Homemade Cheese Sticks

Homemade Cheese Sticks

Always nice to have something to nibble on while family and guests are waiting for the call to the main event – dinner! Besides some crunchy vegetables and a flavorful dip, these cheesy sticks will always be welcomed.

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter (Margarine won’t do it!)
4 heaping tablespoons of sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Mix the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter with a knife or a quick pulse or two in the food processor. Add the cheeses and enough cold water to form a dough that holds together. Refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat over to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the dough on a floured board to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into thin strips with a sharp knife. If you have a pizza cutter on hand, even better and faster for doing this.

Remove to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minute until pale golden brown.

Caramel Apple Bar Cookies

I like easy on holidays but I also want to spoil family and guests. This is an easy make-ahead cookie bar that should get you good reviews and end your Easter feast sweetly.

Caramel Apple Bar Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 box brown sugar (the 16-ounce box)
2 beaten eggs
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking power
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large green apple, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups roughly-chopped walnuts or pecans – Your choice!

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

Place butter and brown sugar in a large saucepan and melt. Remove from heat, place in a mixing bowl, and let cool. Add eggs and beat well. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and spices and mix to blend. Stir in nuts and diced green apple.

Smooth batter into a vegetable-oiled sprayed 9×13-inch baking pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan and either dust with powdered sugar or frost with lemon icing. Icing is a good basis for adding some colorful Easter sprinkles.

Lemon Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
Finely grated lemon zest to taste
Fresh lemon juice

Add the lemon juice to the sugar/zest mixture, drop by drop, until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Before the icing sets, make sure to add some Easter sparkle! Cut into squares and

Loaves and Fishes – How Many Times, Once or Twice?

Five-loaves_2-fishesWe all know the miracle of the loaves and fishes where Jesus blessed the bread and fish and it feed thousands of people with plenty to spare. Well, I was reading the Gospel of Matthew and noticed something I don’t think I’ve ever run across before. In Matthew 14:16-17, Jesus blessed five loaves and two fishes which fed 5,000 people besides women and children with twelve baskets of fragments left over.

I went on to read Matthew 15:33-38 and it reveals a second such miracle where Jesus blesses seven loaves and several small fishes which fed 4,000 people besides women and children with seven baskets of fragments left over.

A little more investigation reflects that Mark 6:36-44 states that five loaves and two fishes were blessed and fed five thousand with twelve baskets of fragments left over. And, in seeming agreement with Matthew, Mark 8:1-9 and states that 4,000 were fed from seven loaves and a few little fishes with seven baskets of fragments collected after the meal.

Luke and John, however, only describe the one miracle they all wrote down.

Luke 9:12-17 and, again, there were five loaves and two fishes that fed five thousand with twelve baskets of fragments left over.

John 6: 1-14 is a bit more specific and says there were five barley loaves and two fishes and agrees with the other Gospels that there were 5,000 fed with twelve baskets of fragments collected.

I’m sure Biblical scholars have gone into great detail on figuring out the reasoning behind this but they are more studied than I am so I will just enjoy the fact that Jesus could feed many from so little, something we might take into consideration when others are lacking and need help.