Contrary to what you may think, I did not skip my Friday the 13th blog for superstitious reasons. Rather, real life snuck in. It was my husband’s birthday (yes, he was born on a Friday the 13th and he’s been blessed ever since!). It was also our first Christmas choir concert with St. Peter’s Chorus . After the concert about forty choir members and some of their spouses came to our house for a party. Lots of food and great fellowship.
During the evening, fellow choir member, Robert Henderson, said he has been reading these posts on my blog, so thanks for telling me, Bob, and Merry Christmas to you!
Today I’m going to feature another Helping Hands Press author: Jeanette Hanscome. I’ll let her tell you a bit about herself (taken from Jeanette’s blog):
Who I Am
I am an author, writing teacher, occasional speaker, and busy mom currently living in California’s beautiful East Bay Area.
As an author, I have almost 20 years of experience, which includes work with Focus on the Family, The Upper Room, Standard Publishing, Walk Thru the Bible, and Guideposts magazine. I am a regular assigned contributor to Standard Publishing’s Encounter—the Magazine, and Walk Thru the Bible’s Tapestry devotional (also published as Journey), as well as contributing to Girls, God and the Good Life and the Christian Manuscript Critique Service blog I also edit on a freelance basis for publishers and individuals.
If you have ever attended the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, you might know me as the coordinator of the First Timers Buddy System. Overseeing this program at the conference where I first sensed God’s call to write for Him continues to be a highlight of my year. I belong to several writing and editing organizations, including ACFW, The Christian PEN, Christian Editor Network, Christian Author’s Network (CAN), and Inspire Christian Writers.
In real life, I am the mother of two incredible sons—one in middle school and one beginning the journey of adulthood. I love to cook, bake, read, knit, crochet, study the Bible, and spend time with friends and family.
It might interest you to know that I am visually impaired and have been since birth. I was born with a rare vision disorder called Achromatopsia, which means that I have no color vision, am extremely light sensitive, and have visual acuity in the legally blind range. (For more information on this interesting eye disease, visit Achromatopsia.info) People often ask me to describe what I see. Although it’s difficult to make normally sighted people understand the light sensitivity and limited vision (which changes depending on how bright it is outside), this picture will give you a glimpse into how I see the world. Think of it as living in a black & white movie—beautiful in its own way.
Here is another link to Jeanette’s website so you can learn more about her and her books: http://jeanettehanscome.com/book-corner/. Below, see the cover of her newest release.
And here’s a short note from Jeanette, complete with a tasty-looking Christmas recipe:
The past few years have brought a lot of changes, including changes to my family’s holiday celebrations. One thing has remained constant, however, and that is my baking traditions. One on-going favorite is pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins. I gave up a long time ago on designating these as a Thanksgiving treat. Late November usually marks the first of a half a dozen batches, and each batch makes a lot!
In honor of Christmas, I thought I’d share this much-loved recipe with you. I got it from a cookbook, so I can’t take full credit, but I do alter it a bit by only adding nuts occasionally. (I tend to forget them, nuts are expensive, and because the recipe calls for toasting them the risk of burning $3 worth of almonds feels like too big of a risk sometimes.) I pray that your family will enjoy them as much as much family does.
Note: The recipe suggests baking them a day or two ahead to give the flavors time to blend, but ours rarely last that long. I use mini muffin tins to make them bite-sized, but you can also use regular sized tins.
PUMPKIN-CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
½ cup slivered almonds (optional)
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup plain pumpkin
½ cup melted butter
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.
Toast almonds for 3-5 minutes. (Watch them carefully.)
Wisk together pumpkin, eggs, and butter in a medium bowl. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients and mix. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds.
Spoon batter into mini muffin tins, and bake for 12-15 minutes. (Larger muffins will take closer to 20 minutes.)
Let them cool. Store in a container for a day or so, if you have the will power.