Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I posted this in November 2008 and it was very popular so decided to repost it.

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And then for a repeat of the hit of 2007 just click onto Elf Yourself and have a ball...

Monday, November 29, 2010



Yes, it’s true that garland is relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased almost anywhere. It wasn’t so in days of yore, and rural families most often simply made their own. What the garland was made of depended on what was available, but most commonly popcorn was used.
Want to try to make your own? If so, make it an experience, something the family can do together, that will make for fond memories. Put on Christmas music, or one of your favorite movies. Serve cocoa or hot cider and Christmas cookies.
Make an extra bowl of regular popcorn for the family, since the kids are probably going to eat it as they help make the garland, unbuttered and stale, or not
Use good judgment in how old your child needs to be to handle a sewing needle, and supervise them well. For a very young child, you can set them to the task of alternately handing you cranberries and popcorn.
We made popcorn and cranberry strings this weekend. It’s a family tradition. My mother always made them for our trees as I was growing up, and we have always had them on our Christmas tree. After a long day of decorating, stringing popcorn and cranberries is a great sit-down-and-rest-your-feet-while-you-watch-a-movie job.
It takes six bags of cranberries to make enough strings to decorate a 9′ Christmas tree.
Make the strings about 9’ long. They are easy to carry into the living room and attach one section at a time. Leave a 6-7″ tail on each end and tie those together when the string goes on the tree. I like to hang them with ornament hooks to give the loops a nice scalloped definition.
Here’s a hint for stringing popcorn and cranberries, the popcorn will string more easily if it is a day or two old. Freshly popped corn can certainly be used, but it breaks more easily. Use loose popcorn, not microwave popcorn, for the strings. It takes a lot. DD popped three large bowls full and we used it all. I like to use Orville Redenbacher’s white popping corn. It pops large and has a clean white color. If you can not find this use the yellow

We used 12 pound test fishing line ( you can also use dental floss) and a heavyweight sewing needle for stringing. Tie a knot 4-6″ from the end. We start with a cranberry and thread through it twice to keep it from slipping off the end. And we finish the section with a piece of popcorn, but do not tie that end with a knot. Be sure to lay your strings out with the knotted end at the same end of the table, so you can easily pick up the popcorn end to prevent the popcorn and cranberries from slipping off the string.


In a small southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed great skill and talent had gone intocreating it. One small feature bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets.
Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left. At a "Quik Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets.
She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You darn Yankees never do read the Bible!"
I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible.
She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled thru some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said "See, it says right here, 'The three wise man came from afar.


Wassail is a hot beverage that hails from the mid-17th century. Wassail was a way of bringing friends and family together to celebrate the last of the harvest. In this version, apples, pears and ale combine in a warm concoction to brace the soul against a harsh winter.


1 lb cooking apples, such as Golden Delicious or Gravenstein
½ lb semi-ripe pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou
1 gal nut-brown ale
5 whole cinnamon sticks
3 tsp whole cloves
1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup sugar, to taste
pinch of salt


large stockpot
casserole dish
deep, large bowl
potato peeler
potato masher or large wooden spoon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and core the fruit using a paring knife or a dedicated apple corer; you want to only take out the stem and seeds from the fruit. It's okay to push the corer completely through the apples and pears. Discard the cores.
Arrange the apples and pears snugly in a high-walled casserole dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and put into heated oven.
Cook fruit for approximately 50 minutes or until they begin to explode. This bursting is relatively small because the fruit is merely splitting its skin.
Take fruit out of oven and set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
During the time that the apples and pears are cooling, heat the ale over a medium temperature in a large stockpot.
Add the spices to the ale and stir to incorporate. Wait to add the sugar until after the apples and pears are included in the mixture.
When the fruit is cool enough to hold, peel and place into a deep, large bowl.
Using a potato masher or a large wooden spoon, crush the cooked fruit pulp so that it's roughly the same texture as mashed potatoes.
Add the fruit pulp to the stockpot and mix well. Let the drink simmer for a few minutes, then taste and add sugar and/or salt to taste.
Keep simmering the ale at a low temperature until you serve it.
Ladle mugs full of steaming ale and apple/pear pulp into waiting mugs

Friday, November 26, 2010


Decorating your home for the holidays doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Here are 11 ideas for decking the halls simply and inexpensively this yuletide.

