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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Monster Cookies

My kid brother loves Monster cookies and when we were younger I would make them for him every year. He was a bit spoiled after all he was just 14 years younger than me. I had great time with my kid brother and now still love to visit him and his children. I hope to do that again sometime soon




1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter ships
1 cup plain M&M's
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper, or spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

In standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until well combined. Add oats and baking soda, and mix until well combined. Add chips and M&M's, and stir until well combined.

Drop the cookies by tablespoonfuls (I use a tablespoon size cookie scoop) onto prepared cookie sheets. (Note: I dropped cookies onto wax paper lined cookie sheets and froze them for a couple weeks before baking).

Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Low Sugar Berry Cobbler

Diabetes runs in our family and we are always looking for recipes that the entire family can share. 
 I can remember moms berry cobbler it was super sweet. I can no longer eat like that but I can still enjoy a dish similliar and oh so good. Check this Berry Cobbler out


 
2 Tbsp SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
2 Tbsp cornstarch
30 oz. frozen mixed berries, thawed
 
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 Tbsp SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
¾ cup fat-free buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

For the berries: 
In a mixing bowl, combine SPLENDA® Sugar Blend and cornstarch.  Add berries, including their juice.  Gently stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish. 

For the crust:
In a small bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, SPLENDA®Sugar Blend, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a fork. Add butter and cut  into dry ingredients until pieces are pea-sized. Add buttermilk and stir until just moistened.  Drop crust batter over fruit.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.  Serves 9. 

resource here

Mexican Salsa and Bread

Mexican Salsa and Bread


This would make either a great dish to take to the party or a great gift from the kitchen.

1 loaf french bread, sliced in half
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
      1 tsp. ground cumin
        1 tsp. garlic powder
          1 (16 oz.) jar mild salsa
            1 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
              1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
                2 avocados, diced
                  1 1/2 tsp. fresh lime juice
                    2 tsp. fresh cilantro, finely snipped
                      2 tsp. scallions, finely chopped
                        1 garlic clove, finely chopped
                          1/4 tsp. celery salt
                            Salt 

                            Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
                            Lay sliced French bread cut side up onto a baking sheet
                            In a small bowl combine oil, cumin, and garlic powder and stir.
                            Brush the seasoned oil mixture onto the cut side of both bread halves with a pastry brush. Spread salsa evenly on top of bread halves. Sprinkle the halves with the Mexican cheese and top with crumbled Parmesan cheese. Place into 425 degrees oven.
                            Bake 8 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is good and crusty.
                            While the bread is baking, prepare the relish.
                            In a medium size bowl, mix avocados, lime juice, cilantro, scallions, garlic, celery salt, and salt to taste and set aside.
                            Remove the bread from the oven. Allow cooling a few minutes.
                            Using a serrated knife, slice bread halves across into 2-inch strips.
                            To serve put salsa bread strips on a nice plate or platter with avocado relish in a separate bowl.

                            recipe source 

                            Chex Caramel Corn Snack Mix


                            Tonight while watching Christmas movies sitting by the Christmas tree you should make up this Christmas treat and create some Christmas memories. There you go I said Christmas 4 times in a sentence. That is the next holiday we will celebrate and to us it is very special.



                            We love snacks that provide great munching. This snack is also easy to bag up and throw in lunch boxes. Swee, salty and crunchy is all provided with this recipe. Years ago my grandmother would make caramel popcorn balls. They were wrapped in green and red paper and shared on Christmas day.

                            To make this snack mix you will need:
                            4 cups popped popcorn
                            4 cups of your favorite Chex Cereal (I used Corn Chex)
                            1/2 cup peanuts
                            1/4 cup butter
                            1/3 cup packed brown sugar
                            2 Tbsp light corn syrup
                            1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
                            decorating sprinkles
                            Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.

                            Mix popcorn, cereal and peanuts in a large microwaveable bowl.

                            In a medium microwaveable bowl, add butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla extract. Microwave 1 minutes. Stir. Microwave another 1 minute, until bubbling. Pour over popcorn mixture. Stir.

                            Microwave popcorn mixture for 1 minute. Stir and scrape side of the bowl. Repeat microwaving and stirring 4 - 5 times. When the mixture comes of the microwave the last time, shake on sprinkles and stir.

