25 August 2016

Legend of The Sand Dollar

We had a lovely Margaritaville Themed Wedding Shower for my neice this weekend.  The weather finally broke and rain parted and the photographer got beautiful photos on our deck overlooking the pool and hill side ridge.   We had a regular Seafood Party, everything came out delicious!!   One of the many things I made was these beautiful Sand Dollar Cookies, a symbol of T/K having Christ in their lives as they begin their journey in this life together.  Have you heard of the story?

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

Margaret C. Gallitzin
It is difficult to find a shell so rich in symbolism as the sand dollar. When I was a girl, I saw my first sand dollar – which I later learned was called the key hole sand dollar – and my uncle, a priest, explained to me how it represented the story of the Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I never forgot that lesson of how to see God in visible Creation.

The sand dollar - front above, and back below

The sand dollar is flat-looking burrowing sea urchin belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. It lives on the floor of shallow sandy waters along the coasts of ocean waters in the Northern Hemisphere. The mollusks are washed up on Oregon Coast beaches regularly.

After the urchin is washed up on the beach and bleached by the sun, it looks like a large silver coin, such as the old Spanish or American dollar. Ergo, its simple American name. In other places it is known as the sea biscuit or pansy shell.

It was not long, however, before a legend rich in Catholic symbolism developed about the poorly named sand dollar. This was the story my uncle told me:

On the top part of the shell you can clearly see in the center a star, which represents the Star of Bethlehem that led the Wise Men to the manger when Christ was born. Around it is the outline of the Easter lily, a sign of Our Lord’s Resurrection.

At the edges of the star are four holes and in the center another one. These remind us of the four Sacred Wounds of Our Lord on His Hands and Feet that He bore after being nailed to the Cross. A center hole, the fifth, represents the pierce Wound to His Sacred Heart made by the spear of Longinus.

If you turn the sand dollar over, you will find an outline of the Poinsetta, the Christmas flower.
The sand dollar always has five doves inside
Finally, if you break open the sand dollar, five "doves" emerge – the doves of the Peace and Joy of Christmas. There are always five doves every time you open one.

Many poems have been written about the legend of the sand dollar. This one, author unknown, is my favorite:

The legend of the Sand dollar
That I would like to tell
Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ
Found in this lowly shell.

If you will examine closely,
You'll see that you find here
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman's spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
It's center is the star
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side
Reminds us of His birthday,
Our joyous Christmas tide.

Now break the center open
And here you will release
The five white doves awaiting
To spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me.
To help to spread His Message
Through all eternity.

So here are the cookies and the fabulous recipe that was so easy to make.   I made the dough the night before and place in the fridge until the following afternoon, about four hours before the shower.  I took two minutes off the time but still had a little browning around the edges and bottom, perfect!

Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixer
  • Spatula
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • 2 5/8”(68mm) circle cutter
  • Pastry mat or a clean floured surface
  • Pastry brush
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Cooling racks
Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Yield: Yields 4 dozen 2 5/8” circle cookies (or 3 dozen sand dollars & 7 misc. shapes ;)
Do you love sand dollars as much as me?! Try these easy to make sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies - that look just like the real thing! Yummy & perfect!

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (15 sec in the microwave & another 5 sec will get you there, if you don’t want to wait for butter to soften on its own – HA – it is like watching paint dry – it’s simply fascinating ;)

2 cups powdered sugar (mmm mmm mmm…can taste the sugary goodness already!)
2 eggs whole
2 eggs separated (yolks in one bowl/whites in another – c’mon it’s fun!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pinches of kosher salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
cinnamon sugar (this gets sprinkled on top)
sliced almonds

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar; Mix until very creamy. (I may or may not have taken a lick after this step – HA! ;)
  3. Add the 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks only (reserve the whites for later from the egg separation above); Beat until well combined.
  4. Add vanilla and salt; Blend well.
  5. Add flour and baking powder; Stir until the dough is very soft.
  6. Form a ball with the dough; Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (I left mine in the fridge overnight).
  7. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll out the dough to 1/4" thick on a floured surface and cut out 2 5/8” circles.
  9. Brush the circles with the reserved egg whites.
  10. Sprinkle each circle lightly with cinnamon sugar and press 5 almond slices into the center of each circle to make a sand dollar (like the pic above).
  11. Bake at 350° F for 3 minutes.
  12. After 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and press the almonds in again, making slight indentations in the circle.
  13. Add more cinnamon at this point too, if need be, to adjust the overall coloring of the final cookie.
  14. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, another 10 minutes (this time will vary depending on how thick you cut the circles, so just keep an eye on them around the 7 minute mark).
  15. Remove from oven; Let rest on baking sheet for 3 minutes.
  16. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
  17. Dig in!!!
  18. Store in an airtight container to keep up to 5 days (Yeah right, these won’t last 5 minutes!)
Adapted from Delicious Inspiration

