Moo Moo – The Perfect Passover Dessert!

A family favorite, kosher for Passover, simple dessert!

Hannah mentioned in her last post Should Christians Celebrate Passover? that I would be sharing a recipe that has become a family favorite.  It is a great option for an unleavened, outstandingly delicious Passover dessert!

Moo Moo - The Perfect Passover Dessert!

We LOVE Moo Moo.  A friend made it as a Passover dessert in 2006 and we have probably made it every year since!  It only calls for six simple ingredients and is very easy to make.  It’s delicious alone as a dessert, or wrapped up in a crepe!

Don’t ask where the name came from!  We laughed when we heard it for the first time but apparently, it has been in the family a long time and has always been Moo Moo! Read more

Whole Wheat Hamantaschen Dough

Whole Wheat Hamantaschen Dough

Over the years, we’ve made many hamantaschen.  Some dough recipes were fine, others were ok, but this one is GREAT!  I love how this one holds together, is soft, turns out perfectly with white whole wheat flour and is good every time!

Homemade hamantaschen are very delicious and totally worth any time and trouble you may run into, if you are blessing your family and friends.

Whole Wheat Hamantaschen Dough

Hamantaschen Dough with Orange Juice

This should make around 3 dozen Hamantaschen (we do not usually keep close track of the numbers as we make batch after batch. Some are chocolate-filled, others are apricot, prune, poppy seed, strawberry or peach … I even tried meringue one year … I wouldn’t recommend it)
3/4 c. unsalted butter
1 c. sucanat
1 egg
1/4 c. orange juice
1 1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. white whole wheat or pastry flour (or a little less)
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Beat butter and sucanat until fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Stir in orange juice and vanilla. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix. The dough should be soft, moist and easy to handle, but not extremely sticky.
Chill for 1 hour.
Roll on a floured board (or counter), and cut into 3 inch rounds. I usually use a glass… a plastic dish, mug, lid or a round pastry cutter would work too.
Place a teaspoon to tablespoon of desired filling in the center of each round. Ease up the edges and pinch sides gently (but securely) to form the three corners  of a triangle, leaving a little of the filling showing in the center.  Bake at 350 degrees F. on a ungreased cookie sheet about 12-15 minutes or until done.

Whole Wheat Hamantaschen Dough

Trouble Prevention:

  • Gradually add in the flour to keep the dough from getting too stiff.  You might not need all 3 cups (especially if you have a coarser flour, sifting it is highly recommended in this case).
  • If the dough is too moist, add a little more flour or let it harden in the refrigerator.
  • If the dough is sticking when you roll it out, make sure it is still cool and firm from the refrigerator, sprinkle more flour on the dough and gently work it in as you roll.
  • If the dough is breaking, roll it out thicker.
  • If you press the edges too tightly, they will look funny and might not cook evenly.
  • If you press the edges too loosely, they will separate and spill out.
  • Keep in mind, especially with chocolate or poppy seed fillings: do not spread the filling over the  whole dough circle.  It will have a hard time sealing if you do.

Have fun!  This is really a special time and perfect opportunity to get others together for a good time cooking (plus you won’t have to do it alone!).

Ruthie’s 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

For many years we have celebrated Purim.  This is the time when all of the Jews in the Persian empire were to be completely destroyed, but thanks to our Mighty God and a beautiful Queen they were saved (read all about it in the book of Esther … it’s only 10 short chapters)!

It’s a family tradition to make special food for the celebration, and the hamantaschen cookies are definitely a favorite!

This year, I went to mix up the prune filling and was disappointed to realize I didn’t have the plum jam it called for (I know – plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead!).

So, after googling around and (unsuccessfully) trying to find a recipe for which I had ingredients, I decided to come up with my own.

Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

Prune Filling
1 cup prunes
zest of one medium-large navel orange (or the equivalent of another orange)
water to cover the prunes with about 1/2 to 1 inch above
2 – 4 tablespoons sucanat (or sugar)

Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

In a small pot pour prunes, orange zest and enough water to cover everything 1/2 an inch to 1 inch deep.  Bring to a boil and simmer about 30 minutes.  You may need to add a little more water as it cooks, if it gets very low.Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

Drain nearly all of the liquid from the fruit, save it for later.  Let the fruit cool down.Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

Mash or puree the fruit adding the sucanat and enough remaining liquid to make a thick jam consistency.Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

Roll out and cut hamantaschen dough.  Fill 3 inch circles with a teaspoon to tablespoon of filling.  Shape into a triangle gently pressing the 3 corners together.

Bake at 350 F. for about 12-15 minutes or until done.  The dough should be just turning slightly golden.

Yields about 20 hamantaschen.

