Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cranberry Nut Bread

A frequent Christmas present.
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Mix dry ingredients. combine egg, orange juice and orange peel, add to flour mixture and stir just to moisten. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees 30-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry. Makes one large or 2 small loaves.

Vidalia Onion Casserole

This recipe I got from my Sister-in-law. She served it for Thanksgiving dinner and my daughter (the pickiest eater in our household) loved it. I'm not sure why, since she's not particularly fond of onions, cornbread, sour cream or creamed corn, but she asked I make it again at our first Christmas potluck.
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 large Vidalia or other sweet onions
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup grated cheddar or jack cheese, divided
  • 15 oz can creamed corn
  • 4 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
Saute onions in butter until soft, not brown. Add sour cream, dill, salt and 1/2 cup cheese to skillet, stir and set aside. Combine cream corn, hot sauce, egg, milk and cornbread mix in separate bowl, stir to combine. Add onion mixture to cornbread mixture, combine and pour into greased 9 X 13 casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sugar Cookies

Easy and fun!
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream butter. Beat in sugars and eggs, then stir in milk and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients, then blend in to make a soft dough. Chill. Roll to 1/8 inch on floured surface, cut with assorted colors. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired and bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Applesauce Spice cookies

I was looking for a cinnamon apple cookie recipe I could use with my new apple-shaped cookie cutter, for my school's upcoming Apple Day carnival. This one fit the bill. I used red and green sprinkles to decorate.
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
Cream sugar, butter, applesauce and egg. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices, mix until soft dough forms. Chill at least 1 hour. Roll out on floured cloth to 1/8 inch thickness; cut into desired shapes. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cranberry Champagne Punch

This was enjoyed at a recent departmental party
  • 1-2 sliced oranges
  • 1-2 sliced lemons
  • 1-2 cups brandy
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 cans frozen cranberry juice concentrate
  • 2 bottles chilled dry champagne
Several days before your event, slice lemons and oranges, put in jar with corn syrup and brandy. Soak for several days in refrigerator, shaking occasionally.  Strain and pour into punch bowl along with thawed cranberry juice. Slowly pour in champagne and stir.  I used an ice ring made with cran-raspberry juice, with raspberries and orange slices to garnish.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ugly Salad

This is one of my mom's favorites.  A good salad to serve for a crowd and the leftovers get better tasting over the next couple of days.
  • 1 head lettuce (or two bags)
  • 1 small onion or 5 green onions
  • 1 can tiny green peas
  • 8 slices deli-style Swiss cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • sugar
  • salt 
  • pepper
Tear lettuce into bits, place one layer in bottom of serving bowl. Slice onion thin and separate into rings, place 1/3 on top of lettuce layer. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons peas over onion.  Slice cheese into thin strips and put on top of peas.  Put 4-5 spoonful-sized dollops of mayo on top of cheese layer, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar and a dash of salt and pepper on each dollop. Do not stir. Repeat lettuce, onion, pea, cheese and mayo layers twice more.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Toss just before serving.

Monday, February 23, 2009

World's Easiest fudge recipe

My Girl Scouts did this recipe at our last meeting:  It's a breeze.
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • dash salt
Line 8" by 8" pan with foil.  Melt all ingredients together over low heat. Spread in pan.  Chill 2 hours until firm.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More crafts from David and Saul

One thing about going through the whole book of 2 Samuel with school aged children, there are a lot of violent stories.  The week when Saul killed himself was especially challenging. But, weapons-based craft projects are pretty appealing. Here I cut out a sword pattern on posterboard and let them cover the blade with aluminum foil. I think adding the plastic jewels on the handles helped it be more appealing to the girls, but even the boys enjoyed decorating them. The memory verse from Proverbs: "Pride goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" helped tone down the violent tendencies.

For the story of David bringing the ark back to Jerusalem (and Uzzah's unfortunate demise we made Ark of the Covenants, adapted from this version on Danielle's place. I changed it by pre-hotgluing small gold jump rings to one popsicle stick, then having the kids thread a gold-pained coffee stirrer-sized stick through that for the carrying pole. Thankfully, they sell gold tempera paint at Michael's, so you don't have to deal with spray paint, or use yellow and brush with gold glitter.

