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Friday, December 22, 2017

Forefathers Day

Forefathers Day dates back to the Pilgrims and Plymouth Massachusetts. On December 21st 1620
Pilgrims landed in the new world. Forefather's day celebrates that date and was introduced in 1769. The Gregorian calendar helped establish December 22nd not the 21st would be celebrated. Forefathers day is a well known and well celebrated holiday in Plymouth.

Heritage is one thing that is important to most Americans. Having pride in where one comes from as well as family history of where it started and how well it has come toward the great American Dream. Forefathers day celebrates the pilgrims being courageous as they sailed across the ocean to a new world that they knew little if anything about. They were searching for a better life and religious freedoms.

In the past Forefathers day was celebrated by feasting at clubs like the Old Colony Club or Mayflower Society dinner party. Succotash was commonly served. Succotash is sweet corn and different types of beans baked in a casserole type dish and topped with a pie crust. Now days succotash is more of a hearty stew made from veggies and poultry. Why not serve up some succotash and have a discussion of your own families history.

1 small yellow onion $0.60
2 cloves garlic $0.16
2 Tbsp butter $0.20
1 lb. frozen lima beans $1.49
1 lb. frozen corn kernels $1.49
1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.03
generous freshly cracked pepper $0.05
1 tsp or to taste salt $0.05
1 large tomato $1.03
handful fresh parsley, optional

Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both down in a large pot over medium heat with 2 Tbsp of butter until the onions are soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
Add the thawed lima beans and corn to the pot. Also add about a half teaspoon of salt, a generous amount of cracked pepper, and a half teaspoon of thyme. Sautee the vegetables just until tender and warmed through (about 10 minutes).
While the lima beans and corn are sauteing, dice the tomato and roughly chop the parsley leaves.
Once the lima beans and corn are tender, add the tomato and parsley. Season with more salt, pepper, and thyme to taste (I added about 3/4 tsp more salt). Serve warm.

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Make a Christmas Tree From Fruit

18 small Kiwi Fruit (2 boxes from Aldi)
1 pint of strawberries

Peel and slice kiwi fruit into discs, reserving some skin for the tree trunk.
Arrange kiwi fruit in the shape of a Christmas Tree on a platter. Making sure to leave no gaps in your tree by layering the fruit where necessary.
Place kiwi skin as shown, to form the tree trunk.
Cut the 'pointy' end of strawberries to form mini decorations for the tree.
Use the leafy top of a strawberry to make the crowning star for the tree.

Christmas Cocktail Meatballs

When I was a kid Christmas Eve was always hosted at my grand-mothers house. My dad, his brother and sister would all bring their families together to have a celebration. At my grand-mothers she would serve a full meal and everyone would dine in their best outfits. This is one appetizer you may have found at her home those special nights. 

Christmas Cocktail Meatballs
¼ cup each, vinegar and hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. each, oil and soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
2 garlic cloves, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
1 tsp. minced ginger (optional)
24 prepared frozen cocktail meatballs
Salt and pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Add meatballs and heat on medium-low until meatballs are warmed thoroughly, about 20-30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with toothpicks and enjoy this simple holiday recipes.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

My Christmas Poem

Low Fat Date Nut Bread

1 cup dates
1 and 1/2 cups boiling water
1 large egg - beaten
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder                                       
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
1 Tablespoon margarine - melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the dates in a bowl and soak them in 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the chopped walnuts.

In a medium bowl, mix the egg and sugar together.

Take the flour mixture (one cup at a time) and the sugar mixture (1/3 at a time) and alternately mix them in with dates (and the liquid the dates were soaking in). Add the margarine and vanilla and stir to combine. Try not to over mix.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 75 minutes. Allow the bread to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Mashed Potato Candy

My sisters favorite Christmas Candy is one my mom makes for her every year. She loves potato candy and while my mom makes from real potatoes, you can make from instant as well. 

