Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Leftovers

Turkey tetrazzini, Italian green beans, and hot rolls with Best Life buttery spread

Friday, December 24, 2010

Candy-making With The Grandlittles

Abby and Gianna help Grandma make traditional Christmas Eve lasagna.


The beginning of "peanut butter balls".

The beginning of "dirty snowballs".

The girls candy-coating the snowballs.


Grandma and the grandlittles making Christmas Eve candy.



The girls enjoying the fruits of their labor. They did such a good job!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Introducing Miss Sarah Kathleen

Miss Sarah Kathleen - Born 12/22/10

Isn't she beautiful?



Meeting 'Uncie Toe' for the first time.


Look at those eyes!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate Truffles

http://www.simplyfrugal.ca/2010/12/oreo-truffles/

This recipe is slightly different than the one I posted for DIRTY SNOWBALLS, but basically they're the same. Thought you all might enjoy seeing a photo. :)

Rebecca's HEARTH AND HOME - Correction and Update On 12/15/10 Issue

Good Morning, Dear Friends!

I've got a couple of things to share with you as an addendum to yesterday's post.

1) First of all, I need make a correction concerning the EASY LEMON COOKIE recipe. The recipe calls for a LEMON cake mix, NOT a YELLOW cake mix.

(Thanks for bringing this to my attention, A.K.! I appreciate it! :)

2) Secondly, in the original post I only shared the information that my friend had shared with me, but reader Annette S. e-mailed me last night with the following, and I really like what she has to say because it explains the recipe in more detail.

Annette writes:

<<<...Here's one you might like to share, and it's good anytime of the year -- not just Christmas. It uses any flavor of cake mix you like, but it's an easy cookie recipe. Take 1 cake mix, preferably with pudding in the mix, but it's not absolutely necessary; add 1 large egg and 2 1/4 C. Cool Whip (or an off brand of the same thing). The topping should be the tub kind, not out of a can. Mix all together well; it takes work. After all 3 ingredients are mixed well, roll into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on parchment paper on an ungreased cookie mix. Press your thumb lightly in the middle. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake. It's not always easy to tell when they're done enough but not overbaked. 12 minutes should be the absolute limit. Cool slightly and then place on a rack to cool completely. We found orange and chocolate cake mixes are excellent. My friend that introduced me to the recipe likes to use
lemon cake mix. I even have a spice cake mix I might use for this...>>>

(I really appreciate your sharing this, Annette! I can't wait to try my own hand at making these delicious cookies! The ones my friend brought were really good! Merry Christmas!)

3) And, last, but not least, reader Dawn G. writes:

 "Hi, Rebecca! Silly question: What is almond bark?"

Rebecca writes:
 

 "Not a silly question at all, Dawn! I didn't know what it was myself until recently. Almond bark is a vanilla flavored candy coating that can be purchased in blocks or discs in the baking supply aisle or candy-making section of your local grocery or discount store. Thanks for submitting your question and Merry Christmas!"

Okay...that's it for now! If anyone else has any questions, thoughts, or opinions, please, be sure and write. I always enjoying hearing from you! Have a great rest of the week and a Merry Chritmas!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rebecca's HEARTH AND HOME - December 15, 2010

Greetings Dear Friends!

I pray that you all are enjoying this blessed Christmas season. Here things have been hectic (things have been hectic here for a long, long, LONG time!), but I am determined to get back on track with those things which I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Lord has led me in, and that includes this publication. I had planned on starting back up in January, but I cannot let another month go by without talking to you! So, please, grab a cup of tea and lets get in a mid-December visit!

As I said, things have been hectic here for a long time, and I haven't really been able to share much of anything with any of you lately. In fact...looking back...I realize (and I didn't realize this until just now) it's been well over a year...September '09...since I have put out an actual issue of HEARTH AND HOME. Not good...huh? There's no way that I could ever share all that has happened in that time, so I will just start with where I'm at and go from there. So...here we go! :)

1) It's been a wonderful Christmas season thus far here. We had our family Christmas Saturday night (the 11th). All of our children, their spouses, and grandchildren were there, as well as my dad, a close friend, and one of our sons-in-laws' mother. There was a lot of good food, good music, laughter, and fun as the whole family came together to celebrate the joy of Christmas, and it is always such a delight to watch the grandlittles unwrap and enjoy their gifts! What a flurry of paper, giggles, and shrieks!

2) At family Christmas we also had a baby shower! Our son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby any day now, and the original shower date was scheduled for the 4th, but, since everyone was down with the flu, it had to be canceled. Having a baby shower at family Christmas just added to the festivity. Our newest granddaughter, Sarah Kathleen, is due December 22nd and we can't wait to welcome her into our family! (This makes grandbaby #9!)

