Monday, December 22, 2008

Baking Cookies

We made two of our Christmas favorites today: snickerdoodles and molasses cookies. Here they are cooling on the paper, in all their crinkly, sprinkly glory!

These recipes come from a church cookbook of one of our previous ministries. If you ever have the chance to purchase church cookbooks, do! They are always full of time-tested, frugal, and delicious recipes. We've had visiting missionaries request church cookbooks, so with that recommendation you can't go wrong.

So here are these two wonderful church cookbook recipes for you to enjoy...


1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c. flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Cream together first 4 ingredients, then mix in next 4. Shape dough into walnut sized balls. Roll tops of balls in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place balls about 2 inces apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Soft Molasses Cookies

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1/4 c. dark molasses
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. ginger

Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Add vinegar and molasses. Mix in dry ingredients. Roll into walnut sized balls. Roll tops of balls in white sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Tomorrow I hope to make a couple more types of cookies and some Fruit Delight, all for Christmas Eve celebrations. I don't always enjoy cooking, but this time of year makes me want to warm up the oven and smell the spices. Mmmmmm....

Menu Plan Monday - Family Favorites Edition

Hello! This is my first Menu Plan Monday. Thanks for stopping by!

We're a family 7, striving to eat nutritionally, frugally, and at home! We're also a very busy ministry family plus I am a college student and work part time. Drive thrus have a certain appeal...

Today for Family Favorites Edition, I'm going to share one of our favorite Christmas traditions - Jesus' Birthday Cake. I'll also share our favorite chocolate cake and icing recipe.

Every Christmas morning, we enjoy a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, the favorite birthday choice in our household. With my younger children's help, we make the cake on Christmas Eve. The next morning we light candles and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus, blow out the candles and enjoy chocolate cake for breakfast. This tradition helps our children focus on the true meaning of Christmas. And when else can we have chocolate cake for breakfast!?!

Our favorite chocolate cake recipe is from Beverly Nye's book, "A Family Raised on Rainbows". This book is long out of print but hopefully is available from your library. It was written in the 70s, but still is a great read for any homemaker. This cake is very moist and fairly light. Yum!!

Delicious Chocolate Cake
Beat together:
1 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk (you can substitute 1 tsp. vinegar in bottom of measuring cup and use sweet milk)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 tbsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. boiling water

Bake in 9x12 inch pan or 3 round pans at 325 degrees for one hour.

The following icing recipe is from Beverly Nye's "Everyone's a Homemaker". It's a rich chocolate icing that makes the above cake down right dangerous!


2 c. powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. butter or margarine
dash of salt
hot water to make frosting consistency

For chocolate, add 1/2 c. cocoa.
For lemon, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. grated rind OR 1/2 tsp. extract
Experiment with any pureed fruit or extract.

I'm also sharing our weekly menu. I've tried to keep this week simple and cheap. We're hosting Christmas Eve lunch here, so I really want to concentrate on that meal! I've linked most recipes so you can give them a try.

Monday - Dirty Rice from Hillbilly Housewife

Tuesday - Bean & Bacon Bit Soup from Hillbilly Housewife

Christmas Eve Lunch - Ham, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, 7 layer salad, Overnight Rolls, Cherry Delight, Pumpkin Pie

Thursday - Jesus' Birthday cake for breakfast, lunch at my parents, left overs for supper

Friday - Skillet Beans & Cornbread

Saturday - Homemade Pizza

Sunday - Crockpot Chili & Cornbread

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Silence

And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name." Luke 1:46-49

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aunt Chick's Santa Cookie Cutter

I have a special, childhood memory attached to a specific cookie cutter. I believe we only made these cookies a few times in my childhood. They were very labor intensive, but oh my I loved them. The little raisin eyes, the sparkly sugar, the coconut "fur"...

By the time I was out on my own my mom's cookie cutter was cracked and fragile. She had given up on making Santa cookies. I searched. I tried various cutters, but nothing gave the molded features, nothing satisfied.

Then three years ago I stumbled across these cookie cutters. They looked like the cutter from my childhood! I ordered one and Hallelujah! Yes, it was that chubby cheeked Santa that I remembered.

Now every Christmas, my children look forward to making Santas. Yes, they are labor intensive. I have to set aside a couple days for these cookies. The kitchen becomes a complete mess. The cookies fly in the face of my goal to keep the nativity our prime focus. But, oh to see the sparkle in my children's eyes! And to know I passed on a special tradition from my childhood. Life is good!
Here are this year's Santa cookies, made yesterday and this morning. We're taking these jolly elves to dance class and Brownies. These cookies are meant to be shared!

Check out the history of the nostalgic Aunt Chick's cutters, recipes, decorating instructions, and how to get your own at Gramma's Cutters.

It's Been Almost a Year...

The past few days I've felt the itch to get back on here. It may be the season. Christmas brings out all these things in me that don't seem to surface during the rest of the year. With that in mind, I've tried to ignore this urge, shrugging it off. But here I am. I finally gave in.

So I make no promises how often or how long I'll post. I know myself too well. But if you happen to stumble by this blog, thank you. Your presence and time is appreciated. I hope you find something here to encourage you and to help you on your journey. I hope you can find a bit of breeze here that helps you fly higher.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Silence

He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' " Ezekiel 37:2-6

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Silence

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." - John 4:13-14