Nice and quiet – strangely so…

Of all the Christmases I’ve lived through, this had to be the most ‘unusual/quiet’ one I’ve had. Middle son has moved to his girlfriend’s (plus he had to work 2-10 p.m.) so we didn’t see him at all. Youngest spent the entire day & night sleeping! Husband & I had fun in the kitchen cooking; he had the local radio station on so the house was full of ‘fun’ Christmas songs while we peeled & chopped potatoes for his Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Our original time for Christmas Dinner at oldest son’s was supposed to be 3 p.m. but he texted saying they were running late and would we mind if it was 4:30/5 p.m.? NOT AT ALL! Gave us more time! Dinner at their house was VERY small & quiet as well; her parents didn’t come (not exactly sure why – something about their new puppy couldn’t be left alone . . . that was the story at Thanksgiving also – I don’t know, just felt bad for oldest son’s girlfriend, as she would have liked to have her parents there also.) As it was it was his family (4) and husband & I (2) – let’s just say we had WAaaaaaay too much food! I made a huge spinach salad that would have fed at least 8; his Prime Rib was wonderful along with his grilled Asparagus with Balsamic Wine reduction – tons of food and (of course) we all over-ate! LOTS of leftovers for the next few days, for sure!

Lots more recipes to share – I guess I should insert here (as I do every few months) The recipes on my blog (for the most part) are NOT my recipes – at the end of the recipes is the site link for the originator of said recipe. The recipes I post are ones that sound really tasty to me and, hopefully, somewhat easy to put together, too.

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

Cookie Dough Fudge

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 C. mini chocolate chips,
divided
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed
milk
1 1/2 C. white chocolate, melted

Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray & line with
parchment paper. In large bowl using
elec. mixer, beat butter, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Add flour & salt; beat
until combined. Stir in 1 C. mini choc.
chips. In another large bowl mix sweeten’d
cond. milk & melted white chocolate – fold
into cookie dough mixture & pour into prepared
pan – top with remaining 1/4 C. mini choc. chips.
Refrigerate until fudge is firm – about 2 hours.
Remove from pan by lifting edges of parchment
paper then cut into squares. Makes about 15
squares.

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-
Crockpot Potato Cheese Soup
(4 ingredients!)

2 (28 oz, ea) bags frozen Potatoes O’Brien
(shredded/or diced potatoes w/ onions & peppers)
2 (32 oz, ea) boxes chicken broth
2 (10 oz, ea) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cut into
chunks.

Place potatoes, broth cream cheese chunks
& soup in crockpot. Stir, cover & cook on High
2 hours (or Low 3 hours). Stir well before
serving. Serves 12-15 (generously)

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

Greek Feta Dip

12 oz. feta cheese
1 C. Greek yogurt
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
softened
1/4 C. olive oil, plus more
for drizzling
juice & zest of 1 lemon
kosher salt
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. freshly chopped dill,
plus more for garnish
1/2 C. chopped cucumber
1/2 C. halved cherry tomatoes

Pita chips, for dipping

In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
feta cheese, Greek yogurt, cream cheese,
oil, lemon juice & zest until fluffy & combined.
Season with salt & red pepper flakes; stir in dill.
Transfer dip to a serving bowl & top with chopped
cucumber, tomatoes, dill & a drizzle of oil. Serve
with pita chips. Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————

Bundt Cake Breakfast

1 C. cooked/diced ham
2 c. tater tots, still frozen
12 eggs, whisked
1 can (8) Pillsbury Grands biscuits,
diced – still raw dough
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a bundt pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Mix all ingredients
together & pour into prepared pan.
Bake 45 minutes; remove from oven
& lay a serving plate on top of Bundt
pan. Invert pan so that breakfast is
now on the serving plate. Serve warm.

NOTE from poster: you can use any meats
or veggies; the key is not to add too much
bread – tater tots add just the right amount
of potatoes – they shred up & you would
think they were hash browns without making
it dense.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)


Chicken Pot Pie SOUP!

3 chicken breasts, cut into small
chunks
3 carrots, peeled/chopped into
chunks
3 medium potatoes, peeled/chopped
small chunks
2 stalks celery, chopped
pinch salt/pepper
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
3 1/2 C. chicken stock OR (3 1/2 C. water +
3 bouillon cubes)
3 T. unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. minus 1 T. flour
1 1/4 C. milk
juice of 1 lemon
1 small bunch fresh thyme

In large pot add chicken, carrots,
potatoes, celery, salt/pepper,
thyme & stock – bring to boil &
allow to simmer 15 minutes –
turn off heat. When nearly cooked,
in another saucepan add butter &
onions – heat on medium heat – cook
5-6 minutes until soft. Add flour into
onions & stir to form a creamy paste,
cook, stirring, 1 minute then add a
ladle of stock from chicken broth
(try to get mostly stock, not chicken/
veggies). Whisk, adding stock, until
you have ladled out most of stock
from chicken pan (leaving chic &
veggies behind). Pour milk into sauce
mixture; heat through while stirring
with whisk. (Sauce should thicken slightly
as it’s heating). Once sauce is almost
boiling (do NOT let it boil); pour it back
into pan with chicken & veggies. Bring
heat to almost boiling & add in half of
lemon juice – stir & taste – add rest of
lemon juice if needed. Season with salt/
pepper & top with a sprig of fresh thyme
before serving. Serves 5-6

(recipe: kitchensanctuary.com)
————————————–

Cheesy Mushroom & Broccoli
Casserole

3 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/2 lb. Shiitake or Baby Bella
mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C. onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. chicken stock
1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped
broccoli, thawed/drained
2 C. shredded Cheddar-Monterey
Jack blend cheese
3 C. cooked rice
salt/pepper

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Butter a 1 1/8 qt. oval casserole
dish. In large pot, melt 3 T. butter
& flour over medium heat until
golden in color, making a quick
roux. The roux should resemble
the color of peanut butter. Add
mushrooms, onion, garlic, garlic
powder, cayenne pepper, heavy
cream & chicken stock. Add
broccoli, 1 C. cheese & rice.
Season with salt/pepper, to
taste. Pour into prepared dish &
top with remaining cheese. Bake
until cheese is melted & golden,
about 20 minutes.
Serves 6-8

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

Tomato & Shrimp Pasta

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled/deveined
8 oz. spaghetti, uncooked (or any pasta
you desire)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 medium tomatoes, cored/seeded &
cut into 1″ pieces
2 T. coarsely chopped fresh basil
3 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
pinch red pepper flakes
salt/pepper, to taste

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions;
drain. Heat 1 T. oil in large, deep skillet.
Add shrimp & garlic – cook until shrimp
turns pink. Add tomatoes, basil, remaining
2 T. oil, pepper flakes, salt/pepper. Toss,
gently heating tomatoes but not cooking
them. Remove from heat & toss in cheese.
Serves 4

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

Chunky Monkey Brownies

2 C. flour
1 1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. granulated sugar
2 sticks (1 C.) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. banana (mashed with a fork-
about 1 medium)
10 oz. Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate
baking melts (or 12 oz. semi sweet
chocolate chips)
1/4 C. chocolate chips (for topping)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. In a bowl mix butter, eggs,
sugars, salt & vanilla using elec. mixer
until well mixed. Stir with a wooden spoon
to combine:flour, mashed banana & baking
melts/chips; spread into prepared pan &
smooth top evenly Sprinkle choc. chips
on top. Bake 30-40 minutes until lightly
golden brown & a toothpick inserted in
center comes out clean. Cool completely
in pan before cutting into bars.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)
————————————–

Candied Pecans
(6 qt. or larger crockpot)

2 egg whites
1 T. vanilla
1 3/4 C. sugar
1 3/4 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 lb. whole pecans

In small bowl whisk egg whites &
vanilla until very frothy (may take
a minute or two). In medium bowl
add sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt
stir until combined. Place pecans in
a large bowl; pour egg whites over &
stir until pecans are evenly coated. Pour
over sugar mixture & stir until pecans
are coated. Spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray – add nuts.
Cover & cook on Low for 3 hours,
stirring every 20 minutes. When cooking
time is done, pour nuts onto a baking
sheet lined with waxed or parchment
paper. Cool for 30 minutes before storing
or packaging in bags. Serves 20

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
================

Our weather, once again, is acting very
unlike Winter in Michigan (which I, personally,
am LOVING!) It snowed just a tad yesterday
(Christmas Day) and my oldest son was
ecstatic – he & his oldest son (12) LOVE to go
snowboarding in the winter – however –
the snow all melted! Today it got up to 45
degrees F.!!! YAY! (I’ve lived in good old
Michigan all my life so I KNOW this will
not be the end of snow for us – just hoping
we don’t really bad snowfalls (has happened
in years past) – will just have to wait & see.

Hope your holiday went very well and you
were able to enjoy time with friends/family,
some good food and great company.

Hugs;

Pammie

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Christmas, 2018

Published in: on December 24, 2018 at 9:04 pm  Comments (2)  

Last Minute – How’s it going?

Just got home from a quick ‘dash’ to the grocery store for last minute items – yes, that’s ME – the person who always says: “I’d never to shopping on Christmas EVE!” As I was looking over our menu for Christmas Dinner it occurred to me (like at Thanksgiving) – lovely menu BUT I can’t eat MOST of the sides! (Now that I’m trying to adhere to a stricter diabetic menu it changes the way I eat. Our menu will be: (probably appetizers by my son – like melted Brie & honey, several dips & crackers) my husband’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Wild Rice stuffing, croissants, my son’s Prime Rib & desserts: our family tradition: a “Happy Birthday, Jesus” chocolate cake, a smaller variety slices of cheesecakes. My ‘new’ addition: a spinach salad (hence my grocery trip). I decided the salad would have: Baby Spinach, Slices of red onion, chopped green pepper, sliced cucumbers, little tomatoes, feta cheese & slivered almonds (might change that to sun flower seeds – we’ll see) plus whatever dressings they want on it.  It will be a feast, for sure. How are YOU coming on your plans?  (side note: we have two small grocery stores in our area that tend to be a bit ethnic – the one observation from me the last 2 times I went there: No ALMONDS of any kind! Strange! ( was looking for slivered almonds)

A few more ‘last minute’ recipes for ya-

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

Easy Bread Pudding

2 tubes refrigerated cinnamon rolls
8 eggs
5 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Break up cinnamon rolls into
bite-sized pieces & place in baking dish. In
large bowl whisk eggs until uniformly yellow –
add milk & salt; whisk until smooth. Pour
mixture over rolls, being careful to soak ALL
pieces with mixture. Let pieces soak 1 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake 45-50 minutes until set.
Serves 12

Optional idea: replace regular milk with
chocolate milk & sprinkle top with chocolate
chips before baking.

