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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Tis The Season

Tis the season when people are more friendly, kind, and caring.

Full of celebrations, Christmas programs, parades, and parties we tend to scurry from one event to the next. We’re trying to find the perfect gift or  we are  feeling badly because our dollars won’t stretch far enough to even buy gifts.

Pretty soon our stomachs are tied up in knots, and we have forgotten what the true meaning of Christmas is.

Concerns for those who need a little joy in their lives and not having the means to give is very disheartening.

Seeing little children who won’t have a gift under the tree makes us sad.

It makes them even sadder, because most children they do not understand, and can feel unloved.

So here’s to all who know what the true meaning of Christmas is.

Christ, who gave his life on the cross, whose birthday we are celebrating, gave us the biggest gift of all!

He gave Himself.

Now that is the best gift, of course. But we can give, too.

To all who open their hearts this year and give of themselves, here’s to you!

You foster parents who take in other people’s children, the ones who adopt unwanted children, you are a Christmas blessing.

To the workers and volunteers who help with the needy and the elderly, God bless you forever.

For the Child Advocate Services, thank you!

If we could all just take some time, go Christmas caroling at a nursing home, visit a Veteran or shut in, or volunteer at a soup kitchen (or such), what a difference we would make.

Now that is the true meaning of Christmas! IMHO

We should celebrate it 365 days a year, give a gift of your heart, compassion and love.

Merry Christmas, friends!

❤ ~evie

Countdown…New Year’s Eve

Well, Christmas day has come and gone, and now we are counting down to the New Year and thinking about resolutions!

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After our first white Christmas since 1975, the year my daughter was born, I am not complaining that we are snowed in! I love the snow, and as I don’t have anywhere to go, we are just enjoying a lazy day… all snugly and warm.

Now it is time to think of the new year. Resolutions are made, and in my case, forgotten on January 2.  This year, though, I do have one year that I want to make sure I do.

RACK is Random Acts of Christmas Kindness (I prefer Random Acts of Christian Kindness!)  I have just challenged my Facebook friends to join me on the page I created to share ideas! Wouldn’t it be amazing, the  number of acts of kindness that would be performed, if we just did one a day, every day? Come join us!

Lots of people have traditions for this holiday, too!  Some people go out and party, others stay in and celebrate with the family. For my sisters and I, and our guys, we have always enjoyed turning on the karaoke machine and singing our little hearts out, between lots of breaks for snacking! Check out my Pinterest boards here for yummy appetizers and desserts!

Lime in the Coconut Macaroons ...I thought I would pin my own cookie recipe I baked for this past weekend. Several have asked for the recipe, so I thought I would share with my followers, too. @Pat McGowin @Vicki Shaw..You wanted it, you got it! Evie!

If you don’t have a karaoke machine, you can sing for free online from your computer at this website. They have many songs to choose from!

Some people think they must eat black-eyed peas for good luck!  Here’s a recipe that sounds yummy I found it at Pauladean.com!

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Photo belongs to Pauladean.com!

I found these cute cookies over at Annie’s Eats!

Over at yesterdayontuesday.com blog, links to some really clever ideas for New Year’s party will inspire you to celebrate the good times. Check it out here! Countdown to New Year’s Eve

So what are you planning for New Year’s Eve, and do you have any resolutions? Please share with me!

Thursday’s Tidbits! Hot Reuben Dip

Last Christmas I was staying with my daughter during her bout with cancer.

Her mother in law, Barb, made this recipe for our Christmas Eve get together.

I had never eaten anything  like this, and it is a wonderful dish to serve instead of the usual dips.

It is simple to make, stays warm in a crock pot, and is an excellent appetizer for parties.

Reuben Dip

Barb Kubinski’s Hot Reuben Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened                                                                                                                                                                                                               2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
6 ounces deli sliced corned beef, chopped
½ cup Thousand Island dressing
1 16 oz. can drained sauerkraut

Serve with cocktail size rye bread squares.

Put in crock pot, melt cheeses, and stir! Serve warm! Delicious!

