Saturday, December 31, 2011

Easy Appetizer: Mini Frankfurters Wrapped in Crescent Dough

The season of preparing extra recipes will be wrapped up tonight as we celebrate New Year's Eve.  If you have been cooking and baking since Thanksgiving and are out of ideas for the final binge of 2011, I have an easy appetizer suggestion for you! Only two ingredients are needed to create this delicious and satisfying finger food, which can be served cold...bite-size frankfurters wrapped in crescent dough.  I last served them to a group of musicians in July, when we were in an orchestra pit for an outdoor evening performance.  I prepared these mini wonders early in the day, then refrigerated them before placing them into a cooler for toting to the performance.  They received rave reviews for their taste and ease of access.  With only a fifteen minute intermission, foods that can be consumed quickly without the fuss of cutting and serving (or using plates, utensils, and napkins) are of the essence.  While these appetizers can be great recharge snacks for hard-working musicians, they will also be right at home on your party buffet.  Consider taking them along to the next event (birthday party, scrapbook meet, Bible study, music performance), when you want to bring something other than the basic chips and dip.  I can assure you that they will be a hit!

48 Mini Frankfurters Wrapped in Crescent Dough


16 (8 per package) average-sized frankfurters
2 regular (12 servings each) tubes of crescent roll dough


1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Cover a large baking sheet with foil.
3. Cut each frankfurter into thirds, for a total of 48 mini frankfurters.
4. Unroll one tube of crescent dough.  Separate the 12 triangles, and cut each in half, for a total of 24 pieces. 
5. Position mini frankfurter on one end of dough triangle, and roll before placing onto unprepared foil.
6. Bake 24 mini frankfurters for 15 minutes, until dough is golden brown. 
7. Repeat procedure for the second batch.

*Note: If you have two large baking sheets, you can prepare and bake both batches at the same time.  Just be sure to switch the positions of the baking sheets around the 8 minute mark, and bake for another 8 minutes, for a total of 16 minutes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I. Love. Oats.  Due to our committed relationship, I incorporate them into most grain recipes.  There is just something about oats that proclaims a meal "healthy" when they are included.

The title of this blog suggests that I enjoy eating pancakes, which I do.  Even though I include oats in every batch of them, there are also mornings when a hearty bowl of the good stuff is exactly what I need to start my day.  My favorite way of preparing oatmeal is not only initially satisfying, but also satiates me until lunchtime.  I simply fire up the electric water kettle, gather the ingredients listed below, add some heated water, and stir until the oatmeal is a desired consistency.  This is a healthy, nutritious, and tasty "fast" food that can be prepared at home, or even while traveling.  Just fill up the hotel room coffee maker with water to heat, and you are good to go.

1/3 cup quick oats
dash salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 small apple, chopped
2 TBSP raisins
1 TBSP sunflower butter

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve Traditions

Other than eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus, my childhood did not include many Christmas traditions, as I was raised in a Jewish household.  I attempted to incorporate a few (small white Christmas tree with blue lights, and gifts beneath it wrapped in Hanukkah paper) in my twenties, when I was single and new to the Christian faith.  It wasn't until after I was married, and then had a child, when our family Christmas traditions become defined and established.  I think they are important, and deciding together what exactly they should be make them even more special and personal.  There are years when they may need to be tweaked a little; something no longer "works", or perhaps an improvement or different idea has been discovered.  We look forward to our annual togetherness activities, and since we decide as a family what they should be, we find that each of us holds the others accountable to seeing them through. 

Our Christmas Eve usually consists of the following events:

1) Prepare gingerbread cookies.
2) Attend a Christmas Eve service.
3) Drive through our favorite neighborhood to view some of the best holiday lights in our area.

4) Share a large bowl of popcorn, while enjoying a fresh mug of hot cocoa and marshmallows.  Sometimes we include a peppermint stick.
5) Prepare for Santa's arrival.

6) Wrap up the evening with a Christmas story reading.  It can be straight from the Bible, or a book about Christmas. 

What are your Christmas Eve traditions? Do any of them need to be revamped to the liking of everyone in your immediate family? Please feel free to leave a comment that shares your thoughts and ideas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Our gingerbread men are ready for Christmas Eve! While we did each eat one already (how could we not?), there are still plenty left for Santa's and our enjoyment.
                         Am I too cute to be eaten???

Freshly baked and dressed!

As the cookies cooled, I prepared the icing while my guys gathered some embellishments.

Gingerbread Man Cookies

We have an established tradition in our home for our little family of three.  Each year, about one to two days before Christmas, I whip up a batch of gingerbread cookie dough using a slightly altered (less sugar) and veganized (applesauce and light olive oil replace the butter, along with an egg substitute) version of this recipe.  I make it in the morning, then chill it in the refrigerator for a few hours.  My husband and son eagerly anticipate their afternoon together of rolling out the dough and using the gingerbread man cookie cutter to make their edible creations.  I will prepare a batch of my homemade icing to use as the "glue" for chocolate chip and red hot eyes and buttons.  This year, I thought I would change things up a little bit and provide these tiny coated chocolate candies I found at our local dollar store.  I remember eating them as a kid.  I tried some this year, and I think they actually taste better now than they did in the past, which is a pleasant surprise.  An added bonus: wording on the package indicates that they are gluten free, and were made in a peanut free facility. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

$1 Coupon for Sunflower Butter!

Do you have, or do you know someone who has a peanut and/or tree nut allergy? Our son is allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts.  Before we became aware of his allergy, my husband and I each had been consuming volumes of peanut butter and tree nuts as healthy fat and protein sources.  There is only one brand of sunflower butter I am aware of that is completely peanut and tree nut free, and it is absolutely delicious.  Before their products were available in the grocery stores, I ordered them directly by the case.  Now, they are offering a $1 coupon towards the purchase of any of their sunflower butter products.  The best part...the coupon is good through October of 2012! This means we can save money each time we buy a jar of sunflower butter between now and the end of next October.  Ten blissful months of savings! Can I hear an Amen?

Simply click on this link, then right click on the picture of the coupon, and save it in your computer....that's what I did!  Print as many as you like between now and October 2012.  I have already redeemed two! 

Gifted at Home

Are you a home educator of a gifted student, parent of a gifted child who attends school outside your home, or concerned about providing challenging and interesting enrichment for a young mind's budding curiosity? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then be sure to check out my Gifted at Home website.  I created it during the 2010-2011 school year, while I was taking coursework towards earning a Gifted Endorsement on my Georgia teaching certificate.  It contains information relating to Gifted testing and programs; national, state, and local news; art, language arts, science, differentiated lessons, and safe, online activities.  I do update the website as I come across applicable material, so be sure to save it in your Favorites list as a reliable source for reference.   

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pancakes and Paper

Pancakes and two favorite things.  Seriously.  A perfect day in my world is one that begins with a fresh batch of pancakes, and ends with several completed scrapbook page layouts.  Or maybe a handmade card, using colored papers, stamps, and ink.  Neatly written lesson plans make me happy too, especially ones with red checkmarks, indicating we finished the material I wanted to cover.  Grocery lists with lines crossed through the purchased items can evoke feelings of joy.  Combining store sales with coupons increases the euphoria.  To-do lists written on pretty paper often bring a smile to my face.  I have been known to add finished projects to such lists, just to have the pleasure of immediately crossing them off with a sense of satisfaction.  Yes, pancakes and paper are my two favorite things.