(recipe: everydaydishes.com)
———————————

Brown Sugar Pecan Pie

1/2 C. butter
2 1/3 C. firmly packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
1/4 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. toasted/chopped pecans
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep-dish pie crust

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Place pie dish (with crust)on a baking
sheet. In small saucepan melt butter,
continue cooking over medium heat,
stirring occasionally,until slightly browned.
Remove from heat & let cool 10
minutes. In a large bowl whisk together
brown sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla & salt
until smooth. Slowly drizzle in melted
butter, whisking the entire time until
fully incorporated – stir in pecans.
Pour mixture into pie crust & bake
45-55 minutes until puffed & golden
brown. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
Pie will settle as it cools. Let it cool
completely before slicing.
Serves 10

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

Last Minute Chocolate Fudge

24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
(about 4 C)
2 (14 oz, ea) cans sweetened condensed
milk
1/2 C. salted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. pecans, chopped (optional)

Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with parchment
paper so it comes up the sides of the pan
(making it easy to remove the fudge).
In a large microwave-safe dish combine
choc. chips, sweeten’d cond. milk & butter.
Microwave in 1 minute segments, stirring
after each time until mixture is smooth &
creamy (takes about 4 minutes). Stir in
vanilla & 1 C. nuts (optional). Pour into
prepared pan & spread evenly. Top with
remaining nuts (if using). Refrigerate
to set then cut into small squares.
Makes 40-50 small squares

(NOTE: keep refrigerated for best texture).

(recipe: iwashyoudry)
————————————-

Crockpot French Onion Meatballs

1 (24-32 oz) bag frozen meatballs
2 cans French Onion soup

Combine ingredients in crockpot &
heat on High 2 hours (or Low
for 4 hours). Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
——————————–
(crockpot) Tangy Pineapple Meatballs

1 (40 oz) bag frozen meatballs
1 (16 oz0 can pineapple tidbits
1 (24 oz) bottle ketchup
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. maple syrup
1/4 C. soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 3 hours.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
———————————

Raspberry Fluff Salad

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
2 C. mini marshmallows
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (32 oz) tub vanilla yogurt
1 (12 oz) pkg. frozen raspberries

In large bowl mix yogurt & pudding mix;
stir until completely mixed. Fold in Cool
Whip & raspberries (raspberries will soften
while salad sets). Fold in marshmallows.
Cover & refrigerate 30 minutes. When
removing from fridge, fold salad with a
spoon several times to spread the raspberry
juice throughout the salad. Serves 15

(recipe: sugar-n-spicegals.com)
————————————-

Crockpot Brown Sugar Ham

7 lb. cooked, bone-in ham or
spiral cooked ham
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. pineapple juice
1/2 C. maple syrup

Place ham in crockpot, flat side
down. Rub brown sugar over all
sides of ham; drizzle with juice
& syrup. Cover & cook on Low
4-6 hours. Serves 10-12

NOTE: Poster used 6-7 lb. ham
to fit inside a 6-8 qt. crockpot.
If your ham is just a little too big
to get the lid on tight – you can
wrap foil around the outside of
the lid to keep the heat in.
Cooking times will vary greatly
on this recipe depending on your
ham size/shape & how hot your
crockpot cooks. Check it regularly
to make sure you don’t over cook it.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
———————————

Sausage/Mushroom Appetizer

48 large fresh mushrooms
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked/
crumbled
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 C. mayonnaise
3 T. butter, melted
2 T. finely chopped onion
2 tsp. spicy brown (or horseradish)
mustard
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray two 9 X 13″ baking dishes with
nonstick cooking spray.
Remove mushroom stems (discard or
save for another use). In large bowl
combine remaining ingredients – stuff
mixture inside mushroom caps & place
caps on prepared sheets. Bake, uncovered,
16-20 minutes until heated through.
Makes 4 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

1 1/2 lb. red potatoes (about 6
medium) baked & cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked/crumbled
3 C. sour cream
2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Place half
of the cut potatoes in prepared dish.
Sprinkle top with half salt/pepper/
bacon. Top with half sour cream &
cheeses – repeat layers. Bake, uncovered,
20-25 minutes until cheeses are melted.
Sprinkle top with onions.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————
Baked Brie w/Cranberry Sauce

8 oz. round brie cheese, room temp.
1/3 C. cranberry sauce
2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 C. hazelnuts, unroasted/roughly
chopped
fresh rosemary (garnish)

Crackers for dipping
=
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a small baking dish with parchment
paper. Peel or slice off the top rind of the
brie – scrape out a small amount of cheese
to form a shallow hollow in the center –
place cheese in prepared dish. In a bowl
mix cranberry sauce, brown sugar, vanilla,
orange zest & nutmeg – spoon into hollow
of brie & sprinkle hazelnuts on top. Bake
8-12 minutes until filling is bubbling &
cheese is gooey.

NOTE: the goal is to take
the cheese out after it has softened, but
just before it collapses into a heap.

Using parchment paper, lift cheese out of
bowl using a spatula – carefully slide onto
a serving dish; garnish with a rosemary
sprig (if desired). Serve immediately with
assorted crackers for dipping. Serves 4-6

(recipe: thekitchn.com)
———————————

Baked Brie w/Cranberry Sauce

8 oz. round brie cheese, room temp.
1/3 C. cranberry sauce
2 T. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 C. hazelnuts, unroasted/roughly
chopped
fresh rosemary (garnish)

Crackers for dipping
=
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Line a small baking dish with parchment
paper. Peel or slice off the top rind of the
brie – scrape out a small amount of cheese
to form a shallow hollow in the center –
place cheese in prepared dish. In a bowl
mix cranberry sauce, brown sugar, vanilla,
orange zest & nutmeg – spoon into hollow
of brie & sprinkle hazelnuts on top. Bake
8-12 minutes until filling is bubbling &
cheese is gooey.

NOTE: the goal is to take
the cheese out after it has softened, but
just before it collapses into a heap.

Using parchment paper, lift cheese out of
bowl using a spatula – carefully slide onto
a serving dish; garnish with a rosemary
sprig (if desired). Serve immediately with
assorted crackers for dipping. Serves 4-6

(recipe: thekitchn.com)
===================

                     A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU, ALL!

Hugs;

Pammie

Getting Closer – more ‘last minute’ Recipes!

Very glad we didn’t get any snow-temps. in the 30’s (great snow temps.) but although it’s rather gloomy outside, we can still move about/drive/walk, etc. in ‘GLOOM’!!! YAY! I still have some presents to wrap but, other than cooking on Christmas Day, I’m done! (Have to write out some Thank You cards to my special needs students & their families for gifting me with some very nice presents).

LOTS of great holiday recipes coming in – today it’s going to be mostly desserts – some are ‘last minute’ friendly (quick to make).

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

Cranberry Pecan Crisp

2 C. fresh cranberries (can use
frozen – don’t need to thaw)
1 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1 C. rolled oats (can use quick-cooking)
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks butter (12 T.) melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 qt. baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Combine cranberries &
sugar & add to dish. In a bowl mix, using
a spoon, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon,
melted butter & vanilla – drop on top of
cranberries/sugar. Sprinkle top with nuts.
Bake 45 minutes until bubbling & brown
on top. Serves about 6

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————
Cranberry/Pecan Cake Mix Cookies

1 box white cake mix
2 eggs
8 T. melted butter
1 C. dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 C. chopped pecans

In large bowl mix all ingredients &
refrigerate 1 hour.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray & drop cookie dough
by spoonfuls onto sheet -about golf
ball size.
NOTE: this dough is so sticky you may
need to use 2 spoons to get the mixture
off of one spoon. Bake 10-12 minutes
until golden around edges.
Makes 20-25 cookies (depending on size
you make them).

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————
Crunchy Peanut Butter Balls

2 C. crunchy peanut butter (or smooth,
if you like)
1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 C. or
8 T.)
2 C. powdered sugar
2 C. Rice Krispies cereal
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. shortening (Crisco – do not substitute
butter or margarine)

Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper.
You can do this in the microwave OR
on stovetop: Melt peanut butter &
butter together. In a bowl mix powdered
sugar & cereal – mix together with peanut
butter mixture (poster uses a wooden
spoon). Form into balls about 1-inch
& place on prepared sheet. Chill 1 hour.

Chocolate Coating:
Melt chocolate & shortening (either on
stove or microwave*) Dip balls in mixture
& place back on sheet. Keep chilled until
firm – about 1 hour. Makes 3 dozen (depenging
on the size you make them).

*In microwave poster did them about 2 1/2
minutes, stirring well.

NOTE: the addition of shortening creates a
smoother & more manageable consistency
than just melted chocolate alone. Doing this
helps to make a more evenly coated product.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
——————————

Creme de Menthe Brownies
(Paula Dean)

4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1 C. unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour

Filling:
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
4 T. green creme de menthe (or
use green food coloring plus a
dash of peppermint extract)

Icing:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 T. unsalted butter
===
NOTE: Where it says ‘use a double
boiler’ you can do this in the micro-
wave using a glass bowl, make sure
to monitor closely & stir a few times.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.

