Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Before my family got too into our New Year's Eve celebrations, I wanted to take a second to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

It has been so fun meeting other people who love to cook and experiment with food as much as I do.

I wish for you a 2009 full of new recipes, succesful baking, no additional pounds for all of our efforts and always friends and family around our tables because that is the reason why we all cook to begin with!

Happy New Year!

Here is the appetizer my family is munching on right now while waiting for our New Year's Supper to be ready:

Spicy Shrimp Dip

1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled, and deveined
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
4 scallions (green onion), chopped fine
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tbsp. Tony's Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Boil peeled and deveined shrimp just until cooked. Chop into small pieces. Fold shrimp, scallions, jalapenos, garlic, seasoning and lemon juice into softened cream cheese. Let mixture stand overnight for flavors to blend. Serve with your choice of crackers.

Non-Alcoholic New Year's Drinks

Note: Ring in the New Year the non-alcoholic way! No designated driver needed.

Non-Alcoholic White Sandria

4 cups white grape juice
1 cup pink grapefruit juice
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 2 litre Sprite

Mix together grape juice, grapefruit juice and lime juice in a pitcher. Just before serving adding Sprite and garnish with pink grapefruit slices.

The Shirley Temple

3 ounces of Sprite
3 ounces of ginger ale
splash of grenadine

Mix Sprite, ginger ale, a splash of grenadine and ice in a glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.


4 ounces orange juice
1 shot of cranberry juice
1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
2 drops of vanilla extract
1/2 ounce sparkling water with ice
wedge of lime

Mix orange juice, one shot of cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, vanilla extract, half an ounce of sparkling water with ice. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the drink and use it to garnish the glass.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black Eye Pea Soup

Note: Not eating black eye peas on New Year's day is a no-no! Getting my boys to eat them is sometimes impossible. Maybe this soup I found at Blessed with Grace will be the key!

Black Eyed Pea Soup

1 box Velveeta
1 pound browned ground beef ( I usually also cook a chopped onion with the meat for added flavor)
2 cans of black eyed peas
1 can pinto beans
1 can rotel
1 can stewed/diced tomotoes

Put all in large pot and cook until cheese is melted. Don't forget to make some cornbread to add to this meal. We like cheap and easy. Jiffy cornbread is a favorite for us!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Favorite Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Note: Having this salad in my refrigerator is dangerous for me. I can eat this salad for breakfast, lunch and supper and nothing else. It is a very pretty color red which makes it perfect for Christmas (or Valentine's Day or 4th of July!). To me, it is perfect anytime.

My Favorite Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (Optional – I usually leave these out!!!)
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled. In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time. To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

I hope that you will Tempt My Tummy Tuesday one of your New Year's resolutions! Spending Tuesday with Lana and Lisa is one of my favorite parts of the week!


I found a new (to me) cooking website. Why does it appeal to me so? Because it focuses on saving vintage handwritten recipe cards and newspaper recipes. I love looking through all the handwritten recipe cards. I think they speak to me because most of my recipes come from ones that I grew up watching my own Mom and Grandmother prepare in their kitchens.

It has inspired me to go home and scan in my Mother's recipe cards (if you will dare let me... you know how Southern cooks are) so that I can have them forever as keepsakes.

In addition to handwritten cards, there are also vintage booklets from Jell-O, Bisquick, Kerr, Betty Crocker and more.

There is just something about having a recipe not only the one your Mom used, but having it written in her handwriting. I think that Mom has one of my Mammaw's cookbooks too and I definitely want to scan those.

Check out RecipeCurio!

Here is one of the recipes I found from the 1930's vintage booklet "55 Recipes You Can Make With Hershey Chocolate"

Chocolate Butterscotch Pie

2 cupfuls milk
6 tablespoonfuls HERSHEY’S Syrup
1/2 cupful flour
3/4 cupful brown sugar
2 tablespoonfuls butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/2 teaspoonful vanilla.

Sift the flour and salt together and mix to a paste with a little cold milk or water, and add Hershey’s Syrup to this paste. Bring 2 cupfuls of milk to the boiling point, add the flour mixture and cook till thick. Meantime, cook the butter and brown sugar together just till well blended, add to the flour and milk and mix well. Pour over the well-beaten yolks of the eggs and stir over boiling water for a few moments, then pour into a previously baked pie shell and cover with a meringue made by beating the whites of the eggs to a stiff froth with 4 tablespoonfuls of granulated sugar. Flavor delicately with vanilla. Brown in a very slow oven and serve cold.