2 c mashed potatoes (leftover or instant prepared)
1 c powder sugar (may use less depending on moistness of potatoes)
3/4 c peanut butter

Mix first 2 into a stiff dough not so dry it falls apart but stiff. Roll dough out and spread peanut butter over all. Roll up and slice Dry out and enjoy

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Rejoice Today With a Carol of Praise

Go Caroling Day is a time to have lots of fun regardless of your singing ability. Its a chance to get together with your friends and family and go out to make others smile. Those that are shut in like the residents I care for love to welcome those that come to visit. Caroling is exactly what the true meaning of Christmas calls for. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Whether you sing secular songs which are always popular or more religious tunes the choice is yours. Caroling has the ability to remind others that there is still hope in the world and that in the manger many years ago Christ was born, our prince of peace. Keep in mind that if there was no Christmas there would be no Easter

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

16 extra large shrimp
8 slices bacon
5 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Lay the slices of bacon out in a single layer on the pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bacon is partially cooked.
Cool for 5 minutes, then cut each slice of bacon in half crosswise.
While the bacon is cooking, whisk together the maple syrup, soy sauce, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.
Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinade and reserve for later use.
Place the shrimp in the bowl and toss to coat in the marinade. Cover the bowl and chill; marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 8 hours.
Preheat the broiler. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
Wrap one piece of bacon around each shrimp and secure with a toothpick.
Place the shrimp in the oven and broil for 5 minutes, or until shrimp is pink and bacon is crispy.
Flip the shrimp and broil for 1-2 minutes more on the other side.
Remove from oven and brush with reserved marinade. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Non Alcoholic Sangria

Sangria is normally a fruity wine with a kick. Almost always there is a hard alcohol component to sangria. Perhaps it is rum, gin or vodka or a flavored liquor can be used. There is also fruit and fruit juices that help sweeten the drink. Fruits used range from orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwifruit, and mango. The drink is also sweetened with honey, sugar or a sweet syrup. As I said that is normally but today I want to share with you a non-alcoholic sangria that all can enjoy. Simply follow these simple directions::

In a large pitcher, combine cranberry-grape juice, orange juice, fresh lemon juice, diced pear, and diced apple.
Refrigerate for a least 2 hours.
Just before serving, stir in the lemon-lime soda and some ice.

Eggnog Fudge

Christmas to me must include both eggnog and fudge. Why not combine them and create a delicious treat?? Eggnog fudge is rich , creamy, and not overly flavored with eggnog. The best thing is it is a simple recipe that your child can help with if you desire.

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. eggnog
10.5 oz white chocolate chips
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (grated a bit extra for sprinkling)
7 oz. marshmallow creme

Line a square ( 8 x 8 ) baking pan with foil, and then butter the foil. Sprinkle a little of your nutmeg in the pan.
In a heavy saucepan combine your sugar, butter and eggnog. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly (now is the time for the Official Eggnog Monitor). Continue to boil 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat – STIRRING CONSTANTLY. If you stop stirring it could scorch the candy. Remove from heat.

Quickly add in your white chocolate and nutmeg, stir with a wooden spoon until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Stir in marshmallow cream Beat until well blended and then pour into your prepared pan, and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Let cool completely – either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. After it is cooled invert onto a cutting board, score the fudge, and then cut into 1 inch pieces. It should yield approximately 64 one inch pieces of fudge.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

White Chocolate Popcorn

Have a winter or Christmas night planned?? Need a snack to treat those you love?? Then you have to try this recipe for White Chocolate Popcorn

Approx. 10 c. popcorn, popped
2 1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1 c. Sweet ‘N Crunchy Peanuts
Jingle Mix Nonpareils

When choosing your popcorn, make sure it is light on the butter. I used microwave popcorn for mine, however, air popped would work fine.