Brownies:

In a double boiler, melt baking
chocolate & 1 C. butter over
simmering water; cool slightly.
In medium bowl beat eggs using
a whisk until blended; add 2 C.
gran. sugar & continue whisking
until mixture is light & fluffy. Add
cooled chocolate mixture, salt,
vanilla & flour – keep whisking
until thoroughly blended. Pour
into prepared pan & bake 25 minutes.
Remove from oven & cool in pan.
=
Filling:

Using an elec. mixer on medium speed
beat 1/2 C. butter & conf. sugar until
well blended. Stir in creme de menthe
& blend well – spread over cooled
brownies. Refrigerate in original pan until
filling is firm.

Icing:

Melt choc. chips & 6 T. butter in top of
double boiler, stirring until smooth.
Pour warm glaze over filling & tilt pan
to distribute icing evenly. Refrigerate
until chocolate hardens.

To Cut Brownies:

Allow brownies to come to room temp.
in the pan so chocolate doesn’t crack,
then cut them into squares. Serves 48

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)
—————————————-
Peppermint Candy Popcorn

10 C. popped popcorn
1 C. chocolate chips
1 C. white chocolate chips
1/2 C. holiday chocolate M & M’s
candies
1/2 C. white peppermint M & M’s
candies

Line a large flat rimmed baking sheet
with parchment paper. Spread popped
popcorn on sheet. In a saucepan over
medium heat, melt choc. chips until
smooth. In another saucepan, melt
white choc. chips until smooth – drizzle
both chocolates over popcorn. Sprinkle
covered popcorn with both M & M
candies (while chocolate is still soft).
Let mixture set until chocolate is set.
Break into pieces before serving.
Makes 10 Cups

(recipe: ourtableforseven.com)
——————————–
Cranberry Fluff
(overnight recipe)

1 (8 oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries,
chopped into small pieces
1 C. granulated sugar
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple with
juice (do not drain)
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 C. shredded coconut
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 C. chopped nuts (your choice)

In large bowl add chopped cranberries &
sugar – stir. Add pineapple & juice; stir in
marshmallows, coconut, Cool Whip &
nuts – stir. Refrigerate overnight for
best results to let ingredients blend.
Serves 8-10

Keeps well for several days refrigerated.
Recipe can be doubled. Serve as a side
dish or dessert.

NOTE: If you want to make more pink add
a few drops of red food coloring

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
————————————

Cheese Ball Bites

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
6 oz. finely grated sharp white Cheddar
cheese
salt/pepper, to taste
3/4 c. finely chopped pecans (regular or
candied)
3/4 C. chopped dried cranberries
1/2 C. thinly sliced chives
1/4 C. finely chopped parsley

Place cream cheese & mascarpone cheese
in a bowl. Using an elec. mixer or large
spoon, mix until thoroughly combined.
Add Cheddar cheese & salt/pepper – mix
until well combined. Roll mixture into
bite-sized balls. Place cranberries on one
flat plate (or pie plate) & pecans on another –
one a third plate mix chives & parsley. Roll
1/3rd of balls in pecans – 1/3 in cranberries –
1/3 in herbs. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Place toothpicks in balls & serve.
Serves 12

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
——————————-
Homemade Chex Mix

3 C. Corn Chex cereal
3 C. Rice Chex cereal
1 1/2 C. Wheat Chex cereal
1 1/2 C. oyster crackers
1 C. cheese crackers
1 C. pretzel twists
1 C. mixed nuts
6 T. butter, melted
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt*
3/4 tsp. onion powder

In large microwave-safe bowl place
all cereals, crackers, pretzels & nuts.
In a bowl or glass measuring cup mix
melted butter, Worc. sauce, seasoned
salt & onion powder – pour over cereal
mixture & toss to coat evenly. Microwave
5-6 minutes, stirring thoroughly every 2
minutes, then spread on paper towels to
cool. Serve immediately or store in a
sealed container up to 1 week.
Serves 24

*Poster highly recommends Penzeys
smoky seasoned salt

NOTE: you can omit nuts & use more
crackers & pretzels if desired. (When
poster makes this for children she uses
rainbow colored goldfish crackers instead
of regular cheese crackers)

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
———————————
Triple-cheese Bacon/Spinach Dip

10 slices bacon, cooked until crispy,
drained & chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed/
squeezed dry
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided

1 baguette, sliced/toasted (or other dippers)

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl mix cream cheese, mayo, sour
cream, garlic powder & paprika – season with
salt/pepper. Fold in chopped spinach, bacon,
Parm & 3/4 C. mozzarella cheeses. Transfer
dip to a baking dish & sprinkle top with
remaining 1/4 C. Mozzarella cheese. Bake
25-30 minutes until golden & bubbly.
Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–
French Dip Pinwheels
(appetizer)

Pinwheels:
2 T. butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
kosher salt
ground black pepper
flour
2 (8 oz) tubes crescent dough
8 slices Provolone cheese
1/2 lb. deli roast beef
2 tsp. freshy thyme leaves

Au Jus:
1 T. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 C. (low-sodium) beef stock
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. freshy thyme leaves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet over medium-high heat,
melt butter. Add onion & thyme
sprigs – cook, stirring occasionally,
until onions begin to softened &
turn golden, 5 minutes. Season
with salt/pepper – reduce heat
to medium. Continue cooking,
stirring occasionally, 10-15
minutes more until onions are soft &
caramelized.

Assemble Pinwheels:

On a lightly floured surface, unroll
crescent dough – separate into 2
rectangles, pinching together seams.
Top each rectangle with Provolone,
roast beef & caramelized onions.
Starting at short side, roll up each
rectangle, pinching edges to seal.
Cut each roll into 4 slices & place on
prepared pan, cut sides up – top with
thyme leaves. Bake 35 minutes until
dough is golden.

Au Jus:

In small saucepan over medium heat
melt butter. Stir in garlic & cook 1 minute.
Add broth, Worc. sauce & thyme leaves –
season with salt/pepper. Simmer 10
minutes until slightly reduced. Serve
pinwheels warm with Au Jus for dipping.
Makes 10 servings.

NOTE: Be sure to roll them extra tight so
they don’t come apart when dipping.

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————-

(I threw this one in because I know that it’s a holiday recipe)

Southern Pea Salad

1 (16 oz) bag frozen sweet peas, thawed/
uncooked (can use canned)
2 eggs, hard-boiled/chopped
4-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled
(or 1 C. cooked/chopped ham)
1/2 C. chopped green onion (can use regular)
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or any kind)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery seeds (or 1/2 C. chopped celery)
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. sour cream

Combine uncooked, thawed peas, eggs, bacon/
ham (or both), onion, cheese, pepper/salt, garlic
powder, celery & cayenne in a large salad bowl.
Mix in mayo & sour cream. Refrigerate a few hours.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
======================
Hard to believe TOMORROW is CHRISTMAS
EVE! Seems the days are just flying by!

Hope you are all in the ‘home stretch’ of all
of your holiday preparations. Amidst it all –
remember to REST/RELAX a bit, ENJOY the
times – with friends/family, etc.
These ARE the times of our lives. To quote
a saying I have on my computer room wall:

“Enjoy the little things in life because, one day,
you’ll look back & realize they were the BIG
things!”
(Robert Brault)

Hugs;

Pammie

 

More Holiday Recipes!

We had a very light ‘dusting’ of snow last night (not enough to even worry about!). I noticed that our weather now says some freezing rain/snow possible tomorrow – oh well, we knew it was to be expected.

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

Soft Cinnamon Roll Cookies

3/4 C. butter, softened
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 C. buttermilk

Filling:

2 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. brown sugar
1-2 T. cinnamon

Glaze:

2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3-4 T. milk

In large bowl cream butter & sugar
until creamy; mix in vanilla. Add baking
soda to buttermilk & stir. Add 1 C. flour
slowly to butter mixture until combined.
Pour in buttermilk/soda & mix until
combined. Add rest of flour to mixture &
mix just until combined (do not over mix).
Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking
spray (or) line with parchment paper.
Generously flour countertop with flour. Turn
out dougn onto flour & shape into an approx.
12″ X 8″ rectangle, about 1/4″ thick. (Dough
will be very sticky). Spread butter evenly over
dough then sprinkle with brown sugar &
cinnamon. Roll up dough from long side, slowly
nudging it up as tightly as possible without
breaking the dough (don’t worry if there are some
little places that open up – lightly pinch them closed).
Refrigerate about 15 minutes then slice into 1″ slices,
wiping the sharp knife between cuts. Place cookies
on prepared sheets, at least 2 1/2 inches apart –
they will spread. Lightly reshape cookies into circles,
if needed, making sure the cinnamon sugar is showing
in spirals. Bake 18-20 minutes until lightly browned.
Transfer baked cookies to wire racks immediately to
cool.

After they’ve cooled: mix glaze ingredients until
smooth & desired texture – spoon glaze to completely
cover cookies & give them enough time to set up
before serving.  Serves 12

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

Mashed Sweet Potatoes w/Browned Butter

2 lb. sweet potatoes, fully baked/slightly
cooled
1/2 C. heavy cream
2-4 T. brown sugar
1 stick butter, divided
salt/pepper
nuts for topping (optional),
pecans, walnuts, your choice

While potatoes are cooling make browned
butter: Cut 5 T. butter into small pieces &
place in saucepan over medium heat – melt.
Turn up heat to medium-high & allow to start
a small boil. Continue stirring so butter solids
don’t stick or burn on bottom – continue
stirring gently making sure the solids aren’t
sticking to bottom & so it doesn’t boil over.
After 5-10 minutes butter will start to turn a
nice caramel color & start to smell fragrant
(it has a very nutty smell & taste when browned).
BE VERY careful not to allow butter to burn (it
can go from brown to burned very quickly.).

