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Azle News The

& Springtown



Outside the Box

Creative themes for your seasonal soiree

Staff Favorites

Fun-filled recipes from your news gathering locals

Colors of Christmas Coloring Contest for Children ages 2-11


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Holiday decorating not bound to strict schedules Colors of Christmas - Holiday Coloring Contest Out-of-the-box themes for your holiday party Elf on the Shelf: useful tool or just creepy? Travel tips for holiday visits Seasonal Sentiments Holiday music for the next generation Gift wrapping tricks and tips Secrets to holiday baking success

Staff Favorites

Your hometown news crew has gathered their favorite recipes just in time for the holiday season.

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Pretzel Jell-O Cake, Stephanie Cravotta Cream Cheese-Stuffed Peppers, Amber Plumley Sweet Potato SoufflĂŠ, Carla Noah Stutsman Self Family Fruit Salad, Natalie Gentry Swedish Spits Cookies, Shirley Castor German Drop Cookies, Johnna Bridges Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cake, Tonya McDowell Perfect Mac & Cheese, Mark K. Campbell Pumpkin Cheesecake, Erienne Reed


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday decorating not bound to strict schedules Some people are so eager for Christmas to arrive that they simply cannot wait long to transform their homes from the traditional decor into a holiday wonderland. Others prefer to build up the suspense of the season and wait until mid-December before decking the halls. There is no right or wrong time to start decorating, but there are some tips to make that process easier. Christmas items can sometimes be found on store shelves as early as September, and even those homeowners who intend to decorate when the season is in full swing can purchase items now and then bring them out when the time comes to decorate. Shopping early allows holiday enthusiasts to be more choosy about their decorations. Many families start their holiday decorating on the day after Thanksgiving. Such families should know there are benefits to using artificial greenery in the decor. A real Christmas tree or wreath may dry out and present a fire hazard if purchased too early. If you want the tree in the window for a full month or more, an artificial tree is a safer choice. Decorating before December also allows families to enjoy their decorations much

longer. It can be hard work to decorate the house, and equally arduous to remove those decorations, so decorating earlier allows homeowners to enjoy the fruits of their labors a lot longer than they would if they decorate in December. Some people feel that decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving is a tad too early, and there are advantages to decorating in early or mid-December, when stores have a wider selection of decorations at shoppers’ disposal. Some stores do not display all of their merchandise until after Thanksgiving. If you have your heart set on a natural Christmas tree, decorating later helps to ensure the tree remains fresh, fragrant and safe with the right care. Homeowners who delay their decorations also can take inventory of what neighbors are doing and design a decorating scheme that blends with the neighborhood or stands out. Some families even prefer to save their decorating until right before Christmas, choosing to decorate on Christmas Eve. Those who prefer to a more religious them to their holiday decorations may prefer to decorate later and keep their decorations on display until the celebration

of the Epiphany, when the magi are said to have arrived bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. Whether families enjoy stringing up lights as soon as Thanksgiving is over or waiting until Christmas Eve, there is no wrong way to embrace the spirit of the season.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

COLORS OF CHRISTMAS • Holiday Coloring Contest

Picture it merry and then fill it in do a great job and you could win! ~ CONTEST RULES


1. Contest open to children ages 2-11.


3. Only newspaper coloring sheet will be eligible for judging. No color copies.

2. 1st - 3rd prize winners will be awarded in two age groups, 2-5 yrs. and 6-11 yrs.





4. All entries must be postmarked or delivered by noon to Azle Pediatrics, 604 S.E. Parkway, Azle, Texas 76020 on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. 5. All entries become property of Azle Pediatrics. 6. Entries will be judged on neatness, use of color, creativity and overall appearance. Entries must be received by Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Out-of-the-box themes for your holiday party Parties are an integral part of the holiday season, when friends and family gather to celebrate and give thanks. For holiday hosts, parties are a great opportunity to make the season even more festive with an event that guests won’t soon forget. The following are just a few themes to make your holiday party as memorable as it is merry. • Christmas sweater party: Christmas sweater parties have grown in popularity over the last decade, when revelers have tried to outdo one another with the most outrageous holidaythemed sweater. Give prizes for the most outlandish sweater and let guests know early on so

they can begin their hunt for a holiday sweater that’s so ugly or outrageous you can’t help but love it. • Christmas costume party: Costume parties aren’t just for Halloween. This holiday season, consider making your holiday bash a costume party, encouraging guests to dress up as their favorite characters from holiday tales like “Frosty the Snowman,” “A Christmas Carol” or any of the host of beloved holiday legends. • Caribbean Christmas: The weather come the holiday season may be the one thing to put a damper on the festivities. To combat blue feelings from poPLEASE SEE THINK, PAGE 8.

