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Friday, December 31, 2010

THIS WEEKS CRAVINGS #9: Favorite New Years Recipes

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Blog Party #9
Favorite New Years Recipes

Happy New Year Friends & Family, it's been a BUSY BUSY week at our home (and yes I am SOOOOOO late on posting This Week's Cravings), but at last here it is! No recipe or post from me this week, as I still have 19 people at my house (but I have been cooking so be checking back next week for lots of fun recipes). So, today here is the link and other posts from lots of great bloggers, please hop around and check out their recipes!

If you are still in the mood to do some baking these recipes will work all year round:

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Here is a complete list of the past weeks and a list of what's coming up on This Week's Cravings!

Everyone is invited, if you don’t have a blog, then please post your recipe HERE in the comments for others to see.

This week's theme
Favorite New Years Recipes

This is your chance to share what your FAVORITE New Years Eve/Day Recipe is ? Please link directly to your post, NOT to your home page and you MUST include a link back to one of our hosts of "This Week's Cravings", using the button (or a direct link). NOT EVERYONE IS following the rules, please LINK back in your post (not on a separate page of linky parties), because then your readers can NOT click to find all these yummy recipes everyone is sharing! 

This Week's Cravings Past & Future Recipe Links
December 20 - Christmas Brunch Ideas

December 27 - Favorite New Years Recipes

January 3 - GET HEALTHY Recipes

January 10 - Pizza - Pizza - Pizza

January 17 - Pies (Dinner & Dessert)

January 24 - Soup
This is a BLOG HOP PARTY so please hop around
and read the other recipes for some GREAT New Year Ideas!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

GUEST POSTING AT EKAT'S KITCHEN: Spaghetti w/Turkey Meat Sauce

I am guest posting today over at Ekat's Kitchen

I am sharing this wonderful recipe with her readers,
so please click on over to her site and get my recipe for Spaghetti w/Turkey Meat Sauce.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Thank you so much for your support of my blog! (just a few month old now) I am having the best of times meeting new people, cooking, baking and sharing my recipes with all of you! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your past support and look forward to all that next year has to bring!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Cranberry Crunch Bark


Day 12 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies
Cranberry Crunch Bark

Today is the final day of my 12 days of baking! I hope you have all enjoyed all the recipes I have shared and all of the recipes that everyone linked up! I know I was very excited to read all of the posts linked to 12 Days of Christmas Goodies, so THANK YOU EVERYONE!


"The Twelve Days of Christmas" is an English Christmas carol that enumerates a series of increasingly grand gifts given on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. (taken from Wikipedia)

The twelfth day of Christmas
My true love sent to me
Twelve lords a-leaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five gold rings,
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.


Cranberry Crunch Bark
original recipe from Pampered Chef

1 pkg vanilla bark or 1 lb of White Melting Chocolate
3/4 cups almonds, coarsely chopped or slivered
3/4 cups sweetened dried cranberries
2 cups Rice Krispy cereal

Melt white chocolate in microwave careful not to burn. Add in mostof the cranberies, most of the almonds and all of the cereal. Stir into the melted chocolate and then pour onto a piece of wax paper. Immediately sprinkle with remaining nuts and cranberries, press lightly into bark. Let stand overnight or insert into freezer for approx 10 minutes. Break apart into bite size pieces, serve or wrap for a great Christmas gift.

Here's the complete list of the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies in case you missed any of them and still want to try and bake before Christmas Day (you'd better hurry up!) I hope you enjoyed this Blog Party and there is still time to link up, we'd LOVE to see what you made this year!

Day 1 - White Chocolate Spice Cookies
Day 2 - Munchable Mice

If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)

GRAB OUR BUTTON ABOVE, LINK UP IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SHARE AND/OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD THE BLOG HOP PARTY TO YOUR OWN POST, CLICK BELOW TO GET THE CODE! PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LINK-BACK WE APPRECIATE IT!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Grandma's Butter Cookies

Day 11 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies
Grandma's Butter Cookies

This recipe was given to my mother-in-law by her Grandmother who brought this recipe over from Scotland. I am so glad she shared it with me and I am now making these delicious butter cookies for my children and I hope to continue on the tradition and pass on this special recipe.


Grandma's Butter Cookies
from Grandma Hudgens

1 lb butter
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp (heaping) Rice Flour
3 to 4 cups flour
Sift together the rice flour. the regular flour and the powdered sugar; then add in the butter and begin kneading. Continue kneading until dough is no longer sticky. You will need to add a little flour to the surface and roller to roll out the dough and cut shapes.

