Hot Cross Buns for Easter Dinner

hot cross bun 2 dozen

Are you making Hot Cross buns tomorrow?  I plan to make them tomorrow afternoon for Sunday Easter dinner.  These buns are so delicious, fragrant and a beautiful addition to any Easter dinner table.  I posted the recipe last year on March 30, you can get the recipe here.

anditwasbeautiful coverI haven’t been blogging much this month.  Other life demands have kept me from this, one of my favorite past times.  My last blog post was a blog book tour for and it was beautiful.  

When the tour ended the publisher sent out a thank you email to all the blog writers who had participated.  I was stunned to see this quote of mine, as part of their email.

“From the beginning, this book is a real page-turner. Oh, it’s not filled with the super-sleuth heroin and a murder mystery to solve. It’s a page-turner because once I started reading Kara’s words about how Grace showed up in her life, I couldn’t get enough. Page after page she described the horrors of cancer and then she wrapped it all up in the love and compassion of friends, the strength she found in her hero, her husband, and finally the mercy and grace and love that she experienced from Jesus.”

If you missed the post you can read it here.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to share some of Kara’s words and thoughts.
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and it was beautiful … by Kara Tippetts, Book Blog Tour

anditwasbeautiful coverIn July of 2014 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, my friend LindaKaye sent me a message and said, “My daughter has a friend fighting breast cancer right now. You must go read her blog at”.

I did as LindaKaye suggested. I was captivated by Kara Tippets. What I didn’t know was that I had arrived in her world towards the end of her fight with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2012 she had been writing and fighting for several years. Over the next 9 months, I followed her blog posts, I would write a comment here and there to encourage her and as she shared her hard, very hard life, I got to know her.

Kara Tippetts went Home to Jesus on March 22, 2015, after a long battle with breast cancer. Blythe Hunt wrote this on Kara’s blog the day she died.

Her well-known blog Mundane Faithfulness, where she originally posted about motherhood and living in kindness, became a blog about looking for God’s Grace to show up even in the hardest, messiest, ugliest places. It was a window into her life of chemo, church planting, spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen with her littles, her passion for Jason, her passion for those who don’t know Jesus, and her struggle to accept her growing cancer as God’s story for her life. Her self-described “mundane” life appeared anything but mundane to her readers who inevitably fell in love with her inviting, joyful personality and her love for and trust in Jesus; readers were attracted to her honesty, vulnerability, sense of humor, and simple faith. She never hesitated to share the hard moments, but she always pointed her readers—and herself—back to Jesus.

As the cancer spread, Kara courageously embraced her situation, trusting in a Sovereign God. She believed that cancer was not the point, but Jesus was; how she responded and trusted Christ in the midst of this hard was where she would find Grace. As Kara and her family processed what God was calling them to live out, she invited her community to join her journey through this seemingly impossible ordeal—how would she trust God in the midst of sickness? And then, how would she trust God in the midst of dying?

the hardest peace
In the fall of 2014, David C. Cook published her story, The Hardest Peace.

just show up kara tippetts
Just Show Up
, written with Jill Buteyn, came out on October 1, 2015.

And It Was Beautiful, was released on March 1, 2016.  and it was beautiful is Kara’s final book, celebrating life in the midst of the long good-bye. In a nutshell, this book is about living and dying well.

kara 20
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White Chocolate Cheese Ball

White Chocolate Cheese Ball
White Chocolate Cheese Ball

My sous-chef dish-washing mom came home from Community Bible Study all excited with a recipe in hand!  “You’ve just got to make this” she said.

Our friend Barbara made this dessert cheese ball for a fellowship lunch.  Everyone went wild over the surprised rich white chocolate liberally mixed together with a fine vanilla extract.  Cream cheese and butter are the base for the ball and then finely chopped pecans round it all out.

Barbara served this delectable dessert on graham crackers and mom said it was great.  We decided to serve them on belVita crackers and I highly recommend it.  Wow, what a lovely dessert.   Add a little fruit on the side and this is a home run!

The cream cheese could easily be colored green for St. Patrick’s Day, red for Valentine’s Day or Christmas and  even blue for the 4th of July!

white chocolate cheese ball and crackersI’ve been totally out of touch with my blog lately while giving daily attention to this one.  This recipe is just too good not to send out to you!

Happy Spring!  Enjoy the cheese ball!
Blessings, Catherine

White Chocolate Cheese Ball
Prep time
Total time
Sweet surprises wait inside this wonderful dessert cheese ball!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 cheese ball
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened, (not margarine)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans
  • Graham crackers of belVita crackers
  1. Beat softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add sugar until well combined.
  3. Add in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Place cream cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap. Shape into a ball and wrap completely in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or longer.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and roll in crushed pecans.
  7. This makes one large ball and can be divided into two smaller ones.
  8. Serve with graham crackers or a favorite sweet cracker.
<span></span>This cheese ball mixes in a couple of minutes in a food processor!

Adding food color to the mixture will add a festive touch for St. Patrick's Day (green), red dye for Valentine's or Christmas or even blue dye for the 4th of July!

I like to serve with brown sugar and cinnamon belVita crackers. Just delicious!



My Daily Bread and Sometimes Whole Wheat and Rye Bread

Whole Wheat and Rye Bread
Whole Wheat and Rye Bread

My Daily Bread means different things on different days.  Some days it just means I want to make fresh, homemade, fragrant bread for my family.  Other days it means I need to spend lots and lots of time in prayer. It means I need the Lord’s strength as food for my soul.
Lately, He has been my strength, my daily bread, my all-in-all, even more than usual.

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”   – Matthew 4:4

On February 20,  my hiking-husband and my cousin Tim, left for an adventure of a lifetime.  They began a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail.  I wasn’t ready for the emotional roller coaster I would be riding  during those first trail days.
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