Thursday, December 29, 2016

Feast of The Epiphany Books

This is a collection of Epiphany books that we have in our house.  

The Feast of The Epiphany (or Three Kings Day as some may know it), is a beautiful tradition in which the Catholic Church celebrates ::

"Epiphany came to mark the end of Christmastide—the Twelve Days of Christmas (celebrated in the song), which began with the revelation of Christ to Israel in His Birth and ended with the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles at Epiphany."  Link here.

The Feast of The Epiphany is traditionally celebrated on January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas.

In most countries and diocese, the feast is transferred to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8.  For 2017, it will be transferred to Sunday, January 8.  (My family still celebrates it on the traditional date of January 6 as the twelfth day of Christmas and then again on the transferred date for the year.)

Merry Christmas!

~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

I hope your Christmas day was filled with joy and love, spent with those who you hold close to your heart.

Christmas Eve

Bacon & Eggs with homemade bread

Kids' gift exchange

Visit to see The Big Guy

Christmas Pageant (Stan was Joseph :)

Christmas Eve children's Mass

Vegetable beef soup

Santa cake

Santa Tracker


Christmas day 

Open gifts

Cinnamon Rolls

Another Christmas Mass for Stan and David

Serving as a Thurifer for the first time

Christmas dinner : smoked ham, garlicky green beans with pine nuts, mascarpone potatoes, cauliflower gratin.

French Silk Pie

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

May your Christmas season continue to be filled with joy and happiness!

~  Patty ~

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Cocktail Meatballs and Sauce

Cocktail meatballs are such a great go to recipe, aren't they?  I serve them on so many occasions because they taste D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S. and they are easy - peasy to prepare.  It only takes a few ingredients!

Cocktail Meatballs and Sauce

Ingredients ::

32 oz grape jelly
12 oz bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
28 oz frozen meatballs

Directions ::

1.  Place the meatballs into your crock pot.  (I always use crock pot liners for easy clean up!) Combine the jelly, chili sauce,  and then pour over the meatballs. 

2.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours.


~  Patty ~

Garlicky Green Beans with Pine Nuts

This was another new dish that I added to our Christmas menu this year.  Since green beans are a staple on a holiday dinner table, a new variation is welcomed every now and then.  This is a delicious one!

Garlicky Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Ingredients ::

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I substituted with squeeze garlic, a cooking condiment you can find in the fresh produce section at the grocery store.)
1/3 cup (about 2 oz) pine nuts
kosher salt and pepper

Directions ::

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Ad the green beans and cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.  (I always steam my fresh vegetables in stead.)

2.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring for one minute.  Add the pine nuts and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

3.  Drain the green beans and transfer to the skillet.  Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and toss to coat.  Transfer to a serving bowl.


~  Patty  ~

Cauliflower and Ham Gratin

This recipe made a tasty, new addition to our Christmas dinner menu.  Since we had a smoked, glazed ham for our main entree, I did not add ham to the recipe.  It would taste delicious either way.

Cauliflower and Ham Gratin

Ingredients ::

2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, sliced (I substituted with onion powder to taste)
8 oz ham steak, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
kosher salt and pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp bread crumbs
8 sprigs thyme (I substituted with Thyme leaves to taste)

Directions ::

1.  Heat over to 400 degrees F.

2.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened and light golden brown, about 6 minutes.  Add the ham and cook, 2 minutes.  Add the cream, milk, cheese, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes.  Add the cauliflower.

3.  Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with the break crumbs and thyme.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and continue baking until cauliflower is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.


~  Patty ~

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fourth Week of Advent - Daybook Post

Outside my window~

Brrrrr!  Baby, it's cold outside!

This past Saturday, within a matter of a few hours, we dropped 70 degrees.  That was just crazy.

And it ends up that two more daughters need new winter coats.  (Who gave them permission to keep growing? ;)

I am thankful for ~

* a warm house

* new flannel sheets

* humidifiers

What I have read been watching ~

Christmas movies :)    My new favorite is Christmas With the Kranks.  Have you seen it?  So funny!

From the school room ~

* We are officially done with the first semester.

* I purchased these beautiful cupcakes at Whole Foods as a study break for my test takers ::

* Miss Sally has committed to...