Peel slightly cooled potatoes & place in a large
bowl-mash using a potato masher or elec. mixer.
Add cream, remaining butter & 2 T. brown sugar.
Use remaining potato water to thin out your potatoes
to your liking. Season with salt/pepper & adjust
sweetness with more brown sugar, as needed.
From here you have 2 choices: Mix in browned
butter completely or pour it over the top when
serving. Top with chopped nuts & serve.
Serves 4

(recipe: aroundmyfamilytable.com)
————————————–

Sausage Quiche Squares
(appetizer)

1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 T. minced jalapeno pepper (optional)
10 large eggs
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet cook sausage until no longer
pink; drain & place in prepared dish.
Layer with cheeses, onion, chilies &
jalapeno (if using). In a bowl beat
eggs & seasonings – pour over cheese
in dish. Bake, uncovered, until a knife
inserted into center comes out clean –
18-22 minutes. Remove from oven &
cool 10 minutes then cut into 1-inch
squares.  Makes about 8 dozen

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————–

Cookie Dessert Bread

2 (5 oz, ea) tubs Vanilla Greek yogurt
1 1/2 C. self-rising flour
1/2 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. Chocolate chips & 1/3 C. for topping
1 T. vanilla

Glaze:
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla
1-2 tsp. milk or heavy cream (can use non-dairy
milk)

NOTE: you can use all non-dairy yogurt in place
of Greek yogurt & sour cream
=
Spray a bread loaf pan with nonstick cooking
spray.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl combine flour, sour cream,
sugar, yogurt, vanilla & choc. chips (reserving
1/3 C. extra for topping) – mix well. Pour
mixture into prepared pan & bake 45 minutes
to 1 hour. Check at 45 minutes – bake until a
toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out
clean. Let cool completely then invert to a wire
rack to finish cooling.

Glaze:

While bread is baking, make glaze. Mix
powdered sugar, vanilla & milk/heavy cream
together (add milk, a little at a time, so that
it doesn’t turn too watery). Pour glaze over
cooled bread & top with choc. chips.
Serves 16

(recipe: wishesndishes.com)
——————————————

Crockpot Horseradish Cheese Spread

2 lb. box Velveeta cheese, cut into
cubes
1 C. mayonnaise
1 (4 oz) jar cream horseradish
2 (4 oz, ea) jars diced pimentos, drained
dash hot sauce

Crackers – for dipping
=
In 4 qt. or larger crockpot place Velveeta
cubes, mayo, horseradish, pimentos & hot
sauce – stir. Cover & cook on High about an
hour 45 minutes, stirring about every 30
minutes. (NOTE: you can also heat this
on the stovetop in a saucepan, stirring
often). Spoon sauce into serving containers
with lids & refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Serve with crackers. Serves 25

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
—————————
Crockpot Brown Sugar Meatloaf

3 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 1/4 C. Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 C. milk
4 large eggs
2 pkts. dry onion soup mix
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Topping:
2 C. ketchup
1 C. brown sugar (light or dark)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Line crockpot with a crockpot liner or
spray insides with nonstick cooking spray.
Using your hands, in large bowl combine
ground beef, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs,
soup mix, salt/pepper & ginger. Place
mixture in bottom of crockpot & shape
into a loaf shape, keep it away from the
sides of the crockpot. Cover & cook on
Low 6-7 hours (until meat thermometer
inserted into center of loaf reads 160
degrees F.) About 1/2 hour before
end of cooking time  in small bowl
mix ketchup, brown sugar & Worc.
sauce – evenly spread over top of loaf;
finish cooking. Carefully remove loaf
from crockpot by either pulling the
liner with meatloaf inside or use
2 spatulas to lift loaf up & out of
crockpot. Place on a serving platter.
Serves 10

Freezer Instructions: Mix meatloaf
together & place in a 1 gallon ziplock
freezer bag (or foodsaver bag) – flatten
as much as possible inside bag. In 1 qt.
freezer bag mix topping ingredients. Seal
& freeze with meatloaf – Place smaller
bag inside bag with meatloaf & seal
larger bag closed by hand (or seal using
Foodsaver). Label bag with date prepared,
name of recipe, ingredients & cooking
instructions. Lay bag flat in freezer & allow
to freeze for several hours; then you can
stand the bag upright if needed. Contents
of meal must be allowed to thaw completely.
Remove from freezer, place in fridge until
completely thawed (about 24 hours). Remove
topping bag & set on a plate in fridge until
needed. Follow remaining directions in
recipe.

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
————————————

Crockpot Crustless Brown Sugar Pumpkin
Pie
(Done in crockpot with removable insert)

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (Libby’s)
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
2 eggs
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt

Line crockpot with foil & spray with nonstick
cooking spray*. Mix all ingredients in medium
bowl using a whisk, until smooth. Pour mixture
into prepared crockpot; cover & cook on High
2 1/2 hours until filling is set KEEP LID ON FOR
ENTIRE COOKING TIME. When cooking time is
done, remove lid. Remove ceramic insert from
base & place on a cooling rack 30 minutes.
(Poster serves hers with ice cream – if you want
to serve this cold, place insert in fridge.
Serves 8

*Poster uses 2 pieces of heavy-duty foil- she
makes a bowl at the bottom of the crockpot &
layers each piece on top of the other. She also
notes that it is easier to remove the foil with
the pie in it
after pie has cooled completely.

(recipe: themagicalslowcooker.com)
———————————

Crockpot Spinach & Artichoke Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened/cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) jar/can artichoke hearts, drained
& chopped
1 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
1 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Place all ingredients in 2.5 to 3.5 qt. crockpot-
stir to combine. Cover & cook on Low 2-3
hours, stirring occasionally until dip is hot &
all cheeses have melted. Serve in a bowl or
from crockpot on Warm setting.
Serves 10

NOTE: This dip can easily be turned into a
pasta sauce by adding 2-3 C. milk, Half & Half
or cream after dip has cooked. Slowly stir in
milk until it reaches a pourable consistency.
Serve over any type of cooked pasta..

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

Crockpot Chili Cheese Dip

2 cans Ro*TEL (poster used 1 can Mexican-
style & 1 can Chili Fixin’s)
1 can Wolf brand chili – homestyle flavor
1 (32 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cubed
1 T. chili powder

Pour Ro*Tel in bottom of crockpot; add
Velveeta & pour Wolf’s chili on top.
Sprinkle top with chili powder & stir.
Cover & cook on Low 1 hour, stirring
occasionally. If cheese has not blended,
cook another 1/2 hour, stirring
occasionally. Serve with corn chips for
dipping. Serves 12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
——————————–

Sugar & Spice Pecans

1 egg white
1 T. water
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 lb. pecan halves (about 2 C.)
(can use other nuts)

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Lightly grease a large, rimmed baking
sheet. Place egg white & water in a
bowl – beat using elec. mixer until
frothy. In a separate bowl, stir together
sugar, salt & cinnamon until well blended.
Pour pecans into frothed egg whites & stir
to coat well. Take a handful of nuts at a
time & gently toss them in the sugar
mixture with your fingers. Place on a
baking sheet & bake 30-40 minutes,
stirring every 10 minutes.

(recipe: southernplate.com)

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

Hope all of your holiday plans are coming
together nicely.

Hugs;

Pammie

Aaaand we’re on the ‘Home Stretch’!

Went out bright & early today to FINISH UP the shopping! Our middle son will be turning 30 Jan. 4th and I noticed in an ad for our local store: Meijers, that they had out the movie: “The House with a Clock in it’s Walls” – saw the previews last month and thought he would really enjoy this one, so got it today (along with a big bag of pistachios for my husband’s Christmas stocking). I’ve been going over the ‘food list’ for Christmas dinner and realized I didn’t have any desserts – good old Meijers bakery is GREAT for that so I picked up a really big pumpkin pie and a smaller sliced/variety cheesecake (with flavors like Lemon/Lime, Raspberry Swirl) – that should do the trick.

Going by our local Clark gas station today: $2.09/9 a gallon for gas! WOW! I really don’t remember seeing it that low in many, many years!

I survived my special needs group’s Christmas party Wednesday evening. This is the very FIRST time I have ever finished out the night and my back/legs/feet/hips were good – no pain! When we did the Harvest Party I was almost crawling at the end of the night attempting to walk across the gym for the 1,000th time – I decided NOT THIS TIME! I measured my walking and only did the entire gym a few times – YES! Spent yesterday sitting in my recliner knitting & relaxing – that was really nice.

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

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Cake:
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. orange zest
6 T. orange juice, divided
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. white chocolate chips

Glaze:
1 C.  white chocolate chips,
3 T. orange juice
dash salt


Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Spray a Bundt pan generously with
nonstick cooking spray & dust lightly
with flour (or use spray that also has
flour in it). In small bowl place flour,
baking powder & 1/4 tsp. salt – mix
to combine. In large bowl of stand
mixer add butter, brown & gran.
sugars – beat until fluffy, about 2
minutes. Add eggs – mix 1 minute.
Add orange zest, orange juice & vanilla;
mix until combined. Add dry flour bowl
ingredients to wet & beat 1 minute –
scrape down sides of bowl to ensure
all ingredients are well incorporated.
Add 1 C. white choc. chips & 1 1/2
C. fresh or frozen cranberries – mix
to incorporate then pour into prepared
pan – smooth top evenly. (batter will
be very thick).
Bake 45-55 minutes until a toothpick
inserted into middle of cake comes out
clean. Remove from oven & allow to
cool in pan 10 minutes. Place a wire rack
over top of pan, invert pan so that cake
is now on wire rack. Allow cake to cool
completely before adding glaze.

