Browsing Category: Holiday

Pebble From the Birth Place of Jesus

What an amazing opportunity for any Christian.  This is the kind of thing that only comes around once in a lifetime.  This is no ordinary cross; this is the ability to own a piece of the cave where the baby Jesus spent his first night with his mother Mary.  You can own a piece of the cave where the magi came to bestow gifts upon the newly born Lord.  Here was the cave in the rear of the house, and used for cattle. In a manger, as the most ready and fitting place, the babe was laid. The place where the shepherds came to pay their adorations, the place marked by the star of Bethlehem.

There are many different options, but this is my favorite: The Carpenter’s Cross is the embodiment of the simple life Christ lived. Straight, clean lines, the ultimate in modesty and a true symbol of the working life of Christ, who Himself was a carpenter by trade. With The Original Nativity Stone at the apex of the Cross, this is the perfect Christian gift for the man, woman or child who strives to live life on a daily basis according to the teachings of Jesus.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 2.44.30 PM

Carpenter’s Cross

 

Emperor Justinian built the church that now stands over the cave of the nativity in 565 A.D. on the site of a previous church built by Constantine Cesar and his mother the Empress Helena, in 327 A.D.  It is one of the oldest churches in the world.

The cave of the nativity is 38 feet long by 11 wide, and a silver star in a marble slab at the eastern end marks the precise spot where the Lord was born. There is an inscription on the star that reads: Hie de virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est. that means: Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary.  Silver lamps are always burning around, and an altar stands near, which is used in turn by the monks of the convents. The manger in which the Lord was laid was taken to Rome by Pope Sixtus V. and placed in the church of St. Maria Maggiore, but a marble one supplies its place. A few feet opposite, an altar marks the spot where the Magi stood. The walls are covered with silken hangings.

800px-Nativity_Grotto_Star

The actual birth place of Jesus

 

The stones that are contained in the crosses were removed during construction in the cave.  You can read the story about it here by clicking on the cross, and then on the second page clicking on “The Story.”

This is the only time that stones from this most holy of places will legally be removed.  Once these stones sell out, they will never be available again.  Take this opportunity to give a gift that will become an heirloom for generations of your family.  Give the gift that truly keeps Christ in Christmas. If you want to buy one now, you can get 15% off with code HOLIDAY15  Purchase yours here Nativity Stone Crosses

If you want a gold cross, this one is really beautiful: The Classic Nativity Stones Cross is perhaps the most spiritually connected Christian gift symbolizing our love for Jesus Christ.  The unique design of this cross is the work of world-renowned jewelry designer Paul Dimitriu.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 2.55.16 PM

The Classic Nativity Stones Cross

 

Beer Candied Bacon

Now this is a dish made for dad!  Boy would I be excited if this was on the Father’s Day brunch table.  The only problem, is that it would be real hard for my family to make enough!  I can imagine that these go pretty quickly.  What a combination, beer, candy, and bacon.  You can’t go wrong!  This recipe comes from TideAndThyme.com, and it looks like a fairly easy recipe to accomplish.

Beer-Candied Bacon

1 lb thick-cut, high quality bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp beer (I used Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine brown sugar and beer in a small bowl, whisking well to form a thin syrup. Set aside.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack on top. Place the pieces of bacon on top of the rack, overlapping if necessary. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush one side of the bacon with the beer syrup. Flip, and coat the other side with the syrup as well. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and repeat process another time or two more, until bacon is crispy and browned, and you’ve used all the glaze.

Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving.

candiedbacon

BLT Bites

Ahh the BLT, one of humankind’s greatest inventions!  This is a (almost) guilt free way to take the BLT to the appetizer plate.  I would love to have these anytime, but would be particularly pleased if these were served at father’s day this year!  I found the photo below that sparked my interest in making something like this from Greatist.com. They also have a nice list of other guilt free snacks for dudes.

These could be very simple to make, and you could do these in a lot of different ways.  Here is the way I would make them.

  1. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the cherry tomatoes so they can stand up, and so you can fill them
  2. Using a pairing knife, hollow out one side of the inside of the tomato from the top.
  3. Ad a small amount of mayonnaise mixed with salt and pepper
  4. Put in a piece of very crispy bacon, and a leaf or two of arugula
  5. Place on a thinly sliced mini baguette, and hold it in place with a toothpick.
BLT-Bites_PS_1_604_7

Photo by Perry Santanachote

 

 

DIY BBQ Rub

This will be my husband’s second Father’s Day. It’s such a fun holiday to celebrate. He’s an amazing father and I love doing something special to celebrate him.  Last year we got him a hand crafted leather football which he absolutely adores….so much so that he has it on display and won’t even throw it, lol! This year I thought it would be fun to make something. He’s a fantastic cook and an even better grill master. This DIY BBQ rub seems like a perfect gift!

container-rubs_300

Big Batch Barbecue Rub (found on Real Simple)

Makes 1 1/3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the ingredients and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.
  2. Instructions to include with your gift: Up to 2 hours before cooking, coat 2 pounds of chicken, beef, pork, or seafood with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 2 to 4 tablespoons of the rub. Cook as desired.

