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Features

Thursday, December 13, 2012
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Franklin Elementary fourth grade students, from left, Hailey Fritz, Jonathan Macsay, Laura Ahner, and Irene Lopez read the music for Silver and Gold during one of three special chime ensembles performed during the school's annual Christmas program on Tuesday.

The halls of Franklin Elementary were alive with the sounds of Christmas music Tuesday morning.

During the school's annual Christmas program, entitled "Christmas Memories," the third- and fourth-grade students treated their peers, teachers and family to a trip into their childhood through a variety of songs and poems. The event was directed by Susan D. Stufflet.

Between songs, a number of students spoke, reciting poetry that fit with the musical selections for the day.

Thursday, December 13, 2012
ABOVE: Marmee (Michelle Stoudt) sings to Jo (Jessica Schafer) during a dress rehearsal for "Little Women - The Musical."  RIGHT: Rehearsing a party scene are cast members, from left, Shirley Rodgers, Jim Cimms, Caitlin Connolly, Marissa Miller and Laura Williams.

Carbon Schuylkill Community Theater will perform Little Women The Musical this weekend at the Lehighton Borough Annex Auditorium, located at 110 North Third St., Lehighton.

The production, based on the much-loved book by Louisa May Alcott, is the community theater group's holiday offering.

"Little Women is a story that has been loved by many generations for its amazing story line," says director Zane Bachert. "Little Women The Musical takes that beautiful story line and adds some beautiful songs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Members of the Ben Salem Handbell Choir and Daybreak, Ben Salem UCC's contemporary worship team, perform together during the choir's annual Christmas concert.

Ben Salem UCC hosted its annual Christmas handbell concert this weekend, featuring the Ben Salem Handbell Choir.

The handbell choir began the concert by proceeding into the church while playing "O Come All Ye Faithful."

An introduction was offered by handbell choir director Shirley Kline, who welcomed the crowd to Ben Salem and thanked all for attending. The choir then began a portion of the program called "Christmas Around the World," featuring popular Christmas and holiday songs from other countries and cultures.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ÿ I'm always trying new recipes, but my favorite time saver is to alter a box cake. I follow the directions on a white cake mix, but substitute 1 cup of the water with fruit purée (baby food). You can also add other flavorings such as extracts and spices. A favorite combination is a box cake with applesauce, cinnamon and mini chocolate chips.

Ÿ Fill your decorating bag by placing it in a plastic cup for support

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Ragen Dunton lets her inner cupcake fashionista run wild as she learns different decorating ideas from Daughn Edwards. Her mother, Trina Dunton, looks on.

What's better than cake?

A mini cake.

Or more affectionately known as, the cupcake.

It's the perfect dessert or snack. It fits in your hand no silverware or plate needed.

Cupcakes aren't new to the dessert scene, but they have become quite the celebrities with television shows like "Cupcake Wars," "DC Cupcakes" and "Cupcake Girls." They are also a prominant feature in the half-hour sitcom, "Two Broke Girls."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Here is a recipe for a stiff buttercream frosting that is good for decorating. Note: there's no butter.

2 cups of shortening

2 pounds of powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 to 6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons meringue powder

Pinch of salt

Cream the shortening, flavoring and water. Gradually add the other ingredients and blend on medium speed until creamy. This icing can be thinned by adding water (a teaspoon at a time) for easier spreading.

Monday, December 10, 2012
STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Members of Ben Salem U.C.C. senior choir in Lehighton prepare for the performance of their annual Christmas cantata, "Thou Shall Call Him ... Jesus" on Sunday, Dec. 16. The choir has been offering a Christmas cantata to the public for more than 30 years. Performers include, front row from left: Laura Frey, Audrey Milan, Sharon Elder, LaVaun Shanton, Dolores Kuehner, Susan Messina and Adele Kunkle. Second row: Lynn Wassmer, La Rue Fritz, Shirley Frantz, Starr Scherer, Robert Keller, Chester Frantz, Curtis Gower and Al Baker. Back row: Barry Reed, Dayle Smith, Sal Messina, Ken Scherer and Gerald Burkett.

The senior choir of Ben Salem U.C.C. in Lehighton will offer their annual Christmas cantata on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 10:30 a.m. This year's cantata will be "Thou Shall Call His Name … Jesus," a Christmas choral celebration by Lanny Wolfe, Bob Benson and Don Marsh.

The cantata will take the place of Ben Salem's traditional Sunday worship service. All are welcome to attend.

"Thou Shall Call His Name … Jesus" tells the familiar Christmas story through song and dialogue.

Monday, December 10, 2012
STACEY SOLT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Community members gathered at SS. Peter and Paul School's annual Christmas Festival and Gift Shop this weekend to support the school and get into the holiday spirit. All proceeds from the festival benefit the school, which offers pre-kindergarten through eighth grade instruction. At left, a snowman greets passersby near the entrance to SS. Peter and Paul's Gift Shop. Above, children ride the trolley between SS. Peter and Paul School's Christmas Festival and Gift Shop, which were located in different buildings. The short trolley ride is a favorite of young and old alike.

Friday, December 7, 2012
Palmerton Girl Scouts adopt soldier in Afghanistan

Young Girl Scouts in Palmerton are learning an important lesson this holiday season: It is better to give than to receive.

The Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts of Troop 301 have adopted a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan as their annual service project. They marked the start of the holiday season by preparing gifts and homemade cards to mail to their adopted soldier and her unit members.

"Every year we have a service project. This year we wanted to find a soldier to support," said Troop 301 leader Tammy Stetler, who leads a group of nine girls in kindergarten through second grade.