Since last Christmas my friend lost her battle with cancer. She is missed.

RIP Barb Kubinski.

Wacky Wednesday

Wow, its Wednesday.  Hump day.

On a roll. Downhill slide.

Busy schedules and the rush of the holidays have you running short on time?

Kids want dessert?

Many moons ago, my mother was a cook at our school cafeteria, and they made this simple cake often.

Everyone loved Wacky Cake! Thankfully she taught me how to make it, too… ’cause I love chocolate and sometimes I don’t have eggs!

This is such an inexpensive dessert,  and the kids can even mix it up. (No mixer needed, just stir until the lumps are gone.)

Here it is, a delicious, easy to make dessert for this Wacky Wednesday.

Did I mention it’s chocolate?

Photo

I made these to give as gifts!

Wacky Cake

6 tablespoons cocoa
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift or mix all dry ingredients together in a big bowl (or even in the  9 x13 inch cake pan you are going to bake it in). Add liquids and stir until smooth.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Or… bake the batter in wide mouth pint jars filled about half full of batter. (Check after 35 minutes.)

Photo

Sterilize lids in water while baking cake.

When cakes are done (toothpick test), put lids and rings on jars, finger tighten, and wait for the ping.

Now you have gifts ready to tag! These makes wonderful troop gifts for care packages, or for when someone shows up unexpectedly. Makes nice individual mini loaf  size pans for inexpensive gifts for co workers, teachers, and friends.

Frosting

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons cocoa

1/3 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter

Mix together and boil for 2 minutes. Stir until cool, pour over cooled cake.

Or… sift powdered sugar over cooled cake… or don’t frosted… or make a powdered sugar glaze, pour over warm cake!

The following is my favorite icing for this Wacky cake, although most times I don’t even add icing.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3  tablespoons  liquid (milk – water – fruit juice, etc.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional
Combine ingredients and mix until smooth. Pour over warm cake.
*Glaze is good on cookies, cakes and breads.
WACKY? Well, yeah!

Sorry for the double spacing on the one recipe. This computer is wacky, too!

Entering The Christmas Zone!

It’s that time again!

Believe in the Spirit of Christmas Printable

Gearing up for Christmas!

🙂

Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday have all passed without further ado! Now is the time to think about the reason for the season.

LOVE!

Brrr, baby it’s cold out there!  I need hot chocolate. (I love hot chocolate!)

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream

Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a  quick  holiday idea for making gifts teachers, friends, etc. My kids love  this hot chocolate mix.  Adapted and tweaked from Grandma Dot’s recipe to…

Evie’s  Hot Chocolate Mix!

1 – 8  ounce jar cocoa powder

1 – 8 quart package  non fat dry milk (about 10 cups)

1 -16 ounce package sifted powdered sugar (about 3 -3/4 cups)

1 -10 ounce jar powdered non dairy creamer

Optional * pinch of cinnamon and whipped cream or marshmallows. I like to add a peppermint stick to my gifts!

My grandson, Justin doesn’t like cinnamon so I just add it to my cup!

~ In large bowl mix all ingredients except optional items. Store in airtight container. For one serving add about one fourth cup hot chocolate mix to one cup boiled water. Let cool before drinking!

Last year for teachers and friends, the grand kids and I did Rudolph Hot Chocolate Treats .

For over a year I have pinned these holiday ideas, and here’s the mother load! I thought maybe you would like to check out my Pinterest board full of Christmas ideas.

Many are do-it-yourself, easy decorations, crafts, and ornaments that will make your holiday brighter.

Enjoy and don’t forget to follow Evie’s Gardens here and on Facebook!

Thanks ~ Evie

Holiday’s Are Coming!

As a child I remember going to our grandparents’ home. My grandfather managed a dairy, his father owned Pippin’s dairy when he grew up.

Just a blast from the past I thought I would share!

My great grandparents on the Pippin/Sams Branches of our Family Tree.

