Sunday, January 31, 2010

Amazingly Easy Cake Doughnuts

Old-Time Cake Doughnuts

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup 2% milk
Oil for deep-fat frying

In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Turn onto a heavily floured surface; pat dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. doughnut cutter. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°.
Fry doughnuts, a few at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; roll warm doughnuts in mixture. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 doughnut equals 198 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 112 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home Feb/March 2010 p. 67

Got This in My Email...

Just when I'm praying for encouragement, I receive a sweet email from my teaching leader. She shared the following verse with me:

John 13:20 “I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who set me.” He has sent you! Love, Becky

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Still Discouraged

It's been a tough week. I'm asking my friends to offer up a favorite Scripture, hymn lyric or other bit of encouragement. What helps you get through the long winter days (both seasonally and emotionally)?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So Proud

I'm so proud of Dayna. Yesterday was not my idea of a great day, and it certainly shouldn't have been for a four-year-old.

The day started with speech at 8:30. Right after speech, I whisked us out of the house and into Omaha for a meeting that lasted 2 hours. Dayna sat quietly, played with her stuffed animal and colored. (Good kid!) We went somewhere for lunch, hopped in the car for an hour to make it to Lincoln for another 2 hour meeting at church. By 5:00 in the afternoon, Dayna had spent her entire day either in the car or in grown-up meetings. Never did she interrupt, whine or complain. Dinner was at church, followed by Jungle Jam. While leading worship at Jungle Jam, I asked several children what some things are that Jesus has done to show them that He loves them. Several children pointed out that Jesus died for our sins. I asked the kids if that was something Jesus WANTED to do, or was it something He did because He loves us so much. We all agreed that Jesus probably didn't FEEL like suffering and dying for us.

So it's late, and Dayna's finally snuggling into bed for the night. While giving her hugs and telling her how proud we are of her, Dayna reaches under her covers and hands me a stuffed hedgehog. She wants me to sleep with it. I asked her if she wanted to give me the hedgehog. Her response: "I don't WANT to give it to you, but I want you to have it because I love you. That's what Jesus would have done."

The girl gets it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mary's Gift

This week in Bible Study, we talked about Mary (the sister of Lazarus and Martha) and her extravagant gift. She "wasted" a bottle of expensive perfume to wash Jesus' feet. Judas was outraged. "How dare she waste money on this perfume when the money could have gone to the poor!" he said (when he was really thinking, "I could have sold that perfume and pocketed the money.")

The thought came out in our lesson that Judas' outburst, although seemingly innocent, was wrong on so many levels. He was devaluing our Lord, he had hidden motives in his sinful heart, and he was crushing the generous spirit of Mary.

The question was asked of us, "Who has criticized your gift to Jesus?" This came at a difficult time for me...let me share what happened.

There has been a difficult situation in my group this year. In trying to encourage a woman to get the most out of the Bible and time with God, it backfired. Some very hurtful things were said both to me and about me to our administration team. I spoke with our teaching leader, who assured me that there was nothing I had said or done to merit her words, and encouraged me to submit weekly prayer requests for this woman so we can see God work.

Two weeks in, another leader singled me out in a meeting. I know her intentions were to encourage me, but I really felt like I was called out in front of the rest of the class. The words that were meant to encourage really felt more like I wasn't doing enough. While the leader meant well, she didn't know the full story, and her thoughts weren't really relevant to what was going on. So, instead of being encouraged, I felt criticized and even more like I was failing my group and the woman in particular.

I've prayed about this, and I'm still praying that God will remove the grain of hurt that keeps rubbing me the wrong way to the point of irritation. I've searched my heart and asked God to show me the speck of truth I need to get from the leader's words. Honestly, I've done what I was trained to do, and I have said what the Holy Spirit led me to say. I come up with no other explanation than that Satan was using these words at a time when I was already low to issue another blow.

I can't say that my service is extravagant like Mary's. I can't say that everything I do is with pure motives. What I do know is that lately it seems I've been giving and caring and encouraging and pouring myself out. Instead of being filled, I'm really just feeling drained.

Holy Spirit...fill me again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It's been a crazy weekend for the Confer family. Especially their newest member, Rob. After finally leaving Haiti, Rob waited over 30 hours in customs. Jen and her daughter, Maria, were awake for almost 3 days straight. Politicians pulled their maneuvers, and Satan generally did everything he could to keep this family from coming together.

But, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against our mighty God and His plan for families and adoption.

I'm pleased to present sweet Rob and his weary, joyous mom, Jen.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Rob is a little boy in Haiti. His family has waited way too long for him. They got to visit him just last month. Now, his orphanage is destroyed, one of the nannies died of injuries after a wall collapsed on her, and there is a critical need for food, formula and medicine at his orphanage.

Some movement is happening out of Haiti...just yesterday, over 50 orphans came to Pittsburgh, where their adoptions are being processed. But, so much remains to be done. Rob's parents are waiting, hearing differing reports and rumors, and really just want to get that little boy in their arms and in their home.

Please continue to pray, contact your state senators, and do whatever the Lord calls you to do in order to intercede for the least of these. And in your prayers, remember the name of a little boy named Rob.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Getting Tired of Soup

After two weeks of being pretty much snowed in, we're getting tired of soup at our house. Here are some recent recipes that are new family favorites. Good home cooking on a cold winter day!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Global Warming

With a third snow day in a row tomorrow, over 2 feet on the ground, 4 foot drifts by the house, and a high tomorrow of -3 (not accounting for wind chills), I thought this appropriate:

Thousands gather to protest global warming:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stop and Lick the Beaters

I've found in my year of watching my food and keeping up on my exercise, that I haven't taken time to stop and bake with my daughter. It's one of those rites of passage for a little girl to put on a too-big apron, stand on a kitchen chair, and pick egg shells out of the batter. No, cookies don't need to be made on a daily, or even weekly, basis. But, what's the harm of occasionally whipping up a batch of something tasty, consuming it in moderation (or better yet, sharing it with others)?
And so, on yet another snowy day, home from school and daycare, Dayna and I just made a batch of Devil's food mini-cupcakes. She got a "kids cook" set from my sister for Christmas and has been asking and asking to bake with me.

She's also one marble away from filling her marble jar and earning a surprise. I'm thinking I can find a way for her to get that last marble this afternoon, and tonight we can have a party. (Since we can't get out of the house, anyway.) The cupcakes are already made, and I'm sure we can fit in some party games like Wii Bowling or Wii Fit to burn off those extra sprinkles.

I guess it all comes down to...take time to stop and lick the beaters once in awhile. The time spent together is more precious than any bite-size cupcake, or even pride in another low calorie day.