Summer Watermelon Bars

Oh Momma!  This may be the most delicious sounding dessert I have ever seen.  Watermelon is my wife’s all time favorite, and any dessert that includes lemon is ok in my book!  Put the two together, and you have one perfect post BBQ dessert for summertime in the back yard!  I am most definitely making this for my wife for Mother’s day.  I’m so excited, I want to run out now and grab the ingredients!  This recipe comes from RightAtHome.com

fc_610x392_watermelon_barsART_HEAD.jpg

ingredients

  • 1 box round vanilla wafers (12 oz.), finely ground
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 cups watermelon juice (from about 1/2 of a large watermelon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 small envelopes (1 oz. total) of unflavored gelatin, (see chef’s note)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or 1 cup whipped cream, for garnish

directions

step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the long sides of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
step 2 Mix the melted butter into the finely ground vanilla wafers and add 2 Tablespoons of water. Mix well and press the crumbs onto the bottom of the prepared pan, forming a crust. Bake the crust for 20 minutes and allow to cool.
step 3 Set aside 2 cups of the watermelon juice in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 cups of watermelon juice with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and heavy cream.
step 4 Sprinkle the gelatin over the reserved 2 cups of watermelon juice. Allow to sit for 2 minutes so that gelatin can dissolve and begin to absorb liquid, or “bloom.” After the gelatin blooms, heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, or heat gently in a small pot over low heat on the stove top, until the gelatin has completely melted into the juice and the liquid is smooth.
step 5 Add the watermelon juice with the melted gelatin to the larger bowl of juice from Step 3. Stir to combine. Gently pour the mixture over the prepared crust from Step 2 and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until the mixture is firm. (Alternately, place the pan in the refrigerator and allow to set for 3 to 4 hours.)
step 6 Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Before serving, cut the watermelon bars into squares. If desired, sprinkle each serving with confectioners’ sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.

chef’s notes

To make watermelon juice, simply place the watermelon cubes in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture with a strainer into a bowl.

Unflavored gelatin is commonly packaged in small envelopes (one or more envelopes to a box). Look for it in the pudding and gelatin section of your grocery store.

Vegetable Bouquet

One of my wife’s favorite dishes is vegetables and dip, so I always make sure to have that on hand for the Mother’s Day celebration.  This year I wanted kick the vegetables and dip up a notch to see if I could make it more special.  In my search, I found some good examples on Hostess with the Mostess Blog that even has a nice video on some tips and techniques for making a really nice vegetable bouquet!  However, basically all you have to do is put your vegetables on bamboo skewers, and arrange them in a vase, or a homemade melon vase like this one from watermelon.org.  You can also check out Instructables for a very easy and fast way to make radish roses.

ediblebouquet_2

Sugar Scrub Cubes

I was trying to find a mother’s day present that I could help my boys make that my wife would really like.  We are running out of space for all of the art projects my kids create at home and at school, so I figured helping them make something she could use would be great!  My wife and I made sugar scrub for her sister’s baby shower favors, and she really loved using all of the leftover, which is now gone.  So, when I saw this, I knew she would love it, and my kids would be able to do almost all of the work to get it done!  I found these instructions on TheIdeaRoom.net, and here is what they say about the process:

Here is what you will need:

  1. Almond Oil or Coconut Oil (or oil of your choice)
  2. White Granulated Sugar
  3. Shredded Bar of Soap
  4. An Essential Oil (I used DoTerra’s Citrus Bliss)
  5. Mixing Bowl
  6. Spoon
  7. Microwave and possibly a double boiler
  8. A mold or a scoop

Sugar Scrub Cubes:

1/4 cup Almond Oil

1/2 cup Shredded Soap

3-4 drops of Essential Oil

1 cup Sugar

1.  Pour the oil into a bowl and add the shredded soap of your choice.  Microwave this on high for 10 second intervals stirring in between each.  If this does not work to slowly melt your soap into your oil you may have to melt the soap shaving in a double boiler.  (If you don’t have a double boiler like me, simply place a small bowl over a saucepan filled with boiling water).

2.  When the mixture is melted and and stirred together, add several drops of your Essential Oil.

3.  Get your mold ready to go before adding the sugar.  This is important because once the sugar is added the scrub will harden VERY quickly.

sugar cubes 5

4.  Pour in sugar and stir quickly.  Take mixture and place it into your molds with your fingers.  Or…if you don’t have a mold you can take a scoop and make rounded sugar “cubes”.

5.  Let cubes harden by popping them into the freezer for at least 30 minutes.  Then pop them out of the mold and cut them into fourths depending on the size you would like them to be.

citrus-sugar-scrub-cubes-19_thumb