Nathan's Lamb Parable Craft

Tomorrow in Sunday School we are making our own version of this lamb craft, because, well, let's face it, there isn't much else from the story of David and Bathsheba schoolchildren can safely immortalize in cardboard, Magic marker and white glue. Only, instead of the scissors, the lamb is holding a scroll with the week's memory verse: "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51: 10-11.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

King David's Crown Cookies

Another food related craft from the life of David. I cut out the cookies the night before; the kids filled, baked and decorated the plate during class.
You need one batch sugar cookie dough, prepared (I used the Betty Crocker mix, immortalized in the "he's gonna leave!" commercial) and one bag Jolly Rancher candies, separated by flavor.
Beforehand, make and chill cookie dough. Grind Jolly Ranchers in food processor and store separated colors in plastic bags.
Roll out the dough and cut into crown shapes. I did a rectangle about the size of a small card envelope, then cut it in half with a zigzag pattern to make two crowns. Place on foil-lined cookie sheets. Using small shaped cookie cutters or the top to a soda bottle, cut small shapes out for jewels. Using a small spoon, have the kids fill in the holes with powdered candy.  For best results, get as little as possible on the cookie dough and pile up a small heap in the center. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool at least 10 minutes; you can speed this process by taking the foil off the cookie sheet. Make sure candy jewels are hardened, then carefully remove the cookie.

Note: these cookies can look better than they taste; the melted candy can take on a burned, bitter flavor, so be forewarned. Making them is still fun for the kids.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

David takes Saul's jug and spear craft

We're working our way through the book of Samuel in our elementary age Sunday School class. Today's craft, to go with the story about David sparing Saul's life, went well, so I wanted to share it. See earlier posts for Samuel's calling and Abigail.

"Stained glass" jug with spear
Here's what you need.
  • Wax paper
  • Crayons
  • Cheese grater or manual pencil sharpener
  • Small ziploc bags
  • Black sharpie marker
  • Coloring sheet with jug picture (I found a good one here, but I omitted the handle to make cutting easier)
  • Coloring page with spear picture (I made one using this image.)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Newspaper

Do ahead:
Grate or sharpen crayons, saving shavings in individual bags, sorted by color. 3-5 bright colors should be plenty. With black marker, trace the jug on the right half of a piece of wax paper, making one for each child.
In class:
Cover tables with newspaper to prevent scatter. Give each child a piece of wax paper and have them sprinkle crayon shavings onto the jug drawing. Use sparingly, a little goes a long way. Fold wax paper in half, sandwiching shavings between the layers.
Heat iron to medium. Have kids bring their jug one at a time to the ironing board (also covered in newspaper) and place on surface. cover with another piece of newspaper and have an adult iron briefly. Crayons will melt and colors will spread, making a glazed-looking effect on the paper jug. Remove wax paper and let cool, then have the kids cut out their jug. They can then color and cut out their spear and glue it on.
This is adaptable for any story involving a pot or jar, such as Rebekah watering Isaac's camels or the woman at the well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sausage and white bean soup

A hearty bean soup for winter. I recently made this with the vegetable stock and the sausage cooked separately when taking a meal to a family of mixed vegetarian/omnivores.
  • 1.5 pounds dried navy beans
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds smoked sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 12 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Soak beans overnight. Cook and slice sausage, set aside.  In bottom of soup pot, heat oil, then saute onion, celery and garlic.  Add beans, stock, water, salt and spices.  Bring to boil, cover partially, reduce heat and simmer 3 hours. Mash about half the beans with potato masher. Add sausage and heat through.  Top with shredded cheese, if desired and serve with bread.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Abigail and David craft

Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs and loaded them on donkeys.  I Samuel 25:18. I've discovered during all my years of teaching Sunday School that kids like almost any activity involving food. Today they had the chance to pack up their own donkey, Abigail style.  You need, for each child:
  • 1 coloring book picture of a donkey (I found a great Abigail one here.)
  • 1 piece of cardboard or posterboard, cut slightly larger than picture
  • glue
  • sandwich-size baggie with twist tie
  • hole punch or scissors
  • beef jerky (represents the sheep meat)
  • puffed wheat cereal (I used plain, kids would probably like Honey Smacks style better)
  • rolls or bagels
  • raisins
  • fig newtons
  • crayons or markers
  • masking tape
Trim the picture and glue it to posterboard. With hole punch or scissors, cut a small hole at the top of the donkey's back, where the saddlebag would go.
Cut bread, jerky and fig newtons into small pieces. Have the kids fill the baggie with an assortment of the foods, making a total volume about egg-sized. Close the bag with the twist tie, then stuff the end through the hole in the cardboard so that the food hangs where the donkey's saddlebag should be. Secure on the back with masking tape. Kids can color the picture, take it home and eat the bagged food later as a trail-mix style snack. I also roasted a couple of lamb shanks and took them in so the kids could taste real sheep meat, and served grape juice in a bota bag canteen ($6 at Wal-mart).