Friday, December 3, 2010

December Break - and Your Valuable Input!

from Carrie (and the whole staff)

The staff here at Offering Hospitality have taken a vote and unanimously agreed that we should take the month of December off from posting.

We decided to do this for a couple of reasons:

1. We just need a break!
2. The holiday season keep all of us (and all of you!) quite occupied as it is!
3. We'd like to take a month to plan our next steps around these parts so that we can come back with a fresh load of ideas and thoughts come January.

Basically - it has to do with vision. And sometimes you just need to breathe and pray and talk in order to pursue it properly. (Although perhaps not necessarily in that particular order!)

We already know of a few changes that will come into play after the first of the year but we're going to take a month to discuss and plan.

In the meantime, we would find it enormously helpful if you would consider taking some time to think about the following questions and leaving a comment (or dropping an e-mail!) as to your thoughts/advice/opinions.

Writing for Offering Hospitality is admittedly quite a bit of work. Any feedback you are willing to offer would be gratefully received.

Things we would like to know:

  1. What have you found most helpful?
  2. What have you found least helpful?
  3. What would you like to see more of?
  4. Is there one change you would particularly recommend for this site?

Thank you for your time, your readership, your comments and the way you obviously desire to live out a life in which you offer hospitality on a regular basis. We are thankful for you and wish you a very merry and very blessed Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recipe Swap: Cookie Exchange!

Hi Ladies! This month we'd like to share our favorite holiday cookie recipes. What is that family favorite that is a staple to any holiday gathering? For the past few years I have been making these holiday classics!

Classic Spritz Cookies

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) butter (3 sticks), softened
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 egg
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour

Colored sugar or sprinkles (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed of electric mixer about 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping down sides as necessary. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add flour; mix on low speed just until blended, scraping down sides as necessary. (Dough will be soft; do not refrigerate.)
  2. Fit Cookie Press with desired disk ; fill with dough. Press dough onto Cookie Sheet 1 in. (2.5 cm) apart. Decorate cookies with colored sugar or sprinkles, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool cookies 2 minutes on Cookie Sheet; remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining dough.

These cookies get a real retro look when colored with the neon food coloring available in most stores. The creamy color of the dough gives the cookies the muted neons that are reminiscent of the 1950's era!