[worth Giving] just because they’re yummy

Tis the season of giving. Fa la la la la la la la la!

I love a good Christmas cookie. Especially a soft sugar cookie that my mom makes.

Of course learning from the best (my mom), I make a double batch of these at Christmas time and keep them in the freezer to have handy to take with me anytime I go to a friends, a neighbors, or a party.

They are always welcomed with an open mouth…haha! I crack myself up! LOL!

Here is the yummy recipe:

Fabulously Soft Sugar Cookies
3/4 C Real Butter, softened
2 Eggs
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. Cream Of Tartar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Almond Flavoring
4 C Flour

Directions:
Cream together butter, eggs, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. Add remaining ingredients in the order listed. Mix real good and refrigerate overnight. Place cookies onto a chilled cookie sheet with a small cookie scoop. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. It is very important that all cookies are placed on a cooled cookie sheet before baking. Keep cookie dough chilled between batches.

Frosting
1/2 C Real Butter, softened
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 tsp. Almond Flavoring (or more to taste)
Powdered Sugar
Milk (a few drops)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients. Use enough powdered sugar to achieve desired and spreadable consistency.

Tint to your desired color and top with your favorite sprinkles.

And voila! There you have it. Melt in your mouth heavenly yummyness that’s totally worth giving! (yes I make up words)

Advertisements

[worth Giving] for the birthday Girl…

double layer spice cake & winter jammies

I have a few friends who know how to give the best gifts. I don’t know how they do it, but they do. They must have some special “super gift” skills. Their gifts are random and unsuspected or they’re not your typical “I’ll run by Target” gifts. Their unique and purposed.

I need these skills! Bad. I love to give, but most times I feel a day late or a dollar short. I want my gift to bless like that. I want to give creatively and thoughtfully.

After much contemplating of how to give the most perfect gift it dawned on me, just be deliberate.

 

Talk about eureka! Really, that’s it? Deliberate.

"splurge on shoes"

For example, the birthday Girl gave me this little unexpected gift. Just for organizing a much needed girl’s night out. How sweet right? I’m gonna get some of those little things to have on hand.

I can do deliberate. So lately, each morning I wake, I ask myself, “who can I bless today?” And then do it…or prepare to do it in the near future.

With my new found love of baking and cooking I believe I have found my niche. It works well for me too. With a 7 month old crawling at my feet I need my “deliberate gifts” to work within my already crazy schedule and where I’m already gonna be…the kitchen. Cool how God worked that out.

birthday girl ♥ such a sweetie ♥

The pictured spice cake and jammies were for my dear friend, Charla. I had never given her a birthday gift so that made this all the more fun.

I was at her house the night before her birthday and she mentioned that she really wanted a fall dessert for her birthday, and how she planned to get some pumpkin frozen yogurt after dinner with her family the next night.

I took that information and left with a mission to make her my favorite spice cake that my mom makes in the fall. It is heavenly! I have not personally made this cake before, not that I have made much of anything until now. It’s my new love remember…to bake?

But I put my neck out and thought, “this is how I’m gonna learn.” Plus my mom being a great cook and a good teacher made this a win-win for me.

After my second batch baked and a dozen phone calls (that’s a part of my recipe any time I’m cooking) I had a winner.

Tastes great! Looks great! And what girl doesn’t like a comfy set of jammies? Throw them in too, and this is the perfect gift. And I’m doing the Happy Dance because I’m about to bless someone!

Deliberate gifts are perfect gifts regardless of what the actual gift is, and they say so much. Gifts that say, “just because you’re special”. I like those. And I believe everyone else does too.

Most people wear an invisible sign around their neck that says, “make me feel important.”…or beautiful, seen, loved, etc.

I want to respond to those invisible signs, and I hope you’ll join me.

[worth Giving] because she had surgery

Since I’ve had Chloe (((just love her))) I’ve been discovering new things about myself. I love to bake and cook! Who knew? And who would’ve thought that adding extra busyness to my life would incur a desire to add even more?

I have so much fun thinking about who I can bless. Now before you send in your meal order you must know I have a limited budget. But who knows maybe one day you will be the one.

Here is my last meal creation that I gave away to a friend who had her gall bladder removed and was not able to make dinner for her family.

This is a super easy and yummy chicken pot pie recipe I got from my friend Courtney. Of course, if you can’t tell, it isn’t baked yet. I took it over earlier in the day and thought they could bake it when they’re ready to eat, and that way it would be nice and hot out of the oven.

And the brownies are just heavenly! This recipe is from my mom who has baked these for years with a few extra yummy adjustments. Not sure if I can post this recipe or not. I’ll ask.

A quart of milk, the perfect beverage to wash this all down.

And voilà! There you have it. A simple all American meal worth giving.

I wanted to feel her pain…

Hannah holding Audrey Rose

Recently I had a close friend experience great loss, and all the grief that comes with it. My friend had lost her baby girl at 24 weeks pregnant. Such a tragedy! Her loss affected me deeper than any other loss I had witnessed or had experienced first-hand. I was pregnant too, and just 4 weeks ahead of her. So blame it on pregnancy hormones if you want, but I feel like there was something bigger and deeper happening in my heart.

I had made it a habit, subconsciously, to turn my eyes from tragedy or someone else’s problems. It can be awkward, what do I say? What do I do? It is easier to just stay silent, and go about my day. It is very easy to justify that someone will do or say the right thing. Sure I send my condolences, send a meal, pray, etc, but what about the days to come when tragedy’s pain is still there? Do I continue to reach out or be a shoulder to cry on? Or do I let it become “yesterday’s news”?

All too often, I go home, and push other’s tragedy away. I shut the door behind me, and as evening sets in I settle into my nice, quiet, and cozy home. I let myself forget about others problems. Whether it be a friend in a situation like this or the homeless man sitting on the side of the street, the child neglected around the corner, the wounded soldier sitting on a hospital bed, or the wife and kids sitting at home longing for their husband/daddy to come home.

Watching my friend go through such great pain opened my eyes to so many things that I needed to change. I would find myself crying, at random, days and weeks on end. I could be cooking, cleaning, or knitting and the tears would flow. I would go to bed and cry for her; I wanted to call her at that moment, hug her, go throw something with her, scream with her. Whatever she needed I wanted to do it with her…I wanted to feel her pain! I couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to look away! “Why?”, I asked myself. Why suddenly did I passionately want to feel someone else’s pain? I began to realize that when you truly love someone and care for them deeply you will do anything for them even if it means getting down in the dirt and the pain of it all.

This very personal revelation further beckoned me. I began to ask myself, “do I love my heavenly Father like that”?

Whoa! A huge reality check for me! I had always thought to “fellowship with Christ in His suffering” was an obligation, and quite honestly I would try to avoid it. On the contrary, it isn’t an obligation it’s a privilege that I can be that close with Him. If I truly desire closeness with God I will want to fellowship with Him; I will want to feel what he feels…good or bad.

So I am learning to be there and care for those I truly love when tragedy strikes. It can be awkward, but I am willing. And I am also learning to change my mind-set of what it means to fellowship with Christ in His suffering.