Mar 012006

Freezer Cooking News from Nanci

nanciwebWow – hard to believe it’s March already. Our weather has been unpredictable at best. Warm one day and flurries the next. Kaytee is off on spring break right now and working on homework. Becky is trying to make it through until her spring break starts on her 18th birthday – the 24th of March. Was it really 18 years ago that I was having my 2nd child? Oh those years have gone by so quickly.

Many of you first heard of 30 Day Gourmet at a Hearts at Home conference. Hearts at Home is an organization for stay-at-home moms. They hold conferences and send newsletters and provide all kinds of great resources. Back when I had 4 kids under the age of 8 they were a literal lifeline. I still get their monthly e-mail news. I have known Jill, the Hearts at Home director, for several years. She and I are about the same age and our kids are close to the same age. (They added a 5th when they adopted a boy from Russia a few years ago.) Jill’s column in their December newsletter especially made me stop and reflect. It’s about Christmas but applies well to any time of the year. Enjoy!

A Word From Jill Savage, Executive Director

Greetings from Hearts at Home!

We’re setting an extra place at the holiday table this year. Matt made his way into our lives after meeting our daughter, Anne, at Starbucks (of all places!). Since Anne was living in Paris , France , this fall, Matt decided to do an “over-the-top” proposal at the Eiffel Tower . And now we are planning a wedding.

Today is Erica’s 15th birthday. Fifteen years ago she arrived in the middle of the night just a few days before Christmas. Now she’s a beautiful young lady making her journey through the teen years.

With one daughter planning a wedding and another daughter celebrating a birthday, I’ve been thinking about how our family is changing. Evan will be away at college most of the year. Although our younger boys are still in grade school, I don’t want to forget how quickly they will grow up.

With this in mind, I’m giving some different types of gifts this Christmas. After a day in the kitchen with my girls baking holiday cookies and breads, I realized that I had given my daughters a precious gift of mentoring them in their kitchen skills. When I spent yesterday afternoon playing games with my boys, I gave the gift of time. When Evan came home exhausted from his first semester of college, I gave the gift of encouragement. When my husband Mark came home frustrated after a day at work, I gave the gift of a listening ear. When Anne, Erica, and I spent time just talking about girl things, I gave the gift of laughter, conversation, and precious memories. When we worshipped together at church on Sunday, I gave the gift of Jesus.

I’m sure you have a dozen things to do in the next few days. I know I do. But I don’t want to become so focused on the tasks that I miss the people. Join me in giving gifts of relationship this Christmas. Those are the gifts that last a lifetime.

Merry Christmas from your Hearts at Home family!


Click here to subscribe to the Hearts at Home free e-newsletter. They are a yahoo group just like we are.


Click here to visit the Hearts at Home website. Tons of great info for moms.


Recipes from Hearts at Home

The Hearts at Home newsletter always has a great recipe or two that I like to try out. Here are a few that became winners in our house – of course that, unfortunately means that they are loaded with sugar. A battle for another day!

Turtle Cake 
Many of you have a recipe for this Turtle Cake. It’s always a favorite at church suppers or company dinners. The gooey caramel, pecan, chocolate chip center puts it in that “to die for” category of desserts. In our house, though, because of the pecans this would be an “adults only” dessert. Good thing it freezes great! I freeze the individual pieces in rigid freezer containers. This isn’t the type of dessert that you want to be spooning out of a bag?. Warm it up right in the container and dig in!

4 Layer Cookie Bar 
These 4 Layer Cookie Bars were big hits with my kids. They actually liked them better once they had been individually cut and frozen. They really do taste like Twix bars without whatever that commercial processed taste is. It’s just as easy to make three pans of these as one.

Company and Website News

Here’s a quick list of our items:

Emails from Happy Customers

My mom makes the peanut clusters that you had given the recipe for and it is a staple for our Christmas celebrations, but the one addition that I think makes it even better is she adds a cup of chunky peanut butter. It makes them even more creamy and delicious.

Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and ideas that you and your team offer. Erica W.

So glad that you are going to be posting low fat, healthier recipes. I have been fighting the pounds for years. I have tried your recipes numerous times. I always try to make a low fat version. Some times it works and sometimes it doesn’t. My daughter and I are both members and we love 30 Day Gourmet. She works and has 2 small children, so she can spend more time with the boys and have stress free evenings. I cook for 2, but this allows me to have more time to enjoy doing something I like. Thank you so much. Terri H.

Closing Comments

Happy cooking!


Nanci Slagle

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