Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas
to all our readers and friends!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Meringue Coated Pecans (aka Nannie's Swedish Nuts)

Marrying into a big family, I was blessed to also be the recipient of many family recipes. One that has become a Christmas-time tradition for us is making Nannie's Swedish Nuts to give to our friends, ministers, and other special folks in our life.

  • 3½ Cups pecan halves (this usually fills up one LARGE cookie sheet)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 beaten egg whites
  • 1/2 cup butter (or margarine)

Toast nuts at 300 degrees until brown.
Beat egg whites until they stand in peaks.
Fold in sugar and salt. Then fold nuts into the meringue mixture.
Melt butter in flat pan. Spread nuts over melted butter. Bake at 325 for 1/2 hour, stirring every 10 minutes until nuts are coated and all the butter is gone.
NANNIE'S NOTES: Watch or they will burn.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I usually get on a roll early in December browning the pecans ahead of time, and separating them out in batch proportions so I can make a batch at the drop of a hat! I have found that pecans are most affordable at one of the warehouse clubs such as Sam's or Costco.



Sunday, December 23, 2007


These are awesome, and they're super duper easy. They can take the place of regular yeast rolls in a meal because there's still so much more flour than cornmeal, but there's enough cornmeal that the crunch and the taste of corn and a teensy bit of sweet makes them an incredible surprise. They're great with soups and stews too.


* 1 cup milk, I use 2%
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup cornmeal
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (I use 1 pack of active dry or if I'm using rapid rise I might use slightly less than a pack)


Throw all ingredients in bread machine. Select dough cycle. Start.

Once cycle is complete, turn out of bread machine container and punch dough down.

Cut dough in half and in half again, continue to cut in half until you have 18 to 20 balls, less if you want large rolls. No need to reshape. I leave them the shape they're in even though they're odd shaped from having been cut instead of rolled. These rolls are sort of rustic and unique so the shape is perfect (plus it keeps it super easy). Arrange on a greased cookie sheet. Allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the rolls begin to brown.

You can make these a day ahead and refrigerate them after you arrange them on your cookie sheet. I cover them with saran, then make sure the next day you get them out in enough time to rise the second time.


Friday, December 21, 2007

EggNog Cookies from Mrs Claus

Well actually they were mentioned more than once by our very own kimIndy.

We have friends visiting and are staying at their daughters. Well I was mentioning the eggnog cookie, she asked that I print it out and maybe her and her daughter would make them.

Well they made them this a.m. and friend couldn't get over here fast enough with my plate full.

kimmy was right, they are yummy......boy is that an over worked word, however the are quite tasty.

Here's the recipe straight from Santa and Mrs Claus' web site. For other recipes check out the site http://www.northpole.com/Kitchen/Cookbook/cat0001.html

Eggnog Cookies

Makes Approximately 3 Dozen

From the kitchen of Karen Hamlin

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large egg yolks

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until it resembles a grainy paste. Add eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat at medium speed until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until blended. Do not over mix. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased baking sheet, 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with additional nutmeg. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown. Transfer from pans immediately to cool.

Don't forget to think of kimmy when you bite into one of these. Oh and as suggested leave a plate out for Santa.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cheese Pate Appetizer

If you like cheese balls, you will love this savory cheese pate.

It's no-cook, no-bake, and easy.


  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 ounces Brie or Camembert, rind removed, softened
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, for garnish


Beat 8 ounces of the cream cheese, milk, and sour cream until smooth. Line a 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap.

Spread mixture over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly across the surface and gently press into the cream cheese mixture.

Beat remaining 16 ounces of cream cheese, Brie cheese, Swiss cheese, and blue cheese until combined. Scrape into pie plate on top of previous layer and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, remove top plastic wrap and invert pate onto a serving dish. Carefully peel off bottom layer of plastic wrap. Press pecan halves in a decorative pattern on top.

Let cheese plate sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving with apple slices, vegetable sticks, and crackers.

Yield: 16 to 20 servings

ps.....................your choices of cheese depend on your taste, however cream cheese must be used as the base. Low fat cheeses and sour cream is OK.



Thursday, December 13, 2007

Apple and Pear Crisp

Originally by Ina Garten, modified by Nancy in ME

Apple and Pear Crisp

Preheat oven to 350*

2 lbs ripe Bosc pears (6 pears)
1 1/2 lbs firm apples (6 apples)
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c. granulated sugar or Splenda
1/4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. granulated sugar or Splenda
3/4 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 (1 stick) cold butter or Promise, diced
1 tsp cinnamon

Peel, core and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add lemon zest, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into 9 x 12 baking pan.

For the topping:
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 - 65 minutes, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly.

Serve warm.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Norwegian Cookies

These cookies are so good. Do Not Overbake them. But, they are so soft and Delicious..

