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Friday, December 6, 2019

Peppermint Bark Munch ::: #Recipe

1 box (13 cups) Rice Chex cereal 
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
20 ounces almond bark
20 mini candy canes, crushed

1. Melt the almond bark over a double boiler and stir in the peppermint extract..

2. In a very large bowl, add the cereal and pour over the melted almond bark. Sprinkle in the candy cane and stir to coat.

3. Pour over wax paper and spread out to cool.

4. Break into bite-sized clusters and enjoy! 

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Banana Split Pie Dessert

1 baked 9-inch pie crust
Instant vanilla pudding mix 1 PKG no sugar (4 ounces)
2 cups low-fat milk
2 bananas, sliced
Cans crushed pineapple in juice of one their own (15 oz.)
1 cup frozen no sugar is melting, whip topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans,

Well drained pineapple, pour juice on top of the bananas, drain.

Pour the milk into pudding mix and beat with a wire in a bowl until thick, 5 minutes or with a whisk. Pour the pudding into the prepared crust. Place the sliced ​​bananas on pudding. Sprinkle over pineapple banana drainage. Sprinkle with toasted pecan spread on it and whipped cream topping evenly over pineapple. Before you cut in order to provide, at least 1 hour to cool.

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Holiday Fun around Sweet Treats

Looking for a way to get together with friends and family, have a good time and bake a dozen cookies and end up with a variety?? Well then a cookie exchange party is something that you should consider. No matter the number of individuals that you decide to invite each participant will make one type of cookie and enough to share so everyone gets at least one. If you decide to make only enough to share one cookie with each participant then you will have a great variety but only one of each. However, you can make several cookies per party goer as well, the choice is yours. 

Its easy to get others into the act as well. A simple note to allow all to know what is going on may be the way you want to go but if you want it more formal then send out invitations to all those you want to consider coming. This night can be one to retreat from the hustle and bustle and help you have fun and get the chore of baking started as well. However, if you plan on doing any sampling then you will want each participant to bring a few more cookies.

IF you do plan or are invited to a holiday cookie exchange here is a great cookie recipe to consider. 

  • 1 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 c dark brown sugar
  • 2 2/3 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter
  • 1 c dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 2 TB heavy cream
  • 2 c toasted pecan halves or pieces (I like to buy raw pecans from Trader Joe’s and toast them at home)

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ and line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper.  Paper should cover most internal surfaces of pan. **In the pictures below, I halved the recipe and used a square baking pan.**
Start by making your crust.  In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix until crumbly. Press crust dough into your parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. 

While your crust bakes, prepare the filling. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minue, then stir in your toasted pecans. Remove your crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over top, spreading it to cover the entire surface of crust.

Return your pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the pan from the oven and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan on top of a wire cooling rack.

Once cool, lift the bars out of the pan and transfer them to a cutting surface. Slice and package as wanted! I like to wrap mine in unbleached parchment paper and tie them up with festive, red and white butcher’s twine


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Christmas Wreath Cookies

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
30 large marshmallows
6 teaspoons drops of green gel food coloring or 1 and 1/4 liquid green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups cornflakes
1 bottle of red hot candies or 1/2 cup red candy coated chocolates such as mini M&M's
cooking spray

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Place the marshmallows and butter in a large bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until melted.
Add the green food coloring and vanilla; stir until the marshmallow mixture is smooth.
Add the cornflakes to the bowl and gently stir to coat the cereal evenly with the marshmallow mixture.
Pack the mixture into a greased 1/4 cup measuring cup and turn out onto the sheet pan. Use your fingers to make a hole in the middle to form a wreath shape and decorate with red candies. It's easiest to form the wreath holes if your fingers are damp or coated in cooking spray.
Cool completely until firm and serve.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Pineapple Glazed Ham

  • 1 packet whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup pineapple jam
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • large can sliced pineapples
  • 1 can pineapple juice

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Place ham on rack in roaster, bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Genlty remove rind, with thumb, around edge and pull back. Using sharp knife score the fat into 2 cm squares. Place a clove in each square. Place ham back in roasting pan.
    2. Combine jam, sugar and reserved pineapple juice. Brush over ham. Cover shank with foil and bake a further 40 minutes, add pineapple to the pan and bake for 20 minutes. 