3) I have a couple of new recipes to share. I've not made them yet, but plan to next week, and I've tasted both of them and they are both extremely yummy! The first one was shared with me by my friend, Carla. It is...

PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

1 pound powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted
2 cups peanut butter

Mix well, chill, and roll into 1-inch balls. Roll in almond bark (chocolate).

The second was given to me by our youngest daughter, Amanda. It is...

DIRTY SNOWBALLS

1 pkg. Oreo cookies, crushed
1 pkg cream cheese

Mix and beat until a smooth paste; chill. Roll into 1-inch balls; chill again. Dip in white chocolate; chill.


NOTE: Wouldn't these be pretty alternated in small boxes each drizzled with the opposite color of chocolate? Maybe one-half dozen per tiny box?

(Thanks for allowing me to share these, Amanda and Carla! They're both very good and I can't wait to make them myself!)

4) Here's another recipe that I'm hoping to try soon...

PINEAPPLE CREAM PIE

1 large can crushed pineapple, drained
1 small sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 pint plain yogurt

Mix well and spoon into a prepared graham cracker crust. Chill for at least one hour.

5) This simple recipe was shared with me by a friend over family Christmas...

EASY LEMON COOKIES

1 yellow cake mix, dry
1 tub Cool Whip
1 egg

Mix together, roll into 1-inch balls and bake at 350 degrees until done; cool and roll in powdered sugar.

(Thanks for sharing, S.C.! These cookies were delicious!)



Well, dear ones, I had planned on sharing a lot more with you, but it looks like this is all I have time for this time. It's been wonderful being in contact with you again. Have a blessed and beautiful Christmas and I promise to be with you again very shortly! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Rebecca's HEARTH AND HOME - Rerun of December 2004

Greetings, Dear Friends!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS!

How wonderful it is to be with you again! I pray that this holiday season finds
you and yours healthy, happy, and rich in the blessings that money cannot
buy...especially the love of family and friends, and a close, personal
relationship with the REAL reason for the season...Jesus Christ.

If, by chance, you're on this list, and you don't know Him, there's no time like
the present to make this the most wonderful, joyous Christmas you've ever known!
Accepting the gift of salvation is the greatest gift you could ever receive. If
you need help in, or would like more information about receiving this gift, feel
free to contact my husband, John, and I at [email protected] We'd be more than
happy to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with YOU!

***************************************************************************
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!
***************************************************************************

********************************************************************************
SEVEN WAYS TO BE GOOD STEWARDS OF OUR HOLIDAY TIME
********************************************************************************

(The following article was posted to my pastors' wives group back in November of
2002, but I thought that there was some very good information contained in it
that is timeless. I hope that you enjoy it! ~R.K.)

Seven Ways To Be Good Stewards of our Holiday Time
by Cheryl R. Carter

The holiday season can be most hectic. Chaos tends to reign even in the most
reverent Christian homes. There are places to go, gifts to be brought, programs
to plan and people to see- all with ominous deadlines. Yet, in this hubbub of
activity, we must be careful not to lose sight of evangelistic opportunities.
Now is the time of year when people talk about Jesus and people are open to hear
about Jesus. We, as Christians must be wise. We need to be careful to guard our
peace so that we can be good stewards. Being a good steward of our time during
the holiday involves seven crucial elements.

(1) Establish Meaningful Traditions

Traditions are the cornerstone of relationships. In fact, traditions give
testimony to the importance of relationships. Jesus, Himself established the
ritual of communion. When we take communion we are reminded of Jesus' love and
sacrifice for us. It is also a time to reflect upon our commitment to Him.
Communion forces us to stop all the activity in our lives and to consider our
ways. The communion table also affords us numerous benefits including healing,
restoration and renewal. We need to know these benefits. Likewise the holiday
traditions we establish should bring us closer to the ones we love and value.
They should know the benefits of the tradition. We also need to look at the
negative traditions we are creating in our families by the constant running from
one holiday event to the other. Make certain you know the purpose for every
holiday event you attend. Also be sensitive to when it is time to create new
memories. You can establish a new tradition this year like sitting down and
reading the bible and sharing insights with your family. Spend more time with
your family, establish a new family tradition this year!

(2) Monitor Your Holiday Schedule

The holiday season for Christians is full with so much activity. You should be
particularly diligent about guarding your time with your family, God and
yourself. Too many of us fill our calendars with "good" Christian activities
instead of considering what is "best". Our time with the Lord should especially
be guarded this holiday season. In addition, we need to be mindful of
over-commitment. Mothers are particularly vulnerable with so many Christmas
pageants, plays and parties to attend. It is okay to say "no". Be prayerfully
about your schedule. Make sure you have time for yourself so you can be full of
the spirit and therefore able to share it with others.

