and so it begins – THE HOLIDAYS!

First thing this morning I was looking over all the 5 grocery store flyers for my area, attempting to come up with some sort of idea of what I’m preparing for next week’s dinner. Mind you, my oldest son will be having the dinner at his house & I’m bringing half of the ‘sides’ and the desserts (other grandma is doing the rest). Now that we’ve had one Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner experience with ‘other grandma’ I now have a better idea of what’s expected of me. Her version of both dinners involves COLD sides: macaroni salad, potato salad, cole slaw, etc. whereby I was raised on HOT sides: sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. And she also does something I’ve never heard of before: she cooks an entire holiday dinner the day before FOR HERSELF & HER HUSBAND, then they have their ‘feast’ the day AFTER the holiday. OK…different. Why is that important? When it comes to offering leftovers to take home, she doesn’t want any, as she already has a full dinner at home. Different (or strange, whichever you want to think); I’ve learned not to ‘go against the flow’ and just keep on plugging, so to speak. She also does not do desserts, so that leaves me. What am I bringing? I HAVE NO IDEA! (am thinking about the first dessert below – for starters)

==============

Pecan Pie Bars

2 C. unsalted butter, room
temp/divided
2 C. light brown sugar, divided
2 T. vanilla
2 C. flour
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 lb. pecans, chopped

Preheat oven 250 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking dish with
parchment paper. In large bowl
using elec. mixer, cream 1 C.
butter & 1/2 C. brown sugar until
light & fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add 1 T. vanilla & mix to combine.
On Low speed, add flour & mix
until flour & butter have come
together. Place dough in prepared
pan & using your fingers, press
dough evenly in pan. Bake 15
minutes until crust is light brown
around edges. Cool in fridge or
freezer. (Leave oven on).

In 4 qt. saucepan over medium-
high heat, combine 1 C. butter,
1 1/2 C. brown sugar & corn syrup;
stir until well blended. Bring to boil &
stir frequently 3 minutes. (mixture will
get light & airy). Remove pan from heat;
add heavy cream & vanilla; stir to combine.
Add pecans & stir until they are completely
coated. Remove crust from fridge/freezer –
pour topping over crust; using a spatula
to spread in an even layer. Return pan to
oven & bake 25 minutes until topping
is set (it will move slowly when you
jiggle the pan). Allow bars to cool
completely before cutting into squares.
Makes 20 bars

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)

——————————-

Ham & Egg Cups

6 slices deli-style ham
6 eggs
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray muffin tin cups with
nonstick cooking spray. Line
bottom of muffin tin cups with
individual slices of ham. In a
skillet, scramble 6 eggs as
desired; scoop eggs evenly
into cups; sprinkle tops with
Cheddar cheese & black pepper.
Bake 10-12 minutes until cheese
is melted & ham is baked.
Makes 6 cups

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
——————————-

Chicken/Quinoa/Brown Rice Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 C. carrots, chopped
2 C. celery, chopped
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb. chicken thighs (can use
frozen)
16 C. water
12 tsp. chicken base (or chicken
bullion)
1 1/2 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. parsley
2 bay leaves
salt/pepper
2/3 C. quinoa
3/4 C. brown rice
5 C. fresh spinach, chopped small

Heat large, deep skillet over
medium-high heat. Add 1 T.
olive oil – when oil is hot, add
veggies & sprinkle with salt/
pepper. Cook until crisp-tender,
about 5 minutes. Carefully
scoop veggies out & set aside.
Place chicken in a soup pot; add
hot water, chicken base/bullion,
seasonings & sprinkle with salt/
pepper, to taste. Bring to boil
over High heat (making sure it
doesn’t boil over). Once you have
a rolling boil, turn heat to medium
& allow chicken to cook through,
about 20 minutes. Using same
skillet you cooked veggies in,
heat to medium-high – add 1 T.
olive oil. When oil is hot, add quinoa
& brown rice. Stir & allow both to
get toasted (it will start to smell
kind of nutty, about 5 minutes.)
When chicken is cooked through,
remove from pot & shred using 2
forks then place back in pot.
Carefully pour quinoa/rice into pot
& bring to boil. Cover with lid (with
slight gap for steam). Cook 20
minutes until grains are soft & cooked
through. Add veggies & simmer just
until heated through. Remove pot
from heat; add spinach to pot & stir.
Taste soup for seasoning, adding more
salt/pepper, if needed. Serves 6-8