1 Gift-wrapped. Don’t hide Christmas gifts under the tree. Use them throughout the house as cheerful decorations. The settee in the dining room and the buffet will look fabulous stacked with packages decorated with candy-colored ribbons. The mantel looks gorgeous with multiple wrapped packages spaced across it.

2 Winter wonderland. Create a pretty wintertime scene by filling several clear glass containers with salt, then placing twigs from the yard inside. You can even throw a couple of mini ornaments in, too, so it looks like a Christmas tree with ornaments that have fallen to the snow.

3 Sweet centerpiece. Transform candy canes, peppermint drops, foil-wrapped chocolates and other colorful treats into edible décor. Fill clear vases with layers of candy and use as a colorful focal point for tables or the mantel. Old vases filled with licorice, color-coordinated candies and wrapped candy create inexpensive drama.

4 Garlands of greetings. Turn Christmas cards into a cheerful display. You can poke a hole in them and string them together like a chain of paper dolls so they make a nice, funky garland or hang it around a doorway or on your mantel. Save scraps of holiday gift wrap, and put them to work in a festive greeting-card display. Using a glue stick, coat 1 side of a clothespin; press firmly onto gift wrap. Cut around clothespin with a craft knife to trim excess paper. Repeat on other side. To hang a series of clothespins, clip them to a length of ribbon, and hang along a banister or above a mantel or entryway. Pin cards along ribbon as they arrive.

5 Winter greenery. Raid the winter garden for holly or yew clippings. Tie them with fresh cinnamon sticks onto chair backs, dining room chandeliers, door knobs, stockings or napkin rings with holiday ribbon or raffia.

6 Visions of sugarplums. Skewer fresh fruit, such as apples, lemons, limes and oranges, and attach to green garlands, using floral wire. Drape garlands above the fireplace, along the banister, or around window or door frames. To dress it up add a little sparkle with floral picks from a craft store. Paint fruit with Elmers glue and roll in sequins, place on a rack to dry. Display in a basket or clear bowl.

7 Bundle up. Layer the table with colorful wraps and scarves pulled from your closet or purchased at a thrift store. Place the fabric over upside-down Pyrex containers or stacks of books to create height variation, then top with candles in vases. If you’re decorating a buffet table, this is a great way to display platters of food.

8 Winter’s light. Consider using battery-powered candles, especially during parties, when you’d rather be visiting with guests than monitoring burning candles. They provide ambient lighting without the fear of fire during a party. Fill six drinking glasses or votive holders with colored water (dyed with food coloring), add a floating candle to each, and boom, you’re done

9 Holiday color. Dry beans, rice and colored lentils make a great base for mantel décor and centerpieces. Pour the dry goods in layers around a large pillar candle placed inside a clear glass vase. Decorating with items you can get at the grocery store saves you from running all over town.

10 Christmas plants may seem to be decorative all by themselves, but adding seasonal touches to their containers creates extra holiday spirit. Prime a plastic container (yogurt or ice cream) with white acrylic paint (two coats, if needed). Let dry. Remove the bottom layers of Christmas napkins and tear the sides to soften the straight edges. Apply decoupage glue to the container and cover it with the napkins. While the glue is still wet, highlight the decoration with glitter ,or old fashion mica flakes. Let dry. Apply textured snow paint to the top edge of the pot. Use more to add detail to the design to give a festive, wintry look. Add your favorite Christmas plant.

11 Who says you have to be at a formal event to have a beautifully decorated table? This holiday season, dress up your tablescape with inexpensive slip covers and festive ribbon sashes for your chairs. Using a 4″ thick satin ribbon, some clippings from your tree and a pine cone (faux snow frosting spray paint optional), you can make your own chairs look event-worthy. If the ribbon slips down the back of the chair use a safety pin to secure it to the fabric cover.
If you are using fat pine cones that are too thick to stay on the ribbon without any help, use floral wire or brown string to tie around the tip or bottom of the pine cone. Make a loop and string the loop onto the ribbon before tying a bow



