White On White Snowflake Cookies

One of my favorite times in the kitchen at Christmastime is decorating cookies. It takes me back to my childhood, when I was more concerned about getting as much frosting as I could onto each cookie than with making them look beautiful. Now I try to find a balance between the two extremes.
These snowflakes are a great example of how to use one color to its full potential. The white sugar cookie, outlined with white icing and topped with white sugar adds a sparkle and shine to a simple treat.
For these cookies, I started with a bagged sugar cookie mix and cut out 16 snowflakes. (I had a little bit of dough left over, so I made a big, shapeless cookie for Danny to decorate and eat.) They’re baked according to the package instructions and allowed to cool completely.
My glaze recipe is pretty simple: for the outlines and center burst of 16 cookies (plus the blob), I mixed 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp light corn syrup, 2 Tbsp milk and 4 drops of lemon juice. After stirring to combi…

Make Christmas Cards Your Holiday Decorations

’Tis the season for sending and receiving Christmas cards! I love to read each family’s notes and letters, spending a little time each December learning about all the wonderful things they’ve seen and done in the past year.
I also enjoy writing and sending Christmas cards, too. (Truth be told, I also have a stack of New Year’s cards, too. You know, just in case I don’t get everything sent in December.) It’s fun to keep people up to date on what’s happening in our lives and let them know that we’ll be praying for them in the upcoming year.
But what do you do with the cards once they’ve been read? Don’t just stack them in a pile! Instead, turn them into part of your home’s Christmas decor.
We have three windows that overlook the sunroom, each with a handle to open and close them. They’re right behind our oversized living room chairs, so this is the perfect place for us to hang some holiday cheer. 
I took a long piece of utility wire and wrapped a gold garland around it several times. Withou…

The Angel Explains Things To Joseph

Joseph must have been at a complete loss that day. The girl he was engaged to told him that she was already pregnant, a circumstance that should have ended the relationship altogether. Even in this early stage of their courtship, adultery would have meant public disgrace, but there was compassion in his heart, which whispered in his ear to handle things in private.
So there he sat, head in his hands, trying to work through the events of his life and decide where to go from here. He was probably praying for guidance and direction, knowing he couldn’t handle this situation on his own. And when you leave your problem at God’s throne, miracles happen. It was with this heavy on his mind and heart, he fell asleep.
Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. Matthew 1:20
Angels didn’t just appear for no reason, so you can imagine the fear that ove…

Sweet Potato Casserole With Pecan Streusel

It's time to move past the traditional sweet potato casserole with the little marshmallows on top. It's wonderful if that's your family tradition, but let's spread our wings a little this Christmas season and pull out all the stops.

This sweet potato casserole features a pecan streusel topping that you'll want to put on everything - I have a little in the refrigerator right now! You can also make this recipe the day before your big meal and heat it for about 50 minutes straight from the fridge.

6-7 large sweet potatoes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cinnamon

5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks and cover with water in a large pot. Bring to…

DIY Christmas Tags Gift Bags

Use some those scraps you have leftover from making Christmas cards to make this Christmas tag gift bag. Yes, I know that rhymes. No, it was not intentional. No, I won't do it again.

Gather up card stock, decorator paper, ribbon, brads, tape, double stick tape, a paper cutter and a pair of scissors.

Start with two large card stock tags and a coordinating large piece of card stock.

Cut two side panels slightly shorter than the tags and however long you want your box to be. This is up to you - mine is approximately as wide as the tags. Then use the same card stock to cut a bottom panel. Tape them all in place.

Cut two scraps of decorator paper into tags slightly smaller than the card stock tags and attach them to the ends.

Cut a long strip of card stock for the handle.

Cut it to length and attach each end with two coordinating brads.

Now for the fun part - filling it! Cut out different sizes of tags and attach a variety of fibers. Fill your basket with them, and someone special wil…

Recognizing The Christ Child

The angel Gabriel told Mary that her cousin Elisabeth was also expecting a child, conceived in her old age just as she was promised. Knowing this was a blessing from the Lord, Mary wanted to see her cousin, the one woman who would understand what Mary was going through. So off she went to the hill country.
Entering the house, Mary called out to Elisabeth, and Luke paints a beautiful picture of her welcome.
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. Luke 1:41
Prior to the coming of the Comforter in the book of Acts, people of Bible times were only given the Holy Spirit as a precious gift when in the presence of the Lord. This was the experience Elisabeth was having, though heightened beyond our wildest imaginations. The verse says she only heard Mary’s voice, not even seen her yet, but that sound had a profound effect on her life forever.
We know that Mary knew about Elisabeth’s pregnanc…

Mincemeat Pie With A Christmas Crust

Why bake a boring old pie for Christmas dinner when you can put together a fun and festive pie that will make everyone smile before they devour it?

And the answer shouldn't.

Not when you can just pull out some Christmas cookie cutters - which you probably have out already, if you're in the spirit of holiday baking like I am. Choose a few large designs and a handful of smaller cutters in your favorite shapes.

It doesn't matter if you make your own crust or use the boxed crusts, as they will both work just as well. Put the bottom one in your pie dish and fill it as normal. Then comes the fun part!

Roll out the second crust on a floured work surface and go to town with your cookie cutters. I was able to get nine large shapes and many small ones out of one crust before having to re-roll it. Re-rolling doesn't work great, though, so get as many as you can the first time.

Then layer the shapes onto the top of your pie filling in a pretty pattern. Give them a light …