Around the World

90555Since this month’s theme is “Pierce my heart to love like You do,” I hope you will be just as excited as I am about this month’s new recipes—focusing on foods from around God’s world! I’m going to give you some GREAT ethnic foods to try in this new year! We’ve got everything from Chinese food to Italian, and I think you’re going to love it! “To love like You do,” includes being open to and seeing the perspectives of others. If we’re open to trying new things, then we will have another opportunity to tell others about Christ. I encourage you to branch out and try some of these great recipes. And while you’re at it, ask someone who is from that country to tell you a little about their culture; they’ll be flattered, and you will probably make a new friend!

Around the World: Cooking Tips and Advice

Recipes always include a list of ingredients, but these questions and answers tell you what you need to have on hand to cook the ethnic foods that you love!

Chinese Cuisine
French Cuisine
Mexican Cuisine
Italian Cuisine

Setting the Mood:
Some fun things that you could do to set the tone for your meal are:

If you’re cooking Chinese:
-you could hang pretty paper lanterns and light candles.
-you could eat with chopsticks.

If you’re cooking French:
-set mood music, like some mellow French jazz

If you’re cooking Mexican:
-put chips and queso (cheese) on the table as a pre-dinner snack.
-play some Spanish music–it’s a really fun addition to the food.

If you’re cooking Italian:
-Make plenty of GARLIC BREAD!! To make cheap and easy garlic bread, put aluminum foil on a pan, add buttered bread, sprinkle garlic powder on top, and place in a preheated 250-degree oven for about ten minutes.

Ethnic meal ideas

speedy_ginger-chicken_soup_bowlsSpeedy Ginger-Chicken Soup Bowls
Crispy Won Tons with Oriental Dipping Sauce
Gingered Shrimp with Cashews
Coconut Almond Cookies

Caramelized Onion Tart
Classic Potatoes Au Gratin
Quick Pork Cassoulet
Easy Crème Brûlée

Ultimate 7-Layer Dip
Chipotle Tomato Soup
Black Bean & Rice Tostada
Creamy Mango Dessert

Minestrone Soup
Pesto Tortellini with Scallops
Chicken Marsala
Tiramisu Cheesecake

*If anyone has any recipes for Indian (or other) cuisine, please post them in a comment!

By Lexi Hammonds

Superbowl Food

It’s a new year, and everyone is making resolutions. Whether they are to be a better listener or to get more organized, we’re all thinking about the things we want to change. What better time is there to find a new way to reach people, than now? You can even use food to display a great example of what a Christian is supposed to be like. Actions speak louder than words, and if people see you helping others, they’re going to be thinking great things about not only you, but most importantly, Christ (and remember to give Him the glory!).

One way we can renew ourselves this month, while at the same time sharing our gift of hospitality, is to invite friends over for a simple, relaxing evening of watching (or not watching!) the Superbowl. While watching and chowing down on some of these great treats, we can be a good example to others by what we are watching on TV, whether it be turning the channel during inappropriate game time commercials or choosing to watch decent anti-Superbowl girl movies instead.

Cheesy Football
Crispy Chicken Fingers

Ham & Cheddar in a Loaf
Bacon Cheeseburger Roll-Up
Unbeatable Sloppy Joes

Game Day Football Cake
BAKER’S ONE BOWL Chocolatey Football Bites
Football Field Gelatin

Splash-of-Citrus Punch
Easy Hot Choco-Mallow Milk Shake (use football shaped marshmallows)

By Alexia Hammonds

Fun Food Baskets

This month’s theme is “Pierce my heart to give.” If you’re like most young women, you’re probably thinking, I’d like to give, but what can I do? There are a lot of great ideas for giving back, not only in December, but all year round.

You might know someone who will have a tough time coming up with the food that often represents this season. That’s the first place to start! Make a food basket for that family, or person, in need. If you’re part of a local church, don’t limit yourself to just one family; ask for a list of people who need help. If this project is too expensive for you to do on your own, ask the other girls in your youth group for help. What better way is there to let your light shine and show people how awesome it is to be a Christian, than by giving (Matthew 25:25, 26, 45)?


Remember that families want to have fun! Consider adding items to your basket or bag that aren’t pre-made, but that will allow the family to have holiday fun cooking and baking together, and are simple enough not to require a lot of additional time and ingredients.

Shop sales. Ask your mom, or another experienced bargain shopper, to help you find good deals and sales on Christmas items. You can also scan your local paper for deals. If you’re pressed for time, Aldi’s is a great place to shop in order to receive items at a discount price without needing to clip coupons.

Make the bags fun. Decorate brown paper grocery bags with festive stamps to make the bags more fun, especially for families with young children, so they will be excited even before they open the bag.