1 (18 ounce) box chocolate cake mix
1 c. Hellmann’s™ Real or Light Mayonnaise
1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
1 c. water
3 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans*; set aside.
Beat cake mix, Hellmann’s™ Real or Light Mayonnaise, cinnamon, water and eggs for 30 seconds in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed, scraping sides occasionally, 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pans and cool completely. Sprinkle, if desired, with confectioner’s sugar, or fill and frost.
*Or prepare cake mix as above in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan and bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hope you're surrounded by love this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010



1. Add a few drops of food coloring to white glue. Put the glue into a squeeze bottle or icing piping bag. Draw simple Christmas star outlines on waxed paper. Pipe glue onto the paper, following your drawn outlines. Dry. Peel glue ornaments off of the waxed paper and hang in windows with thread or ribbon.

2. Place some fun ornaments on pedestals. Glass candlesticks are just right to hold your vibrant ornaments. Simply turn ornaments upside down and hold in place with a little tacky clay if needed.

3. Cut pictures out of old Christmas cards and create a collage by gluing them onto a piece of poster board. You can frame the poster board if you like or simply hang it on the wall.

4. Paint fruit such as apples and pears with egg white and roll in gold sparkles. Air dry on a rack and display in a basket along with nuts.

5. Twist garland or popcorn strings around railings or banisters and secure here nd there with tape.

6. Using a glue gun, glue candy canes, side-by-side (standing on end with their hooks at the top) to the outside of a terra cotta pot. Tie a red ribbon around the pot. Place a small poinsettia inside the pot or fill the pot with wrapped candy.

7. Tape a doily to the outside of a glass canister or clean glass mayonnaise jar. Spray the outside of the container with artificial snow. Dry. Remove the doily. Fill the container with cookies, candy, ornaments, etc.

8. Use scraps of Christmas print fabric to create quick sachets. Place two pieces of fabric right sides together. Pin a paper pattern of a Christmas shape to the fabric (use our basic patterns). Cut the shape out of both layers of fabric. Stitch the fabric layers together all along the edge, leaving a one inch gap. Turn the sachet right side out. Fill the sachet with potpourri. Hand stitch the gap closed. Place your sachets in a basket by the front door so you can hand them to departing guests (meanwhile, they'll fill your entryway with wonderful scent).

9. Remove your favorite pictures from their frames. Wrap the frames with Christmas wrap and replace the pictures.

10. Make a gingerbread house. They make wonderful centerpieces or Christmas decorations for any table top.


Crumbled white cake is combined with cream cheese frosting and tinted red and green. The mixture is formed into balls and dipped in melted dark and white chocolate


1 box white cake mix
1 16 oz. can cream cheese frosting
Red and green food coloring
1 package dark chocolate bark
1 package white chocolate bark


Prepare and bake cake mix in a 13x9-inch pan. After cake is cooled completely in pan, cut in half. Remove cake and crumble each half into 2 medium mixing bowls. Add HALF of the cream cheese frosting to each bowl; mix thoroughly. Add red food coloring to one bowl, and green to other bowl, until desired color is achieved. Using hands, roll mixture into balls the size of a quarter; lay on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Cover and chill well. Melt the dark chocolate in microwave according to directions on package. Using 2 spoons, roll half of the balls in melted chocolate; place balls on waxed paper until firm. Set remaining melted dark chocolate aside. Melt white chocolate and repeat process with remaining balls. Set aside remainder of melted white chocolate. Once chocolate coating has set on the balls, return the bowl of remaining white chocolate to microwave to melt again to drizzling consistency. Drizzle white chocolate over dark chocolate balls. Repeat the process, melting the remaining dark chocolate to drizzle over white chocolate balls. Let cool until set, then transfer to candy cups and refrigerate.
Recipe from Better Recipes

Monday, November 22, 2010



Say "good by" to your diet and treat yourself to this delicious, decadent dessert I promise you won't regret it.


single crust pie shell-see below for recipe

1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1/2 Cup walnuts
4 eggs
1/2 Cup corn syrup, light or dark
2 TB. (good squeeze) honey
1/3 Cup white sugar
1/3 Cup brown sugar
6 TB. melted butter
1/4 Cup bourbon
1 TB. flour
1/4-1/2 tsp. GROUND NUTMEG
8 oz. bittersweet baking chocolate, broken/chopped into 1/2-inch chunks (too small and they disappear, too big and there isn't enough in each bite)



1/2 Cup butter (1 stick)
1 Cup flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-3 TB. milk


Preheat oven to 350°. Toast the pecans and walnuts for 10 minutes in the oven. While they are toasting, in a mixing bowl combine the eggs, corn syrup, honey, sugars, butter, bourbon, VANILLA, flour, CINNAMON and NUTMEG and mix until smooth. Fold in the nuts and chocolate. Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes.