Pretzel Jell-O Cake

well. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake 8-10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.

Recipe from Stephanie Cravotta

Strawberry Jell-O, cream cheese and pretzel collide in a fabulous flavor frenzy. 1. Pretzel layer · 2 cups crushed pretzels · 3/4 cup butter, melted · 3 tablespoons white sugar Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar, mix

2. Cream cheese layer · 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened · 1 cup white sugar · 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

3. Jell-O layer · 2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored Jell-O® · 2 cups boiling water · 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, In a large mixing bowl, mix together pour and spread over cream cheese cream cheese and sugar. Fold in layer. Refrigerate until set. whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled pretzel crust layer. Serves 12.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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At Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle, we understand the importance of breast care and early detection. That’s why we offer comprehensive services, from digital mammograms to ultrasound-guided biopsies. We also realize you’re busy during the week so we invite you to visit on a Saturday for your mammography screening. We even offer an online Breast Cancer Risk Assessment to determine your risk factors. Because when it comes to breast care, there’s too much at stake not to stay abreast. Please schedule your digital mammogram today.

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When it comes to breast care, we provide plenty of support.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Think out-of-the-box on your next party ■ THINK, FROM PAGE 6.

tentially inclement weather, consider a Caribbean theme for your holiday party this season. Rather than wearing sweaters and long pants, wear beach attire and give the party a touch of the Caribbean. Outfit your home in beach decor and serve food and drinks reminiscent of the Caribbean instead of more traditional holiday fare like eggnog and gingerbread cookies. • Film festival: Holiday movies are another tradition of the season, so why not invite friends

and family over for a holiday film marathon? Include classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story and encourage guests to submit their own favorites for consideration. • Christmas karaoke: For those who love to belt out their favorite holiday tunes, consider throwing a Christmas karaoke party that allows guests to perform their own renditions of their favorite Christmas carols. Purchase a home karaoke set and ask guests in advance of the party if there are any particular songs they’d like to perform.

Make New Friends...

Cream Cheese-Stuffed Peppers Recipe from Amber Plumley

Just as soon as this flaky and delicious family favorite appetizer hits the tabletop, it’s gone. Weeks before Thanksgiving, my family craves these fresh and warm treats. Before guests arrive on Thanksgiving Day, I sneak and devour one or two just to be sure I get a taste! · 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro · 8 fresh whole jalapeño chiles · 1 teaspoon grated lime peel · 1 (8 ounces) can refrigerated Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls · 4 ounces cream cheese softened · 4 ounces fresh, grated Parmesan cheese · 1/4 cup butter or margarine · 1 tablespoon lime juice Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Blend cream cheese, lime juice,

lime peel and cilantro in a bowl and set aside. Cut each jalapeño in half long ways, cut off stems and remove and throw away seeds. On a cutting board, unroll crescent dough and separate the already perforated triangles into 8. Cut each triangle in half, creating a total of 16 triangles. For each jalapeño half, spoon in 1 teaspoon of cream cheese mix; turn jalapeño cheese side down on top of the dough triangle with the point of jalapeño meeting the triangle point. Begin to roll the dough and jalapeño to combine and pinch at ends to seal. In a separate dish, combine melted butter and Parmesan cheese. Dip each jalapeño wrapped in dough into butter and roll in cheese to coat. Place each onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until Parmesan and dough are golden brown. Remove cooking sheet promptly, serve warm. Serves 16.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elf on the Shelf: useful tool or just creepy? How can a little elf become so popular with families during the holidays? Easy, make it a “special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists.” At least, that’s according to the Elf on the Shelf website, Once “adopted” by a family, the little boy or girl elf begins their daily adventures. Every night they take a trip back to Santa’s home in the North Pole to give a rundown of all things nice – and naughty – that occurred that day.

They return just before the household wakes up, always in a different place of course. What keeps this magic strong is a little holiday belief and childlike wonder. Only two simple rules are given to kids: 1. The elf cannot be touched or the fragile Christmas magic he has may be lost or weakened to the point of not being able to return to the North Pole. 2. The elf cannot speak or move while anyone is in the house – only watch and listen. Most often the elf “appears” in PLEASE SEE LITTLE, PAGE 13.

