Cake~~In The Form Of Kleenex

Kleenex

Don’t let your eyes fool you.  Yep, it’s true.  What you are looking at are pieces of cake boxes of Kleenex.

Wouldn’t it be great if these Kleenex actually smelled like they look!!!

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Bless the people at Kleenex for concocting these adorable cake-inspired wedges of tissue.

The flavors of the pictured boxes are red velvet, cherry pie, vanilla and chocolate.  I’m telling you though, wouldn’t it just be grand if these tissues actually smelled like their boxes?  I think I’m on to something here.  Their sales would skyrocket!  Who wouldn’t want to smell vanilla cake while you are using a tissue.  Just be sure to sniff beforehand.

Sweet!

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So…I guess we have these cute Kleenex boxes to look forward to in the spring/summer 🙂  Juicy watermelon, lime and orange!

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(source)

Sneezing is a way your body protects you from things which bother it.   If that’s the case, I should be achoo-ing ALOT! 

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It’s National Bean Day, so Happy Bean Day to you!  (source)

Here’s a question that you’ve probably never thought of:  If you were to develop a scented tissue, what scent would you pick?

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Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice

Recipes coming right up…but first let’s see how we rang in 2011 with a BANG!

It was definitely a black high heel night!

Have you ever had a JuicyFruit shot?  Smells just like the gum!

CHEERS!

It was a wonderful New Year’s Eve party with great friends and fun shenanigans! 

May your new year be filled with peace, love and joy!

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Now onto a few more delicious recipes!

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In addition to the egg mcmuffins we enjoyed on Christmas morning, my Mom also made these crescent cranberry wreaths.

So festive and colorful since they have red cranberries and are shaped like wreaths!  I know Christmas is well over with, but I still had a few recipes to share with you from the holidays at home.

Crescent Cranberry Wreaths

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sweetened dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons cherry or strawberry preserves
  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
  • 1 oz white chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix cranberries and preserves.

2If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough into 2 rectangles. Press each to form 8×6-inch rectangle, pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 2 rectangles. Press each to form 8×6-inch rectangle.

3Spread cranberry mixture over 1 rectangle to edges. Place second rectangle on top; press lightly. With sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut lengthwise into six 8-inch-long strips. Twist each strip 3 times, and shape into ring on cookie sheet; pinch ends to seal.

4Bake 9 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave baking bar and oil uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir until melted and smooth. If necessary, microwave 10 to 20 seconds longer. Drizzle over warm wreaths. Serve warm.

Recipe from Pillsbury.

Enjoy!~

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These deliciously soft and cheesy breadsticks are one of my brother’s and husband’s favorite snacks.  My mom made up the treat a while back and has been making them ever since because they are so yummy.  Simply made from refrigerated breadsticks, garlic butter, garlic salt and seasonings, topped with mozzarella cheese!

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In these pictures I am making pizza bites.  I don’t have a recipe for these, just something we’ve made before and they’ve been gobbled up, so I know they are a hit.  So easy to eat and alot less messy than picking up a slice of pizza. 

Use a can of refrigerated breadsticks and cut each breadstick in half.  Roll out half breadstick some and then wrap around a piece of pepperoni and a cube of cheese.  Form a ball and press all edges to seal.  Lay in baking pan 2 inches apart and bake as breadstick package instructions indicate or until browned.  Serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping!

Christmas 2010 Bennett House 301 Admist all the hub-bub of our party celebration and getting all the appetizers out, I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product 🙂

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So the worse day of the holidays is probably the day after Christmas according to my Mom.  She absolutely loves all her kids to be home for the holidays and always dreads the day that we pack up and head back to our own homes.  You can imagine having a house full of hub-bub and then the next minute it’s all gone.  If work and other duties at home weren’t calling us, we’d definitely stay longer. 

So the morning after Christmas my Mom made us this warm, sweet and tasty cinnamon roll french toast bake to fill our bellies before we set out on the long road home 🙂

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Cinnamon French Toast Bake

  • 1/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
  • 2 cans (12.4 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 6 Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup Fisher® Chef’s Naturals® Chopped Pecans
  • 1 cup maple syrup

Garnish

  • Icing from cinnamon rolls
  • Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, if desired

Heat oven to 375°F. Pour melted butter into ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Separate both cans of dough into 16 rolls; set icing aside. Cut each roll into 8 pieces; place pieces over butter in dish.

In medium bowl, beat eggs. Beat in cream, cinnamon and vanilla until well blended; gently pour over roll pieces. Sprinkle with pecans; drizzle with 1 cup syrup.

Bake 20 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, remove covers from icing; microwave on Medium (50%) 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle.

Drizzle icing over top; sprinkle with powdered sugar. If desired, spoon syrup from dish over individual servings. Serve with the additional 1/2 cup maple syrup.

Recipe from Pillsbury.

Enjoy~!

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Scrumdiddlyumptious!

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So in this new year, 2011, I know I cannot keep up the blogging pace that I have over the last two months since I started my blog.  I really wish I had more hours in my day to read other blogs, comment and develop posts of my own.  But from now on I won’t be posting every day.  I will simply post when I have something great to share and when I have time to develop the post without my blog getting in the way of the other important aspects of my life.  Thanks for your understanding!

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Does anyone else struggle with finding the time to blog?

  

 

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I’ve Been Tagged!

4 different lovely bloggers have tagged me lately on their own blogs.  Showing some blogosphere love 🙂

First is Mindy at Finding Silver Linings~~She was in the need of a quick and easy recipe for the cookie swap she was going to attend and she ended up making Peppermint Oreo Balls.  See her Peppermint Oreo Ball post here.  Thanks Mindy for the shout out on your blog!

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Next up was Mara at I Made Dinner.  She was looking for some guest posts via twitter and I jumped at the chance to be a guest blogger on her site.  I could send her any food post that I wanted to…and I chose a dessert one.  Imagine that!  I shared with Mara the Creme de Menthe Oreo Popper post that I had created.  Look at my guest post here on her blog!

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Next up is Shanna from Shanna Like Banana.  During her holiday baking she made one of the recipes that I featured on my blog.  She made the white chocolate cherry shortbread cookies that I posted about here.  To see her blog post on the white chocolate cherry shortbread cookies she made click here.  Thanks again for the shout out Shanna!

white chocolate cherry shortbread

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I was tagged by Pam at the Bored Cook also.  She had been tagged by Caveman Cooking to answer questions about herself and decided to keep the tagging going to other bloggers she likes.  She listed TheSceneFromMe as one of the blogs she’s recently started following and enjoying.  You can see her post and the questions she had to answer here.

