Staff Lunch – Salad Bar

Staff Lunch – Salad Bar

Summertime means I have two extra helpers for staff lunch!  Hooray!

Here’s what we had this month:

A huge pile of salad ingredients

Basil Orange Dressing

Buttermilk Rolls

Cracked Wheat Rolls

Apricots (Sprouts has good sales!)

Citrus Butter Cookies – This is a Pioneer Woman recipe, so you really just have to go to her blog to find it.  Partly because that is the kind, right, copyright-friendly thing to do.  And partly because she writes recipes way better than I do!!

If you only make one thing, make the dressing.  You won’t regret it, even if it takes a whole basil plant.  I promise.

Buttermilk Rolls

Buttermilk Rolls

Print Recipe
Buttermilk Rolls
These basic white rolls have a good texture and tang from the addition of buttermilk.
Course Bread
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Bread
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warmed buttermilk and set aside for 10-15 minutes until yeast softens and begins to bubble.
  2. Mix melted butter with 1 cup room temperature buttermilk.
  3. Stir flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in a mixing bowl. Pour both liquid ingredient mixtures into the flour mixture.
  4. Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, work flour into liquids to form a soft dough.
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead. It might be a little sticky at first, but try not to add any more flour than you have to! Knead for about 8 minutes or until smooth, resilient, and no longer sticky.
  6. Place dough back into the mixing bowl (coat with a little oil if desired) and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2-2 hours.
  7. After rising, gently punch down dough. Divide into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and arrange in a 9x13 baking pan. (You might need another small pan, depending on how big your rolls are!)
  8. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minute or so, until dough has almost doubled in size and is puffy in appearance. Try not to let the dough touch the plastic wrap--it will stick and then fall when you uncover for baking.
  9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic wrap from risen rolls. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top.
  10. Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, then invert out of pan and allow to finish cooling on a cooling rack or plate.
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Cracked Wheat Rolls

Cracked Wheat Rolls

This is a favorite recipe that I got from Than’s mom.  These rolls are hearty but soft, and so delicious especially when eaten warm on the day they were baked.  They also freeze pretty well, though, so you can stash some away for later.

Print Recipe
Cracked Wheat Rolls
Hearty, nutty dinner rolls with lots of good grains
Course Bread
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Bread
Cuisine Staff Lunch
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pour 1 cup boiling water into a glass mixing cup. Stir in cracked wheat set aside to soften.
  2. Mix 3/4 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk well and allow to sit about 5 minutes or until foamy.
  3. Blend in salt, egg, and oil. Add softened cracked wheat along with any additional water in the cup.
  4. Mix in 2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. If you've been using a different attachment, switch to the dough hook at this point.
  5. Add 1 more cup of all-purpose flour and 1 more cup of whole wheat flour or other ground grain (flax, rye, wheat germ). Knead in mixer until well combined.
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise to the top of the bowl, about 1 hour.
  7. After dough has risen, gently knead it back down with oiled hands. Allow dough to rise once more if you have time. (This second rise is optional).
  8. With oiled hands, separate out portions of the risen dough and shape into rolls of desired size and shape. Place on greased cookie sheets.
  9. Allow rolls to rise once more after shaping. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Bake rolls at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until they begin to brown. Don't overcook!
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BUILD

BUILD

Another summer, another VBS–some things never change!  However, this was the first year that Nathan was a volunteer instead of a student.  It was the fourth time Than and his staff have created the program in-house, and this year they went with a Lego theme.  The content focused on how Jesus built up His disciples so they could continue the building of God’s Kingdom.  Bible teaching, lots of Lego building, songs, games, snacks, and crafts–that part was my department 🙂  As always, it was humbling to see the passion and dedication of so many volunteers.  And many of the best ones were a lot younger than you might think!!  There were so many different skills and talents serving together in a wide variety of ways.  It is a joy to see the richness of spiritual growth in community, for kids and staff alike.  Here’s a little peek (thanks to other people who shared FB photos!)

Any suggestions for next year?!!

16 Years Ago…

16 Years Ago…

Vacation Bible School week…

Crazy Hair Day for students and leaders…

School board meeting…

And our 16th Anniversary!!

I’m pretty proud of this anniversary photo–the two of us, together, doing things we love.  A cathedral length veil and flamingo shorts just says a lot!  We look forward to celebrating “properly” next weekend with a getaway for just the two of us, but the day didn’t go uncelebrated in spite of the timing!  Than had volunteers bring me flowers throughout the day, and I ended up with a huge pitcher which I displayed next to our wedding photos for anyone who was patient enough to stop and take a peek.

We squeezed in family dinner at Chik-Fil-A, always the height of romantic destinations, and were happy to serve together surrounded by people who care for us well.  It really was a happy anniversary, and who knows what we will be dressed in after 16 more!

Katya’s Role Model

Katya’s Role Model

Today’s final “kid bragging” post is a writing assignment that Katya did.  It was deeply encouraging and humbling, especially to this mom who often finds herself at odds with her creative, independent, passionate daughter.

“My mom is a great role model for me for many reasons.  To begin, my mom is a Christian woman.  My mom shows that she is a Christian by disciplining me very well.  Also, she teaches me about God and how to love God.  Next, when I think of my mom I think about how loving she is.  My mom comforts me when I am sad, and she is gentle when I am hurt or sick.  Also, she encourages me in hard times and is patient with me when I am grumpy.  Last, my mom is always joyful.  I can see that she is joyful because she always wears bright colors.  Also, my mom smiles a lot and loves everyone around her.  I admire my mom as a role model.”

Some moments are so very hard, but then there are other moments that are so richly beautiful.  Thanks, sweet girl.

Nathan’s Hero

Nathan’s Hero

One more “student work” post from Nathan…

Hero Project

My hero is my little sister, Katya. She is a charismatic person who loves acrobatics, art, and people. She is my hero because she proves that the best gifts come in small packages and she shows me an example of generosity. She is generous, creative, sweet, adorable, innocent and brilliant and she shows me how to have fun even when everything seems serious. She is very creative and adds new things to playtime every day. She is very responsible and she is similar to Aurelianus [a character in the book this pieces was an assignment for] because she loves dogs, she is a lover of harmony, and she loves magic. She also is very observant and knows lots of things. She is different than Aurelianus because she does not have a very conventional mind she has more of a creative one. (She also doesn’t have a fur coat that changes colors, wink, wink.) Katya helps so many people have love and joy in their lives. She gives gifts and smiles at what people say. She fills people’s lives with creative ideas. Katya and I are alike because we both love each other very much. We are different because she is very creative but I like orderly, conventional thinking.

Nathan’s Seasons

Nathan’s Seasons

Today’s “student work” is from Nathan.  Enjoy!

For the full effect, you should click on this PDF (SeasonsSm) so you can see the colors and photos that Nathan chose to go with his writing.

Winter

The field slept under the fresh blanket of snow. A cardinal twittered a few notes and then was silent. The church bells rang and the children shouted as snowballs were flung about. But the plants still slept on and on and on. This is winter.

Spring

The field sprung into spring as flowers burst into bloom and birds twittered among the trees. Church bells rang signaling the Easter service. Children romped in the spring sun. Easter eggs popped open and squeals came from the finders. This is spring.

Summer

Bright flowers twirled in the magenta sunset. People ran out with huge boxes of fireworks to light for the Fourth of July lighting. WHIZZ-POP there goes one rocket. PHEEE! a screaming one went! This is summer.

Autumn

A football landed in front of a tree. Mr. Squirrel ran to his stash of nuts. A cool breeze wafted through the trees. Some childish laughter rang in Mrs. Bear’s ears. The world was slowing down again. This is autumn. (fall)

God made the seasons to help us enjoy his creation.

 

Katya’s Dog Poetry

Katya’s Dog Poetry

Normally I try not to do too much “kid bragging” on the blog, but sometimes it is just the best forum for sharing what they are up to!  As the school year ends and the summer begins, I’ve got a few things I’ve collected from their year that I hope you enjoy.

First up, poetry!!  Of course, when it is time to write some poems, you choose your favorite thing.  And for Katya, that would be dogs!  This writing even got illustrations…

Bear

There once was a big dog named Bear

Who chased hare after hare

One day while chasing a hare she jumped into a lake

and she came out holding a rake

and she swam out of the lake with much care

Golden Retrievers

A big ball of fluffy happiness

fun, silly, smart, crazy ball of fluff

frolicking, licking, running ball of sunshine

doing tricks, playing games, your best friend

in the water splash, splishing, sploshing

licking children, being friendly, your pet!

A Bean Grows in Denver

A Bean Grows in Denver

As part of her science unit at school, Katya has been carefully tending some bean seeds in a plastic cup.  She has loved watching them appear and has faithfully photographed their growth from when the sprout appeared to when we put it outside.

I was amazed at how quickly they grew–the first few photos were taken with only about 12 hours between each picture!

Creation is amazing!