Glaze:
In medium pan on stove: add 1 C. white
choc. chips, 3 T. orange juice & dash salt
– stir over medium-high heat until chocolate
has melted & is smooth – drizzle over cooled
cake. Serves 12

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

Crockpot Chocolate Fudge

10 oz. chocolate chips (semi-sweet
or milk chocolate)
1 (16 oz.) tub prepared cake frosting
=
Optional toppings:

crushed peppermint candies, chopped
nuts, candy sprinkles, dried fruit,
chopped candy bars
=
Scoop frosting into bottom of 3 qt. crockpot;
add choc. chips & stir to combine. Cover &
cook on Low 1 to 1 1/2 hours. While choc.
mixture is cooking, line a 8 X 8″ baking pan
with parchment or waxed paper, leaving
paper on each side overhanging. Once choc.
mixture is melted, stir well to make sure
all is well combine & all chips are melted.
Pour mixture into prepared pan & spread
to smooth top evenly. Sprinkle top with
crushed peppermint candies, sprinkles,
chopped nuts or topping of your choice
(optional), pressing topping lightly with
your hand to make sure it sticks to fudge.
Refrigerate 2-3 hours. Cut cooled fudge
using a sharp knife. Makes 16 squares

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
——————————

Crockpot Green Beans w/Bacon

8 slices bacon, cut into small
pieces/cooked until crispy
2 lb. rinsed/trimmed fresh green
beans
1/2 C. yellow onion, diced/sauteed
with bacon until transparent.
1 potato, diced
1 1/2 C. chicken broth or stock
salt/pepper, to taste

Lightly spray insides of crockpot
with nonstick cooking spray. Add green
beans, black pepper, bacon (& drippings)
to crockpot – stir to make sure all are
mixed well. Add diced potatoes & broth/
stock – salt/pepper – to taste*. Cover &
cook on Low 6-8 hours or High 3-4
hours until beans reach your desired
level of tenderness. – adjust seasonings
to your liking & serve immediately.
Serves 8

*Poster says she frequently omits salt as
the bacon gives enough salty flavor.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————————

Sausage Cheese Balls

3 C. Bisquick baking mix
1 lb. uncooked bulk pork
sausage
4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2
tsp. dried flakes)

Barbecue or chili sauce, for dipping

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease bottom & sides of a jelly
roll pan or shallow casserole dish. In
large bowl mix all ingredients except
sauces for dipping, mix using your hands
or a spoon. Shape mixture into 1-inch
balls & place on pan. Bake 20-25 minutes
until brown. Immediately remove from pan.
Serve warm with dipping sauce.

Can be made ahead:
Cover & refrigerate unbaked balls up to
24 hours. Bake as directed. Cover & freeze
any unbaked balls up to 1 month. Preheat
oven 350 degrees.

Place frozen balls on ungreased cookie sheet
& bake 25-30 minutes until brown.

Place 6 frozen balls on a microwaveable plate;
loosely cover with waxed paper & microwave
on High 45 seconds to 1 minute until heated
through.

(recipe: Mike Suddaby-Facebook)
—————————————–
Ham & Cheese Rollups

1 (8 oz) tube crescent roll dough
1/2 lb. deli sliced ham
2 T. Dijon mustard
8 oz. sliced Swiss cheese
4 T. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. chopped parsley
1 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray. On a lightly
floured surface unroll dough &
separate the sheet into rectangles.
Pinch the perforations to seal. Spread
mustard onto each rectangle; top with
sliced ham & cheese. Starting with one
short side, roll up each rectangle, pinching
edges to seal. Cut each roll into 5-6 slices &
place, cut sides up, in baking pan.
In small bowl whisk melted butter, garlic powder
& parsley – brush over pinwheels then sprinkle
poppy seeds on top. Bake 12-15 minutes until
rolls are golden. Makes 6 servings

(recipe: delish.com)
——————————–

Overnight Blueberry French Toast
Casserole

12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch
cubes (Italian bread works best)
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cut into
1-inch cubes
1 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
12 eggs, beaten
2 C. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. maple syrup
1 C. granulated sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 C. water
1 C. fresh or frozen blueberries
1 T. butter

Lightly grease a 9 X 13″ baking dish. Arrange
half bread cubes in dish & top with cream
cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 C. blueberries over
cream cheese & top with remaining bread
cubes. In large bowl mix eggs,  milk, vanilla &
syrup – pour over bread cubes. Press the cubes
down a bit to ‘soak’ them in mixture. Cover
tightly & refrigerate overnight.

Remove bread cube mixture from fridge
30 minutes before baking.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cover with foil & bake 30 minutes. Uncover,
continue baking 25-30 minutes until center
is firm & surface is lightly browned. In medium
saucepan bring sugar, cornstarch & water to
a boil, stirring constantly – cook 3-4 minutes.
Mix in remaining 1 C. blueberries. Reduce heat
& simmer 10 minutes, until blueberries begin
to burst. Stir in butter & pour over baked
French toast. Serves 16

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

Crockpot Swedish Meatballs

1 T. butter
1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup,
undiluted
1 envelope Lipton beefy onion soup mix
1 (24 oz) pkg. frozen fully-cooked Swedish
meatballs (OR) 1 (26 oz) pkg. frozen fully
cooked homestyle meatballs
2/3 C. sour cream
2 T. minced fresh parsley (or) 2 tsp dried

Hot cooked noodles or mashed potatoes
to serve 10 (Optional)

In large skillet heat butter over medium-high
heat. Saute mushrooms until tender, 4-5
minutes – place in crockpot. Stir in broth,
chicken soup & soup mix – stir in meatballs.
Cover & cook on Low 5-6 hours, until flavors
blend. Stir in sour cream & Parsley. Cover &
cook until heated through, about 15 minutes.
Serve with cooked noodles or mashed
potatoes to serve 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-
Cream Cheese Mints

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 T. butter, softened
7-8 C. powdered sugar (start with 7,
reserve 1 C. for dipping later)
4-6 drops peppermint oil
(food coloring, if desired)

In large bowl place cream cheese, butter
& peppermint oil – using elec. mixer,
beat until fluffy. Add 7 C. powdered
sugar & beat again until dough is like
in consistency. It will seem stiff & dry at
first but after a minute or two it will
come together. (you can add coloring
at this point, if desired.) (If it’s too dry
to form balls after you’re done mixing,
add 1 T. milk & mix again.) Form into
small 1 inch balls & place on waxed paper.
Roll each ball in powdered sugar &
flatten slightly with your fingertip/
a fork/back of a spoon/bottom of a
glass or a tiny
seasonal pastry stamp. Allow mints
to dry a few hours before storing. If
they will be eaten in a day or two, you
can leave them out in an airtight
container – for longer storage, place
in fridge. Makes about 80 1-inch mints.

(recipe: southernplate.com)
==================

I’m thrilled our weather is still ‘good’ – today
it’s kind of misty/foggy & gloomy with temp.
at 38 degrees F. Looking at our weather
for the next week there are a few hints of
snow, but nothing showing any accumulation
so we can just hope it melts! (even Christmas
Day it says “chance of snow after 1 p.m., mostly
cloudy high near 34”. If we stay that way I’ll be
happy – Why, you ask? Because you can WALK,
DRIVE, TRAVEL
without worrying about slipping,
falling or getting into an accident when your car
slides on the roads!

Stay safe, warm and REMEMBER TO REST WHEN
YOU CAN!
If you ‘over-do’ it, you won’t have the
energy you need to get all your ‘stuff’ done! (that
is spoken from great experience in that area!).
I have babysitting at 1 p.m. today and have been
rejoicing in that TODAY is the only day I’ve had to
do that this week! YAY! (Don’t get me wrong – I
love my baby grandson but I also love my OWN
time) – at least I get a lot of knitting done when
sitting! (but then, I usually come home really
tired, so glad dinner is something simple:
steak & eggs – found 3 nice steaks on sale so
dinner will be easy!)

Hugs;

Pammie

More Catching Up to get done

Lately my days/weeks have been jam-packed with at least ONE thing to get done every day; that’s fine but it really makes planning for said things difficult when I don’t know when I’m going to be babysitting! Was kind of holding my breath yesterday (HOPING I wouldn’t get a text) – we spent a good 3 hours at the car dealership waiting for them to install a part on my van heater. I was really wondering WHY it was taking so long since they ordered the part & assured me it would be in Monday. (turns out they had to remove the entire dashboard to get to the heater part!). Finished knitting the peach baby blanket and (silly me) didn’t bring any other knitting – was REALLY getting bored: read 6 magazines, ate a little of their free popcorn, drank some free coffee – finally we were ready! Since I didn’t get ‘the text’, was able to get almost all the grocery shopping done for the coming holiday. I wanted to give one of our adult helpers in my special needs group a loaf of some sort of fruit bread – finally settled on Apple Cinnamon (and will add applesauce instead of water) to the mix (YES-I’m always looking for a QUICK fix for baking, so I bought a mix!).  Also, every year we give our mail person/lady a plate of cookies so I bought some at our local grocery store – they look homemade, so we’re good there! (CHECK! One more thing off my to-do list!). Tonight is my Panera Knit/Crochet group’s Christmas gathering. I like to treat the ladies to Panera chocolate chip cookies & I add mini candy bars to the platter – my way of saying Thanks for being a part of my group. (Ordered Panera cookies on line – CHECK!). HOPEFULLY after tomorrow night I’ll be pretty much free of the dreaded ‘GOT-TO-DO’S’! Was able to purchase most of what I put in my guys Christmas stockings at the drug store today so that’s also done! CHECK!

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

Cake Mix Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 (16.5 oz) box deluxe moist yellow
cake mix
2/3 C. butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 C. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon

In large bowl combine
dry cake mix, butter & eggs – chill
1 hour.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. In a small dish mix
sugar & cinnamon together. Roll
dough into 1-inch balls & roll in
cinn/sugar mixture – place on
prepared baking sheet 2 inches
apart. Bake 10-12 minutes
Makes 25-30 cookies

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
———————————

Apple-Cranberry Crumb Bars

1/2 C. butter
1 box (2 layer) yellow cake mix
2 eggs, divided
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 (8 oz, ea) pks. cream cheese,
softened
1/2 C. sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled/chopped
1 C. fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil, with
ends of foil extending over sides. Micro-
wave butter in large microwaveable bowl
on High 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until melted.
Add dry cake mix, 1 egg & cinnamon; beat
using elec. mixer until blended. Press 2/3
of dough onto bottom of prepared pan. Beat
cream cheese & sugar using elec. mixer until
blended. Add remaining egg; mix well-spread
over crust & top with fruit. Pinch small pieces
of remaining dough between your fingers; press
lightly into cream cheese layer. Bake 45-50
minutes until center is almost set. Cool completely
& refrigerate 1 hour. Using foil ‘handles’, lift
dessert from pan before cutting into bars.
Makes 32 bars

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

Crockpot Bacon/Cheeseburger Dip

1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
8 oz. cream cheese, cubed
2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes with
green chilies
1 (6 oz) pkg. real bacon bits, divided:
(reserve 2 T. for garnish)
1 tsp. dried parsley

Assorted dippers
=
Brown ground meat in large skillet/drain.
Over Low heat, stir in cheeses, tomatoes &
juices, bacon bits; cook, stirring frequently
until all is heated through & well blended.
Pour into 2 qt. crockpot; cover & cook on
Low 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in
parsley & sprinkle with remaining bacon bits
just before serving.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)
——————————

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

1 (30 oz) pkg. frozen shredded
hash brown potatoes
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked/
drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
12 large eggs
1 C. milk (2%)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick
cooking spray. Layer half of potatoes,
sausage, onion, chilies & cheese – repeat
layers. In large bowl whisk eggs, milk,
salt/pepper – pour on top of mixture.
Cover & cook on Low 7-9 hours or until
eggs are set. Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————–

Farmers Casserole  (OVEN)
(overnight recipe – possibly
breakfast?)