So here it goes Pam, here are your questions and my answers:

  1.  What was the first entry you posted on your blog?  My first post was about a Beautiful Biking Day.  It was Nov. 10, 70 degrees out and I went on a long bike ride that day.  Since this was my first post, it was very short and simple.  I was basically trying to figure out how WordPress worked.  And I still don’t know, I am still learning WordPress.  It’s like you have to be a computer programmer to figure it all out and their templates don’t allow me to do everything I’d like to do on my blog or I’m dumb and can’t figure it out
  2.  What do you enjoy most about blogging?  I love sharing all my pictures and recipes that I’ve tried on my blog the most.  I love to take pictures, edit pictures and be in pictures and this is a great venue to share them.  I love to being in the kitchen, baking and cooking new things and this is a way to share the things I make with my family and friends.
  3. What is the most important thing you have learned about having a blog?   Well I’ve only had a blog for several months and I guess the most important thing I’ve learned is to give credit where credit is due.  If it’s not yours, don’t claim it.  And also I’ve learned that WordPress is not the best template for a beginner blogger.
  4. What was the worst job you ever had?  I can’t say that I’ve had any really bad jobs.  Between babysitting, being an assistant in a salon, working in a doctors office and hospital, I can’t say that any of them have been the worst.  Now if I could have any dream job, it would be to be a dancer on tour with Janet Jackson.  But I have no skills in that area 🙂
  5. Name the one food you hate and absolutely will not eat?  Raw meat sushi and sashimi.  Ick.
  6. The one movie you could watch a million times without ever getting bored with it? Coyote Ugly.
  7. Name one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to you?  Running into a cement post in middle school and getting a bloody nose in front of my friends and probably some cute boy I liked.
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?  I really hate when people are driving and they swerve their vehicles out to the left in my lane to make a right hand turn.   That irks me!  Learn to drive people!  That’s coming from someone who failed their driving test on the first attempt (it wasn’t my fault, really…).

Now it’s my turn to choose 10 blogs that I love, tag them and create 10 new questions for them to answer.

Jennifer Demartini

Chelsey at Clean Eating Chelsey

Shannon at Tropical Eats

Mindy at Finding Silver Linings

Allie at Live, Laugh, Eat

Shanna at Shanna Like Banana

Lauren at Biochemista

Katie at Dashing Dish

Marla at Family Fresh Cooking

Katie at Faith Food Fitness

and here’s one more I thought you’d enjoy: Snack Girl Goes Healthy 🙂  Your welcome Carlee!

  1. If were stranded on a deserted island and could only have 3 items, what would they be?
  2. If you had to only eat one food item for the rest of your life what would it be?
  3. Are any of the walls in your house painted your favorite color?
  4. Would you rather have a piece pie, a cupcake, a cookie, a bar or a piece of cake on your birthday?
  5. How much time do you spend blogging every day (that includes reading and commenting on other blogs)?
  6. If you could choose to live on a beach, in the mountains, in the woods or in a big city which would it be?
  7. Who is your favorite band/musician from your teenage years?
  8. What is one of your favorite smells?
  9. If you could have any job in the world, what would your dream job be?
  10. What is one of your worse personality traits?

Your job is now to make up 8-10 of your own questions, choose 8-10 blogs you enjoy and have them answer and do the same. 

Have fun!

 

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Happy New Year 2011!

Last night for our friends NYE party, I took Cookie Dough Bites and Buckeye Delights (to be featured in an upcoming post) for sweet treats.  I also took pigs in a blanket and sausage cheese toasts as savory items to munch on!  What a fun night it was!

May you prosper in this new year 🙂

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Cookie Dough In The Middle

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So you’ve probably heard of Annie The Baker.   If you love cookie dough more than you love the cookie I am sure you have.

Annie created a cookie that is truly for the cookie dough lover.  And I am one of those cookie dough lovers!  I totally have to taste test the dough before I cook the cookies.  I could eat all the cookie dough and never even care to have the baked cookies.  How about you?

You can buy Annie The Baker’s creations here.

I searched the internet for a recipe like her cookie dough balls and came across this one from The Chic Life blog.  The chocolate chip cookie dough balls turned out perfectly like a soft cookie on the outside and on the inside cookie dough!!!  So DELICIOUS!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

Inspired by Annie the Baker

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 stick butter, softened/room-temp
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
  6. Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small sorbet scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2-3 inches between each ball.
  7. Bake balls for 9-11 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. If you use egg, and you’re paranoid like me, you can use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers of the balls are at least 160 degrees F, which many web sites say is the safe temp to eat eggs.
  8. Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

Thank you Chic Life for the recipe!

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If I have to eat my cookie dough baked, this is the way I want it!  I couldn’t ask for anything better 🙂  Now I just wish some of Annie The Bakers creations would show up on my front door.  Or maybe someday I will order them for myself!

Enjoy~

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I am making up a batch of these cookies tonight to take to a NYE party!

Happy New Years Eve!!!!!!!

  

Are you a soft cookie, cookie dough or crispy cookie type of person?

 

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We Three Meats

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When trying to plan the menu for a big party I knew I wanted to do something in my crock pot.  I searched for recipes, but in the end just came up with my own. 

I think this was a big hit, especially with the guys in the crowd.  This would be something good to make for a Superbowl party or a poker party too.

Shredded BBQ Beef

3 Lbs. London broil beef

1 Onion

1 tsp. Worcestershire seasoning powder

2 bottles of BBQ sauce, your choice of flavor

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Cut up beef into smaller chunks.  I made mine approximately 3×3 inch pieces, making sure to cut off all excess fatty areas.

Dice up onion and place all ingredients in crock pot.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until beef is done and no longer pink in the middle.

Remove beef from crockpot, allow to cool.

Shred beef into smaller bite size pieces.  The liquids left in the crock pot may be too much, so you may have to get rid of some of it before adding back in the beef.  Stir beef in with the bbq sauce and allow to stay warm while serving.

Serve on hoagie buns or mini slider buns. 

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Beef is so versatile and easy to prepare, especially in the crock pot. Just put everything in together and walk away.

It couldn’t be simpler.

I hope you can enjoy a warm and hearty meal from a crockpot this winter.

Enjoy~

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Who doesn’t love cheese and bread?  Add some pepperoni to the mix and we ‘ve created a loveable loaf!  Just pull apart to reveal the layers of cheesy goodness!!!

Pepperoni Pizza Pull

  • 3.5 oz. pepperoni chopped

  • 1c. shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 pkg. refrigerated breadsticks (12 count)

  • 1 c. pizza sauce warmed

Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.  Combine pepperoni and cheeses.  Cut dough into 1 inch pieces with scissors.  Arrange 1/2 of the dough pieces in prepared pan.  Top with 1/2 of the cheese/pepperoni mixture.  Repeat layer again.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 min. or until golden brown.  Cool in pan for 5 min.  Remove from pan.  Serve warm with pizza sauce!

Enjoy~

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The incredible edible egg!  Egg McMuffins in the house!  Our Christmas morning breakfast included these bad boys.  And also some crescent cranberry wreaths which I’ll share in a later post 🙂

My mom makes the best egg mcmuffins!  It’s kinda a tradition to have these on Christmas morning at her house.   Toasted and buttered english muffin topped with a slice of colby jack cheese, a fried hard egg and a piece of Canadian bacon.  And I then add some bbq sauce to mine.  They are delicious!

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What is your favorite crock pot meal?

Do you and your family have a traditional Christmas morning meal?

  

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My Shar-pei Scrapbook

I had so much fun putting this scrapbook together of our favorite furry friends Ripley & Journey

This is going to be a keepsake that we will treasure forever and always.