Norwegian Cookies
1 cup butter or marg. softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond and vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cups chopped fine walnuts(i don't use)
green/red sugar

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs and extracts. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour & nuts, beat just until moistened. Cover & Chill 1 hr until firm. ( I usually chill overnight). Shape into 1" balls place 2" apart on greased cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/4" thick with glass in colored sugar. Sprinkle w/additional colored sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Hint: I use parchment paper I don't grease. I feel there's enough butter in for grease. I have never had a problem with sticking...Enjoy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I had this artichoke dip this past weekend at a party. When I scooped some of it into my plate I thought it was going to be that regular artichoke heart/mayo/parm/cheddar dip, which would've been fine, cauz that's one of my favorites. BUT let me say this. When I put the first bite of that luscious stuff in my mouth I swore I'd never ever EVER let the regular artichoke dip touch my lips again. This stuff is heaven on a cracker. Or in a spoon. Or on your finger. Or howsomever you wish to get it to your piehole.

You won't believe it. Seriously.

2 cans artichoke hearts, chopped
1 can hearts of palm, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded – sprinkle some on top
½ cup parmesan cheese - the kind from the bottle is fine, or bagged pre-shredded
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 - 2 Tbsp BBQ Sauce to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 - 2 Tbsp Texas Pete hot sauce to taste
2 Tsp garlic powder
2 Tsp onion powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together (reserving enough of the cheese to sprinkle over the top) in a bowl.
Pour into a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350* for 30-45 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned on top.

See, it's not even that different from the regular stuff, huh! But I'm telling you, it'll stop you in your tracks.


Monday, December 10, 2007


My Mother in law calls them cake squares. Whatever, they're fast, easy, and people devour them until they're green.

Yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 T. water
1 stick butter
chopped pecans (optional) I like it better without. . . one of the few things in life

Spray Pam in a 9x13 pan. Mix above and spread in bottom of pan, will be very thick.

3 eggs
1 blocks of softened cream cheese
1 box of confectioners sugar

Pour on top of cake mixture.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and lower temp to 325 for another 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

That's it!

These are so VERY rich that I usually cut them in very small squares, about 1 1/2" or so.

For a change I have added a half capful of almond extract to the cake mixture. That's a terrific taste, sort of unexpected.


Friday, December 7, 2007


This is probably, in my humble opinion, one of the very best quiche recipe I have ever made. I have tried others and I keep coming back to this one.

Even my sister can't remember where this recipe came from. But it is one of my our all time favorite go to recipes to fix for company, pot lucks, a buffet item or just a lunch or brunch at home. We like this for a brunch with a fruit salad compliments the quiche

Green Chile Quiche

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
6 eggs beaten
3/4 cup low fat milk

3/4 cup half & half
1 4 oz can of chopped green chiles
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
unbake 10" pie crust

Slice cream cheese and place on the bottom of the crust. Beat eggs, add , chiles and mustard. Fold in the shredded cheese and pour over cream cheese in the crust. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until done in center. Check after one hour. If your edges of pie crust get too brown protect them with foil.

This quiche I added a taste of smoky paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes and left out the dry mustard. I forgot that I add a spoon ful of salsa on the side.

You can also make these in a muffin tin, just cut the pie crust to fit the tin you use and adjust the baking time.

If you like quiche, try this you will not be sorry. And if you do try it let me know how you adjusted it to fit your taste. I would like to make it a little lower in calories but I am not a chemist.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My favorite cookie for Christmas

Well actually they are my favorite anytime, but at Christmas this is just the first cookie we make.

Don't ask me why my momma called them rings, they aren't at all. I think some also call them Russian Tea Cakes and they are not a cake either

Not really a traditional cake, these are the snowy white cookies, the Pastelitas De Boda served at weddings, that nearly melt in your mouth. It is a familiar cookie also featured around the holidays and similar versions are found in other countries besides Mexico. Not exactly like the pfeffernusse, which has a bit more crunch and spice, these little nuggets hold up nicely in a cookie gift basket. Wrap in plastic and store in air tight containers to avoid getting powdered sugar all over the place.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

1 cup or two sticks unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup finely diced pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Place 1/2 cup powdered in the middle of a sheet of waxed paper. Place the flour in the middle of another sheet of waxed paper. In the mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter and the two extracts. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the sugar, holding the waxed paper like a funnel, into the butter mixture. Then add the flour slowly in the same manner, and add the nuts. If you have one, it's a good time to use that splatter shield on your mixer. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula, mix to combine. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into one-inch balls. Place on sheet pans giving about an inch or so of space inbetween. Place remaining powdered sugar on a large dinner plate. Bake one sheet pan at a time, about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Cookies should be lightly browned, do not overbake. Remove pan from oven and let cookies cool about 5 minutes. Roll each little ball in the powdered sugar. Allow them to absorb the powdered sugar for about one minute, then place them on racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Very busy time

Since we are all so busy getting ready for the holiday season festivities, ya know all that egg nog, Christmas parties, and cheese nut balls, I am gonna post some how to's for the next few days.

Here is one of my very favorite sites. I find they have a wealth of info on this site, when ya have time go poke around.


Next time tablescapes and napkin folding.