Make Your House Smell Like Christmas via Star of Anise

The star of anise is one spice that is very common around Christmas season. 

Rich in vitamin C, calcium and iron the spice has many great uses including:
  • constipation                                     asthma
  • cramping                                        bronchitis 
  • bloating                                            rheumatism
  • heartburn                                          back pain
  • indigestion                                        shingles
  • halitosis                                            herpes
  • sinus infections                                 sedative
  • health of female reproductive system
  • lactating moms                           relief of gas

Star anise has anti viral, anti bacterial, and anti fungal properties making it a valuable tool during cold and flu season. The spice has been found to be good for treating the flu because of the shikimic acid that it possesses. Tamiflu , an anti viral drug that helps fight the flu contains shikimic acid that helps remove mucus and congestion In addition, star anise oil is often found in creams and lotions created to treat insect bites, eczema, psoriasis, acne, scabies and lice. 

The flavor of star anise is provided by the chemical anethole making it a great replacement for the spice anise. Anise as you may know is commonly used in baking and liquor production. Countries such as China, India and other Asian countries promote the flavor of anise in daily cooking. Because star of Anise has a taste similar to licorice and cloves it is perfect for both savory and sweet dishes. This potpourri mix will help you to welcome Christmas into the home and offers a delicious aroma into the air provided, yes by the star of anise

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

3 tangerines halved

3 whole cinnamon sticks

2 star anise gives a strong black licorice smell. optional

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 inch piece fresh ginger

1 tablespoon vanilla bean + 1 vanilla extract

1 small branch fresh pine

1 cup apple cider pomegranate or cranberry juice


Combine all the in a medium size sauce pot. Fill the pot with water until it reaches 3/4 the way full. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, adding more water as needed. I let mine simmer for close to 4 hours and then let it cool over night and simmer again the next day. Just be sure to keep adding more water.

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Why We Sing Christmas Carols

Turn on your radio and you have half a chance of listening to one of your favorite Christmas songs. Now days you have it easier than in the past in that you can program or search for your favorite Christmas carol and listen to the great words that touch the strings of your heart. Christmas Carols also known as noels in French are songs or hymns with lyrics about Christmas that are often quite well known. However, did you know that these great Christmas hymns have been popular since the 4th century in Rome?

History of Christmas Carols:

The archbishop of Milan , Ambrose, wrote many of the early hymns in Latin. Another individual Bernard of Clairvaux introduced the "sequence" of Christmas during the 9th and 10th centuries. Shortly after in the 12th century a Parisian monk known as Adam of Saint Victor would be the first to introduce hymns and music more closer to the Christmas music of today's generation. 

Other nations including France, Germany, Italy and English based countries would all create strong traditional music that would be well recognized at Christmas time. Carolers or wassailers as they were known in England would travel from house to house sharing and singing carols for entertainment. Perhaps you will be surprised that in the beginning this activity had nothing to do with Christmas. 

The year of 1582 would see a collection of songs such as "Good Christian Men, Rejoice" , "O Come all ye faithful" and "Christ was born on Christmas Day" would be wrote in latin and reproduced in a book of Christmas music. Protestant churches would perform these songs helping to build their popularity. One of the most published Christmas hymns in North America is "Joy to the World" wrote by Isaac Watts. In fact, Martin Luther himself authored carols and encouraged the groups to sing them at worship. 

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Bake Your Dog Up a Treat

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup quick oats
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup water more if needed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
In a mixer combine water, oil, eggs and peanut butter. Mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8" thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut dough into shapes. Place shapes on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes remove from oven, turn treats over and return to oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave treats in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely prior to serving to your dogs.

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Eggnog Cookies


1 1/4 cups white sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup eggnog

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Eggnog Glaze:

1 ½ cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons eggnog

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C)
Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Cream sugar and butter until light

Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth.

Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined.

Do not over mix

Spoon onto un-greased cookie sheets or parchment paper and make the dough balls rather small, they will spread generously in the oven. 

Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until the edges barely start to brown.

While cookies are in the oven, make the eggnog glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar with 3 T eggnog.

Gaze your cookies warm or cooled and top with cinnamon.