She chose the University of Mary Hardin - Baylor!   (Established in 1845 as the "Baylor Female College" to what is now Baylor University.  It has since become its own institution.)

We are so incredibly proud of her hard work, determination, and dedication.  She had been accepted to 7 major universities including, Baylor University and Alabama (Roll Tide!), but in the end, picked one of the top three nursing schools in the state of Texas.

She is thrilled.  We are bubbling over with pride.  Scholarships are AWESOME!!  And on the day she committed, I bawled my eyes out (but nothing an Irish coffee couldn't fix.  Ha Ha!)

I am praying for ~

* all those who are homeless

* our priests

* an end to abortion

* those who are very ill or alone

Around the house ~

I purchased this Christmas gift wrap holder at the beginning of Advent.

In it I have: scissors, scotch tape, packing tape, ribbons, bows, gift bags, boxes, wrapping tissue, wrapping paper, etc.   It had been in our bedroom, and if anyone needed to wrap, it was all in one place.  But!  They had to clean up after themselves.

(I was so tired of our master closet being Santa's -messy- workshop for weeks on end.)

Christmas ornaments from our Mississippi trip this past summer are now hung on the tree.

From the kitchen ~

Miss Mabel has been on a Christmas cookie baking storm!!

She made Big, Soft Ginger Cookies

And she baked Cranberry, White Chocolate Cookies

I can't forget the Oreo, Peppermint Crunch cookies.

Nor can I forget the Peanut Butter Blossom cookies.

And there is more to come!  She and Ester are baking the next two days (with girlfriends :)

I am listening to ~

* the hum of the furnace and the various humidifiers I have set up around the house.  (It's SO dry!!)

Coming down the pike this week ~

Sunday - Nutcracker ballet for Miss Clementine
Sunday - Pageant practice for Stan
Monday - Doctor appointment
Tuesday - Dinner out with friends
Wednesday - Christmas cookie baking with girlfriends
Wednesday - Choir / pageant practice
Saturday - Visit Santa
Saturday - Christmas Eve Mass & Christmas pageant
Sunday - Christmas Mass

One last photo to share ~

Miss Clementine danced to Suzy Snowflake in her Christmas recital this past Saturday.  The recital was so cute!

Wishing you all a fruitful last week of Advent!

~  Patty ~

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

These were a hit!  Miss Mabel baked them for dessert tonight.

When I announced the new recipe, I had some doubters at first, (they were thinking ginger bread cookie-taste).  However, after they were baked and tried, everyone enjoyed them.

These cookies somewhat remind me of the warm, yummy taste of a snicker doodle cookie.

Big Soft Ginger Cookies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/4 molasses
2 tbsp white sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses.  Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.  Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar.  Place the cookies 2" apart onto an uncreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven.  Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

I plan on bringing these as a dessert to a dinner we are invited to this coming week.


~  Patty  ~

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

Miss Mabel tried this new recipe the other day, and it is certainly blog-worthy.  They are so delicious that they made our Christmas cookie selection this year.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies 

Ingredients ::

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white baking chips

Directions ::

1.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until crumbly, about 2 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda; gradually add to butter mixture and mix well.  Stir in cranberries and chips.

2.  Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Yield: 2 dozen


~  Patty  ~

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent Activities - Daybook Post

Outside my window ~

It's been kind of cloudy these past few days, but when I open my front door, I see this ::

That makes me happy!

The weather is frigid up north (stay warm, my friends!), and that arctic blast will make its way to North Texas by Saturday night.  My little one's new winter coat arrived just in time!  (I got a GREAT sale price & free shipping on Hannah Anderson right after Thanksgiving.)

Thank goodness everyone else has a coat that still fits!

I am thankful for ~

* a warm and cozy house

* daughters who love to bake

* finals week almost over

* humidifiers

What I have started to read ~

Another in the Mistletoe series ::

BTW, Hallmark channel has these in movie form, but the books are SO much better! 

I am praying for ~

Honestly?  For all the "snowflakes" out there who need to put on their big girl panties and grow up. The election is over.  Get over it.  All of the safe spaces I hear about on college campuses, really?  How about they walk in the shoes of a Coptic Christian.  Being so self-absorbed, they probably do not even know what has happened to the Coptic Christians this past week.  Those are true victims who need safe spaces.  Lord, have mercy on our country.