I gave this scrapbook to my husband for Christmas.  Of course he loved it!

Here are the pages of the scrapbook:

Ok, so how many pictures do you need to see of my doggies?!

Just a few more…they are SO cute afterall~!~  How could you not love these squishy wrinkles!

Here’s the post I did on Lady & The Tramp with Ripley and Journey.  Click here.

And here’s the post where I first introduced J&R to my blog readers!  Click here.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Ripley &  Journey Show.  Ruff Ruff!  Woof Woof!

Now back to your regularly scheduled program 🙂

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*Do you have any keepsakes about your pets?

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Christmas Recap Part II

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Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Are you sick of Christmas carols yet?

We played some fun games on Christmas Eve with our family.  We sang the 12 days of Christmas, played Christmas carols with bells (that we tapped with spoons) and BINGO!  It’s always a hoot watching everyone search thru the piles of bingo gifts in the middle of the living room floor.  Feeling, poking, squishing, rubbing the gifts to try and guess which one they may want!

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Of course there was an over abundance of appetizers, meal items, desserts and treats for us all to indulge in!

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Fruity Freeze

  

Simple and sweet, this frozen treat is as easy as it gets.  Process 1 (16 oz) bag frozen strawberries, 3/4 c. orange juice, and 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice with 1-2 cups of ice in a blender until smooth.  Top it with a straw or spoon, and enjoy!  SLURP!

Recipe from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade

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Snowy Yule Log

  • 1/3 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 box angel food cake mix (16 oz.)
  • 1 (3.3 oz.) pkg. instant white chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 c. cold milk
  • 1 c. thawed Cool Whip
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting
  • 8 oz. vanilla flavored candy coating

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a rimmed 15×10 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sift 1/3c. confectioners sugar evenly over a clean towel.

Prepare cake mix according to pkg. directions.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Loosen edges of cake from pan, if necessary.  Invert warm cake onto prepared towel.  Carefully remove and discard parchment paper.  Starting at 1 long side, roll up cake and towel together, and let cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and cold milk, whisking well.  Cover, and refrigerate until set.  Fold in 1 cup whipped topping.

Unroll cake, and removed towel.  Spread filling over cake and reroll, ending seam-side down.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Transfer to a serving platter, seam-side down, and sift desired amount of confectioners sugar over the top before serving.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating according to pkg. directions, whisking until smooth.  Spoon into a large heavy duty plastic bag.  Snip 1 corner of bag with scissors to make a small hole.  Pipe candy coating into holiday designs (stars, trees etc.) on parchment paper.  Cool completely.  Arrange on yule log in desired pattern.

Recipe found in Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine Dec.-Jan. 2010.

We also drizzled some icing over the yule log made of powedered sugar and milk!

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This snowy yule log was incredibly scrumptious!

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Enchilada Pizza

  • 1 pizza crust
  • 1/2 c. enchilada sauce
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar-jack cheese
  • 1 c. chili beans drained
  • 1 c. cooked chicken, diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped onions, optional

Toppings:  Sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, salsa and jalapenos

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place pizza crust on 13×9 inch pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Spread with enchilada sauce on crust to within 1/2 inch of edges.  Evenly scatter on chicken, cheese and beans.  Bake at 425 degrees for 16-17 min.  You can also add chopped onions here too if you wish.

Bake at 425 degrees for 16-17 min. or until crust is browned and done.

Slice, serve and top with the toppings of your choice!

Enjoy~

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We always open presents and sift through our stockings at my parents house on Christmas morning!  Santa still comes and I love it!  I got so many cool scarves, hats and gloves this year, I can’t wait to wear them all 🙂

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2010 Christmas Collage 49 Cheese Crescent Triangles

  • 4 oz. tomato basil feta cheese, finely crumbled (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped green onions (2 medium)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Heave oven to 375 degrees.  In small bowl, mix feta cheese, green onions and 3 Tbsp. of the beaten egg.

Unroll dough, separate into 4 rectangles.  Press perforations to seal. 

Press each rectangle into 7 1/2×5 inch rectangle.  Cut rectangle into 3 rows by 2 rows to make 6 (2 1/2 inch) squares.  Top each dough square with slightly rounded measuring teaspoon full of feta cheese mixture.  Fold dough over filling, forming triangle, press edges to seal.   On ungreased cookie sheets, place triangles 2 inches apart.  Repeat with remaining 3 dough rectangles and feta cheese mixture.

Brush tops with remaining beaten egg.  Sprinkle lightly with parmesan cheese.

Bake 9-11 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

So delicious!

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Christmas 2010 Bennett House 129Sporting my furry new leopard coat!

Christmas 2010 Bennett House 520 And my new black furry hat with flower adornment and ear flaps to keep my ears warm!

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I gave my brother the “Worlds Largest” Reese’s Cups, don’t they look big and yummy!  And I gave my sister-in-law 3 industrial necklaces that I made.  To see my post on those click here.2010 Christmas collage 50

And I got 2 new Nicole Lee purses that are just oh so fabulous!!!2010 Christmas collage 52

Christmas was such a blessing this year! 

I hope you had an exciting Christmas too!

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What is one thing that made your holiday exciting this year?

  

 

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Christmas Recap Part I

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What a wonderful white Christmas we had at home.  Truly a down home country Christmas filled with family, fun and food. Lotsa good food!2010 Christmas collage 27 A few pics above from my parents house.  It’s like a cabin in the woods 🙂  The tree was brightly lit, the deer even had on his Santa hat, the stockings were hung and the staircase was cheerfully decorated!

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My mom is the best cook ever.  She always makes wonderful meals for us when we are home.  She is so creative with her cooking too!  She loves to try new recipes as much as I do~  She made us Dutch Baby Pancakes for breakfast.  And I made these holiday shaped jello jigglers for the kiddos coming to the party.

Dutch Baby

  • 1c. milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. melted butter + 2 Tbsp.
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix eggs, milk, flour, 1/4 c. melted butter, sugar and vanilla in a blender.  Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a cast iron skillet.  Add batter and bake at 375 degrees for 35 min.  Dust with confectioners sugar.

So easy and delicious!  Our favorite thing to do is drizzle with fresh lemon juice~~~

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Our Christmas punch with lemon rind cutout garnish~

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Nutella-Mallow Pillow Pockets

  • 1 pkg. puff pastry, 2 pastry sheets thawed
  • 1 c. Nutella spread
  • 1c. mini marshmallows
  • Egg white wash: 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp. water
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut each square of pastry into 8 equal size pieces.  Spread a couple Tbsp. of Nutella spread onto the center of each pastry leaving 1/2 inch border around edges.  Top each with about 10-12 min marshmallows and fold over to form a triangle.  Crimp edges firmly with the tines of a fork.  Brush with egg white wash then sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Place triangles on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until pastry turns golden brown.  Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar and then dig in! 

Recipe originally found here.

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YUM!