18 August 2016

F - A - M - I - L - Y

Today was our annual back to school shopping trip with my sweet Granddaughters.  It was fun to have both girls pick out two outfits each and then we went to Starbucks for Cake Pops and then met Mama and Daddy and brother "J" for lunch at Chuys!!  M is off at college practice in the marching band so we missed him!  This weekend will be our traditional back to school dinner out at our special place with our family.   Our family loves "tradition"!    I love that our kids and grand kids never seem to forget.  And in saying that Nana and Papa will be arriving with doughnuts their first day of school.  I am sure we will all be standing in tears as "A" boards her school bus for the first time.  God is so good, we are so blessed to have a strong protective family.  I pray for her to have a safe and germ free (as possible) year and less visits to the hospital.  In God's Name I pray!  Pamie G.

Beautiful photo sessions with H and A while we were trying on dresses, friends and family can see those on our Facebook and Family site.

15 August 2016

While cleaning my desk this weekend, I found a note from my Granddaughter "H"....how special ....a note on rocks that we collect from our rocks in our neighborhood....I love you sweet girl!
There is nothing in this world that could take my heart more....I love my grandchildren...Thank you God for your gifts of love.  My life is so complete with you first and the love that you surround them with.....Blessings 

08 August 2016

Prayers for a new friend....

Prayers of Hope even in the darkest hour....Please pray for this new friend who has lost hope and needs healing prayers.

Today was my annual labs so I fasted and arrived at the base at around 9:30 with a tremendous headache.  Usually by 9:30 I have been up for four hours, walked and had about three cups of coffee.  Labs are 12 viles, fasting....so sadly, I can't have coffee.

When I walked in, I sat next to a woman about my age, very thin and had a faint smile.  I told her I had a headache from no caffeine and she said I should just have one cup of black coffee before I come and that it would be okay.  She is a family doctor.  She said she has headaches from her chemo...and from there we talked about her and chemo, ports, etc. and my granddaughter "A".  She was only given 30 days to live when diagnosed but she wanted a second opinion, etc.  So more labs, more prodding, more doubt....but can't forget God in these bad times.   She feels hope slipping away.  Since we were both are Southern girls, I know that God put me right there beside her this morning. We cried together and I prayed so hard all day for her.  Prayer for her to feel God's love and healing and hope that God has her life in his hands and he would love her and take care of her.  I prayed for her to feel better, spiritually and physically.  I felt the prescence of God's power placing me there with her.  I know he is trying to tell me something and I should listen....someone special needs help.

If you pray, please do for Rebecca....

In God's name I pray....Pamie G.

04 August 2016

It's really final...

Sadly, I pulled all of my tomato plants out of the garden today.  I was so blessed to have an abundance of hot peppers and tomatoes for over 40 jars of salsa this spring and summer.  Above is the last ones I processed yesterday and I made these "firey" hot for our sons and my hubby....they love it hot!  It has been a bountiful growing season, thank you our Lord and Savior for the blessings.  Next year I plan on only planting regular size tomatoes in various name brands for putting up.  I am skipping the Fall growing season for the early vegetables as we have late summer travel plans and will put my garden in late Fall for the winter vegetables.  Have a blessed day!  Pamie G.

01 August 2016

Family Margaritaville Dinner - Celebrate New Store San Antonio, Texas

Our Family (kids and grandkids) celebrated the Grand Opening of Margaritaville on the Riverwalk Sunday Afternoon.  We had so much fun and the girls fit right in with their shirts, shopping at the Margaritaville store afterward after a beautiful weekend at Hill Country Retreat.  Life is beautiful.  we are so blessed!  Photos of our Family on our Facebook!