Moving on...

From the school room ~

Two of my students finished up on finals last week and two will finish up this week.

The semester went so quickly!

Art:: She's the only one who has time for art these days. :)

Living Liturgy::

January's feast day celebrations I'm planning on celebrating at home - Epiphany and St. Thomas Aquinas

Around the house ~

*  There's a hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and gift wrapping going on.

* Christmas shopping is this close to being complete.

* Christmas music is being played.

* Christmas lights are twinkling.

* Christmas candles make everything smell so so so good!

My favorite ::

I use to purchase mine direct from Village Candle, but I purchased the most recent one on Amazon Prime (free shipping)!

* Of course there's a letter to Santa!  (She's the only one who wrote a letter this year.)

From the kitchen ~

Miss Mabel tried a new cookie recipe, and it is a keeper!  Think cranberries and white chocolate chip morsels.   (Recipe coming soon ;)

I am listening to ~

* the hum of the furnace joined by the sound of the humidifiers.

Coming down the pike this (past) week and this weekend ~

Sunday - Christmas pageant practice (Stan is Joseph!)
Monday - Basketball practice
Tuesday - Feast of St. Lucy (Go see Christmas light.)
Wednesday - Kids' choir practice
Wednesday - Ballet
Friday - Ballet rehearsal
Friday - Alter boy training
Saturday - Christmas ballet
Saturday - Dads night out

One last photo to share ~

Miss Ester and Miss Mabel went to see The Nutcracker ballet at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth last Saturday with friends.  They had an amazing time soaking up all of the Christmas sights and sounds of city.

(My friend snapped this shot of the girls before they left for the ballet.)

Wishing you continued joy and peace during this third week of Advent.

~  Patty  ~

Cinnamon Rolls and Christmas Lights

Yesterday was the feast of St. Lucy (Dec. 13).  This one is really, really easy to celebrate!

Since Lucy means "light", and she is the patron saint of the blind, we save this night on the calendar each year to go drive and see the Christmas lights and decorations.

(Sally and Mabel had a Christmas party to go to this year and were unable to go see the lights with us.)

(One home had a "Santa" in the front yard that your little ones could take a photo with.)

(From 2015: Miss Clementine's St. Lucy pajamas still fit this year!)

And if you were ever interested, there are a few children's books out there on St. Lucy (and children in Sweden).

This year, we added a couple of new things to the celebration.

Since cinnamon rolls are part of the traditional, Swedish celebration, I had some ready for breakfast this morning, but mine were store bought.  Ha ha!

They still tasted awesome ;)

I also found Real Life at Home, a Catholic website that had a St. Lucy packet for sale ($2.25).  I was sent a pdf file full of fun St. Lucy activities.

(A few of the 19 pages in the activity packet that Stan and Clementine enjoyed.)

Saint Lucy's story can be found here.

St. Lucy, pray for us!

~  Patty  ~

Monday, December 12, 2016

Double Feast Day Celebration

Part of our Living Liturgy (living our faith at home), is not only studying about our friends in heaven, the saints, but making their examples tangible at home as well.

December is FULL of feast days that are so much fun to celebrate, and over the years, we have tried different ways to honor these friends of God.

We recently celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas (Dec. 6) and the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8).

Next up is the back-to-back feast day celebrations of St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9)  and Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12).

This year I needed to keep St. Juan Diego's feast day easy, so I picked up these Cinnamon Sugar pita chips for a snack::

They ended up tasting just AWFUL!  Ha ha!  No one liked them.

But I did pull out our movie, which Miss Clementine really enjoyed!

These movies have been around for quite some time.  If your kiddos have never watched one, I highly recommend them.

Another suggestion is the Glory Stories series, (saint stories on CD).  They are awesome to listen to while in the car.

There are also a handful of wonderful books about the amazing story of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe ::

Speaking of Our Lady of Guadalupe, today is her feast day.  I snapped this photo yesterday at my parish as the Hispanic community was preparing to honor her.

The story of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe can be found here.

We are so blessed to have so many holy, friends in heaven to pray for us.

St. Juan Diego and Our Lady Guadalupe, pray for us!

~  Patty  ~


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