                            Spread mixture on lined baking sheet. Allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.

                            Source: Slightly adapted from Chex

                            Friday, December 9, 2016

                            Snowman Bagels

                            I have been hearing alot about snow While we dont have any (nor do I want any) it is getting colder here. The cold indicates that the snow maybe here sometime soon. These cute Snowmen will provide a great snack while the snowflakes float down. 


                            Snowman Bagels



                            Snowman Bagels
                            Makes 24


                            1 dozen mini bagels
                            16 oz. whipped cream cheese
                            1 can large pitted California Black Olives
                            24 baby carrots

                            Cut the bagels in half
                            Spread with cream chees 
                            Insert carrot nose
                            Chop olives in small squares for the mouth and in large squares for eyes (I used a pair of kitchen shears to get the nice round shape).  
                            Put eyes and mouth pieces in place.
                            Serve 


                            recipe source here

                            Strawberry Soda Pop Cake

                            Strawberry Soda Pop Cake



                            1 - 18 oz package Strawberry Cake mix (any brand)
                            1 1/3 - cups Strawberry Soda
                            (strawberry soda is substituted for the amount of water on the cake mix)
                            2 - 3 Eggs (if you want it lighter and fluffier use three eggs)
                            1/3 cup vegetable oil
                            2 - 8 oz tubs Plain or Strawberry Flavored Cool Whip
                            2 lbs Fresh Strawberries (Sliced)

                            Add cake mix to a large mixing bowl. Add egg, oil and strawberry soda. Beat until smooth. Pour into two round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake as directed on cake mix or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When cake is done remove from oven and cool in pans for 15 minutes.



                            Then remove to a wire rack and completely cool. Frost first layer with cool whip and top with sliced strawberries on top. Add the second cake layer and frost top and sides with more cool whip and top with more sliced strawberries. Save one whole strawberry for the middle of the cake. Gently slice and fan the whole strawberry, Place on top in the middle of the cake.


                            Notes: depending on what brand of cake mix you use. Follow the directions on the back of the box substituting strawberry soda for the amount of water listed. Also add the amount of eggs and oil stated on the mix, I use Duncan Hines.

                            Also if you want you can make a strawberry cool whip frosting in place of regular or strawberry cool whip. Follow the directions below; this is optional if you are watching your weight just frost the cake with Light Cool Whip.



                            Strawberry Cool Whip Frosting (optional)
                            1 - 4 ounce box instant strawberry pudding mix, dry
                            1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
                            1 cup milk
                            8 ounces Regular Cool Whip

                            Add pudding mix, powdered sugar and milk to a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until blended. Let mixture stand 3 minutes. Fold in defrosted Cool Whip and frost cake. Refrigerate frosted cake.

                            Save a bit of $$ During the Holidays

                            Shopping:



                            Don't allow those holiday crowds to destroy your holiday spirit. Stay awy from malls, store sales, and rush by shopping at home online. Just beware of shipping and insurance as they can make your trip unsuccesful by having to pay more. 

                            Holiday Dinner:




                            Hosting a holiday dinner? Don't do it all by yourself. Make it a potluck party and you want everyone to bring two dishes. One their favorite and  the second dish to be assigned by you. Ask for help if needed. 

                            Baking:



                            I love to bake any tim but during the holidays we bake more than most. If needed to save on finances or time we can simply skip the baking. If the problem is time and energy bake at a later time so that you can enjoy it more. Host a cookie swap with family and friends so that you can end up with a variety of cookies

                            Wrapping Gifts:




                            Save time and money and keep your sanity by skipping the wrapping. Instead use gift bags in assorted sizes and styles. Another great idea is to howst a wrapping party. It will be loved by all and I think my

                            Party Invites:
                            We are all so busy during the holidays with this event and that event not to mention the parties that we have been invited to. It is o.k. to say no and only attend those that you feel closest to. 

