December 2014

Sweet tradition

There is the warm glow of a crackling fire, the smell of evergreen wafting in the air, sparkling lights in a rainbow of colors, along with holiday music and laughter as family reconnects. These are all sights and sounds of the Christmas season. But wait, one thing is missing – the mouth-watering aromas associated with […]


Issue Contents

Sweet tradition

There is the warm glow of a crackling fire, the smell of evergreen wafting in the air, sparkling lights in a rainbow of colors, along with holiday music and laughter as family reconnects. These are all sights and sounds of the Christmas season. But wait, one thing is missing – the mouth-watering aromas associated with […]

Neapolitan Cookies

I’ve been making these for more than 20 years. They are my son Nick’s favorite cookies and also a family favorite. There are several cookie recipes that I usually make every Christmas but I also try some I haven’t made before. I bake at least a dozen or more different kinds, depending on how much […]

Mom’s No Name Cookie Bars

Mom always made these cookie bars at Christmastime. She knew I loved them and I don’t remember her making them any other time of the year. I really look forward to eating them each year. – Rick Polley, Manager/Field Services

German Gingerbread Cookies

My sister and I started making these cookies in our early teens. We made them every year until I moved out of state and got married. We would spend an afternoon rolling out the dough and carefully decorating gingerbread men, women, Christmas trees, stars, etc. with colored sugars, nuts and miniature chocolate chips. One year […]

Sugar Cookies

My children (and now grandchildren) enjoy cutting these out and decorating them. From the time they were little, we would take a day to make these special cookies. We would use everything from colored sugars and sprinkles to forming different decorations out of Starburst candies. – Valerie Cheatham, Assistant Editor, Illinois Country Living

Clothespin Cookies

– Mary Zitek, Safety/Education Services Coordinator

Fantasy Fudge

My Dad and I shared a love of chocolate. Every year at Christmas he would make several batches of fudge. A lot of it was given away to neighbors, friends and family as gifts, but the rest was fair game. I used to love watching Dad make it and hung around to make sure I […]

Kourabiethes

My Grandma Barb’s father emigrated from Greece in 1909, and she is half-Greek. As I grew up, one of my favorite foods at Christmas time, and something I still look forward to today, are Grandma’s Greek butter “Crescent Cookies.” – Chris Reynolds, Coordinator of Web Services/Graphic Designer

Molasses Cookies

These molasses cookies were the traditional Wood family (our dad’s mom’s) cookie, made with one pint of lard and rolled out and cut with a round cookie cutter. Our mother, Ruth, adapted the recipe to make it easier and healthier. She used half the nuts and raisins the original recipe called for and also used […]

Caramellows

These simple treats are what I always look forward to making with my mom and sister during the holidays. And, I sample many during the process! – Amy McDaniels, Administrative Assistant/Digital Communications Coordinator

Cry Baby Cookies

My mother got this recipe from my Great Grandmother Foster and makes them at Christmas. I really look forward to having some each year. – Sandy Wolske, Advertising Coordinator/Graphic Designer

In-floor electric heating options

Dear Jim: I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of in-floor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available? – Ron A. Dear […]

Make your holidays greener

While the holidays are festive and fun, they can take a toll on the ­environment. All that shopping, decoration, food ­preparation and travel adds up to more carbon emissions and more waste. But there are ways to ­minimize our impact and still celebrate the season in grand style. For starters, buy fewer gifts. Homemade, personal […]

The legend of the Christmas tree

The custom of a Christmas tree, ­undecorated, is believed to have begun in Germany, in the first half of the 700s. The earliest story tells how British monk and missionary, St. Boniface, was preaching a sermon on the Nativity to a tribe of Germanic Druids ­outside the town of Geismar. To convince the town’s people […]

Open ears, open hearts, open doors

“God literally woke me up and said ‘Feed my ­children.’ ” That was about 20 years ago, and Kenny Mayner knew it was God’s voice. The only thing he did question was what it meant at that time. He and wife, Marsha, have a family of two boys. They were well loved and well fed. […]

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