My church is hosting a Ladies’ Brunch and Ornament Exchange on Saturday morning. I’m always up for a fun event at church where we can fellowship over good food, open God’s Word together, and share the special Christmas season! Because we could have visitors who might not come prepared for the ornament exchange, I decided to bring some extras with me. I wanted them to be special and pretty, but not too pricey.
I had seen some Rae Dunn ornaments that were lovely, but they were way more than I wanted to pay since I needed about six. Then when I was Hobby Lobby this week, I got inspired to try to mimic the look of the Rae Dunn ornaments. Let me show you my finished product then I’ll tell you how easy it was to create. Continue reading “Homemade Rae Dunn-Like Ornament”→
What a beautiful embellishment a bow is on a package or wreath. I attended a Christmas Memories class at a lovely shop here in Johnson City and watched as the instructor immensely changed the look of a wreath simply by changing out the bow. It adds “that final touch,” doesn’t it?
I’ve had so many tell me they struggle with bow-making, so I thought I’d refresh your Christmas prep (and your packages and wreaths!) with a lesson. Here are step by step pictures for you. Grab a piece of wired ribbon and try to make one as you follow the Continue reading “Learn To Make a Bow”→
Hi Friends! I pray you’ve had a wonderful Christmas and are still reveling in God’s grace gift of His Son. I’m still chilling over here and enjoying a little rest before the new year happens!
Whitney at Come Home for Comfort posted a great recap of our Christmas complete with great photos of our time and all the food we shared. If you’re interested you can go here to see it all! She did a great job capturing the spirit of our time together!
I’ll be back next week with some of my own photos of Christmas, goals and new ideas to hopefully refresh 2019!
In just a few short days I will be hosting our family Christmas here at our home. I have plans, a freezer full of prepped food, and anticipation about our time together, but I’m remembering that things don’t always go as planned.
On our drive through our country roads this week we saw the sign,
Live nativity December 22
My mind went back to the last one I saw years ago. There was the sweet little baby Jesus lying in the manger bed, wrapped in soft white cloth while His mother Mary, dressed in blue sat smiling down on her sleeping child. Joseph stood protectively alongside while little sheep were baa-ing and cows were mooing in their stalls only feet away from the manger scene. Little girl angels stood above in the barn loft, their tilted halos shimmering from the gold garland from which they were crafted. It all seemed pristine and perfect.
But at that nativity we didn’t get a picture of what the scene of this baby’s life would look like in thirty years. Now His garments are stripped from Him in a mocking. cruel fashion. No adoring glances were given by those nearby, only daggers of hate and scorn. The swaddling cloth at His birth is exchanged for a purple robe and a blood-stained cross on which He was hung.
Bloody. But also perfect.
This was the reason He came. He came to die. It was the only answer for our sins to be forgiven. Perfect blood had to be shed and He came to die in our place.
People lined up to stand and stare at the scene at that live nativity I attended. It was the Story of stories come to life. A baby born of a virgin and announced by angels. Everyone loves a story of a baby’s birth, but who will follow Him to the cross? The crowd was very thin. Oh friends, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the purpose of His birth was so He could die for broken sinners like you and me. That is why we have Christmas.
The following video is about three wonderful results of pondering why He came.
What has brought you peace instead of chaos this Christmas? If you can’t find peace, please watch the other two videos in this series. I pray it will encourage you!
Holiday desserts are delicious, but also often high in calories and fat, which presents a real issue when we are surrounded by them for weeks at parties and events as we celebrate Christmas. For that reason, and also because the recipes are so good, I turn to Cooking Light. They have great recipes that are reduced in fat, yet full in delicious-ness!
Last week I made dinner for company and wanted dessert, but didn’t want it to be really fattening. I found a recipe with my favorite flavor combination – chocolate and peppermint! They whipped together very quickly and I had them in the oven, then I checked the reviews on-line. I groaned – they weren’t so favorable and I had guests coming soon! You can’t imagine my delight at how perfectly these turned out. I followed the recipe exactly. The cheesecake part was creamy – like cheesecake is supposed to be and the brownie was fudgy and delicious! I served it with a little scoop of peppermint ice cream just because, and oh my, it was so good!!
If you’re looking for a lower in calorie and fat dessert, and you love chocolate and mint, you need to try these brownies! I love the swirly top, too! These are great for any Christmas get-together!!
Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract The only change I made was here. I had Peppermint OIL and it flavored the cheesecake perfectly
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cheesecake batter, place cheese in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add granulated sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add 1 egg and 1 egg white; beat well. Add 1 tablespoon flour; beat mixture just until blended.
To prepare brownie batter, weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces (about 1 cup) flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 5 ounces flour, cocoa, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, 2 egg whites, and 1 egg in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well blended. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until blended.
Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter. Pour remaining batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top; spread evenly to edges. Dot cheesecake batter with reserved brownie batter. Swirl top two layers of batters together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 350° for 26 minutes or until top is set. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
You can tint the cheesecake batter with two or three drops of red food coloring to give it a pink tinge, if you like. When swirling the cheesecake and brownie batters in step 4, don’t disturb the bottom brownie layer. Cool these bars completely before serving.
I love mint and chocolate! What is your favorite flavor combination?
Years (and years) ago when I went away to college, I’ll never forget coming home for Christmas break after my first semester. We lived out in the country on five acres and I can remember the warmth that pervaded our home even from the driveway as I approached the house. When I stepped inside, the fire was burning, music was playing, the lights were lit and low, my mom had the best foods prepared, and best of all, my Continue reading “Cozy Christmas 2018 Invitation”→