If you are making the crust: The butter should not be rock hard cold, but not completely softened either—somewhere in between. Cut the butter into pieces. Work the flour, sugar and salt in by hand or with a pastry cutter, then switch to a spoon to mix in just enough milk so that it holds together. Pat into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.


No holiday meal is complete without pie, and this recipe makes two beautiful, delicious pies that will delight pecan pie lovers AND pumpkin pie lovers.


11/2 sticks butter, room temperature (3/4 cup)
11/2 Cups flour
1 TB. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3-5 TB. milk



1 16 oz. can pumpkin (not pie filling)
3/4 Cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs


1 Cup white corn syrup
1 Cup dark brown sugar
1/3 Cup melted butter
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 Cups chopped pecans


CRUST: Using a fork or your fingers, mix the butter with the flour, sugar and salt until it looks likes peas and crumbles. Drizzle the milk in bit by bit, using the fork or a spoon to blend the crust until it just sticks together. Divide the dough in half and pat into discs. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out. On a well-floured surface, roll the discs from the center to the outer edges with a well-floured rolling pin. Add more flour if needed. Roll until the circles are larger than your pie pans. Gently ease the crusts into the pans.

PUMPKIN LAYER: Prepare the pumpkin layer while the crust dough is chilling. Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, beat together the pumpkin, sugar, salt, CINNAMON, ALLSPICE and VANILLA until well mixed. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Divide the pumpkin mixture evenly between the two crust-lined pie plates. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Check the pies by jiggling them gently. You don’t want the pies to be completely set, you want them to still be slightly under-baked but not runny. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the pecan layer.

PECAN LAYER: In a mixing bowl, combine the corn syrup, brown sugar, butter and VANILLA. Mix well. Add the eggs and mix to combine. Fold
pecans. Divide the pecan mixture between the two pies and return them to the 350° oven. Bake for 45 minutes


Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Can't decide? This is the pie for you. A layer of tart apples in a caramel sauce covered with a layer of traditional pumpkin. Add some fresh whipped cream and you're in heaven.


CRUST: Makes one 9 inch crust

1/2 Cup butter or shortening
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 Cup milk


1/3 Cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 TB. cornstarch
1 tsp. CINNAMON, divided
1/4 tsp. NUTMEG
1/4 tsp. ALLSPICE
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/3 Cup water
2 TB. butter
3 Cups Granny Smith, Cortland or McIntosh apples, peeled and sliced about 1/8-inch thick (about 3 apples)
3/4 Cup canned solid packed pumpkin
3/4 Cup evaporated milk
1/3 Cup sugar
1 egg, beaten


Preheat oven to 375°. To prepare the crust, cut the butter into small pieces; it doesn't have to be cold, but it should not be warm to the point of melting. Add the flour, CREAM OF TARTAR, and salt, beat or mix by hand to combine. Add the milk in a thin stream, mixing until thoroughly blended. Sprinkle a wooden board or counter top with flour, place the dough on the board, and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Using short strokes with a rolling pin, roll it from the center to the edges until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You will want to turn the dough over and re-dust with flour halfway through. Roll until the crust is about an inch larger than your 9 inch pie pan when inverted. Fold the crust in half and in half again so that it looks like a triangle. Place it in the ungreased pie pan with the point in the center. Unfold the crust and ease it into the pan. Roll the edges of the overhanging crust under so that you have a nice rim around the pie plate. Set aside.

