Tag Archives: Easter

Easter Celebrations!

7 Apr

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I hope everyone had a great Easter Sunday. The weather here in Houston on Sunday morning was beautiful for Ecclesia’s outdoor services. Sean and I had a wonderful time passing around hot cross buns, seeing dear friends, and making some new ones!

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During the Good Friday service at Ecclesia we participated in a community art project were the congregation drew or wrote a confession on a paper and then collaged them to large boards. The boards were on display during the service, creating a beautiful reminder of the need for Easter.

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Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb led us in worship and our pastor Chris Seay gave the Easter message.

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It was wonderful to see so many people get baptized.

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And in Ecclesia style, Smilebooth was there!

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Hot Cross Buns

30 Mar

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For the last couple of years hot cross buns have become part of our Easter morning tradition. Our church has one combined outdoor service for Easter and everyone is encouraged to bring food to share with others before and after the service. Hot cross buns are a simple spiced bread with currants that make a tasty breakfast that’s easy to share.

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Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in England, but because of my schedule, and usually what I have given up for lent, I have been waiting to make them for Easter Sunday. I read a superstition somewhere that if you make the buns on Good Friday they will not go bad all year! I don’t know if I could not eat them long enough to find out…

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Hot Cross Buns

This recipe is from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

12 tablespoons of butter melted and cooled
1 cup milk
2 packages (14 grams) active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs lightly beaten
5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups currants or raisins
1 egg white
2 cups powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon (optional)

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Directions

  • Grease a large bowl and set aside.
  • In a sauce pan or microwave warm the milk until just warm, about 110 degrees.
  • Put the dough hook on your electric mixer. In your electric mixer’s bowl pour the milk, butter, sugar and yeast. Stir a few times and then let sit for 2-3 minutes until the mixture starts to look bubbly on the surface.
  • While waiting for the bubbles to form, in a separate bowl measure out your flour and whisk your salt into it.
  • Going back to the liquid ingredients, turn your mixer on low and add in the 4 eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until just incorporated.
  • One cup at a time add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, making sure the flour has mixed in before adding more. When all of the flour has been added let the mixer kneed the dough for about 4 more minutes. You will have to watch the mixer to scrape down the dough every once and a while. It likes to work it’s self up the hook.
  • Add the currants or raisins and mix for about 30 more seconds then take the dough out of the bowl onto a well floured counter and kneed a bit more until the currants are even throughout the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place in your greased bowl. Put a little bit of melted butter or oil on top of the dough, cover loosely with plastic wrap, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise for about one and a half to two hours. The dough should double in size.
  • When the dough is ready, line a 11 x 17 baking sheet with parchment paper and pre heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and kneed a few times. Divide your dough in half, then each peace in half again, then thirds. This should give you 24 (about 2oz) pieces. Roll each one into a little ball by folding into onto it’s self at on point on the bottom. Cover the backing sheet loosely with a towel again and let sit for about thirty more minutes.
  • Take a knife or scissors and cut a cross on the top of each roll and brush with the egg white that’s been mixed with a little bit of water.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are nice and golden. Let cool.
  • Mix together the powdered sugar, a table spoon of milk or water and lemon if you wish. Fill a plastic zip top bag with the glaze and then cut a slit in the bottom corner and pipe a cross onto each bun.

Sharing a Hot Cross Bun with someone this Easter is a beautiful and delicious reminder of His love for us.

Beautiful Egg Art

6 Apr

This past week at school my second graders have been learning about the art of Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs. After talking to them about he process and showing them a few examples we watched this video together.

I think we were all mesmerized by Father Paul. The kids especially liked seeing the ostrich eggs. They then designed their own eggs on paper with marker and construction paper crayons. It was a quick one day lesson, but maybe next year I’ll spread it over two classes so we can focus on more details and have more time to learn about the tradition.

The kids really wanted to decorate real eggs, so hopefully they might be able use what they learned at home this weekend. Decorating around 120 eggs with 38 second graders at a time is just a bit out of my budget and comfort zone.

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