Ruthie's 4 Ingredient Prune Hamantaschen Filling

P.S. I will be sharing a recipe for whole wheat hamantaschen dough very soon!

Dance, Worship and Praise!

Dance, Worship and Praise!

I have a treat for you today!

Our family loves to sing.  We love to worship.  We love to dance!

Today I would like to share a few videos from the last several years … from jamming in our living room, to joining in large children’s dances, or uniting with others for simple fellowship.  I hope everyone will find at least one dab of blessing to take away from here! 🙂

Israeli Folk Dancing –  too funny!  If you want to laugh, check out these adorable babies dancing … better than the adults? 🙂 – Fall Creek Falls TN

Come Alive – Jasper GA

Psalm 24.  Sung by one of our (many) favorite bands Sons Of Korah.  Danced by many little (and a couple older) worshippers – Watertown TN

Dance, Worship and Praise!

Aliyah – Jasper GA

Hinei Ma Tov (Behold how good and pleasant it is, for brothers to dwell together in unity) – Jasper GA

How Great Is Our God – Jasper GA

Dance, Worship and Praise!

Shevet Achim (Brothers As One) by Exodus Road – Blue Ridge GA

Show Me Your Ways O Yahweh (Psalm 25:7-29) by Exodus Road – Jasper GA

All The Way With You, written and sung by Abigail, Samuel & Lydia – Woodbury TN

Dance, Worship and Praise!

If you have been around awhile, you may have seen some dance videos from our 2014 Tabernacles camping trip at Fall Creek Falls State Park (you can see the 2015 celebration review here).  Here are a couple more dances from the last two years.

Heya – Fall Creek Falls TN.
Keep a close eye out for what happens on the back row at 2 minutes 10 seconds!  Girls with skirts … you’d better watch out for them 🙂

The Wedding (War) Dance – Fall Creek Falls TN

Dance, Worship and Praise!

Mercy Seat – Watertown TN

Dakota – My New Lab! Plus A Feminine Outfit Story

So it’s my turn to share an outfit review.

Okay … but WHY?  Does it really matter and what is the point?

These are the thoughts (or questions) that run through my head and out my mouth on a fairly irregular basis.

To be honest, I’m not really your blogger type.  Yes, we have a blog and some of my family members are incredible writers.  And I do often find encouragement from other blogs, but writing is not my strong point (at all).  The thought of writing a post of what I wore is kind of odd to me … am I the only one?!

I can post a recipe (which is still a chore) or when the Spirit nudges me, all of a sudden, an article may flow out … even if that means staying up all night and into the wee morning hours typing, searching statistics, typing some more, reading, rereading, deleting and adding some more.  Hour after hour slip by and then, when I’m finally so tired my eyes won’t stay open, I decide it is time to turn in 🙂  (if you would like to see this last article, it will be printed in the next issue of Shining Stars Magazine).

But an outfit review … ?

Anyway, I am learning that some things that don’t really touch me are a blessing to others so on that note, here is what I wore the day I brought home Dakota, my newest Labrador!  We have been raising puppies since 1998 … it is A LOT of work … but a TON of fun!

zoey and dakota
Please excuse the messy background. We are in the process of remodeling a 115 year old house and lots of jobs still need to be done:).

A couple of years ago, my brother Sam and I searched a long time for Zoey (the white lab).  We wanted a white female (not yellow) with a soft smooth coat, full AKC registration, dark pigmentation, an affordable price, and (this was me talking) I wanted a dumb dog 🙂

I know … it sounds awful … but the smart ones were the trouble makers 😉  Well life and death are in the power of the tongue and you better be careful with what you ask for!  We finally found this adorable puppy and decided to get her.

As she grew, I realized she was everything I had been wanting/praying for … except the dumb part … to an extent 🙂  She is not necessarily dumb but as I heard it put once “she has just learned what so many of us should: to be content with where you are and not need something else”.  She is so loving and affectionate but is not so needy and wanting to learn all of these tricks and commands to get more attention from others.  She is really a very content dog (until she gets out in the woods and then it is fascinating how her strong hunting instincts kick in making her run here and there … she is incredible smart in that area).

Zoey (12)

Dakota on the other hand is the most lively, excited and friendly dog you would ever want to meet.  While Zoey loves people and to be loved on, Dakota has this way of throwing her front paws up and down as she bounces toward you with a lively, happy look on her face.

Where Zoey wants to take you for a walk and lead you on through the sticks, Dakota walks perfectly right beside you and is incredibly calm and laid back.  She loves people and other dogs … she is such an easy dog to have around.

