Content For Christmas

Sugar-coated Truths

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Christmas is less than two weeks away! It’s crazy how time flies. In two weeks, Christmas will be over. All the prep and decorating, that you might have slaved endlessly over to make your house look perfect, now will just become a daunting task to take everything down and wait another year to do it all over again.

Okay, that may be a bit dramatic…

I love everything about the Christmas season. I love the decorating, listening to Christmas music, making sugar cookies and gingerbread houses and scouting out the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family. For some reason, this particular Christmas season seems to just be going by too fast. Two weeks and all the glitz and glam of Christmas this year will be but a memory.

Little kids will start making their Christmas lists for next year. This year in particular I noticed, the older I get…

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Almond Berry Tart

Sugar-coated Truths

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I’ve always liked the idea of a tart. I’m not really sure why, but I’ve been looking forward to the day to finally make one.

Making this tart was easy, but it also seemed intense because it was my first recipe written out and tested by myself. Knowing I was going to be sharing this tart recipe with you also made me want the tart to come out as close to perfect as possible.

The moment I was like “Yes, I finally am making a tart” – I knew I wanted to go with the Americana theme, which seemed perfect with today being Memorial Day.

I don’t have a tart pan….yet.  So I made a makeshift one out of aluminum foil, which worked pretty well. I first laid a huge piece of foil across a baking sheet and then I trimmed it to size.

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I then folded the sides over…

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Battlefields

Sugar-coated Truths

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Stones River National Battfield

I love traveling local and far. There’s so much to explore – especially, for a history buff, like me.

Last weekend, I visited Stones River National Battlefield.  Since I’m from the North, I didn’t really grow up learning in depth about the Civil War battles that took place in the South. Although, history buffs can easily be satisfied by visiting places like a battlefield that’s over a hundred years old.

This particular battlefield was set up in a way, that it almost felt like I was transported back to that time. I know how crazy that sounds. There was no drum or pipe played. There was no brother fighting brother. It was quite. Perfect for exploring. I didn’t get to explore as much as I would’ve liked, but there’s always time to go back for more. While visiting, it was the first time I felt like…

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Easter Thoughts

Sugar-coated Truths

Happy Easter!

In my last post, I mentioned my Easter menu with lamp chops, and thought it was only fitting to show you the end result:

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Herb crusted lamb chops with mashed potatoes and green beans (meanwhile, there was yummy banana bread in the oven!)

Recipe for herb crusted lamb chops: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/herb-roasted-lamb-chops-351253

Yesterday, I joined friends in dyeing Easter eggs. A fun, and sometimes messy tradition, but there is nothing better than being surrounded by friends and family, especially on Easter. A time for family to gather and, yes, stuff ourselves with good home-cooking, but also to remember the main reason behind the day – Jesus is risen! He died for each and everyone one of us, no matter what our background is! He died a brutal death and rose again on the third day. A miracle befitting the King!

It can be important for some families to stick…

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From Scratch

Sugar-coated Truths

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Happy Saturday!

Today the sun is gloriously shining – meaning I should have been enjoying the day outside basking in the nice weather.

Instead I opted for an apron, and worked away in my small kitchen making more than I had originally planned.

I started off making Oreo truffles for a church luncheon tomorrow (not pictured). Which, thankfully I have made before and this time around I felt like it was so easy I could have done it blindfolded, although, that’s probably never a good idea in a kitchen especially around sharp tools!

While those Oreo truffles were in the fridge with the white chocolate making a creamy, crunchy shell, I started on my next planned treat. Lamington.

What in the world is Lamington?!

Lamington, an Australian dessert, is a sponge cake covered with chocolate icing and coconut (pictured below). That was my first time making it and it did…

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Book Review: “Facing the Blitz”

Sugar-coated Truths

The then-Houston Oilers defense stepped up to the line of scrimmage. Jeff Kemp and the Philadelphia Eagles offense were ready to make as much progress as possible down the field. The defense took off to accomplish a full out blitz. The offense immediately made adaptions to the blitz. All-Pro tight end Keith Jackson ran a new route to the uncovered middle. Jeff Kemp saw Keith and threw his best over and around the defense. Keith caught the football and ran for a touchdown. The Eagles had just faced and overcame a blitz.

In “Facing the Blitz”, Jeff Kemp discusses three strategies for turning trials into triumphs.

We all face blitzes (trials) of some kind. This book will help show you how to face your blitz head on and how to overcome it.

I’ve called myself an avid book lover, although it has been awhile since I had found a book…

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Adventures of New Things: Tea

Sugar-coated Truths

Tea. Yes, tea.

Tea has been around for centuries going back to BC, so it’s definitely not a “new thing”. Although, recently it has become an enjoyable “new” thing for me.

I confess I never truly began to enjoy it until just a few days ago.

Some of my first encounters with the warm, comforting drink was gross, to say the least. I had never really appreciated the sometimes overpowering or bland taste it would seem to give off. For sickness, my mom would always recommend ginger root tea. Ginger root tea, my friends, is definitely not a recommended tea for those trying the spicy drink for the first time. I never appreciated (and still don’t) the overpowering, spicy flavor. I would always have to pour teaspoon upon teaspoon of sugar into it, to at least make it bearable for me. Okay, I realize I may sound like a wimp…

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Snow Days

Sugar-coated Truths

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Snow days.

The days every child looked forward to growing up. A day of no school, sleeping in and then the fun would begin. Bracing the cold weather to enjoy the white, powdery stuff – the reason for no school. I remember waking up early watching the bottom of the television screen to see my school’s name slide slowly by. Or, if my brothers and I were still fast asleep, sometimes our mom would come in our respective rooms, sit on the edge of the bed, she would slowly shake us and say those magical words, “No school”.

It was only proper to give the snow a big thank you by going out and enjoying it as much as possible   Sledding, snow ball fights, snow men, snow angels and slushies. A good portion of the day was spent running, falling or just simply eating the snow. It didn’t matter…

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Finding Beauty in the World

Sugar-coated Truths

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Take a moment and imagine your perfect escape – the Grand Canyon or Hawaii. (Of course for those in New England right now, I’m sure anywhere besides New England would be a nice escape.)

With all that’s been going on in this world, it can be easy to get down and sour about the littlest of things. It seems almost everyday there will be many sad stories on the news followed by one inspirational story. Sometimes that story can have the power to not only inspire you, but it can also reaffirm that there is still some good in this world – it’s just a matter of finding it.

The beauty that we can find in this world doesn’t just have to be a pretty landscape or an inspirational story. It can be someone giving you an encouraging word, a hug, a smile, or a small gesture to show how…

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