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Grown-Ups Deserve Easter Baskets, Too. Here's What to Put in Them

Grown-Ups Deserve Easter Baskets, Too. Here's What to Put in Them

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You’re an adult. You can stay up late and go on vacation and eat crackers for dinner if you want—but it’s unlikely that anyone has, say, stuffed a Christmas stocking or hid an Easter egg for you in a hot minute. And doesn’t that suck?

It’s almost Easter, the holiday with arguably the best candy and after a long, cold winter, who doesn’t welcome the opportunity to incorporate sugary foods and pastel colors into their life? Though we try to eat healthy most of the time, we think you deserve the occasional treat.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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So here’s our idea: Grown-ups deserve Easter baskets, too.

To make it easier, we made one up, just for you. Tailor the contents to your (or your lucky friend’s) own preferences, but we very scientifically (through a quick survey of whoever was in the office at that moment) figured out three categories of items to build your basket with. So here’s how we built ours.


We could all take a little bit better care of ourselves. But the real fun of an Easter basket is that you don’t really need anything that’s in it—it’s just nice to have. So we started with some yummy-smelling soap from Trader Joe’s (the lemon-verbena smell is divine!), some cute socks (does anyone ever have enough cute socks?), and some totally luxurious foot cream. Because everyone loves a face mask, we popped a few of those in, too. And because we’re a little extra, and it fit our color scheme, we picked up a cute soap dish at Target, too. Oh, and the “basket” is actually a decorative metal dealy we thought would work well for under-cabinet storage or pantry organization (we are a cooking site). Oh, and because self-care, we included a citrusy-smelling candle, too.

Delicious Things

Is it really an Easter basket if it doesn’t have something good to eat? And, since you are, as we established, a grown-up, we thought we’d start with something good to drink. It’s spring, and it’s warm. So let’s have some sparkling wine, shall we? Since this is a grown-up Easter basket, we’re saying a hard no to Peeps and the like, so we put this Godiva assortment in our basket. We also had some grown-up marshmallows from Smashmallow on hand (we’re partial to the cookie dough flavor).

Warm-Weather Accessories

It’s spring! Yay! Grown-ups take beach vacations, so we added a cute new beach towel to the mix. And because adulting for some reason involves plants (???), we picked up a cute grow-your-own rose kit from Bullseye’s Playground (AKA the Dollar Spot) at Target. Make your life green and beautiful. But, most importantly, we picked up a freezable slushy cocktail maker. It’s genius, actually. You just pop the contents into the (cute, pink) carafe, freeze it overnight, pack it to go, and then when you’re ready, just squish the sides until your drink is the perfect, slushy consistency. Because Slushies are for grown-ups, too.

An In-Person Gala. What A Fantasy!

An annual gala taking place at a prestigious institution and all of the attendees. were together and in-person!

That’s right, dear reader. Your friends at Only In My Dreams are back in the saddle with planning and producing in-person events, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our first major in-person event of 2021 was the Enchanted Gala at the Norman Rockwell Museum to kick off their new exhibition, Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration.

And in case you weren't aware, yours truly moonlights as drag entertainer extraordinaire, Nancy Nogood , and Nancy was at the gala and able to give you a first hand account of the festivities and the precautions that were taken. Let’s dive in!

Grown-Ups Deserve Easter Baskets, Too. Here's What to Put in Them - Recipes

Looking to fill a grown-up Easter basket? This high-end Easter candy is fantastic.

Quick, name your earliest memory of Easter. Probably it involves the “grape” flavor of purple jelly beans, peeling pastel-colored foil off chocolate eggs, or biting the ears from a hollow molded rabbit. But for all the nostalgia, the candy most of us scarfed down was sugary and low-grade, with fruit flavors that originated in the lab, not the Easter Bunny’s organic berry patch. Now that you no longer believe in a six-foot rabbit who drops off baskets, though, you’re free to gather your own treats, ones that actually taste good (and look cool, too).

We still wouldn’t say no to a Reese’s egg or a Lindt chocolate bunny, but this Easter candy is way too good—and too rich—to give the kids.

Chocolate Asparagus Bundle, $24 at Woodhouse Chocolate

Feel free to eat these colored, white-chocolate-over-dark spears like Julia Child always said to eat real asparagus: with your fingers. As a bonus, they won’t make your pee smell funny. (If you prefer white asparagus, opt for the milk chocolate version.) Buy Now

Jacques Torres Hens, $3.49 each at Mr. Chocolate

Available in milk chocolate or dark, these hollow molded birds are as cute as backyard chickens. But while their real counterparts might annoy your neighbors with their nonstop clucking, these fowl are silent. Even when losing their heads. Buy Now

L.A. Burdick Crispy Eggs, $6 each at L.A Burdick Chocolate

With centers like pear-cranberry and orange-pistachio, these eggs include what the confectioner calls a “secret crunch.” The only surprise you get from a Hershey’s mini chocolate egg is that painful jolt when a bit of the foil wrapper hits your fillings. Buy Now

Wondermade Carrot Cake Marshmallows, $12 at

These fluffy carrot cake marshmallows may leave you missing the cream cheese frosting (the carrots, cane sugar, nutmeg, and allspice are all accounted for, though)—but they’re a hell of a lot better than Peeps. Buy Now

