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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Santas Christmas Eve Prayer

Santas Christmas Eve Prayer

The sleigh was all packed
The reindeer were fed,
But Santa still knelt
By the side of the bed.

"Dear Father," he prayed,
"Be with me tonight,
There's much work to do,
And my schedule is tight."
"I must jump in my sleigh
And streak through the sky,
Knowing full well
That a reindeer can't fly."

"I will visit each household,
Before the first light,
I'll cover the world,
And all in one night."
"With sleigh bells a-ringing,
I'll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter
Of each little hoof."

"To get in the house
Is the difficult part,
So I'll slide down the chimney
Of each child's heart."
"My sack will hold toys
To grant all their wishes,
The supply will be endless,
Like the loaves and the fishes."

"I will fill all the stockings
And not leave a track,
I'll eat every cookie
That is left for my snack."
"I can do all these things Lord,
Only through You,
I just need your blessing,
Then it's easy to do."

"All this is to honor
The birth of the One,
That was sent to redeem us ...
Your most Holy Son."
"So to all of my friends,
Least Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them
Who gave me this job."

Friday, December 23, 2016

Potato Candy

One candy that my mother makes nearly every Christmas and is my youngest sisters favorite is Potato Candy. Yes, made from real mashed potatoes you will be surprised how delicious they are.

Potato Candy 


1/4 cup potatoes (leftover and instant will both work, but real potatoes do taste better)
5 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
peanut butter

Mash potatoes (do not add butter, salt, or milk), add vanilla, and confectioners sugar at least 5 cups, but keep adding until stiff dough is formed (please note that it will take a lot of confectioners sugar to form a stiff dough, at one point potato mixture WILL seem to liquefy this IS normal, just keep adding confectioners sugar until mixture comes back together).  

Once dough has formed place confectioners sugar on your rolling surface (I have a marble island that works perfectly for this, but you can use waxed paper on your counter) and begin rolling dough, roll until 1/8 inch thick.  Spread a layer of peanut butter onto the dough (I suggest that you use a moderate amount of peanut butter...too much and the peanut butter oozes out the sides, not enough and the ratio of dough to peanut butter is off).  Roll up like a jelly roll, wrap with waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.  Cut into single serve pieces and enjoy.  Leftover pieces can be stored between layers of plastic wrap in the refrigerator.  

shared at 

DIY Vintage Chic

Sugar Cream Pie

Sugar Cream Pie

½ Stick butter
1 cup half and half
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cups of sugar
¼ cup +1 Tbs. of cornstarch
1 Tsp. of vanilla
I pie crust

Bake and cool one pie crust. Stir butter, half & half, and milk over low heat (I set mine at about 3.5) until butter is melted. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch; immediately add to milk mixture. Cook, stirring until mixture begins to thicken, and boils (this takes awhile, don’t turn the heat will eventually boil). Continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pour into pie crust. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

Its What Christmas Is All About

Grape Salad

Grape Salad

4 Lbs. of Red or Green Seedless Grapes
1 8 oz. package Cream Cheese
1 8 oz. container Sour Cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 oz. Chopped Pecans
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
Wash and dry grapes. In a large bowl, mix together the cream chese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Add grapes and mix until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and pecans, mix again and refrigerate until serving.

Chicken Breast in Sour Cream Sauce

Chicken Breasts in Sour Cream Sauce
8 slices dried beef (in a jar)
8 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (7 oz. each)
4 slices bacon, cut in half
1 cup sour cream
One 10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay one piece of dried beef on each chicken breast and wrap with a half slice of bacon. Place in a 13×9 inch casserole dish, seam side down. Mix sour cream, soup, and mushrooms together. Pour over chicken breasts. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice.

The Italian Donkey

we all know the importance of the donkey in the nativity story and carrying Mary to Bethleham here is a song that celebrates a certian Italian Donkey

His name was Dominick and he was a big help to Santa The song Dominick the Donkey is a Christmas song written by Richard Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Lou Monte. Monte an Italian American singer first sung the song in 1960. Monte recorded from the 1950's to the early '80s. Monte passed away in 1989. 

