Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes

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Pinterest Cooking Sleepover Recipes

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It’s been a long cold winter in NE Indiana. The kind of winter that calls for lots of comfort food. (Thank goodness for baggy sweaters!)

Last Friday I invited all the girls at our church, ages K-12 grade, to a Pinterest cooking sleepover. It was a total blast and I can’t wait to share the recipes we tried! I’ve been collecting Pinterest recipes for a long time on my Pinterest board. I will never find enough time to make all of them, but having a cooking sleepover allowed us to make and try six different fattening and  delicious recipes! Some were a hit and others were so-so. All were kid-friendly and fun.

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Before we started our cooking activities, I reminded the girls how God made us with His hands and how special we are to Him. I asked them to remember as we worked with our hands, how God loves what He made just as we love what we make. I reminded them that they are royalty–the daughters of the King of Kings.

Recipe 1:

Pepperoni Roll-ups

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Bing free-use image. I forgot to take pics of our finished products but this is exactly how we served them up!

This was so easy and the kids loved doing it. They were delicious, too.

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I spread parchment paper all along the table and after the girls washed their hands, gave them each two crescent roll doughs, five pepperonis and a handful of mozzarella cheese. Most recipes call for a stick of string cheese, but using grated cheese was less expensive.

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I had the help of three other adults and the older girls pitched in and helped the younger girls. This activity worked for all ages and all abilities. One of our teens has autism and an intellectual disability and she had no trouble participating like everyone else. We all had fun eating the pepperoni and cheese, too, as we worked!

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We used cupcake paper to put the spaghetti sauce in for dipping when we served them. The girls loved them. They were surprisingly filling, too! (Uh, the roll-ups, not the girls!)

Since we have a western theme going on for our Children’s ministry, while the roll-ups were cooking, I read them a cute little book about a little cowboy and a very bossy cowgirl who’s a know-it-all: Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door. We talked about how to be a good friend and the difference between being bossy and being a leader. The book also emphasizes forgiveness, so we were able to discuss that as well. (And yes, the teen girls were just as engaged. I find that teens love story books.)

Conrad and the Cowgirl Next Door

The next thing we made were loaded nachos! I modified a very spicy recipe for little girl palates so it wasn’t so hot. We used Scoops brand Tostitos for the girls to put the filling in themselves. (Adults mixed the filling.)

Recipe 2

Loaded Nachos (for kids)

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans refried beans
  • 2 cans whole kernel sweet corn drained (I think you could easily use frozen as long as it’s thawed and drained first)
  • 1 can nacho cheese sauce
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (2 could be used if your kids like spicier foods)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese

Instructions:

Mix together and put in Sccops shells (you could spread this over a pan of chips, too)

Other recipes include beef or chicken, jalapenos and avocados. Any mix like this can be modified to your family’s preferences.

After the shells are filled, sprinkle Mexican mix cheese (Colby and cheddar) over top. Put in oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted on the top. Serve.

NOM! Just typing this makes me hungry!

This recipe made two full cookie sheet pans. The picture above doesn’t do justice to how delicious this was! And all the adults agreed these would make great little hors d’ourves for a party!

Recipe 3

“Gourmet” Hot Cocoa

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Again, I modified a Pinterest recipe. If you do a search on Pinterest for “Crock-pot Hot Cocoa” you’ll find lots of variations. Here’s what I put in our 8 quart crock-pot (this is not diet-friendly by any means but it’s delicious!)

  • 2 bags chocolate chips (you can use any kind, we used bittersweet)
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups heavy whipped cream
  • 12 cups milk (almost a gallon — we used 2%)

Heat in crock-pot on low being careful not to scald it. Stir often as the chips melt. When I served it to the little girls I added cold milk to their cups to cool it off. I served the adults straight up and hot. We didn’t have any marshmallows but I think that would have ruined it, actually. It was so good!

Recipe 4

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

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We had beautiful red, juicy strawberries but my method of making dipping chocolate bombed. I’d read a blog from Pinterest that said you could just melt chocolate chips. Don’t believe it. I knew better because I’ve helped my friend make candy before and she’s super picky about “tempering the chocolate.” But, I thought I’d try it.

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If you’re going to dip chocolate, get a dipping chocolate. That’s my number one recommendation. It really is a science. Bakers has a great dipping chocolate for the microwave that is super easy to use.  I’ve used it in a special education class before and you really can’t ruin it.

Next time I’ll use a chocolate fountain. I’ve successfully used those before without failure.

So what happened? I must have gotten the chocolate chips too hot and they hardened in the bowl. So I added butter and it helped some, but still it wasn’t thin enough for dipping. So I gave each girl a spoonful of chocolate in their own little bowl and plopped their strawberries on them. And, as it often does when you cook a flop, those strawberries and chocolate were the most popular treat of the night!  Everyone begged for more.