Bridgewater Chubby Bunny, $47.25 at Bridgewater Chocolate

At one and a half pounds, and with a price tag of $47.25, this nine-inch-tall, semihollow rabbit puts form to the notion of living large. This is how the 1 percent parties down at Easter. (Actually, he’s middle class compared to Mr. Goodtimes down below.) Buy Now

Hedonist Farm Egg Truffles, 3 for $12

Speckled just like real birds’ eggs, this classy trio has fillings—coconut-lime, peanut butter, and salted caramel—that would horrify a nesting wren. Humans, however, are likely to find them delightful. Buy Now

Sur la Table Chocolate Truffle Easter Eggs, 5 for $10.95 at Sur la Table

If you prefer the crisp candy shell of Cadbury‘s pastel eggs, these have it (plus a precious speckled pale blue appearance), but the Belgian chocolate-hazelnut filling is a big step up. Buy Now

Poco Dolce Raspberry Bunnies, 8 for $26 at Poco Dolce

Hard to fathom, isn’t it? Easter bunnies with fruit filling containing actual fruit. Here, it’s fresh raspberry ganache. Buy Now

John & Kira’s Honey Caramel Chocolate Bees, 9 for $29.95 at John & Kira’s

Along with the birds’ eggs (and bunnies), these bees are a fitting springtime treat, filled with gooey honey caramel and hand-painted with black and yellow cocoa butter. No sting here, only sweetness. Buy Now

Lake Champlain Chocolates Mr. Goodtimes Easter Bunny, $125 on Amazon

Lake Champlain Chocolates

Nothing says Easter like a giant 16.5-inch tall bunny made of 3 pounds of organic milk chocolate. Just don’t let the kids see this one or you’ll have to share. Buy Now

Compartes Gourmet Chocolate Panoramic Egg, $59.95 at Compartes

Those rock-hard sugar diorama eggs are fascinating to look at, but not actually meant for eating. This handmade hollow chocolate egg is actually delicious, and a little luster from gold dust is enchanting even for adults. Buy Now

The Robert L. Strohecker Assorted Rabbit, $18.50 at Harbor Chocolates

A more affordable yet still adult-appropriate dark chocolate bunny, this one has secrets: different sections of it are filled with various confections, including caramel-pecan patties and buttercrunch toffee. Eating it is like the least accurate but most delicious rabbit anatomy lesson ever. Buy Now

Visit our Easter headquarters for more holiday ideas and Easter recipes.

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop.

This post was originally published by John Birdsall on April 2, 2012 and was updated by Chowhound Editors on April 9, 2019.

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How to Clean Your Coffee Grinder (and Yes, You Need to Do It)

Whirling blade–style coffee grinders are cheap and useful for lots of things besides grinding coffee—such as grinding spices. But since you can’t immerse an electric grinder in water, how do you get it clean? The short answer: bread, rice, sugar, or salt!

And yes, you do need to clean that coffee grinder, ideally pretty frequently. It may not get as disgusting or dangerous as your smelly kitchen sponge, but old coffee oils and residue can mute or muck up the taste of your fresh coffee beans, tanking your dreams of the perfect pour-over. So, how do you get rid of that gunk?

We still stand by the Chowhound community advice dished out in 2013:

Simply grind something else in it that will absorb the oils and odors without adding any of its own. Chowhound escondido123 recommended a piece of bread. Meanwhile, chileheadmike suggested kosher salt, and scubadoo97 spoke up for instant white rice—but make sure it’s instant (parboiled) rice, not regular rice, or it might break your grinder, according to chefj. Sugar also works well to absorb oils and odors, whether from coffee or other spices, ellabee said.

How to clean your coffee grinder:

1. Knock excess grounds out of the grinder.

2. Grind the neutral, absorbent substance of your choice into a fine powder. That can be a slice of white bread, instant (parboiled) white rice, kosher salt, or sugar. About 1/4 cup should be enough.

3. Dump that in the compost (or trash).

4. Unplug the grinder and wipe it out with a dry paper towel, then a damp one, then another dry one (or use a clean, lint-free kitchen towel). You can repeat the grinding and wiping process if it looks like there’s still residue left.

5. Let the grinder air dry before you put the lid back on (and don’t forget to give that a wash or wipe-down too).

Tip: If your grinder was particularly smelly (say, if you have one you use for spices), kimeats suggests wiping it out with vinegar to eradicate any lingering odor.

Of course, if you’re a coffee snob connoisseur, you’ve probably upgraded to a pricier piece of equipment if so, you can still try the rice trick, but here’s how to deep clean your burr grinder. And if you’re in the market for one, check out CNET’s guide to the best coffee grinders you can buy right now.

Also see our round-up of the best coffee subscriptions, and some other expert coffee equipment to improve your brew!

Related Video: How to Pull the Perfect Espresso

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Cersei Lannister Would Crush These Wines (In a Good Way)

Admittedly, for most of us, Cersei Lannister isn’t the easiest character to relate to on “Game of Thrones.” There’s the whole dark and twisty conniving thing, the cover-your-eyes-uncomfortable incest with her brother thing, the ruthless mass-murdering thing…I could go on. But I tell you what, if there’s one thing I appreciate about that woman it’s her unabashed love of red wine.

And so, with the debut of the final season of the iconic show upon us (April 14th! It’s just around the corner! Finally!), we thought it would be fun to celebrate Cersei’s love of the good juice with a round-up of red wines (and one white) that perfectly fit her personality.