                            Have other ideas to save sanity during the holidays? Please share them

                            shared at
                            share the wealth

                            Dreamsicle Fudge

                            There are those candies that are for every day but then there are candies that are for the holidays. Fudge is one of those special holiday recipes I only make during the holidays. Don't worry though I don't just make one or two batches oh no I make several. One of the newer ones is Orange Dreamsicle Fudge. I found this one while sampling at the local craft fair. There was a  lady who was set up with many flavors of fudge. Yep, you got it there was an orange dreamsicle variety and I had to try it. 




                            3/4 Cup Butter (1 1/2 sticks)
                            3 cups sugar
                            1 5 oz can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
                            1 12 oz package vanilla chips
                            1 7 oz jar Marshmallow Crème
                            1 ½ tea. orange flavoring (extract)
                            Orange food coloring


                            Butter a 13 X 9 or 9 X 9 pan. On MEDIUM HEAT, melt butter in heavy 3 quart sauce pan. Add sugar and milk, stir until combined. Cover pan to wash down sides of pan. Remove lid. Stir often with a plastic or wooden spoon to prevent burning. Heat to a Soft Ball Stage, 234 degrees at sea level. ** Decrease recommended temperature 2 degrees for every 1,000 feet above sea level, or use a cold water test. Remove from heat, gradually stir in chips until melted, add marshmallow crème and flavoring. Stir until combined. Pour half of the fudge into the butter pan. Add orange food coloring to the remaining fudge, stir to combine. Pour orange fudge over white fudge. With a knife swirl the two colors together. Let cool at room temperature. Cut into squares to serve.

                            Try another flavor using same recipe

                             ** Strawberry and Cream, just use strawberry extract and red food coloring
                             ** Chocolate Fudge, just use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of vanilla chips. Use 1 tsp. vanilla extract instead of flavoring. Add 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired.
                             ** Candy Cane Fudge – Add 1/3 Cup crushed "soft" candy cane, then use peppermint extract and red food coloring.

                            give a little gift



                            A stress-free Christmas would be an awesome thing. Normally there is stress somewhere because of everything that needs to be done. The Christmas Pictures, wrapping gifts and the parties. Don't let the many things that on your to-do list bring you down. The Celebration of Christmas and the reason for the season being the Sweet Baby Jesus should be in the front of everything else. Take time and have some family time where adults make one list and children make another list of gifts they would give the world. When the list are complete take time and exam the list how different are they?? Have a family discussion about the list. Share with each other how much better the world would be if we loved each other like the Jesus loved us when he was born all those years ago. 

                            Take time and prepare a special meal for someone who may be ill, hurt, or just need a bit of company. My grandmother would always make up several Swedish tea rings and deliver them as she would Christmas gifts keeping in mind to deliver them prior to Christmas Morning. 




                            Swedish Tea Ring

                            1 cup chopped candied fruit 
                            1/2 cup raisins
                            2/3 cup packed brown sugar 
                            1/4 cup butter, melted
                            1 teaspoon grated orange peel
                            1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom


                            DOUGH:

                            1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
                            1/3 cup sugar, divided
                            1-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°), divided
                            2 eggs
                            1/4 cup shortening
                            1-1/2 teaspoons salt
                            4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour


                            ICING:

                            1 cup confectioners' sugar
                            1 tablespoon lemon juice
                            1 tablespoon milk
                            Candied cherries, optional


                            In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast, 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining water and sugar; stir until dissolved. Add yeast mixture, eggs, shortening, salt and 3 cups flour; mix until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. 
                            Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. 
                            Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 16-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Sprinkle filling over dough to within 1/2 in. of edge. 
                            Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal. Place on greased baking sheets; pinch ends together to form a ring. With scissors, cut from outside edge two-thirds of the way toward center of ring at 1-in. intervals. Separate strips lightly; twist to allow filling to show. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 
                            Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes. For icing, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and milk; drizzle over tea rings while warm. Decorate with cherries if desired. Yield: 2 tea rings.

