan anything...let alone DO anything. We did have such a good time last year, though, and I wanted to repost the following...


We held our first annual Night of Reformation celebration this year on the evening of October 31st, and we had such a good time! Friends and family members joined us as the mothers and children of three homeschooling families got together to give presentations and reports on a the Protestant Reformers. Afterwards food representative of the countries the Reformers came from was served. Here are the recipes that Tony and I made...

HOT CROSS BUNS
(William Tyndale/England)

1 cup milk
2 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
5 cup flour
1 1/3 cup currants or raisins
1 egg white

Glaze (you can use this one or your favorite)
1 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1-2 Tbsp milk

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan, heat milk to very warm, but not hot (110°F if using a candy thermometer). Pour warm milk in a bowl and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.

Stirring constantly, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually mix in flour, dough will be wet and sticky. Continue kneading until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough "rest" for 30-45 minutes.

Knead again until smooth and elastic, for about 3 more minutes. Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed. At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky. Shape dough in a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Excess moisture will be absorbed by the morning.

Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper (you could also lightly grease a baking pan, but parchment works better). Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (in half, half again, etc., etc.). Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400° F.

When buns have risen, take a sharp or serrated knife and carefully slash buns with a cross. Brush them with egg white and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in a cross pattern. Serve warm, if possible.

Yield: Makes 24

(NOTE: This is the recipe that we used, but I think they made a mistake in the amount of milk.It was way too dry and I had to keep adding milk. If you make these I would try using two cups of milk instead of one. That's what I plan on doing next time...and there will be a next time!)


HOT GERMAN POTATO SALAD
(Philip Melanchthon/Germany)

9 potatoes, peeled
6 slices bacon
3/4 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool and slice thin.

2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside, reserving drippings.

3. Saute onions in bacon drippings until they are golden-brown.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add to the sauteed onions and cook and stir until bubbly, then remove from heat. Stir in water and vinegar, then return to the stove and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Carefully stir bacon and sliced potatoes into the vinegar/water mixture, stirring gently until potatoes are heated through.

(NOTE: I broiled the bacon and discarded the drippings. I sauteed the onions in butter flavored pan spray and a little bit of olive oil.)