Twinkie Tiramisu, Sugar Free Cheesecake, and Fruit Pizzas

The past couple days have been full of sweet, tasty, delicious treats! I can’t promise your mouth wont be watering after reading this.

Yesterday the residents enjoyed some twinkie tiramisu. Even Michael, the head chef, seemed surprised to hear of using twinkies in a tiramisu recipe! The residents commented on how delicious it was.

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Here is the recipe if you would like to try it out for yourself:

-1/3 cup boiling water
-1/2 cup of sugar
-2/3 cup of brewed coffee
-2 boxes (3.4 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
-3 1/2 cups milk
-1 8oz container frozen whipped topping (thawed)
-1 box twinkies

1. Mix the boiling water and sugar together, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid turns clear.
2. Stir in the coffee and let it cool.
3. Mix the pudding mix and milk together with an electric mixer until the pudding has thickened.
4. Fold in the whipped topping.
5. Slice the Twinkies in half as well as lengthwise.
6. Place half of the slices on the bottom of a pan.
7. Drizzle with half the coffee syrup.
8. Spread half of the chocolate fluff over the Twinkies in the pan.
9. Top with the rest of the Twinkies.
10. Drizzle with the remaining coffee syrup.
11. Spread the chocolate fluff over the top of all of it.
12. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Some of our residents got to enjoy a delicious, homemade sugar free cheesecake. The recipe is activity assistant John’s recipe and because it is a secret family recipe he does not want to give it away. It took him 20 years to get the recipe from his own mother, that’s how secretive it is! The residents all enjoyed their pieces of cheesecake very much.

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Today, Danielle, one of our wonderful volunteers, and I worked on making fruit pizzas for the residents to enjoy for dessert after their steak, shrimp, chicken, and ribs lunch. Many residents and staff had never even heard of a fruit pizza! We worked all morning cutting fruit, baking, and decorating. Here’s how they turned out:

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Fruit pizzas can be used with all kinds of fruit. I used strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries, and grapes (colors of the rainbow!). I would not suggest using apples or bananas, as they will become brown too quickly. You can combine all these fruits and place them together on your fruit pizza, it does not have to be decorated in a pattern.

Buy a tube of sugar cookie dough and spread it evenly onto an ungreased pizza pan, leaving a small amount of room around the edge for the dough to expand onto as it bakes. Bake it in the oven according to the directions on the tube of cookie dough. Let the cookie cool completely. Use a mixer to beat together 1 package of cream cheese and 1/3 cup of sugar. Spread that cream cheese mixture evenly onto the cooled sugar cookie. Arrange the fruit as you would like. Refrigerate until ready to serve and refrigerate any leftovers. It is best if eaten in a day or two after it is made.

Your mouth is watering now, isn’t it!?

English Tea Party

Cheerio! In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 89th birthday today, the residents dressed up and had an English tea party this afternoon. Along with their tea they had petifores and scones (American biscuits). They chose hats to complete their English tea party experience. We also listened to the most English band there is- The Beatles!


Fun facts to impress your friends and family: Many people, when referring to England, use the word “British;” however, “British” refers to England, Scotland, and Wales. Therefore, “English” is more proper to use when referring to only England. The UK (United Kingdom) refers to England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and several islands off the coast of Great Britain.

If Elizabeth retains the crown until September 9, 2015, she will surpass Queen Victoria as Britain’s longest ruling monarch, who reigned for 63 years.

Piggy Banks Delivered!

The piggy banks the residents made for children a few weeks ago have been delivered! Suzanne, the activity director said the kids really liked them and the project was a success!


The children sent a thank you note to the residents and all signed it. It is hanging in the activity room for all the residents to see.


Garlic Parmesan Popcorn

This morning we made garlic parmesan popcorn. With a popcorn machine we popped the kernels a resident had grown and given us. The residents really enjoyed it, although we made a few adjustments to the recipe (which I will include).