(3) Be Wise With Your Body

Besides time, God expects us to be good stewards of our bodies because God
operates in this physical realm via our physical bodies. We are His temple! We
are His shining lights this holiday season. Most of us tend to over-burden our
bodies during the holiday season. We demand the impossible of ourselves while
not getting adequate sleep or rest. Then we indulge in all the wrong foods. We
are no testimony when we do not care for ourselves physically because our
spiritual growth should be reflected in outward physical appearance. We
therefore should be mindful of good health habits this holiday season. Remember
we are representing our king!


(4) Stay On Budget

If you do not have a budget, the holiday season is an excellent time to acquire
one. Decide in advance how many you will spend. Be creative with gift giving.
You can give the gift of your time or make a craft. You need not spend a lot of
money. Sometimes the materialistic mindset of the world seeps into the church.
We are particularly vulnerable to give our children too much. It is a good idea
to let children realize the blessings they enjoy. A friend has his daughters
accompany him while he delivers toys to inmates' children (for Chuck Colson's
Angel Tree Ministry). Reach out to those around you this season. Give generously
to others. Also, remember you can start planning this year for next year by
gradually purchasing gifts for others throughout the year.

(5) Set the Standard

You must set the standard for the holiday celebrations for the unbelievers
around you. The character of Jesus should reign at even the most illicit office
party. In addition, your convictions and behavior should motivate others to see
Christ. Now is not the time to slack up in your Christian walk. Now is the time
to become so on fire for the Lord that others will beg you to tell them more
about Jesus. Remember also you cannot win anyone to Jesus until you win them to
yourself. Be friendly but firm in your Godly convictions.

(6) Re-commit Your Life And Family to Christ

Christmas time is a great time to re-commit your life and your family back to
the Lord. See it as renewing your vows. Likewise unbelievers may follow you and
make new commitments to the Lord. Children really understand the concept of
re-commitment at Christmas time. Come together and pray and stand as a family
and re-commit your lives to Christ together. Make a pact to hold one another
accountable, because iron sharpens iron. Friends, ministries, and businesses can
do this by joining with others. Make sure 'Jesus is the reason for the season'
does not become a cliche in your life this holiday season. Make certain He
remains your living Lord.

(7) Celebrate Jesus

Celebrating Jesus and His Gift of giving the world another New Year is indeed a
reason to rejoice. In fact, we should celebrate more than the unregenerate
because we know what is the glorious hope of our salvation. We know we can never
re-pay God for the gift of His Son, or for the indwelling of the precious Holy
Spirit. We know this all year round. We celebrate our special relationship with
the Lord. As others behold our joy, peace and utter contentment they are drawn
to Jesus. As Jesus is lifted up this holiday season He will draw people to
Himself. Prayerfully, consider how you will celebrate Jesus this season because
a dying world is watching and waiting.

I pray that all have an anointed holiday season and a Spirit-filled New Year.
May we all grow in grace that the meditations of our heart, the words of our
mouth and plans of our mind be inspired by God Himself. May we be wise stewards
of our time, our talents and our treasury. Let's take 2003 for Jesus!

*************************************************************************
"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)
*************************************************************************

********************************************************************************
TO MAKE
********************************************************************************
TEA BAG ANGELS
(I've run this before, but they continue to be a favorite. I hope that you enjoy
trying them.)
For each angel you will need:
2 teabags (not the kind without tags)
a 5-inch piece of this raffia

glue

Unwrap both teabags.

Working with the first bag, shake down all of the tea into the bottom of the
bag. About 1 inch below the top gather the bag and tie with the raffia, making a
bow. Trim ends. Set aside. This makes the head and body of the angel.

Working with the second bag, shake down all of the tea into the bottom of the
bag. Cut the tag off of the string and discard tag. Cut the string at the top of
the teabag. Lay string aside. You will need it shortly.

Next, cut the top of the teabag open right below the tiny staple. Empty the
contents of the bag completely. Next laying the bag outstretched completely,
fold one end over to the middle, then the other overlapping them slightly.
Gather them in the middle and tie with the teabag string, clipping away the long
ends. This makes the angel’s wings.

Glue the front of the wings to the back of the body to complete the angel.
Allow to dry.

Make plenty of these lovely little angels to hang on the tree, use as gift tags
on packages, or simply to share with a friend.

(NOTE: These are NOT the original instructions. I hope that they are
understandable, but if not…if you try making them and need help…e-mail me and
I’ll do my best to help you figure them out. They’re really quite simple once
you figure out how to make them and they are so cute!)

***************************************************************************
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.
***************************************************************************

********************************************************************************
SOME IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR HOME EXTRA CHRISTMASSY
********************************************************************************

*Suspend Christmas balls on ribbon of different lengths and colors from you wall
moldings.

*Paint a large straw basket red and use it to hold a grouping of plants.

