amanda mountain hearth

Imagine a fireside scene… Logs crackle, Sparks dance, Conversation stirs… The air is tinged with the warm scents of fresh-baked cookies.

That’s where we invite you this week…

To a place of sweet fellowship, sharing not just the recipes of a traditional cookie exchange, but also the corners of our hearts where we hold cherished scriptures.

Our hope through this blog hop is to join with you in starting the holiday season off in gentle, truth-filled simplicity, and perhaps even inspiring a new tradition in your home.

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The Way It Works: Readers who “hop” from blog to blog this week will have five printed recipes and scriptures by the end of the week. The scriptures can be crafted into the beginning of a scripture garland– a place to gather verses close to the hearts of those you love. They can also be used as ornaments or gift tags.

Read on for more information, and be sure to check the list of all five stops at the bottom of this post!

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Welcome to my Kentucky kitchen!

When I was a girl growing up in Kentucky, my granny and I spent lots of time in her antique kitchen cooking and baking. She always seemed to have an apron on and a rolling pin in hand. There she taught me how to make many things but one of the most memorable were these cookies.

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 I’ve never tasted a cookie like them. Part of the joy was giving these as gifts in pretty tins. Just talking about it makes me nostalgic for my granny and her kitchen and the rolling mountains in back of her old house. She lived to be nearly 100 years old. I dedicated my debut novel, The Frontiersman’s Daughter, to her. Her beautiful spirit lives on in my heart and my kitchen and I look forward to being reunited with her in heaven.

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Kentucky Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
, softened
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 c sifted powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Beat butter and oil at  medium speed with an electric mixer until well combined. Gradually add sugars, beating well.  Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.  Combine 4-5 cups flour and next 3 ingredients, add to butter mixture, mixing well. 

Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto ungreased baking sheets.  Or if you’re feeling really crafty, roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350* for 9 – 10 minutes or until lightly. Our family likes to frost these with vanilla icing. A little red food coloring can be added for holiday flair. And some sprinkles, too!
Makes 9 dozen.

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 Here’s the printable recipe ~ just click on the image below and it should print for you!

Laura Preview (2)

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If you’re following the blog hop this week, we’ll each share a scripture that’s dear to our heart. You can cut out the strip and create a paper chain/garland with them, or cut out the wreaths that bear the scriptures, to use as ornaments, gift tags, or to adorn pine garlands, etc. The hope is to create a simple but meaningful reminder of the life that this season celebrates, and the Life Eternal that we share, as a result.

My verse is…

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

Matthew 2:10

The Lord has been teaching me about JOY and how, if I keep my focus on Him as the wise men did the star, my joy will increase. Sometimes I find myself looking around and losing my focus, fastening instead on what others are doing or what I wish was happening. Lately I’ve been learning to praise him. No matter if the night is dark or the journey is long or less than I hoped it would be, I can still find plenty of reasons to thank Him. Joy is best cultivated with a thankful heart. A thankful heart has plenty of room for Him and this spills over to touch other lives, too. A sort of heavenly overflowing. And that is the essence of Christmas.

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In the comments, would you share a favorite scripture of yours?

At the end of the week, each of the five of us will pick one of the scriptures from our comments, and put them together on one last printable for you in the days that follow. When all is said and done, you’ll have 10 scriptures total to begin your scripture garland, and we’ll provide you with a blank template as well, should you wish to carry on the tradition and include more friends-and-family-favorite scriptures in your garland.

Check back here next week for information on where to find those last printables!

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 Thanks so much for sharing your scripture in the comments ~ it’s a gift to me and others, too!

*If you’d like to enter for my giveaway of a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook below please share your favorite cookie or candy or Christmas memory!

Tomorrow I’ll see you at Joanne’s website as Mountain Hearth Christmas continues…

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The Mountain Hearth Christmas Line-up:

Monday 11/4: Laura Frantz~ http://LauraFrantz.net/journal/
Tuesday 11/5: Joanne Bischof ~ http://www.joannebischof.com/blog/
Wednesday 11/6: Melissa K. Norris ~ http://melissaknorris.com/
Thursday 11/7: Amanda Dykes ~ http://amandadykes.com/hearth/
Friday 11/8: Lauraine Snelling ~ http://amandadykes.com/