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
—————————————

Baked Cranberry/Orange Stuffing-
crusted Chicken

1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. grated orange peel
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
halves (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/2 C. seasoned cubed stuffing mix,
finely crushed

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Combine mayonnaise, cranberries &
orange peel in medium bowl. Arrange
chicken on baking sheet & evenly
top with mayo. mixture then sprinkle
with stuffing crumbs. Bake 20 minutes
until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Serves 4

(recipe: hellsmanns.com)
———————————

Jalapeno Popper Wonton Cups

12 wonton wrappers
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sour cream
12 oz. bacon, cooked/crumbled-
(reserve 2 T.)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
(reserve 2 T.)
3-4 jalapenos, seeded/chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 12 muffin sups with cooking
spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper in
each muffin cup; Bake 8 minutes
until lightly browned. Remove from
oven & cool slightly. In medium bowl
mix cream cheese, sour cream, bacon,
Ched. cheese & chopped jalapenos.
Spoon filling into cups then sprinkle
tops with reserved bacon & cheese.
Return to oven & bake 8-10 minutes
until wontons are golden brown &
cheese is melted. Makes 12

(recipe: lemontreedwelling.com)
————————————
Bacon-Blue Cheese Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 (5 oz) container crumbled
blue cheese
2 T. ranch dressing
1/2 C. cooked/crumbled bacon
4 green onions, sliced

Dippers;
crackers, bread or fresh veggies

In small bowl combine cream
cheese, sour cream, blue cheese
& ranch dressing – blend until smooth.
Stir in bacon & onions. Serve with
suggested dippers. Serves 8

(recipe: lemontreedwelling.com)
————————-

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Cake
(with Apple Cider Glaze)

Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

Glaze:
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
3 T. apple cider
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a small (7 X 11 X 2″ pan)
with nonstick cooking spray.
In mixer bowl beat dry cake mix
& pumpkin puree until well mixed.
Mixture will be very thick; pour
batter into prepared pan. Bake
28 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into center comes out
clean. Do not overbake. Let cool
5-10 minutes in pan; flip pan
onto a platter.

Glaze:

In large bowl combine powdered
sugar, apple cider & pumpkin
pie spice. Glaze should be thick
but pourable. Add more sugar or
cider if needed to achieve desired
consistency. Pour glaze over cake
while cake is still warm. Reserve
some glaze to pour over each slice
when served. Serve warm or at
room temperature.

 (recipe: americantimesfood.com)

================

Our weather is a bit confusing: kind of like “Make
sure you look at the weather report before planning
your day”. Yesterday was overcast with light rain &
in the 30’s. Last night when I went to choir practice
at 4:30 p.m. it was very lightly sprinkling. When I
came out after evening church (a little after 7 p.m.)
I couldn’t really tell if it was raining heavily OR it
was huge snow flakes! It kept up until I got close
to home (about 15 minutes later) then it was just
a light rain again…go figure; sigh. Right now
(1:30 p.m.) it’s 41 degrees F. , overcast but I can
live with that. Am trying to decide if I want to
venture out to go pick up “on hold” library books
& a quick trip to Krogers, or put it off. IF I do that,
will have to wait until Weds or Friday. Tomorrow
starts back babysitting BUT – I don’t have to go
until 1:30 p.m. . . . YAY! That means I probably
will be there until around 5/5:30 – not bad!

Hope, for your ‘first day of the week’ you’re
having a GREAT day!

Hugs;

Pammie


 

 

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Sounds like a pain in the butt to plan a dinner with the other grandmother. Be strong you can do it.


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