*Cover a container with heavy gold foil, then fill it with gold-sprayed leaves,
tinsel, and pinecones.

*For an instant centerpiece, fill a silver or glass platter with a cheery
assortment of Christmas balls and strings of miniture lights.

*Tie some bright red ribbon around the necks of vases and lamp shades.

*Decorate a window ledge with holly and ribbon,then stand gingerbread men (real
or made from wood) or other tree decorations along the ledge.

*Set out potpourri in decorative dishes.

*Light some scented candles.

*Place bars of strong-scented soap in closets and in drawers.

*Hang clove-studded oranges in closets to bannish mustiness.


*Fill outdoor window boxes with spray-painted pinecones and tie an oilcloth
"ribbon" around them.

*Wind greens around the posts on your front porch and tie with a red oilcloth
bow.

*For outdoor beauty string cranberry and popcorn garlands on the trees outside
your house.

*Drape garlands around your mantel, windowsill, banister, or from a chandelier.

*To attach evergreen roping to a staircase or banister, use ribbon or fabric
lengths to tie the roping to your rails.

*Hang holiday stockings all around the house-along the mantel, up the staircase,
on a towel bar, even on the bathroom shower rod.


***************************************************************************
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.
***************************************************************************

********************************************************************************
CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY
********************************************************************************

*Make sure the tree stand you use is large enough to support your tree, or
else it may topple over.

*Use only fire-resistant ornaments.

*Never put lit candles on the tree.

*To reduce risk of fire, choose a fresh tree that has no evidence of
drying-brown needles or needles that fall of easily.

*More fire prevention: Spray the tree with a fire retardant before you decorate
it, and keep it well watered and away from all heat sources.

*Dispose of the tree when it becomes so dry that large amounts of needles fall
off.

********************************************************************************
STORING ORNAMENTS
********************************************************************************

*Wrap strings of tree lights around cardboard paper towel tubes. Taping down
the ends prevents unraveling.

*Use the divided boxes from wine and soda to store your other ornaments.

*Store tiny ornaments in egg cartons to prevent loss or breakage.

*When packing your decorations away in boxes, store your heavier ornaments on
the bottom, and the lighter ones on top, with layers of papertowels or
newspapers in between.

********************************************************************************
THEME IDEAS
********************************************************************************
*CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST-

-Put up a manger scene on the front lawn.

-Place a creche on a table in your entryway.

-Look for ornaments that express the true meaning of Christmas, and add to
the
collection each year.

-Look for wrapping paper that features angels or a manger scene.

*TO ADD A VICTORIAN FEELING-

-Use lots of lace, doilies, satin and velvet all over the house.

-Find old dolls and toys at flea markets and display them on mantels, in
windows, and
in hutches.

-Buy antique Christmas cards (or facsimilies). Use them to make placecards,
elegant
ornaments and mantel decorations.

-Wrap gifts in satin or moire fabric. Decorate with lace ribbon and baby's
breath.

*TO CREATE THE OUTDOORS IN-

-Hollow out oranges and fill them with white votives. Tuck these into a
flat basket
lined with greenery.

-Arrange holly and boxwood with loops of aspidistra leaves and bright
accents of
cranberries.

-Add fruit and whole cinnamon sticks to a white basket filled with pine,
variegated
with holly and dusty miller.

-Line a window ledge or diningroom nook with rows of baskets of all shapes
and
sizes, each filled with an abundance of dried flowers and ribbon streamers.

-Arrange fresh sprays of pine and cedar with green plants from your garden.
Tuck in
some dried seed pods such as okra and roadside weeds that you've
spray-painted red.

*COUNTRY FLAVOR-

-Hang hand-crafted cookie cutters from bright red ribbons of different
lengths. Attach
ornament hooks and hang in your window.

-Try sewing calico or gingham fabric to wrap presents. Eithe rfold it as you
would
gift wrap, or place the gift on a square of fabric, then gather up
diagonally the
opposite ends and tie with a ribbon or yarn.

-Place cheery baskets all over the house. Weave some calico-patterned ribbon
through the top of each.

-Use an old quilt as a Christmas tree skirt. Cut out pieces of the quilt,
then stuff
and hang as ornaments.

*WITH CHILDREN IN MIND-

-Hang candy canes in different colors on the tree, along wall moldings and
from the
banister.

-Trim the tree with paper-wrapped candies. Wrap them a second time, if you
wish,
with colorful tissue paper.

-Arrange stuffed animals in groups on the landing, on window ledges, or on
top of
the piano.

-Let the kids draw on brown paper and use it to wrap gifts.


********************************************************************************
GREAT GIFT IDEAS
********************************************************************************


*Tape-record a conversation, songs, poems, and/or the Christmas story from Luke
2 with your children. Then send the tape to a faraway grandparent or other
relative to enjoy for Christmas.

