Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2008

The really big day is over and our bodies are stuffed with all the goodies that were available for us to devour. I said I would not look at any more cookies and there I was with my hand reaching for a crescent cookie for breakfast. I started out at one house for seafood gumbo which is a tradition here in the south. It was so fine but I still had another meal ahead of me. Being as I was invited for a fantastic prime rib dinner, I have no leftovers to contend with. This is when the question for many may arise as what to make with all the ham, turkey or some other main dish. My suggestion is to go for a casserole or pot pie or maybe use ham with potatoes au gratin(my favorite). One good thing is you can put the dish in the oven and go take a quick nap while it cooks. If you don't have to go near a mall, you will avoid the masses. Any bargains available will still be there for a few more days.
Anyway I want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year 2008. I have many, many new recipes I have gathered over the year that I am looking forward to some new meals. Hopefully you will find something here that will perk you up.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cookies to die for!

I have spent a good deal of time finding cookie recipes this week all over the net sometimes where I least expected. It was fun being as this is the week to get my cookie tray ready for the holidays. Epicurious has a great list of what their chefs picked as favorites. They had quite a list to choose from like chocolate-chip peppermint cookies and pecan sandies. Check it out! Food and Wine came up with some sugar cookie variations. Check out this too. Double-ginger cookies is one that tempted me even tho all of them did. My list of which ones to make is getting too long so I must make a choice today.

Anyway here is a recipe for chocolate-cashew toffee from Gourmet. This I have to make as it has chocolate and cashews. Oh my!

Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 pounds.
subscribe to Gourmet
1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped roasted and salted cashews
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan combine the brown sugar, the corn syrup, the butter, the vinegar, and the water, bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side with a brush dipped in cold water, until the sugar is dissolved, and boil the syrup, undisturbed, until it is deep golden and a candy thermometer 290°F. Stir in the vanilla, pour the mixture into a buttered 13- by 9-inch metal baking pan, tilting the pan and spreading mixture with a wooden spoon, and let the toffee cool completely.
In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water melt the chocolate chips, stirring until the chocolate is smooth, and spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle the cashews evenly over the chocolate, pressing them gently into it, and chill the confection for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm. With a thin knife loosen the confection from the pan and, using the knife as a lever, remove it in one piece from the pan. Cut or break the toffee into serving pieces. The toffee keeps, separated by sheets of wax paper in an airtight container lined with wax paper, in a cool dry place for 2 weeks.

This year is the most fun I have had looking at what to make for the holidays. I have looked at my usual haunts and found new ones as well. You too can get into what is online just by browsing around. Oh yeah, I have done some online shopping as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Holiday treats--FUDGE AND COOKIES

Well with the holidays now here, I like to dig out the cookie recipes and make my picks. I do add a few new ones each year and if I like them, they get added to the file. I am looking forward to making a nice assortment to take as well as to eat right here at home. We all deserve a treat, right!
I visited MOM'S MENU site today and found some great ideas to make things easier, time wise. Here is the article that will do it-- Hassle-Free Holiday Baking: 6 Easy Days to Perfect Christmas Cookies. Each day is laid out to complete a chore leading up to the actual baking day instead of doing it all at once. So I am going to try it and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
At the same site I found my joy of joys-- FUDGE MAKING. There are recipes listed for any and all kinds of fudge. True, I can't make them all but will make the old stand-by and go with a new idea as well like peanut butter fudge.
I have found some great ideas online for new cookies but will make at least two new ones. One is a ginger cookie and also a chocolate chip toffee bar. I figure when I come to visit with a nice assortment of cookies and a batch of fudge, I should receive a nice welcome.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Fried apple rings

I just love apples and applesauce but how about 'fried apples'. Cracker Barrel has some good apple slices in carmelized syrup. Sometimes I will order this with my meal instead of the veggie of the day. This recipe is as simple as it gets.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon sugar (BROWN OR WHITE)
1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 medium tart apple, cored(Don't pare the holds the tender cooked apple together.)
In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar and lemon juice. Cut the cored apple into four rings and add to the delicious concoction in the skillet. Reduce heat to simmering point. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until apple rings are tender, turning frequently.
Have you tried the silicone bakeware for cupcakes or other baking? If so, let us know what you think of it. Well here is a site that each month offers 1 item FREE. Like I ordered the cupcake pan. Now, you do have to pay S&H which is in the range of $5.95. I figured I would try it out to the tune of s&h and that would be it. Anyway here is the site EASY BAKEWARE. Check it out.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Lets's say thanks to all our TROOPS for what they are doing to protect our country USA. Here is the site to send a note to them. It is sponsored by Xerox who is backing this. Just click on the picture you want and then click on the message you wish to send.
Get involved. CLICK NOW.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Now that we are over turkey, it is time to look at the Christmas holidays. Maybe we need to come up with new recipes for candy, cookies or munchies. We all have our favorites I am sure. Here is one I like and the kids will enjoy it as well.


9 to 10 cups popcorn
1/2 package almond bark
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup peanuts

Melt the almond bark and peanut butter together in the microwave. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir altogether. Spread out on wax paper until cool. Break into pieces and
store in air tight container or zip loc bags.
You can add m&m's or lots of other stuff that the kids might enjoy. Just keep it simple.
Chocolate is all over and especially the dark stuff. I made truffles the other day that are just so simple but very rich. This IS a holiday special. This is a recipe from Chef John from FOOD WISHES.
1 TSP PEPPERMINT EXTRACT or whatever you wish

1. Break chocolate into small pieces(1/4 to 1/2 inch)
2. Put cream in cooking pot and bring to boil. Be sure to watch as it will boil over.
3. Pour over chocolate and cook for 1 minute.
4. Slowly stir in center until chocolate is all melted.
5. Scrape sides to get all mixed together.
6. Cover with saran wrap and chill for 1 hour.
7. Use melon ball to scoop up truffle and roll in cocoa.
8. Done
Note:Chocolate can be rolled in sprinkles or chopped nuts as well.
Anything made with chocolate, especially dark, is always a delight for me.