ORVA Family Newsletter

December 14, 2015

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Tis the season! Winter Break is December 21, 2015 - January 1, 2015. Classes resume on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Happy, happy holidays! No matter what you may celebrate during our Winter Break, we are wishing you the very best of times! Just this last week of working hard, making up missed assignments, getting on track, doing what it takes...and then GO CELEBRATE! Celebrate that you've made it this far, that you always have a new day to start fresh, that you are here right this minute to make a difference in this world. Peace on earth, goodwill to all!

EXTRA, EXTRA: Be sure to scroll to the very end of this newsletter, this is a SPECIAL EDITION with a wide variety of student artwork, poetry, and recipes, just in time for more holiday cheer!!!
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Upcoming Calendar!

December 17-18: Field Trips to local fire stations. Please visit http://orva.k12start.com/calendar/ for more information and to register to attend.

December 18: Last day of school before Winter Break!

Dec. 21 - Jan. 1: Winter Break

February 1, 2016: Start of second semester

ORVA Strong Start Website

Don't forget to visit ORVA's Strong Start site at http://orva.k12start.com/ - you will find very helpful information on everything from getting started as a new family to how to stay on track to parent workshops and more! Another very helpful link is the ORVA school calendar!

PreK-2 Corner

December Work Sample is due this Friday, December 18, by noon. Please contact your teacher if you have any questions or concerns.

Story Time! Mrs. Colbert's Story Time is one of our favorites! This is an optional class every Thursday from 1:00 - 1:30 pm; the link is in your student's Class Connect schedule.

3rd - 8th Highlights

Interim Assessments: Good job, your students have now completed one Math and one ELA Interim Assessment and received feedback from their teachers!

Hour of Code was a very successful event, and we appreciate all who participated! To find out more, and go beyond an hour of code, please visit Code Studio.
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ORVA's High School Advisory Teachers and Counselors are here to work closely with your students and help keep the communication flowing and students on track. Be sure to reach out to this amazing team if you have questions or concerns! They are a dedicated and experienced group!
Last name A-L: Jessica Bell; Last name M-Z: Melissa Arrigotti
9th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Denny Nkemontoh
10th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Carissa Trepka
11th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Todd Anderson
12th Grade Advisory Teacher:
Cindy Dauer

Scholarships: If you are planning to attend community college, vocational school, or a university in 2016, I encourage you to complete a scholarship application with the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC). Just one application makes you eligible for hundreds of scholarships.

*Click here to begin: https://app.oregonstudentaid.gov/

*You can search available scholarships here: https://app.oregonstudentaid.gov/Catalog/Default.aspx

Grades: Remember, you can check your students’ grades in their classes at any time. If you need some reminders on how to access progress, below are “how-to” videos:

http://fw.unitymg.com/rdr/OD:104:836 - “How to check your students’ grades”

http://help.k12.com/support/video-resources - Library of support videos

If your grades in your classes are below expectations, you still have time to recover, learn, and get a passing grade! The way to do this is to:

  • Log in daily to each class
  • Check your Kmails and reply as needed
  • Attend every live Class Connect
  • Turn in assignments on due dates

Tis the Season for Giving!

As we reach the end of 2015, we can reflect on the year as a whole. Some of us may recognize the many accomplishments made throughout the year, while others may already be planning personal goals and resolutions for the New Year. It is easy to get distracted with holiday parties, making travel plans, and buying gifts; often losing sight of those in our community struggling to make ends meet and overlooking the importance of giving to those less fortunate this holiday season.

Did you know? A study by the American Psychological Association found that giving to others increases life expectancy by at least 5 years (Greengrass, 2003).

