Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Mystery to Me

Ephesians 3: 6
" This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. "

Where James was called to proclaim Christ to the Jews, Paul was sent to the Gentiles. Paul/Saul, whose life's mission was to find, punish and destroy followers of Jesus, became the writer of much of the New Testament and up until his death, never gave up sharing the love of Christ, the gospel, the good news to everyone. When someone tells you, "You/he/ she will never change", point them to the story in Acts 9 of Paul's (Saul's) conversion on the road to Damascus. With God all things are possible. Amen.

I've got mysteries on my mind today. While watching the Hallmark Channel this Christmas season, I was pleased to find that Allison Sweeney was starring as Hannah Swenson, in one of my favorite mystery writers made for TV movie series, "Murder She Baked". The author of the books, Joanne Fluke, has been writing this series of books for years. There are now 18 books in the Hannah Swenson mystery series, 3 of them have been adapted by Hallmark in the "Murder She Baked" movie series. So fun! My 9 year old and I just love them, not only is there a mystery to solve, there are recipes to make!! Warning: When you read these books, have a pot of coffee and some baked goods handy!

Here's a recipe I'm going to try today from "Key Lime Pie Murder" (the book we're currently reading)! I'll let you know how it turns out (the recipe, not the book).

Here's the book!  #9 in the series
(click here to see Joanne Fluke's website)

Kitty's Orange Cake 

1 box yellow cake mix
1- 3 oz. pkg orange Jell-O (not sugar-free)
1 cup of orange juice
1 tsp orange extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp orange zest
4 eggs
1 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chip morsels

Preheat oven 350*
Grease and flour Bundt pan. In mixing bowl with electric mixer combine cake mix, Jell-O, orange juice, orange extract, oil and orange zest. Mix all the ingredients until they are well blended.  Add the eggs one at a time. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed with electric mixer. Fold in mini chocolate morsels by hand. Pour batter into Bundt pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until cake tester comes out dry. Cool on rack 20-25 minutes, loosen cake from side and center of the pan. tip cake out and let cool completely on rack.

Orange-Fudge Frosting:
2 Tbsp chilled butter
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp orange extract
2 Tbsp refrigerated orange juice

Place the butter in bottom of 2-cup microwave-safe bowl. Add the chocolate chips. Heat on high at 15 second intervals, stirring to check after each interval.  Add the orange extract and stir it in. Add the orange juice Tbsp by Tbsp, stirring after each Tbsp.  Pour frosting over the ridge of the cake, letting it run partway down the sides. It will be thicker on top.  Refrigerate cake without covering it , for at least 20 minutes before serving. 

(image found here)

I hope you try this recipe, too. And if baking isn't your thing, at least tune in on Sunday, January 10th, to see all 3 Hannah Swenson, "Murder She Baked" mysteries starting at 5pm EST. (I know I am!).  Nothing better in these cold months than to cuddle up with a good mystery (or 2 or 3!). 

I pray you have a terrific Tuesday!