Cabernet Sauvignon

In the world of wine, cabernet sauvignon is a symbol of power, money, and status. Top bottlings from its two major growing regions—Bordeaux, France, and California’s Napa Valley—are among the most lauded and sought-after red wines in the world, and which, not to mention, command prices that might require a loan from the Iron Bank. Full-bodied, dry, and rich with flavors of dark red and black fruit, tobacco, spice, and dried herbs, cabernet sauvignon is a boss in the red wine category. Its personality is bold, dominant (if not at times a touch overbearing), seductive, and commanding. How could Cersei not have pitchers of the stuff at the ready?

Faust Cabernet Sauvignon on Drizly

Price and availability varies.


Aside from the fact that this grape is responsible for the prized, undeniably regal-status red wines of Piedmont in northwestern Italy, it’s a fitting choice for Cersei because it is, above all else, incredibly bitter. It produces wines that are very tannic (aka astringent), especially when they’re young, gripping your palate and gums without any sign of remorse. These are cerebral wines, not quite as obvious or easy to like, but rewarding of those who are patient, getting more interesting, layered, and complex with time (much like our girl Cersei).

Vietti Castiglione Barolo on Drizly

Price and availability varies.


Frequently paired with ripe, juicy Grenache and meaty, pepper-spicey syrah in blends, mourvèdre is the grape that adds muscle and dark force to the group. It gets high marks for body, alcohol, and tannin, producing wines that are broody and powerful. Think blackberry, currant, and plum mixed with the flavor of game meat, tobacco, soil, and herbs. It’s fierce, especially when made as a single-varietal wine, the most famous of which come from Bandol in southwestern France. (Side note: The mourvèdre-based rosés from the region are also fantastic and intensely dry for rosé. Who knows, perhaps something Cersei would have enjoyed before winter came?)

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge on Drizly

Price and availability varies.


South Africa’s signature red grape, pinotage makes what you might call an abrasive, love-or-hate-it kind of wine. High in alcohol and body, it smacks you with flavors of red and black berries, campfire smoke, roasted meat, licorice, and steely cool herbs like mint and eucalyptus. The best examples of the style deserve to be savored, for sure, but it’s worth noting that like Cersei, it can also be quite volatile. If not made well, the wine is known to give off unpleasant notes of burnt tar and nailpolish remover.

David & Nadia Sadie Pinotage on Drizly

Price and availability varies.


An iconic red grape of north and central California, Zinfandel is known for making medium-bodied wines with lush red and black fruit flavors, smooth tannins, and hints of tobacco, smoke, and spice. Cersei’s a fan because, one, the wines the typically quite boozy (and evil though she may be, the woman’s definitely been through enough to have earned a good strong drink) and two, it’s a great red for barbecues. So, you know, something fitting to sip on as you watch the Great Sept of Baelor go up in flames.

Ridge Estate’s ‘Lytton Springs’ Zinfandel on Drizly

Price and availability varies.


What better grape to represent Cersei Lannister than this Italian varietal, whose name literally translates to “black bitter”? Native to Puglia, the southeastern region that sits at the heel of Italy’s “boot,” the lesser-known negroamaro makes a dark-fruited, earthy, full-bodied red with a firm tannic structure and notes of black licorice and smoke.

Rocca Bella Negroamaro on Drizly

Price and availability varies.


Ok, so, Cersei doesn’t seem to have ever been a white wine gal, but if I had to pick one to represent her it would definitely be albariño. The signature white variety of Rias Baixas, the region on Spain’s northwestern coast, it produces easy-drinking, fiercely high-acid dry whites with a distinctively salty edge. And in “Game of Thrones,” no one is saltier—and gulps down wine more easily—than Cersei Lannister.

Nessa Albariño on Drizly

Price and availability varies.

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop

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How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

Hard-boiled eggs aren’t just one of the most nutritious foods around, but they also have the potential to be some of the most gorgeous. With a multitude of dyes, stickers, and patterns on the market, their decorative potential is endless. However, if you’ve outgrown those basic PAAS kits and are craving something a little more sophisticated this Easter season, why not try a more natural approach?

It turns out your can color your eggs using food-based ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. As a sustainable, creative way to make use of leftovers, it’s hard to say no. After all, what else are you going to do with those old onions or that last sip of grape juice in the bottle? Below are six of the best ways to wet your toes, err, we mean eggs, in the natural dye arena.

Grape Juice

By mixing one cup of grape juice with one tablespoon of white vinegar, you can turn your eggs a lovely shade of lavender. Let them soak for at least 15-20 minutes to let the color really sink in. Get the Grape Juice Dye recipe.

Bellemain Porcelain Ramekins, Set of 6 for $12.95 on Amazon

Just the thing you’ll need for your egg dyeing party, plus every other thing ramekins are great for.

Red Wine

If a darker purple is what you’re after, you’ll have to go for something a little harder. Red wine is sure to do the trick. Plus, you can pour yourself a drink while coloring your eggs. That’s always a bonus! Get the Red Wine Dye recipe.


Turns out the trendiest spice of the year is also super useful in the egg dyeing department. If you’ve ever wanted a golden egg, here’s how to get it. Just add one tablespoon of turmeric per two tablespoons of vinegar to achieve this vibrant yellow color. Get the Turmeric Dye recipe.


Finally, a good use for beets! Just kidding, we love the earthy vegetable, but only in small doses. While this dye takes a little longer to prepare (the beets require advanced boiling), it’s totally worth it to get the array of pink and red shades it provides. Get the Beet Dye recipe.