*For the crafter, fill an inexpensive basket with scissors, tacky glue, pre-cut
foam shapes, sequins, an assortment of felt pieces, and a hot-glue gun.

*Blow up a favorite photograph and place in an 8 x 10 or a 5 x 7 frame for
grandparents and other relatives.

*For the kitchen connoisseur, line a mesh basket with a brightly colored
dishtowel. Add a variety of bottled spices from the dollar store.

*Write out your favorite recipes on index cards and put together a package for
that special person. For instance, a busy mom would love some quick-dinner
ideas, and a dieting friend might like some low-cal meal ideas.

*Pamper someone special who never takes the time to pamper herself. Buy a pair
of plain cotton gloves. Add rich hand cream, cuticle oil, an emery board and a
couple of trendy nail polish colors, and arrange in a small basin for soaking.

*Help a friend save tiem and money by giving her a well-stocked grocery coupon
organizer. Buy a coupon wallet and fill it with a batch of cents off coupons
that you probably already have stashed in a kitchen drawer.

*For the gardener in your life, buy a terra cotta plant pot. Decorate the pot
with paints. Fill with a small trowel, gardening gloves, seed packets, bug
spray, and plant food.

*Give a gift certificate promising to do a chore the person dreads or a service
he or she needs. Some suggestions: You could donate a few hours of babysitting
for a young mother who'd like a little free time, or promise a month of lawn
mowing for an elderly neighbor.

*Indulge a chocolate lover with the best of the best. For under $20, Godiva
Chocolates offers a variety of exquisite gift boxes.

*Treat your favorite children to tickets at the local zoo or amusement park.
Wrap them with a written promise to take the child on a Saturday afternoon of
his or her choosing.

*Give a letter-writing grandmother a selection of pretty notecards, a pen, and a
book of stamps.

*Fill an unfinished wooden box with paints, brushes, crayons, and a ream of
paper. Budding child artists can paint and decorate the box and create an art
caddy for their supplies.

*Give a friend a casserole dish with three of your no-fail, quick recipes. Or,
promise to fill it with two dinners in the next two months.

*Buy a gift certificate for two movie passes to your local theater. Wrap with a
box of microwave popcorn.

*Clip off a stem cutting from a pretty plant; trim with a bright colored bow and
add a card with care instructions.

*How about a restaurant gift certificate?

*Traditional play is all the rage. Give a family a board game, a basketball or
football, or a badminton set.

*What about a picture-perfect present? Wrap a disposable camera, a trendy
picture frame and a small photo album for under $20.

*Give a family a set of sundae glasses, a bottle of sprinkles, and some hot
fudge topping. If the gift will be opened immediately, throw in a pint of
specialty ice cream.

*Give an aspiring writer a handsome journal and a classic pen.

*For the couple that entertains, buy a bottle of sparkling grape juice at a
grocery store. Add some cheese and crackers, and you've given a
party in a box.

*A pound of coffee from a gourmet coffee shop and two interesting mugs from the
dollar store make a great gift for any couple to wake up to.

*A plant, a spray bottle, and mini-gardening tools make a creative and
long-lasting gift. Add some plant food sticks and still keep within your budget.

******************************************************************************
A POEM TO SHARE
******************************************************************************

The following was sent to me by a dear friend. Thanks for sharing, Sheryl! :)

It's so easy to get caught up the busyness of the season. Let's not forget what
the season's about...



Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus
was anywhere to be found.

The people were all busy
with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking,
and shopping in stores.

No one sang "Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa
dressed-up in bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart,
Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour
the presents they'd wrap

When what from the T.V.
suddenly caught their ears ?
'Cept an ad.. which told
of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall
they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit...
and others with cash!

And, as they made their way home
From their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus?
Oh, no... not at all.

Their lives were so busy
with Christmas time things
No time to remember
Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap
and cookies to bake.
How could they stop to remember
who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior...
they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time
to "Shop til they drop!"

On Wal-mart! On K-mart!
On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's

>From the big stores downtown
to the stores at the mall
They would dash away, dash away,
and visit them all!

And up on the roof,
there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung lights
up on his brand new step ladder.

He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!

So instead of being busy,
overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in
Christmas and enjoy
some good nights!

Merry Christmas!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that
whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16


********************************************************************************
MAKE YOUR OWN MIXES AND OTHER RECIPES
********************************************************************************

The following recipes were submitted by my mother, Marge Brown, of Liberal,
Missouri. Thanks for sharing, Mom!

FRIED CHICKEN COATING MIX

4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

4 teaspoons garlic powder

3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

4 teaspoons salt



Stir all ingredients together and keep in an airtight container on the shelf.
Fry up a batch of chicken or rabbit with this mix and take on a picnic or
get-to-gether along with potato salad, fresh vegetables and corn on the cob.

