Sunday, December 19, 2010

Something to think about...

I wanted to share an article I received via e mail from a organization called Lake Region Writers. This non-profit organization was formed to serve writers in west central Minnesota. You can find out more about it by going to website:
Heidi Kratzke's featured article was thought provoking and I wanted to pass it along. The content interested me because as a classroom teacher I often saw students caught up with the different facets of social networking and simple letter writing did indeed get passed by as too labor intensive.

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

December 18, 2010

Here’s an idea: commit to writing a letter. A real letter. In between the typical flurry of daily work, poetry and prose, pens and paper…take out a sheet of stationary and write a letter to someone this holiday season.

As the Christmas cards keep arriving at our home, I find myself thankful for the family photos and accompanying “this year in review” letters from people I haven’t seen for awhile. Yet, there’s nothing better than a handwritten letter mailed from a friend.

In a day where most of our written communication is delivered via e-mail, text, or instant message, a letter in the mail adds an unexpected personal touch. It also gives way writers an opportunity to express emotions and share about daily happenings in a relaxed way, void of much of the usual verbal scrutiny.

Although your letter will not be a literary masterpiece, it just might bring back some of the joy of writing. Simultaneously, it will help brighten someone else’s day. Whenever I get stuck on a writing project, I find it helpful to direct my writing energies into another creative outlet. Let an old-fashioned letter find its way into your writing plans this season.

Now the only questions is: Who are you going to write first?

by Heidi Kratzke, LRWN Board Member


Today I started some holiday cookie baking and tried something new. If you love chocolate then this is for you.

Chocolate Chip and Peppermint Crunch Crackles

Makes 2 dozen

Baking tip: To crush peppermint candies place in a heavy duty plastic bag and use a mallet or in baking aisle look for a 12 oz. bag of peppermint chips

Refrigerate dough in between batches


  • 4 oz. (1 package) of bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup butter cut in cubes
  • 1- 1/2 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate ( 2 squares)
  • 1/2 cup crushed hard peppermint candies
  • 6- 1/2 TB. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Combine first three ingredients in saucepan with sugar
  • Stir over low heat till chocolate melts
  • Remove from heat and add crushed candies
  • Cool for 20 minutes and stir occasionally
  • Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture, add vanilla and peppermint extracts
  • In a bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt
  • Fold chocolate mixture into flour mixture and mix well
  • Cover and refrigerate about 4 hours
  • Preheat oven 325
  • Line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Shape dough into a generous tablespoon ball and place on sheet
  • Cook about 13 minutes- let rest 5 minutes on sheet before removing
  • Cookies will be puffed and cracked on top but soft to the touch in center

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