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Strawberry Kiwi Angel Food Dessert

  • 1 large angel food cake cut into pieces
  • 1 pkg. prepared vanilla pudding
  • Cool Whip for topping
  • 4 kiwis peel and cut into pieces
  • 2-10oz. pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Drain strawberries, saving the liquid too.  Stir corn starch into liquid and cook to a boil over medium high heat on the stovetop.  Cool  Add strawberries.  Refrigerate.  Place 1/2 of cake in 11×13 glass dish.  Pour half of pudding over cake.  Then layer on kiwis, other half of cake, rest of pudding and cool whip.  Then drizzle with the strawberry mixture.  Assemble just before serving.  Enjoy!

Or you can leave everything seperate and serve it in a row like we did above.  This is my preferred method so that the cake doesn’t get soggy before eating it.  And the leftovers will last alot longer if you do not assemble it beforehand.

Layered in a glass dish though, this dessert looks really pretty and festive!

Original recipe came from Pillsbury back in Dec. 1995.

I did not take a picture of the assembled dessert as I was too quick in eating it due to its deliciousness!

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Two cooks in the kitch!

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Bacon Breadstick Focaccia

  • 1 can Pillsbury refrigerated breadsticks (12 breadsticks)
  • 1 jar real bacon bits
  • `1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh parsley, if desired (I used dried parsley flakes)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Unroll dough; separate into 12 strips.  Starting at center of parchment paper cookie sheet, coil bacon bits and cheese with dough strips into a loose spiral, pinching ends together securely as strips are added.

Drizzle or brush egg over dough using all of egg to fill crevices.  Sprinkle with bacon bits and parsley.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown.  Cut into wedges, serve warm. 

Recipe originally found here.

2010 Christmas collage 30

Enjoy!

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Christmas 2010 Bennett House 342

Look who showed up!!!!!!!!!!  S A N T A ~

Christmas 2010 Bennett House 005

2010 Christmas collage 33

We enjoyed a wintry white Christmas!

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2010 Christmas collage 29

Rasberry Almond Puff Bites

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 container fresh rasberries
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 c. whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  On lightly floured surface, roll puff pastry with rolling pin into 12-inch square.  Cut square into 6 rows by 6 rows to make 36 squares.  Place squares 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.  Cool completely, about 15 min.

Reserve 36 of the smallest raspberries. In small bowl, mash remaining raspberries (about 1/2 cup) with fork. Reserve 2 teaspoons of the powdered sugar. In medium bowl, beat whipping cream, remaining powdered sugar and the almond extract with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold mashed raspberries into whipped cream.

Split each puff pastry square into 2 layers. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the whipped cream mixture on bottom layers; replace tops. Top each square with tiny dollop (about 1/4 teaspoon) whipped cream mixture; add reserved raspberry. (If desired, squares can be refrigerated up to 2 hours at this point.) Just before serving, place reserved powdered sugar in small fine-mesh strainer, and sift over tops of squares.

Enjoy~

Recipe originally found here.

Christmas 2010 Bennett House 398

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Christmas 2010 Bennett House 391 Christmas 2010 Bennett House 392  We had a full dessert bar with homemade chex mix, snowy yule log, chocolate pretzel rods, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate iced chocolate cookies, cranberry oatmeal cookies, german chocolate trifle, kiss pies, snickerdoodle cookies, white chocolate pretzels and rasberry almond puff bites.

Christmas 2010 Bennett House 038 Christmas 2010 Bennett House 396Christmas 2010 Bennett House 395 My sister-in-law Kelli made these KISS PIES as an addition to our dessert bar!

Yum!

So many treats, so little time!~!~!

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Christmas 2010 Bennett house 1 055

My totally loving, caring and gracious parents!

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Santa Paws~Rebel, Jag and Oakley with their Christmas gear on!  My brother and sister-in-laws doggies.

2010 Christmas collage 37

Kelli and I were totally fashionable with our heels and leggings!

2010 Christmas collage 36

My wild new leopard print furry had with ear flaps and my fluffy new leopard print pj bottoms!

Christmas 2010 Bennett house 1 092

I hope everyone had great Christmas Eve and Christmas day filled with all the things you love!

Christmas 2010 collage 24

Happy Holidays from me to you!

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What is the best thing you ate on Christmas Day?

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Industrial Jewelry

So, a few months ago, on tv, I saw someone making industrial jewelry.  I don’t remember what show it was on or who was making it (it doesn’t matter) and I thought it was so cool!  I also thought to myself, I CAN DO THAT!  So there began my search for supplies to make my own industrial accented necklaces. 

Take a look and see what you think!  Do you want one?

This necklace below is one that I put together for my Mom.  It’s not industrial.

I found supplies to make these necklaces at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Lowe’s.

The chains were already made.  I just found a bunch of little nuts, washers and whatever else those industrial parts are called (thingamajigs) and added them to the chains.  I don’t know the purpose of all those little pieces that I bought for my necklaces, men should, but they made my creations look cool and hip! 

I couldn’t share these necklaces until after Christmas.  Because you know…several gals that read this just might have been recipients {{wink}}!

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YO!  Would you be a part of this chain gang? 

Would you wear something like this that is accented with industrial trinkets?

  Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to the King!

Merry Christmas!

I wish your holiday to be merry and bright!

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.

🙂

Yep, that’s my Journey with her nose in the tree!

Wishing you a safe, happy, warm and comforting Christmas day!

Enjoy~

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What is one tradition you and your family have on Christmas day?

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Happy Birthday Eve Jesus!

I love Christmas Eve! 

Because it is the day that the whole side of my mom’s family gathers at my parents house for a big celebration!  A warm comforting meal, an array of sweet desserts, a pile of bingo gifts in the middle of the floor and SANTA makes a special appearance!

Enjoy this Christmas Eve as we start to celebrate and sing Happy Birthday Jesus!

Journey’s sniffing the tree!  And it’s fake, so it doesn’t smell.

Photo with Santa from 2009

Family photo Christmas 2009

My husband and I, Christmas 2009

I hope your holiday is fun-filled!

 

I feel totally blessed this year and so happy for those whom I have in my life.

 

Now…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!~!~

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Chocolate Mint Bliss

Ok.  I know what you may be thinking.  More mint.  Another post on something minty from Amy.

Why yes it is!  Mint is a flavor of the season.  Smoothe, creamy, minty enjoyment between two salty pretzel rounds, covered in dark chocolate.

Have you saw these Snyders of Hanover York Peppermint Pretzel Sandwiches in the store?  I grabbed a bag so quickly when I saw them, people probably felt the rush of air movement~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!  (~=wind)

Let me just tell you that they are extremely delicious!

I could’ve eaten the whole thing in one bite, but I didn’t.  Just for you.  Just to show you the inside of these lil munchkins.

These may be just a seasonal item, so if I were you, I would run to the nearest store and getch’ya a bag!

So excited because Christmas Eve and Christmas are coming right up!

And if you are looking for a minty treat to make for your family this holiday season, check out these posts:

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What will you be most excited about on Christmas Day?

What store bought treat have you discovered this holiday season?

Enjoy~

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Plethora of Party Pretzels and Chocolate JENGA (Turtle Pretzel Bites & Mint Discs)

Treat collage 2

All my party people pretzels!!!    Where my party people at?

We had a wonderful party on Sunday with lots of friends, fun and festive yummy food!

