Tag Archives: holiday

Thank you Veterans!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We are free because of the brave! 

To all those to have, are and will serve in our military, Happy Veteran’s Day from our family
to you and yours. 

Homemade Chai Tea

I love the taste and the smell of Chai Tea… I hate the price tag at coffee shops…. So, Let’s make our own!!

 

Chai Tea: a beverage that is a blend of black tea, honey, spices, and milk.

 

I simmer 3 black tea bags in a pot with 4-6 cups of water. I add my spices in a cheesecloth or flour sack wrap that I tied close

Spice bag is filled with several cinnamon sticks, and about a Tablespoon of whole allspice, whole cloves and whole coriander, 3 or 4 whole star anise. I also add about 1 teaspoon of ginger and cracked black pepper. This mixture gives a yummy spice flavoring. Sometimes I will add some licorice root as well to change the flavor. 

I cut a flour sack to a 6x6in square and place all of my spices in the center and then tie the top. 

Once brewed, let the tea sit and seep for about an hour to meld all of the spice flavors. 

Fill a glass 2/3 with the tea mixture and add ice and top with milk. I sweeten mine with liquid stevia or local honey.

Have some yummy tea for me! <3

The smell of fall – simmering potpourri

I love having a wood stove. I grew up with them at my parent’s house as well. When Larry and I looked for a stove to have put into our home (Yes, our huge house only had “fake” heating  fireplaces – Propane burning ones and a chimney for a pellet stove.) We had to get something in that was more economical for our family size. And not letting us run through our propane every winter.

I love the fact that the woodstove that we got has 2 cooking burners on top. I keep a water kettle on there all of the time.  I even fixed some elderberry tea with that heated water this morning from off of the woodstove. That is a different story altogether.

We have already simmered soup on the coldest rainy day so far this season. Our season has not gotten cold during the day, however, when you are up at 3 am and the temperature outside is at freezing or so, a nice fireplace is well worth it especially when I have turned the heater OFF!!!

Since as far back as I can remember, I always try and simmer some potpourri on my stove or in a mini-crock. This season, I have an old pot that I have been putting goodies in on the wood stove on the other

burner.  This has worked out great and when I want to simmer something else, it is simple to jest set the potpourri pot to the side. 

Eucalyptus, lemongrass, and clove

This morning, I added cloves, dried lemongrass and dried eucalyptus. 

 

For each of the following recipes, I add about 4 cups of water in my stove pot or mini crockpot and then the plants/herbs/fruit. 

After 1 hour, the mixture is simmering down.

Better Breathing

  • 1/4 cup eucalyptus
  • 2T lemongrass
  • 2T whole cloves

 

Fall is HERE 

  • 1 orange (Peel and Fruit), sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon cloves, whole 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Open your Mind

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Apple Harvest Spice

  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks

Fresh and clean

  • 1 lemon, sliced (peel and fruit)
  • 1/2 cup of eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chai Tea Potpourri

  • 1T Vanilla extract
  • 1t  cinnamon
  • 1t cloves
  • 1t allspice,
  • 1/2 t black pepper,
  • 1/2 t ginger,
  • 1/2 t coriander seed,
  • 1t mace,
  • 1 star anise

If you want, you can throw in a few black tea bags and use this as a chai tea base too. Strain and mix with milk. 

Cranberry Fool – One of my FAVORITE Desserts!

Here is a recipe that our family has make every new year’s eve as far back as I can remember as a child and often other times during the year. In the summer time, we substitute blackberries or raspberries for the cranberries.   

A “Fool” is a dish made of fruit, scalded or stewed, crushed and mixed with cream.

This recipe is included in my upcoming cookbook, “A Kitchen Full of Kid Tested, From Scratch Recipes” being released in January of 2013.

 

Cranberry Fool

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)*
  • 3 Tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream

 

Directions:

Simmer cranberries, 1 Tablespoon zest, 1/2 cup sugar and orange juice on stove until cranberries have “popped”.

Remove from heat. Add 1teaspoon almond extract and stir. Set mixture aside to cool.

Whip 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl on high speed until fluffy.

Once the cranberry mixture is cooled, pulse-chop the mixture in a food processor or blender.  Set aside 1/2 cup of mixture for use as topping.

Fold cranberry mixture into whipped cream. Drizzle the 1/2 cup of cranberries mixture that was set aside on top of  folded dessert. Sprinkle with remaining zest.