Deanna's Red Beans & Rice

Note: I had never had Red Beans & Rice until I got married. We were invited to supper and that is what they were serving. They ladled the red beans and rice over a bowl of rice and I began to eat. My first thought was, "This was good, but it was be so much better if I added..." I came home and started playing. What developed is nothing close to authentic Red Beans & Rice, but it is what my boys love. As Tim Allen would say, "It has MORE POWER!"

Deanna's Red Beans & Rice

2 cans dark kidney beans
1 ½ lbs. ground round
1 lb. hot link sausage
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½ cup chopped onion
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can Hunts special sauce
1 large can stewed tomatoes
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (to taste)
Oregano and parsley (to taste)

Brown meat and onion and drain. Drain one can of the red beans and then add both cans to the ground beef. Add the rest of the ingredients in large pan. Cook 2 hours on medium heat stirring occasionally. Lower heat and simmer another 2 hours. Serve over cooked rice (or my boy's favorite, baked macaroni & cheese).

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sausage Cheese Muffins

Note: These would be great to freeze if they lasted that long at my house. This recipe makes 24 muffins at a time and they are gone before the muffins have a chance to cool.

Sausage Cheese Muffins
1 (1-lb.) package ground pork sausage
3 cups all-purpose baking mix
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4-oz.) can condensed cheese soup
3/4 cup water

Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and cool.

Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

Stir together soup and 3/4 cup water; add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into lightly greased muffin pans, filling to top of cups.

Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Morning Egg Casserole

Note: You know my boys favorite part about this casserole? It has to cook 35 minutes which means they can treasure hunt for baby Jesus!

Christmas Morning Egg Casserole

10 slices of bread
2 cups milk
6-8 eggs
ham, onions, green pepper, mushrooms, etc.
6-8oz Shredded Cheese
1/4 cup. butter (Melted)
salt & Pepper

Grease 9x13 pan. Put bread cubes in pan. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Place ham and whatever vegetables you like on top of bread cubes. Pour Egg mixture over entire pan. Add shredded cheese over the top. Refrigerate over night (or at least 2 hours). Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 35 minutes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

Note:    Christmas morning is special so it should have a special breakfast.    I love that you can put this together before you go to bed and when you wake up it is ready to put into the oven.   

Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

1 small box butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans (optional)
1 bag frozen dinner rolls (Parker House style)

Grease Bundt pan.   Drop frozen rolls in pan.   Sprinkle all pudding mix over rolls.   Mix remaining ingredients in a saucepan.   Bring to a boil.   Pour over rolls in Bundt pan.   Cover tightly with Saran Wrap.   Let set overnight, covered.  Next morning, uncover.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.   Let stand for 5 minutes.    Flip onto plate.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Aunt Raye's Best Ever BBQ Meatballs

Note: We went to visit my husband's aunt for Thanksgiving last year and while the meal was cooking she had a crockpot full of these delicious meatballs. My SIL and I sat at the kitchen counter chatting, laughing and eating, eating, eating these meatballs. We begged Aunt Raye for the recipe before we left and she gave it to us. Aunt Raye is the best ever!!

Aunt Raye's Best EVER BBQ Meatballs

1 bag frozen meatballs
2 c. brown sugar (not packed)
2 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 c. chopped onion
Heat in sauce pan stirring until it boils. Pour over meatballs and bake for 1 hr.
Grab a recipe and go wish a Merry Christmas to my friends Lisa and Lana!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Chocolate Kiss Tree

Note: Today is 60% day for the boys at school, but since Big Guy was able to take today's exam yesterday he doesn't have to go. Little Guy's teacher gave them all of their tests yesterday so he asked if he could stay home too. I will probably get in trouble with some of you educators out there, but I just can't pass up on time with my boys. Making these Chocolate Kiss Trees are one of our traditions and the boys love it.

Christmas Chocolate Kiss Tree

One 12" X 4" Styrofoam cone
1 yard red or green 1" wide ribbon
Aluminum foil
toothpicks or mini-glue dots
7 (8 oz) bags of HERSHEY KISS®* Chocolates -- Holiday colors

Cover foam cone with foil. Use toothpicks or glue dots to attach green HERSHEY KISS®* Chocolates against the foil covered cone. For ornaments, use the remaining silver and red HERSHEY KISSES™*.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Note:  The boys love honey mustard with their chicken nuggets, french fries, shrimp, burgers, etc....    Making it homemade is quick, easy and really good!

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon TABASCO® brand Original Pepper Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Serve as a dip with fried or grilled chicken pieces.  Makes about 3/4 cup.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crawfish & Corn Chowder

Note: I received this recipe over email. This is a chowder that is easy to cook, easy to double and freezes great! It is a winner.

Crawfish & Corn Chowder

Saute 1/2 bunch chopped green onions in 1/2 stick of butter, then melt 8 oz. of cream cheese. Add to that:
1 can whole kernel corn (partly drained)
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups half & half
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 tablespoon Tony's seasoning
2 pkgs. of Bernard's frozen crawfish tails

This doubles really well and freezes well too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Divinity

Note: It isn't Christmas if you don't eat or at least see one piece of divinity!

Christmas Divinity

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 egg white stiffly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup broken nut meats (optional)
Pinch of salt
Food coloring (optional)

Beat the egg white in a large bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, boil the sugar, water and syrup while stirring gently. The mixture is done at 235 degrees or if it forms a soft ball when a tablespoon full is dropped into cold water.
Pour the mixture over the beaten egg white, beating continually. Add vanilla, nuts and a pinch of salt. Add a few drops of red or green food coloring if desired. Beat this mixture until it is almost hard, then drop by the teaspoonful onto waxed paper.
Makes about 35 - 40 pieces.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Easy Caramel Cake

Note:   Caramel cakes are very popular around here, but for some reason people are afraid to make them and tend to buy them from the specialty shops.     If you have ever bought one from the specialty shop and paid the $35 price tag then you should at least try this easy recipe.   

Easy Caramel Cake

Make a butter recipe cake from a mix, according to package directions. Bake in a 9-by-13 pan. Allow to cool completely.

Caramel Icing

Melt 2 sticks butter in a heavy saucepan. Add 2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup milk. Mix together. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and let sit for exactly 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar. (For best results, sift it first.) Stir until lumps are gone. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour over cooled cake. Slice and serve.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Captain Rodney's Cheese Bake

Note: Remember that question on the TAG that was going around a few weeks ago that asked, "Would you be a pirate?" Well, I originally answered NO, but I have decided that I could be a pirate if I were married to Captain Rodney. He has amazing recipes! Ha! Amusing had a surprise party for her husband and her MIL made this appetizer. I barely got two bites because it was gone so quickly. I was really happy when this was among her recipes last week at her jewelry party. It is DELICIOUS! (If you live here in Mississippi, you can buy Captain Rodney's glaze at the Apple Annie's in Brandon or the Everyday Gourmet in Ridgeland.)

Captain Rodney's Cheese Bake

1/2 cup Mayonnaise
8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 Green onions (Chopped)
6 Butter Crackers (Crushed)
8 Slices of Bacon (Cooked and Crumbled)
1/2 cup of any Captain Rodney’s Glaze

Mix mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar and onions in greased quiche pan. Top with crackers and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with bacon and any Captain Rodney’s Pepper Glaze. Serve with crackers.

For more amazing and delicious recipes, go to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday! Tell Lisa that Deanna sent you... we are sisterchicks! And while you are there tell Lisa and Lana...
Happy Birthday!

Eggnog Bread

Note: What? You say you have never had eggnog bread? Try it!! It is a wonderful Christmastime treat.

Eggnog Bread

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup dairy eggnog
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of bread pan. Beat eggs, add sugar, eggnog, butter, rum and vanilla. Blend well, add flour, baking powder and nutmeg.
Stir until just moistened. Pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool bread completely before slicing.

If serving immediately:   make an icing of 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. egg nog and enough milk to make it "stirable".

Friday, December 12, 2008

Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce

Note: If you have some frozen meatballs, you can make this barbecue sauce and pour it over those and have a great quick appetizer for a last minute invite to a party or as a side to a platter of chicken nuggets.

Coca~Cola Barbecue Sauce

1 cup Coca~Cola
1/2 cup butter or margerine
2 Tbsp worstershire sauce
1 1/4 cups ketchup
4 tsp. sugar
1 T. salt
1 T. pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer & cook, stirring often for 30 minutes. Use as you would any barbecue sauce, brushing onto meat or chicken as it"s grilled.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coca Cola Cake

Note: I will never forget the day I walked into a bakery here in town and saw that they were selling Coca Cola cakes for $24.

Coca~Cola Cake

1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick margarine
3 T. cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Preparation - In a saucepan, combine Coca-Cola, oil, margarine, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour and salt. Add the mixture from the saucepan and beat well. Add eggs, buttermilk, soda, and vanilla, then beat well. Pour into a greased and floured sheet cake pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350ยบ for 20 to 25 minutes.

