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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday's Sweets: Easter Story Cookies

This photo means so much to me. Last Easter, at the sunrise service for my hometown, I took this picture of the sun rising over the cross at the cemetery. This picture brings warmth and happiness to me whenever I look at it because it is a reminder that God is always there.This photo is especially meaningful to me this Easter, as my Grandfather was buried near this cross just last weekend. I'm glad to know that he is looking down with God on all of us this Easter.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go home to spend Easter with my family this year. So, I am listening to an online sermon and thinking of what one of my favorite parts of Easter is. We always make these "Easter Story Cookies" that tell the story of why we celebrate Easter in each step throughout the recipe. I remember being really little and puckering at the taste of vinegar for this recipe. This is a great recipe to do with your kids to explain to them why we celebrate Easter. Like I said, I'm not home to bake with my family, so this picture is just one from the internet. You are probably thinking "Why is she calling it Saturday's Sweets? It is Sunday!" Well, this recipe is one that you make on the Saturday night before Easter and eat the cookies on Easter morning.

Easter Story Cookies

1 c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 c. sugar
gallon sized ziplock bag
wooden spoon

-Preheat the oven to 300 degrees FIRST-
1. Place the pecans into the ziplock bag let your children beat the pecans into small pieces with the wooden spoon. Explain how Jesus was beaten by Roman soldiers.
 Read John 19:1 and John 19:3
"Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him....They came up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and struck him with their hands."

2. Put the vinegar in the mixing bowl and let your children taste the vinegar  Then, explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30
"After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), "I thirst." A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished," and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit."

3. Add the egg whites to the vinegar. Explain how eggs represent life and Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."

4. Give each child a little bit of salt and allow them to taste it. Have them put a tiny bit into the mixing bowl. Explain that the salt represents that salty tears of Jesus' followers and the bitterness of our own sin. 
Read Luke 23:27
"And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for  him."

5. Next, talk to your children about how the ingredients are not very yummy yet. Have them add the sugar. Tell them that the sweetest part of this story is that Jesus died because He loves us and wants us to know Him and belong to Him. Tell them that making these cookies and hearing His story helps us to see the Lord Jesus more clearly, love Him more dearly, and follow Him more nearly.
Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16
"OH, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him"
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

6. Beat the ingredients on high for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. The whiteness of the mixture represents how God sees the purity of all of those who have sinned and been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."
"Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.""

7. Have your children gently fold in the pecans and drop the cookies by teaspoons onto parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Explain to them how each mound they drop represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. 
Read Matthew 27:57-60
"When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away."

8. Put the cookies in the oven, close the oven door and turn the oven off. Have your children tape the oven door shut to seal the oven, just like Jesus' tomb was sealed with a stone.
Read Matthew 27:65-66
"Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard."

9. Tell your children to go get ready for bed. The sadness they feel from leaving the cookies in the oven overnight represents the despair that Jesus' followers felt when Jesus' tomb was sealed. 
Read John 16:20 and John 16:22
"Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy....So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."

10. On Easter morning, open the oven and give your children each a cookie. When they take a bite they will notice that the cookies are hollow! Explain how on the very first Easter, Jesus' followers were so surprised to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28:1-9
"Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guard trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you." So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "greetings!" and they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him."

This recipe can be found in many places on the internet, but I do not know who the true author is.
I hope you try these cookies with your family and make it a family tradition. 
Does anybody do this already?


Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday's Favorities

Here are my favorite finds from around the web this week. I'd love to make Alec's birthday cake look something like that ice cream sundae cake. I'm also looking into starting some indoor herb planters for the windowsill of my new apartment.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Homemade Manhattan Clam Chowder

Hello everyone,
I have been home on "Spring Break" since Friday night and am finally getting some down time to sit and watch a soup simmer. The last time I posted a soup recipe was this summer, when I posted my Grandma's Corn Chowder. Sew, I cracked open my Great Grandmother's cook books and testing out whatever recipe has suited my cravings. Yesterday, It was Manhattan Clam Chowder that caught my eye. I am a soup lover. By "soup lover" I mean obsessed. "Soup lover" is an absolute understatement. I eat soup on average about twice a day. Sometimes even three times. In elementary school some of my teachers used to even call me "soup girl". Anyway, any chance I get to make or eat homemade soup, I take it. 
If you are sick of pouring your soup out of a can, try this recipe. 
If you are thinking of how relaxing watching soup simmer as you tidy up the kitchen and read articles from your favorite magazine sounds, try this recipe.
If you like soup, try this recipe.
Heck, just try this recipe!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saturday's Sweets: Strawberry Jam Turnovers

