Coconut Easter Egg Cookie Nest

Coconut Easter Nest Cookies

These cookies are easy to make & fun to eat. They are cake mix cookies so you can make a batch in no time!

Ingredients

  • 1 box Duncan Hines™ Classic White Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • green food coloring
  • 1 bag jelly beans

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper. I have 2 cookie sheets but I use 4 sheets of paper. This way, I can prepare all the cookie batches for baking before the first sheet goes into the oven.

In large mixing bowl or batter bowl, combine oil, eggs & almond extract. Add cake mix & mix until lumps are gone. This takes some work but keep at it.

White coconut with drops of food coloring

White coconut with drops of food coloring

In an empty plastic container, place 3-4 drops of food coloring. Add coconut. Add 3-4 more drops of food coloring. Put lid on container & shake until all the coconut is the desired color. You may want to begin with less food coloring & add more gradually until the coconut is the shade you desire.

Tinted coconut

Tinted coconut

Add tinted coconut to cookie batter & blend thoroughly. Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet. I made the cookies in this batch larger so only 9 fit on each sheet. You can make them smaller so 12 will fit.

I rolled these cookies into balls, flattened them & made indentations. This isn’t necessary. The cookies puffed up & the indentations went away. I will probably continue to roll them into balls & flatten them though so they have a nice round shape.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Bake 10-11 minutes in a 350 oven. Before removing cookies or parchment from sheet onto cooling racks, gently press 2 jelly beans into center of each cookie while still hot. If you make smaller cookies, one jelly bean may be enough. Then carefully slide parchment paper onto cooling racks.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

I place these cookies on one of my buffet plates with a floral patterned paper plate I bought at Dollar Tree. The plate then went on my cake stand on my living room sideboard.

My Easter sideboard featuring Easter nest cookies!

My Easter sideboard featuring Easter nest cookies!

These are a keeper so I plan to make a larger batch of small cookies for church one Sunday during Lent.

CHANGES

Next time, I plan to add green food coloring to the egg, oil & extract mixture to color the batter as well as the coconut. The coconut tinted the batter but it was speckled. I would prefer it to be a consistent green. This should also help the coconut to stand out.

I also plan to use pastel Easter plan M & M’s instead of jelly beans. I like the jelly beans but I thought the chocolate would be a nice change of pace.

The Kindness Habit: Fourth Thursday in Lent

Part 3 Jesus Shows Kindness to Women: The Raising of Lazarus

In the last post, I shared a story about tow sisters, Mary & Martha. The sisters had a brother named Lazarus. As I have mentioned before, this is a time when women needed a man to care for them or they had no voice in society. Mary & Martha had Lazarus. Jesus was friends with all three of them.

Read More

The Kindness Habit: Fourth Wednesday in Lent

Part 3 Jesus Shows Kindness to Women: Mary & Martha

This is another story I LOVE to teach. Jesus is having dinner at Mary & Martha’s house, along with others. Martha is busy getting things ready for the guests while Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet while He talks to her. Finally, Martha has had enough so she goes to Jesus & asks Him to tell her sister to get up & help her. Instead, Jesus reprimands Martha, telling her that Mary has made the better choice, by staying with Him. Poor Martha!

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Pretty No-Dye Easter Eggs

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Have yourself the mess when you create these fabulous no-dye eggs. BHG offers a variety of ways to decorate your Easter eggs that are fun & fabulous!

FREE Digital Book: Empowered by Faith

Have you ever been afraid, so afraid it caused you to make bad decisions, to do things you know you shouldn’t? You’re not alone! When King David and Bathsheba were expecting a child, David sent Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah to his death. Sarah was afraid she & her husband, Abraham would never have children so she told Abraham to have a child with her servant. Bad decisions driven by fear and a lack of faith.

Have you ever been afraid and overcome your fear with a powerful faith, faith in God & faith in yourself? Noah had faith in God, building an ark long before the rain began. Esther had faith in God, speaking up to save the lives of her people even at the risk of her own life. Good decisions made under difficult circumstances.

Empowered by Faith: Stepping Out of the Darkness of Fear & into the Light of Faith is filled with 24 Biblical stories of people faced with a challenge and responding out of either fear or faith, stories that still offer powerful lesson for us today. In my book, I offer an overview of each story with key points, how the lesson applies to life today, and the way fear and faith impact the lesson. You then have an opportunity to consider how the lesson applies to you and your life. Whether a story of faith or a cautionary tale, each lesson teaches the reader ways to strengthen their faith even in the most frightening situation.

You don’t need me to tell you we are going through difficult times. Frightening times. How do you maintain our faith when so much is happening in our world? One way is to read stories of people who also faced difficult times & acted either out of fear or faith. It’s time for us to overcome our fear & become empowered by the faith we have in God & His incredible faith in us.

Dollar Tree to the Rescue with Kids: Lessons

Many parents across the country have suddenly found themselves to be home-schooling their kids. When schools closed due to the coronavirus, parents had to step in to continue their kids’ education. Schools sent home lessons & teachers are doing online teaching yet there may be a gap that must be filled in order to keep children up on their lessons.

In addition, parents may have found they lack the necessary materials to run a dining room table or kitchen island classroom. Everyone wants to avoid spending time in stores or driving from one place to another to stock up.

Dollar Tree (or your local dollar store) to the rescue. They have an assortment of items to help you conduct classes & help your kids keep up with their education. Having the right materials on-hand can make life so much easier for parents & students. Dollar Tree provides the things you need without spending a fortune.