Frosting for Coca-Cola Cake

1/2 cup margarine
3 T. cocoa
6 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup pecans - chopped
1 lb.confectioners sugar

Preparation - In a saucepan, combine the margerine, cocoa, and milk. Heat over medium heat until the margerine melts, while stirring to mix together well. Add the remaning ingredients and beat hard. Spread on the cooled Coca-Cola Cake.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peppery Gingerbread

Note:   Must. try. this. to. appreciate. it!  

Peppery Gingerbread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light molasses
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon Original TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat flour, molasses, milk, sugar, butter, TABASCO® Pepper Sauce, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and egg until well blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle top of gingerbread with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 12 servings.

Macadamia Biscotti

Note: Biscotti is perfect to have with coffee. It also freezes really well so if you make too much you don't have to feel obliged to eat all of it... unless you want to!

Macadamia Biscotti

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a baking sheet. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend to combine. Stir in the nuts. Halve the dough and, with lightly oiled hands, roll each half into a log about 2 inches thick and 12 inches long. Place the logs on the baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, or until golden.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Transfer the logs to a breadboard. Using a serrated knife, slice them about 3/4 inch thick at a 45 degree angle. To avoid crumbling, use firm, decisive strokes. Place the slices flat on a baking sheet and return to a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes, turning once, to dry them. Cool on a rack. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for two to three weeks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Butternut Squash with Pineapple Topping

Note: This is something delightfully different for the holidays. It is also a great way to get your kids to try a new vegetable!

Butternut Squash with Pineapple Topping

Butternut Squash, 4 cup, cubes
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. margarine

1 cup pineapple, canned, crushed, sliced, or chunks
1 large egg
1/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Sugar

Cook the squash. One of the best was is to cut it in half, scoop out seeds and wrap in plastic and then microwave until tender. However, you can use whatever method of cooking squash you prefer. Once cooked, place squash in a casserole dish and mash. Add sugar, salt and margarine. Beat eggs well and add to mixture while beating well. (If you are making this while the squash is still hot, you don't want the eggs to cook before mixed together.) Set casserole to the side.

Topping: Mix all topping ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over the top of the squash.
Bake, uncovered for about 45 minutes. The dish will become light and fluffy (slightly souffle-like)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chocolate Layered Delight

Note: This is one of my family's favorites. We had it at Thanksgiving and the aduults barely got a bite because the kids scarfed it down so fast. We may have to start making two -- one for the adults and one for the kids. Ha!

Chocolate Layered Delight

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup flour
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

INGREDIENTS for Filling Layer One:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup Cool Whip
1 cup powdered sugar

INGREDIENTS for Filling Layer Two:
1 large box chocolate instant pudding mix
2-3/4 cups of milk

INGREDIENTS for Topping:
Remainder of Cool Whip
1 or more of the following –
chocolate bar
Heath bar chips
Chopped nuts

Melt butter, mix with flour, nuts, and sugar. Pat firmly onto bottom of 8 x 11 inch glass baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven. Cool well.

TO PREPARE Filling Layer One:
Mix softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add Cool Whip and mix well. Spread over cooled crust.

TO PREPARE Filling Layer Two:
Mix following pie directions on pudding box. Spread over layer one.

Spread with Cool Whip making swirls. Sprinkle with chocolate curls (with vegetable peeler shave along edge of chocolate bar), Heath bar chips, and/or chopped nuts. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

For more delicious recipes to add to your Christmas table, visit Lisa at Blessed with Grace

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken ("lighten" by using reduced fat)
1 16 oz. jar salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1 8 oz. container sour cream ("lighten" by using reduced fat)

Place chicken, soup, salsa, and taco seasoning in slow cooker. Cook on low 4 hours.
Add sour cream. Cook on low for another 30 minutes. Shred chicken. Serve over rice, wrap in tortilla, place in a taco shell, or dip with corn chips.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Gingerbread Muffins

Note: Since building our gingerbread houses, my hubs and boys have developed a new love for gingerbread. I don't think any of the gingerbread snowmen ended up on their houses because they were eating all of them. These muffins should satisfy their new enjoyment of gingerbread.

Gingerbread Muffins

2 C All Purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 egg
3/4 C milk
1/4 C vegetable oil
1/4 C molasses

Preheat oven to 375*. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and cloves. In another bowl, whisk the gg, milk, oil and molasses until smooth. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (mine only took 15 so be careful not to overbake). Toothpick should come out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack. Serve warm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Slow Cooker Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Note: With new babies in the family, I am spending a lot of time going back and forth to the NICU. (That is definitely NOT a complaint!) But it means that I am going to give my crockpot a workout.

