Monday, November 25, 2013

Pammy’s Sugar Cookies

Our next SCFCU holiday recipe comes from Jackie.  Jackie got this recipe many years ago from a dear friend, Pam, and has been using it ever since.  She claims this recipe is the best, most delicious one out there – and by the looks of the ingredients, she might be right!  With the help of fun and festive cookie cutters, Jackie makes these sugar cookies for all kinds of occasions – Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Superbowl, etc. YUM!

Cookie Ingredients:
2 c. Sugar
1 c. Butter – Really Softened, No Substitutes
2 Eggs
1 c. Sour Cream
1 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Lemon Extract
½ tsp. Salt
Add flour, enough to make a soft dough roll
(about 4-5 cups total).

Roll out dough on floured surface, then cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown.

Frosting Ingredients:
½ pint Half & Half Cream
¼ c. butter
2-3 c. Powdered Sugar (adjust to taste preference)
Food Coloring (optional)

Melt half & half with butter, then add 2-3 cups powdered sugar.  Frosting may seem soupy at first, but will set overnight. *Tip: It is easiest to dip the top of cookies into frosting, for less mess.

These cookies are easy to make, and very festive…Jackie’s kids and family love them, and she hopes yours will too.  

- Jackie,  VP of Accounting

Watch for more delicious SCFCU Employee recipes to come this Holiday season!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Stress Less on Holiday Expenses

Headphones, clothing, spiffy shoes, video games… a Christmas list can go on and on!  While it’s true that this season is one of the most wonderful times of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful.  Many of us feel the pressure to find the perfect gift – which may come with a hefty price tag.

How do you pay for all the gadgets, gizmos, and gifts? Do you pull out the plastic and throw caution to the wayside, ignoring the guilt and financial pressure? Well, we’re here to tell you there’s a way to spend this Holiday season without the buyer’s remorse!

Did you know the national average of interest rates on credit cards is a whopping 14.95%? YIKES. This is just one of the reasons we are excited to be offering our annual Holiday Loan with a low 1.99% annual percentage rate!

A few key details about the SCFCU Holiday Loan:
- Available now until December 31st, 2013
- Minimum loan is $500
- Maximum loan is $4,000
- 12 month term
- 1.99% APR (WOW!!!)
- Offer available to qualified borrowers on approved credit
- New money only
- No collateral required

We offer this special financing so you can buy gifts for the Holidays at a lower cost than credit cards or other loans. The term (AKA the loan payback period) may seem short, but this helps us encourage and remind our Members that part of being Financially Fit means not over-extending your debt.  In other words, we don’t want you to still be paying for the Holidays during next year’s Holiday season; after all, next Christmas rolls around just 12 months later!

If you’re looking for a way to stick to your budget, stay Financially Fit, and truly enjoy the Holidays, contact one of our Lenders at (320) 258-2190 today – you’ll be glad you did!


Happy Holidays from all of us at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, where our Mission is to educate, support and encourage our Members to be Financially Fit.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jessi’s Cranberry Pear Stuffing

This yummy recipe comes from Jessi's kitchen... it sounds delicious ~ enjoy!

2 ½ c –  Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
2/3 c –  Raw Wild Rice
1 ½  Tbsp –  Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped
2 Large Celery Stalks, Diced
2 Medium Firm Pears, Cored and Diced
2 c – Finely Diced Whole Grain Bread
1/3  c – Dried Cranberries
1/4 c – Chopped Pecans
2 tsp – Salt-Free Seasoning (Spike, Mrs. Dash, etc.)
Salt and Freshly ground Pepper to Taste
1/2 c – Apple Cider
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Stir in the wild rice, then cover and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

3.  Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet.  Add the onion and sauté until translucent.  Add the celery and sauté over medium heat until both are golden.

4. Combine the onion-celery mixture with the cooked wild rice and all remaining ingredients, except the apple juice, in a mixing bowl.  Stir well to combine.  Drizzle the apple juice in slowly, stirring all the while, until the mixture is evenly moistened.

5. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled, large, shallow baking dish.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops beings to get slightly crusty.


Jessi, SCFCU Lead Teller

Stay tuned for more Employee recipes throughout the Holiday season!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Janelle’s 3 Layer Peanut Butter Bars

This is actually my friend's "secret family recipe" that she wasn't able to get until she married her husband.  Every time she would make it I loved it, but she wouldn't give up the recipe for anything.  Luckily, my Mom gave me their church cookbook for Christmas a few years ago, and I found it in there...  Lucky me! Their secret is no longer safe!  It takes longer than a simple pan of brownies, so I usually make them for special occasions or get-togethers.  I also make it for group gatherings because if the pan isn't gone, I have no problem eating the rest of it by myself! YUM!