Whether it is giving monetary donations to your favorite charity, buying toys for children, or volunteering your time for a worthy cause, there are many ways we can teach our children how to give back and help others over the holiday season. We can start with the very small (share a toy, offer a smile, comfort a friend) and as they grow, so will their generosity. Here are a few ideas:

  • Shovel snow from your neighbor’s sidewalk
  • Collect clothing or personal items and donate them to a local shelter for the homeless.
  • Give contributions to relief efforts for a natural disaster causing homelessness that children can understand.
  • Make favors, scrapbooks, napkin rings, or crafts for a special occasion to donate to a local children's hospital or convalescent home.
  • "Adopt" a senior citizen and help him or her with necessary chores or visit an elderly home.
  • Collect food for local food banks.
  • Make greeting cards for people in a veteran's hospital or other health care facilities.
  • "Adopt" a service person stationed overseas, collect items and send them a gift box.
  • Make toys, games, or crafts for a child care center or pediatric unit of a hospital.

Popular Charitable Organizations:

· Salvation Army

· Toys for Tots

· Operation Angel

· St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

· Local religious organizations

· Food Banks

· Homeless Shelters

· Animal Shelters

· Habitat for Humanity

If you need some additional support this holiday season, please contact our Family Resource Coordinator, Katie Lee, at kalee@oregonva.org for some additional resources in your area.

Greengrass, M. (2003). In Brief: Giving to others linked to longer life, study finds. American Psychological Association, 34(2), 17.


Where There Is Misery, There Is Beauty as Well by Samantha E., 11th Gr.

Is there more to a cold winter day than just misery?

Yes, you are cold. So is everything else.

There is beauty in this white wonderland.

You see those Icicles? They were once liquid.

Free to move around. They are free no more.

When you breathe out, a fog arises.

Slightly warm, but warm nonetheless.

Even a single snowflake can cause worldwide change.

Can you? Can I? I say yes.

Look at the frost that has settled on the spider web.

It has tiny ice crystals forming it.

Do we pause to look at them, admire them, even?

Such small things taken for granted in a big world.

So I ask you again,

Is there more to a cold winter day than just misery?

Snowflake by McKenna G., 8th Gr.

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Jolly Mr. Winter by Emma M., 5th Gr.

Jolly Mr. Winter, is tromping through the snow, the animals are digging burrows so they have someplace to go.

Everything is white, the snow is soft and cold, yet still Mr. Winter, is tromping through the snow.

He'll never get cold or chilly, cold is all he knows, so still Mr. Winter, is tromping through the snow.

But finally he meets a friend, pretty little Spring, and she puts him to sleep with the pretty Song she sings.

And so little Spring, thinks Winter's cold is a dud, so poof! She waves her hands, and turns It into flower buds!

Snow Scene by Khadija H., 3rd Gr.

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The Winter Lion by Judah H., 5th Gr.

Winter is like a lion

It roars through the forest

It sheds its snowy coat over the land and trees

And its panting is like the heavy winter winds as it stalks the last

living thing.

Alika and Shino in the Snow by Alyssa T., 9th Gr.

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Winter, Winter by Aebrie M., 4th Gr.

Winter, Winter, Time is near,
The presents are looking oh so Queer,
Christmastime is coming near,
Here comes the last month of the year!
Santa Claus children wish to hear,
So the kids lend an ear.
Dear in all notes for Christmastime,
No family is full of drear,
No child is full of fear.
"Christmas is anear!"
All children yell,
So many things they want to tell.

Christmas Tree by Sam D., 8th Gr.

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The Snow by Hannah N., 5th Gr.

The snow, The snow,
It flutters to the ground.
The snow, The snow,
It's snowing all around.
The snow, The snow,
In it I shall play.
The snow, The snow,
It's a beautiful snow day!

Eiffel Tower by Mariam Q., 6th Gr.

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The Reason for the Season by Rosemary C., 6th Gr.

Winter is here and fall has gone.
Now comes the season I have been waiting for all year long!
Not so much the presents or the snow but the reason for the season everyone should know.
For Jesus has come on Christmas day!
He lies in his manger but no crying he makes.
The shepherd stands by along Mary and Joseph, all waiting for the wisemen who bring 3 presents.
Guided by a star to Bethlehem the three wisemen came and gave presents to him!
The stars in the sky look down where he lay,
We thank God for this gift each and every Christmas day!

