Oh, my achin’ tootsies!


The Terrific Trio!

Lois, Cheryl & me

Last night was my special needs group’s Christmas dinner/program and I ran my little feeties off! (in 1  1/2 inch church shoes, no less!) We had prepared for 200 and only had about 90 or so, so there was LOTS of food leftover. (I got to bring home a big bag of already cooked meatballs – part of that will go into tonight’s spaghetti, for dinner!). It was great re-connecting with some of the parents we hadn’t seen in years – lots of hugs, smiles & laughter (and now I have TWO WEEKS OFF! YAY!)

Attempting to get everything done ahead of time, I went to three grocery stores today – pretty much have all the Christmas dinner foods purchased (including a shrimp ring that wasn’t really planned but husband was interested, so I got it!). Still don’t know the ‘schedule’ for that day as far as dinner goes – right now I’m just ‘winging it’ until I hear a  more definite plan. (situation rides on who gets grandson for dinner that day/when). Every other year (for 9 years now) we have done dinner at our house at around 6:30/7 p.m. – he & his dad (our oldest son) would come over. Grandson would have spent the early part of the day with his mother & her family – THIS YEAR she decided to change things up – she’s doing dinner at our old time! That leaves us with only LUNCH! (Son has to work Christmas Eve AND day after Christmas – this is the chef) – not sure, yet, what’s happening. . . but I guess we’ll just roll with the punches. If necessary, guess I’ll cook the 21 lb. turkey the night before, slice it & re-warm on the day . . . sigh.


TONS of appetizers/desserts coming in!!!

Gorgonzola/Cranberry Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 C. (4 oz)crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 C. dried cranberries
2 T. EACH: finely chopped onion, celery,
green pepper & sweet red pepper
1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
3/4 C. chopped pecans

assorted crackers, for dipping

In small bowl combine cheeses. Stir in
cranberries, veggies & pepper sauce.
Shape mixture into a ball, wrap in
plastic wrap & refrigerate 1 hour until
firm. Roll ball in chopped nuts & serve
with crackers. Makes 2 C.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Spread

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
toffee bits

sliced apples, pears, pretzels for serving

Place softened cream cheese on a serving
dish. Pour, evenly, as much caramel sauce
as you want over cream cheese. Sprinkle
top with generous helping of toffee bits.
Serve with above fruits/pretzels – use
a knife to place some of spread on top
Serves 8

(recipe: shewarsmanyhats.com)

Coconut Cheesecake Squares
w/Caramel Topping

30 square shortbread cookies
finely crushed (about 2 C.)
1/3 C. butter or marg, melted
1 C. sugar, divided
3 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. coconut, toasted/
3/4 C. caramel ice cream topping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cookie crumbs, butter & 1/4 C.
sugar; press into bottom of 9 X 13″
baking pan. Beat cream cheese, vanilla
& remaining sugar in large bowl until
blended. Add eggs, mix just until blended.
Stir in 1 C. coconut; pour over crust.
Sprinkle with remaining coconut & bake
30 minutes until center is almost set.
Cool/refrigerate several hours. Serve
topped with caramel topping.
Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Chocolate Peanut Drops (candy)

4 oz. German sweet chocolate, chopped
1 (12 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 pkgs. (10-12 oz, ea) white baking chips
2 (16 oz, ea) jars lightly salted dry roasted

Layer ingredients in order listed above in
crockpot – do not stir. Cover & cook on Low
1 1/2 hours. Stir to combine. If chocolate
is not melted, cover & cook 15 minutes
longer; stir. Repeat in 15 minute increments
until chocolate is melted. Drop mixture
by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed
paper. Let stand until set. Store in air-
tight container at room temperature. Makes
about 11 dozen candies.