JENGA

Pretzel rods, coated in chocolate and decorated however you want.  So easy to make and easy on the eyes~

Looks like Chocolate JENGA!

Treat collage 3

Treat collage 1 Who doesn’t love these cute little bite size holiday treats?  Peppermint Oreo Balls are always a hit!

And below are Peppermint Oreo Balls with Andes mints on top.   Similar to the Crème de Menthe Oreo Poppers I made before but without being sandwiched in between the kick of salty pretzels.  Treat collage12-17-10 005

Don’t forget to leave cookies out for Santa!  You don’t want coal do you?

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I love this snowman mug.  My aunt gave it to me several years ago and it’s even personalized.  I’ll take a piping hot cup of cocoa now with marshmallows on top please!

marshmallow pops

Below are Hershey Mint Kiss Discs.  So easy to make.  See for yourself.

Mint Discs

  • 1 pkg. round pretzels

  • 1 pkg. mint Hershey Kisses

  • 1 pkg. mint M&M’s

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet line up pretzel rounds until sheet is full.  Place unwrapped Hershey Kiss in the middle of each pretzel round.  Place in oven for only 2 1/2 minutes (just until Kiss is soft enough to be pressed down).  Remove from oven and place mint M&M on top of each Hershey Kiss pressing down slightly.  Allow to cool and for chocolate to harden before serving.

So easy to pop these mint discs in to your mouth, one after another…!

The pretzel rods are easy to need a recipe for them!make and you don’t even need a recipe for them!12-17-10 023

Looks like Chocolate JENGA huh?!

Wouldn’t you like to sink your teeth in to one of these Brownie Covered Oreo’s?

Brownie covered Oreo's 003

Brownie covered Oreo's 004

Below are Turtle Pretzel Bites.  So easy to make the ooey gooey caramel is delish!

Turtle Pretzel Bites

  • 1 bag waffle pretzels

  • 1 bag Rolos

  • 1 small bag pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  On parchment paper lined cookie sheet line up rows of pretzels until sheet is full.  Unwrap Rolos and place one on top of each waffle pretzel.  Bake in preheated 250 degree over for 2 1/2 minutes only (just until Rolo soft enough to be squished down).  Remove from oven and push pecan half on top of each Rolo.  Allow to cool and for Rolo to harden before serving.

These treats are lick your lips tasty!!!

2010 Christmas collage 9 2010 Christmas collage 10 2010 Christmas collage 11

I had fun dipping and decorating those marshmallows above in chocolate and mini M&M’s.  I love marshmallow suckers!

2010 Christmas Collage 12

Above are a few of the savory dishes we had.  BBQ weenies, pigs in a blanket, macaroni-n-cheese, hashbrown casserole and shredded bbq beef.

Below are my attempt at cookie dough balls.   More on that in a later post.

 2010 Christmas Collage 13

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Did you just look at the full party album slideshow above?  There’s lots of pictures there and I wish I would have taken many more!

That night we had a bunch of our friends back over for a pizza party.  We devoured 6 pizzas quickly like we hadn’t eaten all day!  Talk about being stuffed! 

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I hope you have a SNOW KISSED Christmas!

Have a great holiday week!  Enjoy all the parties, festivities and food because it’ll be over before we know it!

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Do you dream of a white Christmas?

I do and we are getting one this year 🙂

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Winter Solstice and Bah Humbug!

Sunday was our big holiday party hosted by moi and the mister.  And these strikingly brilliant red cupcakes made it on to my holiday party menu.  I just used a box of red velvet cake mix and swirled on the cream cheese icing myself, then topped with red sugar flakes.

And these Brownie Wrapped Oreos.  Yes, that is what I said.  A brownie covered Oreo.  Total sinful deliciousness and fun to make.   Here’s the recipe link.  Although mine do not look like Jenny’s.  It is all in the shape of your muffin pan and how much non-stick spray you coat the bottom of the pan with.

And the punch.  The red punch.  The red punch that no one spilled the entire party including all the kids that were here.  Guess who spills it?  I came home from work last night and spilled red punch on my carpet.  Geesh~  It was made with Fresca and cherry limeade.  I don’t think I had ever had Fresca before, and do you know that it has zero, zip, zilch, nada calories, sugar and caffeine.  I am certain that won’t  be my last Fresca purchase!

Yep, those are orange peels that I cut into the shape of a Christmas tree.  Just a cute addition to the glass dispenser of punch 🙂

I had to include some fruit admist all the sweet treats so I skewered-up these grapes and strawberries on kabob sticks.  Of  course you could have ran that through the chocolate fountain if you wanted!

The chocolate fountain was a flowin’!   Pure, drippy, warm milk chocolate fondue!

For dipping I had a huge bowl of fresh, sweet strawberries, fluffy marshmallows, crispy Rice Krispie treats, your finger and crunchy animal crackers. 

Could you ask for a better dessert? 

 Here’s a pic of me with some of my girlfriends that were at the party.  You can’t tell what team we were rooting for during the game can you?!  And the men in blue pulled out a win, yeah-rah 🙂  (Insert toe touch and cartwheel here in celebration.  You can’t blame me, I used to be a cheerleader!)

I will take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to my friends for helping me clean up after the party.  Do you know how long it would have taken me to do that all by myself?  Way too long!  My husband thanks you too because he didn’t want to do it either.                          I love you gals~

Today is National Bah Humbug Day.  A day designated to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season when you are allowed to take out your frustrations and vent just a little by shouting “Bah Humbug!”

But who wants to do that?!  It’s almost Christmas Day!  And for that, I am thankful!

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Today is the shortest day of the year.  And the longest night of the year!  Yeah!

I do not like how it gets dark so early in the winter time.  Because when it’s dark I feel like I should be in bed.  And 5pm is NOT bedtime!

Happy Winter Solstice 2010!

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Come back tomorrow for all the pictures from our holiday party!!!

 

What is the worst part part of the short days and long nights in the winter for you?

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Scent Sicles

Wowzer, have you seen these?

Scent Sicles

One of the great inventions of the season!

Why didn’t I know about these sooner?

Hang these fragrant sticks on your tree to boost it’s smell!

Artificial Christmas trees may be convenient and free of messy pine needles, but they sure don’t smell like real trees. Even real trees don’t smell like themselves sometimes.

Thankfully you don’t have to sacrifice the smell of Christmas for convenience. ScentSicles can bring any tree to life with the real smell of fresh-cut pine.  (quoted from here)

My nose is craving this!

Cinnamon, pine, nutmeg, spice, sugar cookie, fruitcake, cranberry, wassail, eggnog, balsam fir, peppermint, fig, mistletoe.   All scents of the season!

 Notice the crockpot full of hot spiced wassail at the party I had yesterday.  It was so tasty 🙂

And this Twisted Peppermint candle made my house smell edible!  Seriously!  I could smell it upstairs, downstairs, everywhere.  Totally delicious scent!  (Thanks Jen!)

If your an eggnog lover like me (see here), you may also like this rice nog and peppermint stick soy beverage.  I love this stuff!  I stocked up and have multiple a few cartons just waiting to be inhaled.  Shh!  Well…I won’t be able to find it after the holidays so I had to buy lots of it now!