Red Cabbage

This might seem counterintuitive, but get this—red cabbage turns eggs blue! Depending on how long you let the eggs soak, you can even get a vibrant turquoise color out of it. Who would have figured?! Get the Red Cabbage Dye recipe.

Onion Skins

Next time you peel onions, don’t throw out the skins! When soaked overnight, they can work as a natural dye to provide a rich orange color to your Easter eggs. Get the Red Onion Dye recipe.

All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop .

2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV

In case you are just now joining me on this eye-opening journey through the feasts of Israel, I want you to know that this is one in a series of studies on the Jewish holidays. The other feasts that proceed this one are: (Passover & Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost and Trumpets). And then following this feast is the feast of Tabernacles.

Studying the feasts is a great way for us to gain greater insight into God’s master plan for His creation, and has opened a window of fresh air for me to God’s kingdom in heaven. These feasts are not just for Jewish observance, but are an opportunity for each of us to get to know God and His plan for all of us.

The “Days of Awe”

I think it is appropriate that we begin the study of the Atonement with the Days of Awe.

This ten-day tradition is observed in the fall of the year, after the last summer harvests (grapes). The Jewish days of awe commence immediately following the Feast of Trumpets (the celebration of the Jewish agricultural New Year), and are an annual time of repentance, reverence, and fear of God. They conclude at Yom Kippur (the Atonement) where another trumpet blasts.

According to several websites that I visited, devout Jews will spend the days of awe rising while it is still dark in the morning and going to synagogue to pray, in sincere penitence (prayer, fasting, worship, and asking God’s forgiveness for every single sin in their lives committed through the year). They will also go and make things right with their fellow-man, settle legal matters, and right anything they know someone has against them, making restitution.

The Lamb’s Book of Life

At the end of the Days of Awe, at sunset on the beginning of Yom Kippur, the custom of the Jews is to present themselves to the priest. The books are opened to see what disputes and legal matters are there, and what accusations have been brought (by two or three witnesses) against them during the past year. All secret sins are also to be confessed. Only the sins confessed are atoned for.

Then, having righted all the wrongs with one’s neighbors, brothers, sisters, family, friends, and God himself, having cleared their conscience of everything against themselves to the best of their ability, the priest then makes an atonement sacrifice for the people’s sins, blots out all their sins from the books, and writes their names in the Book of Life .

All the sins confessed and atoned for from the previous year are forgiven, never to be remembered again, as if they had never happened. When every single Jewish family has presented themselves before the priest, as the sun is setting on Yom Kippur, A HORN IS BLOWN, signaling that the ceremonies are completed. The slate (record of wrongs) is wiped clean…..until next year in Jerusalem!

Unfortunately, anyone who fails to appear before a priest out of laziness or rebellion, when that trumpet sounds, their sins remain. Anyone who refused to participate in the observance, their names are written in the book of death.

If the reader is a student of the Bible it is easy to see the parable or likeness this observance is for God’s kingdom in heaven. As with all the other feasts, Jesus is the fulfillment, and each will come full circle as a copy and shadow of things to come.

The Bible says, God has set before us, life and death, with the free will to choose for ourselves. Think how amazing that is. He even warns of of the consequences of our poor choices. Just like in the garden of Eden where there were fruitful trees for life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which if Adam and Eve ate of would cause them to die. Why, oh why, when we have LIFE all around us are we so tempted by death? There is freedom in life and only slavery in death. How is it that the devil can make death soooo appealing … soooooo tempting? Snake oil salesman.

Amazingly, even when we’ve chosen death, God still makes a way for us to be reconciled to Him. Jesus is the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8 and 21:27). John the Baptist proclaimed, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Our Passover Lamb has made the atonement sacrifice Himself for each and every one of our sins. The blood He shed on the cross is sprinkled on the mercy seat in God’s Holy of Holies by Jesus, our High Priest, to atone for our sins and make these bodies, these frail and cracked vessels of clay, inhabitable by His Holy Spirit.

“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:5

Only the sins we’ve personally confessed to Him, and only the relationships we have reconciled, are under the blood (what we bind on earth is bound in heaven and what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven). Why not give them ALL to Him, hold nothing back? When we turn from our sins and trust in Jesus, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. All the other books (containing offenses) are wiped clean.

“For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14

When that trumpet sounds at the fulfillment of Yom Kippur, the door to heaven shall be closed forever, just as the doors to the ark of the covenant are closed until the next observance of the feast.

“If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15

The Great White Throne of Judgment is a judgment for unbelievers. No one at that judgment has his name in the Book of Life their punishment is sure.

(Read more at:

This coming Yom Kippur could very well be the last to be celebrated on earth. Possibly the last chance for people to make things right with God before that door of grace closes forever. Will you be a wise virgin who makes it inside for the banquet, or a foolish virgin who is shut out forever? (Read about the Wise and Foolish Virgins)

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

My Bible footnote says a denarius (a word of Latin origin) was the standard wage for a full day’s work. The KJV uses the word “penny” or pence in place of denarius which in Roman currency of the time would have been ten asses (asses were bronze or copper coins used during the Roman Empire). Denarius is the origin of the common noun for money in Italian denaro, in Portuguese dinheiro and in Spanish dinero.