Once shapes are cut; sprinkle with colored sugar and prick with a fork (you MUST prick with a fork). Bake at 350 on a non-greased cookie sheet for appox 14 minutes.

GRAB OUR BUTTON AND JOIN IN THE
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES BLOG HOP PARTY


If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)

Monday, December 20, 2010

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #8 and Lingonberry Brie Biscuits

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Blog Party #8
Christmas Morning Breakfast & Brunch Ideas

I just made this delicious brunch idea (right before I boarded a 5 day Family cruise). I knew I needed to post THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS before I left! My mother-in-law is here and she said this was a "WINNER" it was so easy and so good! I know I will be making these again next week when all my family is here.


The 12 days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party is in full swing and there are a TON of great recipe ideas and some so easy, that if you still haven't gotten any baking done and would like too. It's never too late! The White Cranberry Crunch Bark is SO easy it takes less then 10 minutes to make! There are even a few recipes that I MUST try before this season is over, so I KNOW I will be in my kitchen the night I get home from the cruise, baking up some last minute goodies for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day!


Lingonberry Brie Biscuits
original recipe from Pillsbury (but many changes were made by me)

1 pkg Grand Biscuits
1 pkg Brie Cheese, with rin cut off & cut into slices
1/4 cup Lingonberry sauce (from Ikea; but any flavored preserves will work)
1/4 cup walnuts, crushed

Heat oven to 375. Bake biscuits as directed. After finished, cut in half. Place on cookie sheet and arrange brie slices ontop, spoon a little preserves and sprinkle walnuts too. Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and warm. Serve immediately. 

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The 8th week of This Week's Cravings is here and I am still having so much fun reading other bloggers recipes. Here is a complete list of the past weeks and a list of what's coming up too!

Everyone is invited, if you don’t have a blog, then please post your recipe HERE in the comments for others to see.

This week's theme
Christmas Morning Breakfast & Brunch Ideas
This is your chance to share what you make for Christmas morning? Please link directly to your post, NOT to your home page and you MUST include a link back to one of our hosts of "This Week's Cravings", using the button (or a direct link). NOT EVERYONE IS following the rules, please LINK back in your post (not on a separate page of linky parties), because then your readers can NOT click to find all these yummy recipes everyone is sharing! 



This Week's Cravings Past & Future Recipe Links
November 29 - Crock-Pot Recipes
This is a BLOG HOP PARTY so please hop around
and read the other Crock-Pot Ideas!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Snickerdoodle Cookies

Day 10 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies
Snickerdoodle Cookies

How many days until Christmas? Who's counting? Not me! My shopping is DONE, my baking is DONE, my present wrapping DONE and guess where I am going... on a 5 day cruise! NO JOKE! I am really not kidding! As you are reading this I will be sailing off on a Christmas cruise with SOME of my family! My husband and my boys will be joining me on this Christmas cruise which was suppose to be a family trip, but my twins will be going to Las Vegas for a dance competition. They are competitive dancers and are going to Las Vegas (from California) to try and qualify for a bid to the Worlds Competition which is in Florida. So, needless to say dance came first and the family cruise became just me and my boys! I guess it's all part of growing up! (I can report NOW that it was ALL WORTH IT!!! The twins team received an at large bid for WORLDS 2011, WAY TO GO PACE SENIOR POM)!!!


Here's the list of the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies in case you need an idea (or two) for baking this year!

Snickerdoodle Cookies
from my sister-in-law Michelle

1 cup butter
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2-3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Mix together
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Cream together butter, sugar and eggs in electric mixer. Mix all the dry ingredients together and then add to the wet a little bit at a time and mix well.  Chill in refrigerator for 2 or more hours (we usually chill overnight).
Roll into 1" balls then roll into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Flatten with a fork and Bake at 375 for 12 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE.

GRAB OUR BUTTON AND JOIN IN THE
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES BLOG HOP PARTY

If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)

Looking for the 12 DAYS OF CHRSITMAS GOODIES Blog Hop....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

FAMILY MEAL PLANNING: The Week of Christmas Menu

Click here to see previous week's Family Meal Planning!

Just sharing my family meal plan for a whole lot of family! We are hosting just a few of my husband's family for over a week at Christmas. There will be lots and lots of fun & laughter. I have a niece, her husband and they have 4 young boys (all under 8 years old); another niece, her husband and their 2 year old boy, my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law and another family friend and her son; plus I have my own 6 family members. Yes, you counted correctly that is a total of 18 people all coming to my house and all staying at my house for over 9 days.

There will be LOTS and LOTS of food prepared (and eaten). Family game nights, karaoke galore and a big dance contest in Just Dance 2, my twins and my 2 adult nieces have challenged each other. We are also going to be visiting Disneyland for 3 days, Universal Studios and maybe the bigger kids will head to Magic Mountain. It is going to be a blast and a fun filled week! I can't wait til they all arrive.

