Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top 2 Tuesday: Worry Reliefs

Yesterday when Jonah freaked out because the toaster went off, I couldn't help but chuckle.  I felt so bad for him being so scared, but at the same time I knew he was FINE, because I had the understanding that toasted bread safe in its place on the countertop didn't threaten his safety like he probably thought it did.

That moment reminded me of God's perspective on us.  We worry about so much.  LEGITIMATE worries we exclaim.  But God knows that our soul is secure if we've accepted Him.  So we're fine.  Anything in the world could happen to us and we're fine - and that's just it.  It's the world.  We're not made of the world.  It's a wonderful place to live and there's really so much good about it, but there is chaos and destruction too, and our souls are protected from that.  It's a temporary location for us.  We're made of spiritual stuff, not material stuff.  I've always liked the saying: 'We don't have souls: we are souls. We have bodies.'  Of course God doesn't like it when we're hurt or afraid, and our souls aren't immune from the experiences of this world - in fact they are shaped by them. But God has that sixth-sense-toaster-understanding that it's still OK.  We won't perish in the face of adversity.  We'll actually do the opposite: grow and thrive.

Our Sunday school teacher mentioned reading a great word from Chuck Swindoll on worry.  I'm not sure if this is the one he referenced, but I found this article to be excellent.  You must read it.  TODAY.

That is thing one.

Thing two is that cookies also seem to be a great form of worry relief, and last year my MIL took me to a cookie class at the Cooking Cottage here in Boerne where I learned the recipe below.   I am telling you:  YUM.  I love making up a bunch of jars of this at the start of Christmas season.  It's great to have ready for gifts, and I even discovered yesterday I love having it for me!  Easy cookies, all measured out and ready to dump in my mixer (which Jonah seems to love...future baker?) with a stick of butter, an egg, and a splash of vanilla.  The jars are fun to give, but the finished product is also worthy of company or cookie exchange parties!  I treasure recipes I know I can count on (read: I know I can make without crying) for serving.

If you don't have enough cookie sheets or oven space, my MIL (Lolli) realized that having the dough ready on parchment paper shaves some time by having the batches ready for the oven.  I like to use a melon baller for fast (and germ-free) scooping.

They have a funny name, but I learned in the cookie class that "hootycreek" is the what you call a combination of pecans, white chocolate, and cranberry.

Cranberry Hootycreeks, Cookies in a Jar recipe courtesy of Boerne Cooking Cottage
Only to be made if they help you, not if it will stress you out


1 1/4  cup            all-purpose flour
1/2     teaspoon    baking soda
1/2     teaspoon    salt
1/2     cup            rolled oats, uncooked
1/3     cup            granulated sugar
1/3     cup            brown sugar, packed
1        cup            dried cranberries
1/2     cup            white chocolate baking chips
1/2     cup            pecans or walnuts, chopped


1.  In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

2.  Layer 1/2 the flour mixture in the bottom of a 1-quart canning jar, then add oats to the jar.  Continue layering the remaining ingredients: flour mixture, granulated sugar, brown sugar, dried cranberries, white chocolate baking chips, and chopped nuts.
3.  Seal the jar, print and attach a printable gift tag...or hand write the recipe tag below:

Cranberry Hootycreeks Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350* F.  Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until fluffy.  Add contents of jar, and mix until well blended.
3.  Drop rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes, until edges start to brown.
4.  Cool on wire rack.

(I didn't cool mine on a wire rack - just let them sit on the sheets.  Don't say that five times fast.)  

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