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Saturday, December 19, 2020

Cranberry / Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins




2 ripe bananas, mashed

1  organic egg

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup milk of choice

1/3 cup unrefined sugar

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1  3/4 cup rolled oats

3 tsp aluminum free baking powder

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1- 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Pinch cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin pan with muffin paper cups.

In a bowl, with a wire whisk, combine bananas, milk, oil, sugar and egg. Add dry ingredients, flour, oats, cinnamon and baking powder and whisk until well incorporated. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.

With a medium cookie scoop, fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

Make sure you remove muffins immediately after they are done. Let them cool on a wire rack.

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Cookie #Recipe Peppermint Cream Cheese

 One of my favorite smells at Christmas time or really any time is the aroma of cookies baking in the oven. December 18 is National Bake Cookies Day and is a great time to bake up your favorite cookies or try a new recipe. Whichever you choose to do it is a great time to make your house full of sweet smells during the holidays. 

Cream Cheese Peppermints 
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 ½ - 5 cups powdered sugar
  • Red gel food color, optional
For filling:
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
For garnish:
  • Crushed peppermint candies or crushed candy cane, optiona

  • To make peppermints buttons:
    1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside
    2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and one cup powdered sugar
    3. Add peppermint extract and red gel food color and mix until combined
    4. Gradually add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until combined
    5. Scoop out a teaspoon of the dough and form into a ball
    6. Place it on prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough
    7. Use the end of a small measuring spoon to create a well (dust the measuring spoon with powdered sugar if it sticks)
    8. Chill the peppermint buttons until firm about 1 hour
    To make white chocolate filling:
    1. Add white chocolate chips to heat resistant bowl, set aside
    2. Bring heaving whipping cream just to a simmer and pour over the top of the white chocolate chips
    3. Let stand for 1-2 minutes and then stir until completely smooth
    4. Spoon a teaspoon of filling into each peppermint button
    5. Chill for about an hour or until filling has set up
    6. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies, if desired
    7. Store in refrigerator
  • lrecipe resource

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Bells

A popular tradition at Christmas time includes church bells. Both the Angelicin and Catholic churches often have bells and bell ringers during services. Christmas Day services are no exception in that it is tradition that bells are rang during the service. In fact Midnight Mass in the Catholic Church will feature altar bells rang during the song "Gloria"

Christmas midnight mass dates back to the early church. Many historians believe that Jesus was born at midnight and while there is no proof many churches have service at midnight on Christmas Eve for this very reason. 

Handbells are often played to the tunes of Christmas carols. One of the most popular Christmas songs that features bells is the song 'Jingle Bells' Did you know that this song was also recorded from space on December 1965 by Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra. 

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Maple Syrup Day


Sugar maple trees are commonly found in the United States. The trees can not thrive in aareas where the summer temps frequently reach over 100 degrees or where the winter temps stay below zero degrees. Sugar Maples often reach more than 125 feet high tall and possess beautifully grained with aromatic sap. One of my favorite thing about these amazing trees is the beautiful fall colors that they offer. 

  • 4 ripe but firm D’Anjou pears
  • 3 tablespoons butter*
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Optional topping: chopped pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Peel the pears and cut them in half length-wise. Carefully scoop out the core and seeds from each half.
  3. In a cast iron or other oven proof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  4. Place the pears in the skillet, cut side down, and cook them until they are starting to get browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Using a fork, carefully flip pears to cut side up and continue to bake another 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the pears from the oven and carefully transfer them to a platter.
  7. Put the skillet back on the stove over low heat, and whisk in the maple syrup with the butter and juices in the skillet.
  8. Spoon the maple syrup sauce over the pears. If desired, sprinkle with chopped pecans. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Time for Tea Party Cookies

 December 16, 1773 was the day of the Great Boston Tea Party. First of all let me share with you that it was not the day that those in Boston sat around with their teacup and cookies to have a great party to chat but rather it was a date that has been chatted about since that time. Colonist located in Boston primarily originated from Great Britain where tea was enjoyed. The East India Company was the shipping company that brought the supply of tea to the colonist. In order to protest the great taxes that was being placed on the tea American patriots dressed up as Mohawk Indians went about the ships and threw the tea crates into Boston harbor. Thus the Boston Tea Party went down in American History. 

