Here is my gift to you; my 30 year tried and true recipe for BREAD  Your Christmas dinner will be better with homemade hot rolls, dripping with butter. You are welcome.

2 T yeast
2 T sugar
2 T salt
Dissolve in 2 cups of very warm water.
set aside to foam up.

add in 1 beaten egg, and then add in 4 cups of flour
Add in 2 more cups of very warm water
and 4 more cups of flour.

If the dough is too sticky, add in little bits of flour till its not sticky
If the dough is too dry, add in little bits of water till not dry

Pour some oil over top of dough and form into a big ball.
let rise till doubled in size. punch down

Makes 24 rolls, or 3 loaves of bread, or 2-3 pizza doughs. or 2-3 calzones. depending how thick or thin you want it

Cinnamon rolls….roll out dough with your hands on a floured countertop.
Butter the top of the dough till all covered. be generous.
Liberally sprinkle on sugar, cinnamon and brown sugar. you can also add in Wheat Germ, and raisans if you like.
Then roll like a jelly roll.
slice and place in a pan, let rise alittle………then bake, probally about 15 minutes…give or take if you like them soft. which is better:)
Also, for frosting make your own. (conf sugar, butter, vanilla, and alittle milk. I never measure:)

Bake any of the above at 325-350, depending on how hot your oven is.
You really have to get used to How you want your bread to be….some like it more well cooked, some like it softer. You will just have to play with it, and see what you like best.
Bread is best when browned on top.
Crust is best when browned on the bottom
It takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 20 minutes to cook……depending on how thick you make your dough………Just really watch what you do.




Contrary to what we would like to believe, not everyone likes Christmas. Not that everyone doesn’t like the elements of the holiday…the gifts, the cookies, the music…etc. The deepest intricate meaning of Christmas is HOPE. And unfortunately, a lot of people are just plum out of hope. Enter ‘oh humbug’ feelings. It’s easy to shrug off and ignore those who are not enjoying the wonder of the season like you. Think Elf – there are those of us (clearing throat….) who truly LOVE Christmas, and would sing at the top of our lungs in the subway (if we lived near one..), and smile till our face hurt. I want to be very sensitive though, to those who simply are – sad. We recently went to an inner city and passed out hot soup and blankets to homeless people. Today I am baking cookies for them. Obviously not all of them, though I wish I could. I want to live out what I think HOPE looks like. It’s easy to talk, give someone a speech or a glib cliche’, but what mankind needs most this Christmas season is to SEE what HOPE looks like. I believe it should look a lot like LOVE.  ImageIf you get a hug (after years of NOT getting one) -that looks like HOPE. If someone asks you your name (after so many years, that you really have to stop and think what it is)- that looks like HOPE. If a stranger offers you a large cup of peppermint hot chocolate (for no reason)- that looks like HOPE. If  you wonder how you are going to buy your child a present (and someone who picked their name off an Angel tree gets that child EXACTLY what they wanted)- that looks like HOPE. If you are lying alone in the dark, in a nursing home (and a stranger appears at your door to sing a song you have long forgotten) – that looks like HOPE. What can we each do to live out the true message of Christmas; that light has shined in the darkness, that music has silenced the fear, that love has given us all a reason to get up, and try, one more time.



So, there are 13 days left till Christmas. And you may feel a bit stressed. Realistically the very first Christmas was NOT without its own kind of stress. I mean, think of it – you’re 9 months pregnant, the evil king of the land wants to kill your baby, you don’t have a hospital to go to (or anywhere, for that matter…), you are stuck riding on a donkey to get to wherever it is you are going (as slow, or slower than a horse and buggy), no pain meds., no gourmet water bottle, and to top it all off when you finally just HAVE to stop because this baby is coming, there is NO room in the Inn!! THEN to beat all, you are resigned that this baby – this King of all Kings come to earth, is going to be born in the hay. In a barn. With cows mooing. And they stink. And sheep baaing. And they stink, (and you’d probably also be annoyed they are all staring at you). And let us not forget all the other animals that were hanging out in the barn. And not a clean Downy smelling towel to be found. Now THAT my friend is the stress of the very First Christmas. Maybe now the presents you have to wrap, gifts you have to buy, and cookies you have to bake, won’t seem so overwhelming. The secret to the whole thing is simply – the babe in the manger. Keep your eyes on Him, and everything else will just be the preliminaries, and maybe a little less important. I am sure that is what got Mary through…..Image


While at a company bowling Christmas party with my grandkids and their parents, one of my grandsons wanted to know if there was food. When told he could go up and order anything he wanted for free, he couldn’t believe it. No, really, he didn’t believe it. He must have questioned this amazing news at least half a dozen times. Finally his dad convinced him; yes bowling and eating are free! He went flying up to the counter, and politely ordered a hot dog. As he turned to look at us, the sheer joy on his face was priceless. He exclaimed, “Are you serious!? Yes!” He proceeded to order a couple more things, (because he could…), and went bowling for hours! When returning from getting yet another free drink, he proudly said, “I feel like a president. I get to do whatever I want!” Needless to say, it was so funny to watch, and it reminded me that we as humans seem to have a hard time believing something is free. God’s love to us is still free; always has been and always will be. Just accept it, and go back for seconds and thirds, and to infinity and beyond! 


At its core this Christmas season stirs up so many memories for people; old movies, old songs, old pictures, tried and true recipes, and so much more. It’s ironic that a lot about Christmas is the things we remember, the days already gone by. Cherishing yesterday, and its memories and traditions is absolutely a major element in our celebrating, but don’t lose sight that THIS ‘right-now time’ is the only moment that you can still change the course of. This Christmas season 2013 enjoy being in the here and now, before it becomes a fond memory. And don’t get all caught up in trying to make it some Martha Stewart style holiday.Image. I was in a store yesterday, and I did NOT feel the Christmas spirit; I felt a suffocating anxiety tightening in my chest. I realized we have lost the simplicity of what it is truly all about. Surely, it should NOT be a stressful time. There is still lots of time to make this time joyful. Offer forgiveness, help the poor, open a door, buy a stranger a cup of hot coffee, reconnect with a dear friend. The joy of Christmas came to us, through a baby. Nothing could be more simple, or joyful than that!