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A Tasty Tradition–Sweet Potato Souffle

I’m sure your family has certain holiday foods that you look forward to enjoying each year. Not only to taste, but to anticipate, prepare, smell…. oh, the season of cozy warmth, deep spices, and quality family time! For us, it would be hard to imagine a holiday spread without our Sweet Potato Souffle from our family cookbook, Tasty Traditions. In fact, we almost crossed it off the menu this year for various reasons, but nooooo. It is now in the freezer just waiting to jump into the oven on the Big Day of Gratitude (it is also anticipating being gobbled up with delight, just like the turkey).

We hope you are all enjoying the days that are passing so quickly and savoring every delicious moment to the fullest. There truly is much for which to be thankful!

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Thanksgiving Turkey Treats

These fun and adorable treats are perfect for building relationships with the small people in your life. Watch smiles form and grow as you build your turkeys with your children, siblings, nieces & nephews, or little friends. And besides, who doesn’t like to have miniature turkeys around for the week of Thanksgiving? Smile

 

You will need:

Oreo cookies – 1 per turkey

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Large marshmallows – 1/2 per turkey

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Candy Corn – five per turkey, plus a few extra

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Small amount of frosting

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Mix all ingredients to make frosting.

 

Assemble your birds:

Spread a little frosting onto a cookie.

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Press half of a marshmallow (cut around the middle “east/west” fashion) onto the cookie, NOT centered.

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Place 5 candy corn evenly spaced above the marshmallow. These are the feathers that make your gobbler’s fan. Winking smile

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Break a tiny piece from one of the extra candy corns, and stick it to the marshmallow with a teeny bit of frosting. This is the gobbler’s beard. Winking smile

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Your bird is complete!

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Immanuel

When once I mourned a load of sin,
When conscience felt a wound within,
When all my works were thrown away,
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel!

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,
When waves of care around me roll,
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,
That word, Thy name, Immanuel!

When for the truth I suffer shame,
When foes pour scandal on my name,
When cruel taunts and jeers abound,
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell,
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel!

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,
When Satan stops my path before,
When fiends rejoice and wait my end,
When legion’d hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel!

When down the hill of life I go,
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,
When in the deep’ning flood I sink,
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell,
Thy lovely name, Immanuel!

When tears are banished from mine eye,
When fairer worlds than these are nigh,
When Heaven shall fill my ravish’d sight,
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel!

by Charles H. Spurgeon

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A Day at the Biltmore House & Gardens

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During the HEAV Convention in June, we were blessed to vend right beside a dear lady named Kat representing the Biltmore House in Ashville, NC. Before leaving the convention, she surprised us all and gave us free one-day passes to tour the house and gardens!

As a special birthday celebration later in July, we had an open Saturday and decided to go – and because of Kat’s generosity, we were even able to include Mom’s sister and her family in the fun! What a delightful day! The Lord gave us beautiful weather, sweet fellowship, and precious memories as we learned more about the history of this intriguing mansion and marveled at the beauty of our Creator’s handiwork.

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IMG_6116-JLStudios-150725Sisters <3

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Old Glory Dessert

One of our faithful readers asked for this recipe… so here it is! This makes a wonderful treat to serve to guests; it looks beautiful but is incredibly simple to put together.

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Old Glory Dessert

2 cups sugar cookie dough [or 1 (18 ounce) tube refrigerated dough]
11 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

Press cookie dough into a greased 15”x10” baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown (do not over-bake). Cool on a wire rack.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup of mixture. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture over crust. Decorate with blueberries and strawberries to resemble a flag.

Cut a small hole in a corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Insert star tip (#16). Fill with reserved cream mixture. Beginning in one corner, pipe stars in the spaces between blueberries. Store in refrigerator until serving.

 

Notes from TNT:

*As you can see from the photo, piping stars between the berries isn’t always necessary… it does look more esthetically pleasing, though. Smile

*For those of you who are – like us – chocolate fanatics, chocolate-chip cookie dough makes a nice substitution for the sugar dough. Winking smile

*A few weeks ago, we had fun coming up with a gluten-free, dairy-free version of this recipe, simply by using gluten free, dairy-free cookie dough, and using a natural strawberry jam in place of the cream cheese frosting. It was a sweet treat for those with intense diet restrictions.

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Happy Independence Day from the Neely Team!

May each of our hearts turn anew to the One in Whom we have true freedom, that His glory may once again dwell in our land.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

Delicious Use for Old Cookies: “Peanut Butter Mountains”

Who likes to eat stale cookies?

At our house, fresh-baked cookies (and even the un-baked ones, for that matter Smile) have a tendency to disappear quite rapidly. But alas! For the poor neglected old ones… those that have been sitting on the counter for days… those that dried out because someone accidently forgot to seal the container after an afternoon snitch… those that weren’t really the favorite recipe (or didn’t contain enough chocolate Winking smile)…

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Recently we had a bag of stale peanut butter cookies on our counter. Not wanting to waste them, and also desiring to concoct a special dessert to have together on Dad and Mom’s date night, Victoria and I had a little fun making up “Peanut Butter Mountains.”

These can be done with any kind of cookie.

We spread them with a layer of peanut butter (and, next time we’ll be more generous with it) and put a scoop of ice cream on top (chocolate/vanilla in this case, but almost any flavor would be great).

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Then we put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. This kept the ice cream hard while we continued working on dinner, and allowed the cookie/peanut butter to get cold.

Before serving, we topped it all off with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Smile

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You should try them! They were a definite hit with all of the kiddos, everyone unanimously agreeing that the layer of peanut butter was the touch of amazingness. Smile

Other ideas:

  • For those that are peanut intolerant, try a layer of almond butter. Or better yet, use Nutella (chocolate hazelnut) spread.
  • Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips, finely chopped nuts, or colored candy sprinkles after the whipped cream.
  • Add some banana slices between the peanut butter/ice cream layers.