THE DREADED BIG "C"

Three years ago today my life was forever changed with a phone call saying I had “Cancer”. I will NEVER forget this day or all the support and love that my family and friends provided during my journey. The doctors, nurses and fellow cancer patients I met and have bonded with has been an amazing gift. I will always worry about my cancer coming back but right now I am so thankful and blessed to be here today. Thank you everyone for your love and support!!!
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THE DREADED BIG “C”

Three years ago today my life was forever changed with a phone call saying I had “Cancer”. I will NEVER forget this day or all the support and love that my family and friends provided during my journey. The doctors, nurses and fellow cancer patients I met and have bonded with has been an amazing gift. I will always worry about my cancer coming back but right now I am so thankful and blessed to be here today. Thank you everyone for your love and support!!!
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WEEKLY MENU

Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie


DATE BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
MONDAY 12/30 YOGURT SANDWICHES CROCKPOT LASAGNA
TUESDAY 12/31 TOAST C.O.R.N. BLACK BEAN CHILI
WEDNESDAY 1/1 YOGURT SOUP CHICKEN FLAUTAS
THURSDAY 1/2 FRUIT CHEESE & FRUIT NAVY BEAN and HAM SOUP
FRIDAY 1/3 CEREAL SALAD C.O.R.N
SATURDAY 1/4 DANISH
OUT
PEANUT PORK NOODLE SALAD
SUNDAY 1/5
RICOTTA PANCAKES
C.O.R.N HOT WING SOUP
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APPLE RUM RAISIN CINNAMON ROLLS with CARAMEL ICING

These are inspired by and adapted from a secret family recipe for cinnamon rolls that my aunt made for many years.  Since I’ve been making these recipes I have adapted a good and easy to follow plan kinda like changing the batteries in your smoke detector at New Years.  At Christmas time I replace my yeast, baking powder and baking soda supply so they are always fresh.

APPLE RUM RAISIN CINNAMON ROLLS with CARAMEL ICING

DOUGH
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
4-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 package Active Dry Yeast
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
FILLING
4 large honey crisp** apples, finely diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup spiced rum
3/4 cup real butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
CARAMEL ICING
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Starbucks vanilla powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

**Honey Crisp are my favorite apple full of flavor and coincidentally only available during Christmas time.
•In a small bowl pour the rum over the raisins and set side to allow the raisins to plump. The rum is the first secret ingredient and is only to plump the raisins.  Remember to pour off the rum before adding them to the apples.

•Combine the milk, canola oil, and sugar in a large saucepan or small pot.
•Heat it until is is just about to boil, but don’t allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool until warm…but not too warm!
•Add 4 cups of the flour and the yeast, and stir to combine. The dough will be very sticky at this point.
•Cover the pot and let the dough rise for an hour.

While the dough is rising prep the filling. 
•Saute’ the apples in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour apples into a colander to drain off excess moisture and set aside.
•In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar continually stirring it until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
•Add cream slowly constantly stirring until it bubbles and begins to thicken. •Lower the heat and add the apples back into the skillet.
•Add the drained raisins.
•Sprinkle with the cinnamon and vanilla.   The vanilla is the second secret ingredient that make these rolls so yummy. Cook a few more minutes to allow thickening.
•Spoon it into a bowl to cool. (If mixture is too thin once again use the colander to remove excess moisture. Remember apples are full of water depending on their ripeness.)

•Add the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to your pot of dough stirring to combine.

At this point you can make the rolls or
refrigerate the dough until you’re ready.
Apple Raisin Cinnamon Rolls 4
•Preheat the oven to 375˚.
•Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle about 10 x 30 inches.  I use Press-N-Seal to coat my counter – easy to roll out dough and easy to clean up that way.
•Spoon the apple raisin mixture all over the dough and spread it out evenly.
•Roll the dough toward you into a long, tight roll pinching the seam to seal the roll at the end. Roll it over so that the seam is on the bottom.
•Slice each roll 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick placing them into prepped cake pans.
•Set the rolls aside and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
•Bake rolls for 15 to 18 minutes or until they’re nice and golden.
While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
•Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
•Add the brown sugar stirring to dissolve until it starts to bubble.
•Add the cream, cooking for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
•Whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar until well blended. Add up to 2 more cups of powdered sugar to get to the consistency you want. Ice the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
•Serve warm or cool completely to freeze.  If freezing, wrap in several layers of saran, sealing all the edges well.
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IN THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON – GOD DOES WORK IN MIRACULOUS WAYS!

