Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Luncheon Menu:

Pineapple Cheese Spread w/crackers:


2 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. seasoned salt (I use Lawry's brand.)
1 small can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
assorted crackers


1. Using a mixer, blend together cream cheese and seasoned salt on high speed until fluffy.
2. Add pineapple, green pepper, onions and pecans and blend well on low speed.
3. Cover and place in refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving (overnight is even better).
4. Serve with crackers.

Cheese Potato Soup:

3 cups chopped potatoes
water (enough to cover potatoes
1/2 cup celery slices
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
2 chicken bouillon cubes
combination of 1 1/2 cups milk & 2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 lb. Velveeta, cubed

Ham Croissanwiches:

Place thinly sliced (or shaved) deli ham on a divided croissant. Put croissanwiches on cookie sheet and cover with foil. Warm in oven. To make it easier, microwave croissanwiches instead.



1 Romaine heart, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
bacon bits (found on salad dressing aisle)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
ranch or bleu cheese dressing (or dressing of your choice)

1. Lay lettuce on a large serving platter.
2. Sprinkle the toppings in rows across the top of the lettuce.
3. Serve dressings on the side.

Chocolate Chess Pie:

1 small can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 stick butter (or margarine), melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
unbaked pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients and pour into unbaked pie shell.
3. Bake for 30-45 minutes.
4. Cool before serving.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

If you like peanut butter balls and chocolate covered pretzels, I think you will enjoy these Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites . I have seen this recipe several places online, and I am not sure which website I used for the recipe. However, Megan did a nice job displaying how mine turned out, so I am sharing her blog with you. I am anxious to check out her other recipes. These are so easy to make, and I can't tell you how many requests I got for the recipe at my Christmas Cookie Exchange a couple weeks ago. Here's my version of Megan's recipe.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
chocolate Almond Bark


1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2. With electric mixer, beat peanut butter and butter until combined.
3. Scrape down bowl, add sugars and beat until combined. You should be able to roll the mixture into balls without sticking to your hands.
4. If needed, add more powdered sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.
5. Roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 teaspoon of mixture for each ball, and place on prepared baking sheet.
6. Sandwich the balls between two pretzels and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
7. Melt the chocolate according to package instructions.
8. Dip each pretzel bite halfway into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet.
9. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is set.

Easy Chocolate Thin Mint Ritz Crackers Cookies

If you like the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, you will love these Easy Chocolate Thin Mint Ritz Crackers . Six Sisters' Stuff Blog has some great recipes. You should check out this blog! Here is my version of their cookie:


1 pound chocolate Almond Bark
1/2 tsp mint extract
28-30 Ritz Crackers
Optional ~ crushed candy cane or red & green icing


1. Line cookie sheet with wax paper.
2. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe dish according to package instructions.
3. When chocolate is completely melted, stir in 1/2 tsp. mint extract.
4. Dip Ritz Crackers into chocolate.
5. Tap off excess chocolate.
6. Lay crackers on wax paper to cool.

You can leave them plain or garnish with crushed candy cane. This cookie is also cute when drizzled with red and green icing. I usually leave the cookie plain.

Mama Sherri's Easy Sugar Cookies

I cheat to make these cookies, but they are so pretty, so cute and I must say so tasty!

2 pkgs. Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tub ready made vanilla frosting
white chocolate Almond Bark
M&Ms, sprinkles or nonpareils for decorating
cookie cutters of your choice


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix cookie dough per instructions on package for "cutout cookies".
3. Cut cookies into shapes of your choice.
4. Bake cookies per package instructions.
5. Cool cookies completely.
6. Put frosting in microwaveable bowl and microwave 30-60 seconds, until it becomes thin and runny.
7. Color frosting with color of your choice.
8. Dip front side of cookie in frosting, and let harden. (I usually put the cookies on a paper towel to allow the frosting to harden.)
9. Decorate cookies with melted Almond Bark. (I put the Almond Bark in a quart Ziploc freezer bag and snip a corner, so the piping comes out smoothly for decorating.)
10. Put decorations of your choice on the cookies before the Almond Bark hardens.

Snowman Oreos

These little fellows are adorable and fun to serve during the winter months. Thanks to The Idea Room for sharing this awesome idea!