Chill and serve. Makes 12.

 

*Cranberries freeze incredibly well. Buy them in bulk during the holidays while they are on sale, freeze and use them year-round.

December 2010 Advent – December 23rd – In Search for a Leg Lamp

Tonight we had a blast… everyone in the car in their PJs, a pillow, a blanket and the doggies and off to drive around our town in search for a LEG LAMP.

We had a few desires tonight.We wanted to see a house decorated entirely in white, we wanted to see a lit Nativity and we wanted to find a Leg Lamp.

We found everything that we wanted to see while singing Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs.

Take time with your kids to sing songs of the word of God. Observe the lights that represent the birth of our savior.

Luke 2:16, 21 – So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger… he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

December 2010 Advent – December 22nd – Make yourself another Nativity

I believe that you can never have too many Nativity Scenes up for Christmas time. I have started adding a new one every year to our “collection”. This year, I made one and was inspired by one I saw at my mom’s group, Vital Moms at the Height Church. I was sad to not know WHO made the one there to give proper credit to my MUSE. 🙂 (If it is you, let me know!!)

These are fun to make and do not take up a TON of time… although you can get lost in detail.

You will need:

  • 2 small clay or wooden pots,
  • 2 large wooden balls for the “heads”,
  • a clay or wooden plaque,
  • scrap felt in white and 2 other colors,
  • brown paint,
  • flesh paint
  • white paint,
  • raffia,
  • hot glue gun.
  • Optional: gold paint, crackle paint, black marker to draw on faces, fake snow paint, wooden star and staff.
  1. Paint the balls flesh and the pots a brown color(I also “crackled” the bodies with my crackle paint). Hot glue together. Add the colored scraps on to make clothing and ties with a piece of raffia each, Mary around her neck and Joseph around the head.
  2. Paint the disk white (or brown) and add the “people” to it.
  3. Create a “bunching” of raffia to make the hay manger and hot glue to the base.
  4. Swaddle the white cloth to make a “baby”. Glue to the hay manger.
  5. Optional: add texture snow around the base – This MUST dry overnight!!

Here is the sample that inspired me:

And here is my finished nativity:

Luke 2:8 – And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

December 2010 Advent – December 15th – Beautify an existing decoration

Our move this last year was rough on some of  my decorations. I had several wreaths in a big bag and they got crushed. Larry told me to just throw them away and start fresh… I am SO glad that I didn’t.

I picked up a few $1 sets of flowers (poinsettias and some snow covered pine) at the craft store (LOVE 50% off days!!!) And my mom brought me over a bow that she made – She is SO tricky and makes the most BEAUTIFUL bows with her bow maker contraption.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Luke 1:69-71 He has raised up a horn[a] of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—

December 2010 Advent – December 2nd – Color advent pages

Take time to color with your kids. You wouldn’t imagine the “bonding” that you will have with you kids just by sitting down and coloring with with them. We have laughing and giggling, we have singing and storytelling – all from spending time together coloring.

Make sure to get out your Christmas music and sing along. We do this every year… Every year I buy one new Christmas album – I am up to 13 this year and the kids have a blast choosing and singing along.  Make some hot chocolate for them as they are coloring.

After you have completed your pages, post them on your fridge to look at throughout the month of December or post them in your child’s room.

You can find some color pages online to print up. Here are a few sites for you to visit to find Christmas coloring pages. Let me know if you have any others and I will add to this list.

  • Bible Coloring Pages – http://www.calvarywilliamsport.com/christian_christmas_coloring_pages.html
  • Advent Coloring Pages – http://dltk-bible.com/advent/index.htm
  • Christmas Color Pages – http://www.teacherhelp.org/chris.htm#color
  • Luke 1:28 – The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

    Turkey Handprints – craft for Thanksgiving

    This is such a FUN and EASY Thanksgiving project. You need construction paper – brown, orange, red and yellow, glue sticks, a pencil, a black marker and a pair of scissors.

    1. Trace your hand one time on each of the red, yellow and orange papers and cut them out.
    2. Cut a oval out of the brown paper.
    3. Cut a triangle out of the orange
    4. Glue the 3 hands on the back of the oval
    5. Add eyes on the front with the marker and then add the beak.

    We had SO much fun making these today with our friends, Wyatt, Gus and William.