                            Holiday Brownies



                            1 box brownie mix
                            water, oil, egg called for on brownie mix box
                            2 or 3 drops of green food color
                            2/3 cup vanilla frosting
                            decorating decors red and green candy sprinkles or mini candy coated baking bits
                            mini 2 inch candy canes, unwrapped
                                                                   
                            Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Line 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Grease bottom only of foil with cooking spray or shortening. 
                            Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove brownie from pan by lifting foil; peel foil away. To cut brownie into triangles, cut into 3 rows. Cut each row into 5 triangles, see diagram. Save smaller pieces for snacking.                                
                            Stir food color into frosting. Spoon frosting into small resealable food-storage plastic bag; partially seal bag. Cut off tiny bottom corner of bag. Squeeze bag to pipe frosting over brownies. Sprinkle with decors.
                            Break off curved end of candy cane; insert straight piece into bottoms of triangles to make tree trunks. 

                            Thursday, December 8, 2016

                            Peppermint Angel Food Dessert



                            3/4 cup crushed candy canes (if it's not Christmas I'm sure the round peppermint candies would work just as well)
                            1/2 cup milk
                            1-1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin (1/2 envelope)
                            2 tsp. water
                            1 pint whipping cream, whipped until stiff
                            1 angel food cake, sliced into 3 horizontal layers
                            1/2 cup chocolate syrup


                            Note: I placed the cake into the freezer for a couple of hours prior to slicing it. It made the job much easier.
                            Put candy in milk; heat and stir until dissolved.



                            Soften gelatin in water and add to milk and candy mixture. Chill until it starts to set. Fold into whipping cream.




                            Spread cream mixture over bottom layer of cake. Drizzle chocolate syrup over whipped cream mixture. Place another layer of cake and repeat. Repeat with third layer.



                            Cover outside of cake with whipped cream mixture. Chill and serve. Makes 12 serving.

                            Gift From The Kitchen:: Cookie Decorating Kit

                            Our family has always given gifts from the kitchen. Whether it be fudge, candies, cookies, or something else we have always gifted them to individuals we love. Sugar cookies is one of those things that never get done right in our house. I have even found when my girls were younger that they would eat the dough as it was sitting in the fridge to chill. Then if it makes it through the chilling period you still have the rolling, cutting, baking and decorating. It normally takes a day or two. I love good sugar cookies at Christmas time as I had these made for me when I was a young girl. But between  work, family and my time I run out of time. So if you are like me then you may just love these sugar cookie decorating kits. 

                            .


                            Items you will need to put your kits together…
                            5 cellophane bags with twisty ties
                            curling ribbon
                            5 cookie cutters
                            plastic wrap to wrap dough
                            One recipe Sugar Cookie Dough -below
                            5 button bags for sprinkles- found at Michael’s
                            various sprinkles
                            One recipe Icing- below
                            5 ziptop plastic snack sized baggies for icing
                            5 print outs of directions- below
                            Big Red Kitchen’s Favorite Sugar Cookie Dough
                            3 cups packed light brown sugar
                            2 eggs
                            3 sticks unsalted butter
                            1 tsp baking soda
                            3 tsp baking powder
                            1 tsp Kosher salt
                            1 cup milk
                            1 T vanilla extract
                            8-10 cups flour
                            In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, soda, baking powder, milk, and vanilla. Mix well. Add in one cup of flour at a time until the dough is a rolling consistency. Not too sticky. Once the dough is mixed separate into 5 logs and wrap in plastic wrap. This dough recipe will make 5 Cookie Baking Kits.
                            Icing for Cookie Baking Kits
                            3 cups powdered sugar
                            6 t. light karo syrup
                            8 t. milk
                            1 t. vanilla
                            Mix all together. Mixture will be thick and shiny.
                            Note- Divide icing evenly into 5 ziptop plastic snack sized baggies and seal.
                            Instructions for your Sugar Cookie Baking Kits
                            Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Use within 5 days or freeze.
                            On a floured surface roll out chilled cookie dough to 1/8 thick. Using the provided cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can. Place on a cookie sheet and re-roll dough and continue to cut cookie dough until all the dough is used. Decorate a few with sprinkles prior to baking- press sprinkles gently into dough. Bake in 500 degree oven on the bottom rack for 3 minutes then the top rack for 1 minute. Watch closely that they do not burn. Remove to cooling racks. To decorate with the provided icing, snip a small corner of the plastic bag off and decorate cookies with pretty designs. Enjoy!
                            To Assemble Kits 
                            Wrap each log of dough in plastic wrap and place in a cellophane bag along with a baggie of icing, a button baggie of sprinkles, and baking directions- to print out baking directions, highlight the directions above, right click your mouse and click on “print”, when your print window comes up, in the small box that reads “page range” click on “selection,” then increase number of copies to 5, finally hit “print” at the bottom of the box. Tie on a cookie cutter with curling ribbon. Curl ribbon. Refrigerate or freeze before giving. Give to 5 friends. Done

