Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

"The Simple Christmas Story"
Merissa Lee Kelley (2005)

A simple cradle…made from wood is where it all began
A Savior sent from Heaven's realm to redeem the soul of man
Grace and mercy intertwined in the form of love so sweet
For no one but the Son of God could make the joy complete

Peace had come to all mankind…a treasure from above
Only the Son could be the vessel to express the Father's love
Although his birth was long ago…the message is the same
Salvation's plan designed by God…is the reason why he came

Emmanuel means "God with us" what a wonderful, precious treasure
The gift of Christ goes far beyond what we could ever measure
The joy he brought that Christmas night is just as real today
And the simple truth behind the season…will never go away

So we rejoice and celebrate as Christmas time draws near
And memories made become so rich with every passing year
You can’t replace those cherished times…so treasure them with care
Cause memories are a precious gift you can carry everywhere

Even when you're miles from home…and you have to be apart
Loved ones won’t feel far away…with Christmas in your heart
And maybe those who dwell in Heaven have hung some shining lights
That from our view, look like the stars that glow so pure and bright

May the perfect peace of Christ our Lord surround your home this year
May the reason why God sent His son…become more real and clear
May the joy of Jesus give you hope…as you give him praise and glory
And may you always feel the endless love…
from the simple Christmas story

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is,
God with us." Matthew 1:23

Sunday, December 12, 2010

DIvine cookies

If you don't follow the cooking blog, Plain Chicken, then you should.  Stephanie (not me unfortunately) has some good stuff on there.  With the exception of the Meow Monday (where she posts pics of her cats), she posts some great recipes that she has concocted herself or a family recipe that she has tweeked to make it more of "hers."  She didn't fail to deliver on these cookies either.  The only thing she forgot to mention is that this recipe makes a LOT - even after I ate myself silly with the cookie dough.  They are quick, cheap, and very tasty!

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
(Printable Recipe)

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)
1 cup crushed candy canes (1 6oz box)

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and candy canes.

Drop dough in 2-tablespoon (1/8-cup) portions, 2 inches apart, onto buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

Bake in a 400° oven until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (break one open to check), 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tasty Treats

What a difference a year makes.  Last year at this time, I was trying to squeeze in time at work to click on the "add to cart" button on for my Christmas shopping.  Instead of baking/making Christmas gifts, I was just buying everything.  Yes, it was expensive to do all of my Christmas gift shopping that way, however I wanted as much time with my precious pretties & heavenly husband at night.  Dragging them around from store to store just wasn't my idea of a great way to spend the evening.

However, this year is much different.  We have less money now since I am not working, however I have more time which is priceless.  Less money doesn't mean less thoughtful gifts though.  A lot of people are getting baked goods that I actually MADE this year.  WHAT?!?  Yes.  Stephanie has been slaving away in the kitchen.  So, instead of going to a store and buying a cute dish towel or candle for teacher & neighbor gifts, they are getting some chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate cake balls, ooey-gooey pretzel sticks, peanut butter cup cookies, and cracker toffee.  They taste good, and you can make a lot with not a lot of money.  Here are just two recipes that are quick & easy:

Ooey Gooey Pretzel Sticks (A Shout out to Julie Gunn Strihan for the recipe!!)

Get the big pretzel sticks - I think they are the brand Hanover.  Just don't get the little butter twig looking pretzels.
1 Bag of caramels
1 package of chocolate almond bark
1 Bag of crushed Heath Toffee Bits
Wax or parchment paper

Melt caramel in one pan (I added two tablespoons of water and 3 TBS of butter for a thinner consistency
Melt almond bark in another pan
Pour bag of toffee bits on a plate.

Dip half of pretzel stick in caramel, and tap it to get the excess off.
Dip same half of pretzel stick in chocolate, and tap to get excess off.
I let them cool for a minute or two on the parchment paper (while I was busy dipping other pretzels)
Once they cooled off a bit I then rolled them in heath bits and put them back on the wax paper to dry.
They are the!
Now Julie drizzled chocolate over the sticks once they were dry, but since I am not a big chocolate fan I didn't.

The recipe I am making tonight is the Saltine Cracker Toffee.  I have heard you can also make this with graham crackers.  (Shout out to Carlye Bindel for the heads up on this tasty treat!)


  • 4 ounces saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
  2. Line cookie sheet with saltine crackers in single layer.
  3. In a saucepan combine the sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour over saltines and spread t cover crackers completely.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Spread melted chocolate and top with chopped nuts. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Time is Here..

...Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of year.

I love this song. Actually, I love 98% of all Christmas music. But there is something about the Vince Guaraldi (sp??) Trio & this song that makes me feel like I was doused with a big bucket of happiness everytime I listen to it.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of Christmas albums out there that tickle my fancy. Mariah Carey (but of course), Celine Dion's & Mannheim Steamroller can have me dancing like Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Belair every time I listen to them because they bring me so much joy. But not a lot of songs can make me just stop, smile & give me a full heart as fast as this one can.

Anywho--the Foley precious pretties have been busy celebrating the season! We made Christmas cookies Thursday night after dinner in our reindeer aprons (bought these from Diane Sargent--so cute!) while sporting our own antlers!
The antlers actually light up! I'll have to remember to keep these out for baseball season!

Merry Christmas!!


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