Posts filed under ‘Holiday’

Christmas Morning Recipes ~ from my kitchen to yours

~ Giving You More Resources Just Like in My Book ~ Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

It’s just about a week before Christmas. So I thought mothers and newly weds and all sorts of other folks might be needing some ideas of what to fix for Christmas morning. There are some great recipes below especially if you are feeding guests at your table this Christmas. I’ve included recipes for French Toast Bake, Egg Casserole, and Strawberry Blintz Crepes! Yum!

Next week be sure and come by for some Christmas joy. Until then, I wish you a warm and cozy week ~ and I hope you find joy in each and every thing you do!

God Bless You!


French Toast Bake — Easy and OH SO incredible on a cold Winter’s morning!!
1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick) 1 cup brown sugar 1 loaf of thickly sliced… bread 4 eggs 1 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla Powdered sugar for sprinkling Cinnamon for sprinkling
1. Melt butter in microwave & add brown sugar….stir till mixed. 2. Pour butter/sugar mix into bottom of 9 x 13 pan….spread around. 3. Beat eggs, milk, & vanilla 4. Lay single slices of bread in pan 5. Spoon 1/2 of egg mixture on bread layer 6. Sprinkle some cinnamon over bread/eggs 7. Add 2nd layer of sliced bread 8. Spoon on remaining egg mixture 9. Cover & chill in fridge overnight 10. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (covered for the first 30 minutes) 11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar & cinnamon 12. Serve with warm maple syrup
Egg Casserole with Salsa
Bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes
6 eggs mixed with 1 cup of light sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese
Cooked ham or bacon if you wish (I usually don’t)
1/3 cup green onions chopped
1/3 cup green pepper or broccoli  (optional)
Spray lass pie pan with Pam or similar — layer ingredients starting with eggs. Serve with 1/2 cup salsa
Strawberry Blintz Crepe Pancakes
(These are my favorite!)
1 cup sifted flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt ———– sift these 3 ingredients together
Frozen or fresh strawberries
Whipped Cream
Add Next:
1 cup light sour cream, 1 cup small curd cottage cheese, 4 beaten eggs. Stir all ingredients until combined.
Bake on a hot greased griddle ~ makes 24 crepes.
Top with sliced strawberries  — fresh (mashed to make a little juice) or frozen (thawed) and whipped cream.

December 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

Enjoy a Good Laugh: Toss That Fruitcake!

~ More about Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Happy New Year! So glad you’ve come to check out the information on my blog. I post new entries every Tuesday and Friday.

Win a FREE Book

If you or a friend could use a FREE book, make sure you visit the Win a FREE Book tab. Share your story ~ I’d love to give you a copy of my book. It’s filled with all kinds of help, interesting information, and hope.


Laughter’s a Good Thing

Laughter is an important concept I talk about in my book. Laughter is good medicine for your soul. The text of my book says this, ” Did you know that laughter can reduce your stress? And even if you fake a laugh, your immune system will benefit. Having a good sense of humor is also very important to your well-being.”

Fruitcake: Love it or hate it?

Back to the message of this post — Fruitcake Toss. You either love fruitcake or you hate it. There is no middle of the road here. Personally, I love fruitcake. My mom made the best fruitcake. She soaked it in bourbon which gave it a delicious flavor. I do admit, I never liked the green candied fruit though. What about you? Do you buy fruitcake, eat it when someone gives you one, try to unload it at a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, or do you just toss it out like the title of my post indicates: Toss That Fruitcake?

January Fruitcake Ritual

Tossing your uneaten fruitcake can be an early January ritual if you really hate the stuff. Participating in a fruitcake toss locally on some national level can certainly make you laugh and give you a sense of satisfaction too. It can be a healthy way for you to connect with others in the winter months, give you something to look forward to after Christmas, and give you oodles of  laughs all at the same time. Here’s more from the annual Great Fruitcake Toss in Manitou Springs, Colorado, on the first Saturday in January — this Saturday!