This story came across my email again recently and I was reminded that it is a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas Holiday spirit so I thought I’d share. it again. This is such a beautiful story that makes you understand that things truly do happen for a reason. Don’t forget to grab the tissue box.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc… and on December 18th they were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19th a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc… to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. ‘Pastor,’ she asked, ‘where did you get that tablecloth?’ The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth, but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a house cleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the Tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

This true Story was submitted by Pastor Rob Reid.
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APPLE RUM RAISIN CINNAMON ROLLS with CARAMEL ICING

These are inspired by and adapted from a secret family recipe for cinnamon rolls that my aunt made for many years.  Since I’ve been making these recipes I have adapted a good and easy to follow plan kinda like changing the batteries in your smoke detector at New Years.  At Christmas time I replace my yeast, baking powder and baking soda supply so they are always fresh.

APPLE RUM RAISIN CINNAMON ROLLS

DOUGH
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
4-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 package Active Dry Yeast
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
FILLING
4 large honey crisp** apples, finely diced
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup spiced rum
3/4 cup real butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
CARAMEL ICING
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon Starbucks vanilla powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt


**Honey Crisp are my favorite apple full of flavor and coincidentally only available during Christmas time.

•In a small bowl pour the rum over the raisins and set side to allow the raisins to plump. The rum is the first secret ingredient and is only to plump the raisins.  Remember to pour off the rum before adding them to the apples.
•Combine the milk, canola oil, and sugar in a large saucepan or small pot.
•Heat it until is is just about to boil, but don’t allow it to boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool until warm…but not too warm!
•Add 4 cups of the flour and the yeast, and stir to combine. The dough will be very sticky at this point. 
•Cover the pot and let the dough rise for an hour.


While the dough is rising prep the filling. 

Saute’ the apples in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour apples into a colander to drain off excess moisture and set aside.
•In the same skillet over medium heat, add the butter and brown sugar continually stirring it until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
•Add cream slowly constantly stirring until it bubbles and begins to thicken. •Lower the heat and add the apples back into the skillet. 
•Add the drained raisins.
•Sprinkle with the cinnamon and vanilla.   The vanilla is the second secret ingredient that make these rolls so yummy. Cook a few more minutes to allow thickening.
•Spoon it into a bowl to cool. (If mixture is too thin once again use the colander to remove excess moisture. Remember apples are full of water depending on their ripeness.)

•Add the remaining flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to your pot of dough stirring to combine.
 

At this point you can make the rolls or
refrigerate the dough until you’re ready.

•Preheat the oven to 375˚.

•Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle about 10 x 30 inches.  I use Press-N-Seal to coat my counter – easy to roll out dough and easy to clean up that way.
•Spoon the apple raisin mixture all over the dough and spread it out evenly.
•Roll the dough toward you into a long, tight roll pinching the seam to seal the roll at the end. Roll it over so that the seam is on the bottom.
•Slice each roll 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick placing them into prepped cake pans.
•Set the rolls aside and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
•Bake rolls for 15 to 18 minutes or until they’re nice and golden.

While the rolls are baking, make the icing.
•Melt the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
•Add the brown sugar stirring to dissolve until it starts to bubble.
•Add the cream, cooking for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
•Whisk in 2 cups of powdered sugar until well blended. Add up to 2 more cups of powdered sugar to get to the consistency you want. Ice the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
•Serve warm or cool completely to freeze.  If freezing, wrap in several layers of saran, sealing all the edges well.
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WEEKLY MENU

Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie


DATE BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER
MONDAY 12/23 YOGURT SANDWICHES GREEN CHILE CHICKEN ROLL UPS
TUESDAY 12/25 TOAST C.O.R.N. BEEF TENDERLOIN
WEDNESDAY 12/26 YOGURT SOUP HOBO FOIL STEW 
THURSDAY 12/27 FRUIT CHEESE & FRUIT MORROCAN BEEF and NOODLES
FRIDAY 12/28 CEREAL SALAD C.O.R.N
SATURDAY 12/29 BACON & EGGS OUT CHICKEN SAUSAGE GUMBO
SUNDAY 12/30
OUT
C.O.R.N POLYNESIAN CHICKEN w/ GORGONZOLA GARLIC DIPPING SAUCE
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