Recipe 5

Cherry Pizza

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Who doesn’t love cherry pizza? The teen girls made this easy-peasy treat and we served it for breakfast:

Ingredients:

  • Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • Can of cherry filling
  • Cream cheese frosting (we made ours from scratch; recipe here)
  • Butter
  • Granola

Instructions:

Roll out the pie crusts (we used two pie crust to make two pizzas) and slather with butter. Bake until browned. Remove from oven and spread 1 can of cherries on each pie crust. Drizzle with cream cheese frosting and granola. Serve.

We didn’t put the frosting and granola on the pizzas until the next morning. (We re-heated the pizzas first.) They disappeared fast! Nothing was left!

Recipe 6

Cheesecake Cake Batter Dip

The girls’ favorites were the strawberries. But my favorite was this dip. I was exhausted by the time we got to this point and it felt so good to settle in with my hot cocoa and this dip with graham crackers. The teen girls mixed this one up themselves. It was sooo good! Instead of serving it dip-like, we frosted graham crackers with it for the little ones. Us older girls dipped to our heart’s content.

I found this recipe on Pinterest but the pin was taken straight IWashYouDry.com (see URL on the picture caption above). There are other variations on this recipe on Pinterest using Funfetti cake mix, so check those out, too. I chose this one because I love the tang of cream cheese and sour cream. Our first batch tasted “funny” and I think it was the vanilla. I think we got a bad bottle. So we threw that batch out and made another without the vanilla and it was scrumptious.

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup white cake mix
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sprinkles
  • Graham Crackers for dipping
Instructions:
  1. Place cream cheese in your mixing bowl and beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes, or until it becomes light and whipped.
  2. Bring speed down to medium and add the sour cream and vanilla, mix until incorporated. Slowly add the powdered sugar and cake mix to the bowl and mix until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then gently fold in the sprinkles.
  3. Serve cold with graham crackers, pretzels, or fresh fruit slices. Enjoy!

I can hear the Mommies of the Year yelling at me about how unhealthy these treats were. This is not something I recommend serving on a regular basis. These were party foods. One night of supreme, delectable indulgence.  And because there were so many of us, there was little chance of over-indulging.

Besides, I’ve promised the girls that at our next sleepover in the summer, we’ll have a pool party and consume copious amounts of fruits and vegetables to make up for it! I see lots of smoothies in my future.

If you have any cute raw fruit and veggie recipes, send them my way!

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C is for Church

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I love this painting. I have a copy of it my mother gave me when I graduated with my degrees in theology. It’s a beautiful symbol to me of a pastor’s wife.

As you may already know, Church is a huge part of my life as a pastor’s wife and associate minister. (Yes, I’m an ordained minister. I don’t crow about it much because I enjoy my role as a pastor’s wife and more people identify with it.)

There are a lot of people missing out on church these days and guess whose fault it is?

Those who go to church.

Yup.

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Here are some statistics to chew on regarding church attendance from Thom Ranier’s book, The Unchurched Next Door and other sources:

  • “Eighty-two percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited.”
  • “Only two percent of church members invite an unchurched person to church. Ninety-eighty percent of church-goers never extend an invitation in a given year.”
  • “A study including more than 15,000 adults revealed that about two-thirds are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member and 56 percent from a friend or neighbor. The message is clear that the unchurched are open to conversations about church.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research

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  • “Four percent of formerly churched adults are actively looking for a church to attend regularly (other than their previous church). Six percent would prefer to resume attending regularly in the same church they had attended. The largest group, 62 percent, is not actively looking but is open to the idea of attending church regularly again.”–Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “Clearly we can encourage Christians to pray that the unchurched would sense God calling them back, but God works through His people.” “The survey showed that many would respond to an invitation from a friend or acquaintance (41 percent), their children (25 percent) or an adult family member (25 percent).” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research

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  • The issue of affinity also surfaced in the responses. Thirty–five percent indicated that they would be inspired to attend church ‘if I knew there were people like me there.’” –Scott McConnell, LifeWay Research
  • “Much to the surprise of the ‘Chicken Little’ crowd, people are still going to church. And more people would attend if given one simple thing—an invitation.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
  • Most people come to church because of a personal invitation.
  • 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church in their whole lives.