**This also makes a very good coating for fried summer squash, green tomatoes,
or other vegetables you like to fry. Just slice fresh vegetables and coat pieces
according to following recipe. Fry only until tender-crisp and browned.

Fried Chicken or Rabbit


If using rabbit or very large pieces of chicken, you should parboil for about 10
minutes and let cool in broth. The reason for this is that rabbit is very lean
and dries out fast; large pieces of chicken take too long to fry this way unless
parboiled. Allowed to cool in broth gives nice sweet flavor and keeps moist. Pat
pieces dry with paper towel. Coat well with plain flour. Shake off excess flour.
Dip in mixture of 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk that has 1 teaspoon of onion powder
added for each chicken or rabbit (make sure this mixture is well blended). Again
shake off excess, and dip into Fried Chicken Coating Mix. Fry in hot fat (375
degrees) for about 20 minutes or until done, turning once halfway through
cooking time. One small chicken or rabbit serves 3 or 4 people.

BASIC BISCUIT MIX



10 cups all purpose flour

7 tablespoons baking powder

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar



Sift together several times to mix thoroughly. Store in airtight container.
Makes about 11 cups of mix. Use for any recipe that calls for Bisquick type mix.

(The following two recipes use this particular mix.)


Baking Powder Biscuits

2 cups Basic Biscuit Mix

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup milk *



Blend--drop by large spoons on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for
10 to 12 minutes or till golden brown.

* To make rolled biscuits use only 2/3 cup of milk.

**To use for cream chicken or with chicken pot pie, add 1/2 teaspoon poultry
seasoning. Makes 8 to 12 biscuits.



Pancakes

1 1/4 cup Basic Biscuit Mix

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix until smooth. Cook on hot, lightly greased griddle. Makes 8-10 (5-inch)
pancakes.



BASIC COOKIE MIX

6 cups all purpose flour

3 cups whole wheat flour *

4 tablespoons baking powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

4 teaspoons salt

3 1/3 cups butter or shortening**

3 3/4 cups sugar

* (I just use 9 cups all purpose flour).

** (Crisco or a similar product holds up better in the summer time, especially
if you don’t refrigerate your mix).



Mix everything together till texture is like cornmeal. Store in airtight
containers in the refrigerator. Makes about 18 cups of mix.



[The Basic Recipe makes approximately 7 batches of cookies, each batch making
about 3 dozen cookies, so approximately 21 dozen cookies per Basic Cookie Mix
master recipe.]


Peanut Butter Cookies



2 1/2 cups Basic Mix

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts

1 egg

(Optional)* I just use chunky p.b.

Blend all ingredients well. Form into 1-inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on
lightly greased cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a medium sized lightly greased
glass into granulated sugar, using it to flatten each ball. Bake at 350 degrees
till cookies are set but not hard, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet.
Cool on a cake rack. Store in covered container. Makes about 3 dozen.


Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies



In a large bowl, mix together--

3/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla



Add and blend in--

2 1/2 cups Basic Cookie Mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

2 cups quick cooking oatmeal

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped nuts

Drop by rounded teaspoons on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees
for 12-15 minutes, or until you no longer leave and imprint when you touch the
cookies with you finger. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and cool on wire
rack. Store in covered container. Makes 3 dozen.



Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/2 cups Basic Cookie Mix

1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Blend first 3 ingredients together well, then stir in vanilla, chips, and nuts.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for
10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire
rack. Store in covered container. Makes 3 dozen.

CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES

1/2 CUP BUTTER OR MARGARINE, SOFTENED

2 CUPS MARSHMELLOW CREME

PINCH OF SALT

1 TEASPOON ALMOND EXTRACT

4 CUPS POWDERED SUGAR

1 JAR (16 OZ.) MARACHINO CHERRIES,WELL-DRAINED, THE DRIER THE BETTER--ONES WITH
STEMS ARE EASIER TO DIP LATER.



2 CUPS (12 OUNCES) SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS

2 TABLESPOONS SHORTENING



In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add marshmallow creme, salt, almond
extract,and powdered sugar. Mix well. Knead into a large ball. Chill for 1 hour,
or over night. Pinch off one inch diameter balls. Gently flatten into 2 inch
circles. Wrap the circles around the cherries and carefully shape into balls.
Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet, cover loosely, and refrigerate for four
hours or overnight.



Then, in a double boiler (or the microwave, etc.) melt the chocolate chips and
shortening together, being careful not to burn. Dip the nugate covered cherries
into the chocolate. Place on waxed paper to harden. Refrigerate in a covered
container for one to two weeks before serving, this allows the flavors to blend.
Yield: about 4 1/2 dozen candies.

Submitted by Marge in MO.

(Thanks, again, for sharing, Mom!)

