(not my house)
After thinking of what I ‘might’ have to ‘do’ today I read a couple chapters in the new book I’m working on then got a bad case of the GUILTS . . . traipsed upstairs and started dragging down the Christmas decorations. Got my husband to bring down the two trees. Hung the lighted wreath in the window and turned it on – first ‘decoration’ officially UP! (Just couldn’t face my grandson tomorrow when he comes over saying: “Grandma Pam! WHERE’S your TREE???” (that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll put the tree up by then, but at least he can see I’ve made a ‘start’! (Talk about procrastinating, eh?)
After that, we got a call that youngest son’s car was ready to pick up – husband went to get son at work & finish that little detail. While they were gone I started thinking: “Ya know – if I start NOW I could probably finish the 3 loaves of Christmas bread for the neighbors!” Happy to say that there are 2 loaves of cranberry bread and 1 cinnamon streusel ready to deliver. Got started on the mail lady’s cookies, too! I remembered the recipe from last year – SUPER SIMPLE! These are cake mix cookies – 3 ingredients and you’re good to go for 3 dozen cookies! I had a box of chocolate fudge cake mix so I added about 1 C. chocolate chips to the batter – they turned out really soft & tasty! Recipe below:
Cake Mix Cookies
1 box any flavor cake mix
1/2 C. vegetable oil
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together &
spoon by tablespoons onto
ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 9 minutes.
Makes 3 dozen
Christmas Muddy Buddies
9 C. Rice Chex cereal, Corn
Chex or Chocolate Chex –
or a combination
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
In large bowl measure cereal.
In 1 qt. microwaveable bowl,
microwave choc. chips, peanut
butter & butter, uncovered, on
High 1 minute; stir. Microwave
about 30 seconds longer until
mixture can be stirred smooth;
stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over
cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
Pour into 2 gallon ziplock bag. Add
powdered sugar, seal bag & shake
until well coated. Spread mixture
on waxed paper to cool. Store in
airtight container in refrigerator.
Makes 18 servings.
Sausage & Cheese Breakfast
1 (16 oz) pkg. breakfast sausage
1/4 C. onion, minced
1 tsp. salt
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 C. shredded sharp Cheddar
1/4 C. milk
1/2 C. water
1 T. granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Using medium skillet, cook sausage &
onion until sausage is cooked through.
Drain; transfer to medium bowl & allow
to cool. Add remaining ingredients for
filling; stir to combine. In small saucepan,
combine milk, water & sugar – heat over
Low heat until mixture reaches 115 degrees
F. – remove from heat; stir in yeast & let
set 5 minutes. Combine 1 C. flour, salt,
butter, egg & yeast mixture in large
mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed
until blended. Gradually stir in enough
remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured
surface; knead until smooth & elastic
(about 5 minutes). Cover with a
kitchen towel & let dough rest 10
minutes. Roll dough out onto floured
surface into a 8 X 14″ rectangle. Spread
filling evenly over dough, leave a 1″
margin on outer edges. Roll up dough,
starting with long side. Pinch seams to
seal. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll
into 10 equal-sized rolls. Place each roll,
cut side down, into lightly greased
9 X 13″ baking pan (or 10″ pie pan).
Cover & let rise in a warm place 1
hour or until rolls have doubled in size.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Bake rolls 25-30 minutes until golden.
Allow rolls to cool in pan on wire rack.
Makes 10 rolls
Ham & cheese Pastry Puffs
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 T. chili powder
2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 (17.3 oz) pkg. puff pastry,
1/4 C. Dijon mustard
1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli ham
1/2 C. Swiss cheese, grated
1/2 C. white Cheddar cheese,
1 egg, beaten
1 T. water
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line baking sheets with parchment
paper. Combine all spice blend in
small bowl; mix well. Unfold pastry
sheets & cut each sheet into 9
squares. Spread about 1/2 tsp.
Dijon over pastry; arrange ham &
cheese down center of squares.
Sprinkle with some spice blend
then fold two opposite corners
of each square over filling &
press edges to seal. Place on
prepared baking sheets. Combine
egg & water & brush each pastry
with egg wash. Sprinkle tops of
pastries with more spice blend.
Bake 15-18 minutes until golden
brown. Serve warm or at room
temperature. Makes 18
Italian Mozzarella Chicken
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. dried basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
1 1/2 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 (8 oz) pkg. penne pasta, cooked
1/3 C. green olives w/pimentos, chopped
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Sprinkle chicken with salt/pepper
on both sides & place in crockpot. Sprinkle
garlic evenly on top of breasts & cover with
marinara sauce. Cover & cook on Low 6
hours (chicken should be cooked through
& tender). Place breasts on lightly greased
baking sheet & sprinkle with mozz. cheese.
Place olives & Parm cheese in crockpot;
stir & heat through. Place chicken under
broiler 2-3 minutes until cheese is
melted & golden (watch to make sure it
doesn’t burn). Pour sauce over cooked
pasta; mix well & serve chicken over
pasta. Serves 6
Baked Pineapple-Glazed Baked
1 (12 lb) fully-cooked ham,
bone-in half ham
whole cloves (if desired)
1 C. 7-UP or Ginger Ale*
1 1/2 C. packed light brown sugar
1/2 C. pineapple preserves (or)
well-drained crushed pineapple
1/2 C. pineapple juice
1 T. spicy brown mustard
large can pineapple rings
large jar maraschino cherries
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a deep baking pan with
wide foil to form a tub for the
ham. Place ham in pan, cut-
side down & lightly score fat
on ham by cutting into it
slightly, creating a diamond
pattern. Insert whole cloves
into corners of each diamond,
if desired. Pour 7 UP or ginger
ale over ham, cover loosely
with another piece of foil & bake
30 minutes. Mix brown sugar,
pineapple, mustard; add enough
pineapple juice to form a thick,
but pourable glaze – pour any
remaining juice around ham.
Brush about 1/3 of glaze over
ham & loosely cover with foil.
Return to oven & bake 10-15
minutes until fruit is warmed
through & internal temp. of
ham reads 145 degrees F. on
an instant read thermometer.
Remove & let rest 15 minutes,
then carve around bone &
natural seams of ham, trans-
ferring slices back into pan
juices until ready to serve.
*May omit 7UP or ginger ale
and use all pineapple juice.
For a smaller ham:
Oven temp. 350 degrees F.
roughly 18 minutes per pound,
until center of ham reaches
145 degrees F. Check instructions
on your brand of ham for their
Easy Christmas Peppermint
1/4 C. butter, softened
1/3 C. light corn syrup
3-4 C. powdered sugar, divided
1-2 tsp. peppermint or mint
extract (or your choice of flavors)
food coloring – preferably gel or paste
1/2 C. granulated sugar (to roll balls
Combine butter & corn syrup in small
bowl. Add 2 C. powdered sugar, your
choice of extract – mix well until
combined. NOTE: add extract 1/2 tsp.
at a time until mixture reaches your
desired flavor. Stir in an addition
cup of powdered sugar. Turn mixture
out onto a cutting board sprinkled
with 1/2 C. powdered sugar. Knead
mixture until sugar is absorbed &
is completely smooth, adding
additional powdered sugar, if needed.
Divide dough into three portions.
Tint one portion red (using food coloring)
and one green – leave one portion white.
Shape into 3/4 inch balls & roll in
granulated sugar; flatten gently with a
fork. Let candies stand, uncovered, at
room temperature, 1 day. Store in
airtight container. Makes 5 dozen
That’s all for today – 2 postings –
now THAT’S a first!