Sunday, December 20, 2015

ChristmasTaffy Apple Salad

This treat is great anytime of the year, but it is a nice lighter addition to your holiday dessert table which will balance nicely against all the heavy sweets. This is not necessarily a diet friendly recipe, but it is not so rich and heavy which has come as a welcome relief to our family as we have been bombarded with sweet things here lately!

*This needs to chill thoroughly for best flavor overnight in the fridge, however it is still good chilled for just a few hours if you're like me and can't wait!


1/2 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. lemon juice
1 egg
1 cup pineapple chunks (drain- save juice)
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip (you can use the lite version- both are good)
2 med. red apples
2 med. green apples
2 cup mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts

In pan, heat sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, egg and juice from pineapple until thick after boiling (about 5 minutes).
In Large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Toss lightly. Refrigerate overnight (or at least several hours).

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

We're making memories...literally.

This post is from 5 years ago... it bears repeating.

It's Christmas Eve morning....most of my baking/cooking is done and treat trays are prepared to give to my neighbors. The house is all decked out and all of my sons will be home for Christmas!

This evening, my next-door neighbors and my family will once again enjoy our holiday tradition of exchanging gag gifts and treats, and my sons will (hopefully) spend the night and we will all enjoy Christmas breakfast together.

I host the big family dinner here (around 30 are expected) and we will eat, and laugh, and hug, and clean up spills and watch the teens and tweens roll their eyes at their parents and us "oldies but goodies"!

This year, we will enjoy an Italian Christmas feast.

Our menu is buffet style and will include Home made Spaghetti and meatballs (Tyler Florence recipe), Mostaciolli w/pepperoni, Fettuccine Alfredo, a big Italian Salad, garlic bread,Italian Cheese Ball, Italian Creme Cake, Italian Pizelle Cookies and a few appetizers, and of course, a vast array of Christmas cookies and candies.

If you scroll down through previous posts, you should find recipes you may want to serve at your feast!

Remember, though, it's not WHAT you serve but WHO you serve that matters!

Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas holiday and I pray for PEACE to all of you. In your hearts and in your home.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Crock Pot Ham

Need a simple but DELICIOUS ham recipe for Christmas or Easter but think it will involve too much of your time watching the oven and testing for doneness?

Try this CROCK POT recipe that I found at this wonderful crock pot recipe site.

If you find yourself hosting a large family dinner in your home, this is a perfect recipe that will need no tending to- once it has started the slow cooking.

And it extremely moist. NO MORE DRY HAM!

Only a few ingredients:

7-8 pound bone-in spiral-cut ham

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup all natural maple syrup

2 cups pineapple juice

The Directions.

Use a 6-7 quart slow cooker. Unwrap the ham, and discard flavor packet. Place it into your stoneware, flat-side down. Rub brown sugar on all sides. Pour on maple syrup and pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If possible, baste ham with collected juice from the bottom of the crock an hour or so before serving. When cooking is done, remove carefully and let it rest on a cutting board for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Now, how easy is that?

And your house will smell DIVINE!

Vanilla Coffee Punch

Several years ago,  I was asked to coordinate the Open House for our new Home town College, MORTHLAND COLLEGE. This was a celebration of receiving the state board approval to open the college in the fall of 2011. (Something like this happens once every 50-100 years!)

I was asked to make a "nice punch" to serve with gourmet cookies for the guests that would be touring the administrative offices and this recipe was the first that came to mind. I found it at TASTE OF HOME.

Not too sweet, and has an elegant look. DELICIOUS tasting- even if you're not one that loves a cold coffee flavor. Actually, everyone who tasted it was giving it rave reviews! It was being compared to drinks at STARBUCKS, and it also reminds me a bit of my favorite drink at Dairy Queen, a MOO-LATTE (but fancier).

Honestly, I have never received so many compliments on a punch, and several recipe requests.

You must give it a try.


* 4 cups brewed vanilla-flavored coffee, cooled
* 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
* Ground cinnamon


* In a large container, combine the coffee, milk and sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Spoon ice cream into a punch bowl; pour coffee mixture over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve immediately. Yield: 2-1/2 quarts.
Serves 13



The gorgeous photo and delicious punch was found on, so I made it to serve in the teacher's lounge at my school. LOTS of recipe requests for this refreshing and festive punch.