In a roomy skillet, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. CINNAMON, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Add the PURE VANILLA EXTRACT, water and butter and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken, creating a caramel sauce. Add the apples and continue cooking over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, egg, 1/2 tsp. CINNAMON, NUTMEG, ALLSPICE and 1/4 tsp. salt. Pour over the apple layer. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Check the crust occasionally; if it looks too brown, cover the edges with foil. Cool completely before cutting. This pie should be refrigerated.
Recipes from Penzeys

Friday, November 19, 2010



I posted ten easy ideas Sunday, and will be posting more easy ideas for Christmas Decor. Be sure to keep checking for them!

1 Sew scraps of Christmas print fabric into a patchwork tablecloth. Simply cut your fabric into square pieces and stitch together. Hem the entire cloth. Sew ribbon the edges, if you like. Make smaller cloths to cover end tables, night tables, TV trays, shelving, etc.

2 Cover an end table or a shelf with white paper. Arrange cut evergreen boughs on to cover the table top. Place tall tapered candles in glass candleholders here and there on the table top. Before lighting candles, be sure that the greenery is not close enough to catch fire.

3 Use pliers to bend coat hangers into a simple wire-frame tree shape. Wrap a string of outdoor Christmas light around the frame, attaching with electrical tape or duct tape. Stick the decoration in a flower bed or on your front lawn.

4 Hang mistletoe everywhere. Use false or fresh mistletoe. This is classic Christmas decorations.

5. Wrap your doors in Christmas wrapping paper and attach large bows make from fabric or purchased at your local craft store.

6 String a ribbon from one end of a wall to another. Attach the ribbon to the wall (at each corner) with thumbtacks. Clip Christmas cards to the ribbon with clothes pins. If the ribbon is too long, the weight of the cards will pull it off the wall, so tack it here and there with more thumbtacks.

7 Make basic sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies. Before baking, make a hole toward the top of each cookie using a straw. Bake and cool. String a ribbon through each cookie and hang them on your Christmas tree.

8 Purchase a large glass plate. Paint the underside of the plate with gold craft paint. Dry. Place the plate on a table and fill with several white or off-white pillar candles of varying sizes.

9 String popcorn, cranberries, cereal, beads, etc. and hang the garlands everywhere.

10 Make some old-fashioned tree decorations. Wrap nuts with aluminum foil; use a needle and thread to stitch a thread through the foil for hanging. Glue ribbon to pine cones for hanging. String popcorn streamers. Make paper chains. Cut snowflakes from white paper.


Whenever you make these cookies for someone, be sure to bring along several copies of the recipe! You will be asked for it, I promise. These are the cookies used in the cookie wreath that I posted on Sunday.


1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. Frost with Royal Icing.



3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
4 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar


In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days

Tuesday, November 16, 2010



My daughter sent this to me (I was born & raised in Texas & now live in Minnesota) and thought Y'ALL would get a kick out of it!

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is ... They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, ... and when we're "in line,"... wetalk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart"... and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff...bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I'm not from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."

Southern women know men may come and go, but friends are fahevah !

Now Shugah, send this to someone who was raised in the South or wishes they had been!

f you're a Northern transplant, bless your little heart, fake it. We know you got here as fast as you could.



3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 stalk celery
1 onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
4 eggs
1 large red apple, diced
6 DelMonte Sweet Garden Crunchers, diced
1 (3 ounce) package sliced almonds
Salt and pepper to taste crushed red pepper to taste
1/4 cup mayonnaise


Over medium-high heat, bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add chicken, celery, a slice of the onion, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour.

Chop remaining onion and set aside.

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
Drain chicken, discarding boiled vegetables. Chop chicken when cool.
In a medium bowl, mix the apple, onion, pickles, almonds and salt, if desired. Add black and red pepper to taste. Stir in enough mayonnaise until the mixture sticks together well. 6.Cover a serving dish with lettuce leaves. Mound the chicken salad in the middle, and sprinkle with additional almonds, if desired. Serve with crackers.


The secret to tasty home fries is to bake the potatoes, rather than to boil them; that way the flavor stays within the potatoes

3 baked potatoes
3 tablespoons salted butter or bacon fat
1 small white onion – diced
½ cup diced bell pepper
Salt and pepper


Chop the baked potatoes, skins and all, into 1-inch cubes. Reserve.