HOLIDAY WASSAIL

1 gallon apple cider

1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)

3/4 cup strong tea (herb tea optional)

In a cheesecloth sack put:

1 tablespoon whole cloves

1 tablespoon whole allspice

2 sticks cinnamon

This is great cooked in a crockpot. Let it simmer slowly for four to six hours.
You can add water if it evaporates too much. Your house will smell wonderful,
and friends and family will love it!



OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using glass pan). Brush
chicken evenly with thin coating of olive oil on both sides.
Coat chicken with mixture of breadcrumbs, garlic, oregano,
basil and Parmesan cheese. Place in shallow roasting pan.
Bake about 40 minutes. Serves 4.

Submitted by Jean in MO.

(Thank you for sharing Jean! We made this recipe for dinner one night recently,
and it was absolutely delicious! God bless you!)

On another group that I'm in, several of the ladies there were discussing
Christmas morning breakfasts. The following ladies have allowed me permission to
share some of their favorite recipes with you. Thank you to each and every one
of those dear ladies!God's blessings upon you!


APPLE OATMEAL

Mix in Crockpot: 2 Cups Old fashioned Oatmeal, 2 ½ Cups water, ¼-1/2
cups of br. Sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ¾ tsp. salt (remember to not double
that completely), 3 apples, peeled & sliced, and 2 Tbs. butter. Cook on
low for 8-12 hours.

I think that next time I will use the lesser amount of sugar and add
snipped dates.

From Margaret in VA.



BAKED CUSTARD FRENCH TOAST


6 large eggs
1 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Cup light Cream or 1/2 & 1/2
1 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1 loaf Sweet french bread
sliced 5/8 inch thick
* * * * * * * *
1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tblsp. Corn syrup

Butter 9" x 13" baking dish. Cover bottom with bread. Fill gaps between slices
with pieces of bread. Combine eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Pour entire mixture over bread; cover and refrigerate over night. Next morning.
Preheat oven to 350*. In small bowl combine butter, sugar and corn syrup;
spread evenly over the whole surface; sprinkle walnuts over all. Bake 30 to 40
minutes till puffed and golden. Serves 6

From Bethany.



CROCKPOT BREAKFAST

(This is so yummy!)

Ingredients
1 pkg Frozen hash browns (NOT the formed patties)
1 lb cooked crumbled bacon
1 package sausage (I use pre-cooked so that I don't have to cook it first)
1 med onion
1 green pepper
12-18 eggs
1 1/2-2 cups Cheddar, shredded
salt, pepper & oregano

1) First cook the bacon until crisp and crumble.
2) Chop onion and pepper into small pieces.
3) crumble sausage
4)Put a layer of the frozen hash brown on the bottom of the Crockpot. Next a
layer of bacon and sausage mixed together, a layer of onion and green pepper,
and a layer of cheese. Repeat this layering process for 1-2 more layers.

In bowl whisk 12-18 eggs (depending on size of crockpot) a little salt, a
little pepper, and a little oregano and pour into crockpot. Cook on low 10-12
hours. (I usually make it before bed at night and let it cook while we are
sleeping.) Whatever is left over the next day I save in the refrigerator and
everyone helps themselves the rest of the week. It microwaves great to heat up.
I did this Christmas Eve and it was a BIG hit Christmas morning and great
because I didn't have to spend time cooking breakfast, it was all ready.

From Adeena.


FRUIT SALAD

We like to make a special fruit salad and cinnamon rolls for breakfast on
Christmas morning. Some years I've used the store bought cinnamon rolls to
save time.

For the fruit salad I mix:

2 granny smith apples peeled, cored and sliced (or if you don't have an apple
peeler make small chunks)
2 bananas sliced
large can of pineapple chunks drained
large can of mandarin oranges drained
half a cup of shredded coconut
half a cup of mini marshmallows
cup of vanilla yogurt

This is a VERY forgiving recipe....I've skipped the coconut if I don't have it,
I've added chopped walnuts and varied the fruit. The yogurt and marshmallows
are what make it yummy. This batch serves our family of 9 but can easily be
doubled for a larger group. You can make it ahead or mix it all together at the
last minute. I tend to do the apples and then cover them with the oranges and
then do the bananas and cover them with the pineapples to help keep the browning
to a minimum.

From Donna in NH.

*****************************************************************************
Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I won't see you again until 2005! In the
meantime, I wish you and yours the merriest of Christmas's, and the happiest of
New Year's! God bless you...one and all!