We all have been told the story in the bible where "A brave little donkey/Carried Mary and her babe/That night was born our Savior/in a manger now he lay/God bless the little donkey and the journey that he made." The song Dominick the Donkey tells the story of Dominick an Italian Donkey who helps Santa deliver presents. Dominick the Donkey is a well known symbol of Christmas in Italy. 

Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)
Santa's got a little friend,
His name is Dominick.
The cutest little donkey,
You never see him kick.
When Santa visits his paisons,
With Dominick he'll be.
Because the reindeer cannot,
Climb the hills of Italy.
Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)

Jingle bells around his feet,
And presents on the sled.
Hey! Look at the mayor's derby,
On top of Dominick's head.
A pair of shoes for Louie,
And a dress for Josephine.
The labels on the inside says,
They're made in Brooklyn.
Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)
Children sing, and clap their hands,
And Dominick starts to dance.
They talk Italian to him,
And he even understands.
Cumpare sing,
Cumpare su,
And dance 'sta tarantel.
When jusamagora comes to town,
And brings do ciuccianello.
Hey! Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
It's Dominick the donkey.
Chingedy ching,
(hee-haw, hee-haw)
The Italian Christmas donkey.
(la la la-la la-la la la la la)
(la la la-la la-la la-ee-oh-da)
Hey! Dominic

The Song was listed at number 14 on Billboards top 100 list in December 1960. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Root beer Float Pie

Root Beer Float Pie 

  • 1 tub (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed
  • 3/4 cup cold root beer 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Root Beer Extract to taste. 
  • 1 package (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 graham cracker crust
  • 6 - 8 Maraschino cherries

Combine the root beer, milk and pudding mix in a large bowl.
Mix with a whisk until it begins to thicken. Fold in half of the whipped topping and desired amount of root beer extract . Start with just a little of the extract and give it a taste. You can continue adding more until desired flavor is reachedSpread into the pie crustRefrigerate for 5 minutes. Top with remaining whipped topping.
Slice the pie into 8 even slices (this makes it really easy to cut when it's frozen).Add a cherry on each slice.
Freeze 8 hours or overnight.

Almond Fudge Cookies


1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
½ lb. semisweet chocolate
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
½ cup sugar, plus more for rolling
¼ tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Lay almonds on a microwave-safe plate and toast in microwave in 30-second intervals on high, stirring in between, 3-5 times until nuts are fragrant. Cool to room temperature. In a food processor, grind nuts until very fine, almost like flour. Measure out 1 cup and set aside; discard or save extra, if any, for another use.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler; remove from heat and set aside. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer on highest speed, gradually adding the sugar and salt. Continue beating until ribbons form; about 10 minutes. Fold in the chocolate-butter mixture. Gently add the ground almonds. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 8 hours.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a cookie scoop to form the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar, place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart and immediately place in the oven. Bake until the center of the cookies are no longer wet, 10-14 minutes. Allow to cool five minutes on sheet before removing to rack. Dust cooled cookies with powdered sugar or more granulated sugar if desired.

Christmas Jello

1 package (3 ounces) cherry gelatin
3 cups boiling water, divided 
1 can (29 ounces) sliced pears, undrained
1 package (3 ounces) lemon gelatin 
1 package (8 ounces) PHILADELPHIA® Cream Cheese, cubed and softened
1 package (3 ounces) lime gelatin 
1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple
    In a bowl, dissolve cherry gelatin in 1 cup boiling water. Drain pears, reserving 1 cup juice (discard remaining juice or save for another use). Stir pears and reserved juice into cherry gelatin. Pour into a 10-in. fluted tube pan or 3-qt. ring mold coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate until nearly set, about 1-1/4 hours. In a bowl, dissolve the lemon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water; refrigerate until slightly thickened. Beat in the cream cheese until blended. Pour over the cherry layer.  In another bowl, dissolve lime gelatin in remaining boiling water. Drain pineapple well, reserving juice. Add enough water to juice to measure 3/4 cup. Stir pineapple and reserved juice into lime gelatin; spoon over lemon layer. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold onto a serving plate. Yield: 12 servings

    Ages of Cooking Ability

    In the beginning our babies start life unable to do anything for their selves. Feeding, changing and taking care of those sweet babies is our job. But in time we start teaching them how to do simple tasks of being able to sit up, walk, feed their selves and the list goes on. It is in the toddler years that kids can start learning to help in the kitchen while under high supervision as well. The basic tasks of setting the table, squeezing lemons, matching silverware, helping to empty the dishwasher, helping to do simple tasks with an adult are things that can be learnt early in life. 

