Getting down to the wire!

Apologies for not posting more recipes sooner – am battling a cold (I kind of ‘over’ sang last Sunday for the Christmas contata & ended up with a sore throat come Monday). Last night was my special needs group’s Christmas program/party/dinner – I’m amazed, today, that I’m not sicker but am very glad of that. Got this weeks grocery shopping done today and feel like I accomplished something – nothing like shopping & pumping gas when you don’t feel well!


Crockpot Sweet/Spicy Nuts

2 egg whites
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. butter
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
6 C. nuts, your favorites

Line 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper.
Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Add egg
whites to crockpot & whisk until foamy.
Add sugar, butter & spices – stir until a
thick syrup forms. Add nuts & stir to
coat. Cover crockpot with a clean dish
cloth or 2 layers paper towels. Place lid
on top & cook on Low 3 to 3 1/2 hours (or
High 1 1/2 to 2 hours) stirring every 20
minutes & every few minutes at the end
until nuts are fragrant, lightly browned &
coating appears dull – not shiny.
Remove nuts from crockpot – there will be
excess sugar coating left behind. Spread
nuts in even layer on prepared sheets,
spreading them out & separating as much
as possible. Cool completely, stirring once
or twice so nuts won’t stick. Once cool,
break apart any nuts that have stuck together.
Transfer to a serving dish, jar or airtight
container for storage. Nuts will store in an
airtight container at room temp. for several
weeks. Makes 6 1/2 C.

NOTE: If nuts soften with storage, crisp them up
by placing in a 400 degrees F. oven 10-15
minutes, stirring often.

Crockpot Ham

1 (10 oz) bone-in spiral sliced ham
1/2 C. chicken stock
2 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. maple syrup
3/4 C. brown sugar

In a 6-7 qt (or larger) crockpot place
ham, flat side down, & pour chicken
stock over. In a bowl whisk mustard &
maple syrup – pour over top of ham
making sure to get all sides – sprinkle
brown sugar all over ham. Cover tightly
(If your lid won’t fit tight, wrap tightly
with foil). Cook on Low 4-5 hours, basting
once or twice during last hour of cooking.
Remove ham from crockpot & let rest 20
minutes before serving. Reserve juices to
make gravy or use as an au jus. Serves 4


3-ingredient No Bake Oreo Balls

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (14.5 oz) pkg. Oreo cookies
1 (14 oz) pkg. chocolate dipping chips

Optional: candy sprinkles for decorating
Line a cutting board or baking sheet with
parchment paper. Using food processor,
finely crush Oreos. Combine cream cheese &
crushed cookies  until well blended. Form
mixture into 1 inch balls & place on prepared
sheet. Freeze 30 minutes.Microwave chocolate
for 1 minute, stirring & repeating until melted.
Using a fork, dip each ball into chocolate to
completely coat – shake off excess & return
to tray – decorate with optional sprinkles,
if desired. Makes 48


Easy Jalapeno Popper Bites

1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked/crumbled
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded/diced
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened

Optional: ranch salad dressing for dipping
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Separate rolls into triangles.
On each triangle place a dollop of cream
cheese (1/2 T. or so); add a piece of jalapeno
& some cooked bacon. Roll up into bundles,
making sure the cream cheese doesn’t run
out while baking – place on prepared baking
sheet, seam sides down. Bake 12-15 minutes
until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 6 servings


Green Beans Almondine

3 T. butter, divided
1/2 C. sliced almonds
1/3 C. shallots, minced
1 lb. green beans (use smaller
French beans if you can find them),
salt/pepper, to taste
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 T. chopped parsley

In a large skillet over medium heat melt
1 T. butter. Add almonds & cook 3-4 minutes
until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove nuts from pan; wipe pan clean
with a paper towel. Melt remaining 2 T.
butter in pan; add shallots & cook 3-4
minutes until tender. Add green beans &
1 T. water. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until gr. beans are tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice & salt/pepper. Sprinkle
reserved almonds over green beans along
with parsley. Serve immediately.
Serves 4


Make-ahead Biscuits & Gravy
(overnight recipe)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 C. flour
3 C. milk
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. chili powder
2 1/4 C. Bisquick baking mix
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. butter, melted

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook sausage over
medium heat until no longer pink,
6-8 minutes, breaking into crumbles.
Remove sausage using slotted soon,
discard grease but reserve 1/4 C. in
skillet. Stir in flour until blended &
cook, stirring, until golden brown,
1-2 minutes – do not burn. Gradually
whisk in milk & bring to boil, stirring
constantly. Cook & stir until thickened,
2-3 minutes. Stir in sausage, pepper,
paprika & chili powder – pour into
prepared dish & cool completely.
In large bowl mix Bisquick, sour cream
& melted butter until moistened. Turn
onto a lightly floured surface & knead
gently 8-10 times. Pat or roll dough into
a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut using a floured
2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter & place biscuits
over gravy. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Remove dish from fridge while oven heats.
Bake, uncovered, until gravy is heated
through & biscuits are golden: 22 -25
minutes. Serves 10

Freezer Option:
After biscuits/gravy are read to place
in fridge, cover & freeze. To use: partially
thaw in fridge overnight. Remove 30
minutes before baking & bake as directed
above, increasing time as needed until
gravy is heated through & biscuits are
golden brown.


