Saturday, December 8, 2012

Quickie Candy Cane Project

I love a project that contains ingredients that you already have on hand.  This is a great way to remind kids that Christmas is about the birth of Christ!  

 Before we started our work in the kitchen, we read The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg.  It went over the characteristics of the candy and what they represent.
  • The "J" shape that stands for Jesus
  • The shape (when upright) is a shepherd's staff, the first people to find out about the birth of Jesus.
  • The red representing that "by His stripes we are healed".
  • The white representing how Christ can wash us clean from sin.
  • How, like the candy, the story of Christ's birth and redemptive work should be shared with everyone.

We melted a 1/2 c of chocolate chips in the microwave.  (I checked their progress every 30 seconds until they were melted.)  Dip your candy in, tap off the excess chocolate, decorate, and enjoy with cocoa once the chocolate sets.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Cranberry Corn Bread

I got the general idea for this bread from a recipe on my go-to website for recipes (, but modified it quite a bit because I didn't want to add a cup of white sugar and a ton of butter!  The bread came out almost like a dessert.  It was very moist.  If you wanted it more "crumby" (totally not a word) I would try reducing the amount of milk by a few more tablespoons.  Remember, you need to make some other adjustments to your recipe if you're going to substitute oil for butter or agave nectar for sugar. has good guidelines for these types of substitutions.  Here's my recipe with the modifications already made for you:

1/4 c butter, softened
2 1/2 Tbs oil
2/3 c agave nectar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1 c cranberries, halved

In a bowl, mix together the butter, oil and agave nectar.  Add eggs and mix well.  Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Add to the agave nectar mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Fold in cranberries.  Transfer to a greased 9-in square baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Serve warm.  Yield: 9-12 servings.