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

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing & Learning Guide (A Giveaway From Keeper Of The Home)

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/10/herbal-nurturing-a-family-healing-learning-guide-a-giveaway.html/comment-page-3#comment-49928   

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A friend introduced me to the natural method of taking care of hormone imbalances several years ago and, for me, it has proved to be a life-saver, but this is the best article I've ever read on the subject. Just wanted to pass it along...

http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/10/hormone-imbalance-recognizing-and-resolving-it-naturally.html

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Recipe For No-Peel Applesauce From Passionate Homemaking...



http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2010/10/easy-canned-applesauce-with-a-blender.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PassionateHomemaking+%28Passionate+Homemaking%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blueberry-Struesel Muffins

Blueberry-Struesel Muffins
Streusel Topping (below)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 cups flour (white or wheat)
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottom only of 12-muffin cup muffin pan.

2. Prepare Streusel Topping; set aside.

3. Beat milk, oil, vanilla, and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt all at once just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle each with about 2 teaspoons topping.

4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immdiately remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Streusel Topping
2 Tablespoons firm stick margerine or butter
1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cut margerine into flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in medium bolw, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly.

Recycled Ham & Beans and More Freezer Cooking

Today has been a lesson in dollar-stretching, creativity!

I got up early this morning and immediately set to work doing some big-batch cooking. I put on a big pot of pinto beans and made a double batch of corn bread. I also cooked up a big bag of chicken tenders (some to use in chicken ranch salad for lunch; the rest to be cut up and used in other recipes on other days) and baked muffins and French bread.

When the beans were done I transferred part of them to the crockpot, along with all the broth. To that I added some sea salt, black pepper, dry, minced onion, and two frozen turkey ham ends for flavoring. I turned the rest of the beans into baked beans, divided them into pans, and froze them for later. I got three pans of baked beans in addition to the beans and cornbread that I served as tonight's supper. Part of the cornbread I shared with my dad (who happened to be making chili today); the rest I cut and packaged into family-sized portions before putting in the freezer.

Here's where the dollar stretching, creative part comes in...

After supper I went to the kitchen to clean up and here I have all this beautiful, rich, brown, bean broth sitting there in the crockpot, along with those two turkey ham ends and I was thinking, "Surely that ham can be used again. And WHAT am I going to do with all this broth?" ( There was only a handful of beans left in it, but I couldn't bear to throw it out!) I asked my husband what he thought I should do. "Should I save those ham ends and reuse them in another pot of beans later on?" He reminded me that during the Great Depression people did things like that all the time, and said, "Sure!" That's what I should do! He also reminded me of the story that Leo Buscaglia shared in his book "Papa, My Father", in which Leo's mother would tie a string around a ham bone, and when the family meal was done (beans, soup, whatever), Mama Buscaglia would pull out the ham bone, save it, and reuse it until every bit of flavor was cooked out of it.

So...having that settled (the ham ends WILL be frozen and reused again), now...what to do with the broth??? I got online and found several good sites on what to do with leftover bean broth. One of the best things I found was this recipe:

                  Ingredients: bean broth, cut up veggies, a grain (barley, corn, hominy, etc.) any leftover
                  beans, a tomato product (sauce, ketchup, salsa, etc.), salt and pepper

                  Heat the broth, toss in the veggies, grain, beans, and tomato product, and season with
                  salt and pepper. Cook for at least 20 minutes or until grain is cooked. Pasta is also a
                  nice addition.

Here is another site that I really enjoyed reading:

http://www.culinate.com/articles/features/bean_stock

Well...I intended to write more, but, unfortunately, I've got to go. You all have a great evening and I'll talk to you again soon.

Love,
~Rebecca

Friday, September 24, 2010

Freezer Meals

I had a good deal of spaghetti sauce left over from the weekend, so I decided to cook up a couple pounds of spaghetti, add the sauce and some cheese, and dish it up into disposable pans for freezer meals (I can buy the pans by the dozen at the Amish store for next to nothing!). I also made four pans of brownies (three of those went to the civic group for Prairie Jubilee tomorrow) and, thanks to a friend who blessed us with fresh pears, four pans of pear crisp. (I forgot to take pics of the crisps, but here is the spaghetti and the brownies.)

Freezer Meals - spaghetti

Brownies

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Grandlittles At The Fall Festival

Silas Dons A Big Mustache

Audrey Enjoys An Ice Cream Cone

Silas Rides A Miniture Shetland

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lavendar and Hydrangea

I am trying my hand at drying lavender and hydrangea this year. The lavender I harvested from my own yard; the hydrangea came from a friend. Both are beautiful!

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread



Have been making these large, crusty loaves of bread on a regular basis and my guys are loving it!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jelly Making

Gooseberry Falls

We were on the lower falls of the Gooseberry River.

Split Rock Lighthouse

Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world!

The lighthouse sits on the edge of a cliff overlooking Lake Superior.

The base of the lighthouse.

Daughter, son-in-law, and grandlittles at the base of the lighthouse.

The spiral staircase inside the lighthouse.

The lighthouse keeper.