Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas IV

Merry Christmas!!

Luke 2:1-14

Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem, King David's ancient home--journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Saviour--a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger--has been born tonight in Bethlehem!"

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!"

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm Still Working On That Will Power Thing

When I was growing up I remember loving the Frog and Toad books. The one where Toad had a dream that he was on stage doing all these amazing things and Frog was in the audience getting smaller and smaller...oooooh, that was a scary one. And the one where Toad baked the most awesome cookies ever and they had to learn about will power by not eating funny. Even nowadays when my sister and I are eating cookies we will often say in our most convincing Toad voice, "We. Must. Stop. Eating. These. Cookies!"

Last year when my mom was having a yard sale I was rifling through some items and there it was--Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel. What was left of it, anyway. The pages were yellow and it was missing its cover--front and back--as well as the first few pages. A beloved part of my childhood going for 10 cents! Thankfully, my mom let me have it for free:)

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cranberry Salad

This is my mom's cranberry salad that she makes every year for the holidays. I love it and she does, too. But that's about it. The rest of the family really isn't into cranberries--canned or otherwise. Last year she decided not to go to the trouble of fixing it for just 2 people so she picked up a pre-made cranberry salad at the grocery store. Big mistake. Nothing could top her version so this year it made it back on the table for Thanksgiving. And I can't wait for her to fix it again for Christmas.

Cranberry Salad

3 oz box raspberry jello
1 cup hot water
1/2 orange, ground (rind, too)
juice of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
1 pkg raw cranberries, ground
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Dissolve jello in hot water. Process 1/2 an orange and cranberries in a food processor. Add juice from 1 orange, sugar, pineapple, nuts and mix well. Add mixture to jello, stir, pour into serving bowl and chill.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blondies. Fully Loaded.

Remember when Chili's used to serve their Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie in a sizzling skillet of melted butter? Mmm...those were the days. I miss that pool of cinnamon butter but yeah, I guess a scorching hunk of metal could pose some problems.

I've tried recreating my own using different copycat recipes but they were all too complicated. (Layers were involved. Sigh.) Then I found a basic blondie recipe while perusing Smitten Kitchen's vast and delicious archives. I added walnuts, chocolate chips and coconut and voila: Chili's Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie!

Blondies (recipe from Smitten Kitchen)

8 TBS salted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for topping
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut
vanilla ice cream
chocolate syrup
caramel syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish.
Combine melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour, then walnuts, chocolate chips and coconut.
Pour into baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes.
Cut into squares and top with ice cream,chocolate and caramel syrup and walnuts.

P.S. If you want to replicate Chili's CCPP, just add a TBS of cinnamon butter (1/2 cup butter, 3 TBS sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon) to a small, hot cast iron skillet.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010