Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas is for the impatient



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"I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His Word do I hope." (Psalm 130:5)

My favorite verse in the Good Book. My very favorite. Why? Well, I'd nab impatience as my biggest weakness. I'm naturally a go-getter, energetic and super determined person. Waiting for things just ain't my forte. However, I'm also eternally optimistic and constantly hopeful. It's the expectation that things can always be and will always be better in the future that makes waiting bearable for me. This verse from the Psalms epitomizes what I'm doing here on earth - waiting joyfully and expectantly for my Jesus to come for me. Even when I'm at my worst and most down-trodden, my soul, that part of me inside that God formed in my mother's womb when I was just a little mass of cells and bits of whatnot, before I had arms to shake, legs to wiggle and a brain to spin thoughts around, that part of me is always connected to our Lord. It's not our sinful outer selves that He was born to save all of those long years ago. It was our souls. The rest us. His us.

He was here once. He will be again.

He's coming.

And I thankfully, joyfully, gladly wait.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Marshmallow Candy Cane Dippers

This post is a repeat from last year's holiday season. Thanks, Lauren, for remembering it. :o)

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This quick and oh so easy little treat is a wonderful way to bring some Christmas cheer to friends and neighbors. Grace had a blast being the official "crushed candy cane roller lady". I swiped adapted (hey, they had two marshmallows to a stick, LOL) this idea from Better Homes and Gardens and give it two sticky thumbs up...after taste-testing them myself, of course.

You'll Need:

a bag of marshmallows

1/4 cup of water

1 cup of confectioner's sugar

box of crushed candy canes (I actually used a bag of peppermint candies) OR Nestle Tollhouse's white chocolate peppermint chips (with the chocolate chips in the baking section)

lollipop sticks (from the craft/cake decorating section at Walmart or your arts & crafts store)

clear treat bags (also from that section at Walmart)

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Aww, my little Rose last year! Alice was still a belly bump, and Rose was an excitedly expectant big sis. Hopefully she'll someday forgive me for those short mama-chopped bangs. Is this a repeated issue in my life? :o)

The To-Do:

Stir together the water and sugar until it forms a thin paste (the original article from BHG says to use about 3-4 tsp of water, but that wasn't getting the job done for me and it ended up being about 1/4 cup total).

Put candy canes into a plastic Ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin (or let your husband hammer them like mine did :o). If you're using the white chocolate peppermint chips, you don't need to do a thing. Just don't eat 'em all.

Dip each marshmallow half-way into the sugar mixture, then roll it in a bowl of crushed candy canes to coat. Let dry on a baking sheet (doesn't take very long) and stick it with a lollipop stick. Package up all cute and purdy with some hot cocoa mixes and you're good to gulp!

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Something new: Besides the white chocolate peppermint chips that I mentioned for the first time this year, I have another new idea to wow the choco-lovers in your life. Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips in a double boiler (or a glass bowl atop 1-2 inches of boiling water in a pot). Insert sticks into marshmallows and dip into chocolate, roll in peppermints and set out to harden (or pop into fridge).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pumpkin Cheesecake



It's not just for Thanksgiving, guys. This easy-peasy-to-make and totally scrumptious cheescake (actually a cheese pie, but semantics-lovers say what?) is perfect for the holidays.

Get Cookin'!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine 2 packages of softened cream cheese (16 ounces total), 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla. Blend with a mixer until smooth.

Blend in 2 eggs.

Reserve 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture aside. Pour the remaining into 1 (9-inched) unbaked deep dish pie crust.

Into reserved cream, stir 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (or 'til taste) and 1 cup of canned pumpkin. You could also substitute your own homemade with 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/8 tsp of cloves and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg.

Pour over the top of plain filling and smooth to edges of crust.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set (not completely).

Refrigerate overnight.

Calories: 1990 total (not bad for a cheesecake!!)




P.S. If you place the pie dish in a roasting pan filled about 1/4-1/3 of the way with water while baking, the cheesecake will stay moistened by the steam and won't crack on the top. I like the "cracked" look for this pie, since it's technically a cheese pie and not a cheesecake, but if you don't, then do the water method! :o)