                  Christmas Russian Tea Cake Cookies

Russian Tea Cakes
Printable Recipe
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup finely chopped nuts (I use pecans or walnuts)
¼ teaspoon salt
powdered sugar

Beat butter and ½ cup powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds together. Chill the dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool slightly on wire rack. Roll the warm cookies in powdered sugar. Cool on a wire rack and then roll in powdered sugar again to coat.

recipe resource

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Wreaths the Symbolizing , Why we decorate with it and an Edible Wreath

 Deck the halls... with wreaths and all... 

Many have a wreath hanging at least one place in the house. Many times there may be more than one wreath in the same building. Wreaths are one of the most popular decorations during the Christmas holiday. However, many will hang a wreath on the front door year round in different seasonal themes to welcome the visitor to your home.

Wreaths during the advent season are used to tell the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Wreaths symbolize growth and everlasting life The wreaths circular shape represents eternity in that it has no true beginning and no end and is often used to simulate the circle of life. Christmas wreaths many times are made of evergreens whether real or fake and symbolizes growth and everlasting life. Holly ranches often have thorns and often are meant to represent the crown of thorns that Jesus Christ had placed on his head directly before he was crucified In addition, the holly berries represent the blood that was shed for all of us.

  • 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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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Grandmas and Fruitcakes

One tradition that has been around since the Middle Ages is fruit cake. Ancient Romans first would make the fruit cake and later the cake caught on in Europe and became very popular during the 18th and 19th century. Many at this time considered it a delicacy and the ingredients to some were luxuries. While many fruit cakes today are made with dried fruit, nuts and spices during the fruit cake popularity there was a great variety of them available. However, the fruit cake has received much ridicule and teasing but in this post I want to share with you a delicious recipe that my grandmother made each year. 

The Christmas tradition in America was brought by the British. Often the dessert is called Christmas cake or Plum Cake. In Victorian England the cake was saved for special occasions and Christmas. 

Now onto the recipes. It is so funny that my grandmothers were good friends but they each liked to criticize the other. The one difference my grandmother saw was that she owned her land and the other leased That was not where it ended though as they were both in the same home economics unit and loved to boast about what they were doing. So to please them both I am sharing 2 fruit cake recipes each of them would make one or the other. I love my grandmas and miss them dearly 

Swedish TeaRing

3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups very warm milk 120 degrees F
1 egg beaten
3 tablespoons butter softened
5 tablespoons butter softened
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
candied red and green cherries optional

In the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment combine 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add warm milk, egg and butter until well combined. Slowly add in remaining flour until the dough starts to come together. Change to your dough hook and knead for 5 minutes. Cover and allow to rise until double in a warm place. (About 25 minutes)
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon for the filling of the tea ring, set aside. Lightly grease a large baking pan and set aside.
Punch dough down and roll out to a 20"x12" rectangle. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. With the long side facing you begin to roll up the dough into a long log. Seal the seam by pinching the dough together. Bring the ends together and pinch the dough together to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet seam side down.
Using a pair of kitchen scissors cut the dough in 1 to 1 1/2" sections around the ring be careful not to cut the whole way through. Gently pull up each section and give it a small twist and lay back on the pan. Cover and let rise until double.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Decorate with optional candied cherries. Also may drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze.

Plum Pudding

Each pudding serves 12

Fruit Mixture (To be made 4 days ahead)
1 pound seedless raisins
1 pound sultana raisins
1/2 pound currants
1 cup thinly sliced citron
1 cup chopped candied peel
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound finely chopped suet – powdery fine
1 1/4 cups cognac
1 1/4 pounds (approximately) fresh bread crumbs
1 cup scalded milk
1 cup sherry or port
12 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Blend the fruits, citron, peel, spices and suet and place in a bowl or jar. Add 1/4 cup cognac, cover tightly and refrigerate for 4 days, adding 1/4 cup cognac each day.
Soak the bread crumbs in milk and sherry or port. Combine the well-beaten eggs and sugar. Blend with the fruit mixture. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Put the pudding in buttered bowls or tins, filling them about 2/3 full. Cover with foil and tie it firmly. Steam for 6-7 hours. Uncover and place in a 250°F. oven for 30 minutes. Add a dash of cognac to each pudding, cover with foil and keep in a cool place.
To use, steam again for 2-3 hours and unmold. Sprinkle with sugar; add heated cognac. Ignite and bring to the table. 

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