                            this idea came from here

                            Taco Dip

                            Taco Chip Dip


                            During the holidays there are great gathering that we all go to and take a special treat with us as well. Because of my busy schedule the recipe often has to be easy to prepare. We often bring our favorite dish to the gathering and sometime we bring a dish that we love that smells delicious and on that we greatly want to try our selves. Because of the love we have for Mexican food this taco dip is a favorite of ours and it is always a crowd lover at the holiday parties. 

                             8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
                            16 ounce container nonfat sour cream
                            1 package taco seasoning
                            Iceberg lettuce - rinsed, dried, and shredded
                            1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
                            3 chopped tomatoes
                            1 green bell pepper, chopped
                            2.25 ounce can black olives, drained (optional)

                            Tortilla Chips

                            So good! I love taco dip and this was no exception. Serve it at a party and it will be gone in no time.

                            Merry Christmas


                            I have told the story of my aunt and her sugar cookies many different times. My aunt Ruth was a very shy lady but she made up for it in the things that she did. She was very talented in music, art and in the kitchen could do magic it seemed. The beauty of the cookies that she would bring on a paper plate to our house each year was amazing. Mom would make us look first because they were so magically made. She then would let us select the one that we thought was the best. Oh my when we finally got the cookie in our hand it was something more than a simple treat. I would sit around with my brothers and sisters and have a great time talking about the  treat that one of our favorite aunts had brought us. 




                            Cookie Dough:
                            1 cup sugar
                            2 sticks butter, cut into cubes
                            1 egg
                            2 tsp vanilla
                            1 tsp almond extract
                            3 cups flour
                            2 tsp baking powder
                            pinch of salt

                            Glaze:
                            2 cups powdered sugar
                            1 tbsp corn syrup
                            2 tbsp milk or water
                            1 tsp clear extract (vanilla or almond)
                            green gel food dye
                            sprinkles/sugar crystals


                            Cream butter and sugar on high until well mixed. Add in egg and extracts and continue to beat.
                            Slowly add in dry ingredients while mixing. Remember to scrape down sides of the bowl.
                            Knead the dough briefly and roll out on a floured surface. Cut into your desired shape using cookie cutters. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake in 350 degree oven for 9-11 minutes, until very slightly golden brown. Set cookies on racks to cool while making glaze. Mix powdered sugar, corn syrup, and milk in a bowl. If your glaze is too thick, add 1 tsp more milk or water and if it becomes to too thin add some powdered sugar.  (For candy canes and Christmas trees, make one batch regular white glaze and a second batch with green dye) To decorate, put glaze in ziploc or piping bag and cover cookies with glaze and use a utensil to help spread and smooth out glaze. Use festive sprinkles or sugar crystal to decorate if desired. Let glaze set up on baking racks until fully dry and hardened.

                            French Dipped Sandwich

                            The days leading up to the big holiday can be a bit busy and a whole lot stressful. So why not give yourself a helping hand by using the crockpot. The crockpot will help you prepare a super recipes while you go online shopping, wrap Christmas gifts, bake cookies or whatever you need to do. Try this one the next time you want a good meal 




                             3 lb beef rump roast
                            16 oz can beef broth (maybe a lil more depending of size of crockpot)
                            1 packet of onion soup mix
                            1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
                            3 minced garlic cloves
                            Sliced provolone
                            French or Italian crusty bread or roll (like a baguette)


                            1. Place the roast in the bottom on crockpot. Add broth, onion soup mix, worcestershire
                            , and garlic in crockpot. Check to be sure the meat is covered with broth. If not, add more broth or water to be sure it's fully submerged. 

                            2. Cook on low for 9-10 hours. 

                            3. Slice baguette or rolls and toast in oven for a few minutes. Place sliced provolone on the bread/rolls and return to oven for a minute or two, just long enough to melt. 

