Monday, December 21, 2009

Best Whishes For The Holidays

This being the Christmas week, I won't be posting anything more until after the start of the new year.

I would like to take this time to wish everyone who visits this blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the days ahead be better than the ones that have just passed and may your home be blessed with love, laughter, and prosperity.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Caroler's Crunch

This is one recipe I haven't had time to try yet but the person who sent it to me swears by it. She says it's a great nutty, crunchy treat. It sounds good so I am going to try it soon.


  • 1/2 Cup evaporated milk

  • 3/4 Cup white sugar

  • 1 - 6 Oz. package butterscotch chips

  • 2 Cups Cherrios

  • 1/4 Cup butter

  • 1 Tsp. vanilla

  • 1 Cup peanuts

  • 1 Cup broken pretzel pieces

Combine milk, sugar & butter. Bring to boil stirring contantly. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat & add butterscotch chips, stirring until smoth. Combine rest of ingredients and toss lightly. Drop by spoonfuls onto a tray lined with parchment paper and cool

Store in air tight container.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nuts And Bolts

Whether you buy these for events like new years eve or just anytime, nuts and bolts are a nice little treat. Considering the cost and preservatives in the store bought version, these are better for you and a little cheaper to make. They also taste great.


  • 8 Cups Cheerios

  • 6 Cups Shreddies

  • 6 Cups pretzel sticks

  • 1 & 1/2 Cups margerine(melted)

  • 2 Cups whole cashews

  • 2 Cups whole almonds

  • 2 Tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic salt

  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder

  • 1/2 Tsp. cayenne pepper (optional if you want it spicy)

  • 1 Tsp. seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in large roasting pan. In microwave, melt margarine then add remaing ingredients to margarine and stir well. Pour over dry mixture and stir well again.

Place in oven and bake for 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in sealed cookie tins for up to 3 weeks

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gingerbread Man Cookies

If you're like my wife and insists on having a gingerbread house during the holidays (she has them mainly so she can watch our grandson destroy it), then you just have to have gingerbread men to go with it.


  • 1 Cup margarine

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1/2 Cup dark molasses

  • 1 Tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 Tsp. nutmeg

  • 1 Tsp. cloves

  • 1 Tsp, Ginger

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1 Tsp. Vinegar

  • 5 Cups flour

  • 1 Tsp. baking soda

In a saucepan, cream the margarine and sugar. Add molasses and spices and mix well. Bring to a boil, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and cool.

Stir in well beaten eggs and vinegar. Sift flour and baking soda and stir into molasses mixture.

Chill several hours.

Divide dough into 6 portions. Roll out and cut with gingerbread man cookie cutter. Garnish and then place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Rum Balls

Most people I know always have rum balls on hand during the Christmas season so here's any easy recipe for those who would like to try their hand at making them.


  • 4 Cups vanilla wafer crumbs

  • 1 & 1/4 Cups shredded coconut

  • 1 Cup finely chopped walnuts

  • 1 - 14 Oz. can sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/2 Cup rum

  • Icing sugar (for dusting)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients and thoroughly blend together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in fridge for at least 10 minutes.

Remove from fridge and roll mixture into balls. Roll the balls in the icing sugar and store finished balls in fridge.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chocolate Mice

As todays is my youngest sons birthday (Happy Birthday Joe), I thought I would post one of his favourite treats. Even at 27, he still likes these chocoloate rodents.


  • 4 - 1 Oz. squares semisweet chocolate

  • 1/3 Cup sour cream

  • 1 Cup chocolate cookie crumbs

  • 1/3 Cup chocolate cookie crumbs (for decorating)

  • 1/3 Cup confectioners' sugar

  • 24 Silver balls decorating candy

  • 1/4 Cup sliced almonds

  • 12 - 2 Inch pieces long red shoestring licorice

Melt the chocolate, and combine with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until firm.

Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end (the nose).

Roll dough in confectioners sugar (for white mice), and in chocolate cookie crumbs (for dark mice). On each mouse, place silver candy balls in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears, and a licorice string for the tail.

Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Honeyed Pumpkin Pie with Broiled Praline Topping

One of the desserts a lot of people have at Thanksgiving and Christmas is pumpkin pie. I'm no exception. After I've had my Christmas turkey dinner, I love a good piece of homemade pumpkin pie with a small scoop of ice cream on top and a coffee. Imagine my surprise when I got the following recipe in an e-mail recently. Now I haven't tried it yet but then Christmas day is only 2 weeks from today so it may well end up as the dessert for that day.