National Fruitcake Day

(from their website) … At last, the answer to that age-old question: How do I get rid of this terrible stuff –fruitcake? People in Manitou Springs have found the answer. Throw it as far as you can, by any means that you can, and hope it’s never found again. You can come watch this amazing event for free (however, contestants pay a small fee or donate a can of non-perishable food to enter the events).

I love this sentence about the event from their website: “Several local Inns offer Fruitcake Toss specials, including a heavy-duty cake to use in the event, and advance coaching on the art of fruitcake tossing.” Too funny! And just think, all this fuss is about a sweet little cake loaded with nuts and fruit! Mmmm good!

Follow this link if you want to get in on the action in Colorado or find out more:

I hope you enjoy a good laugh today but remember to look out for those flying fruitcakes this weekend!

God Bless You!


January 4, 2013 at 12:29 am 1 comment

Merry Christmas ~ the origin of the greeting

~ More on Nanci’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Being that it’s Christmas today, the day we celebrate Christ’s birth, I was curious to know more about the origin of the greeting Merry Christmas. Here’s what I found.

These days, it’s a comon practice to wish “Merry Christmas” to one another around the 25th of December, the day we celebrate Christmas. The origin of this practice is a little obscure. However, it’s believed that an English admiral first used the term Merry Christmas in an informal letter, way  back in 1699. In 1843, Charles Dickens used the same phrase in “A Christmas Carol.” However, notwithstanding the veracity of it’s origin, “Merry Christmas” has become a sort of universal term to communicate joy and good wishes.

Thanks to

Say it with candy!

~ Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas ~

God Bless You!


December 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm Leave a comment

Have a Very “Mary” Christmas ~ Tips to help you enjoy the holidays

~ More RESOURCES and IDEAS in keeping with my new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.  

Christmas Preparation ~ Try a New Approach

If you are bustling about getting ready for the holiday — don’t! Try a new approach this Christmas to all the demands society and others place on you.

The Story of Mary and Martha 

Cooking. Cleaning. Shopping. Wrapping. Then there are the concerts, parties, and cookies to bake!  They all scream of time, money, credit card debit, stress, and exhaustion. Do you know the story of Mary and Martha from the Bible? Here it is very simply. Dear Martha ran around busying herself making dinner for Jesus when He came to visit at their home. Mary, instead, sat at Jesus’ feet listening to every word He shared. On this particular day, Martha was stressed with all the preparation and organizing while Mary gained wisdom and strength at the feet of our Lord. Can it be possible that in preparation for one day, Christmas Day, we are too busy doing things and we have lost sight of the real reason for the season — the birth of Christ?

Four Tips to Help You This Christmas

So who will win the battle in your life this Christmas? Will you spend more time worshipping or working — busy doing stuff? Here are four tips to help you have a very “Mary” Christmas this year.

  1. Sit Down. Stop doing and start sitting. There will always be more to do. Sit down anyway. Jesus is waiting for you!
  2. Listen. Peace and quiet is optional. Mary sat down and listened to Jesus in the midst of all the things Martha was busy doing for the perfect dinner! I’m sure the pans were clanging and Martha was complaining about not having any help. So, turn your head and in the midst of all the kids playing or practicing the piano. Tune out the vacuum cleaner’s hum and turn your head. You’ll hear Jesus in spite of it all.
  3. Give an Offering. Martha thought the most valuable thing to give Jesus was a good meal. But Mary poured herself out at this feet to learn from Him. What’s more valuable to you than Jesus? Time? Work? Ministry? Stuff? Offer it to Him as a present from your heart this Christmas.
  4. Worship. Minimize the gifts and the giving — the commercialism, and maximize the symbolism. Therefore, surround yourself with the real reason you celebrate — Christ the Newborn King ~ Jesus, the Word made flesh, come to Earth to serve and to save.

Christmas Note: Sitting at His feet, valuing RELATIONSHIP over PERFORMANCE, Mary demonstrated the posture of a worshipful woman, servant, and friend. You can too!

I wish you a very “Mary” Christmas this year!

God Bless You!


(Thanks to the Women’s Ministry of Grace Church in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, for the idea for this post and most of the information).

December 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm Leave a comment

Join the Green Bean Club This Christmas

~ More on Nanci J. Gravill’s new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

This post is dedicated to my sweet nieces in Seattle – Devon, Shannon, and Brenna! It was through them that I learned about the Green Bean Club!

What’s The Green Bean Club?

Okay, did the title of this post get your attention? I hope so. The idea came from something my sister used to tell her kids during dinner. I observed this firsthand when my sister and my three nieces would come to visit during the summer. My sister would tell the girls it’s the Green Bean Club! And all they had to do to join was eat their green beans! And of course, they always ate them because the Green Bean Club sounded really fun and they all wanted to be in the club!

The Green Bean Club Secret … and Success!

Well, this Christmas no matter what age you are, you can be in the Green Bean Club too. That’s because the real secret to the club’s success was that we took something nutritious like ordinary green beans and made them fun and desirable all wrapped up together with a great big sense of belonging. And BELONGING is really the key word here. Everybody needs to belong somewhere. So you see this post really isn’t about a club that rewards you for eating your green beans but it could be. This time of year it’s about families and better yet, connecting with others.

How You Can Be Part of The Green Bean Club This Christmas?

Families make us who we are by nurturing, encouraging, and directing us. They also help mold our personality and character. But besides all that, a family is the place where we experience holiday traditions with food, decorations, music, and perhaps your funny Aunt Clara. Remember she’s the  one  who always bakes ten pies, brings her cute little Schnauzer, drives a VW bug – and she’s attractive but still not married!

In a perfect world a family is the place where you’re accepted and loved in spite of everything. But even though it’s Christmas, not everyone has a family to visit and share in the simple wonder of belonging and connection that is so much a part of this joyous holiday.

What Can You Do This Holiday?

So here’s what I think you should take away from The Green Bean Club This Christmas: make a special point to see if any of your friends, co-workers, and neighbors will be alone this Christmas. It won’t take much but a moment of your time to reach out and care. If they don’t have plans, set another place at the table and invite them. Now we’re talking Green Bean Club!

Have an awesome day! As you go about your work or errands today, give out a smile and a little bit of  love! I think that’s what Jesus would do!

God Bless You!


December 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

Gifts You Can ~ Bake This Christmas

~ More great resources to help you save money and enjoy more of your life ~ all in keeping with my new book Fresh HopeCleveland.

I’m continuing the theme of “gifts you can make for Christmas.” Why? Because so many people overspend on gifts for one reason or another. Whatever the reason, don’t — I repeat, don’t get yourself in debt this Christmas. Save that for another year — just kidding! Staying out of debit means you can sleep at night, you’ll have greater peace of mind, improves your credit rating, and helps with your debit ratio so you can get that house you’ve been saving and praying for. Being debit free also gives you choices which in turn brings you power and options for your life.

Tips for Baked Goods Presentation

 I visited a Joann Fabric store yesterday and saw something wonderful that would be perfect for your  home baked gifts. I noticed they had decorative paper baking pans for all your holiday goodies. This way your home baked goods will look fabulous! Give it a try!

Gifts to Bake This Christmas

Snowflake Cookies

~ makes 5 dozen cookies using your cookie press. Decorate using all sorts of colored sugar. Bake 350 degrees for 10- 12 minutes. Enjoy!

2-1/4 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. cinnamon

1 c. butter (softened)

3 oz. cream cheese

1 c. sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 t. vanilla

Combine flour, salt, + cinnamon in bowl. Beat butter and cream cheese in mixer on medium speed until smooth.

Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vnilla with mixwer on low. Gradually add flour mixture just until blended.

Instert snowflake or desired disk into cookie press (using 1/3 of dough). Pipe the dough 1-1/2″  apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorage; bake; cool on wire racks.

Cranberry Date Bars

These have always been a big hit at the holiday. They’re topped with an orange glaze and have 2 grams of protein in each bar! The recipe makes 32 or so bars. I put mine into holiday liners and pack them into gift boxes.

1-12 oz. package of fresh cranberries

1 8-oz. package chopped pitted dates

1 t. vanilla

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

2 c. flour

2 c. rolled oats

1-1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/2 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

1 c. margarine or butter, melted

1 recipe Orange Glaze

Filling: in medum saucepan comtine cranberries and dates. Cook, covered, over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or till cranberries pop, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in melted butter till well blended. Pat half of the oat mixture on the bottom of a 13x9x2 baking pan. Bake 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Carefully spread filling over baked oat mixture. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture atop. Pat gently. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes more or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with Orange Glaze. Cut into bars.

Orange Glaze: In medium mixing bowl stir together 2 c. sifted powdered sugar, 1/2 t. vanilla, and enough orange juice (2 to 3 T.) to make of drizzling consistency. Makes 3/4  cup.

Have fun making these goodies ~ your children might like to help you especially with the Snowflakes Cookies!

God Bless You!


November 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm 1 comment

Xmas Gifts You Can Make

~ More great resources to help you save money and enjoy more of your life ~ all in keeping with my new book Fresh Hope … Cleveland.

Greetings! Now since the Christmas season is offically in swing, I want to share with you some great gifts you can make this holiday. If cash is tight, you and your family will enjoy making some of these things. And if cash is plentiful, you’ll still enjoy these projects. These ideas make great inexpensive gifts that you can have fun making with family or friends. This year whatever you do, don’t get yourself in debit for Christmas!

From the text of my book Fresh Hope … Cleveland on page 16 – item #2 in the Services in the Community section under At Home lists the following idea.

Make Cards and Gift Tags

Make your holiday and birthday cards. Also make your holiday gift tags (I’ve added this text). Card stock can be brought very inexpensively. This could be a great family project. Purchase card stock and art supplies here in the Cleveland are at Hollos Papercraft at 1878 Pearl Road in Brunswick. (Look for other art supplies in your area.) Low prices and a large selection of art supplies will make the drive well worth your time and gas!

Gifts to Whip Up in the Kitchen

Besides making cards and gift tags, you can make some of these yummy treats — dipped apricots, apple butter, or Kahula Hot Fudge Sauce. The recipes are below. Give them in artfully decorated boxes and jars and you’ll receive many hugs of thanks this year.


Dipped Apricots

This is a simple recipe. After the chocolate has dried, pack into tissue paper and foil-lined boxes.

Dip dried apricots in melted dark or semi-sweet bits.  Dip in chopped pichachos.

Apple Butter

You’ll need sterile jars with lids and a foley food mill for this recipe. The process takes about 3 – 4 hours altogether.

12 – 14 cooking apples (16 c. chopped)

2 c. cider

2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. cloves

Dash nutmeg ~ add all spices to taste ~ add the nutmeg and cloves carefully in small amounts into the apples.

Cook apples on top of stove until they are done; make into sauce with foley food mill (will be thick). Put the sauce back into the pan and cook — and cook – and cook until is very tick and rich in color. Put in sterile canning jars.

Kahula Hot Fudge Sauce

Everyone I’ve ever made this for loves it — loves it! This flavorful sauce is wonderful over ice cream. I also make a killer chocolate cake and I don’t ice the cake. Instead I serve the cake with vanilla ice cream and this Hot Fudge Sauce!

3/4 c. butter

12- oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-1/3 c. evaporated milk

2 c. sifted powdered sugar

1/2 c. Kahlua

1 t. vanilla

Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add chocolate chips; when melted add evaporated milk. Add powdered sugar slowly (make sure it’s sifted or it will be lumpy.) BEAT with electric mixer for 1 -1 2 minutes or until smooth. Heat to medium heat- not boiling. Then add Kahlua and vanilla stirring constantly over heat. While hot, pour into hot sterile jars.


God Bless You!


November 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

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