Here are some example salaries and product costs as of the times of Diocletian in the third century AD:

Farm laborer monthly pay, with meals = 400 asses

Teacher’s monthly pay, per boy = 800 asses

Barber’s service price, per client = 32 asses

1 kg of pork = 380 asses (1 lb = 170 asses)

1 kg of grapes = 32 asses (1 lb = 15 asses)

3And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

The third hour would be 9:00AM and there were more people standing inactive, unemployed (by implication) lazy, useless: – barren, idle, slow“(Strongs #692 argos) in the “agora” (Strongs #58), which is probably the town square, market, or thoroughfare/street.

4and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went.

Their wage: whatever is right (just drawing attention to that). The Greek word used is dikaios (1342) and it means “equitable” (in character or act) (by implication) innocent holy, just, meet, right(-eous).

5Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

The sixth hour is noon and the ninth hour is 3:00PM.

6And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, [a] and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’

The 11 th hour is 5:00PM (an hour before quitting time), and is it just me or does the land owner seem kind of annoyed that there are folks just standing around idle all day?

7They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ [b]

Again he promises “what is right.”

8“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’

To pay them, the landowner worked his way backwards from the new hires to those with seniority (which btw, is an exact representation of the grapes in the basket. The first grapes gathered are at the bottom and will be last to come out. The first grapes to come out of the basket are the last ones that went in).

9And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.

Quite a generous wage for an hour’s worth of work.

10But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more and they likewise received each a denarius.

The landowner was certainly a man of his word wasn’t he, although “fair” is in the eye of the beholder isn’t it? Ever been hired for a job and completely happy about your wage until you found out what others were being paid? My husband calls it O.P.M. (other people’s money), and it is the root of all discontentment. Yep been there and done that.

11And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner,

12saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’

13But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

14Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.

I believe the “wage” in the parable is probably A TICKET TO HEAVEN, and when I look at it like that I kind of get a different perspective. I can’t help but draw a parallel with the thief on the cross. Jesus told him as they hung on their crosses together, with the sun fading on the day, that today he would be in paradise with Him. The thief had run out of time to do very many good works. He was at the 11th hour of his life. All he had time for was to witness to one last man, yet he got the same reward as our righteous King, as well as all the prophets and saints and godly Hebrews of the Old Testiment who had preached, and prophesied, and judged, and led, been faithful, and died before him.

The thing I have to remember is that Salvation is not earned. It is a gift rewarded for saying yes to an invitation.

15Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’

My Bible footnote says that this parable blossomed out of the attitude that the disciples had shown toward service and rewards.

I find this a tricky thing about church. It is so easy when you belong to ANY group of people to look around at others and compare. So easy to get hurt feelings about things. So easy to get wrapped up in unholy competitions.

Am I the only one that is secretly longing for pats on the back for my good deeds? Sometimes tempted to brag about charitible things I’ve done just to make myself feel more spiritual or worthy to my peers? Am I the only one that feels a twinge of jealousy when someone else in the congregation is liked more, fawned over more, appreciated more? Am I the only one that is hurt when my fruit salad is passed over for Linda’s Fritata? Or when Beth is chosen to lead next month’s Ladies Group instead of me? Or when Emily puts a picture on Facebook and it gets 47 likes immediately and I don’t even have 47 friends? Or when a certain, once unknown blog writer, celebrates her Food Network show and new line of kitchen wares filling up all the isles in all the Wal-mart stores across America and I count it a huge success if just one person clicks the “like” star on one of my posts.

Although rewards are part of God’s plan (Romans 2:6 Matthew 16:27 Revelation 22:12 2 Corinthians 5:10), Jesus rebukes the spirit of serving for the rewards rather than out of love (1 Corinthians 13).

16So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.” [c]

Click this link for the FREE downloadable coloring page: Grapevine to use for your small group, or Sunday School class, or just to color as you spend time in prayer.

The last will be first and the first will be last…just like the grapes being gathered into the baskets, the last ones in will be the first ones to enter the winepress, but they will altogether be a lovely batch of vino.

Chosen vs. Called.

The Greek word for Called is “Kletos.” Strongs #2822. It means invited, appointed. It is used eleven times in the New Testament (Bible Study Tools), and most of those times it is in reference to a calling to ministry or a special appointment, such as apostle or saint.

A calling is kind of a general thing, but it is usually geared to a specific group of folks. For instance, I think of a ranch cook calling the hands for supper. She yells or rings the bell and anyone on HER ranch who is hungry will come running. A church bell calls ITS congregation to church. A school bell calls ITS students to class. The disciples, and we as Christians, received a calling from Christ to take the love of Christ to our neighbors. Many are called.

The Greek word for Chosen is “Ekletos.” Strongs #1588. It means select, favorite, elect.

Choosing is much more personal. We choose a mate. We choose our clothes. We choose what we want to eat from a menu. Choosing is intimate. This word is used 23 times in scripture (Bible Study Tools). Most of those times the word is translated “elect” as in “the elect,” the favorites of the called, the cream of the crop, the most exalted ones of the called. Jesus called many disciples, but chose a smaller group of twelve apostles. Of the apostles, Jesus chose an inner circle, Peter, James, and John as His elect. Often He asked these three to come be with Him for something special, like healing miracles, the transfiguration, or the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Although the two words, Kletos and Ekletos are spelled the same, they are not pronounced the same and have different meanings. They are homographs, but I have an uneducated hunch that there is an intended play-on-words in the Greek that is sort of lost in English, don’t you?

The same phrase is repeated in Matthew 22:14.