2 liters of lemon-lime soda
1 10 oz. jar of strawberry jelly
2 quarts peppermint ice cream (I used Kroger brand)
candy canes *Optional

Heat jelly in 2 cups of the soda on stove till jelly is melted. Set aside to cool.
When cooled, add to punch bowl, along with ice cream and soda--stir well.

You can place candy canes on the side of the bowl, and/or on the side of the cup it's served in, like I did in this photo.


Red Velvet Raspberry Tiramisu Trifle

This impressive dessert is actually a show-stopper!  I made it at Christmas-time to put in the teacher's lounge at school for our Christmas party, but thought it would also make a great dessert for summertime-- especially if you  need to stop a show, impress some guests, etc. ;)  Think bridal shower, special parties, anniversary dinner, etc. This is confection perfection-- not syrupy sweet-- a more sophisticated dessert. The tang of the raspberries, the hint of  sweetness of the Orange Juice, and that delicious CREAM and mascarpone  against the red cake... you get layers of flavors!

This is not a quickly prepared recipe, a little more advanced, but certainly not difficult to prepare. You just need some extra time in the kitchen to pull this one off...and it will be SOOOO worth it! It is also a bit pricey to prepare. No you'll want to save this recipe for something very special. can make your own favorite red-velvet cake recipe, let it cool and cut into cubes, or purchase a red velvet cake mix and do the same. I made my own from a Madeleine recipe in this same recipe, but I didn't use the Madeleine  pan--I used a regular 9X13.( I'll share the recipe at the end of this one.)  I found this delicious recipe in my SOUTHERN LIVING December 2012 magazine.


1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup black raspberry liqueur (optional)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 8 oz. containers mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 containers fresh raspberries (preferably organic)
Red Velvet cake, cubed

Whisk together first three ingredients in small bowl.  Stir together mascarpone cheese in a large bowl.
Beat heavy cream at high speed till foamy; gradually add sugar sugar and vanilla, beating until soft peaks form.  Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream  into the mascarpone using a rubber spatula.; fold in remaining whipped cream.

Arrange 1/3 of the cake cubes in a 3 qt. trifle dish. drizzle with 1/3 of the jam mixture, top with 1 container of raspberries  and top with 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers two more times. Cover and chill 4-24 hours before serving.

Red Velvet Madeleines

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted
2 T. red liquid food coloring
1 1/3 cups cake flour
2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat first 4 ingredients on med.high w/ electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Add butter and food coloring, beating until well blended.  Sift cake cake and next 3 ingredients; fold into egg mixture. Spoon batter into lightly greased pan. or Madeleine pans)  Bake at 400 degrees until done ( 8-10 minutes if using madeleine pans--LONGER  for 9x13--when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). Immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Cut into cubes if baked in a 9X13.


Lisa's Asparagus Rolls

I presented a New Year's Eve presentation on the Local news this morning,(click here to view the segment) and I featured a recipe shared with me by my facebook friend Lisa Laird--she said it was her most requested recipe that she takes often to parties, potlucks, etc.

This is the Perfect Holiday recipe to take to any party and to serve as a light appetizer at your News Year's Eve celebration.

I prepared it the other night for my man, and Big AL gave it two thumbs up! (He ate SEVERAL of them)


1 Bunch of Fresh asparagus (thin)
1 block of cream cheese or a small tube of Garlic flavored Cream Cheese
1/2 pound thinly sliced deli salami
sea salt
Parmesan cheese

1. Take one asparagus and bend it, it will snap where it needs to be cut off. Cut the remaining spears in the same place.

2. In a pot of boiling water plunge the asparagus for 1 min (longer if thinker asparagus is used)

3. Immediately place the asparagus into a bowl of ice water to shock it, which stops the cooking process and keeps it bright green

4. Dry the asparagus with a paper towel and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese

5. Take a slice of the Salami and spread a thin layer of cream cheese over it

6. Take about 3 asparagus spears and wrap the salami/cream cheese around the spear.

Stack on a platter, chill 15-30 min and serve.
You can also sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.