It’s New Year’s EVE!


So true – I’m NOT a party animal (anymore – maybe some in my 20’s). Went out a little earlier to pick up a few things to nosh on tonight with my husband: the chilled shrimp ring, some French onion chip dip & chips and some fried calamari (fried octopus – sounds gross but is really tasty – husband & I like it!). The boys will be ‘out’ – youngest probably with his friends, oldest the same with his family – middle son has to work ALL NIGHT as front desk clerk & Night Auditor at his job at the Hilton Hotel. I’m NOT looking forward to that for him – first he’s not feeling 100%, has a persistent cough. I can’t imagine doing his job tonight, what with all the people who book rooms NOT to stay in like a businessman would, but to have big drinking parties in their rooms – ugh! I talked with oldest (that hotel’s Ex. Chef) and ask if he has to work – “No, I’m off until Tuesday!” (that’s good – wish his younger brother was, too).

Got a request yesterday to knit (for pay) more boot toppers (for Mommy-to-be’s Mother!) – she said she really likes the ones I knit her daughter and would I be able to make her 2 pairs just the same!? I’m not one for liking to do projects for pay – for me, it’s too much pressure to make sure they are exactly perfect. Oh well, after much deliberation, I’m done with one of the cream ones and started one of the rust colored ones – just for the variety of knitting different patterns (it gets boring doing 2 of the same thing). I did tell her I’m not exactly sure I have enough rust colored yarn (it was given to me many years ago – not sure if they still make it!). I did find 2 partial balls of it, so am going to attempt to knit them, perhaps making the tops in white – we’ll see. Still knitting on the little sage & white scarf – am hoping to finish it by Wednesday so I can turn it in, then it will just be the boot toppers & the pink baby blanket…maybe…knowing me, I ‘might’ decide to do another scarf, we’ll see. (wink)


Mini Eclair Bites

2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks margarine, melted
1 (4 serving size) instant French
vanilla pudding mix
1 1/4 C. milk
2 C. Cool Whip, thawed
3/4 C. premade chocolate frosting

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 18 mini muffin cups with paper
liners. In medium bowl combine
graham cracker crumbs, sugar & butter;
mix well then evenly press mixture
into bottoms of liners (use your
fingers – press over bottoms & up
sides of liners). Bake 5 minutes
until crust begins to brown – remove
from oven & cool completely.
In medium bowl whisk pudding mix &
milk – fold in thawed Cool Whip.
Place mixture in ziplock bag & snip
off one bottom corner. Fill cups
evenly with pudding mixture.
In small microwave-save bowl heat
frosting 10-15 seconds; stir until
smooth & pourable. Place in small
ziplock bag, snip off one bottom
corner & top pudding mixture with
a dollop of chocolate frosting.
Refrigerate 4 hours until ready to
serve. Makes 18


Party Shrimp

1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. uncooked large shrimp,

In large ziplock bag combine
first 8 ingredients. Add shrimp;
seal bag & turn to coat.
Refrigerate 2 hours. Drain shrimp,
discard marinade. Place shrimp
on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Broil 4 inches from heat 3-4 minutes
on each side or until shrimp turn
pink. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Sesame Chicken Bites

3/4 C. mayonnaise
4 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 C. dry bread crumbs
1/4 C. sesame seeds
2 tsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken
breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2-4 T. canola oil

In small bowl mix sauce ingredients;
refrigerate until serving
In shallow bowl mix bread crumbs,
sesame seeds & parsley. In another
shallow bowl mix mayonnaise &
seasonings. Dip chicken into
mayo mixture then into crumb
mixture, patting to help coating
adhere to all sides.
In large skillet heat 2 T. oil over
medium-high heat. Add chicken,
in batches, cook until chicken is no
longer pink, turning occasionally
& adding additional oil as needed.
Serve with sauce. Makes about
2 1/2 dozen (with 3/4 C. sauce)

Icy Holiday Punch
(overnight recipe)

1 (6 oz) pkg. cherry jello
3/4 C. sugar
2 C. boiling water
1 (46 oz) can (Dole) canned
100% pineapple juice
6 C. cold water
2 liters ginger ale, chilled