We all have an inner circle of friends, a small group that we trust just a little bit more, cherish just a little bit more. I want to live my life in such a way as that the Lord would trust me just a little bit more, and cherish me just a little bit more. Not to lord it over anyone, but just to have Him smile at me with affection. I want to have a comfort zone thing with Him. I want to have the trust/integrity thing with HIM. I have been forgiven much, I also want to love much (Luke 7:47)!

Personal Application

In penning this post I got to thinking about the shopping trip I made with my granddaughter this past weekend. It wasn’t going to take us long to pick out some uniform pieces for school: a couple skirts, a couple pants, and a couple pair of shorts, but our little dash in to Old Navy hit a roadblock when we encountered the unbelievable, Disneyland-like lines for the dressing rooms, and then to pay at the end. It was just crazy how many people were in that store. I guess that’s what we got for not arriving there until afternoon on the half-price day of the tax-free weekend.

While we were in the monsterous line to pay we passed a bouncy-ball vending machine, and to help pass the time I dug some quarters out of my purse to let my little schnookums try for a pink ball. One…two…three tries and one…two…three green/blue/yellow balls came out. Well, shucks. I asked her what she was gonna do with three balls? She decided she would give one ball to her sister and keep the other two for herself, but I suggested she give the third ball to another kid in the store. “Why?” she inquired. “To be nice,” I riposted, and then I asked her to look around for a kid her age who would be a good candidate. She looked around, but was overcome with fear and shyness. She wanted me to do it. I kept pointing people out to her, and encouraging her, promising that it would make her feel good to do it, but she just couldn’t get up the gumption to talk to someone she didn’t know. I asked her to choose which ball she wanted to give away, and on our way out of the store I asked a little girl if she’d like to have it. Although my little jelly-bean was too scared to step out and talk to another person, at least she was willing to give, and I was proud of her for that.

I feel the Holy Spirit challenging me in several ways today through the reading and studying of this parable. Like my darling granddaughter, I too hold back sometimes, because of timidity. My anxiousness causes me to stand around idle all day in my comfort zone waiting for a job to come looking for me. Sometimes I find myself looking around to see if anyone else is stepping out before I do, so I don’t look foolish taking a leap-of-faith all by myself. Consequently, I don’t make it into the vineyard until the 6 th or 9 th hour (if at all). But then there are other times when I feel like I am the one who has been there all day, putting in the biggest effort, and here come others that have done barely anything and are getting lavish praise. Sometimes I get jealous over favoritism shown to others in the small groups that I belong to.

In all honesty, I don’t accept praise well, but admit it is a nice reward to have someone notice my efforts (so that I can humbly dismiss them – ha, right?). But to get very little praise or appreciation when others around me seem to be getting tons of praise for what seems like a fraction of the work, that is pretty hard to take. Stumbling blocks. Oh Lord, I hate the stumbling blocks in this Pilgrims Progress of life. They are so hard to get past, but here’s what I’m feeling the Lord leading me to use as tools to help me climb over them, dig under them, and squeeze around them:

Try to remember that Jesus made a fair deal with me when He invited me to work in His vineyard.

Remember that He is a man of His word and will reward me with what is right. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

Stop looking around at the deal everyone else is getting, or get jealous over favoritism. It’s Satan’s oldest trick to get us to LOOK at things we’re not supposed to have and then looooong for them. There are far more harder working Christians out there than me who are going to be given the same gift as me in the end, and who have done a mountain more work. Who cares if I am His favorite or not. As long as I make it to heaven, who cares if all I have to live in is a pup-tent, and scraps from the Master’s table to eat. Tis better to be in God’s kingdom than to be anywhere else.

Be motivated by love, and not distracted by greed, or jealousy or even obligation, nor tempted into expecting a reward for every little thing. To keep my eyes on the vineyard and not on the prize box. To take the hard shell off my heart and let it swell for that person in front of me who needs a friend, or a sandwich, or a hug, or a kleenex, or a good laugh.

Dear Lord Jesus, help me not to fall into the trap of comparison. Help me to keep my eyes on You and consider only the prize that You have promised me. Help me to be content with such things as I have. Help me not to be idle, or crippled by fear or timidity, or green with envy and miss a great blessing. In Your precious name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Beds that Look Like Cabinets

Funky, interesting home decor finds is a passion of mine. Different styles of furniture are of particular interest.

Furniture that looks like one thing but doubles as another is so much fun!
Beds that look like cabinets are a form of a Murphy Bed. As you probably know already, the standard Murphy Bed is one that folds down from the wall. These particular beds fold into a waist-high cabinet instead.

2624-Year-Old Bald Cypress Discovered in North Carolina

Now that’s an historic plant!

According to scientists from the University of Arkansas, a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) growing in North Carolina is 2624 years old, making it the oldest living thing east of the Rocky Mountains and one of the oldest trees in the world.

And it isn’t alone. “There are hundreds of 1,000-year-old trees throughout the Black River swamp forest,” says scientist David Stahle who used core samples and radiocarbon to date the cypresses. “We think there are older trees out there still.”

Awe-inspiring in their own right, these ancient trees also offer a precipitation record in their tree rings that’s “amazingly accurate and detailed.” It not only shows modern droughts, says Stahle, but also “the severe multi-year droughts of 1587-1589 associated with the disappearance of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, and the drought of 1606-1612 concurrent with the hardships suffered during the early years of the Jamestown Colony.”