Walking in the Snow by Roberto B., 10th Gr.

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Snowflake by Cassandra R., 6th Gr.

The snow glows white

Whenever it snows,

It crunches under my feet

And it’s cold on a winter day,

The snow is cold

And it’s fun to play in the snow with your friends,

Let it snow!

Tundra by Benjamin L., 3rd Gr.

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Snow by Michaela T., 5th Gr.

Snow, a blanket on the grass

That stays a while, but doesn’t last

When the sun comes it disappears

As spring time starts to come near

As children watch the snow go away

They hope it will come back some day

Snow Family by Wyatt C., 2nd Gr.

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From November to December by Jordan T, 7th Gr.

Every year, at the end of November,

We have Thanksgiving, where we remember,

All the things we're grateful for.

Football, Friends, and Family,

Good Cajun Grub, and Sweet Iced Tea!

We have so much to be grateful for.

Jesus Christ, His gift to us,

Shedding His blood willingly on the cross.

That we are truly grateful for.

After Thanksgiving, Christmas rolls around,

With Christmas sights, smells, and sounds!

We get so busy that we can forget,

All the things we're grateful for.

We put up the tree, then start to whine,

As we wait and wait, for the lights to shine!

But, so what if they don't?

We have so much to be grateful for.

At Christmas we should remember how Jesus came to earth,

Giving up His riches, His Paradise, for us.

What we should be truly grateful for.

Instead we are distracted by candy, fun, and toys.

Those earthly, trifling, pleasures that bring no eternal joy.

This Christmas, let's try to make our Thanksgiving last,

From November through December and forever after that!

Christmas Tree by Ava D., 2nd Gr.

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I See by Caelen D., 3rd Gr.

As the clouds come in

I see there are no leaves

As the cool winter breeze

Blows them off of the trees.

As the days get shorter

I see the winter night sky

As the stars twinkle in my eye.

As we sit around the fire

I see in my heart a very

loving family that I hope

will never part.

Santa by Elijah J., 7th Gr.

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Winter Wonder World by Livia M., 4th Gr.

Little sprinkles of sugar or is it gingerbread frosting?
The ground is covered in vanilla ice cream or is it milk?
The trees turned red and white or is it peppermint?
Everything is made out of candy! In this winter wonder world.

Ruby by Hannah A., 9th Gr.

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Snowballs by Dylan J., 5th Gr.

Melt 1 stick of butter and 4 ounce squares of bakers chocolate (half the box) in a sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly
Add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, remove from heat
Stir to mix well
Add 1 box of graham cracker crumbs
Stir until blended
Chill awhile
Roll into 1 inch balls in powdered sugar

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Easy Goldfish Crackers by Lyndsy R., 10th Gr.

Easy Goldfish Crackers
8 ounces, weight Sharp Cheddar Cheese,Shredded
4 Tablespoons Butter, Cut Into Cubes
1 cup Flour
¾ teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Cold Water

1. Pulse everything (except water) together in the food processor until the dough resembles coarse sand.
2. Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
3. Remove dough from the processor, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes. You can use a toothpick to make the eyes and smile if you would like. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.
6. Makes about 7 dozen crackers.
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Marshmallow Bagel Hyper Snack by Grant H., 7th Gr.

Spread butter on both sides of the bagel

Take 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and spread over the butter (I find it easier if you just drop it on the butter).

Pull 4 marshmallows apart into "halfs" and place on brown sugar.

Put in oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes on 350 (degrees Fahrenheit)

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Peppermint Hot Chocolate by Delbin A., Gr. 9

1. Ingredients: mini marshmallows, hot cocoa mix (preferably your favorite brand), one full sized candy cane and hot water.
2. Put some water on your stove top and set on HIGH until boiling.
3. Add 1/4 cup cocoa mix to your cup/mug then pour 3/4 cup of hot water (for best result).
4. Crush the candy cane until in small pieces.
5. Add the candy cane pieces to your hot cocoa.
6. Stir and serve with love.
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Triple Ginger Cookies by Cella A., 10th Gr.


