Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blueberry Croissant Puff & Sausage Brunch Casserole

This is a plaque that belonged to Allen's grandmother and was given to me. I love it! I love to have people in my home - to show hospitality. Wednesday mornings is when I meet with mostly women around my age (and one very young lady). In the past we have studied Beth Moore studies or books by Dee Brestin or Phillip Yancey. This year, we are going through the book "Life Management for Busy Women" by Elizabeth George, which is our topic for the Mom2Mom group we host once a month for the young moms at our church.

My daughter, Jill told me I must post a couple recipes on my blog. I made these casseroles for Christmas with the family. Since Bible study was this morning, I decided to make them for these ladies. That way I could take pictures for the blog too!

As it turned out, almost everyone in our Bible study could not come - illness, several out of state visiting children, appointments. But we decided to meet anyway. And spend time sharing about Christmas and take time to pray together about one another and those in our group. And eat! So, here are those delicious recipes that come originally from Rosemary Hinz, one of the ladies in our group. When we had this at her house, we all begged for the recipes.

Rosemary's Blueberry Croissant Puff
Cut up 5 large croissants and place in a 9x13 greased baking dish (I made 1/2 the recipe since I knew most of the women would not be able to make it today - but I am giving you the full recipe). Sprinkle with 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.

Beat together until well blended:
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/3 cup sugar
Gradually add 2 1/2 cups milk (or cream!) until mixture is smooth.

Pour evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 30 minutes. (I covered it at this point and put it in the refrigerator overnight and just baked it in the morning.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 60 minutes or until set in center and golden brown.

Now, here is the recipe for:
Rosemary's Sausage Brunch Casserole

In large skillet brown and then drain
1 1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage (again I only made 1/2 the recipe but I am giving you
the full recipe)
1 cup chopped onion

Arrange sausage and onion in greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle over sausage mixture:
3 oz. chopped red roasted bell pepper
9 oz. or more frozen chopped spinach, drained well
Mix together in bowl:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 t. salt
1 T. basil leaves (I used fresh)
Mix together in another bowl:
8 eggs
2 cups milk (or cream!)
Combine egg and flour mixture; beat until well blended. Pour liquid mixture over spinach.
Bake at 425 for 20 - 25 minutes or until set in center. (I made this the night before also and baked it in the morning) Sprinkle casserole with 4 oz. shredded Provolone cheese (this will melt in a few minutes). (because I baked the 2 at the same time, I just baked this casserole at 350 for just a little longer time)
Serve and enjoy!

Here are Julie and Janice enjoying the breakfast!

Now, we all know those casseroles are not the healthiest! And if your New Year's resolution is to watch what you are eating, well, you could instead enjoy one of our newest favorite breakfasts instead!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Undoing Christmas

Company's gone. I did loads of sheets, towels and other laundry today. It was time to pack up the Christmas decorations. This creche belonged to my mom and it always decorated the top of the record player cabinet in our dining room in Japan when I was growing up.
I used to spend hours playing with it - as you can tell from the missing ears!

I packed up each piece and wrapped them in toweling.

I also took down the Christmas ornaments. This is the ornament I purchased the Christmas before we were married. I was engaged and working in downtown Hutch at a life insurance company. There was a Hallmark store on Main and I still remember going into that store and finding this little manger scene and buying it for the following year when we would be married and having our first Christmas in Lawrence while attending KU.

We have many types of ornaments. Some are ornaments that we have purchased from places we have traveled to - Atlanta, Martha's Vineyard, San Diego, Seattle, Mackinaw Island,Pueblo, Mexico, Green Bay, Japan......
We have ornaments that mean something to us - a squirrel (for our rememberences of our "squirrely" friends, Dave and Sarah), a Star Bucks coffee cup because we love Star Bucks!, cat ornaments to remember our cats by......
And ornaments with photos in them of all our grandkids....

And of course ornaments that represent the real reason we celebrate this holiday....

A friend of mine was telling me that another friend of hers keeps her Christmas tree up and makes it into a Winter Tree during the month of January. I thought about that and decided I would try that too, this year. So although I took down all the Christmas ornaments, I decorated the tree with icicles, tinsel, woodland creatures, birds, berries, and snowmen. I really like it!

And I happened to have a large snowflake that could go on the top too. The angel came down and up went that snowflake. Appropriate with the snow we have outside right now.

I also dug out my box of snowmen and placed them around the house.

Have you seen this stuff? It is awesome!!! Just put a teaspoon of this "snow" in with 2 ounces of water and POOF! - it turns into snow! And it is cold too. Love it!
I put it around the base of this snowman.

Well, Christmas is undone. I'm glad we can't undo God's love for us in His gift of His Son!
How great a gift!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas, a little late

Christmas celebrations with the family

While most people opened gifts and celebrated Christmas on Dec 25, we waited until Wednesday, the 30th, when our son, Josh and his family were able to come up from Arkansas.

One of the traditions we have is the advent log. In Japan while I was growing up, our family had this. Dad made a log for me when I got married. Jill also wanted to continue the tradition so he made one for her too. We light the first candle 4 weeks before Christmas and light it each evening while we eat. The next week we light 2 candles and so on and so forth. A new tradition we started (Jill's idea) is to say something about Jesus each time we light a candle. Sophie always says "Jesus is born". Always. Hannah would say "Jesus is God" or "Jesus is the light of the world" or other truths about Him.

Our family: Baby Elijah, son Josh, daughter-in-law Staci, me and Sophie, Allen, Jill, little Emeri holding hands with Hannah, Adam, Mindy and my parents, Pete and Lois.

Josh was telling Emeri that they were going to see Grandpa Pete and she said "I call him Peter".

Allen and I with our 3 dear children - Josh, Jill and Mindy

Opening gifts gallore~

Mindy reads a new book to Sophie.
They got a zoo pass with the book.

Mom received photo tiles that Jill made at the craft house in McPherson. Jess posted about this so it was something I was anticipating!! I was hoping Jill was making some for me and I was tickled that she made a set for me too. I LOVE them!

Papa and his two two-year-old granddaughters.

And with his new grandson.

Mindy gives Elijah a bottle.

Lisa, my daughter-in-law's mother, also came to spend Christmas with us. Staci's dad was skiiing in Colorado but Lisa came to help with the baby and the children on the 6 hour drive here. Lisa is a dear friend and we were happy to have her with us!

Cowgirl Hannah

Jill takes a turn holding Elijah.

Grandma Lois hold Eli too.
And my sister-in-law, Linda also takes a turn while my brother Dave snaps a shot.
We are all enamored with this little guy!

Now we are both tuckered out.

So much celebrating....