Month: December 2016

Cranberry Jello Salad

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I love old recipes. They are not only a window to the past, but a way to stay connected to the people you love. And for me? It’s the most important way of communicating. It’s my love language. My maternal Grandmother used to make a recipe similar to this one at Thanksgiving each year. She’s still with us, but it’s getting harder and harder to cook each year. I think she’d be happy that this recipe is being preserved, even if I’ve tweaked it a bit! 🙂

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First of all, can we talk about how it’s called a “salad”? That cracks me up! I think they were called such because a lot of gelatins from years past had savory foods stuck in them. But this one? This one is glorious. It’s sweet. But, not overly so. It’s ruby red color shines like a gem, like shiny red balls on the tree, like Rudolph’s nose in the night. It’s covered in a delicious creamy topping, like a snowy cap. I meannnnn. It’s so good. It’s got cranberries, raspberry, pineapple, nuts, cream cheese.

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It’s a breeze to make. There’s more downtime than active time. This pairs well with both a holiday turkey and ham, and you can take my actual word with that! This also makes a fine dessert. And breakfast. Or snack.

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Blessings!

Kristin

Print Recipe
Cranberry Jello Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. In a medium glass bowl, mix the Jello and 1 cup boiling water together. Stir for about 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in the cold cranberry juice, pineapple and cranberry sauce. Add the pecans. Mix well and pour into the pan. (I actually added the pecans next, and only to half the pan, because my boys do not like nuts) Cover with plastic. Refrigerate until firm. Cream together cream cheese, sugar and sour cream until smooth. When the Jello mixture is firm, spread the cream cheese mix on top. Sprinkle a few pecans on top.
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Angel Themed School Lunch

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:8-14

Angels hold a special place, both on the Christmas tree and in the Bible. This passage in the Bible, above, tells us of the beautiful moment an angel came down to foretell of Jesus’ birth. I imagine that after the initial shock, this great news gave the people such hope.

Below, the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her that she would give birth to Jesus, the son of God. I can’t imagine the fear she must have had. She was so young. She had to trust in God and put all of her fears aside. As part of our nightly Bible study, this Advent season, my sons and I discuss how Mary might have felt that night when Gabriel came down. As fearful as she might have been, she knew she needed to put all of her trust in God. She knew she did not have an easy road ahead of her, literally, physically, and emotionally. But, she did it. It’s quite a lesson for us.

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[b] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. – Luke 1:26-38

In both of these special times, God sent an angel to tell of His great news. I love the sweet image we associate with angels, here on Earth, too. For today’s lunch, I went with an angel theme. I made peanut butter and jelly angels. That silly image is not lost on me. I added some details with my food safe markers. I also packed Wheat Thins, some oatmeal raisin balls, red grapes, mandarin orange (Biggie), and some Trader Joe’s marshmallows for dessert.

May you feel the warmth of God’s truth this Season,

Kristin

Christmas Wreath Themed School Lunches

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For tomorrow’s lunches for my boys, I went with a Christmas wreath theme. In many churches, the Christmas wreath, circling five candles, is used as a way to celebrate the Advent season, which counts down the four Sundays in December leading up to Christmas (which is the symbolized by the fifth candle). This season is so important to many families as we gather together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to rejoice in His glory! I know my boys might just see a wreath (with red hots!)…at least I HOPE they can see that it’s a wreath HA!…but, it was fun for me to connect it to the precious and everlasting love of Jesus.

Back to those red hots…

I used food safe spray and markers to add color, and red hots as holly berries on the wreath. There’s PB&J inside. HA! I also packed Triscuits, yogurt raisins, mandarin orange (Bigs), red grapes, and a slice of spice cake with some fun sprinkles for dessert.

In His love,

Kristin

O Christmas Tree! School Lunches

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O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches

If you celebrate, has your tree been up for a while, or do you wait? Do you have multi-colored lights, or all white? Do you have a real tree, or fake? Classic ornaments or hodgepodge? Me: been up for a while, I switch back and forth between the multi-colored and the while, all the while wishing the tree designers gave me the option for having both on at the same time, fake tree, and hodgepodge. And between you and me, I love seeing everyone’s trees through their front windows, in a non-creepy way, of course. I just LOVE that everyone has their own tree style. If you feel so inclined (and I hope you do!!), tell me about your tree in the comments! I’d love to hear about it!

For my boys’ lunches tomorrow, I made a Christmas tree shaped sandwich. I went hog wild with my colors (food safe spray and markers). I used a flower shaped sprinkle for the star. I also packed veggie crackers, a cheese stick, mandarin orange (Bigs), yogurt raisins (Smalls), red grapes, Kinder chocolate, and some red, green, and white chocolate covered sunflower seeds (Bigs) for dessert.

Happy Christmas!

Kristin