  

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What is your favorite holiday scent?

 

 

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Sinful Sausage Cheese Toasts

These little sausage cheese toasts have become a staple in our family.   Seems at almost every family gathering these are brought out to munch on.  And they go fast!

These are very simple to make.  4 ingredients.  And the best part is that you can make them ahead and freeze until ready to bake and eat!

Sausage Cheese Toasts

  • 1 loaf party rye mini bread loaf
  • 1 Lb. sausage
  • 1 Lb. hamburger
  • 1 Lb. Velveeta cheese

In a large pan on the stovetop, cook and brown hamburger and sausage together.   Drain grease from cooked meats.  Return meats to pan on stovetop and add cubed Velveeta cheese.  Cook on low heat until all cheese is melted.  Stir thoroughly.

Align mini bread slices on large cookie sheet.  Top each bread slice with heaping tablespoon full of the meat/cheese mixture.   At this point you can either bake them or let them cool and place in freezer safe container until you need to bake them.

You do not need to defrost these (if they were frozen) before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 min. until warm in the center and slightly browned.

Serve warm.  Enjoy~

 

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Today I am hosting a big holiday party at 1pm.  It’s at 1 so we can also have on the football game too!  I have been preparing all kinds of goodies for several days leading up to this party.  Including these sausage cheese toasts as I know they always go over well with a crowd!

Stay tuned for party recap posts coming up in the next few days 🙂

Sneak peek: 

  

 

What is your go-to recipe for a party?

 

 

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Cookie Exchange Part III

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without some cookies.  Whether it’s a midnight snack for Santa or a sweet delight shared between friends and family, everyone loves cookies!

A cookie exchange is a way to taste and receive a variety of cookies and also to get new recipes.  Who wouldn’t love that!?

Recently I was invited to a cookie exchange and couldn’t pass up the chance to go.  I took 5 dozen goodies and came home with a variety of sweet treats too. 

Featuring 3 more yummy holiday treat recipes:

  

Mint Triangles

  • 2 pkg. fudge covered mint oreo cookies
  • 1/2 c. butter
  •  1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Filling and Topping:

  • 10 oz. vanilla almond bark
  • 1 80z. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 6 drops green food coloring
  • 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

For crust, crush cookies into very fine crumbs and place in large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, melt butter and chocolate morsels in microwave, uncovered, on high for 60-90 seconds or until butter is melted.  Stir until smooth.  Add chocolate mixture to crumbs.  Mix until all crumbs are moistened.  Spread evenly in a medium sheet pan.  Firmly pack evenly into pan.  Place in freezer for atleast 10 min.

For filling, melt almond bark in microwave.  Stir until smooth.  In separate mixing bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth.  Whisk in extract and food coloring.  Add bark and whisk well.  Spread filling over crust.

Melt remaining morsels and then place in a small sealable plastic bag.  Secure and close top of baggie.  Cut a corner off bag and drizzle chocolate over filling.  Let stand until chocolate is firm.  Cut into triangles (4 rows and 4 columns and then cut rectangles in half diagonally).  Serve and enjoy this minty decadence!

 

Buckeyes

  • 3 Lbs. powdered sugar
  • 1 Lbs. peanut butter
  • 1 Lb. softened butter
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 12 oz. chocolate for drizzling/dipping

Knead first 4 ingredients together and roll into balls.  Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets. 

Melt chocolate until dipping consistency obtained.  Dip balls into chocolate mixture to coat half of ball.  Place balls back on wax paper.  After all dipped, drizzle remaining melted chocolate over the top of the balls.  Refrigerate to set.  Yields 14 dozen bite size peanut butter balls.

Rudolph Chip-Blitz Cookies

  • 1/2 c. butter softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. Hershey’s baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. vanilla or white chips
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter chips

Glaze:

  • 1 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 tsp. milk

Cream butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy in large bowl.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Gradually add the combined dry ingredients gradually to the creamed mixture. Stir in chips with a wooden spoon.

By rounded tablespoons full, 2 inches apart, drop cookie dough onto greased baking sheets.  Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 12-15 min. or until set.  Let cool 2 min. and then move cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine the confectioners sugar, almond extract and milk in a medium size bowl and mix for glaze.  Coat entire top of each cookie with a teaspoon of the glaze.

Sift additional powdered sugar over top of cookie and add some red sprinkles.  Each cookie is supposed to look like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’s nose. 

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The recipes I have given you above are ones that I received at the cookie exchange.  I do not know whose recipes they are nor where they originally came from.  I am simply sharing with you the goodness that we enjoyed at the exchange.

To view Cookie Exchange Part I click here.                                                                     

To view Cookie Exchange Part II click here.

To see what scrumptious treat I took click here.

Cookie exchanges are a great way to get in the spirit, spend time with friends and neighbors, pick up some great new recipes and go home with an array of delicious cookies and treats.  And they are always good because everyone usually picks their favorite to share.

It wouldn’t be the holiday season without flavorful and festive cookies and treats!

May you have a Delishmas Christmas!

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What are you doing to make yours a Delishmas Christmas?

 

 

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Cookie Exchange Part II

Get ready to indulge…

I’ve got some sugar and spice and everything nice to make your holiday extra sweet!

Recently I attended a cookie exchange at my friend Heather’s house.  What a lovely and cozy time it was.  I even won the door prize 🙂 Here it is:

 

Now featuring 3 more of the blissful treats that were at the party.

 

Cranberry Layer Bars

  • 1 roll refrigerated sugar cookies
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. chopped fresh or dried cranberries
  • 1 c. white vanilla baking chips
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped pretzels

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray.  Break up cookie dough into pan.  With floured finges, press dough evenly in bottom of pan.  Bake 12-15 min. or until edges are golden brown.

In medium bowl, beat condensed milk, orange peel and egg with a whisk until combined.  Remove crust from oven and spread milk mixture evenly over crust.  Sprinkle with cranberries, vanilla chips, chocolate chips and pretzels.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.  Cool 1 1/2 hours.  Refrigerate 30 min. or until chocolate is set.  Cut into squares to serve.

 

Gingerbread Drops

  • 1 pkg. premade Pillsbury Gingerbread cookie dough
  • Granulated sugar for coating

With 1 Tbsp. of the dough, roll into ball and then roll in sugar to coat fully.  Do this until all dough used up.   So simple right!

Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-11 min. at 350 degrees.

Cool completely and frost as desired.

The simplest cookie recipe ever.

 

Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies

  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 c. semisweet chocolate chips (or one 12 oz. bag)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. bakign soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 36 Andes chocolate mint candies

In large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted.  Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted.  Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off.

At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture.  Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended.  Chill dough about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake 8-9 minutes.  While cookies are baking, unwrap mints and divide each in half.  When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie.  Let the mint sit for up to 5 min. until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. 

Eat and Enjoy!

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These recipes were ones that I received at the cookie exchange.  I do not know whose recipes they are and I am sorry I cannot give credit to that person.  Simply just sharing with you the holiday treat recipes that were at the cookie exchange I attended.