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light (mild-flavored) molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup (about) sugar


  1. Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, crystallized ginger, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until creamy and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in both brown sugars. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, molasses, fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat to blend. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, beating on low speed just to blend between additions.
  2. Place 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl. Measure 1 tablespoon dough. Roll into ball between palms of hands, then roll in sugar in bowl to coat; place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, spacing cookies 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake cookies until surfaces crack and cookies are firm around edges but still slightly soft in center, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on sheets on rack. DO AHEAD: Cookies can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store in airtight containers at room temperature.
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Gingersnap Cookies by Taylor B., 7th Gr.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl combine shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses. Gradually add flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Beat on low until thoroughly mixed. Roll your cookie dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls of dough in sugar and place on cookie sheet. Once your dough is on the cookie sheet, gently press down on the top dough with a cup. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

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Santa's Whiskers by Courtney G., 8th Gr.

Prep time 20 mins. Chill 2 hours, bake 10 mins per batch. Oven 375'F. Makes about 60 Whiskers.

3/4 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups of all-purpose flour

3/4 cup finely chopped candied red and green cherries

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 cup shredded coconut

1. Beat butter with a electric mixer on medium for 30 sec. Add sugar.
Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Stir in cherries and pecans.

2. Divide dough in half; shape into two 8-inch-long rolls. Roll in coconut. Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill for 2 to 24 hours or until firm enough to slice.

3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 mins or until edges are golden. To slice use a sharp serrated or thin-bladed knife. Rotate rolls while cutting them to prevent flattening one side.

TIP: Put the the cookies after they're done cooking in the refrigerator or freezer for faster chilling. Make sure they are really nice and solid before you cut them.
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Candy Cane Brownie Trifle by Charity G., 6th Gr.


  • 1 9×13 inch pan of baked brownies
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cup half and half or cream
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes (about 12 candy canes)


  1. Start by making the brownies. A box mix is fine. Make sure not to over bake them. Remove brownies from the oven and cool completely (if you are in a hurry stick them in the freezer). Cut brownies into bite-size chunks and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons of butter. Cook and stir over low heat until melted.
  3. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups half and half or cream, 3/4 cup sugar, and corn syrup. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Boil over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes (set a timer!) or until sauce is reduced to about 2 1/3 cups. Remove from heat. Let cool for a minute or two, until it stops bubbling.
  4. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Cool to room temperature; mixture thickens as it cools. (Freezer or fridge also helps here).
  5. For the whipped cream, in a chilled mixing bowl combine 2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Beat with the chilled beaters of an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  6. In 16 small dessert cups, alternately layer brownie chunks, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and crushed candy canes, ending with whipped cream and candy canes. Serve immediately.
  7. If you want to do this all in one trifle bowl, place 1/3 of the brownie chunks in a 3-quart bowl or trifle dish. Drizzle with 1/4 of the chocolate sauce. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the candy canes. Top with 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat layers twice more. Drizzle with remaining chocolate sauce; sprinkle with remaining candy canes. Serve immediately.
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Chocolate Peppermint Cookies by Madison S., 6th Gr.

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken up

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon mint extract

  • 4 ounces white chocolate, broken up

  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 12 starlight candies, crushed, or 1/3 cup crushed candy canes


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter two large baking sheets.

2. Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes.

3. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until blended. Beat in cooled chocolate. Add eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in flour, salt and cocoa powder until a soft dough forms. Beat in mint extract.

4. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake at 325 degrees for 18 minutes or until dry on top. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

5. While cookies cool, combine white chocolate and oil in glass bowl. Microwave 30 seconds, stir; then microwave another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Spoon about 1 teaspoon white chocolate onto each cookie, then top each with 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed candies. Let stand to harden for 30 minutes. Store airtight up to two weeks. Makes 2-1/2 dozen cookies.

