Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tiny sweet treats. . .


These were my part of the foods served at a baby shower hosted today by a group of friends in our Sunday school class. It was fun to have a reason to prepare them; they were fruit tarts for a young couple preparing to have their first child, their first 'fruit' so to speak.

I have made larger ones but with all the goodies being served at the shower I knew I needed to scale the size down. . . and I found that a mini-muffin size worked perfectly. My husband called them "two bite tarts" but I saw that very title used on a package of tarts in our grocery store yesterday, so I won't use it officially here.

For those who are curious or those who want to know how. . . here is how!

Make some vanilla pudding, you can, of course buy the instant, or ready-made . . . you can, but I wouldn't because taste matters. I added a wee bit of vanilla extract to the cooled cooked pudding before using it. (I used a pudding mix that you cook, EASY in the microwave using a whisk between cooking times)

Buy chilled pie crusts OR make some using your food processor or mixer, yes, you can make pie dough in your mixer! Make enough dough for a 2 crust pie. It will yield 48 mini-muffin tart shells. Roll out one crust of dough, cut out with 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. Place over the mini-muffin cups and use a pastry tamper, your thumb, or a spoon to press the dough into the muffin cup to get the shape. Press is firmly so it is well in place. Place the muffin tins filled with pastry rounds into a preheated oven set at 375 bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Watch them and bake them until just a bit golden brown. Take the trays out, remove the tart shells carefully and allow to fully cool on a wire wrap. Let your muffin tins cool too!

Continue using your cooled muffin tins to bake more pastry shells with the 2nd pie crust. Let all tart shells cool. Use immediately or put them in a self-closing plastic bag or other container to save for later. You can freeze them at this point and use as needed later.
*GREAT easy hospitaliTEA tip!*

Fill your tart shells with a teaspoon of cooled vanilla pudding and top with berries. Warm some apple jelly in the microwave and brush onto the berries gently. This will give it a lovely clear glaze you have likely seen and admired in fine bakeries. (I have admired full 10 inch fruit tarts in Harrods of London's Food Hall, wishing I lived there just long enough to buy one and serve it for tea to family and friends.) Now you can do it yourself!

For a variety I also filled some tarts with Nutella and topped with a raspberry; I also filled others with a teaspoon of raspberry curd and topped that with whipped cream and a bit of a fresh raspberry.

All of these tarts were delicious but the fruit tarts with pudding were the most favored today at the shower, I think due to their appearance with the glazed fruit.

These would make lovely Mother's Day desserts
Invite someone to tea soon.
Surprise your family with a platter of these. . .
and watch them as them as they enjoy with their eyes, taste them and thank you.

Truth For Life
The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
Isaiah 32:17-18

Saturday, April 18, 2009

They loaded up and flew out to . . .
Malakal, Sudan

They made it! We got an email two days ago that gave us a bit of an update. They are making adjustments to life in Malakal with the help of team members and locals. They are beginning to find their way around the market, building furniture, seeking help to learn the language, etc. The work continues . . . . .

We are praying for:
Their faith - continued dependence upon God, growth in their faith walk, sharing their faith walk with their local church and witnessing to their community

Marriage and Family life - to continue to nurture their marriage and family relationships

Their adjustment -to the heat of living in Sudan (100 is the average), no air conditioning, they use fans at night, which is when they have electricity. They are grateful for the power at that time.

Language acquisition - they need Sudanese teachers

Developing community - with the local Sudanese as well as their fellow team members with whom they dwell

I'm certain we'll add other prayer needs as the days pass but these are our initial prayers at this time. In the meantime, I pray, trust, rejoice, live, work, knit, study His Word, teach His Word, following His leading through my days where I live.

Truth For Life
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor,
serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer.
Share with God's people who are in need.
Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:11-13

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Story Cookies
Tell His Story. . . teach truth, hope, and the meaning of Easter with these yummy cookies

Add this to your grocery list today:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
zipper baggie
wooden spoon

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Place the pecans in zipper baggie and let your children take turns beating them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that, after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into your mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into a bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far the ingredients are not very appealing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes or until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper or parchment covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mount represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

He is Risen!

Truth For Life
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds;
tie them as symbols on your hands
and bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children, 
talking about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Write them on the door frames of your houses and your gates,
Deuteronomy 11:19

Monday, April 06, 2009

Dark Chocolate M M's are bittersweet

That is my favorite chocolate. . . 
and it fits our life just now.

We saw one child off with our son-in-love and precious (15 months old today!)granddaughter to Kenya 4 months ago. 
Tomorrow they fly into Sudan to begin their work. 
I miss them sorely already. 

We will have much less communication while they are on site. We've had little the past 4 months. I'm praying for them without ceasing. What parent wouldn't? I recognize with my eyes the reality of what they are heading into. And yet, I trust God. I have peace but I have feelings of loss.  I am asking God to fill the longings I have for them, to show me the joys in this day, in this precious Holy week, and to make me aware and sensitive to the opportunities I have to reach out to others on my own 'bit of earth' where He has placed me to live. 

I have the joy of having spent time with our son this past weekend, hearing his heart, his hopes, and his prayer requests. It was a privileged time to hear an adult child bear these things before his parents. That was our sweet.

The Perspectives class we are currently taking has snacks each week 
and they always serve M & M's to remind us of Missions. 
We are all on a mission, you have read ours, to where is God directing you?

He is risen!

Truth for Life
I have no greater joy than to hear
that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4