In 4 qt freezer-proof container
dissolve jello & sugar in boiling
water. Stir in pineapple juice &
cold water. Cover & Freeze overnight.
Remove 2 hours before serving.
Place in a punch bowl, stir in ginger
ale just before serving.
Makes 30 servings (about 5 3/4

Almond-Bacon Cheese Crostini

1 French bread baguette (1 lb),
cut into 36 slices
2 C. shredded Monterray Jack
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sliced almonds, toasted
6 strips bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 green onion, chopped
dash salt
(additional toasted almonds,

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place bread slices on ungreased
baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes
until lightly browned. In large
bowl combine cheese, mayo.,
almonds, bacon, onion & salt –
spread over bread. Bake 7-8
minutes until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle tops with additional
almonds, if desired. Serve warm.
Makes 3 dozen

7-Layer Mediterranean Dip

1 (8 oz) tub plain hummus
1 (8 oz) C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) jar roasted sweet red
peppers, drained/chopped
1/4 C. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 C. chopped red onion
12 Greek olives, pitted/chopped
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Baked pita chips for dipping

Spread hummus in 9 inch pie plate;
top with sour cream, red peppers,
cheese, onion & olives. Sprinkle
top with parsley & refrigerate
until serving. Serve with pita chips.
Makes 2 1/2 C.


Hot Reuben Dip

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. Thousand Island salad
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) Big slice
Swiss cheese slices, chopped
1/4 lb. sliced deli corned beef,
chopped (about 1 Cup)
3/4 C. well-drained sauerkraut

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Mix cream cheese & salad
dressing in medium bowl until
blended; add remaining
ingredients & mix well.
Spray bottom of a 9 inch pie
plate with nonstick spray &
spread mixture onto plate.
Bake 20 minutes until heated
through. Serves 20 (2 T. each)

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Cheddar Jalapeno Dip

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. beer
6 slices bacon, chopped*
1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved/
seeded & thinly sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat cream cheese & garlic powder
in medium bowl using elec. mixer
until blended. Gradually beat in
beer then stir in remaining
ingredients. Spread mixture on
bottom of a 1 1/2 qt casserole
dish or 9 inch pie plate. Bake
15-20 minutes until heated
through. Serves 16 (2 T. each)

*poster recommended using
Oscar Mayer Butcher Thick Cut
Hickory Smoked bacon

(recipe: kraft recipes)

Crockpot Hot Citrus Cider

1/2 gallon apple juice
2 1/4 C. water
1 1/2 C. orange juice
3 (4 inch, ea) cinnamon sticks
1 T. whole cloves
1/4 C. molasses

Garnish: apple slices

Pour all ingredients into crockpot;
mix well. Heat on Low, stirring
occasionally. Keep warm & serve
in mugs with apple slices. Refrigerate
leftovers in covered container up to
3 days. Makes 3 quarts


Caramallow Dip

4 C. miniature marshmallows
25 caramels (unwrapped)
1/4 c. canned evaporated milk

Optional ‘dippers’:
cut up fruit, cubes of angel
food cake, marshmallows,
graham crackers,

Place all ingredients in large
microwaveable bowl. Microwave
on High 2 minutes; stir. Microwave
1 minute until marshmallows are
completely melted & mixture is
well blended. Cool slightly.
Makes 14 (2 T. ea) servings.

(recipe: Kraft recipes)

Our weather has been holding at NICE –
today it was almost 40 degrees F! The
next few days are supposed to get up
to almost 47 – that’s amazing for this
time of year in Michigan! (almost makes
you feel like you’re waiting for the other
shoe to drop…living here all my life I
KNOW snow is in the forecast sometime
soon – just hope it holds off a little

If you’re celebrating the New Year
tonight – have fun, be safe and enjoy
yourselves! (I’ll be happy right here
at home)






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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. My eldest was 55 last night and I was able to spend a couple of hours with him. ( the first time in too many years). I was back home by 9:30 pm

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