Don’t be a Pharisee! The Pharisees did good because they wanted everyone to see them and think they were great, but Jesus wants us to give to glorify Him. We should give quietly, and while we may ask others for help or want to encourage others to give as well, it is unwise, and unchristian-like, to needlessly tell others what we’re doing (Matthew 6:2-4).

Share His love. If the family you’re giving to doesn’t know God, then giving a holiday basket is a wonderful way to share His love. Place a card, with a nice note, in the basket. Make sure to include your favorite encouraging scripture on the card, and be sure it mentions that you’re trying to spread His love this Christmas season by giving to and encouraging others. You could also place a church bulletin in the basket so they can receive worship information in a non-intrusive manner.

Basket Ideas

Fun Food Ideas:
1. Sugar cookie roll, cookie cutters, icing, food coloring, sprinkles
2. Hot chocolate mix, marshmallows
3. Red and green jello mixes, canned fruit, whipped cream

Breakfast Ideas:
4. Tube of cinnamon rolls
5. Juice
6. Apples, caramel dip
7. Eggnog

Dinner Ideas:
8. Pre-cooked ham
9. Canned vegetables
10. Sparkling cider
11. Tube of dinner rolls

For Holiday meal tips and recipes, visit our November Cooking Corner article.

By Alexia Hammonds

Turkey Time

It’s “Turkey Time” again! Thanksgiving is here, and we all know what that means––turkey, turkey, and more turkey! This year we’re putting a twist on the classic favorites. God has blessed us so much, and we hope this Thanksgiving you will share your thankfulness with everyone. Reach out and help someone this Thanksgiving by baking a pie or delivering food baskets, or by letting your friends know how God has worked in your life this year and could work in theirs!

Cooking Tips

  • Don’t try to do everything yourself! If you’re in charge of Thanksgiving dinner this year, enlist help by offering to make the main dish, and ask guests to choose an item to prepare themselves. They can bring a side dish, drink, or dessert. If everybody brings something, there should be plenty to go around.

  • Help the host! Whether the meal is being prepared at your own home or someone else’s doesn’t matter. Even if you’re not in charge of the entire meal, offer to prepare a drink, side dish, or dessert to help. There are several easy and festive recipes posted below offering ideas of how you can serve.

  • Plan your meal in advance. Look over menu ideas and plan your menu early, so you have ample time to shop for ingredients. When looking over recipes, read the entire recipe before starting it, so you can make sure you have the ingredients and it’s a recipe you’re comfortable making. Take special note of prep time and total time so you know how much time to allow for cooking.

  • Cook within your skill level. All of us have different levels of cooking skills. If you’re an inexperienced cook, stick to simple recipes that will taste good, instead of trying an elaborate dish that you are uncomfortable making. Save the big experiments for later.

  • Clean the kitchen. Whatever you do, don’t leave your mess in the kitchen for your mom (or anybody else) to take care of. Take the time to clean up. This task will be much easier if you clean as you go, and as you’re waiting for things to cook or set.

  • Remember the reason. Remember that Thanksgiving is to celebrate being thankful for our family and friends. The food is a great bonus, but it shouldn’t be the entire focus of the day. Help cook and clean up so everyone can enjoy their day, and remember 2 Corinthians 9:11: “Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.”

    Holiday Menu Suggestions

    Veggies and Dip
    Cheese Balls
    Winter Salad

    Mocha Punch
    Ruby Punch
    OREO Mint Cocoa

    Main Dish

    Side Dishes
    Sweet Potatoes
    Corn Souffle
    Cranberry Fruit Basket

    Pumpkin Bars
    Pumpkin Pie
    Apple Pie
    Chocolate Dipped Delights

    By Alexia Hammonds and Davonne Parks

[poll id=”27″]

Movie Night!

Is it the buttery smell of popcorn, the fizz of soda, or the girly conversations? I am pretty sure it is all of them, because it’s a MOVIE NIGHT! My pick for a girly movie night is… drumroll… Nancy Drew, starring Emma Roberts. It doubles as both a clean mystery and the best movie for a Christian movie night this month. Now what’s holding you back? Grab your popcorn, soda, and best friends and settle in for a night of fun! When planning for your awesome movie night, invite a new girl to share a fun, clean evening with! You never know how much influence you have until you use it! Remember, God wants us to be pure in everything we do, so keep your movies and conversations fun and clean! 1 John 3:19-20 “We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.”