To read more or watch a short video about these remarkable heirlooms, visit (December 2019)

Homemade Vegetable Bouquet Arrangements

I’m a big fan of do it yourself creations. You can save so much money and enjoy expressing your creativity at the same time.

I want to show you some photos of homemade vegetable bouquet arrangements that readers have shared with me. These were so well done you may be surprised to learn that some of these arrangements were a first attempt!

This photo from Jim Lorenz shows his vegetable bouquet arrangements with carved fruit and vegetable flowers that he made while experimenting after learning from my Vegetable and Fruit Carving Course 101 .

This is what his email to me said,


First attempts, just pitch these after you look.


Well, I was impressed and did not want to “pitch” his photos into the recycle bin, so I asked his permission to share his photo with you, here on my blog.

Jim Lorenz’ edible fruit and vegetable bouquet

He did a great job, didn’t he? His radish roses are well done. I think that the colors used in this bouquet are perfect for spring.

In case you are wondering, my Vegetable and Fruit Carving Course 101 video lessons are designed for beginners who want to get started learning a wide variety of carvings from garnishes, to carved fruit and vegetable bouquet arrangements, to watermelon carving.

Now, here are some beautiful photos by Phung Nguyen:

Phung’s vegetable bouquet arrangements make attractive centerpieces

Notice the beet roses, yam and turnip flowers and cucumber leaves in Phung’s vegetable bouquets. All the vegetables used add such vibrant colors and variety to her display.

If there are raw vegetables like yams or beets in your vegetable bouquet arrangements, you can always steam or roast them for another meal after you’ve finished displaying them.

The yam and turnip flower carvings, as well as the cucumber leaves in Phung’s arrangement are taught in Lesson 6 of my Vegetable and Fruit Carving Course 101. The radish flowers are covered in Lesson 7 of this course. The beet roses are taught in my Hearts and Roses DVD.

With my step by step video instructions, you’ll be able to create your own beautiful vegetable bouquet arrangements and centerpiece in no time! Most students to succeed on their first attempt at carving fruits and vegetables after watching my videos.

You’ll be pleased to learn how easy this is once you know the techniques. Then don’t be surprised if friends and family start to request your services!

One of my blog readers, Rhonda used one of her vegetable bouquet arrangements for a wedding rehearsal dinner.

Rhonda’s vegetable bouquet arrangement displayed at a wedding rehearsal dinner

Once you learn how to make your own vegetable bouquet arrangements, you may find a satisfying hobby in creating elegant and unique gifts and centerpieces for special events. And who knows, you may even be able to make a little extra cash from it, too!

Thank Your Staff: It’s Administrative Professionals Week!

Always the last week in April, with Administrative Professionals Day Wednesday, April 25, it’s a great time to show your gratitude and appreciation to these valued employees.

The theme for this year’s Administrative Professionals Day is “Admins, the pulse of the office,” according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) , as the holiday marks its 60 th anniversary.

It’s one of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays, IAAP reports. The event is celebrated worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, educational seminars and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff.

  • Cards, often with Gift Certificates
  • Flowers
  • Lunch
  • Candy
  • Gift baskets

Administrative Professionals: The Heart and Pulse of the Office
These professionals certainly deserve your thanks. IAAP calls them “the steady center of efficiency … helping ensure jobs get done right, on time and under budget.” And, usually with a smile and a bright disposition too.

International speaker and trainer Marja Lee Freeman, “The Employment Lady”, and founder of M.L. Freeman Consulting, asks “So, what are YOU DOING for your staff this Administrative Professionals Week?” in her article, Administrative Professionals Week Celebration . “It’s time people realize the office administrator is the heart and pulse of a successful organization—for profit, nonprofit or any profit!” she enthuses.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants work in the United States and 8.9 million people work in various administrative support roles.

Recognize Support Staff’s Contributions
Although it’s important to recognize employees throughout the year, Administrative Professionals Week provides a great opportunity to thank support staff for their contributions, advises OfficeTeam’s Robert Hosking, Executive Director of the world’s largest temporary staffing service for Administrative Professionals.

The staffing firm’s press release at PR Newswire, OfficeTeam Offers Recognition Tips For Administrative Professionals Day (April 25), says “Although the achievements of these individuals often occur behind the scenes, administrative professionals make a significant impact on their organizations every day.”

And Harvard Business Review enumerates admins’ contributions in The Case for Executive Assistants. “At senior levels (of Management) the return on a skilled assistant can be substantial”, says author Melba J. Duncan. And, “granting middle managers access to an assistant—or shared resources—can give a quick boost to productivity even at lean, well-run companies.” Duncan adds:

“Effective assistants can make enormous contributions to productivity at all levels of the organization. They ensure meetings begin on time with prep material delivered in advance. They optimize travel schedules and enable remote decision making, keeping projects on track. And they filter the distractions that can turn a manager into a reactive type who spends all day answering email instead of a leader who proactively sets the organization’s agenda.”

At, we’ll thank our support staff with gift certificates for ice cream. How will you thank yours? Let us know.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole Ham, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at [email protected] or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

A very special cherry and almond tart (bakewell but better…)

Our lovely neighbour gave us a miniature cherry tree last year. The few cherries that did grow sadly got eaten by the birds so this year we brought it closer to the house and covered it with a net. That seemed to do the trick. It has faithfully stood near the back door, next to the out-of-control honeysuckle, not complaining as I brush past with endless baskets of laundry to hang out or little one tweaks it’s leaves and branches (for no other reason than because she can). After the most beautiful blossom in (a very late) spring, during which soft, white petals blew in the back door like the prettiest spring snow, tiny, green cherries turned into white then orange then perfect bright red fruit. Quality over quantity but things are usually better that way.