Made me think back, then forward. Family memories rock. Period. No one has your family and your life time memories. They are tucked away somewhere in your mind,  just to jump back in there right at the holidays. I know, right?

I love to make memories with my grandchildren and my children!

Last year while at my daughter’s, I had a wonderful time with my grandchildren, Ashley and Cooper doing “random acts of  Christmas kindness“, which from now on, will be referred to as RACK.

From making cookies for the neighbors and the fire fighters to picking up trash in the neighbors yards, we did an act of kindness from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

It’s the beginning of the holiday season, and I am looking forward to some family and friends’ time!

Every year at this time when my Thanksgiving cactus blooms, I start thinking about the fun ahead.

Last year we had a blast making gingerbread houses with Brittnee and Kye, two more of my grands who were visiting from Oklahoma. The kids had fun, the left over Halloween candy is history, and we made some precious memories.

This year’s holiday season started off sad, with an unfortunate accident that took the life of my nephew. My sister in law’s sister passed away, and there is lots of sickness going around.

Our local VFW Post and our auxiliary make Thanksgiving dinner for our community who don’t have family, or can’t afford to make such a meal. We take donations to help cover the cost.

Mr. M and I usually contribute by pitching in where ever we can. It’s such a little thing to spend your time making peanut butter sandwiches for those in need. Then we feast on a meal that is blessed by many doing RACK. Oh, yeah!

Then Countdown to Christmas! Check out my Pinterest board for a fun, easy inexpensive Christmas craft to do with your kiddos for teachers’ gifts, or for party favors.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

The number of cakes in the jars for my troop and family Christmas gifts is increasing, if I can keep the man out of them! 😉 I am making extras to have for when company drops by! My favorite so far is the egg-less, milk-less chocolate cake!

Remember the reason.

Enjoy the season.

Give thanks.

And RACK on!

Countdown to Christmas!

School is out for the rest of the year, and it’s cold outside!

What can you do while the kids are home, and impatiently waiting for the ‘big day’ to arrive?

I adapted a Pinterest pin and we made Rudolph Hot Chocolate Mix. (We made ours for the kids’ teachers.) Makes great last-minute RACK (random acts of Christmas kindness) gifts for the neighbors, friends, and family.

Hot chocolate, anyone?

This is an easy craft and the children can help!

For each Rudolph you will need:

1 Wilton decorating bag

2 Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate packets

Handful of miniature marshmallows

Small handful of chocolate mint M and M’s

2 googly eyes (attach with Tacky glue)

Curling ribbon or any tying material

1/2 metallic red pipe cleaner for nose

1 metallic red pipe cleaners for antlers

Directions for Rudolph Chocolate Treats:

Empty packets of hot chocolate mix in bag.

Next drop in marshmallows, followed by M and M’s.

Twist bag closed, tie off with ribbon, twist ties, etc.

For each treat you will need to cut 2 pipe cleaners in half. (I used a small pair of needle nose pliers, but you could use an old pair of scissors that won’t hurt if you cut wire.) You will need one and a half pipe cleaners per treat.

Pictured is pipe cleaners for antlers.

 

Wrap one of the halved pipe cleaners around the tip of bag for nose. Pinch it so it doesn’t slide off of the bag. See first picture.

For each antler you will need one pipe cleaner, halved. Take one of the halves and cut it in half again. Twist the halved one around the top of the bag (where you have it tied off with ribbon or twist tie.)

Then take the quartered pieces and twist around the ends of the pipe cleaner to make antlers.

Glue googly eyes on bag with Tacky glue. (See above picture.)

You could use any powdered hot chocolate mix. Here’s the link to my hot chocolate mix recipe.

These make double cups of hot chocolate. If you want, you could use one package and make a smaller reindeer. Just cut the excess plastic from the top.

BTW… my grand children already drank theirs, so I used an empty one for a pattern! You can tell by the hot chocolate spots on the TV tray! 🙂

That’s it, folks. Occupy the kids and make a great last-minute gift! Be sure to make some for them, too!

For more great Christmas ideas check out  raisingolives.

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