Double-Stuffed Oreos
white chocolate Almond Bark (or any white dipping chocolate)
mini chocolate chips
candy corn


1. Melt chocolate.
2. Dip Oreo in melted chocolate.
3. Place candy corn on dipped cookie for snowman's nose.
4. Please mini chocolate chips on dipped cookie for eyes and mouth.

Rolo Pretzel Bites

These Rolo Pretzel Bites are easy and fun to serve during the holidays!


Bag of mini pretzels (I use the Christmas tree pretzels during the holiday.)
Bag of Rolos, unwrapped
Halved Pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pretzels on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place unwrapped Rolos on top of pretzels and bake for 3 minutes. You don't want them too melted. Remove from oven and push pecan half (or M&M) halfway down into the melted Rolo.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nikol's Garlic Bruschetta

This bruschetta is amazing, and it is SOOOO GOOOOOD! I just love All Recipes because I always find great recipes there. I only make the 5-star recipes because there are so many to pick and choose from. I hope you enjoy this simple and delicious bruschetta too!


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 sourdough baguette, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 (4 ounce) package semi-soft cheese with garlic and herbs (such as Alouette®)


1. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, and garlic in a bowl. Stir in the chopped tomatoes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover; place in the refrigerator to marinate for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the bread slices in a single layer on a large baking pan.
3. Bake in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack.
4. When the bread is cool, spread the semi-soft cheese evenly over each slice. Using a slotted spoon, spoon some of the tomato mixture over each slice.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

This is a copycat version of the hashbrown casserole at Cracker Barrel. It is a compliment to breakfast or dinner. It is a treat at our house on Christmas morning.


2 lbs frozen hash browns
1/2 cup margarine or 1/2 cup butter , melted
1 (10 1/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup onion , peeled and chopped
2 cups cheddar cheese , grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Mix the above ingredients together, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until brown on top.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eggnog Truffles

I enjoy serving these Eggnog Truffles during the holidays. I hope you enjoy this recipe too.

My simplified version...


•1 pound white baking chocolate, divided (I use Almond Bark.)
•4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
•1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
•1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•1/4 teaspoon rum extract
•ground nutmeg (for sprinkling)


1. Melt 8 ounces of the chocolate as directed on package.
2. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, nutmeg and extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended and smooth.
3. Add melted chocolate; beat until well mixed.
4. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
5. Shape into 24 (about 3/4-inch) balls, and place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
6. Refrigerate until ready to dip.
7. Coat only 12 truffles at a time. Melt 4 ounces of the remaining chocolate.
8. Dip 1 truffle at a time into the chocolate, and return to wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
9. Sprinkle truffles with nutmeg.
10. Repeat with remaining 4 ounces chocolate and remaining truffles.
11. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chocolate is set.
12. Store truffles in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Makes 2 dozen.

Oreo Truffles

This is seriously one of the easiest recipes I have ever made. It requires only three ingredients.

1 pkg. Oreo cookies (regular, NOT double-stuffed)
8 oz. bar cream cheese, softened
Dipping white chocolate (I use Almond Bark.)


1. Crush cookies into fine crumbs. (I use my food processor.)
2. Use electric mixer to blend cookie crumbs with cream cheese. Be sure they are well blended.
3. Roll cookie crumb/cream cheese mixture into 3/4" - 1" balls.
4. Melt chocolate per package directions.
5. Dip balls into melted chocolate and place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
6. Refrigerate until hardened.
7. Store in tin in refrigerator.

Red Velvet Cake Truffles

These Red Velvet Cake Truffles were popular at my very first Cookie Swap Sunday afternoon. What a perfect truffle at Christmas time.

