Friday, April 4, 2014

The Easter Miracle Story Eggs

If you are teaching about Jesus Christ's sacrifice and atonement, here is a wonderful little activity that can be used for Family Home Evening, church classes... you'll think of meaningful ways to share.

From the brilliant ladies in Newport Beach; thanks for sharing.

A simplified account of Christ's atonement is told in these Easter Miracle Eggs. Each egg contains a scripture and tiny object that represents part of the Easter story. After the eggs are gathered, open them in order and read each scripture.

All you need are a dozen plastic eggs and a few items to tuck inside. Number the end of the eggs 1 -12 with a permanent marker. Print the following text, cut into strips and place inside the corresponding numbered eggs by highlighting them, pressing control and "p" on a p.c. (choose "selection") , or command and "p" on a mac. The objects inside the eggs are:

1. a small cup (check craft stores for a small unfinished wood thimble)

2. 3 dimes

3. 2 - 3" of twine

4. a chunk of soap

5. A tiny red robe shape cut out of felt

6. wooden or heavy paper cross

7. dice

8. 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" square of white fabric, torn almost in half

9. a 1 1/2" x 11/2" square of white fabric

10. a small rock

11. a few whole cloves and a bay leaf

12. This egg will remain empty

Tell the story about the sacrament of the Last Supper and Christ's night in Gethsemane, how he paid the price for all of mankind's sins if they repented and that they might be able to return to heaven and live with the Father . The following scripture verses are taken from the New Testament in the Holy Bible.

1. "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." (Luke 22:42 - 43)

2. Zechariah, a prophet of the Old Testament foretold that Christ would be ransomed or betrayed for thirty pieces of silver. "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. " (Matthew 26: 14 - 15)

3. "When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Matthew 27: 1 -2)

4. "When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. (Matthew 27: 24)

5. "And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head." (Matthew 27: 28 - 30)

6. "And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross." (Matthew 27: 31 - 32.)

7. "And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots." (Matthew 27: 35)

8. "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27: 50, 51, 54)

9. "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathæa, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth" (Matthew 27; 58 - 60)

10. "And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch." (Matthew 27: 60, 65, 66)

11. "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow...And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. (Mark 16: 1, Matthew 28: 2 - 5)

12. "He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead" Matthew 28: 6 - 7)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Shortbread Cookies!

Looking for a way to get the Easter Bunny to come to your garden early and leave the best treats? Try a plate of fresh shortbread cookies - guaranteed bunny bait!

McMurtry’s Shortbread          

            Preheat oven to 325°. Cream until fluffy   

1/2 C (1 stick) butter, softened

1/3 C powdered sugar

            Beat in

3/4 tsp vanilla extract           

            Set aside. Sift together

1 C all-purpose flour

2 TBSP. cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

            Work the flour mixture into the butter mixture just  
            until crumbly. Place dough between 2 sheets of plastic 
            wrap and roll to ¼ - ½ ” thickness. Cut with cookie 
            cutters, transfer to baking pan, add sugar sprinkles if 
            desired. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes; until   
            edges are barely light golden. 

These are delicious plain with a cup of milk or herb tea; Peter Rabbit would like chamomile. Or you may wish to decorate them with buttercream frosting.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day


This is so tasty, you may never go back to old-school corned beef.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Archimedes' Pizza for Pi Day

For all you neo-classic Greek enthusiasts who live for Pi Day: 3.14. Here is a recipe I invented to pay homage to the great Archimedes and his discovery of pi (pizza that is.)


The number and symbol for pi are credited to the Greek genius Archimedes who lived in the third century. This Greek pizza entree for Pi Day is a tribute to the brilliant man, whose last words were “Don’t disturb my circles.”
            Preheat oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl stir together
2 C hot water
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP yeast
            Leave in a warm place until foam covers the surface. While the yeast is rising, lightly grease two 10” x 15” rimless cookie pans with olive oil, set aside. When foam covers the surface of the yeast/water mixture, add
4 C. bread flour
2 C. whole wheat flour
1 TBSP salt
1 TBSP olive oil
            Mix until a smooth dough is formed, Divide in half. Divide each half into thirds. Make a  pi symbol π and place one on each baking pan. Flatten the dough with your hands. Let rise until you can make a dent in the dough and it doesn’t puff up. Add
roasted garlic Alfredo sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
            Add any of your favorite Greek toppings:
roasted chicken
red onion rings, thinly sliced
julienne spinach leaves
pepperoncini slices
Kalmata olives, sliced
sautéed mushrooms
marinated artichoke hearts
basil pesto
tomatoes, quartered
            Top with
crumbled Feta cheese
            Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

Serve with a salad of sliced cucumbers, pepperoncini, mushrooms, spinach, sliced red onion, Kalmata olives and tomatoes dressed lightly with Greek salad dressing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Craving Green

As another winter slowly winds down, I find that I am craving green.  With the approach of St. Patrick's Day, my thoughts are turned to the verdant hills of Ireland. 

For now, I am a full-time student, tethered at home. Primroses and ranunculus are a lovely consolation, sigh.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Shamrock Service

As Ireland converted to Christianity under St. Patrick, legends of magical creatures like fairies and leprechauns grew smaller until they were "wee people." Even mischeivous leprechauns honor St. Patrick by doing secret acts of kindness and your family can help.

 Give everyone a handful of shamrocks (make or buy at a craft or fabric store) and have them look for opportunities to do secret acts of service and kindness anonymously. Mark the spot with a shamrock. At dinner on St. Patrick's Day, collect the shamrocks to  sprinkle around the table and enjoy evidence of kind and loving deeds.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day Dinner: Beef Stroganoff

In honor of love and the Olympics in Russia this winter, 
here is a Beef Stroganoff dinner for your Valentines. 

This recipe is a variation of the classic dish popular in  
19th century Russia. It can be ready in less than an hour from start to finish; for a special treat make heart-shaped bread sticks and a strawberry and greens salad with candied pecans.

Beef Stroganoff 


3 beef bouillon cubes 
2 ½ C. hot water
     Set aside. Cut into ¾" x 3" slices
2 lbs. beef tenderloin or sirloin steak

3 TBSP. butter

     in a large skillet, sauté

1 lb. sliced mushrooms

     Remove and set aside. In same skillet, brown beef. Reserve

2/3 C. beef broth

     stir into skillet remaining broth and

1/3 C. dried onions

¼ C. catsup

1 ½ tsp. garlic salt

     Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. 
     Blend together reserved broth with

1/3 C. flour

     Add to meat. Heat to boiling stirring constantly. Boil and stir
      one minute.

     Reduce heat and add

2 C. low fat sour cream

     Heat through. 

Cook 12 - 16 oz. egg noodles noodles as directed on package. Serve with Stroganoff sauce. Makes  6 – 8 servings

Strawberry and Green Salad With Candied Pecans

 Toss together

1 5-7 oz. bag baby salad greens and spinach
2 C strawberries, sliced
1/3 C candied pecans
Dress with 1/3 - 1/2 C Strawberry Vinaigrette

Strawberry Vinaigrette
Mix  together
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C strawberry vinegar
1/4 C honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Candied Pecans
In a nonstick pan, cook and stir until melted and golden
1 C sugar
2 C pecans 

Add 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Break into chunks and cool on parchment or non-stick surface
Happy Valentine's Day!