Every year we look for different ways to enjoy the holidays and come up with new activities to keep our seniors engaged. One of the ways that we can be certain to have a sure-fire good time for all is to include children or young people in whatever we have planned. The inter-generational activities prove to be a good time for all. Last week one of my sister facilities shared some photos of coloring Easter eggs using shaving cream. Such a fabulous fun! Something, where everyone can get their hands a little dirty and be creative at the same time, is a great idea for all ages. We are planning is to invite some local children who are out on Spring Break this week and do Shaving Cream Marbled Easter Eggs. Want to make some of your own? Here is what you need and what to do.
SHAVING CREAM MARBLED EASTER EGGS
Items You will Need:
3 or 4 colors of liquid water or food coloring
Jelly roll pan or disposable pan
Paintbrush or pencil to swirl your colors
Cooking cooling rack
Paper towels or wax paper for under the cooling rack to catch the paint drips
Towel to clean up messes
Apron or old shirt
Set your cooling rack up with paper towel or wax paper below
Fill a section of your pan with shaving cream – I did 3 sections, each section had two colors that gave us 3 different color combinations
Sprinkle several drops of each color of food coloring on the shaving cream
Swirl your shaving cream and food coloring. Don’t over swirl or the colors will mix too much and will not be as bright.
Place your egg in the pan, and swirl the egg around until is covered with colored shaving cream
If shaving cream becomes overly mixed just make another section and add food coloring and swirl again
Allow eggs to dry overnight. Shaving cream will partially dry, leaving a nice mess that needs to be cleaned up.
Using a paper towel rub off the dried shaving cream from each egg.
Show your beautiful eggs off!
Across the state at our communities we are making time for tea to celebrate! We are planning these tea parties to toast our excellent communities and the residents, staff and families that make them so special. In honor of this Tea Time, this week the blog will feature a recipe that is a must for your party menu. Many thanks to Donna Burch the daughter of our resident Opal Newsome for sharing this delicious recipe with us.
STRAWBERRY PRETZEL SALAD
2 C. pretzels, coarsely crushed ¾ c. melted butter or margarine
3 T. sugar (for crust) 1 (6-oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello
1 c. sugar 2 (10-oz.) pkgs. Frozen strawberries
1 c. boiling water
1 (8-oz.) ctn. Cool Whip
1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
Mix crushed pretzels, butter and sugar; press into bottom of a 9X13-inch pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool completely. In another bowl beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Stir in carton of Cool Whip. Then spread onto cooled crust. Dissolve Jello in 1 cup of bowling water. Then stir in strawberries and let stand 10 minutes. Pour this mixture on top of cream cheese mixture in pan. Chill in refrigerator. Makes about 12 servings.
Pictured are Mr. Charles Burch, our resident, Mrs. Opal Newsome and her daughter Mrs. Donna Burch
The holidays are all about giving and one of my favorite gifts to give is a sweet treat called Christmas Trash. Now while this may sound strange, it is DELICIOUS and so easy to make! We are preparing for Holiday Open House Celebrations and Christmas parties at many of our properties across the state. In our community, I already received the request from several of our residents for me to make my addicting treat of TRASH! With that being said, I thought I would share this holiday favorite. Here’s to your happy holiday baking and treat making! I hope you enjoy!. You can also look below the recipe for some presentation inspiration for gift giving your treats.
- 3 cups Rice Chex
- 3 cups Corn Chex
- 3 cups honey nut Cheerios toasted oat cereal
- 2 cups small pretzels
- 2 cups salted peanuts
- 1 (12 ounce) bag of holiday M&M’s plain chocolate candy (red & green)
- 1 (12 ounce) bag of holiday M&M’s peanut chocolate candies (red & green)
- 2 (12 ounce) bags white chocolate chips
- Mix all ingredients but the white chocolate morsels in a large bowl.
- Melt white chocolate morsels according to directions on the package.
- Pour melted white chocolate over the cereal mixture and toss well to coat.
- Spread on waxed paper and let sit until the white chocolate hardens.
- Store in an airtight container.
Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The trees show off their brightest and boldest colors as the leaves start to change. We break out the fall clothing (well, perhaps on some days…let’s be honest I live in the South). My favorite sport of college football is in full swing and I love the local Friday Night Lights as well. So, in honor of this beloved season, I wanted to share a delicious recipe to get you in the mood for fall food. And when we think of FALL, many of us think of pumpkin spice everything! Pure pumpkin is considered a SUPER FOOD as it is low in calories and fat and is a naturally rich source of fiber and Vitamin A (AN ANTIOXIDANT). So here is a delicious and easy recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffins that is sure to be a crowd pleaser and bring in the wonderful taste and fragrance of FALL!
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15 ounces) 100% Pure Pumpkin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water or orange juice
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Paper-line or grease 30 muffin cups.
COMBINE flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 full.
BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store muffins in a covered container or re-sealable plastic bags.
FOR 72 MINI MUFFINS:
PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes.
FOR 12 JUMBO MUFFINS:
PREPARE as above; filling 3/4 full. Bake for 33 to 36 minutes.
Today we are honoring Gardens of Clanton resident Lucille Mims. Mrs. Lucille is 94 years old and thoroughly enjoys being a resident at our Clanton community. Most folks when they think of Clanton, immediately think of peaches. Clanton is famous for their delicious peaches and their water tower in the shape of a peach. August is National Peach Month and in honor of Mrs. Lucille Mims, the Gardens of Clanton and the delicious fruit…we are sharing a delicious recipe for Peach Cobbler. We hope you all enjoy this delicious taste of summer!