Both of my dogs have very unique and different personalities but they both have a couple very similar characteristics that are a lot like me too 🙂  Zoey is either very indifferent to what is going on and not bothered by much, or she is all alive head-to-toe-ready-to-go.  Dakota’s main posture  when out and about is often bouncing here and there soooooo excited to see you!  She is so wired!  When it comes to going on a walk, or once she has been out for a while, she melts into a calm laid back dog … no tugging or pulling … I didn’t know how fun it could be to have a dog like her around!

When it came time to introduce the dogs, I was really nervous.  Zoey had not been getting along with the other dogs and I really needed that to change.  I prayed a lot, spent a lot of time with her and prayed some more.  When we arrived home, I tied Dakota out by our deck and brought Zoey up on a leash.  I had been talking to a trainer, watching some videos and like I said, praying a lot.  My main attention was on Zoey, praising her, loving on her and just building her up.  Then I started letting them get nearer each other and eventually checking each other out.  If Zoey started to show any unkind signs, I would quickly correct (usually a quick pop) or just lead her away, give her a “NO” and then start loving and praising to get her until comfortable again.  After awhile of this, she became pretty indifferent and eventually, not minding this intruder at all 🙂  What a relief and blessing.  They are still getting along great and Zoey is doing much better all around!

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Oh wait!  I’m supposed to be sharing about an outfit!  I chose this one for the big day because:

#1. I wanted to be “pretty” and feminine.

#2. I knew I would be getting dirty (I’m glad you can’t see all of the hair I had to scrape off me before getting lunch … it was bad!).

#3. I love color!

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Abigail made this skirt about 3 years ago and guess how wide the bottom tier ended up being?  39 feet!!!  It was incredible!  She finally realized that 39 feet was too heavy and trimmed it down making a skirt for Lydia too.  Recently, Abigail gave the skirt to me and I was so thrilled!

IMG_5403 s
The green got a bit washed out. The skirt is even prettier than it looks here:)

I have had the shirt for years … I can’t remember where it came from but it was probably a gift or less than a dollar from a thrift store.

The shoes are the ones I switched into when we arrived home … my “beaters” that I got from my grandmother a year ago (voice of experience here, a good way to mess up your favorite pair of sneakers is: go for a walk on the beach 🙁 … at least they are still comfortable!).

The bobby pins are called Heart Bloom from Lilla Rose.  I wear them so often!  The headcovering is a princess pink tichel from Israel.  There is only one left in our Hannah’s Headcovering shop.

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There you have it!  The outfit worked perfectly for my big day and now, my prayers were answered and now, I have two outstandingly gorgeous pets to call my own!

Make Your Own Baking Powder

Have you ever gone to bake a cake or biscuits and to your dismay, you realize the baking powder can is EMPTY?!  Some people prefer making baking powder to save on cost or to avoid the aluminum sulfate found in most store-bought baking powders.

Whatever your reason, here is a very simple recipe  to save the day!

baking powder - Copy

Baking Powder

Yields 1/4 cup.

2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (optional, but highly recommended if you plan on storing it for any amount of time.  Cornstarch keeps the powder from clumping really bad).

Sift through a sieve or tea strainer 2 to 3 times to mix well.  Store at room temperature in a clean, airtight container (we use our old store-bought container).  If you get any clumps, run the amount you need through a mesh strainer and WALLA!  You are ready to bake!

I have heard you can store it up to 6 weeks but have not tested that personally … with a family of nine, we end up going through it pretty quickly 🙂

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How to Freeze Cranberries

Freezing cranberries is one of the easiest things you can do in a kitchen … no expensive or fancy equipment needed: just a bowl, some water, baking soda, strainer or colander, pan or plate, zip-loc bag, and a freezer!

We really do not use cranberries a whole lot … to be honest, I can only think of 3 recipes in which we use them: Cranberry Orange Scones, Cranberry Salad and Baked Brie (and those are dried cranberries).  I still love storing the berries away in the fall/winter and using them year-round … especially since they are not in the store the rest of the year 🙂

#1. Wash cranberries.

We usually sprinkle a tablespoon or so of baking powder over the berries and wash well. Toss out any bad berries.how to freeze cranberries (1)

#2. Drain into a colander, rinse then toss around to drain extra water.

how to freeze cranberries (2)

#3. Spread on a cookie sheet, pan or metal plate, and place in the freezer.

how to freeze cranberries (4)

#4. Once frozen, pour berries into bags and return to the freezer.

I usually freeze the berries in regular quart or gallon bags and have used them around a year later, without them tasting freezer burnt or old.  This year, I went ahead and vacuum-packed some for a longer storage life.
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how to freeze cranberries (6)

Use frozen cranberries just like fresh ones (if you are having any trouble doing this, let them sit several minutes or run a handful under water for a few seconds to partially thaw).

Have fun and don’t feel daunted at the thought of freezing cranberries … IT IS SO EASY!