Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A box of thanks

It may be small....

But it contains big thanks!

Everything that my son makes with his hands is a treasure to me and this little box of thanks is no different. I always keep it out as a reminder to be thankful everyday.

It's filled with little strips of paper and the idea is to simply write down what we are thankful for, especially as we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Then last week, his class made a special craft to celebrate Thanksgiving. Are you ready to see the cutest salt and pepper shakers?

It's Mr. and Mrs. Pilgrim of course! It does appear that Mrs. Pilgrim's hat is a little lopsided but that's because she was in a hurry when she got dressed. :)

For his part, Mr. Pilgrim's hat tilts to the back to reveal the top of the pepper shaker so they both serve a purpose, they don't just look good!

She and her dear husband will be on our table tomorrow to join in the festivities. I just hope they don't get sick when we turn them upside down during the meal. That could be trouble!

Sending lots of warm wishes to you and yours on this eve of Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy a special day and plenty of good home cooking with your loved ones. May your box of thanks overflow on this Thanksgiving and always.

Many sweet blessings!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a message in the sky!

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. Isaiah 26:3-4

Last Saturday morning, I went for a walk in my neighborhood. The weather was beautiful, sunny and warm.

I was deep in thoughts which slowed down my pace a bit. I was thinking about a certain situation that lately has been heavy on my heart. Then I looked up and saw a plane that was writing a message in the sky. The message read: TRUST GOD.

At first, I thought "how neat!" and then I thought "how thoughtful of You God to answer me in this way, knowing that I can't possibly miss this message". Talk about the right answer at the right time!

Instead of little me trying to figure things out on my own, how much better to let God handle it? I sure don't have all the answers but He does.

Then the next day, on Sunday afternoon, as we were out with some friends, another message popped up in the sky. This time I did have my camera...

TRUST JESUS. Is it just me or is He trying to tell me something?!

I'd say it's something that probably not just myself but many of us need to remind ourselves of. And I'm sure getting the message loud and clear. Sometimes that's just what I need to get the point. Make it plain and simple and put it right there in my face where I can't miss it.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Hoping you're having a great week and may each of you be full of God's peace, love and strength. Those are indeed some very sweet blessings!


Friday, November 6, 2009

Shortcut chocolate bars

Let me start by admitting that I keep several of these bars tightly wrapped in my freezer at all times. These and a few brownies. After a quick pop in the microwave, they're as good as new. Or pretty close anyway.

What I like best is that they're so easy to make and yet they're super delicious. My kind of treat!

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 17-ounce rolls refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a saucepan, combine the chocolate chips, condensed milk and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the nuts (I don't use them but you may choose to) and the vanilla.

Cover a 15" x 10" (or any pan similar in size) with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. You don't have to use foil, but I always do because it makes clean-up a cinch and anything to make clean-up quicker is a good thing! Then, press 1 1/3 rolls of the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.

Next, spread the melted chocolate mixture evenly on the cookie dough and resist the urge to dip a finger in it. Some of you have self-control, I'm sure. :)

Dot the remaining cookie dough on top of the chocolate mixture. It doesn't have to be precise, so now is a great time to call in little helpers you may have around.

Bake for 25 minutes or so but be carefeful not to overbake. When the top is lightly browned, it's done.

I find these bars even better the next day because they're extremely moist the first day so it's a great recipe for when you need something you can bake a day or two ahead of time.

Now, let it cool for a while and then cut into bars. The size of the bars will be up to you!

Wishing you God's blessings too numerous to count and may they all be as sweet as chocolate!