My simplified version...

yield: about 4 dozen


1 9x13 pan of red velvet cake, baked and cooled
1 can (16 oz) prepared cream cheese frosting
1 lb candy coating (white chocolate, dark chocolate, or both)~I use Almond Bark found at Walmart in the baking aisle.
red sugar sprinkles


1. Crumble the red velvet cake into a large bowl. You want it to be in small pieces, but don't work it so much that it starts to get gummy and stick together. Fine crumbs is what you want.
2. Add about three-quarters of the cream cheese frosting. Don't add all the frosting at once, in case the cake is very moist and the full can is unnecessary. Start out stirring them together, but eventually you're going to use your hands to really work the frosting through the cake. Make sure it is evenly moistened, and there are no dry patches. Ideally, the cake should be very moist and hold together if you squeeze a ball of cake between your fingers, but you don't want it to be wet or greasy. If the cake mixture is still a bit dry, add more frosting to get it to the desired consistency.
3. Portion out and form the cake into generous 1-inch balls.
4. Place the balls on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.
5. Refrigerate them for 3-4 hours until they're cold and firm, or freeze them for about 45 minutes in the freezer.
6. Take them out of the refrigerator or freezer and let them sit on the counter briefly while you melt the candy coating. They should be cold when you dip them, so they hold together, but if they're really frozen, that causes the candy coating to develop cracks as it hardens. So, cold-but-not-freezing is the temperature you're looking for!
7. Melt the chocolate per package directions.
8. Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and return the truffles to the waxed paper.
9. You can store the truffles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chile & Cheese Spirals

This Chile and Cheese Spirals recipe from Real Mom Kitchen makes a delicious and decorative appetizer for Christmas gatherings. I find it better after the filling has time to season.


•4 ounces cream cheese, softened
•1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
•½ cup (4 ounce can) diced green chiles
•½ cup (about 3) sliced green onion
•½ cup chopped red bell pepper
•¼ cup chopped ripe olives
•4 (8-inch) soft taco-sized flour tortillas (the green ones I get are 12 inch so I only use 3)


1.Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chiles, green onion, red pepper, and olives in a medium bowl.
2.Spread ½ cup cheese mixture over each tortillas; roll up.
3.Wrap each roll in plastic wrap twisting ends to close; refrigerate for 1 hour.
4.Remove plastic wrap; slice each roll into ¾ inch pieces.
5.Serve with salsa for dipping.

Make-Ahead Snowman Cheese Ball

I couldn't help but borrow this recipe from because it is not only delicious, but it is also adorable. It is a hit at any winter get-together.


3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 ounces)
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 drops red pepper sauce
1 container (4 ounces) whipped cream cheese, softened
Decorations of your choice (I use raisins for eyes and buttons, part of a carrot for the nose, part of a red pepper for the mouth, asparagus spears for arms and pieces of asparagus tops for the crown.)
Assorted crackers


1. Mix 3 packages cream cheese and the Cheddar cheese; divide into 3 equal parts.
2. Combine 2 parts to equal two-thirds of mixture; mix in pesto.
3. Mix onion, mustard and pepper sauce into remaining one-third mixture.
4. Cover each cheese mixture and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm enough to shape.
5. Shape each cheese mixture into ball.
6. Wrap each ball with plastic wrap and freeze.
7. About 12 hours before serving, remove balls from freezer.
8. Thaw in wrappers in refrigerator.
9. Arrange balls on serving plate with smaller ball on top for head of snowman.
10. Frost snowman with whipped cream cheese before serving.
11. Decorate as desired.
12. Serve with crackers.
13. Store covered in refrigerator.

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites

I really like Steph's recipes at Plain Chicken. Being from the city of Louisville, home to the Kentucky Derby, I especially like these Kentucky Hot Brown Bites.

Mornay Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup coarsely grated Gruyère or Swiss

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites
1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup finely chopped turkey
1 cup mornay sauce
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mornay Sauce:

1. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. (Do not let mixture brown.)
2, Add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil, and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes more.
3. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
4. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese.
5. Allow to cool slightly.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl combine finely chopped turkey and mornay sauce.
3. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
4. Unroll crescent rolls and press dough into one large rectangle.
5. Cut rectangle into 24 squares.
6. Press dough squares into muffin cups and shape up around the edges.

Fill each muffin cup with some of the turkey mixture. Top each bite with some diced tomato, bacon and parmesan cheese.

Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Bacon-Wrapped Sausages


1 pound bacon
1 (16 ounce) package little smokie sausages
1 cup brown sugar, or to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut bacon into thirds
3. Wrap each strip around a little sausage and secure with a toothpick.
4. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
4. Sprinkle sausages liberally with brown sugar.
5. Bake until bacon is crisp and the brown sugar melted. (usually takes 30 minutes plus)