    As time goes on and children develop better motor skills they can learn to do more. By the age of 4 or 5 Hand and eye coordination is getting better as well. At times our children may seem a bit backward and this can be improved with extra help. If your child seems ahead of their age in kitchen skills then you should continue the good work of keeping them involved and interested.

    At the time to entering school is present a childs fine motor skills allows them to take on more detailed work. They are at the age to start using measuring spoons and forming meatballs or nuggets. Adult supervision is still in high need to ensure safety is present. Start at the age of six or seven to teach skills such as dicing, mincing vegetables, peeling raw potatoes with a peeler, slicing and scooping avocados and greasing pans. 

    My grand-daughter is 8 years old at the present and all previous skills have been achieved. Now she is ready to take on new areas in the skills of cooking. It is up to the adult to know if they are mature enough to work with the stove or not. One good place to start is microwave and toaster oven recipes. The ability to use pizza cutters, can openers, as well as putting mix in muffin cups are all abilities to succeed at around the ages of 8 or 9. Meanwhile, skills of rinsing dishes, putting away leftovers, and making sandwiches are all items that can be done at this age. 

    In the future we look forward to watching our princess work alone in the kitchen. The early basic skills are necessary to learn so that this level can be achieved. The same kitchen rules apply and parents role is to supervise and ensure rules are followed. Reminders such as using hot pad, washing hands, preventing mistakes on the stove top or oven can help them learn and be ready for ever growing achievements. 

    Wednesday, December 21, 2016

    Just for Giggles

    That voice of Tennessee Ernie Ford and the young boy who really gets into the music is so fun to watch I hope you enjoy

    Tiny Tim Cookie Recipe

    1 cup sugar, divided
    2 to 3 drops red food coloring
    2 to 3 drops green food coloring
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup shortening
    1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    3 tablespoons butter, softened
    4-1/2 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
    3/4 teaspoon almond extract
    Red and green food coloring, optional

    In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar and red food coloring; set aside. In another small bowl, combine remaining sugar with green food coloring; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Gradually add flour and mix well. Shape into 1/2-in. balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheetsCoat bottom of two glasses with cooking spray, then dip one in red sugar and the other in green sugar. Flatten cookies alternately with prepared glasses, redipping in sugar as needed. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

    For frosting, in a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, butter, cream and extract. If desired, tint half of the frosting red and the other half green. Frost the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Yield: 5 dozen.

    source: Taste of Home

    Sweet Potato Nachos

    Sweet Potato Nachos Recipe

    3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    3 white potatoes, diced

    In a large skillet, heat about 1 tbsp. oil.  Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes, possibly longer.  Add salt and pepper, continue cooking, stirring occasionally until potatoes develop a crisp crust on the outside.  

    Put potatoes on plate and top with desired taco toppings.

    Decorated Pretzel Rods

    One of my daughters favorite treats to make during the holidays is gourmet styled chocolate dip pretzel rods. She makes these for many seasons and holidays. You can find these at some expensive candy stores but why when you can make them at home?? 

    To start with all you need is a bag of pretzel logs, some good chocolate (dark, milk or white does not matter ) and sprinkles. When done place pretzels in fridge for a couple of minutes and allow to harden. When your guest arrive serve on pretty festive platters or store in cookie jar. 

    Mary Did You KNow

    One of my all time favorite decorations at Christmas is the nativity scene. As we all that believe know that this was not a decoration hundreds of years ago but rather a scene that played out in reality. Can you imagine that first Noel?? That blessed night when the Emmanuel was born?? The "King of Kings" the most righteous among us was born into this world as flesh and blood. Here he would live to tell the story and one day die for all of our transgressions.

    Recently the jail ministry has been on my heart and I often wonder how those mothers feel. The mothers of those in prison or those on death row. Perhaps they had did their best raising their child and yet they stumbled and ended up in a great deal of trouble. Those dreams that she had as she cared for her baby as she wondered what they would be like still and always will be on her mind. Can you imagine Mary as she knew in her heart that she would be giving birth to the baby Jesus?? She was carrying God's son and she had to know that her child would do something important one day.