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Melt your chocolate chips in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Begin melting your chips for 1 minute at 50% power, stir chips. If necessary, continue to melt for 30 second intervals until completely melted. (If you prefer, you could use a double boiler.) Now, quickly stir the chocolate in with the popcorn. Make sure to coat all of the pieces of chocolate. The chocolate will begin to harden quickly, so move fast. Add in the nuts and mix gently. Spread popcorn mixture out on the parchment paper and sprinkle with the nonpareils. Place in the refrigerator to set.

It may be hard to see the white chocolate so taste test may be required LOL. When out of fridge break into pieces and bag or serve as desired

Monday, December 18, 2017

Happy Homemaker

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::

I was in hurry to get to work so I skipped breakfast. By break time I was feeling it as I enjoyed crackers and tea

Right now I am:::: 

currently I am relaxing watching a spot of T.V. 

The weather outside::::

Not bad, in fact it is a bit warmer than most days this time of year. Has been a bit of sprinkles of rain from time to time

Looking around the house::::

 Looking around the house I can see all types of papers that me and kids have worked on for the Christmas season. The Christmas tree is shining and looks like an Island sorrounded by gifts wrapped in paper of variety of colors. Oh the season is one that brightens our lives as we look at the various Nativities in our home. The real reason of the season. We have been blessed so. 

On today's to do list::::

The day is over and has been quite productive. Working both inside and outside this house. Was able to speak with some disabled adults that were caroling place to place. Grand-daughter had girl scouts where she enjoyed a pizza party and exchanged gifts. We took a coloring set and she got a kit to make slime. Oh my how very cool we will share about that soon.

Currently reading::::

Been catching up on some old westerns in my free time. I am also trying to catch up on local news. I love knowing what is going on

On the TV today::::

Watching WCW Raw on T.V. tonight. I have admired wrestling since a little girl. It was always fun to watch but it has changed (like everything else) since I was a little girl 

On the menu this week::::

Monday::: Polish Sausage, fries, beans, and kraut with mini cupcake for dessert. 
Tuesday:::: Pasta with garlic bread 
Wednesday:::: we will be going to look at Christmas lights with kids in P.Js so we will eat out 
Thursday:::: Big night for family. Enjoying meal at local Restraunt
Friday::: road trip, sandwiches
Saturday:::: not for sure
Sunday:::: pizza as tradition

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::

I need to wrap a few more presents 

Looking forward to this week:::: 

I need to pick up a few more presents. Looking forward to new tradition of looking at lights with family. Tomorrow night a friend of mine is having open house at day care so we will go visit. This week we have a lot of family involvement not to mention Christmas. 

Favorite photo from the camera::::

My grand-babies on a shopping trip ran into a winter character.

Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:::: 

Have been studying lessons of Joseph and Mary , the angel appearing to them, and traveling to Bethlehem 

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

Peanut clusters are a favorite treat of my husbands for years and now that we are welcoming in new individuals as our children get married it seems he is not the only one. My newest son in law also loves peanut clusters so they had to show up on the list

12 oz roasted peanuts
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz of another chocolate-type chip

*(ie: peanut butter, butterscotch, dark chocolate, or more semi-sweet

Using a double boiler, melt both kinds of chocolate over medium heat stirring continuously. If you do not have a double boiler you can boil some water in a pan and set another pan over it in which you will place the chips. The reason it is better to use the stove is so your chocolate will remain smooth and creamy while you are making your clusters.

Once your chocolates are completely melted, stir in your peanuts until well coated.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

Keep in air tight container in fridge

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 c. shortening                                    1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c. sugar                                      1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs                                                   2 Tbl sugar
2 3/4 c. flour                                       2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cream of tartar

1.) Mix the sugar and shortening together.
2.) Add in the eggs and beat until fluffy.
3.) In a small bowl combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Sift the flour mixture into the wet mixture – cut the flour in using a pastry cutter – do not beat. The mixture will be crumbly

 Mix your cinnamon in sugar together in a small bowl. You will roll the cookies in this mixture.

5.) Form the dough into 1 inch balls, roll in the sugar mixture, and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

6.) Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Be advised these cookies will puff up and then flatten out, that is normal.
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