3 C. frozen hash browns
3/4 C. shredded Monterrey Jack or
Pepper Jack cheese
1 C. cooked, cubed ham
1/4 C. chopped green onion
4 eggs, well beaten
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with nonstick
cooking spray. Arrange hash browns evenly
on bottom of dish; sprinkle top with cheese,
ham, onions. In a small bowl combine eggs,
evap. milk & seasonings – pour over potatoes/
cheeses. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Bake casserole 40-50 minutes until set.
Let rest 5 minutes then cut & serve.

(recipe: food.com/Mike Suddaby/FB)
—————————

Grandma’s Sweet & Sour Meatballs

2 lb. lean ground beef
2 C. plain bread crumbs
1 C. milk
1 egg
salt/pepper, to taste

Sauce:
1 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 (20 oz) can pineapple chunks in
juice (including juice)
1 C. chopped onion
2/3 C. brown sugar
1 C. ketchup
1 C. water
4 T. vinegar
4 T. Worcestershire sauce

Cooked rice, noodles or
mashed potatoes to serve 10

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients in large bowl –
form into balls & place on prepared
dish in single layer. Combine all
sauce ingredients in another bowl &
pour over meatballs. Bake 1 hour
uncovered. Serve over cooked noodles,
rice or mashed potatoes.  Serves 10

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

Reuben Nachos

1 large bag bagel chips
1/2 lb. deli corned beef, chopped
into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C. sauerkraut
1 1/2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 T. horseradish
Russian salad dressing, for serving
2 T. chives, finely chopped

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Scatter an even layer of bagel chips
on large rimmed baking sheet. Top
with half of sauerkraut, cheese &
horseradish. Add second layer of
bagel chips & top with remaining
sauerkraut/cheese/horseradish. Bake
until cheese is melted & chips are
slightly golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Drizzle nachos with Russian dressing
& garnish with chives. Serve warm.
Serves 8

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————–

Best Chicken Ever

4 boneless, skinless chicken
breasts cut in half (long way)
1 pkt. Ranch salad dressing mix
3/4 C. Panko bread crumbs
3/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 C. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a medium baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.*
In medium bowl mix Ranch mix,
bread crumbs & Parmesan cheese.
Rinse chicken & pat dry using paper
towels. Melt butter in medium
microwaveable bowl. Dip each
piece of chicken into melted butter,
covering both sides. Press each
side of chicken in breading mix &
place in prepared dish. Sprinkle
rest of breading mix over chicken.
Bake 45 minutes.

*Poster also lined the baking dish
with foil, then sprayed with nonstick
spray – this prevents chicken sticking.

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

Easy Pistachio Pie

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. Jell-O pistachio instant
pudding mix
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple with
juices
1 C. miniature marshmallows
1 (8 oz) tub Cool whip (OR) 1 C.
heavy whipping cream whipped to
stiff peaks
1 prepared pie crust* baked & cooled

In large bowl beat cream cheese &
dry pudding mix until light & fluffy. Beat
in crushed pineapple with juices – stir
in marshmallows. Fold in Cool Whip
(or whipped cream). Spoon mixture
into pie crust & chill at least 2 hours.
Optional Toppings:
Beat whipped cream & powdered sugar
together until stiff peaks form – pipe
on top of pie.
Maraschino cherries
Chopped pistachios

*Poster uses Nilla Wafer Pie crust
There is enough filling for a 9.5 inch
pie plate – you can serve extra filling
as a dessert.

(recipe: momontimeout.com)

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

Hope all of your holiday plans are coming
together for you. I’m a List Maker – you will
find me with lists all over the place; my
attempt at trying to NOT FORGET anything!
(Example: today I had THREE grocery lists-
one for each of the two small grocers very
near to my house, One list for CVS and another
for Krogers). I read each of the store’s flyers
and then made my lists according to who had
the best prices for the items I needed to buy.
(Wish I’d remembered to bring my Kroger
list with me – planning on going there Weds.
but without that list I couldn’t remember who
had the best price on cream cheese or stick
butter, just to mention a few things . . . sigh).
(another example – while waiting at a red light
I suddenly remembered I needed to get gas
so I wrote that in BIG letters at the bottom
of my grocery list – just so I wouldn’t FORGET!)
…it worked!

Enjoy your day – enjoy your plans and try NOT
to STRESS over all the little things. NO MATTER
WHAT – life goes on. Better it go on with you
not having an ulcer over the stress of the moment.

Hugs;

Pammie

Cookin’ up a big ole pot of Chili!

Even though our weather is not exactly ‘right’ for this time of year in Michigan (it’s in the 40’s today & sunny – no snow!) I felt like it was time to make a ‘stick-to-your-ribs’ pot of chili. I make a really big batch and it goes quickly with three guys in the house. (I like it because I make it one day then only have to reheat portions for the following days – easy!)

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

Ultimate Sugar Cookies
overnight recipe
(soft cookies – like Lofthouse)

1/2 C. unsalted butter (softened)
3/4 c. plus 2 T. sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. sour cream
1/4 tsp. salt
3 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Frosting:
4 C. powdered sugar
1/4 C. unsalted butter, room temp.
1/4 C. shortening
1/4 C. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp. salt
Optional additions:
food coloring
candy sprinkles
=
In medium bowl whisk flour, baking
powder, baking soda & salt. In another
bowl (of stand mixer) using elec. mixer
beat butter on medium speed 1 minute
until fluffy; add sugar & continue beating
until creamy & smooth – 3 minutes. Add
egg, egg white & vanilla; mix until smooth.
Mix in sour cream & salt – beat at Low speed
until combined. Slowly stir in dry ingredients;
beat at Low speed until just combined, scraping
down bowl as needed. Cover bowl & chill
at least 2 hours or overnight.
=
Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment
paper (or a silicone mat). Using a 1 ounce
cookie scoop (or-roll dough into balls a little
smaller than a golf ball). Fill a cup with water
& moisten your fingertips as you press each
ball onto parchment paper. Form balls into
a circle that is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
Leave about 1/2 inch between cookies on
sheets. Bake 14-16 minutes until dough has
puffed up & is firm (do not let them brown)
Transfer to a wire rack & cool completely
before frosting.
===
Frosting:
In large bowl combine powdered sugar, butter,
shortening, milk, vanilla, salt & food coloring-
mix until well combined. Once cookies have
cooled completely, frost & add sprinkles (if
using). Allow frosting to set then store in air-
tight container.  Makes 28 cookies

(recipe: myrecipemagic.com)
——————————–

Easy Jalapeno Popper Bites
(appetizers)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened*
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno peppers/seeded/diced-
use less or more depending on preference)
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
8 oz. Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
48 tortilla Scoops chips

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 large baking sheets with
parchment paper. In medium bowl
stir cream cheese, green onions, jalapenos,
bacon, Pepper Jack & Chedd. cheese.
Place Scoops chips on baking sheets &
spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling into
each chip. Top with additional bacon &
cheese if desired. Bake 8-10 minutes until
filling is bubbly & cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.

*can use light cream cheese also

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————————–

Crockpot Cashew Candy Clusters

24 oz. unsalted dry roasted cashews
4 oz. unsweetened dark baking
chocolate
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 lb. vanilla almond bark
1 tsp. vanilla

Lay out paper (or foil) cupcake liners
(about 50) on a flat surface.
Spray 5 qt or larger crockpot insides
with nonstick cooking spray. Add
cashews, dark choc., choc. chips &
van/almond bark to bottom of crockpot.
Cover & cook 1 hour on LOW, stirring
every 15 minutes using a rubber spatula.
Continue cooking 1-2 hours more, stirring
every 30 minutes until all chocolate is
melted. Stir in vanilla extract. Using a
large kitchen spoon, scoop mixture into
cupcake liners & allow to cool completely
before eating or packaging. Makes about 50

NOTE: You can also add pretzel bits, dry
cereal, different nuts (or mini marshmallows
at very end as you’re spooning mixture into
cupcake liners).

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
——————————

Apple Cider Ham

9-10 lb. fully cooked, smoked,
bone-in half ham
whole cloves (optional)
1 3/4 C. apple cider (or apple juice)
divided*
2/3 C. light brown sugar
1/3 C. pepper jelly
1/4 C. honey
3 T. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. Creole/Cajun seasoning
(or to taste) optional

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line a roasting pan (that is just large
enough for the ham) with foil. Add
another section of foil for wrapping
loosely around ham. Trim ham of
excess fat & score on top of ham,
about 1-inch apart, creating a diamond
pattern. Stud pattern with whole cloves
if desired. Place ham, cut side down in
pan. Pour 1 C. apple cider on bottom of
pan, cover ham loosely with another
sheet of foil. Bake 30 minutes.
(Meanwhile):
In medium bowl combine brown sugar,
pepper jelly, honey, mustard & Creole/
Cajun seasoning to form a thick paste.
Remove ham from oven & uncover.
Pour brown sugar mixture over ham
using a spatula to spread all over. Add
remaining cider to bottom of pan; cover
ham loosely & cook 1 1/2 – 2 hours
longer, depending on size of ham,
basting with pan juices about every
20 minutes.
Remove foil for last 20
minutes of cooking time. Let rest 15
minutes before carving; dredge cut
slices in drippings before plating.
Serves about 12

*can also substitute ginger ale, Sprite
or 7UP.