Melt the butter (or bacon fat) and add the diced onions & bell peppers. Sauté for about 2 minutes, then toss in the cubed potatoes. Add salt and pepper and stir the mixture over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Serve hot and crispy.


It’s so bad, it’s good.


1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 teaspoons mesquite seasoning
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Spray olive oil
24 ounces frozen French fries
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese (plain), shredded
3/4 cup bottled chunky or creamy Blue Cheese dressing
1/2 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled
2 stalks celery, trimmed and minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix together the cayenne, mesquite seasoning, celery salt and garlic powder. Reserve.

Spray frozen fries with olive oil, tossing to coat all sides. Sprinkle with seasonings and toss to coat evenly.

Bake on a cookie sheet in a single layer, flipping fries over halfway during cooking so both sides crisp evenly. Remove from oven and top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Return to oven for 30 seconds, or until cheese melts.

Remove from oven and quickly drizzle with Blue Cheese dressing, top with crumbled Blue cheese, minced celery and green onion and serve.


Pour a little of the bacon grease on the fries when baking them then sprinkle some of the Taco Seasoning on the Fries as well.


1 bag Spicy Ore Ida Home Fries (frozen)
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded


1 bottle ranch dressing
1/2 package taco seasoning

Cook fries according to package directions. Sprinkle on cheese and crumbled bacon. Return to oven until cheese is melted. Serve with dip below.

Mix dip ingredients well.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Q What did the ghost say to Santa Claus?
A. I'll have a boo Christmas without you.

Q. What do you call a snowman party?
A. A Snowball!

Q. What did the Gingerbread Man put on his bed?
A. A cookie sheet!

Q. What do you get when you cross a snowman with a shark?
A. Frost bite!

Q. What do you call an Eskimo cow?
A. An Eskimoo.

Q. How is the Christmas alphabet different from the ordinary alphabet?
A. The Christmas alphabet has NO EL.

Q. What do the elves sing to Santa Claus on his birthday?
A. Freeze a jolly good fellow . . .

Q. What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmastime?
A. Sandy Claws!

Q. Why are Christmas trees such bad knitters?
A. They are always dropping their needles.

Here are some very easy NO BAKE COOKIES for you to make!


This old recipe for no bake cookies is a real winner. The richness of the melted dates and the crispiness of the cereal are a fabulous contrast. They are crisp, rich, and absolutely delicious.


1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped dates
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/4 cups rice krispies cereal
powdered sugar


In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Remove and add sugar and dates, mixing well until combined. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Then add beaten egg, and cook, stirring constantly, until the ingredients are all melted together. Add vanilla and rice krispies; remove from heat. Stir until combined.
Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls into powdered sugar and shape into balls. Store covered in refrigerator.



2 egg whites
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs until fluffy, and gradually add sugar. Beat until stiff. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop on foil lined pan. Put in oven, close door, turn oven off. DON'T OPEN UNTIL MORNING!!


Tasty no-bake cookies made with oatmeal, peanut butter and cocoa. Start timing when mixture reaches a full rolling boil; this is the trick to successful cookies. If you boil too long the cookies will be dry and crumbly. If you don't boil long enough, the cookies won't form properly.


1 stick of margarine or butter
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
dash salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of chunky peanut butter
3 cups of quick oats
1 sheet of wax paper


Combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan and cook 5 minutes. Stir in peanut butter. Remove from heat and add quick oats mix well. Drop from a teaspoon onto wax paper. Let cool.



2 cups of Vanilla Wafer crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped Maraschino Cherries
1 cup chopped English Walnuts
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk


Mix all ingredients thoroughly and roll into balls. Then roll in powdered sugar (drop by teaspoons into powdered sugar so your hands won't get so messy). If you prepare the day before you serve, then roll them in the powdered sugar on the day you serve as the sugar will absorb into the mixture if you let it stand. (1 can of sweetened condense milk makes 2 batches)


8 tablespoons butter
8 ounces dates, pitted and chopped
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup crisp honey rice cereal
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a saucepan over medium heat combine the butter, dates, egg yolks and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat stir in the rice cereal, chopped pecans and vanilla. Stir and let cool.

When you can handle roll into small balls then roll in cane sugar.