  • 1 - 16 Oz. can pumpkin (do not use pumpkin pie filling)

  • 1 Pre-made single pie crust (those you buy from the grocers, such as Tenderflake)

  • 1 Cup honey

  • 3/4 Tsp. salt

  • 3/4 Tsp. ground nutmeg

  • 3/4 Tsp. ground allspice

  • 4 Eggs

  • 3/4 Cup evaporated milk


  • 1/3 Cup chopped pecans

  • 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine (softened)

Heat oven to 375°F. Remove pie crust from package, place flat on work surface. With rolling pin, roll crust into 13-inch round. Place in 10-inch deep-dish pie pan as directed on box for One-Crust Filled Pie.

In large bowl with electric mixer, beat pumpkin, honey, salt, nutmeg and allspice on medium speed until blended. Beat in eggs. On low speed, gradually add milk, beating until well blended. Pour into crust-lined pan.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until edge is set. Cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours.

Set oven control to broil. In small bowl, mix topping ingredients; sprinkle over pie. Broil with top 4 to 6 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until topping is bubbly. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Crack

Last year about this same time, I was looking for something different in the way of candy when I ran across this recipe. I'll admit the name threw me off at first but once I made it and a few people tried it, I was getting requests for me to make it or give out the recipe. This is a great treat but you have to follow the recipe "exactly".


  • 40 Saltine crackers

  • 1 Cup butter (margarine will not work in this recipe. it "must" be butter)

  • 1 Cup light brown sugar (you must use light not dark brown sugar)

  • 12 Oz. chocolate chips

  • 1 Cup nuts (chopped [I use shelled sunflower seeds but you can use what you prefer or none at all])

Line up the saltines on a jelly roll pan that has been lined with foil that makes a bigger rim then the pan. There should be 5 rows of 8.

Melt butter and add light brown sugar. Stir often and bring to a full rolling boil for "exactly" 3 minutes.

Pour over the saltines and bake in a 400 oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and wait until they are almost melted. Spread over all the saltines. Drop the nuts over top as evenly as possible. Refrigerate for two hours and then break up into pieces.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Maple Candy

I love maple cookies. The ones shaped like maple leaves. When my grandson is here, they are called grandpa cookies. I also have a sweet tooth when it comes to fudge. Imagine my delight when I came across this maple candy recipe.


  • 4 Cups maple syrup

  • 1 Cup cream

  • 1/4 Cup butter

  • 1 Cup walnuts (crushed)

  • 1 Tsp. lemon extract

In a medium sized saucepan, add the maple syrup, cream, and butter. Bring to a rolling boil. After mixture reaches boiling point, boil for an additional 9 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, add the walnuts and lemon extract and stir for 5 minutes.

Pour into buttered pan and cool. After candy has cooled enough to handle, cut into squares.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sponge Toffee

One of the treats I like to make for the Christmas season reminds me of growing up. Sponge toffee. Crunchy, sweet, sticky after awhile. It's heaven. This recipe is fairly simple to make but Be Careful. If you don't use a pan big enough, the mixture can and will bubble over creating an awful mess that is almost impossible to clean off a stove top. I speak from experience.


  • Olive oil, to coat the pan

  • 2 1/2 Cups granulated sugar

  • 2/3 Cup light corn syrup

  • 6 Tbsp. water

  • 2 Tbsp. baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Liberally coat a 10-inch round spring form cake pan with olive oil. At this point, if you want to be on the safe side, line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper. Make sure you coat them well with olive oil as you did with the pan.

In a deep medium saucepan add sugar, corn syrup, water, and vanilla. Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil (without stirring) and cook until hard crack stage (until temperature reads 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer). This should take about 10 minutes. During the cooking process, if there are any sugar crystals on the sides of the pan, brush the sides of the pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in water.

Remove the sugar mixture from the heat. Working quickly, add the baking soda and whisk to incorporate the soda into the sugar mixture, about 5 seconds. Note the mixture will bubble up when you add the baking soda so be very careful not to touch the hot toffee. Immediately pour the hot toffee into the prepared pan. Let cool and set completely before touching. Break into pieces and serve. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meringue Wreaths

Usually, our 6 year old grandson spends Christmas day with his maternal grandparents. When it was learned she would be having her Christmas dinner and such a few days later, we asked him if he would like to spend Christmas day with us instead of the usual few hours. His response was "Well it sounds good to me grandma but I'll have to discuss it with Nana first".