So, here is my attempt at a menu. Who knows if it will all come through. I am pretty easy going when it comes to food, who prepares it and if people want to eat they can and if not then no big deal. Our plan is to make breakfast every morning, pack some lunches for the long days and a few of the days do some crock-pot meals (that way we will have dinner waiting for us as we arrive home)! I guess that is the ideal plan, in the end we'll see how perfectly this all works out, I do know that in the end the memories will last a life-time.

Check back at the end of the week and we will link the actual recipe!
(not all recipes will become reality so if there is not a link, we haven't made it yet)

Pigs in a Blanket
Crock-Pot Breakfast
Almond Danish Swirls



Also don't forget to link up with us at


And we would love for you to share any of your holiday goodies at

Friday, December 17, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Grandma's Hundred Dollar Fudge

Day 9 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies



Grandma's Hundred Dollar Fudge
from Grandma Hudgens (she was given this recipe by a friend's aunt and the aunt had won $100 dollars with this fudge recipe therefore the name became the Hundred Dollar Fudge)

4 cups Sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk

Bring all of the above to a boil (but you must consistenly stir the entire time). Once it comes to a boil; turn down the heat after it boils and continue heating and stirring on low for 11 minutes.

2 pkg of Milk Chocolate Chips (12 oz each package)
1 jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla

Add in both packages of Chocolate Chips, marshmallow cream and vanilla. Beat the mixture (with a hand mixer). When finished add in the nuts (if desired). Grandma adds in 1 lb of chopped pecans.

Pour into a butter 9x13 pan, once it cools down (over night) cut into squares and store in refrigerator.

GRAB OUR BUTTON AND JOIN IN THE
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES BLOG HOP PARTY

Here's the list of the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies in case you need an idea (or two) for baking this year!
If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)


 
Looking for the 12 DAYS OF CHRSITMAS GOODIES Blog Hop....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Christmas Candy Bark

Day 8 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies
Christmas Candy Bark

Here's the list of the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies in case you need an idea (or two) for baking this year!
Milk Chocolate Christmas Candy Bark
We discovered candy bark last year and have enjoyed trying all kinds of bark recipes. Bark is so easy to make, so pretty and taste oh so good! When I saw this Christmas Candy Bark at Gingerbread Bagels I just knew that this would be the bark I made this year to include in my holiday gift baskets. 

Christmas Candy Bark
originally found at Gingerbread Bagels, but adapted to my personal preferences

1 lb of melting chocolate (white, milk or dark chocolate - I use only melting chocolate and not regular chocolate chips from the store, as they harden up and dry way differently)
1/2 lb red candy melts
1/2 lb green candy melts
1/2 cup Christmas Oreos, crushed (but not too finely)
1/4 cup Christmas M&Ms (you can use any flavor of M&M's)
1/4 cup Holiday Corn (I searched EVERYWHERE, so I settled on just M&M's)
1/4 cup Candy Cane Hershey Kisses, cut in half
Christmas Sprinkles

First step is to cut the Candy Cane Hershey Kisses in half and crush the Christmas Oreos. Set the candy aside. Lay out a piece of parchment paper. You’ll use this to make the Christmas Candy Bark on.

Put melting chocolates (white, milk or dark chocolate) in a microwavable bowl. Melt the chocolate but be careful not to overheat the chocolate. (mine takes 40-55 seconds in the microwave) Spread the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper, spread thin, but not too thin. Should take up almost entire cookie sheet.

Then melt the red and green candy melts in separate microwavable bowls. Place dots of the melted candy melts on top of the melted chocolate. (do every other color in straight rows; ie: red then green, red and green) Using a knife, swirl the candy melts and chocolate up and down.

Place the candy and cookies on the melted chocolate. Press down lightly. Allow the Christmas Candy Bark to dry for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Cut into pieces and enjoy (or give away like I do)!
White Chocolate Christmas Candy Bark
This post is also linked to: Merry Merry Munchies

GRAB OUR BUTTON AND JOIN IN THE
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES BLOG HOP PARTY

If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)

Looking for the 12 DAYS OF CHRSITMAS GOODIES Blog Hop....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Pumpkin Cupcakes

It's National Cupcake Day!
Day 7 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies

Here's the list of the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies in case you need an idea (or two) for baking this year!