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Yummy Fruit Salad by Devon L., 6th Gr.

3 tubs of Cool Whip
3 tubs of cottage cheese
2 boxes of any kind of jellow (strawberry, cherry, etc.)
Fresh fruit of your choice

Mix it all up and you have the best yummy fruit salad ever. This has been in our family since my mom was a little girl.
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Winter Cupcakes by Trinity W., 5th Gr.

Prep time:15 minutes
Cooks 15-18 minutes
Makes A dozen
Preheat oven to 375

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate recipe:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
1/2 vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar

Place 12 cupcake liners into a cupcake pan.
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a mixing bowl.
Add the sugar and butter stir just until the ingredients are combined.
Add the eggs,milk and vanilla, Mix until form of a smooth batter.
Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full so it has room to grow, then bake.
Put frosting, then drizzle the chocolate on top.
Then there are the cupcakes.
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Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge by Trinity R., 6th Gr.

Original recipe makes 1 - 8x8 inch pan


1/2 cup butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Stir in brown sugar and milk.

Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Stir in peanut butter and vanilla.

Pour over confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Beat until smooth; pour into an 8x8 inch dish.

Chill until firm and cut into squares.

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Brownies by Michaela T., 5th Gr.


1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk chocolate chip
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350. In a sauce pan, over medium heat melt: butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips.
Remove from heat and stir in the eggs and vanilla, mix until smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mix until combined and pour batter into a prepared 9-inch square baking pan. Bake approximately 25 minutes.
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Peppermint Bark by Tyler A., 4th Gr.


· 12 ounces high quality white chocolate broken into pieces and divided

· 6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate broken into pieces

· 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable, coconut, or canola oil

· 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided

· 3 candy canes, crushed


1. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Set aside.

2. You can temper the chocolate or melt the chocolate without tempering. That is up to you. I melt the chocolate for this bark recipe. If tempering the chocolate, make sure the layers are never refrigerated. Allow them to set at room temperature. There are two ways you can melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler over just barely simmering water or you can use the microwave. The double boiler is easier, but the microwave is a little more convenient for most people, so my directions are for a microwave. If you have a double boiler, you probably know how to use it! So, the KEY to melting chocolate in the microwave is to do it in small bursts and stir frequently. Chocolate overheats so fast, so easily. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of oil with 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula or spoon after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid scorching. Once melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour melted white chocolate into the prepared baking pan, spreading with an offset spatula into a thin smooth layer. Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes; or until almost completely set. If it sets completely, the bark layers could separate.

3. Place the semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil into a small heatproof bowl (or the double boiler) and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Once melted, stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour all of the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer. Spread into a smooth layer. Place the baking pan back in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or the freezer for 15 minutes; or until almost completely set.

4. Place the remaining white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small heatproof bowl and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Pour over the bark layers and spread into a smooth layer. (This layer will not have peppermint extract.) Sprinkle with crushed candy canes--to crush, I usually do it in a food processor or stick the candy canes in a sealed ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin until crushed.

5. Refrigerate the bark until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from the pan and peel off the foil or parchment. Break into pieces as large or as small as you want. Alternatively, you can cut squares like I did here. To do so, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10-15 minutes. Use a very sharp knife and cut.

6. Make ahead tip: Store bark in the refrigerator. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. The bark can be left at room temperature for a few days in colder months, but it gets a little soft.

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Snow Candy from Little House by Jonah F., 8th Gr.

You will need:
1 cup molasses
I cup brown sugar
Fresh, clean snow (or crushed ice)

Measuring cup
Large pot
Wooden spoon
Candy thermometer, or cup filled with cold water
Shallow pan, such as a cake pan
Clean towel

Boil the molasses and sugar together in the large pot until the mixture reaches the "hard crack" stage on a candy thermometer, or until a spoonful dropped into cold water forms a hard ball and cracks. Remove the syrup from the heat.