Peach Cobbler Recipe
- 8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- MIX TOGETHER:
- 3 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
- In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch.
- Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
- Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
Pictured is Mrs. Mims and her loving granddaughter
Elizabeth Andrew once said that “volunteers do not necessarily have the time…they have the heart.” With that being said I wanted to shine light on one of our many volunteers that brighten our days at Great Oaks Management. Ellen Dewberry has been volunteering at the Gardens of Eufaula since 2010. She brightens the days of our residents and shares the word with Bible Study on Wednesday afternoons. Mrs. Dewberry is one of our shining stars! In honor of her sweetness we are going to share her delicious recipe for Turtle Cake! Thank you Ellen Dewberry for your kindness and your servant’s heart. We at Great Oaks Management love our volunteers who are always being willing to share!
¾ cup butter
½ cup canned milk (use small can)
1 (1lb) bag caramels
1 cup chocolate chips
1 German chocolate cake mix
Mix cake mix according to package directions. In 9 X 13 inch pan that has been greased and floured, pour ½ batter. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. While this is baking unwrap caramels. Put in bowl and add the butter and milk. Microwave one to two minutes until melted. When cake is done, pour mixture over cake. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of that. Pour rest of batter over this and bake for 20 more minutes.
Recipe Courtesy Ellen Dewberry
This week we shared some delicious fresh strawberries from our local folks at Backyard Orchards. They were absolutely divine! Not only were they tasty…they were delivered right to our door from one of the owners! Talk about sweet! And since National Pick Strawberries Day is coming up on May 20th, I decided to share some health benefits and a strawberry dessert recipe from one of our residents.
Now I have been obsessed with strawberries since my days as a young girl in the 80s playing with my Strawberry Shortcake dolls. (Yes, I may be giving away my age.) But I had no idea how good they are for you! According to organicfacts.net, strawberries have many nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, dietary fiber and magnesium. They have 150% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C in a single serving! Together, these components are responsible for the overwhelming health benefits of strawberries. Here are 6 of the Top Health Benefits of the Strawberry
- They boost your immune system. Want to stay well and fight off sickness? Eat a healthy diet, rich in this healthy fruit.
- They reduce the risk of eye related ailments. Strawberries are helpful because of the potassium they contain that helps our eyes maintain the right pressure.
- Strawberries have even been shown to help maintain normal blood pressures!
- They lower the risk of arthritis, gout and cancer.
- Strawberries have been shown to help regulate proper functioning of the nervous system.
- They also can help prevent heart diseases and reduce cholesterol.
Those are all wonderful reasons to eat strawberries! And if you are like me and are drawn to desserts with the delicious fruit…here is a link to our website with a finger licking favorite that is perfect to feature your fresh strawberries and just screams summertime.
Gardens of Daphne resident Shirley Hartley loves sharing her baking skills. She has her very own recipe book called “Squirrelly Shirley Cookbook Specials” that has sold over 300 copies. Here is one of her strawberry favorite recipes that she wanted to share!
Mother’s Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jello
1 cup oil
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen strawberries, thawed (do not drain)
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix first 4 ingredients. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add strawberries and pecans. Pour in greased and floured pans and bake at 350 degrees ( 9″X13″ pan for 40 minutes) or (Two 9″ pans for 20-25 minutes)
1 stick of butter, softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar
Combine until smooth-Add 1 cup of strawberries thawed and drained and 1/2 cup chopped pecans
I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life that someone offered me chocolate that I refused. That may be why I typically keep a pair of Spanx close by. But I must say that one of all-time favorite chocolate treats is a slice of chocolate layer cake. We have a precious lady at the Gardens that makes the absolute best chocolate cake that I have ever put in my mouth! So… when she agreed to put the recipe out to share on the blog, I jumped at the chance.
But before we get to that…here is a little background on the lady we affectionately refer to as ‘Aunt Dimp”
Dimple Zorn grew up just outside of Clayton, Alabama. She is a former Gardens of Eufaula queen and I tease her that she keeps the roads hot staying on the go… She has a love for life and is the mother of 3 wonderful children as well as the grandmother to 5 grandsons and 2 great grandsons and 2 great granddaughters. She was married to her late husband, Willie Ray for 66 years. Aunt Dimp told me that she started learning from her Mother how to cook at the age of 9 or 10. She says that she has always loved baking. She has agreed to help us learn to bake her special chocolate cake during an activity this week at the Gardens of Eufaula. This recipe has always been a requested favorite in her family. I hope you will take this recipe and share it with someone you love.
Aunt Dimp’s Chocolate Layer Cake
2 cups sugar
3 cups self-rising flour
1 cup oil
1 cup milk
Mix above ingredients together. Spray pans well with Bakers Choice (with flour). For 9 inch pans use ¾ cup of batter and for 8 inch pans use ½ cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees until done. Cake layers will not brown much.
3 cups sugar
½ cup cocoa
19 oz. can evaporated milk
2 ½ sticks margarine or butter
Mix above ingredients together. Let them come to a boil for 3 ½ minutes. Stack each layer and cover with filling. Then stack again until all layers have been stacked together with filling in between each layer.
Years of baking this cake taught me to add 3 extra tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon Karo light syrup to the remaining filling. Boil until thick, approximately 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Cover the entire cake with this mixture. Doing this makes a pretty cake.
Depending on the size cake pan you use, this cake will be 11 to 13 layers.