Holidays

All posts tagged Holidays

I Am Feeling Driven To Make A Difference

Published November 26, 2013 by Angela

I don’t necessarily think it is strictly this time of year, as I have been feeling this pull for quite some time now. It seems as I begin, FINALLY, to get my life in order, I feel compelled to help others who are in need. But where to start? I have always felt a special draw to those who are homeless, and it seems to be worse than ever in my area.

Is there something I can do, beyond giving money to someone on a corner (no, I do not do that), donating food and blankets to local pantries, or volunteering at a shelter? I know all of these things help, but I am feeling like it isn’t enough, or especially that it is not what I am supposed to be doing.

There is something else, something I should be doing, some skill I have that I am not realizing that can make a difference, even if only for one person.

It seems like the more I pray, the more I feel content with where I am personally with my life, the more unrest I feel about everything around me. What am I missing that I should be doing? I feel like there is a big flashing sign over my head that I forgot to look at, telling me what to do.

Do I wait for God to show me what I can feel but not yet see? Do I jump in and do something until I figure out what the right thing is? How do I begin to make a difference when I’m not sure where to start? 

I know no matter what I do, I need to do it now, because every second, and every gesture, does help and can and will make a difference, for someone, me included!

Yummy Marshmallow Pillows

Published October 28, 2013 by Angela

This cold weather has put me in a mood for baking, which is normally so unlike me, this early into the “holiday” season. With the oh-so-many varieties of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows out this time of year, I couldn’t resist buying up a few bags 🙂 Fruit-flavored (and shaped), stackable plain or chocolate brownie flavor, the classic toasted coconut, and even gingerbread and pumpkin spice! These also make a great healthy, low-fat snack right out of the bag (always use caution with young children and marshmallows of any shape or size, a very dangerous and very real choking hazard!)

Yummy low-fat snacking

Yummy low-fat snacking


 

I bought some canned biscuit dough, rolled it out, tucked in a couple chocolate brownie marshmallows, and sealed them shut. After they were baked, according to package directions on the biscuits, I put a touch of butter and sprinkled some sugar on them. This is not necessary though as these are a yummy, pillow-filled sweetness all by themselves.

 

Seal them up good!

Seal them up good!

You know what marshmallows do in the microwave, right? Well, they do that in the oven as well. So make sure your edges are sealed, sealed, sealed. I probably should have taken pictures of my first batch that expanded and leaked all over the place 🙂 Put down a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet for easy clean-up if they leak. My kids loved the leakers as much as the ones that held their pillow shape.

Hollowed, marshmallow sweetness!

Hollowed, marshmallow sweetness!

Was I wrong? Probably. Do I care? Probably Not.

Published October 19, 2013 by Angela

OK. I have to fess up to the fact that I tried (OK, I’m still trying) to buy my way out of trick-or-treating this year. Before you think I am a horrible Mother who is denying her girls memories that they will have for the rest of their lives etc. etc. let me explain a few things about Halloween for us.

In Michigan, there are 3 things that always happen on Halloween, some years in various combinations. 

1) It is hand-numbing cold (literally)

2) It is raining cats-and-dogs (almost literally)

3) It is snowing (snow-on-the-ground-your-lawn-is-now-white-snowing)

Now, I do not like being cold, ever. And neither do my girls. Or wet from rain. Again, that applies to all of us. I won’t even begin telling you how I feel about snow. They are also all under the impression that they have to have costumes that are about $50.00 each. Times 3 girls, and the make-up and accessories they need, we are looking at a couple hundred dollars. There are also not many neighborhoods anywhere near us where a lot of houses are giving out candy. Most houses are dark, with families out trick-or-treating themselves.

So my clever idea? I told them each they could get three bags of any kind of candy they wanted. 3 bags! EACH! I would also give them each $30.00 cash that they could spend on anything they wanted. Books, crafts, toys, anything they want. How could anyone turn down that deal. 3 bags of candy!! They would never get that much trick-or-treating.

Well, they did. I am still working on it, but they are bugging me to go get Halloween costumes tomorrow. And they are already predicting snow for next week.

Maybe I should just suck it up and go trick-or-treating, but I can already hear them complaining because they are cold, wet, they’re tired, their legs hurt, and they aren’t getting candy that they like.

Do you go trick-or-treating every year? Or do you have another tradition? Or do you just ignore Halloween all together? This is my favorite time of year, believe it or not, as long as I am inside looking at it through a window in a toasty warm home 🙂

 

 

Halloween Candy

As Easy As Pie!

Published October 6, 2013 by Angela

Since when is pie easy? At least making it, that is. Just typing that had me thinking “Where did this saying come from?” Hence Google, and apparently it first appeared in print in The Newport Mercury, in 1887. There’s your history lesson for the day, wasn’t that easy?

I am no longer a huge baker of desserts, or anything else for that matter, except for the couple months at the end of the year when I desire for my house to smell like the house I grew up in during the Fall/Winter Holidays; cookies, chocolate, spices, and homemade pies.

So I figured I could certainly spare 5 minutes to whip up this dessert I came across, on Facebook I am sure. 2 ingredients, how could it get any easier, right? An angel food cake mix that requires only water be added, and a can of any type of pie filling you desire. I used pineapple this time, but I also have another cake mix and can of apple pie filling, which I will be drizzling with caramel after I make it.

Mix them together, and put it in a lightly greased 9×13 pan at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (Sorry, I was multi-tasking and not paying 100% attention to the time). I would suggest give it 20 minutes, then open the oven door every 5 minutes until it has a nice golden color on top 🙂 As a note, this will fluff up pretty good the longer it sets before it gets in the oven, and even more when it’s baking. Mine was above the edge of the pan when I took it out (without over-flowing) but as it cooled it did sink a little bit back down which allowed me to put the cover on the pan without issues.

It was delicious, and likely would have been even better with some whipped cream. And an added bonus? Virtually fat free, especially if you get sugar free pie filling.

2 Ingredients

2 Ingredients

Just mix them together

Just mix them together

ready for the oven!

ready for the oven!

The finished Dessert

The finished Dessert