    One of our favorite songs "Mary Did You Know" allows us to wonder how she felt as she cared for her baby boy. Joseph the simple carpenter man who knew that Jesus was not his child and yet cared as if he were. A man with a servants heart would take the responsibility to raise the Savior of the World. In return they would be given the grace of God and the privilege of loving Jesus. They took pride in the gift that they were given. The entire world was given a gift of the baby Jesus being born. This Christmas take a moment and think about the Christmas story and thank or heavenly father for the gift he gave the world.

    Christmas Punch

    1/2 gallon lime or raspberry sherbet, softened
    1 liter ginger ale
    2 cups lemon-lime soda
    2 cups grapefruit or citrus soda

    Just before serving, place sherbet in a punch bowl. Add ginger ale and soda; stir until sherbet is almost dissolved.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    Getting Started and Growing Kitchen Skills In Children

    No matter what it is getting your child helping in the kitchen can be a struggle. Simply start small. It does not matter their age. Having them do one thing that will help make your life easier is worth the struggle. Make it a job that needs to be done and then when the job is done be sure to thank them continuously. 

    In order to have them be successful make sure that give instructions that are well understand. Stay close and offer supervision when needed. This is both for safety reasons as well as building a bond of cooperation. This will help reduce frustration on both sides and ensure nothing goes wrong. Dont use the time that your child is working in the kitchen to watch your favorite t.v. show or take a shower or spend time alone. It is time to stand side by side with them and get the job done leaving you both feel great.

    Have them do real jobs. When helping prepare the meal give them jobs no matter how simple something that needs to be done. Have them help you on a daily basis not only when it helps you. Even on busy nights getting them in the kitchen for even a couple of minutes will help enforce the habit.

    Make sure to thank everyone that helped with the meal. Kids love gratitude and it helps their attitude as well. Allow them to share what their part was and how they helped out. Do not criticize a child rather make sure that the smallest job is helped.

    If an error is made in cooking do not make a big deal of it or get angry. Rather explain to the young cook how to prevent it in the future. Start it all over if needed. Being negative will only result in them not wanting to help. 

    As they get older allow them to grow in how they contribute. Growing older should also mean that their skills are growing as well. Dont overwhelm them with new skills to quickly either. Gaining experience is part of the game. As they grow and learn allowing them to try to do things on their own. Baking cookies alone, making pancakes, or cooking an egg will help them grow skills. Eventually allow them to plan and prepare meals where you are the assistant

    How To Make a Pasta Angel

    To make this angel you will need:

    • 2 cm wood beads (no hole)
    • pasta wheels
    • rigatoni (or tube pasta about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch long)
    • pasta bow ties
    • elbow macaroni
    • teeny tiny tubular pasta for hair (can't remember the name, I've had mine for years)
    • Aleene's tacky glue
    • white spray paint
    • black, pink, and red acrylic paint for face
    • gold thread
    • foil card stock for song books (I use old Christmas cards!)

    You will want to use tacky glue to make this delicate angel and be sure to do each step one at a time allowing time between before starting next step
    Put together in these simple steps
    1. Glue the wooden ball to the middle of the wagon wheel.
    2. Glue the wings to one side of the rigatoni
    3. Glue the head unit to the body unit.
    The result should be:

    Now to make the angels hair: 
    1. Using your finger, coat the head with glue where you want hair. Don't glob it on, but don't skimp either. We are striving for a bouffant coiffure!
    2. Dip the head into the teeny tubular pasta.
    3. Press and shape until it lies flat and pretty. You don't want any big gaps. Be sure it's nicely shaped around the face.

    On the top add a little hanger

    make the angel arms by gluing an elbow macaroni on each side 

    Remember to let it dry completely Lay on wax paper and spray paint white Coat lightly each time you flip them to avoid drips. Apply several coats on each side making sure they are sprayed all over. Using a fine tipped paint brush create facial features. To make a book cut foil card stock in rectangle and fold so it looks like a book. Add a dab of glue. Tread a gold string through the hanger and knot.

    "Gloria in Excelsis Deo!"

    Laura Lee