Sweet Potato Soufflé

a shallow 2-quart greased casserole. Topping: Recipe from Carla Noah Stutsman · 1/2 cup butter · 1/2 cup sugar I found this recipe in Lone Star · 1/4 cup flour Legacy II, a cookbook I bought at · 1 can (8 ounces) crushed Stockyards Traditions, a chic ladies pineapple, drained western clothing store located in the · 1 egg Fort Worth Stockyards in the mid- to late-1980s. The book is an official Melt butter. Cream in sugar and Texas Sesquicentennial cookbook presented by the Austin Junior Fo- flour. Add pineapple and egg and mix rum. The recipe itself was provided well. Pour over sweet potato mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. by Mrs. David (Priscilla) King. I’ve made this Sweet Potato SoufServes 10. flé for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year since then, and it’s always Note: I always double this recia family favorite. pe. If you do, too, be aware it will probably need to cook an hour or a Sweet potatoes: little more due to the density of the · 2 cans (29 ounces each) sweet sweet potato mixture. You’ll know potatoes it’s getting done when the pineapple · 1/2 cup butter topping begins to lose its gloss and · 1/4 cup milk brown around the edges. · 3 eggs I’ve sometimes sprinkled the top · 2 teaspoons vanilla extract with pecans, and other times, I’ve · 2 cups sugar mixed chopped pecans into the sweet Mash potatoes with a fork until potato mixture. Both were successful – well blended. Add remaining ingre- just make sure you’re not feeding anydients and mix well. Place mixture in one with nut allergies before you try it!

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Self Family Fruit Salad Recipe from Natalie Gentry

Travel tips for holiday visits Thousands of people take to the skies come the holiday season. High fares do doubt await holiday travelers, who also can count on higher baggage fees and fuel surcharges. Buying tickets early can help offset some of those costs, but many travelers may not know where they’ll be spending the holidays until the last minute, leaving them at the mercy of the airlines. Waiting for last-minute airline sales can be tricky, especially during the holidays when everyone needs to travel in a specific date range. Airlines continually evaluate just how many seats they have already sold to determine prices on reduced-fare seating. Getting a good deal or being gouged may come down to a variety of factors, but buying early when flying during a heavy travel season is often the best way to go. Airlines rarely discount tickets during the holiday season, when demand is especially high. Therefore, booking as soon as you know your travel plans increases the likelihood you can get the flight you want and not have to make concessions. In addition to booking early, there are other ways to save some money and arrive relatively jolly for a holiday visit.

• Travel midweek. Flying on a weekday is often less expensive than flying on a weekend. Some travel experts say flights on a Tuesday or Wednesday traditionally offer the lowest fares. • Consider an alternate route. Choosing connecting flights in travel hub cities may cost less than direct, nonstop flights. While from flight to flight may be less convenient, it’s likely to cost less money. • Ship your gifts. Rather than paying high fees for extra checked baggage, ship your gifts or have them directly shipped to your loved ones when buying online. • Book in mid-November. Some travel experts say that Christmas travel is at its cheapest during the middle of November. If you can arrive early at your destination then you can also save. Experts suggest flying before December 17 can earn travelers the best deals. • Choose an unpopular flight time. Early-morning, overnight and dinnertime flights are less expensive than more popular travel times. • Arrive on Christmas. It’s often less expensive to travel on Christmas, when surcharges may be waived and flights may be less packed.


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This salad is the culminating dish at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone begins asking for it the moment they walk through the door. In fact, the attempts to sneak bites before dinner got so outrageous that, for a few years, my mom and cousin took turns guarding it to make sure everyone ate dinner first. · 10-15 medium apples · 10 large oranges · 2 pounds seedless red grapes

· 1 large can sliced peaches in syrup · 8 bananas · 3/4 cup sugar

Refrigerate. Two hours before serving Slice the bananas into medallions. Add bananas and stir. Refrigerate.

Night before Peel and cut the apples and oranges into bite sized pieces. Cut the grapes in half. Cut the peaches into bit sized pieces. Save the syrup. Put syrup, apples, oranges, peaches and grapes in a large bowl. Stir in sugar (add more sugar if fruit isn’t very sweet). Add Fruit-Fresh to keep fruit from browning.

Serves 12. Note: Splenda can be substituted for half (but not all) of the sugar. Salad will end up dry if all sugar is replaced. This salad tastes best if prepared the night before. That way the juices from the fruits have time to blend.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Seasonal Sentiments

Joyous holiday Happy wishes to Thanksgiving you and your family …

we were growing up. You’ve always watched out for me. I love you! Merry Christmas, Kay __________________________

A BLESSED CHRISTMAS Kayla & Baylor Grace, and 2014 to the many we miss You are the best daughters a of Springtown and area. parent could ever have. We love You are still dear to us! you very much! Troy & Helen Mathena Momma & Daddy __________________________ __________________________ Mom & Dad, Thank you for being the Best Parents in the World! Merry Christmas! Love, Gatlin, Odie, Crea & Jason, Charlie Thank you for serving our __________________________ country so faithfully and coming home safely. You’re the best Darla, present ever! Merry Christmas. My sister and friend, thanks We love you, Natalie & Audrey for being so protective when

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Swedish Spits Cookies Recipe from Shirley Castor

ar, eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Sift dry ingredients together. Gradually add to creamed mixture, mixing well after each addition, until you get a stiff, pliable dough. Force through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until done but not brown. Cook slightly before removing cookie sheet. Let cool.

Many years ago when I was a young mother of three little girls, my mother gave me a cookie press saying she probably wouldn’t use it anymore. I’d never even heard of one, but I took it. A few years later, while looking for something new to try, I found a recipe in my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook which required a cookie press. Those cookies were such a hit Icing that they have been a requested part · 4 tablespoons milk of our holiday goodies ever since. · 2 tablespoons melted butter They’re really easy and fun · 1+ teaspoon vanilla or to make – as our daughters and almond flavoring grandkids will attest to. · powdered sugar · food coloring (if desired) Cookies Mix milk, butter and flavoring. · 1 ½ cups (or 3 sticks) Add powdered sugar gradually butter or margarine, until you get a thin icing you can softened (NOT melted) drizzle onto the cookies. · 1 cup sugar Or add enough to make a · 1 well beaten egg spreadable icing. · 2 teaspoons vanilla (OR 1 Add milk to thin the icing if it teaspoon vanilla + 1 teaspoon almond flavoring) gets too thick to spread. Decorate cookies with icing · 4 cups sifted flour · 1 teaspoon baking powder and/or candy sprinkles.

Makes 5-7 dozen depending on Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly cream butter, sug- size of cookies. Staff Favorites

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

German Drop Cookies Recipe from Johnna Bridges

Simple tasting, delicious desserts loaded with nuts, sprinkled with powdered sugar and no mixer required. · 1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour · 1/2 cup granulated sugar · 1 cup butter, softened · 1/8 teaspoon salt · 1 cup chopped pecans · 1/2 cup powdered sugar · 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Holiday music for the next generation One of the early indicators that the holiday season has arrived is the music play at retail stores and on the radio. Christmas music evokes strong emotions that help many people recall fond memories of holidays spent with family and friends.

While certain holiday albums have become classics, younger artists have begun to embrace holiday music as well. For example, Universal Music Group Nashville has announced that Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, will be avail-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients with a spoon. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and cinnamon. Sift powdered sugar mixture over warm cookies or roll cookies in sugar mixture.

by Russell

Recipe from Tonya McDowell

This melt-in-your-mouth recipe is always a hit.

Mix until creamy. Spread on cake. Serves 15.

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Icing · 1 stick butter · 6 tablespoons milk · 3 tablespoons cocoa · 1 box powdered sugar

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flour, sugar and salt into a bowl. In a saucepan, combine water, butter and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Add flour mixture to saucepan. Add eggs, buttermilk, 1/4 cup of peanut butter, baking soda, vanilla. Mix all together. Grease and flour a 10.5 x 15.5 pan. Pour ingredients into pan. Bake for 25-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread remaining 1 cup peanut butter on warm cake.

town-inspired Christmas album, while R&B superstar Mary J. Blige will put her soulful spin on holiday classics with her first-ever Christmas album. A Mary Christmas will be released through Interscope Records. Blige is working with acclaimed composer and arranger David Foster. In addition to those forthcoming albums, holiday enthusiasts can choose from many recent holiday albums from seasons past.


Makes 5 dozen.