  • Paper;
  • Pencils;
  • Pens;
  • Markers;
  • Crayons;
  • Notebooks;
  • Letter stickers;
  • Poster board;
  • Foam board;
  • Tri-fold presentation boards;
  • Wall posters;
  • Workbooks;
  • Flashcards;
  • Activity books;
  • Books;
  • Play money;
  • Rulers;
  • Protractors;
  • Pencil boxes;
  • Storage containers;
  • White boards.

Take time to look around the store for other ideas. You may find items to help teach your kids things that aren’t in the school section. For example, measuring cups to teach them about fractions. Having to conduct classes for your kids can be daunting. Dollar Tree can help lessen the stress for everyone!

The Kindness Habit: Third Tuesday in Lent

Part 3 Jesus Shows Kindness to Women: The Adulterous Woman

Before I get into this verse, I want to do a brief introduction for this part. Jesus showed incredible kindness & respect towards women at a time when women were treated like they were nothing. In part because they were nothing. Women had no value in society except that place on them through the man in their lives. Women needed a man to have any rights in society & then, all her rights were actually his. Women weren’t taught, had no voice, had no protection unless a man gave it to her.

I tell the women in my classes that I believe no one has done more throughout history to raise the status of women in society than Jesus. Jesus felt women had value. It can be seen in His actions, some of which I’ll discuss in this section. Now, on to the lesson.

Jesus was teaching in the Temple when a rabid crowd came upon Him, chasing or dragging a frighten woman. She was accused of adultery & Hebrew Law called for her to be stoned. There are 3 things to understand about this:

  1. Under Hebrew Law, the man she was with was also to be stoned. Where was he? I believe either there was no man or they let him go on his way. The wanted the woman. Why? Like I said above, she had no voice. She was not allowed to defend herself.
  2. Jesus was presented with a very difficult decision. If He said, “yes, that’s the Law, stone her,” He would be seen in a different light. That decision might have destroyed His ministry. If He said, “No, you can’t stone her. I won’t allow it,” then He would be in violation of the Law & He would be stoned. I believe this was the goal of the Temple leaders that day. They wanted to trap Jesus in a no-win situation, hoping it would lead to His death. As for the woman, she had no value, she was nothing, she was expendable if they could achieve their goal. Nice, huh?

Jesus took a moment, began to draw in the dirt, & got the mob to calm down & focus on Him. He then told them the one of them without sin could cast the first stone. I often imagine Jesus looking each one of them in the eyes & them knowing He could see their sins. Convicted, they left, leaving only Jesus & the woman. Jesus told the woman He didn’t condemn her, forgave her of her sins, & told her to go, sin no more.

What an incredible kindness! First the first time in years, if not the first time in her life, someone saw this woman as a person, a human being that deserved to live. I always thought she had to have been a prostitute, a woman treated badly most of her life. No love, no respect. Her value was so low, the RELIGIOUS LEADERS were ready to sacrifice her in order to achieve their goal. The animal sacrifices in the Temple had more value since people had to PAY FOR THEM!

In that brief conservation, Jesus showed this woman she had value, she had a right to live. Society may have still placed a low value on her however, in her self worth had to jump tremendously that day.

Women have value. You have value. The kindness Jesus showed that woman that day, well, He is still showing it to YOU! Never let anyone let you feel you are worth less than the value the Lord has place upon you!

Delicious Easter Brunch Recipes

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Easter brunch at your house this year? No need to panic! Whether you are serving a few or a crowd, BHG has a selection of recipes to help you host a fabulous, and low stress, event!

The Kindness Habit: Third Monday in Lent

Part 2 Jesus Shows Kindness to Those Close to Him: Jesus Heals a Possessed Boy

Jesus comes walking into town & sees a crowd, hears the arguments coming out from the crowd. I imagine Him groaning as He heads over to see what is going on. Groaning because He knows who He is going to find in the middle of the crowd.

When He reaches the group, He finds a man, His ill son, & the disciples, in addition to gawkers watching all the excitement. The poor boy is foaming at the mouth & writhing. The father looks worried. The disciples are arguing with one another on the best way to handle this situation. Apparently, they had been trying to heal the boy but nothing seems to work.

When Jesus comes up, the father begs Him to help His son. Before He does this, Jesus turns to His disciples & reprimands them for their lack of faith. He tells them they would have been able to heal the boy if they had enough faith. Jesus then heals the boy completely, sending him home with his father.

So how does this story show kindness? I know you think I’m going to talk about the kindness Jesus showed to the father & his son, however, I’m not. Yes, it was kind of Him to help but I believe there is a bigger lesson for all of us.

After the father & son leave, Jesus turns to His disciples & basically apologizes to them. He doesn’t say “Sorry” but He does acknowledge this was a difficult case. It took more to heal the boy than Jesus first realized. I think He came into town, saw all the excitement being caused by the disciples attempt to heal the boy, & was upset, embarrassed by attention their inability was causing. Jesus knew His time with the disciples was limited & He needed them equipped to carry on when He left. Events like this did not fill Him with confidence.

Like many of us, Jesus reacted before He had all the information. Unlike many of us, He knew He was wrong to lash out at the disciples & He apologized for His harsh words. Sometimes we speak before we think & feelings are hurt. The kindest thing we can do is admit our mistake & apologize for overreacting. This is hard sometimes however, it is the right thing to do & that goes a long way to mending relationships & hurt feelings.

Effortless & Easy Easter Buffet

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I LOVE entertaining & I am all about effortless & easy when it comes to entertaining. This Easter buffet, from the good folks at Good Housekeeping, insures the fact you follow the #1 rule of Simple Joy entertaining: ATTEND YOUR OWN PARTY!
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