Wednesday, December 24, 2014

APPLE CRUMB PIE recipe from Kraft

This is the yummy apple pie I brought to my in-law's Christmas Eve dinner! Mmm-mm! Turned out great, and everyone complimented on how good it was *smile*.


2 lb.  Granny Smith apples, peeled, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. MINUTE Tapioca
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1 refrigerated or homemade pie crust (1/2 of 14.1-oz. pkg.)

HEAT oven to 400°F.

TOSS apples with granulated sugar, tapioca and spices in large bowl. Let stand 15 min. Mix flour and brown sugar in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; set aside.

LINE 9-inch pie plate with crust as directed on package for one-crust pie. Fill with fruit mixture; top with crumb mixture.

BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until juices form bubbles that burst slowly. Cool.

Can prepare using Cortland, Baldwin, Jonathon or Rome Beauty apples

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

This Christmas, be more kind, not more commercial

I feel, like many others, that every Christmas season, the world floats farther and farther away from remembering our Savior, Jesus Christ, who is the whole reason we celebrate Christmas. After all, the word CHRISTMAS literally means "Christ's Day", the day He was born. Giving gifts at Christmas is a beautiful tradition, if given with love and thought, but this practice has lost it's meaning in the increasing commercialism of the world, the drive for stores to make money, and the perception that we must give people everything on their "wish" list (especially our kids), even when our budgets may not allow it. We are afraid that if our kids don't get "enough" presents, they'll think it wasn't a good Christmas. But therein lies the fallacy. We have programmed ourselves, and those around us, to think that Christmas is ALL about Santa, lots of presents, and candy (which are fun, but are practiced with an overabundance that's often more damaging than we realize).

We need to get back to the simple and humble realization that it's a birthday party for the Lord so to speak. And what should we do for His birthday? Well, what do we do for anyone else's birthday: We give gifts to the one having the birthday, just as the wise men gave the Christ-child so long ago. But what kind of gifts can we give to Jesus Christ? His own words teach us that in serving others, we serve Him. We can give material things for sure, if they are truly needed and not overdone, but more importantly, we can give love, understanding, kindness, patience, attention, respect, and our time (especially to our kids). May we reevaluate our holiday practices and improve them where needed (myself included), so that when Christmas time comes around, we may remember that it is about Christ's birth and the way He taught us to live and serve others that brings the true meaning of the season. 

Here are the wonderful and wise words of Dr. Seuss, from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," one of my favorite stories:
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small, was singing! Without any presents at all! He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!" And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!"

Here are some short videos that stress a more meaningful holiday season (They are great videos to show your children the night before, or the day of, Christmas, to help keep the spirit of it :)
The Nativity (7:52)

I hope this holiday season brings you true happiness and joy!