Day 1 - White Chocolate Spice Cookies
Day 2 - Munchable Mice

I hate saying this over and over again that "this or that" is another favorite in our house. But you have to know I ONLY post the good stuff and this will make it into that forever growing "favorite cookbook"! I was looking for a pumpkin flavor somethin' or other and came across these cupcakes. (I have to say I cheated a little on my 12 Days of Christmas Goodies, as I have NOT made these since Thanksgiving). They were just SOOOOO yummy and I had to share the recipe with all of you and I HOPE to be making these again soon (and of course will decorate with some festive Christmas sprinkles). But for now this photo will have to do!

Pumpkin Cranberry Cupcakes (or mini chocolate chips)
from Calm in the Kitchen

1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries (or 1 cup mini chocolate chips, I have some family who do NOT like cranberries)

Mix oil, sugars, eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla together with a mixer on low until completely mixed. In a seperate bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until done. Stir in the cranberries. Scoop into cupcake tins lined with papers and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes!
I have found my FAVORITE Cream Cheese frosting. And this has been a LONG process. I love how thick this frosting is and I love the tatse!

Cream Cheese Frosting
this is NOW my GO-TO recipe for any cream cheese frosting recipe I need! (LOVE IT!)
from a friend Carol

8 oz cream cheese - softened
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Mix all together in mixer and blend until fluffy!

This post is also linked to: Merry Merry Munchies

GRAB OUR BUTTON AND JOIN IN THE
12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES BLOG HOP PARTY

If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)

Looking for the 12 DAYS OF CHRSITMAS GOODIES Blog Hop....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES: Melting Snowman with Our Family Sugar Cookie Recipe

Day 6 of 12 Days of Christmas Goodies

Last Christmas we were on a quest to find the BEST Sugar Cookie recipe around. I think we must of made at least a half-a-dozen Sugar Cookie recipes (along with an ole' family favorite, that I had kind' of forgotten about) and wouldn't you know it. Each and everytime we did a taste test, the ole' family favorite would always come out on top. I made them for serveral people, we had voting contests, we layed them out for days in ziploc bags and actually left them out on the counter too (not intentionally). And ya know our ole' family favorite was still SOFT every time. Here are a few of the top reasons this recipe will now and forever be the only Sugar Cookie recipe we ever make.
  1. The cookies are SOFT and stay SOFT for a long time (days and days and days)!
  2. They cook perfectly every time, in just 10 minutes.
  3. They do NOT use cream cheese or sour cream (or any other fancy thing).
  4. Simple and Delicious!
I was already a few days into my 12 Days of Christmas Goodies when I came across these adorable Snowman and I just knew I had to make them. If you've been a reader of mine you know that for Halloween I made these cute little Mice (and brought them back as Christmas Mice) and then for Thanksgiving I made the ever so friendly Turkeys (which were not ever-so friendly on my time, but still came out so cute!), I think I see a pattern here and now for Christmas time I have these adorable Snowman that my children will be passing out to some of their lucky friends today at school! I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!

For a COMPLETE tutorial of these famous Melting Snowman click here to be taken to Truly Custom Cakery. This is where I found the recipe and I do not want to mess up their AWESOME tutorial. I will share below MY family recipe for Sugar Cookies and the icing recipe I choose to use on these deliciously cute Melting Snowman. I used our favoirte family recipe for the sugar cookies and then used a standard Royal Icing so that I could get the melting snow look. (See below for the normal icing I use when I just frost sugar cookies).
Our Family Sugar Cookie Recipe
from long-time family friend Sandi

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk

Beat egg, sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add in milk and blend all together. Chill (overnight or at least for several hours). Roll out dough with additional flour and cut cookie cutters to cut out. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. (darker pans make cookies turn out darker and a little bit crisper, but still soft)

Royal Icing
from allrecipes.com

4 egg whites
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until foamy (use only grade A clean, uncracked eggs). Gradually add sugar and lemon extract. Beat at high speed until thickened.

Above are just a few different decorations I have done on our ole' Sugar Cookies.
  1. Dipped in White & Milk Chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy canes. (top left corner)
  2. Christmas Tree design was done with Wiltons Icing in a tube. (the main photo)
  3. EVERYONE's favorite way to enjoy Sugar Cookies with icing recipe below. (center picture on left)
Sugar Cookie Icing
4 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 cup butter shortening
5 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Beat all together until fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.

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12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS GOODIES BLOG HOP PARTY


If you would like to play along on the 12 Days of Christmas Goodies Blog Hop Party, feel free to link up a recipe or two of some GOODIES you are making this year. And if you wish to add this BLOG HOP PARTY to your own post, see below for the link and add it! You and your readers will then be able to see all the recipes people link up right on your own blog. (What a FUN and COOL idea! Gotta LOVE Mr. Linky)

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