Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rocky Road Fudge

My mom has made this for us at Christmas for as long as I can remember.  Now I am making this for my own children and those special Christmas fellowships.  YUMMY!!!

1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2 Tbsp. butter
2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
1 (10 1/2 oz.) bag mini marshmallows
1 can sweetened condensed milk

In a saucepan, melt morsels with milk & butter over medium heat, stirring constantly.  In a large bowl, combine nuts and marshmallows.  Pour chocolate mixture into marshmallow mixture; mix well.  Spread into wax paper lined 13x9 inch pan.  Chill 2 hours.  Cut into squares, serve.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Pine Bark

Here is another great Christmas candy recipe I discovered two years ago in a Paula Deen cookbook.  My husband could eat a batch of this alone!  Enjoy & share with your friends!

35 saltine crackers
1 c. butter
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
5 (4 oz.) milk chocolate bars, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a jelly roll pan with tin foil. Lightly spray foil with a non-stick cooking spray.

Place saltine crackers, salty side up, in prepared pan. In a saucepan, boil butter and sugar for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Pour mixture over crackers and bake for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from oven, top with candy bars, and spread evenly as chocolate begins to melt. Cool slightly and transfer onto waxed paper. Allow to cool completely.



Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oreo Truffles

This is an easy Kraft Foods recipe, and a huge party hit!  I have also made these and given them away in a goodie basket.  Make sure when you make these you buy enough for two batches... you'll eat the first batch before the party starts!

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. OREO Cookies, finely crushed (Keep 9 cookies set aside and crush separately to use for topping.)
2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted

MIX cream cheese and 3 cups cookie crumbs until well blended.
SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Dip in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator

1.  How to Melt Chocolate:  Place unwrapped chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 2-1/2 min. or until chocolate is completely melted, stirring every 30 sec.

2.  Sprinkle truffles with the extra 9 crushed Oreos before refrigerating.  Or drizzle with melted white chocolate for a different effect.

3.  These are also delicious when dipped in white chocolate!

Party Punch

Here is a yummy punch recipe that I just made for our youngest daughter's 1st birthday party.  It has long been one of my favorite punch recipes and is as pretty as it is delicious!  I have also been making this in individual glasses this week (as you would a float) and it has been soothing to my sore throat.  Enjoy!

1/2 gallon Sherbet (the flavor/color of your choice)                
2-liter Ginger Ale
2-liter 7 Up

Scoop your sherbet into a punch bowl (or glass).  Pour Ginger Ale and 7 Up over it.  It's that easy!!! 

1.  If you are making this for punch, (and have room in your refrigerator) it's best to chill the Ginger Ale and 7 Up before serving. 

2.  My personal favorite is raspberry sherbet!  When making this, I also buy a bag of frozen raspberries and freeze them in ice cube trays to help chill the punch and garnish it.  If you choose to do this, freeze them using the Ginger Ale or 7 Up, not water.  Then as the ice melts, your punch does not become watered down. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Lesson to Live By 1 Kings 3:3-14

1 Kings 3:3-14

3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.
4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

As we read this passage this morning, it was so refreshing and encouraging!  Solomon was given an opportunity to have anything he so desired and he asked for wisdom.  Understanding to discern justice.  Wow!  What a man of character!  Of course, Solomon had a man of character who set an example before him... his father, David.  Though David had his own faults, he truly was a man who loved and desired to serve The Lord.  His example had made an impact on his son, Solomon.  There were several points presented through this passage that I was challenged with personally, and it went hand in hand with the pieces of the sermon I heard this morning.  (My 11 month old was being a bit of a handful.) 

In verses 3-5, I was challenged in the example David had set before Solomon.  How do I encourage my kids to love and serve The Lord?  My attitude often does not reflect the desire of my heart.  Far too often, I get caught up in the temporal and neglect to point them to the eternal.  Yes, I take them to church.  We're there every time the doors are open!  They have been instructed, though not always obedient, how to sit quietly through a service, stand and sing, and be respectful of others.  But why?  Is it all for my own personal sake?  To make me look good?  Or is it truly my desire to see them honor and serve The Lord so that they will continue all the days of their life?  I do believe in public worship.  I believe it is an outward demonstration of our love for Jesus and His people.  It is also beneficial for us to surround ourselves with godly influence to encourage us and help steer us in the ways of truth.  However, we cannot depend on the church to teach our children about Jesus and all He has done for us.  That is our job as parents.  We are to train them at home, as well as in public worship.  For as you see in verse 5, it was while Solomon was worshipping that he had his dream and the ultimate question asked of him.  God honors and uses public worship to draw men and women to service for him.  It's through those services He calls some to be missionaries, evangelists, preachers, and teachers.

In verses 6-9, Solomon shows what a man of character he truly is by the way he answers.  One thing I noticed is that he does not answer right away!  Instead he reminds The Lord of his own unworthiness to be considered a king.  He recognizes his own inability and his dependence upon God.  How often do I depend on my own ability to control certain situations.  I think I have the answers and wish to impart my own opinion and beliefs upon others.  Solomon was quick to turn the attention back to the one he was dependent upon.  Today, our society is very me driven.  "I need some me time.  It's all about me."  If we are not in the spotlight, then we just won't participate.  We tend to have an "I'll show you" attitude.  Instead of holding the spotlight for others, we demand it to be held for us.  How appalling!  Is this the attitude God is pleased with?  Instead of desiring to be the sun, we need to be more like the moon and reflect the "Son".  Solomon, as a king, was a dictator.  He could have chosen to demand the attention of those under his authority.  Instead, he submitted to God by asking Him for the one thing he needed most... wisdom.  Just this morning, as Sunday mornings are sometimes difficult, things were not going as they should.  And instead of asking for God's help, I tried to get things done in my own power.  (And you moms know exactly what I mean!  We sometimes allow Sunday mornings to be the roughest.)  We need to be more like Solomon in seeking God's help over every situation and allowing Him to work in us and through us for His will to be accomplished.  This is done first by recognizing our dependence upon Him and then asking for His continual guidance. 

Then in verses 10-14, I was reminded of how God sees our heart.  He was pleased with Solomon's request and honored it.  Though it would be nice at times, God is not interested in our lip service.  We can sing praises like we have it all together, but if our hearts are not right, all we do is in vain.  Ouch!  There have been times I have went to church and taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and even kept nursery when my heart was far from right.  All of those moments were pure vanity.  How often does The Lord look at your heart and reject the "praise" you offer?  Solomon was humble and God not only granted him what he asked for, but much more!

What about you?  What kind of example are you setting for future generations?  Is life all about Y-O-U?  Or are you pointing others to Jesus by having a servant's heart?  And what about your heart?  No one can see it but The Lord.  Is it pure?  Are your motifs righteous or selfish?  I'll close with a quote from an old hymn that challenges me every time I hear it.  Oh to only be able to not only sing it, but claim it word for word... "All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to HIS blood". 

On a side note, our teacher asked a question this morning that I thought I had an answer for.  However, he made a very thought provoking point I'd like to include.  The question was, how are blessings and obedience related?  My thought was that they go hand in hand.  If you're obedient, you'll receive blessings.  His statement was that we are all blessed, but when we are obedient, we can see those blessings more clearly.  Wow!  I have certainly been blessed.  I just forget how much when I am consumed with my selfishness.