-2 1/2 quarts of popcorn
-1/4 cup parmesan cheese
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
-1/2 teaspoon of dill weed
-spray butter

Place the popcorn in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine parmesan cheese, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and dill weed and mix well. Spray the popcorn with butter generously. Sprinkle the parmesan, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and dill weed mixture over the buttered popcorn. Toss until popcorn is coated evenly.

The residents requested salt on their popcorn so it might be a good idea to sprinkle a little salt on your popcorn as well, to your liking. Enjoy!

Holy Humor

Today the residents listened to some holy humor. I thought I would share with you a few of the jokes that got the biggest laughs out of the residents!

Church Bulletin Bloopers
-The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

-For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

-Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Prayer and medication to follow.
Out of the Mouths of Babes
-A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say ‘Let my brother have the first pancake; I can wait.’” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Okay, Ryan, you be Jesus!”

-After the church service, a little boy told the pastor, “When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money.”
“Well, thank you,” the pastor replied, “But why?”
“Because my daddy says you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had.”

-A Sunday school teacher began her lesson with a question. “Boys and girls, what do we know about God?” A hand shot up in the air. “He is an artist!” said a kindergarten boy.
“Really? How do you know?” the teacher asked.
The boy replied, “You know, ‘Our Father, who does art in Heaven.’”

Uncommon Prayers
-Dear God: So far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped or lost my temper. I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, or self-centered. I’m really happy about that so far. But in a few minutes I’m going to be getting out of bed, and then I’m going to need a lot of help. Thank you! Amen

-Dear God: This is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains? So far he doesn’t have any. Angela, age 8

-A mother was teaching her three-year-old the Lord’s Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, the child repeated it after the mother. Then one night the child was ready to go solo. The mother listened with pride to the carefully enunciated words, right up to the end: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some e-mail.”

I hope these made you laugh or at least brought a smile to your face on this beautiful Saturday afternoon! Have a wonderful weekend!

Donut Hole Acorns and Pudding in a Cloud

Yesterday some of our residents made donut hole acorns. They looked and tasted delicious and everyone who made them really enjoyed them!

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To make these, you will need:
-donut holes (glazed regular and glazed chocolate)
-tub of chocolate frosting
-chocolate sprinkles
-chopped nuts
-mini pretzel sticks
-2 shallow bowls

To make the donut hole acorns:
1. Pour the sprinkles and nuts into separate bowls.
2. Remove the plastic lid and foul seal from the tub of frosting. Microwave it for 15 seconds and then stir. The frosting should be soft enough for dipping
3. Dip the donut hole in the soft frosting, covering about 1/3 of the donut hole. Use a spoon to scrap off any excess.
4. Roll the frosted end of the donut hole in the sprinkles or the nuts to make the acorn cap. Tip: The darker chocolate donut holes look nice with a chopped nut cap, and the glazed donut holes look great with a cap of chocolate sprinkles.
5. Insert a pretzel stick into the middle of the cap to make the stem. Note: if your donut holes are small (or your pretzel sticks are long) break the pretzels into shorter pieces.
6. Chill the acorns in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up the frosting. Arrange on a plate, then go nuts and enjoy!

Yesterday morning some of our other residents made what activity director Suzanne likes to call “pudding in a cloud”. Suzanne said she used to make it all the time when she was a child and it brought back good memories. She thought the residents would think it was tasty and you can see by the looks on their faces that they did!

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Marietta’s son and his family were visiting all the way from Australia!

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Make the pudding according to directions (we used chocolate pudding) and spoon out some whipped cream from the tub and put a layer of it on the bottom of a bowl and around the edges of the bowl. Spoon the pudding of your choice on top of the whipped cream. Spread more whipped cream on top of the pudding so that the pudding is covered.

Baseball Season is Finally Here!

Yesterday was a great day for Cincinnati Reds fans- Opening Day! We have quite a good Reds fan base here at the Knolls! The residents were invited to come watch the game and enjoy some snacks while they cheered  the Reds to victory over the Pirates with a score of 5-2!

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