Cake · 2 cups flour · 2 cups sugar · 1/2 teaspoon salt · 1 cup water · 2 sticks butter · 2 tablespoons cocoa · 2 well beaten eggs · 1/2 cup buttermilk · 1 1/4 cup peanut butter · 1 teaspoon baking soda · 1 teaspoon vanilla

able for purchase this holiday season. The Robertson family is based out of Louisiana and are the stars of the A&E reality show Duck Dynasty. In addition to being prolific duck hunters, the Robertsons also grew up singing in church, and members of the family will be showcasing those talents on their holiday album. Former X Factor winner Leona Lewis has revealed she is going to be recording a Mo-

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Little elf popular with many, not everyone ■ LITTLE, FROM PAGE 9.

One little spat or acting out and parents can simply point to their elf and remind kids that they better be on their best behavior. Santa will find out. Even when out of eyesight of parents, children still know that the elf is there to help keep tabs on them. A constant presence helps kids keep in mind to be on their constant behavior.

a family’s home close to Thanksgiving and stays with its adopted family through Christmas Eve. Although Elf on the Shelf set has been around since 2005, its popularity has only recently exploded and has sold over 6 million copies according to their website. Everyone knows when an elf has been adopted by a particular family. Not everyone’s a fan Facebook, Twitter and InstaElf on the Shelf, with all gram seem to blow up every its booming popularity, still holiday season with pictures doesn’t sit well with others. of the different – and enterReasons range from those taining – places an elf was that just don’t integrate found whether that be in Santa into their yearly the bathroom after a nice holiday season to the conelf spa treatment, hanging stant watchful elf being from a fan or even in the “creepy.” freezer, feasting away on There are several arsome ice cream. guments that, as good of a tool that Elf on the Parent’s little helper Shelf can be, the downAs much fun as Elf on side might outweigh the the Shelf can be, it can usefulness. also be a tool for parents. One such argument As kids, our parents is that by having the would say that Santa is constant surveillance watching and you betof an elf – a glorified ter be nice if you didn’t nannycam – kids do want coal in your stocknot learn an important ing. lesson of also being Others may have had good when there are no a hotline to Santa or wrote others watching. letters to make sure Santa Others suggest that knew they were being good. it only helps promote But Santa stayed far away the strayed lesson of kids bein the North Pole. ing good only for the purpose Today, it seems Santa and par- of getting something they want, ents like having an additional totally missing the true spirit of little helper. Christmas and giving – a general The elf can be a physical pres- observation of the holiday. ence which makes Santa somehow Some who have had experience seem much closer and not so far off. with Elf on the Shelf have found So be good for goodness sake. that the time and effort dedica-

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tion, not to mention the memory instill the holiday spirit into their to make sure the elf is not in the children and teach good lessons. - Christmas Mouse. A simple same place twice, is not worth inswitch from elf to mouse for corporating this new tradition. those who don’t include Santa for their holiday. Alternatives - Christmas Angel. Focused For those who are not quite sure they want to use Elf on the on the reason for the season. The Shelf, there are several other al- Christmas angel brings a mesternatives that may help parents sage of different ways the house-

hold must give that day. - Book Countdown. A Christmas book is read each day promoting family closeness and good lessons. Elf on the Shelf, Christmas Angel or whatever your family tradition may be, there is a way to incorporate fun tools and lessons for your kids during Christmas.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gift wrapping tricks and tips The holidays are here and that means shoppers have started to stockpile gifts for those they love. Once the shopping rush is over, the time to wrap all of those great finds and treasures has come. Although some people are gift-wrap gurus, there are many others who feel that their wrapping skills are lacking. Regardless, anyone can create delightful wrapped gifts with a little knowhow. Prepare The first step to wrapping is to have all of the supplies in one place. There are some people who have actually dedicated small rooms as gift-wrap stations. While you don’t have to go this far, find a large table and keep your tape, tags, paper, ribbon, scissor, pen, and other accessories nearby. Also, sort out the gifts according to recipient and have any gift receipts handy to wrap up with the gift. Wrap at a time when there are no distractions and you can devote your attention to the task at hand, like after children have gone to bed or during the day when no one is home.

Paper or Bags? When purchasing wrapping paper, it may be tempting to skimp on the quality of the paper to save money. However, a thicker, higher quality paper will make wrapping go more smoothly. That’s because it will be less likely to tear on boxes or when you’re rolling out and cutting it. Thicker paper means you’ll also be able to achieve more intricate folds and better creasing around boxes. It also may be more forgivable around oddly shaped items. Gift bags are the go-to wrapping medium when you’re short on time or have items that are not easily wrapped with paper. Because they come in a variety of sizes -- and even giant plastic bags to contain large gifts -- they are often more convenient.