For Part I of the cookie exchange recipes click here.

To see my contribution to the cookie exchange click here (Creme de Menthe Oreo Poppers).

And stay tuned for Part III of the Cookie Exchange recipes!

Happy Holidays!

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Have you ever been to a cookie exchange?  And what recipe did you take to share?

 

 

 

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day

Today just might be my favorite day of the year 🙂

It’s National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day!

Things I like dipped in chocolate:

  • strawberries
  • marshmallows
  • rice krispie treats
  • pound cake
  • brownies
  • cookie dough
  • oreos
  • cheerios
  • pretzels
  • chex
  • sunflower seeds
  • peanuts
  • raisins
  • cashews
  • almonds
  • nutter butter cookies
  • graham crackers
  • ritz and peanut butter sandwhiches
  • peanut butter balls

I have not tried dipping chips, bacon, pickles, crispy ramen noodles, grasshoppers or any of that other weird stuff in chocolate.  Have you?

Like we need another excuse to indulge…but today is a day to do it~!~!

Yes, those are all my photos.  Can’t tell I like chocolate can ya!!!

I will be bringing out my chocolate fountain for this weekends Christmas party!

What is your favorite thing to dip in chocolate?

Posted in Deliciousness | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

Cookie Exchange Part I

Socializing and the panorama of special holiday sweets are two of the best things about the holiday season!

So it’s it doesn’t come as a  surprise that an event that features both are much anticipated special occasions!

Getting together to exchange homemade Christmas cookies is such a fun thing.

I took 5 dozen treats (Creme de Menthe Oreo Poppers) and came home with 9 other treats, amounting to 3 dozen.  Can we say sugar overload! 

Puttin on the Ritz

  • 1 c. chopped dates

  • 1 c. chopped nuts

  • 1-14oz. can Eagle brand milk

  • 1/2 tsp. burnt sugar flavoring

  • 1/4 tsp. butter flavoring

  •  1 1/2 stacks Ritz crackers

Combine dates, nuts, milk and flavorings in the top of a double boiler over boiling water.  Cook and stir occasionally until thick.  Spread over crackers.  Bake on cookie sheet 8 min. at 300 degrees.  Let cool before serving. 

Candied Nuts

  • 3 c. whole nuts

  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

  • 1/2 c. light corn syrup

  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar

  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Place nuts in 13×9 inch baking pan.  Bake for 5 minutes.

In a 2 qt. saucepan melt butter over med. heat.  Stir in corn syrup, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Stir over med. heat until sugar is dissolved.

Add the nuts to the syrup, stirring constantly to coat evenly.  Spread the nuts on a lined cookie sheet.  Let sit for 5 min.  Then place in oven and bake, stirring several times, for 15 min.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, separating nuts as they cool.  Store in tightly closed container.

Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 c. butter softened
  • 1/3 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix

Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 c. confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk

Glaze:

  • 1/2 c. red or green colored chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. vegetable shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar on high speed until smooth.  Add egg and extracts, mix well.

In another bowl, combine flour and pudding then add to the butter mixture.  Shape into 1 inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.  Make a thumbprint in center of each cookie and bake for 12 min. or until golden brown on the bottom.

Position a wire cooling rack over a sheet of waxed paper.  Remove cookies from oven and place on the cooling rack.

To prepare filling, in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat together butter and confectioners sugar on high speed until smooth, about 2 min.  Stir in vanilla and milk; mix until combined until smooth.  Spoon into center of cooled cookies.  Leave cookies on rack to glaze.

To prepare glaze, in microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate and shortening.  Stir until smooth, taking care not to scorch the chocolate.  Bunch cooled cookies together on a cooling rack and drizzle colored chocolate over them in a very thin stream, crossing back and forth over cookies to form chocolate lace.  For simple drizzling, hold a small spoonful of chocolate about 6 inches above the rack; release a thin stream of chocolate as you move the spoon back and forth quickly over the cookies.   Let chocolate set up and serve!

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One of the great things about a cookie exchange is walking away with everyone’s recipes too.  The recipes I have listed above are those of the ladies that attended the cookie exchange.  I do not have their names or the sources of their recipes.  I am simply sharing with you the recipes I received at the party.  Sorry that I don’t know who to give credit to.

 I have shown 3 of the recipes I received at the cookie exchange today.  Stay tuned for more in upcoming posts!

Happy Holidays!

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Sunny Scottsdale

I’m back in the frigid and snowy midwest after a fun-filled mini vacation to Scottsdale Arizona!

It is freezing here.  Snow.  Ice.  Wind.  Low wind chill.  And it makes me have ice in my veins.  Not good. 

So thankful that I got to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather in the southwest for 3 days.  But I want to go back…and make it soon…please!  I need to defrost myself!

We stayed at a wonderful resort hotel in Paradise Valley.  The Intercontinental Montelucia.  To check out the resorts webpage click here.   It had great Spanish inspired architecture, a top ranked spa and a great pool areas.   The Joya spa also had a fabulous gym and also had gym equipment on the terrace, outside, overlooking the pool!  The spa had it’s own rooftop pool too, very cool.

And there were lemon and orange trees scattered across the property!  They looked so colorful, ripe and delicious I wanted to pick some to eat…but figured I didn’t want to get kicked out of my room either. 

Pools, palms and mountains: You can’t go wrong!

We saw some fabulous sunsets over the Sonoran Desert too.  Unfortunately only one of the nights were we able to capture their beauty in pictures.  This night we were at Troon North Golf  Club and they had a specific area labeled for watching the sunset at.  So that’s where we went!

Our friends Chris and Lisa joined us on our trip out west too.  We had alot of fun together!

Lisa and I did alot of retail therapy shopping while Dustin and Chris played golf at Wildfire and Troon North.

Wow, that’s alot of pictures.  I had to do it the slideshow way since I ran out of time to upload pics any other way.  🙂

And I can’t forget the wonderful meals we had on this trip!

We sat outside at The Sand Bar Mexican grill to enjoy a good meal.  But had to pay for chips and salsa.  What’s that all about?!  But it was a great atmosphere; our surfboard table and stools were in the sand and they had a wading pool for those who needed to cool off.

We ate Mexican food everyday.  Maybe that’s just what you do when you are in the southwest.  Our lunch before going to the airport on the day we left was at Blanco Taco’s and Tequila.  A trendy and hip eating establishment.  We sat outside for this meal too!  And we asked for flour chips and they made some especially for us.  So much better than corn chips!

The best Mexican meal we had was at Jalapeno Inferno.  Once again it was warm enough to sit outside.  Their flour chips were delicious and so was the baked queso dip!  I also had shrimp tacos.  I just think the name of this restaurant is cool.  Plus they were having a 10year birthday celebration and as you can see by the photos, we had a great time spinning the wheel for prizes!