Little one and I picked the ripe fruit all in one go. We delivered some to our neighbour, tasted some, then I set about turning the rest into something special. And here it is. Cherry and almonds are a perfect match, and I’ve been hankering after a proper bakewell tart for a while. Not the sickly sweet iced ones (with soggy pastry) from the free-from aisle but a home-made cherry-almond tart that’s good enough for a dinner party. And that you’d never know was gluten- and dairy-free.

For the pastry I opened my prized coconut oil as I wanted a short, crunchy base. In fact the base is very very similar to my almond shortbread but without the lemon or cardamom. Turns out it makes a fantastic tart base and baking blind is so easy here because the tart almond “filling” (topping in this case) has enough structure that you don’t need sides to the pastry. So no baking beads or lining with paper.

I used dairy free spread in the sort-of-frangipane, simply because I didn’t want to confuse the delicate almonds with too much coconut. I use Pure Dairy Free Sunflower spread in baking and the flavour is just fine here. I only used half the amount you normally see with traditional frangipane recipes that contain butter, since with such a lot of ground almonds you don’t need that much extra fat. Plus I wanted mine to feel light and summery. Some good vanilla essence is key and since it was a special tart (and my 40th blog post!) I added a little liqueur too. Clearly if I had had any kirsch I would have used that but raspberry liqueur had to do here. One thing I discovered totally by accident is that icing (confectioners’) sugar works perfectly in a frangipane-type filling. (When I went to the caster sugar jar it was empty, so it was brown sugar or icing… I’m so glad icing won the toss.)

As for the cherries, I stoned my crop and cooked over a low heat with some lemon juice and a little sugar, to make a very tart low-sugar jam. Just to bring out the flavour of the cherries. You could substitute for a good cherry jam with a squeeze of lemon added to offset the sweetness. It’s the tartness that really works against the rich sweetness of the base and almond topping.

Oh yes, almonds are really high in calcium, and cherries packed with the antioxidants you’d expect from such a red fruit. But that’s not why I made this tart. Try and you’ll see.

For the pastry: 50g extra-virgin coconut oil (or butter) 70g caster sugar 1 egg yolk 50g rice flour (mine is Dove’s Farm which is a blend of brown and white rice) 20g gram (besan) flour 50g ground almonds a large pinch of salt.

For the cherry layer: 150-200g fresh cherries, 1 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tbsp. caster sugar (or use 3 tablespoons good cherry jam mixed with a teaspoon of lemon juice)

For the topping: 100g ground almonds 10g (1 tbsp.) rice flour 50g dairy free spread (or butter) 100g icing (confectioners’) sugar 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract 1-2 teaspoons fruit liqueur 2 eggs

1. Make the pastry: Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). If your coconut oil is liquid (like mine was in this heatwave!) measure out the 50g then pop in the fridge for a few minutes, until it’s the consistency of really soft butter. Add the sugar and mix well, then add the egg yolk and mix again until smooth. Add the flours and almonds and mix again and you’ll have a soft paste. Press this over the base of a 20cm round loose-bottomed sandwich cake tin, non-stick if possible. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden at the edges and very slightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Turn off the oven.

2. Make the cherry filling: Stone and halve the cherries, add the lemon juice and sugar, stir well until all the sugar has dissolved. Pop a lid on and simmer very gently, shaking occasionally to avoid sticking, until the cherries have softened into a still-firm-but-slightly-jammy state. Set aside. (Alternatively measure out 3-4 tablespoons good cherry jam).

3. Make the almond filling: When the base has cooled, make the almond topping. Mix the dairy free spread with the icing sugar until light and fluffy, stir in the vanilla and liqueur, then beat in the eggs until smooth. Add the rice flour and ground almonds and mix well again until you have a smooth paste.

4. Assemble the tart: Preheat the oven back to 180C (160 fan). Rub a little coconut or flavourless oil around the inside edge of the sandwich tin. Spread the cherry mixture or jam over the base then top with the almond mixture, carefully spreading to the edge of the tin with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

5. Bake the tart: Bake on a low shelf in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until evenly risen (the edges rise first then the middle) and golden brown. Don’t even think about opening the door until 30 minutes is up. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. To release the tart, run a table knife between the tin and the outside of tart, place the tin on an upturned mug and firmly push both sides down. Now you can either slice warm on the tin base or ease a pallet knife under the base and slide on to a wire rack to cool completely, then serve at the table on a board.

6. Enjoy for dessert with your favourite dairy free custard or ice cream, or a red fruit coulis. Or on its own with a nice cup of tea or coffee. Or in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep…

Watch the video: Αλήθεια Νοιάζεται Για Μένα? LENORMAN READING (May 2022).


  1. Archimbald

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  2. Shad

    In the family, both husband and wife are equal in rights, especially the wife. Before the milkmaid had time to leave the podium, the chairman of the collective farm immediately climbed onto her Champagne at home: vodka to the hiss of his wife. I ooh? Eva, - said, pouting, pipiska

  3. Sayyar

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  5. Kerwin

    Excuse me, I have removed this phrase

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