• Buy neutral-patterned wrapping paper that coordinates with other papers. This way if you run out of one type of paper you can stagger other pieces and make a collage of papers so there’s no waste. • Use ribbon to dress up a gift and direct the eye away from any imperfections. • Keep a stack of paper scraps and use it instead of tissue paper to fill in gift bags. • Keep scissors sharp for clean cuts. • Pack smaller items or oddly shaped things into a different container that is easier to wrap. • Roll up clothing and place into a paper towel tube to turn the wrapping into a candy cane shaped gift. Practice often makes perfect when it comes to wrapping gifts. Having the right paper, a few Other Tips There are different tips that can help with decorative supplies and some patience can ensure that gifts look festive this year. wrapping.

First Baptist Church 500 N. MaiN Street • SpriNgtowN

Pastor: Dr. Hal Kinkeade

Perfect Mac & Cheese

roni like the package says. Cube up the rubbery Velveeta, the Recipe from Mark K. Campbell smaller the cubes, the faster it melts. When the mac is ready, drain but The holidays are full of ancient family recipes for things like stuff- don’t rinse then stir in all that other stuff. ing and cranberries and other junk. STIR CONSTANTLY (like Rice Not everyone eats those things but Krispies Treats, incessant stirring is all will relish this simply macaroni vital). and cheese concoction: Soon, everything will be creamy and unbelievably delicious. · 1-pound package of macaroni; Don’t worry about adding crum(Elbow is OK but if you get bly stuff to the top or baking anysmall shells, you can tell thing on it to spruce it up. kids that they’re eating teeny The kids (and finicky adult eaters) cornucopias then you can will be delighted that something acexplain what a cornucopia is tually edible is on the holiday table and that they were around – and you can chuckle at the food before the Hunger Games snobs while you gorge. while the water boils) Nod politely when you’re scolded · 1/2 pound of Velveeta for making such poor nutritional · 1/2 cup of milk choices. · 2 tablespoons of butter or Then say, “More for me!” and get margarine your second helping. · 1 tablespoon of salt Serves 10 (or 1 if you take it all for Salt the water and cook the maca- yourself).

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Secrets to holiday baking success Certain tips can ensure your holiday baking is successful. Baking is popular come the holiday season, when baked goods are often gifted or shared with family and friends at holiday gatherings. Individuals turn out sweet treats left and right, and these treats are often gobbled up by appreciative holiday revelers. Although some people have mastered baked goods, others can benefit from a few tricks of the trade. Utilize these tips to make holiday baking that much easier. • Overworked cookie dough may result in dry cookies. Try not to handle dough more than is necessary to roll it out to desired thickness. When rolling the dough, put it between

two pieces of waxed paper to reduce flour usage on the rolling pin. • When baking brownies or other bar-type cookies, line the inside of the pan with greased aluminum foil. This way you can lift out the dessert and cut it neatly instead of risking sticking. • The same technique can be used when baking cookies. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and bake as directed. The cookies should slide right off when done, and you won’t have messy pans to wash afterward.

• Double-check your oven temperature with a reliable thermometer to make sure it is accurate. This will help you bake more efficiently and adjust the time or temperature accordingly. • Many cookie doughs can be refrigerated or even frozen, so you can make a big batch and then spread out your baking as needed throughout the season.


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Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe from Erienne Reed

Pumpkin and cheesecake collide in a wonderful, holiday dessert. You can make your own yummy graham cracker crust, but I opt for the just as good – and easier – store bought pie crust already in foil pan. · 2/3 cup light brown sugar · 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon · 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger · 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves · 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg · 1/4 teaspoon salt · 2 packages (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temperature · 3 large eggs, room temperature · 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract · 1 cup pure pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

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BRACE and beat until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Pour the filling over the crust in the foil pan and place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water, on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still a little wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Total baking time 40-60 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Then place the plastic pie cover or a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferably overnight, before serving.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), on low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Makes 1 deep dish pie or 2 regular Gradually add the sugar mixture size pies.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013



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111313 azlenewscelebrations  

Azle News Celebrate the Seasons special section published November 13, 2013

111313 azlenewscelebrations  

Azle News Celebrate the Seasons special section published November 13, 2013