Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!



Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.


Good Master, grant

that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
it is in dying
that we are born to eternal life. Amen.


Wishing you all a peaceful and blessed New Year!







Friday, December 20, 2013

Traveling Wise Men Days 17, 18, 19, and 20

The search continues!

Day 17
The Three Wise Men took a break and stopped by the gingerbread houses the kids made. They ate so much candy they had a belly ache.


It wasn't a pretty sight.
They may have had help from a certain mama cat.




Day 18
Are they high? Are they low?
Are they near? Are they far?
Melchior, Balthazar, Caspar, and Beth the Camel have decided to follow the Winnie the Pooh Christmas train.


Maybe they are hoping Pooh knows the way to Bethlehem.


Day 19
Camouflaged by a Christmas tree. The Three Wise Men were hard to find, even daddy didn't see them!


It's not an easy climb. 


Hanging on tight!


Caspar gets a helping lift from Beth.




Day 20
Christmas candy has been found! The Three Wise Men stop for a little treat.




Is someone saving some for later?








Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Balls

To celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe this year, we made two batches of Mexican Wedding Balls. The second batch we made were gluten free so that Princess P could eat them!.



These were super easy to make, since you use gluten free Bisquick. I found the original recipe at Betty Crocker, but after reading the reviews I added more butter to give the cookies more moisture. A lot of people complained that the original recipe made cookies that were too crumbly.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup butter, softened (next time I am going to try 1 1/2 cups butter to give more moisture)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/4 cups Bisquick Gluten Free mix
3/4 cups chopped pecans
Powdered sugar to roll cookies in

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until it is soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg. Mix well.
Mix Bisquick mix and salt together. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. 
Fold in nuts.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place them on parchment paper.
Bake for 7-9 minutes.
Remove cookies and cool. 
While cookies are still warm, roll GENTLY into powdered sugar. Cool and roll in sugar again.

I allowed the cookies to cool for about 10-15. I found the longer they sat, the less likely they were to crumble.

Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!


Linking with.... 


Mexican Wedding Balls

For the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we made Mexican Wedding Cookies.


Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in

Directions
Cream the butter and sugar together until it's light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well.
Mix together the flour and salt. gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
Fold in nuts.
Make 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet of parchment paper.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool slightly. 
While still warm, roll the balls into the powdered sugar. Evenly coat the cookies. 
Cool cookies some more and then roll a second time.
Eat and Enjoy!

Makes about 48 cookies.






Monday, December 16, 2013

Traveling Wise Men~ Day 14, 15, 16

The Wise Men are still traveling around in search of the new King.

Day 14



Gazing out into the night sky. Searching for the star in the clear midnight sky. Do they still see it?

Day 15


They have stopped for a small bite to eat. They fill up the stomachs with apples and clementines.


I'm sure after they get their fill, they will be ready to continue on with their special journey.


Melchior seems to have his belly full!


Day 16


Today, the wise men are found hanging around on our Advent Calendar. Balthazar is warmly wrapped up in the knit scarf.



Melchior is relaxing, maybe he is getting directions from the moose.


Beth is hanging out at the top. She finds the moose's antlers a comfortable place to be.

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

On December 12, we celebrated the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
We read the the story Our Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola.


                                                          

After our story, we colored a coloring page of Our Lady.
Here is a beautiful coloring page from Catholic Playground.

After, the kids finished their coloring page, we made Mexican Wedding Cookies.
We actually made two batches. We made a "normal" batch for the boys and a gluten free batch for Princess P and myself.


gluten free versions

regular version

They look the same! They even tasted the same according to my dear hubby. He said the gluten free versions were a little drier.

Last year for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Princess P created tissue paper roses.


You can see how we created them here.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Traveling Wise Men~Day 11, 12, 13

Day 11
Melchior, Balthazar, Caspar, and Beth the Camel have decided to scale our grandfather clock.





Melchior is almost to the top. I'm sure he will be relieved when he makes it!


Caspar is visiting the mouse bear that ran up the clock!


Beth the Camel is taking a much needed break. It's hard work carrying these three men around.



Caspar is wondering why Balthazar is just hanging around!





Day 12
The Three Wise Men are helping out by decorating a few trees for the end tables.




Now the garland looks just right.


Beth the Camel is so hungry after her long journey. I'm sure a little nibble won't hurt the trees.


Day 13
Balthazar, Melchior, Caspar, and Beth have taken a break from their travels to play a game of Dominoes.




I wonder who will win?






Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Truffles

Today, I am sharing a recipe for gluten free chocolate truffles that we made on the feast of Saint Nicholas.


I found the original recipe over at Gluten Free on a Shoestring Budget. I changed it a little because some things we didn't have on hand.

Ingredients
4 tablespoons Butter, salted
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 cups confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream*
Sprinkle, Chocolate chips, and Nuts for decorating

*We didn't have heavy cream so I made a substitute for it.
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
Melt the butter. Pour butter slowly into milk and stir.


Place the butter and chocolate in a small pan. Melt it over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until all the chocolate and butter is melted. Remove pan from heat and add the salt and vanilla.
Place 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl and add the melted butter/chocolate mixture. Mix slowly. Mixture will become crumbly, but will stick together when pressed. Add the cream. The mixture will become rather moist. Add the last cup of powdered sugar, a little at a time. Kneed the mixture together until the dough is smooth. It should be soft.
Roll the dough into balls.


Place balls on a piece of parchment paper. Brush the balls with some water and roll them into your sprinkles, nuts, etc. Leave some plan too!



 We used sprinkles, nonpareils, walnuts, and mini chocolate chips.


 Place the truffles in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Take out and Enjoy!!


Linking with.... 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hunting Birthday Cake

Lego Man turned 10! Well he turned 10 last month, but he didn't have his party until this past weekend.
He wanted a Hunting/Camping theme for his cake.
So this is what we came up with.






He was one happy young man!

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