Crockpot Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs 98% fat-free ham, cut into 8 pieces
8-10 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, or more according to taste
1 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
10 3/4 oz can 98% fat-free cream of celery soup

Layer half of ham, potatoes, and onions in slow cooker. Sprinkle with half the salt and pepper, and then half the shredded cheese. Repeat layers. Spoon undiluted soup over ingredients. Cook on low 8-10 hour or high 4 hours.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Coffee Cake


1/4 lb butter (1 cube)
8 oz. cream cheese
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup pecans

Mix #1-5 in a large bowl, beat till creamy. Combine #6-8 in a separate bowl and blend slowly into large bowl. Stir in milk and chocolate chips with a large spoon. Grease bread pans and fill with batter, 1/2 to 3/4 full. Combine topping ingredients. Sprinkle over top of each loaf and bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes. Test by sticking a knife into the center of a loaf. If it comes out "clean", it's done!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's A Girl and a Girl!

If you read my family blog you know we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of my twin nieces. The girls decided they just couldn't wait anymore and decided to make their grand entrace to the world yesterday morning.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. If you want to see my post about their arrival, click here.

Me? I'm headed back to the hospital as soon as I drop the boys off in carpool. Cooking just doesn't appeal compared to holding to sweet baby nieces. Take-out is just fine for right now!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rudolph Cupcakes

Note: These cupcakes are perfect for class party treats. They are sure to be such a hit that you'll go down in history!

Rudolph Cupcakes


A baked and cooled cupcake (your favorite recipe)
Chocolate frosting
Round, red lollipops (Charms Blow Pops are our favorites)
M&M's candies
Black decorators' gel frosting
Red shoestring licorice (as in Twizzlers)

To make one, first frost a cooled cupcake (baked from your favorite recipe) with chocolate frosting. Unwrap a round, red lollipop. Trim the stem slightly, and stick it into the center of the cupcake for Rudolph's very shiny nose. For eyes, set 2 M&M's candies in place, then dot them with black decorators' gel frosting. Carefully break large thin pretzels into antler shapes and insert them into the top of the cupcake. Finally, add a short piece of red shoestring licorice for a mouth.

Snowman Soup

Note: Well of course it is just hot chocolate, but the kids love it when I bag it up and give it to them as treats at school before the holidays!

Snowman Soup Recipe


3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup nonfat dry milk
2 cups instant NesQuik
1 large (6 oz.) box instant chocolate pudding
3/4 cup non dairy creamer


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and store in air tight containers. To enjoy, add 3 T to a cup of boiling hot water. (Use more or less mix depending upon size of mug and your taste buds).

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mock Eggnog

Note: Eggnog is such a traditional drink at Christmas time. Since I do not drink it is not something I have traditionally served at our home, but when I ran across this recipe we decided to give it a try. Yummy!

Mock Eggnog

2 quarts Cold Milk
1 package (3.4 oz size) Instant French Vanilla or Vanilla Pudding Mix
1/4 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Nutmeg -- Ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Additional Nutmeg, Optional

In a mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Beat in the sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla. In another mixing bowl, beat cream until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir into pudding mixture. Refrigerate until serving. Sprinkle with additional nutmeg if desired.
Find more delicious recipes to add to your holiday menu at Lisa's Tempt My Tummy meme! Be sure and bring a recipe with you to share.

Bacon and Egg Bundles

Note: My boys enjoy cooking with me and during the holidays we enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Breakfast is one of our favorite meals to cook together. This recipe is easy and combines two of their favorite foods.

Bacon and Egg Bundles

1 teaspoon butter or margarine
12 to 18 bacon strips
6 eggs
orange slices

Lightly grease six muffin cups with the butter. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until cooked but not crisp. Drain on paper towels. Cut six bacon strips in half width-wise; line the bottom of each muffin cup with two bacon pieces. Line the sides of each muffin cup with one or two bacon strips. Break an egg into each cup. Bake, uncovered, at 325°F for 12-18 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not firm. Transfer to a serving plate; surround with orange slices.

Cheerios Christmas Trees

Note: Every year the boys and I make gingerbread houses. Wouldn't these look cute outside our houses?

Cheerios Christmas Trees


6 cups Honey Nut Cheerios® cereal
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Green food color
Red cinnamon candies or sliced gumdrops


Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Pour the cereal into a 4-quart bowl. Set the bowl aside.
Place the butter and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Stir in the food color until the mixture is evenly colored. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the cereal and stir until the cereal is evenly coated. Lightly spray your hands with cooking spray. For each tree, shape about 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into a Christmas tree shape on the cookie sheet. Press the candies into the trees to decorate. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store the trees in a loosely covered container.