I've never made pie crust before. Most people are surprised by this because I love baking so much. To be honest, I was afraid to try making pie crust. I was afraid of failing at such a staple of baking. Looking through all of my Great Grandma's Cook Books really inspired me, though. When I was afraid to make French Macarons I kept trying until I succeeded, and that is what this blog is all about. Growing as a person, and in this case a baker. Growing includes successes and failures, so I decided to give it a go.
I'll admit, they definitely were not perfect. I had to try twice to even get them to fold up correctly, but for my first attempt at pie crust, I'm pretty proud of myself.

Strawberry Jam Turnovers
2 1/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 and 2 Tbsp. shortening
1/3 c. ice cold water
Strawberry jam


1. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt. Cut in 2/3 of the shortening and mix until it is crumbly. 

2. Add the rest of the shortening and mix until the crumbles resemble large peas.

3. Then, add the ice cold water in teaspoons one at a time, mixing after each addition. Only add enough water to make the flour particles stick together. You don't want the pie crust to be too wet.

4. Form the dough into a smooth ball. Then break into two parts and roll out one half at a time.

5. Set the dough between two floured sheets of wax paper. I taped the wax paper to the counter so it did not slide around when I was rolling. Press the ball into a circle and smooth the edges before you start rolling, like this.

6. Roll out until the dough is 1/8 of an inch thick.

7. Cut into 4 1/2 inch rounds. I just used a large cup to cut the dough. 

8. Place the rounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Moisten the edges of the round with water. Add a teaspoon of strawberry jam (or another filling) and fold the round in half. Press the edges together with a fork.

8. Coat with egg whites or water and sprinkle with sugar.
-Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until golden brown-


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Following Along

Sew, as the winter months drag on and on, I've noticed that I haven't been accomplishing too many goals. Sure, I work and am trying to maintain my 4.0 in school, but I haven't been taking any soul vacations or getting any personal goals accomplished. Outside the realm of academics, that is.
 I'm sure you already know that I am a planner. I make lists, I copy my lists more neatly, I organize, I highlight, I write everything down. As if writing down a list of 40 things to do before I turn 20 isn't enough, I had to organize which goals I would work on each month. I'm sure the weather and my schedule will welcome my list of goals more willingly in the Spring and Summer months. Not to mention the warmth that Spring and Summer brings can jump start anybody's motivation.

Anyway, one of my goals is to get up to 100 followers on my blog. I also just found out today that Google Reader is shutting down on July 1, 2013. This is a bitter sweet moment for me because In my two years of blogging Google Reader has been there for me from the start. The good news is, this is a new beginning. In honor of my goal to reach out to more readers and the shutting down of Google Reader, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to go follow Sew Much To Say on Bloglovin' here. I've been using Bloglovin' for quite some time as an alternate to Google Reader and am quite fond of it. I'm sure you will be, too. If  you already use Google Reader, you can import your subscriptions to Bloglovin' here.

If you want to follow along an another social media network of choice, please do!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Treasures From Great Grandma's Kitchen

This beautiful lady is my Great Grandmother. She passed away this winter at the age of 99 and we all miss her quite terribly. This amazing woman is the head of our very (VERY) large Portuguese family and it is no secret that she loved to cook.
All of my memories of her involve sitting at her kitchen table at any hour of the day and being surrounded by freshly made baked goods with a huge meal on the way. She was always over the stove and she always insisted that we eat more.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday's Sweets: Oreo Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes

I know the title is a mouthful, but I promise the actual morsel is a mouthful, too. This recipe is just as easy to make as brownies or cupcakes, but the surprise in the middle is to die for. Just a warning: eat with a glass of milk on hand. This little dessert is so rich that I wouldn't be able to eat two in a row if I wanted to. This picture needs no explaining. You are all thinking "Shut up and get to the recipe!" Here goes.
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