First Layer:
1 c white corn syrup
2 c peanut butter (18 oz jar)
1 c brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 c rice krispies
3 c corn flakes

Melt the syrup, peanut butter, and brown sugar.  Add the vanilla after everything is melted and stirred together.  Add rice krispies and corn flakes.  Spread in a 10x15 jellyroll pan and cool.  (I do not have a jelly roll pan, so I use a 9x13 pan and a smaller pan for the rest).

Second Layer:
2 sticks margarine
6 Tbs milk
2 small pkgs instant vanilla pudding (dry)
4 c powdered sugar

Melt 2 sticks of margarine with the milk.  Add 2 packages of vanilla pudding mix and 4 c powdered sugar.  Use a mixer and mix until smooth.  Spread on 1st layer and refrigerate 1 hour.  (I have used 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1/2 c milk and it still tastes good.  If it has less than 1 1/2 sticks though, it doesn't turn out quite right.)

Third Layer:
1 c chocolate chips
1 stick margarine

Melt chocolate chips and 1 stick margarine.  (I found it works to melt the chocolate chips first and then the margarine so you don't have melted butter and solid chocolate chips.  You can also cut down on the margarine a bit on this layer as well if you want, just not too much.)  Spread on top of the 2nd layer.  Cool and cut into 1 inch squares.

The bars can be frozen as well.  Make sure to keep them in the fridge because of the pudding layer.


- Janelle, SCFCU Loan Officer

Stay tuned for more Employee recipes throughout the Holiday season!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Five Fall Financial Fitness Tips

Whoa, say that title ten times fast!  Fall is always a fun time of year; colors are changing, leaves are falling, and temps are beginning to drop.  Making the most of autumn while staying Financially Fit may be easier than you think! Check out this list of five money-saving tips we put together...

1.  Home-heating costs are not cheap, especially for us Minnesotans.  Before the Temperature cools way down, consider taking another look at how 'weatherproof' your home is.  It may cost you a bit up front, but it will save you a lot in heating and maintenance costs in the upcoming winter months!

2. Fresh foods are plentiful and inexpensive during this time of year.  You can still grab summer favorites like tomatoes, peppers, corn, and cucumbers AND add in fall favorites like butternut squash, grapes, and sweet potatoes for tasty, nutritious, and affordable meals.  And remember, as herbs and summer annuals start to seed, take a few minutes to collect seeds for next year. This can be an easy way to keep your garden going from year to year, without making it a huge investment!

3. Cooking with a crock pot rather than a stove can save you money in energy costs.  You can make a lot of yummy, healthy meals with a crock pot, and it will save you time too.  Simply throw ingredients in and let the crock pot do the work!

4. Fall is a great time of year to use nature for seasonal decorations.  While the goodies at home decor stores can be tempting, you can have a festive home for a lot less!  Gather acorns, twigs, leaves, or corn stalks for a fun Thanksgiving table, or snag leftover Halloween pumpkins to create a harvest scene!

5.  The Thanksgiving season triggers sales on all sorts of baking supplies – flour, sugar, chocolate chips, spices, nuts and more! Do an inventory of what you have to figure out what you're running low on. Then, stock up! *Tip: Be sure to check for coupons before you head to the store. This time of year you'll find coupons for the ‘staple’ baking items!

Bonus Tip:  If the cost of the Holidays is starting to stress you out, make sure to take some time to set a holiday budget and spending plan. If you haven’t done it yet, November is the best time to plan for spending in the month of December.  If you’re Financially Fit during the Holiday Season, you’re bound to enjoy it even more!

There are always ways you can have fun and enjoy the season while keeping your Financial Fitness in mind… Stay tuned for more tips, tricks, and Financial Fitness ideas!

Our mission is to educate, support, and encourage our Members to become Financially Fit.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

'Call Me Fronk!'

Hi Everyone, Phoebe here! I wanted to introduce you all to my good friend, Frank… or as he says ‘Call me Fronk!

I first met Frank a few years back when he moved to the United States from Germany – it has been fun to get to know him, and I always love teasing him about his accent… “vat accent?!”, as he would say. Frank and I have stayed in touch over the years and he is a super fun guy... not to mention he has pretty cool hair!

Since moving here, Frank has (admittedly) been captivated by fancy ‘gadgets’ and other luxurious items he didn't have back home, or didn't notice as a younger adult. Now that he has his own place and a job – he is very eager to spend, but spends big.  I've told Frank a lot about my new ‘gig’ at St. Cloud Federal Credit Unionhelping Members and the Community learn more about becoming Financially Fit – and we joke that some might call him Not-So-Financially-Fit-Frank.  He cracks me up!

Frank means well, but really does get excited when he sees something new and shiny – which isn't always great for his Credit Cards.  He’s recently asked me to help him work toward becoming more Financially Fit, and I’m so excited!  I know it won’t happen over night, but the fact that Frank knows he’s a spender, and wants help managing expenses is a giant first step. 

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my and Frank’s Financial Fitness adventures, and might even be asking for your help and advice.  I know that with the help of my friends at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, we can support each other and make our financial dreams come true!

Here we go!