Scoop fresh, clean snow (or crushed ice) into the shallow pan. Dip up a spoonful of syrup and dribble it onto the snow in "circles, and curlicues, and squiggledy things" It will harden and become candy. Lift the candy off the snow and onto a clean towel to dry.

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Home Roasted Nuts and Hot Cocoa Bars by Paralyhn G., 1st Gr.


1/2 c. melted peanut butter (or almond)
1/2 c. honey (or agave)
1/2 c. Toasted mix of choice (seeds,nuts,dried fruit)
1/2 c. Toasted steal cut oats (organic is best)
4 tbs Brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 packets hot coco mix


Pre heat oven to 300'
Place nuts, seeds, fruit and oats on baking sheet
Toast in oven for about 5-10 minuets with choice of crisp

In non stick pan, melt butter of choice, sweetener of choice and sugar of choice
*do not add cocoa mix yet.

Wait till all melted.

Combine Toasted mix with melted mix and stir in hot cocoa mix. Once well mixed, place into tray of choice lined with baking paper. Place in fridge for 20-45 Minutes (best over night).

Cut and enjoy!

Amazing treat for little fingers and when used with almond, coconut and agave alternatives low sugar option for great taste and healthy treat!

*This is a winter treat we created with my daughter Paralyhn who is very picky about eating good foods and helping cook all her treats. Took us a few times to get the perfect match but we enjoy it with the family when we don't have time for roasted chest nuts and hot cocoa by the fireplace. :)

No Bake Christmas Cake Balls by Colton J., 2nd Gr.

1 stick of butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cake mix
1 1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. Christmas sprinkles

Chocolate Coating:
1/2 bag white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. Crisco
Extra sprinkles to decorate.

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, add all ingredients (except sprinkles) until well combined, then add sprinkles and mix again. Scoop into small balls with mini ice cream scooper or by hand. Shape into smooth balls by hand. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Melt Chocolate chips and Crisco in the microwave until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.
Dip cake balls into melted chocolate and put on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper or foil to harden. Sprinkle with extra sprinkles on top.
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Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake by Caelen D., 3rd Gr.


· 2 eggs

· 3 egg yolks

· 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar

· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

· 1/3 cup (30 grams) sifted cake flour

· 3 tablespoons (30 grams) cornstarch

· 1/4 cup red & greenWilton batter bits or edible confetti

· 2 egg whites

· 1 tablespoon sugar

Vanilla Buttercream

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp red & green sprinkles
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3 teaspoons heavy cream


· 4 oz white chocolate

· red & green sprinkles


1. Heat the oven to 450F.

2. Line a 17 x 12 baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl add the 2 eggs, 3 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. With the paddle attachment on, beat on medium to high speed around 5 minutes until pale in color and thickened. Add the vanilla extract and beat few more seconds.

4. Sift the flour and the cornstarch over the egg yolks mixture and with a spatula gently fold it in.

5. Fold in the batter bits as well.

6. In a separate grease-free bowl, add the 2 egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar. With a whisk, whip until firm peaks form.

7. With the spatula, fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolks mixture.

8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, spread it evenly and bake for 6-7 minutes until golden brown and, when touched, it springs back.

9. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven sprinkle with powder sugar and then invert the cake onto a clean dish towel. Remove the parchment paper, sprinkle with more powder sugar, and roll up the cake with the towel. Place on a wire rack to cool

Vanilla buttercream

1. In a clean bowl add the butter. With the whisk attached on to the the mixer whip the butter for 2-3 minutes on medium to high speed.

2. Lower the speed and slowly add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.

3. When all the sugar is incorporated increase the speed and whip for 2 more minutes.

4. Add few drops of heavy cream until it reaches the consistency you desire.

5. With a spatula fold in the sprinkles.

6. Gently unroll the cake and spread the buttercream evenly all over it.

7. Roll it again and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.

8. To decorate, melt the white chocolate in double boiler or microwave and pour it over the cake. Add more sprinkles (optional)

9. Let the chocolate settle for few minutes and slice the cake.

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