Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Advent Day 6 2016

Well, it had to happen eventually.  Today's cookie is an epic.  Pinterest.  Don't {even}.....Meh!  Double Meh!!!!

I eagerly opened the flap for December 6th, and what did I see???

Pretty little candy canes.  Red-and-white-upsidedown-j's-for-Jesus.  And, yes, I CAN follow directions.  I followed the recipe, and the rolling part was like Play-doh from you know where....

This one wins the ugly cookie award:

Maybe if I put the cookie on a striped plate it will be camouflaged....

Even the stinking' sugar didn't stick to the cookie correctly!

See the pretty roses?  Mr. Art @ Home brought me flowers to cheer me up.  I've had a craptastic day all the way around.

I need some scripture!

Romans 15:14-21New International Version 

Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about him will see,
    and those who have not heard will understand.”

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Monday, December 5, 2016

Advent Day Five 2016

Happy Monday, My Lovelies!!!  Welcome to Day Five of Advent here on my blog.  Today's cookie: Double Chocolate Chewies.  They're meringue cookies, so they're lighter than your average chocolate chip cookie.  HERE is a similar recipe, and you can always add walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts.  Just make sure you toast them first!

These are excellent, and the toasted macadamia nuts and chocolate chips give them just the right amount of taste and texture.

These cookies also pair well with hot chocolate!

Matthew 3:1-12

3:1 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming,

3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

3:3 This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'"

3:4 Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

3:5 Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan,

3:6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

3:7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

3:8 Bear fruit worthy of repentance.

3:9 Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

3:10 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

3:11 "I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Advent Day Four 2016

Sunday Blessings, My Lovelies!  Today's Advent cookie might be my very favorite.  This is a new cookie to me, and it will be a permanent member of the Treleaven Christmas Cookie Repertoire because this little baby has the skill to delight.

So what is today's cookie, you ask?  It's the Malted Milk Chocolate Cookie.

Because this recipe is da bomb (dot) com, I will be sharing it with you because friends don't let friends bake malted milk cookies with cream cheese, no.  They.  Do.  NOT!

*le sigh*

So I've never seen a cookie quite like this one.  Like I said before, this malted milk cookies does not list cream cheese as an ingredient, and I like that the chocolate isn't baked into the cookie via chocolate milk mix or chocolate chips.

Malted Milk Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 jumbo egg
1 1/2 t vanilla extract (I use Mexican)
3/4 cup Carnation Malted Milk Powder
1/2 t salt
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
8 oz. milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 t Crisco vegetable oil


1.   Preheat oven to 350.

2.   In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium until the butter and sugar are light, 2 - 3 minutes.  Beat in the egg and vanilla, and then beat in the malted milk powder and salt. On low speed, gradually beat in the flour until just mixed.  The dough will be stiff.

3.   Use a melon scoop and scoop dough and place on cookie sheets (you'll need 2 of them) 1 1/2 inches apart.

4.   Bake in the center of the oven until set on top when lightly tested with a fingertip and golden on the bottom, 12 - 15 minutes.  Let cool on the cookie sheets for two minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Now, on to the fun stuff...

5.   When the cookies are cool, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on 80 % power until the chocolate has melted.  Stir in the vegetable oil to create a smooth coating consistency.

6.   Dip the top of each cookie in the melted chocolate with a swirling action to coat the top almost completely.  Return the cookies to the rack and let stand until the chocolate sets.  Our kitchen was warm, so I placed them in the refrigerator and they set in about ten minutes.

Makes about two dozen cookies.

It has recently been brought to my attention that a certain group of UAB Medical School students enjoy reading my blog for brain candy with sprinkles.  To reward your dedication to reading my blog, I'm sure Shanley Belle can be coerced talked into sharing the bounty of the season with you. Yes.  I mean cookies for sleepy study session.  My cookies have the right combination of sugar and carbs to wake you up!  I love you guys!

Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort for God’s People

40 Comfort, comfort my people,
    says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
    that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out.”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Zion,
    go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,
    lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
    say to the towns of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
    and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

Next to the Lord, nothing comforts like cookies!  And if cookies aren't your first choice for comfort food you must be crazy then what is your first choice?  I'd like to know!

Until next time...


Ricki Jill

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Advent Day Three 2016

Happy Saturday, My Lovelies!  Today's cookie is the Ginger Pfeffernüsse, a traditional Christmas cookie in Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands.  This is the first time I've tried baking pfeffernüsse, but I've tasted it several times before.  This recipe did not include molasses, and I think I like them better with it.  Although the recipe in the books was very good, I suggest you try this recipe.

Pfeffernüsse means pepper nut, and from what I've read recipes with white pepper tastes better than black pepper. The recipe from the book also had ground almonds.

For those of you who might not know, I'm baking a different cookie from this Cookie Advent Cookbook everyday until Christmas Eve.  Most of the cookies are being shared with friends and neighbors.

John 1:19-28

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

Friday, December 2, 2016

Literary Friday: The Invasion of the Tearling

About The Invasion of the Tearling

In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller The Queen of the Tearling, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Kelsea and her realm. With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.

But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling and that of Kelsea's own soul may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out. In this dazzling sequel, Erika Johansen brings back favorite characters, including the Mace and the Red Queen, and introduces unforgettable new players, adding exciting layers to her multidimensional tale of magic, mystery, and a fierce young heroine.

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Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Erika Johansen

Erika Johansen grew up and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She went to Swarthmore College, earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and eventually became an attorney, but she never stopped writing. Follow the Tearling series on Facebook and Tumblr.

My Review:

I wouldn't have thought it possible, but I liked The Invasion of the Tearling even better than The Queen of the Tearling.  The book contains two narratives in one: the story of Queen Kelsea's kingdom as they await the impending invasion of the Tearling Kingdom by the evil Red Queen of Mortmesne and the story of  Lily, a pre-crossing woman living in a scary late twenty-first century United States.

Kelsea's powers are developing, and she keeps having visions of Lily's life during catatonic states where she sleepwalks and experiences events from Lily's life.  Lily's America is so scary to me.  A divided America has evolved into such extremes: the "occupiers" become total anarchists and only care about destroying;  the uber-conservative government builds steel walls around cities and strips women of basic civil rights.  The question is this: Why does Kelsea continue having these visions about Lily, and what is Kelsea's connection to Lily?  This question is hinted at but not fully answered in The Invasion of the Tearling, and I'm hoping that more will be revealed in The Fate of the Tearling.

Other intriguing plot points in The Invasion of the Tearling include Kelsea's relationship with her personal guard Pen and the new sadistic Holy Father who terrorizes Father Tyler.  Plus there's a very scary man named  Rowland Finn and I use the term "man" very loosely because I have no idea what he is.  But he's very powerful, and there also seems to be a connection between him and The Fetch, Kelsea's first "crush" who's wreaking havoc in the Mort as he's leading rebellion all over the kingdom.

There's a lot to love about this series, part fairytale, part dystopian, and part magical realism (Lily's storyline).  If you like any of these three genres, you'll love The Tearling.

You may read my review of The Queen of the Tearling here.

What is the latest book series you've read that you'd recommend? 


I received a copy of The Invasion of the Tearling from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill