Sunday, December 11, 2011

Candles, Cocoa And Change

Tonight we lit the Shepherd's Candle of Joy.
We love Advent Sundays in our family.

They are my favorite tradition of the 
Christmas season!

We usually use a brass Advent wreath or 
a red cutout metal Swedish Advent wreath.

But this year, we are using the wood and greenery
wreath that Ahnalin and I made at the Advent Festival
at our old church. 
( More about this below.)

In this picture, we were singing
"The First Noel".

I can't tell you how much I love this picture.

I love love love love it!

Every Sunday night of Advent, 
we read the Bible verses,
sing the songs,
pray the prayers,
and light the candles.

Then we enjoy dessert and 
salted maple hot chocolate.

Last week, we had chocolate cake
and the same salted maple hot cocoa.

Do you see my darling Christmas Goose china?
I love it!

And the first Sunday of Advent,
we had dark chocolate brownies
and salted maple hot cocoa.

And yes, I have lots of different Christmas china.
All of my dishes for the rest of the 
year are super practical,
but I love my wonderful Christmas dishes!

And in case you were wondering,
the "Salted Maple Hot Cocoa"
is my own concoction.

You see, I had been very, very committed
to the Anti-Inflammatory diet, 
and had avoided all sugar, wheat, corn and potatos
for months.

But pure maple syrup is allowed occasionally. 

And I loved the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
at Starbucks, so I wanted something similar for me!

So, here it is!

Salted Maple Hot Cocoa

Serves 4

4 cups milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
3/8 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup boiling water

whipped cream 
(yeah it has a bit of sugar. I don't care!)
cocoa powder to sprinkle on top

In a medium sauce pan, heat the milk on low heat.
(Be careful not to scald or burn the milk or you get a yucky
brown film on it.)
In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder,
salt, maple syrup, vanilla, and boiling water until foamy.
Carefully blend the cocoa mixture into the hot milk.
Pour into 4 mugs and top with whipped cream.
Sprinkle a bit of cocoa powder on the top of the 
whipped cream. 



And the change I was referring to.........

Well, we have loved our time at Santa Rosa
First Presbyterian Church,
but we are so excited for our next adventure!

Last Sunday was our final Sunday at First Pres,
and this morning was our first Sunday at 
Sebastopol Christian Church!

Don is the new 
Director of Music and Worship
at SCC! 

We had such a fun time 
in worship with our new fellow
singers and musicians. 

We can't wait to get to know new friends
and serve in new ministries.
God is so good!

And the best part is that 
we will still be able to see
our friends from First Pres because we 
are staying in Santa Rosa!

I am so grateful to God 
for the gift of His Son
and the gift of worship.

Happy Advent!


Ellie Inspired said...

Hi Sivje!

Congratulations on Don's new job! I hope you will be very happy in your new church home. I love reading about your Christmas traditions. Your home always seems so cozy and fun! Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend, if I don't talk to you before then!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Congrats on Don's new job!!! And that cocoa sounds almost divine. I make my own cocoa, too - my mom's recipe - and it has enough sugar in it to sink a ship. I may try this for a different version.

Hettie Lynn said...

Congratulations on Don's new job. I know you will have many blessings coming your way. I love your Advent tradition and I can understand why you love that picture so much. It is beautiful and you can see the love radiating from your family. I have lots of maple syrup so need to try that hot chocolate!

Anonymous said...

We loved that we could be with you on your very first Sunday as the new Director of Music and Worship at SCC. We loved the service. We love each of the Parishes!!!
Merry wonderful Christmas to you.

Naomi said...

It all look so yummy and I shall have to try that recipe because I discovered their salted hot chocolate last year! Love your dishes also!

And so wonderful to hear about the new change for your family. God is GOOD!!!!!!

Blessings sweet friend!!!


P.S I am heading to Uganda next month!!!