Chocolate Peanut BARK:
(same ingredients)

Cook chocolate mixture as directed; spread
into two 15″ X 10″ X 1″ waxed paper-lined
baking pans. Refrigerate 30 minutes until
firm. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

 Mississippi Jam Cake

1 box spice cake mix
1 C. buttermilk*
1/3 C. applesauce
1/3 C. vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 C. blackberry jam (or your
choice of flavors)
1 tsp. vanilla

8 oz. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. milk
2 C. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine cake mix,
buttermilk, applesauce, oil, eggs,
cinnamon & jam; mix well. Add
vanilla & beat again. Place in
either a tube pan or 2 (9″) round
layer pans. Bake in tube: 50
minutes or layer: about 30 minutes.
In a heavy saucepan, bring to a
boil butter & brown sugar; boil
about 2 minutes. Add milk & bring
back to boil. Remove from heat &
add powdered sugar & vanilla; beat
until smooth. Spread over cooled

*If you don’t have buttermilk:
Pour 1 T. lemon juice or vinegar
into a 2 C. measuring cup. Pour
enough milk into cup to come to
1 Cup. Stir mixture and let set
5 minutes. Use as buttermilk.

(recipe: Mary Free-Marys Recipe

Cornish Hens stuffed with Rice

3/4 C. chopped onion
3/4 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. butter, softened/divided
3 C. cooked rice
3/4 C. raisins
1/3 C. chopped walnuts
3 T. honey
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 Cornish game hens (20-24 oz, ea)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In large skillet saute onion & celery in
3 T. butter until tender; remove from
heat. Stir in rice, raisins, walnuts, honey,
lemon juice, cinnamon, salt/pepper –
stuff hens with mixture. Place hens on
a rack in a large shallow baking pan. Rub
remaining butter over skins. Bake,
uncovered, 1 hour until a meat thermometer
reads 180 degrees F. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Lemon-Garlic Penne with Crab

2 C. uncooked penne pasta
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C. butter, cubed
2 T. olive oil
1 (14 1/2 oz) can chicken broth
2 (6 oz, ea) cans lump crabmeat,
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. minced fresh parsley, divided

lemon wedges

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet cook garlic in butter,
stirring, over medium heat 2 minutes
until garlic is golden (DO NOT brown).
Add broth, crab & lemon juice; bring
to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered,
12-15 minutes until sauce is reduced by
half. Drain pasta; toss with crab sauce &
1/4 C. parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges
& remaining parsley. Makes 5 servings.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 c. butter, softened
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
2 1/2 C. flour

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. butter, softened
3 C. powdered sugar
3 T. whipping cream
2 tsp. peppermint extract
dash salt

20 miniature candy canes

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl cream butter, sugar
& cream cheese until light & fluffy.
Add egg & beat 1 minute. Add
vanilla & beat until combined. In
separate bowl combine baking powder,
baking soda, salt & flour; add dry
ingredients to creamed mixture &
mix to combine. Spray large cookie
sheet with nonstick spray; spread
dough over pan. Bake 12-15 minutes
until lightly golden. Allow bars to
cool completely.
Cream all frosting ingredients together.
Add more cream if mixture is too dry
and more powdered sugar it mixture
is too thin. Place 20 miniature candy
canes in large ziplock bag; using a
rolling pin, crush candy into shards.
Spread frosting over cooled bars &
immediately sprinkle crushed candy
canes on top. Allow frosting to set
up (you can refrigerate to speed up
the process). Cut into bars.
Makes 35-40 bars

(recipe: dealsplus.com)
Italian Wedding Soup

1 small onion, chopped fine
1/3 C. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large egg
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 slice fresh white bread, crust
trimmed, bread torn into small
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. ground beef
8 oz. ground pork
fresh ground black pepper

Stir first 6 ingredients into large
bowl to blend. Stir in cheese, beef &
pork. Using 1 1/2 tsp. – shape meat
mixture into 1 inch meatballs &
place on a baking sheet.

Bring broth to a boil in large pot
over medium-high heat. Add meatballs
& Ital. parsley; simmer until meatballs
are cooked through & parsley is tender,
about 8 minutes. Whisk eggs & cheese
in medium bowl to blend. Stir soup in
a circular motion, gradually drizzling
the egg mixture into  moving broth –
stirring gently using a fork to form
thin strands of egg, about 1 minute.
Season soup with salt/pepper. Serve.
You can also add extra grated Parm.
cheese on top of soup when serving.
Serves 8

(recipe: Giada-Foodnetwork.com)


Gas prices are dropping a bit: $1.76/9 – better
than last week in the high 80’s cents range.

Weather is a little colder but not bad – rained
last night but today it’s just grey & gloomy 39
degrees F. (still no ‘white stuff’, so I’m happy!)

Have a GREAT DAY!!!



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. awesome, these are going into my faves!

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