Since this is the Christmas month, from now untill Dec. 22, I will try and post a Christmas related recipe. It could be anything from desserts to salads to a whole turkey dinner. I won't be posting anything here from the 22nd till after the first of the year so that I may spend time with family and friends.

Now todays recipe

While this recipe may take practice to get it right, it is well worth the effort. Meringues are light and tasty but if they are rushed when baking, they will crack.


  • 2 Egg whites

  • 1 Tsp. lemon juice

  • 1/4 Tsp. cream of tartar

  • 2/3 Cup of instant dissolving fruit/berry sugar

In a small bowl, beat egg whites with lemon juice until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Slowly mix in sugar, about 1 Tbs. at a time. Beat until it doesn't feel gritty. Line your baking sheet with wax paper then scoop meringue onto paper making small rings.

Bake it at 250 degrees F. for 1-1/4h rs or until they are firm. When firm turn off oven and leave them in oven for 1 more hr.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fruited Rice Pudding

I love a good rice pudding. Rice and raisins swimming around in a rich and creamy sauce. Hmmm. While I usually make mine in the oven, this recipe is well worth the change, especially with the added fruit.

  • 2 Quarts milk

  • 1 Cup rice

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 3 Tbsp. margarine

  • 1/4 Tsp. salt

  • 1 Tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 Cup minced dried fruit (apricots or peaches or any combination)

  • 1/4 Tsp. ground cinnamon

Put all ingredients into crock pot. Stir to blend well. Cover and cook on high 1 & 1/2 hours, stir once after about 1 hour. Or, cook on high for the first 30 minutes, turn to low and cook as long as you want.

Check and stir after the first 2 hours of cooking on low. If rice is not absorbing the milk quickly enough, turn the crock pot up to high again. Keep cover on at all times.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bumbleberry Cobbler

When I was younger and someone asked me if I would like some bumbleberry fruit with my ice cream, I didn't know what to think. I had never heard of bumbleberry. Not untill I reached my teens did I discover that it was a mix of berry fruits.

This bumbleberry recipe is one of my favourite berry fruit blends, although I'm still partial to anything with blueberries.

  • 1 Cup all-purpose four

  • 1/2 Cup sugar

  • 1 & 1/2 Tsp. baking powder

  • 1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 Tsp. salt

  • 2 Eggs (slightly beaten)

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp. milk

  • 1 Tsp. vanilla

  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen raspberries

  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  • 1 Cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen)

  • 3/4 Cup sugar

  • 1/2 Cup water

Stir first 5 ingredients together in bowl.

Add eggs, olive oil, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Turn into ungreased 3 & 1/2 quart crock pot.

Measure remaining 5 ingredients into saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until boiling. Pour over batter in crock pot. Place 5 paper towels between top of crock pot and lid. Cook on high for 1 & 3/4 to 2 hours.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Apple Pecan Bread Pudding

I've made bread pudding in the past the old fashioned way - in a hot oven for awhile - and with great success. This way sure keeps the house from overheating and tastes just like traditional bread pudding but with an added twist.

  • 1 Cup pecans (coarsely chopped)

  • 3 Eggs

  • 8 Slices raisin bread (cubed)

  • 2 Cups Half & Half or milk

  • 2 Medium apples (Granny Smith work best)

  • 1/4 Cup bourbon or brandy(I like Jack Daniels in it)

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1/4 Cup butter or margarine (melted)

  • 1 Tsp. cinnamon

  • 1 Tsp. nutmeg

  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans in a shallow baking pan and bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, place bread cubes in a greased 3 quart or larger crock pot. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.

Mix lightly together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, add eggs and mix well. Blend in half and half or milk and then stir in bourbon or brandy. Lightly mix pecans with bread and apples. Pour egg mixture over bread. Drizzle with butter.

Cover and cook on low until apples are tender when pierced and custard is set, about 3 & 1/2 to 4 & 1/2 hours. Let pudding stand, covered, for about 15 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream, if desired

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Apple Cranberry Dessert

As you may have guessed by the recipes I've posted over the last month, you can cook pretty well anything in a crock pot. This week will be about desserts. It's also the last one for crock pot recipes (unless I get a request for something).

  • 6 Cooking apples (peeled and sliced)

  • 1 Cup fresh cranberries

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1/2 Tsp. grated orange peel

  • 1/2 Cup water

  • 1/4 Cup port wine

  • Sour cream (as a topper)

Arrange apple slices and cranberries in crock pot. Sprinkle sugar over fruit. Add orange peel, water and wine. Stir to mix ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours, until apples are tender.

Serve warm fruits with the juices, topped with a dab of sour cream.

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