NOTE: You can also garnish ham with
pineapple rings & cherries last 20
minutes of cooking time.

(recipe: deepsouthdish.com)
———————————–

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole
(overnight recipe)

1 (14.5 oz) can diced potatoes (or
1 3/4 C. cooked/diced potatoes)
2 links cooked Chorizo sausage,
diced (3 1/2 oz)
2 (4.5 oz, ea) cans chopped green
chilies,undrained
2 C. shredded Colby-Monterey Jack
cheese
12 large eggs
1/2 C. chopped scallions
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt (like Adobo)
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin (seeded,
if desired)
4 oz. (1 small) Haas avocado, sliced
1 C. chunky mild salsa

Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. Place potatoes
in dish & top with chorizo, green chilies
& 1 C. cheese. In medium bowl beat
eggs, scallions & seasoning salt using a
whisk until well blended – pour over
potato mixture. Cover & refrigerate
overnight.
=
Remove from fridge
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Bake, uncovered, 55-60 minutes until a
knife inserted near center comes out
clean. Top with remaining 1 C. cheese &
jalapeno slices. Bake 2 more minutes until
cheese melts. Cut into 10 squares & serve
with salsa & avocado. Serves 10

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
————————————

Company Rice

1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 T. butter
5 C. chicken broth
1 C. uncooked wild rice
1 C. uncooked long grain rice
2/3 C. dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 C. chopped pecans, toasted

In large sauce pan saute celery, carrot &
onion in butter until tender. Stir in broth
& wild rice – bring to boil. Reduce heat,
cover & simmer 25 minutes. Add long-
grain rice, cover & simmer 20 minutes
longer. Stir in cherries; cook 5 minutes
longer until liquid is absorbed. Just before
serving stir in pecans.
Serves 10

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Crockpot Roasted Garlic Mashed
Potatoes

5 lb. red potatoes, washed, mostly
peeled (or you can completely peel)
& cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic
salt/pepper
1 tsp. chicken bullion granules
1 C. warm water
8 T. butter, divided
1/3 C sour cream
1/2 C. milk

Place potatoes in crockpot & sprinkle
generously with salt/pepper. Place
garlic in center of a small square of
foil & wrap up foil like a Hershey’s
kiss; place bundle in corner of crockpot.
Pour chicken bullion into water & stir
then pour over top of potatoes. Cut 4
T. butter into small pieces & place in
random spots over top of potatoes.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours (or Low
7-8 hours depending on how fast your
crockpot works). When potatoes are
fork-tender, remove tin foil packet,
open it & smash garlic using a fork –
add half of garlic into crockpot (If
you want more garlic flavor, you can
add a bit more after everything is all
mixed together – better to start with
a little bit at first). Pour milk, 4 T.
butter & 1/3 C. sour cream into
crockpot; using elec. mixer, blend
everything together until potatoes
are fluffy & smooth. You can add
more milk if they are too thick.
Taste & adjust seasonings/garlic.
Serves 10-12

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

Chewy Gingerbread Bars

3/4 C. butter, melted
1 C. sugar
1/4 C. molasses
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 T. butter, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
dash salt
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
In bowl of stand mixer or large
mixing bowl pour melted
butter, sugar & molasses -beat
until well combined. Add egg &
beat until smooth. In separate
bowl mix all dry ingredients –
pour mixed dry ingredients into
mixer bowl & beat just until
combined. Press dough into
prepared pan. Bake 15-20
minutes (DO NOT over bake).
It is done when a wooden
toothpick is inserted into center
& comes out clean. Remove pan
from oven & allow to cool completely.
(bars will continue to cook at bit as
they cool.)

Mix all frosting ingredients together
using elec. mixer & beat until smooth.
Frost cooled bars & refrigerate 1 hour
then cut & serve. Store leftover bars
in fridge or freezer.

NOTE: This recipe can be doubled:
Use a large jelly roll pan (11 1/2 X
16″). Bake 20-25 minutes. Follow rest
of recipe directions.

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

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

It’s going to be another crazy/busy week coming up –
just finished the Senior Choir’s Christmas program
this morning so that’s 1 check off – this Wednesday
is my special needs group’s Christmas dinner/program –
after that I’m pretty well FREE of big commitments
(at least until after Christmas!).

Started another baby blanket yesterday that’s a copy
of one I did a few months ago (a Feather & Fan pattern)-
I liked it so well I decided to do another one! Have a
little more knitting to do on the peach colored baby
blanket and a bigger amount of knitting on a red &
white striped scarf for charity (I’m not planning on
getting that done before the holiday).

Hope you are all in good health and enjoying the
Christmas season. I have a tiny bit of baking left
to do (I like to give loaves of bread for some of
my friends & cookies for our mail lady – those are
on my list for this week).

Hugs;

Pammie

 

PS: Gas Prices are now down to: $2.19/9  WOW!!!

Cruisin’ Along

This was the week of ‘something going on EVERY day’ – in an hour we have to be at the car dealership to get my mini van looked at – smelling antifreeze BIG TIME. Weather is good (for December in Michigan, that is -) it’s raining (but it’s not SNOW!) and 36 degrees F.  Checking the upcoming week, no snow in the forecast – YAY!

Lots of recipes to share; I was going over my grocery list for the week of Christmas just to make sure I don’t forget anything (also went through all the Christmas presents for that same thing – I thought I was missing a present for one of the sons AND I AM! Checked the emails & they say it’s been delivered, so time to check the mailbox a little later today to make sure! Hope you HAVE all your presents that you might have ordered; seems this year that more people are stealing packages right off peoples doorsteps! Terrible!

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

 Sausage & Egg Hash Brown Cups

1 pkg. (Jimmy Dean) premium pork
sausage
1 (20 oz) pkg. refrigerated hash browns
4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste
12 medium eggs
1/4 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 T. chives, thinly sliced

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Divide sausage into 12 equal patties &
place on baking sheet – bake 15 minutes.
Increase oven temp. to 450 degrees F.
In large bowl combine hash browns,
1 C. cheese, olive oil, salt/pepper – toss
to combine. Generously spray 12 muffin
cups with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop
out rounded 1 quarter cup of hash brown
mixture & press into each cup. Use a spoon
or your fingers to pack mixture tightly. Spray
with additional nonstick cooking spray &
bake 15 minutes.
Reduce oven temp. to 350 degrees F.
Remove pan from oven & use a spoon to
carefully press hash browns down & up
the sides of each cup to create a ‘cup or
nest’ shape. Place 1 sausage patty in each
cup, trimming patties if needed. Carefully
top each sausage with an egg. Sprinkle
remaining cheese on top of each egg &
season with additional salt/pepper, if
desired. Bake 12-15 minutes until eggs
are set. Allow to rest 5 minutes before
carefully removing cups with a spoon.
Top with fresh cut chives, if desired.
Makes 12 cups

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
————————————

Seafood-lovers Baked Crab Dip

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. grated onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. mayonnaise
2 dashes hot sauce (more if you like)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (12 oz) pkg. lump crab meat, drained
1 (14 oz) pkg. Gorton’s Popcorn shrimp
(freezer section of grocery store)

Optional Dippers:
toasted baguette slices
crackers
chips
=
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Place shrimp on a baking sheet & bake
12 minutes, turning after 5 minutes.
In large bowl combine cream cheese, Parm.
cheese, onion, garlic, mayo & hot sauce-
mix until combined. Fold in green onion &
crab – being careful not to over mix. Remove
shrimp from oven & reduce oven heat to
375 degrees F.
Scoop crab dip into a 3 qt baking dish &
smooth top evenly. Bake 20-23 minutes
until top is golden brown. Remove from
oven & top with baked popcorn shrimp.
Return to oven & bake an additional
15 minutes. Serve with optional
dippers.  Serves 12

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

Cranberry-Cream Cheese Cookies

1 1/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/2 C. apricot preserves, divided
1/4 C. finely chopped pecans,
divided

In large bowl combine flour & baking
soda. In another bowl beat cream cheese,
butter, sugar & vanilla using elec. mixer until
blended -gradually beat in flour mixture.
Refrigerate 30 minutes. (Meanwhile):
Place cranberries in a small bowl; add
enough boiling water to cover – let stand
10  minutes until softened; drain.
Divide dough in half. Place 1 half between two
lightly floured sheets of waxed paper & roll
into a 9-inch square – repeat with remaining
dough to make second square. Remove top
sheet of waxed paper from first dough square
& spread half of preserves over dough to within
1/2 inch of edges. Top evenly with half of EACH:
cranberries & nuts – roll up, starting at one side
of dough & using bottom sheet of waxed paper
to help roll dough up. Wrap in plastic wrap &
repeat with remaining ingredients. Freeze logs
2 hours.
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unwrap logs & cut each log into 18
slices. Cover 2 baking sheets with
parchment paper & place slices on
sheets – 2 inches apart. Bake 12-14
minutes until edges are golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on sheets then remove to
wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 18 cookies

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
———————————–
Easy Maple-Chocolate Fudge

1 (6 oz) pkg. pecan halves, divided
3 (4 oz, ea) pkgs. white chocolate
broken into small pieces
3/4 C. canned sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. maple extract

Line a 8 X 8″ pan with foil with ends of foil
extending over sides. Reserve 25 pecan
halves & chop remaining nuts. In a micro-
wavable bowl, microwave chocolate & milk
on High 2-3 minutes until almost melted,
stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate
is completely melted & mixture is well blended.
Stir in maple extract & chopped nuts – pour
into prepared pan. Refrigerate 2 hours until
firm. Using foil “handles”, remove fudge from
pan before cutting into squares. Press 1 of the
reserved nuts into top of each square before
serving. Makes 25 pieces

