Friday, April 24, 2015

Thankful Thursday #9 - On Retreat

There is nothing more soul refreshing than spending time out in God's creation on a retreat.  That is just what 24 women from our church did last weekend.   We were able to spend time in this beautiful lodge which was nestled in the woods on Ingalls Creek near Leavenworth, WA.  Surrounded by alpine forest, we enjoyed a weekend of fellowship, good food, wonderful teaching and just plain fun.I

Lodge - Front ViewThe Lodge at Ingalls Creek 

Meadows Room
Most of the ladies were in rooms like this.

I had the bottom bunk in a room like this


We took a walk along the river shortly after we arrived, soaking up the warmth of the sun, breathing in the alpine air as we listened to the rush of the river and admired the beautiful wildflowers.

We climbed to the top of the tree house that looked out over the river.

Best of all, we were in a place of quiet reflection where we could spend time with each other and with God.  I was so grateful to be able to be here in this place where I was surrounded by my sisters in The Lord.  I was enfolded in love and compassion by friends who came alongside me in my grief, cried with me, prayed with and for me and then laughed with me.  What a blessing. I came home refreshed and prayerful that God will open the doors where I can in turn be a blessing to others.

I only brought my little snapshot camera with me but if you would like to see some truly lovely photos and more of what took place at our retreat you can go to this site:  If you see the picture of the zip line, the answer is  Yes, I did try it out.  Even I can be a little adventuress from time to time.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Rainy Day Baking

As I arrived home from my first day back at school after a wonderful week of spring sunshine and warm temperatures I was greeted by lashing wind and rain as I entered the house.  There was no feeling of Spring on this day.  In fact, the day had the definite feeling that Winter is not quite through with us.  Perhaps that is a good thing as it has meant more snow in the mountains which also means more water for the farmers come summer.  However, it made for a rather chilly day for us.

Rain falling on the front brick courtyard The Investigator put in last summer.

It seemed like a perfect afternoon to do a little baking.  There is nothing like a warm kitchen with the scent of something deliciously sweet coming from the oven on a rainy day.   Since I had just spent a few hours weeding around the blueberry bushes a couple of days ago I was reminded of the bags of fresh blueberries I had in the freezer.

Summer blueberries in the garden.

I also had a couple of lemons in the fridge so I decided it was time to try a new recipe for Lemon Blueberry Nut Bread that I have been thinking about for a while.  I found it at one of my new favorite places  I followed the recipe exactly, except I put in only about half the amount of blueberries which seemed like plenty to me.

I need to grate a little lemon zest before squeezing.   


I love making nut breads.  They are good for just about anything from breakfast to afternoon tea and are always well received as a gift to a neighbor or friend.  In fact, I think I will take a few slices to my widowed neighbor who just got out of the hospital. The bread turned out perfectly and tastes delicious.  I think I will be making this again. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bunny Sugar Cookies

It was about 60 years ago when my mother received a little metal cookie cutter shaped like a bunny.  With it was a cookie recipe that was going to become a family classic from then on.  Every year since then we have looked forward to a taste of Mom's bunny sugar cookies at Easter.  The recipe followed me as I left home to start my own family and I extended it to other holidays, especially Christmas time when it becomes stars, bells and Christmas trees but the taste is the same and my children still know it as the Bunny Cookie Recipe. 

This year, with my mother out of town for Easter, it was up to me to see that Bunny Cookies were on the table on Easter Sunday.  

I started with just a few basic ingredients, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and shortening, as well as vanilla, soda and cream of tarter.

First, I mix the butter, shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla together.

 After sifting together, the dry ingredients, I add it to the butter mixture.

  Everyone measures differently, so if the dough seems a bit too soft you can add a little more flour, but not too much.  Then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

After it's chilled, roll out the dough and then cut your shapes. I use my own little bunny cookie cutter which I have had for about 40 years. 

 The cookies will bake for just a few minutes and when they come out of the oven you will have a soft, tender yet flaky cookie that is not too sweet and perfect for frosting.

 Finally, I frost with butter cream frosting and decorate.  The original recipe calls for coconut that has been tinted green but a couple of kids prefer them plain so I do some of both.  

And there you have it, a perfect cookie for any season of the year.
Easter is over so I will just wish you a joyful celebration of Spring.
This is the day that the Lord has made.

Bunny Sugar Recipe

1/2 cup butter                                            3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter shortening                            1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar                                                2 tsp cream of tarter
3 eggs                                                       1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream together sugar, butter, shortening and eggs and vanilla.  Blend well.  Sift together flour, soda and cream of tartar.  Add to batter and mix well.  Chill 30 minutes.  Roll out on a floured board to about 1/4 inch.  Cut with cookie cutter shapes.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 5- 6 minutes  at 425 degrees.  Cool and frost with butter cream frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
5-6 TBSP milk

Blend Well