Green Chile Spinach Dip

1 1/2 C. canned chopped/roasted
green chiles
1/2 C. thawed/drained frozen spinach
1 C. shredded Monterey Jack Pepper cheese
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. cream cheese, softened
2/3 C. sour cream
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Tortilla chips, for dipping
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Butter a shallow 1-qt. baking dish.
In medium bowl toss chiles, spinach,
both cheeses. In another bowl stir
remaining ingredients – fold into chile/
cheese mixture until well combined.
Pour mixture into prepared dish & bake
20-30 minutes until bubbling & starting
to brown. (If dip is bubbling & not browning,
place under broiler for a few minutes)
Makes 4 Cups

Amazing Puffballs

1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni chopped
into tiny pieces
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 (10 1/8 oz, ea) pkgs. Pillsbury
refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Open rolls & separate into individual
triangles. Flatten each & slice so that
it becomes 3 small triangles. In a bowl
mix diced pepperoni with cream cheese,
stirring very well so that all pepperoni
pieces are mixed into cream cheese.
Place a small spoonful of cream cheese/
pepperoni mixture in middle of each
roll triangle – pinch up all sides around
filling then place on a cookie sheet.
Bake about 11 minutes. Allow to cool
before serving. Serves 48

Sausage Pinwheels

1 lb. bulk sausage
1 can crescent roll dough

Remove dough in a whole sheet
Press perforated edges together to
form one sheet of dough. Spread
sausage evenly over dough. Starting
with a long edge, roll dough into a
log. Refrigerate log overnight (or until

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice 1/2 inch pieces from log & place
on a baking sheet. Bake 12-18 minutes.
Makes 24


Forgotten Cookies
(like bitig into a cup of hot
chocolate topped with whipped cream!)

It’s recommended you make these
the night before you need them as they
need to be ‘forgotten’ in the oven until

4 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 to 1 C. sugar (according to preference)
3/4 to 1 C. mini chocolate chips (accordg.
to your preference)


Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment
Using elec. mixer, place vanilla & egg whites
in a bowl & beat until just foamy. Add cream
of tartar – beat until soft peaks form. Slowly
add in sugar white continuing to beat until
all sugar is added and until tall/stiff peaks have
formed. Gently fold in choc. chips. Spoon
out portions of mixture onto prepared sheet
(they don’t need to be spaced out much).
Place all cookies on sheet in oven at once
& immediately shut oven off. Serve the
next day. Makes 30-50 cookies

Store cookies in an air tight container at room
temperature. They will be good for 1-2 weeks.


No Bake Pecan/Coconut Praline Cookies

2 1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. corn syrup
1/2 C. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
2 1/2 C. grated coconut
Lay out a large strip of waxed paper
on the counter.
In a large saucepan mix sugar, evap. milk,
corn syrup & butter – bring to rolling boil –
boil 3 minutes. Remove from heat & add
pecans, coconut & vanilla. Stir about 4
minutes. Take a spoonful of batter &
pour onto waxed paper – continue with
rest of batter. Let stand until batter has
hardened. Remove from paper & enjoy.

(recipe: pepper romo – Facebook)

I’m doing great on the gift shopping – all
except oldest son & his girlfriend; they both
like to golf & last year I got them a golf
package for 2 through Groupon – only
problem: we live in a VERY COLD/SNOWY
state and the offers are only good for 3 months –
that would put them at March – still lots of snow
& rain here. My solution is: tell them I’ll get them
a golf package but it won’t be until WARM weather
so they can enjoy it!

The house is now all decorated, trees up, etc.
Today I delivered the last of the ‘neighbor
Christmas breads’, mail lady got cookies &
candy so all that’s left to do now is bake my
friend a loaf of banana bread (her favorite)
before this coming Sunday – that should be
easy enough. Still need to wrap gifts and maybe
purchase a few more ‘stocking stuffer’ things
like small bags of chips or ‘Combos’, some
sausage sticks (the guys love the extra spicy
ones) – that leaves baking the “Happy Birthday,
Jesus” chocolate cake – that I can do next week.
Still not sure who in our family will have to work
on Christmas (OR) when we’re doing dinner –
but that’s OK.

Hope you are all managing to stay safe and
HEALTHY! (I’m so grateful I’m not sicker!).



PS: I should add our weather has been really nice:
it’s been in the 20’s (yes, that’s cold BUT) – no SNOW
or rain/ice! We actually have a high of 43 degrees F.
coming on Sunday!

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