                            4. Remove meat from crockpot. Slice meat and pile up on toasty, cheesy bread. Reserve leftover juices in crockpotfor dipping. Don't skip this step! The au jus makes this sandwich so incredible!

                            Wednesday, December 7, 2016

                            Never Forget


                            The date of December 7, 1941 will forever be remembered. It has been etched in many of the elderly individuals I care for. I grew up respecting this day as well. America was changed forever and our safety of isolation had disappeared forever. We were invaded on our own land and our innocence as a country was gone.



                            The United States will never forget the historical event on December 7th many years ago. To those who perished December 7th 1941 after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor a memorial of the USS Arizona stands as an honorable memorial. It was the USS Arizona battleship that was bombed an sunk during Japan's surprise morning attack on Pearl Harbor. More than 1500 military personnel aboard the ship were killed. This was the greatest loss of life ever in an attack on the U.S. warship and the reason that the U.S. entered World War II. 










                              

                            Cotton Candy Day with a Cotton Candy Fudge Recipe

                            While winter is here the thought of the choices of all the goodies available at the fairs has my mouth watering. One of my favorites is cotton candy. December 7th is National Cotton Candy day. This sweet light treat that melts in your mouth has a day all of its own. 



                            Cotton Candy is a treat made in America. It was two Tennessee candy makers that invented the cotton candy machine. In 1897 William Morrison and John C Warton invented the machine and later took it to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The men refereed to their treat as "fairy floss" and sold the treat to fair goers for a quarter a box. While at the time this was quite a price more than 68000 boxes were sold at the fair.



                            The Gold Medal Products of Cincinnati Ohio invented an updated cotton candy machine. Since that time they have been the top manufactures of all cotton candy machines. The machine works by melting the sugar until it becomes a liquid and then the liquid sugar is spun through tiny holes in the machine. The holes help shape and cool the liquid. As the sugar cools it becomes solid again.



                            The only ingredient used in the machine is sugar. The amount of sugar in cotton candy is equal to the sugar in a can of soda. The natural color of cotton candy is white. It can be found in colors of pink or blue because of food coloring

                            Since it is December and less than 3 weeks from Christmas I thought I would share a delicious cotton candy fudge.




                            2 cups sugar
                            3/4 cup butter
                            12 ounces white chocolate or vanilla chips
                            7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
                            3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
                            .10 ounce packet Duncan Hines Cotton Candy Frosting Creations flavor mix
                            Pink food coloring


                            Line a 13×9 inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Combine sugar, butter, heavy cream and butter in a saucepan, cooking and stirring over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, bring the contents to a boil while stirring for about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the marshmallow creme and vanilla chips until all of the chips are melted. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the foil-lined pan. Add the cotton candy flavor mix to the saucepan and stir until well mixed. Drop or drizzle spoonfuls of the cotton candy mixture over the mixture already in the pan. Add 2-3 drops of the pink food coloring in various areas on top of the fudge in the pan, and then cut through the fudge with a butter knife to make the swirls. Cover and allow to set in the refrigerator. Remove the fudge from the pan by picking up with the foil and then cutting into squares.

                            recipe resource here

                            Maple Butterscotch Macadamia Nut Blondies

                            There is never anyone more important to cook or bake for than my family. That may just be my own opinion. Around the holidays I will bake more than usual. This recipe is one of my favorite because of the delicious macadamia nuts included in the mix. I forever have loved Macadamia nuts in cookies now you must try them in these delicious blondies brownies.

                            Maple Butterscotch Macadamia Nut Blondies (Adapted from Whole Foods)



                            1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                            1 teaspoon baking powder
                            1/2 teaspoon salt
                            12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
                            1 cup packed brown sugar
                            2/3 cup granulated sugar
                            2 large eggs
                            1 1/2 teaspoons maple extract
                            1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
                            3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted

                            Preheat the oven to 350

                            In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Now in another bowl a bit larger mix butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar til light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix til all combined. Stir in the maple extract Add the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just til combined. Fold in chips and nuts. 

                            Fill a 9" baking pan that has been coated with nonstick spray. Spread mixture evenly in the pan. Bake til golden and test done when toothpick placed in center comes out clean. This may take between 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack