Printable Thanksgiving/Fall Coloring Pages

Hello, sweet friends! 

Last week I sat down and made these coloring pages for my girls.  Then I had the idea to make them available as a free printable on Etsy.  Come to find out, Etsy doesn't let you list things for free.  So I put them up for the lowest price I could, which is 20¢ for the two pages shown here.  (If you are wanting something for your little ones to do, here's a project for you.)

The link is here: WithGreatJoyshop.  (I've never done this before, so if there are any problems and you are unable to download, will you please let me know?  Thank you!) 

Hope you are all doing well. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Cinnamon Knots | a recipe

Hi sweet friends,

I just posted a picture on Instagram and had requests about it, so here's the recipe for those of you who are interested.

First off, I was inspired by this recipe from Half Baked Harvest.  I adore that blog, AND her cookbook, so if you're not familiar with it, consider yourself in for a huge treat when you go peek.  :)

I tweaked her recipe, and here's what I came up with:

Cinnamon Knots

1 1/2 cups of warm water
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 T sugar

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and leave it for 10 min.
        3 1/2 cups flour
        2 T melted butter
        1 tsp salt
Knead for a few minutes in your stand mixer (or with your hands or a wooden spoon.)
Roll the dough out flat in the shape of a big rectangle.
Spread some softened butter across the dough and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the butter.  (Maybe 3-4 T of softened butter, about 3 T of brown sugar and then just shake the cinnamon over that.)
Fold the dough in half, pressing the dough down with your fingers or the palm of your hand.  (I also rolled my rolling pin over the folded dough again to press in the sugar mixture.)
Cut into strips.  (I used a pizza cutter.)
Taking one strip at a time and pinching the ends with your thumb and forefinger, twist the strips and literally tie a knot into the middle of the strip.  The remaining dough (the ends, around the knot) you will just sort of scrunch around the knot as you're lying it onto the pan.  Use parchment paper or a silpat, and leave a bit of room around each one, like you would for cookies.

Cover your knots with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 45 min to an hour.  (I turn the oven light on and stick them into the oven so there's no draft.)

Before baking, mix and sprinkle over the knots:
       2 T melted butter
       1 tsp cinnamon
       1/4 cup brown sugar

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

For the glaze:
       1 cup powdered sugar
       2 T cream cheese, softened
       1 tsp vanilla
       2 T orange juice
       a bit of milk (around 1 T)

You can skip the orange juice for a more traditional glaze. ;)
Happy baking/eating!  :) 

PS: My sister texted me asking, "What are those blueberry looking pastries you posted on Instagram?"  :)

I know the lighting or the filter made it look like they were fruity but they weren't.  HOWEVER, rather than spreading the softened butter + cinnamon + brown sugar mixture, you could spread some berry or peach jam (YUM.  Trust me. I have done this.) And follow the recipe from there.  I'm personally not a big fan of cinnamon with berries so I would skip the cinnamon and only sprinkle butter & brown sugar over the top, but there you go.  They will be messier but delicious.  :)

Roll to the Middle

The other night I was feeling crabby at Mark.

The details aren't important, but when he pulled back the covers on his side of the bed, I was upset and he knew it.  (He had walked in a few minutes earlier and asked if I was mad at him.  I'd said no but my eyes and body language said otherwise.)  As he settled into bed beside me, I was turned away from him and was spending my time silently musing over all the reasons I was justified in feeling hurt by his actions.

I half-expected him to reach out to me, cautiously settling his hand on my waist-- because he usually does, but I also knew if he did that I would shrug his hand off.  (He probably guessed that would be my reaction, too, which is maybe why he didn't.) 

Minutes passed, and as I lay there I thought of some lines from the song by Sara Groves called Roll to the Middle.  I'll include the lyrics here if you're not familiar with the song:
We just had a World War III here in our kitchen
We both thought the meanest things
And then we both said them
We shot at each other till we lost ammunition

This is how I know our love
This is when I feel it’s power
Here in the absence of it
This is my darkest hour
When both of us are hunkered down
And waiting for the truce

All the complicated wars
They end pretty simple
Here when the lights go down
We roll to the middle

No matter how my pride resists
No matter how this wall feels true
No matter how I can’t be sure
That you’re gonna roll in too
No matter what, no matter what
I’m going to reach for you

And I had the thought, "One of us should roll to the middle; relent, reach out to the other right about now."  (But I didn't want it to be me, of course, so I remained seething on my side of the bed.) 

And then it occurred to me: Mark was already "rolled to the middle"; he was facing me, available for conversation, it was me with the walls up.  So I bit back my pride and rolled over and reached out to him and we began talking.  And all became well again.

I love that last verse of the song: No matter how my pride resists, no matter how this wall feels true, .... no matter what, no matter what, I'm going to reach for you. 

I'm so thankful to be married to this man who is always sure to have rolled to the middle first, who is quick to reach out to me.  He is so good to me, and is a constant reminder to me of God's tender love and mercy toward me, who is so undeserving of it.