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
———————————

Apricot Honey Pork Loin

1 (2-3 lb) pork loin
3 T. cooking oil
1/3 C. apricot preserves
1 T. spicy brown mustard
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. soy sauce
fresh chopped parsley -garnish
(optional)

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Slice pork loin crosswise into 1/4 to
1/2 inch slices. Brown slices in oil
in skillet, on both sides. Whisk
remaining ingredients in a bowl.
Place browned pork slices in a
casserole dish. Pour apricot &
honey mixture over the slices.
Cover with foil & bake 35-40
minutes. (can add chopped
parsley before serving).
Serves about 8, depending on
size of the pork loin.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
—————————————
Brown Butter Pork Chops w/Mushrooms

4 T. unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 thick-cut boneless pork chops
1 C. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried thyme
1/4 C. flour
1 to 1 1/2 C. whole milk (or heavy cream)
salt/pepper, to taste

In large skillet over medium-low heat, heat
butter with garlic until melted – heat until
butter foams, stirring constantly to prevent
overflowing. Once foam subsides, continue
to heat until brown bits form at bottom of
skillet & a nutty aroma is produced. Add
chops & cook on each side until cooked
through, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove
cooked chops to a plate & tent loosely
with foil. Lower heat on skillet to Low
& add mushrooms, oregano & thyme to
butter – cook until mushrooms are slightly
softened & cooked. Whisk in flour until
no lumps remain. Slowly stir in milk until
desired gravy consistency is achieved.
Season with salt & pepper to taste. With
heat still on Low, return chops to gravy
for about 5 minutes. Serves 3

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

Crockpot Cheesy Bacon Ranch
Potatoes

4 medium potatoes, washed/sliced

1 (1 oz) pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 lb. bacon, cooked/diced
2 1/2 C. Cheddar cheese, shredded
(reserve 1/2 C. )

Line a 4 to 4.5 qt. crockpot with foil
allowing enough extra to fold over
before cooking – spray foil with nonstick
cooking spray. Layer ingredients in
crockpot: potatoes, onion, bacon,
dry ranch mix & cheese into at least
2 layers. Once all ingredients are layered,
fold foil over top of potatoes. Cover &
cook on Low 4-6 hours. Garnish top with
remaining 1/2 C. cheese. Serves 4

NOTE: DO NOT forget to spray foil – if you
don’t some of the potatoes & cheese will
stick to the foil

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
——————————

5-ingredient Rocky Road Peanut Clusters

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. butterscotch chips
1 T. vegetable oil or shortening
1 1/2 C. roasted/lightly salted peanuts
1 1/2 C. miniature marshmallows

Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
In large microwave-safe bowl melt choc. &
butterscotch chips & oil together. Heat on
High 30 seconds, stir & repeat until chips
are melted & smooth. Quickly stir in nuts
& marshmallows.
Drop spoonfuls of mixture
onto waxed paper (you can make them as
large or small as you wish). Refrigerate
sheet 15 minutes before serving/packaging.
Store leftovers in an airtight container.
Makes 24 (depending on size you make them)

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
=====================

Went to the doctor yesterday for my ‘every 3 month’
checkup & he was happy with the weight loss. We talked
about my diabetes and he said he’s still happy with how
I’m controlling it. Still have to wait on the blood test
results to see if my ‘radical weight loss idea’ really helped
lower my A1C (that’s a test for how your body handles
sugar – it’s a compilation of 3 months together) – am
really hoping it’s lowered some!

Try to stay warm, remember to take breaks so you
don’t OVER DO it! I’m really glad I started early
this year; still have to bake 3 loaves of banana bread
& wrap presents but those tasks can be spread over
several days so not so stressful – YAY!

Hugs;

Pammie

Almost there!

Slowly but surely we’re getting the decorating done – ONE tree up/ONE left to do (the tiny one on top of the baby grand piano). Got ALL the house decorations up – YAY! Last night while I was watching the cooking channel my husband comes in and says: “Let’s go – we’re going to try ONE MORE TIME to find your ceramic snowmen.” (Let’s just say I wasn’t really in the mood, but I went, anyway.) He poked & prodded spots I’d already checked multiple times but then . . . he says: “What’s in THIS box?” I said; “I don’t know – it’s not with the Christmas stuff, I didn’t check that.” He says: “Well, isn’t’ that a snowman sticking out?” YEP!!! YAY!!! I was thrilled, been bugged about not finding them for days now (prayed on it, too). While I’m putting them in their respective places he says “Let me see one of those” – he looks on the bottom & goes on line (I’d done this a few years ago but didn’t get anywhere) – turns out he found the company that makes them AND some that were for sale on EBay & Amazon! I checked – he said: “If you really like them – GET THEM!” So . . . long story short – I have three coming in the mail! SUPER! (I leave them up after Christmas because they just cheer up the house a bit).

This is one of them – I just love the details in them – each one looks like it’s knitted, etc. SO CUTE!

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

Pumpkin Cookies w/Brown Butter
Icing

Cookies:
1/2 C. butter, softened
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. clove
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Icing:
3 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. unsalted butter
1/4 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream butter & sugars.
Add pumpkin, egg & vanilla -beat
until well-blended. In another large
bowl combine remaining ingredients
(all dry ingredients). Add dry to pumpkin
mixture & beat until just combined.
Drop on cookie sheets by Tablespoonfuls
& flatten slightly. Bake 10-12 minutes until
edges are lightly browned. Remove cookies
to a wire rack & cool completely.

Icing:
In medium bowl place powdered sugar. Melt
butter in a small saucepan over medium heat,
stirring frequently until golden brown. It will
develop brown flecks & a nutty fragrance –
about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool 2-3
minutes & pour over powdered sugar. Add milk
& vanilla – vigorously whisk mixture until smooth.
Icing should be thin enough to spread, but not
runny or drippy. Add additional milk or powdered
sugar as needed, to achieve desired consistency.
Spread approximately 1 T. icing on each cookie.
Allow to set before serving. Makes 36 cookies

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

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

4 (14.5 oz, ea) cans Italian stewed
tomatoes
4 T. flour
4 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C. Half & Half
1 C. chicken broth, warmed
1 (12-24 oz.) pkg. tortellini
(poster used fresh)

Place tomatoes in blender; add flour,
melted butter, salt & a dash or 2 of
pepper – blend until smooth (should
take a few minutes). Pour mixture
into a large soup pot & bring to boil
over medium-high heat, while
stirring. Reduce heat & cook 2-3
minutes.
In a large pot add water & salt –
bring to a boil & add tortellini. Cook
just enough so they are easy to bite
through – a few minutes. Drain & pour
cold water over cooked tortellini. Add
Half & Half & baking soda to tomato
pot -stir to combine. (it will froth up
a bit). Cook & stir occasionally,
until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Add
warmed chicken broth-stir to combine.
Add cooked tortellini just before serving.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: If soup gets too thick, add a bit
more chicken broth

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

Crockpot Salty/Sweet/Crunchy
Goodness (snack bark)

1/2 C. butter, sliced
1 (11.5 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. creamy peanut butter
2 C. corn chips, coarsely crushed
2 C. mini pretzel twists, coarsely crushed

Place all ingredients (except corn chips &
pretzels) in crockpot & stir. Cover & cook
on High 30-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once chocolate is completely melted, add
corn chips & pretzels – gently stir until
everything is well coated. Line a cookie sheet
with parchment paper & spread mixture
evenly with a wooden spoon onto sheet.
Place sheet in fridge about 1 hour until
mixture sets up. Break into pieces &
serve. Serves 10-12

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

Shrimp in Mushroom Cream Sauce

1 lb. small shrimp, peeled/uncooked
3 T. unsalted butter, divided
1 (10.25 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
2 large buttom mushrooms, chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 C. heavy cream
kosher salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese (OR) Roman
cheese

Cooked basmati rice to serve 4

Melt 2 T. butter in large skillet over medium-
high heat. Add shrimp & cook until pink &
opaque on both sides; remove from pan.
Add remaining 1 T. butter to pan – turn heat
to High. Add chopped mushrooms & garlic,
cooking until mushrooms begin to sear. Mix
soup & cream in small bowl & pour into pan.
Add cheese & heat until soup mixture just
begins to boil. Place shrimp back into skillet &
heat through. Garnish with chopped fresh
parsley if desired.Serve immediately over
cooked basmati rice. Serves 4

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

Christmas Morning Punch

2 C. orange juice
2 C. cranberry juice
1 C. pineapple juice
1 C. ginger ale

Combine all ingredients in a
pitcher – serve cold.

(recipe: facebook)
—————————–

Cheesy Turkey/Bacon Sliders

15 slider buns
1 lb. shredded turkey
1 lb. bacon, cooked
1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced Provolone cheese
1/4 C. butter, melted
3 T. honey mustard
2 tsp. poppy seeds

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Slice slider buns horizontally & arrange
bun bottoms in a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
Layer turkey, bacon & cheese on top of
rolls & place tops on buns. Cut in between
the slider buns to separate. In a small
bowl mix butter, honey-mustard & poppy
seeds – brush mixture on bun tops to cover
the buns & drip between them.
Bake 20 minutes. Makes 15 sliders

(recipe: julieseatsandtreats.com)
———————————

Marshmallow Squares

1/2 C. peanut butter
1 (12 oz) pkg. butterscotch chips
1/2 C. butter
3 C. miniature marshmallows

Spray a 8 X 8″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray.
In small pot melt butter, chips &
peanut butter over Low heat. Cool,
add marshmallows & pour into
prepared pan. Allow to cool &
cut into squares.

(recipe: deliciousfoodhomemade.com)

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

Our weather is still holding out – (no snow) YAY!
I need to run to the drug store after I finish here –
so nice to not have to fight with scraping snow off
car windows, slipping & sliding on roads; I know it’s
coming but SUPER GLAD it’s not here . . . yet!

Hope your holiday plans are coming together – all
my presents (that I know of) are purchased, just
have to be wrapped (I’m notorious for waiting ’til
the last minute for that).

Stay healthy, warm & in a GREAT HOLIDAY spirit!

Hugs;

Pammie