Tasty Treats
Chocolate-Caramel Popcorn
S’more Turtles
OREO® Caramel-Dipped Apples

Finger Foods
BOCA® Nachos
Kabobers & Shake-a-Pudding Dip
Pinwheel Mini Sandwiches

Beautiful Beverages
Strawberry Lemonade Sparkle
Super-Sour Cherry KOOL-AID®
Warm Spiced Apple-Lemonade
Rich ‘N Thick Hot Chocolate

By Alexia Hammonds

Chocoholic Month!

Cakes and Pies

PHILADELPHIA Chocolate Cheesecakes for Two
Wellesley Fudge Cake
Simple Chocolate Mousse Pie
Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake

Other Chocolaty Favorites

Frozen OREO Rocky Road Bars
Molten-Middle Truffle Cookies
Marbled Chocolate Treats

By Alexia Hammonds

Food Statement

It’s August. We’re back in school and summer’s over, but what can we do to make a statement at school? There are plenty of ways to reach out to our friends through food. We could take the Chips Ahoy ice cream sandwiches to lunch and invite new people to sit with us. If we reach out to different people, we might make new friends, and that would give us new people to tell about Christ. The food can help to break the ice so we can befriend them, and work up to conversations that could lead to inviting them to church or to a drop-in on a Friday.

Try something different this month and bake some cookies or a cake and take it to a teacher who may be unpopular among the students. You can make a difference just by cooking, and using that food to reach out to the kid who sits by herself at lunch, or the teacher everyone thinks is uncool. There are opportunities everywhere to teach people, and food can be your tool. Remember Deuteronomy 10:18, “He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.” This school year, make a statement by letting God use you for His glory in all that you do, including cooking!

Better than a Sandwich:
Cheese Quesadillas
Bacon Bagel Club
Cool Crunchy Ham and Cheese Pita
Biscuit Buddies
Turkey and Tomato Tortilla Stacker

Lunch Box Sides:
Bow Tie Pasta Salad
VELVEETA Cheesy Tortilla Corn

Desserts to Share:
CHIPS AHOY! Cheesecake Sandwiches
Frosted Peanut Butter Marshmallow Crispy Squares

Before school family pleasers:
PEBBLES Confetti Pancakes
Hot Dog Morning Burrito

By Alexia Hammonds

Photos and recipes provided courtesy of Kraft Food & Family magazine, For more information or to sign up for a free subscription, please visit

Cheese Quesadillas

Prep Time:
1 min
Total Time:
1 min
1 serving
1 KRAFT Singles
PLACE tortilla on microwavable plate. Place Singles on half of tortilla. Fold tortilla in half to cover Singles. Cover.

MICROWAVE on HIGH 20 to 30 sec. or until Singles begins to melt. Cut into wedges to serve.
TACO BELL® and HOME ORIGINALS® are trademarks owned and licensed by Taco Bell Corp.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Serving Suggestion
Try serving with crisp apple slices, celery sticks and KRAFT CATALINA Dressing as a dip.
Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
Prepare as directed, topping Singles evenly with 2 oz. (1/3 of 6-oz. pkg.) OSCAR MAYER Grilled Chicken Breast Strips or OSCAR MAYER Southwestern Seasoned Chicken Breast Strips before folding tortilla in half to cover filling.
Use Your Stove
Assemble as directed. Place in skillet on medium heat. Cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned and Singles is melted.

Biscuit Buddies

Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
10 min
1 serving
2 small baked biscuits (3 inch), cooled, split
2 tsp. KRAFT Ranch Dressing
2 tsp. KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Shaved Smoked Turkey Breast
SPREAD bottom halves of biscuits with dressing.

SPRINKLE with cheese; top with turkey.

COVER with tops of biscuits.

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Serving Suggestion
Serve with a mixed green salad and your favorite fresh fruit to round out the meal.
Make Ahead
Prepare biscuits for dinner the night before. Save two of the biscuits for your child’s lunch the next day. Store in tightly covered container or resealable plastic bag until ready to use to prepare sandwiches.
Use two small dinner rolls in place of the biscuits.

PEBBLES Confetti Pancakes

Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
25 min
6 servings, two topped pancakes each
3 cups POST Fruity PEBBLES Cereal, lightly crushed
1 cup flour
2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 container (6 oz.) vanilla low-fat yogurt
1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
MIX cereal, flour and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside. Beat eggs and milk with wire whisk until well blended. Add to cereal mixture; mix well.

PREHEAT large nonstick griddle or skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Ladle batter onto griddle, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles form on tops, then turn over to brown other sides.

SERVE topped with the yogurt and fruit.
The FLINTSTONES and all related characters and elements are trademarks of ©Hanna-Barbera. (sO5)

Kraft Kitchens Tips
Prepare as directed, using POST Cocoa PEBBLES Cereal.