We enjoyed a nice breakfast at The Good Egg too.  We sat outside, again, on their patio and got to choose from the 100 menu items they had!  I ate some hot wheat berry bowl with a side of B&G’s.  Along with the blood orange mimosa and cookie I acquired when browsing a nearby store while I was waiting on my food to be delivered 🙂

Bandera in Old Town Scottsdale exceeded our expectations.  The best skillet cornbread ever!  Similar to this recipe clone linked here.  On their appetizer menu they had deviled eggs.  Who serves deviled eggs anymore?!  So we had to try and they were palate pleasers.  And they served the skinniest french fries ever.  (Even skinnier than GD Ritzy’s, if you remember that chain).  There’s a picture of them above.  Funny thing is our friend used to work at Bandera, 16 years ago and some of the menu items are tried and true and still the same.

And yes my friends there is a restaurant called The White Chocolate Grill.   Nope, it is just not desserts.  It’s a contemporary restaurant serving American food.  We had some wonderful appetizers and main courses here also.  We had to ask the history behind the name of this restaurant and our waitress told us it was just because the owners both love white chocolate.  So yes, every dessert item on the menu had white chocolate in it!

In the mornings my husband would go to the Crave cafe and bring me back a hot white tea and one morning I devoured a cranberry orange scone from there.  They had gelato too, so of course we shared a dish one warm day. 

We had a great time on this trip, exploring, shopping, eating and hanging out. 

Oh, on our drive to the airport, we passed an Open House sign.  So we turned around and decided to take a peak at it.  Needless to say when we pulled in the expansive driveway our mouths dropped open  we didn’t know what we were in for.  It was a 7.8 million dollar compound for sale.   Dream on…but it was sure fun to tour!

This goes without saying, but I am going to say  it anyway…I can’t wait to be somewhere warm again…soon!

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If you were choosing a winter getaway destination, where would you go?

Posted in Movers and Shakers | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

Christmas Tour of Homes

Today over at Kelly’s Korner she is showcasing Christmas Tour of Homes and I wanted to join in!

I love when Christmas decorations are up!  Especially sparkly white lights on the tree and mantle!

I love this time of year when my home is transformed into a holiday wonderland!

I love my Christmas decor to be shiny, sparkly, glittery and brightly colored.  It just adds a little luxe touch.  And I am all about shiny things!

Here are three other “Show Us Your Life” posts that I participated in: 

Cheers to you having a Delishmas Christmas!

What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your home?

Posted in Fabulousity | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Bangin Banoffee Pie

Can you pronouce BANOFFEE?

I couldn’t either when I first saw it on the menu when we went out to eat.  And then I read the description of this scrumptious dessert and I realized what it was comprised of.  Two words.  Banana and toffee.

Its name is a portmanteau constructed from the words “banana” and “toffee”. 

Graham cracker crust and fresh sliced bananas in a toffee filling with whipped cream. 

Doesn’t that sound scrumptious?

               

 

We were at a new local restaurant, sorry for poor iphone picture quality.

I loved this sweet pie so much I thought I would look for a recipe for it when I returned home.  And this one  sounds addictive!

Banoffee Pie

  • 2 cups canned sweetened condensed milk (21 ounces)

  • 1 (9-inch) round of refrigerated pie dough (from 15-ounce package)

  • 3 large bananas

  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

  • Special equipment: a 9-inch pie plate (preferably deep dish)

  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.

  • Pour condensed milk into pie plate and stir in a generous pinch of salt. Cover pie plate with foil and crimp foil tightly around rim. Put in a roasting pan, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up side of pie plate, making sure that foil is above water. Bake, refilling pan to halfway with water about every 40 minutes, until milk is thick and a deep golden caramel color, about 2 hours. Remove pie plate from water bath and transfer toffee to a bowl, then chill toffee, uncovered, until it is cold, about 1 hour.

  • While toffee is chilling, clean pie plate and bake piecrust in it according to package instructions. Cool piecrust completely in pan on a rack, about 20 minutes.

  • Spread toffee evenly in crust, and chill, uncovered, 15 minutes.

  • Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices and pile over toffee.

  • Beat cream with brown sugar in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks, then mound over top of pie.                                                                 Cut.  Serve.  Bite.  Savor the flavor.

 

Irresistably Inventive!

A heavenly pie!

A great toffee pie with bananas and whipped cream.

Very addictive!

*Do you have a favorite restaurant dessert?

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11 December, 2010 20:29

A gorgeous sunset over the Sonoran Desert!

77 degrees today and 81 tomorrow!
It’s better than the snow predicted at home~

~Amy

Posted in A Scene | 4 Comments

Friendly Holiday Goodie Gifts

As you can tell I have been posting many little bite-size snacks and dessert treats lately. 

And that’s becauseI love to indulge in them 🙂

But also because I made up treat tins for my close neighbors and friends. 

Here is what they received:

While 4 lbs. of tomatillos only made 6 jars of Santa Salsa, I could not give the salsa to everyone that I gave the treat tins too.  Shucks!  Wish I had made more.  But there is this thing called time that I don’t seem to have enough of.

I packed each treat seperately in a cute little bag with twist tie as I didn’t want to put them in the same tin without being bagged up.  That would have made the peanut butter taste like peppermint peanut butter.  Ick.  Maybe I shouldn’t knock it, I’ve never tried peppermint peanut butter.   Have you?

Sorry for the poor light quality.  It was midnight and I was in the kitchen working 🙂

I found some cute holiday recipe cards, wrote out all the items they were receiving and added it to the top of their treat tin.  As well as a link to where they could find these fabulous recipes at. 

All in, I spent 12 hours in the kitchen making, packaging and preparing these treat tins for my friends and neighbors.  So I hope they appreciated my homemade gift!

And the morning I delivered all these goodies; we had a fresh snow fall of 4 inches.  A perfect addition to my holiday giving mood!

If only I would have had a sleigh~~~

 

What is a homemade gift that you would like to receive this year?

Cheers~

Amy

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10 December, 2010 14:18

There are worst ways to spend your day~~Soaking in this warmth and sunshine in Paradise Valley!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Amy

Posted in A Scene | 6 Comments

Desert not Dessert

Looking forward to arriving in the desert soon! 

I don’t care if it’s dry there.  In fact I am happy it will be dry.  Because there is powdered sugar sprinkled all over the grounds at home!

Love the cactus and flowers of the desert~

Maybe I’ll see another ring around the sun while I am there~

It’s going to be warm, in the mid 70’s.  I might want to sit out by the pool to read and enjoy the scene~

And my husband will be enjoying some time on the links~

We will be celebrating a special guy’s birthday too~

{{All photos taken on prior trips to Scottsdale Arizona}}

I love the vacation mecca known as the “Valley of the Sun!”

Sun.  Warmth.  Sonoran Desert.  Camelback Mountain.  Palm Trees. 

=

Paradise.

  

 Where is somewhere that is paradise for you?

 

 

 

Posted in Movers and Shakers | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Handmade Vintage Holiday Cards

Vintage Christmas Cards that I made!

Recently my Mom and I took a vintage card making class at Archiver’s.  For those of you not familiar with Archiver’s, it is a large scrapbooking store.  This was my Mom’s first class to take and she was really excited about it.  I was happy to have some neat handmade cards to send out to my family too! 

We made 4 vintage cards and 1 gift tag.  Making these 5 things took 3 hours!  We did alot of embossing, cutting, pasting, stamping, coloring and used special tools to give them the vintage look.