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  • The top “rational” reason adults seldom or never attend church is they don’t agree with organized religion or what they preach (24 percent).
  • “Perhaps one of the most underestimated reasons people return to the church is that someone simply invited them back.”
  • The U.S. Church is in a general state of decline, with fewer than 20 percent regularly attending church. This suggests that 7.9 million people may be leaving churches annually–that’s 150,000 each week!  Thom Rainer/Sam Rainer –Outreach Magazine

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  • The study revealed that 63 percent of Americans are willing to receive information about a local church from a family member, and 56 percent are willing to receive it from friend or neighbor.” – Philip Nation, LifeWay Research
  • A majority (66 percent) of Americans are unwilling to receive information through an e-mail message, and 70 percent say e-mail would be ineffective in getting them to visit.
  • “Americans wanting to find out more about God look to the Bible first (33 percent) but are willing to engage Christian friends and family members as well to discover more about God.” – Philip Nation

Ask yourself this question: why don’t I invite more people to church?

Here’s a hilarious video that addresses the issue of inviting our neighbors. It’ll make you giggle. I think giggling makes us less afraid.

So, do you see yourself or others in this video? I’d love to share the chuckle with you!

Take a step of faith this week and invite someone to church!

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A to Z blog hop at Patterings.


October is Pastor Appreciation Month

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My church family gave us the most unexpected surprise Sunday when they presented all the pastors with gift baskets via our talented clown ministry team.

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As you may or may not know, my husband is the pastor of Christian Fellowship Church in North Manchester, Indiana. It’s one of the smallest churches in town member-wise. It’s not the hip church or the popular church. It’s the only non-denominational church and filled to the brim with love.

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A lot of people come to our church that are on the fringes of society and a lot of people come to our church who aren’t. Most of the kids in our youth group have disabilities. I’m not sure why God sends us those he does, but I’m so happy to say our church folks welcome people from all walks of life with open arms. Not just in words, either. You truly feel the love when you walk into the building. It oozes warmth.

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My husband is a nurturing type of pastor. He visits the sick, builds wheelchair ramps at people’s homes when needed, helps do household repairs for widows and the aged, and genuinely loves people. He is very people oriented, whereas, I’m more task oriented. It’s a good thing, too. While my husband doesn’t have the gift of administration–a task-oriented gift–I do. Since we don’t have a church secretary, I can slide right in beside him and help with administrative duties.

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Pastor Eddie Akins (Mr. Himself, as I fondly refer to him)

Small churches are much more labor intensive than large churches. But there’s also a real sense of family in a small church. I’m not saying you can’t get that in a big church. I know you can. I’m just saying that small churches have a lot to offer, too.

Our services are more casual, perhaps, than in a bigger church. For instance, we were clowning around when taking these pictures and that’s why I look silly in them:

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Our pastoral staff, Pastor Eddie and me on the left end and me acting silly to get a laugh. Imagine that.

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At least I’m a little more refined in this pic even though I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat…

I was truly surprised to get the gifts Sunday. It’s hard to surprise me since I’m the administrator/secretary/social events coordinator/Christian Ed. director/piano player/choir director. I love being surprised this way! It truly sent the message to me that I’m valued and loved. It sent the same message to Mr. Himself.

What have you done lately to honor your pastor? A simple note of encouragement will take him through a difficult week. I know this very well. Never think a small token of gratitude is too small. Pastors and their families are drained dry at times and we hear much more complaining than we do encouragement.

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Take a little time this month to say, “Thank you.”

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Why kicking and screaming is not the best idea

On Sunday I was feeling like I wasn’t very good at much of anything I do.

Ever feel that way?

On this particular day, I felt I wasn’t a very good pastor’s wife.

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It’s been a difficult year and a half or so of transitions at our church. And we’ve been through a lot of battles and broken hearts. And sometimes I think to myself, “I just can’t do this anymore.”

On Sunday I prayed, “Lord, I’ll keep doing this if you want me to, but I need your grace to do it. I’m just not feeling like I’m very good at it and I’m not sure I want keep on trying.”

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You’d think after 32 years I’d hit my stride or something, but nope. I still have self-doubts. I still wonder if I’m doing something wrong.

I know that in my heart I’m doing the best that I can. But I do have a fear of growing bitter and not better with each struggle. It never gets easier. It’s always very difficult work. And God called me, the most unlikely of mortals, to do this loving-difficult-people thing. I don’t have a rhino skin. I’m a sensitive soul. Very tenderhearted. I get hurt easily.

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Why on earth would God call someone like me to do His work?

Makes no sense, does it?

So I prayed and I felt the Lord nudging me. “You can trust me, Karla. I have a plan. You can’t see the big picture. I can.”

Oh, to rest in that trust.

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I tend to go kicking and screaming into rest. It’s not my nature. I’m a fixer. A doer.

Just rest in His plan?

Not as easy as it sounds.

But it’s a command, isn’t it?

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

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God never intended for me to do this by myself. He never wanted to burden me down with His concerns. These kingdom things are all His to figure out, aren’t they?

I’m still learning how to trust Him with my life even when it doesn’t make sense. I thought I’d learned that lesson long ago. But apparently, I must still need some practice.

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