Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:
2 packages fresh mushroom caps 

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese 
1 slice thick Virginia baked ham, diced
Salt, to taste 
Pepper, to taste
Seasoning salt, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese 

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove stems from mushrooms. Wash and 
pat dry. Mix together cream cheese, ham, salt, pepper, seasoning salt and Parmesan cheese. Stuff cream cheese mixture into mushrooms. Put mushrooms into a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheese and bake 10 more minutes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chicken and Spinach Bites

Ingredients:
· ½ pound cooked, shredded chicken
· 1 (10 ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thaw and pat dry
· ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
· ½ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
· 1 (8 ounce) bottle Ranch dressing
· 1 can crescent rolls

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, spinach, cheeses and dressing.
3. Unroll the crescent rolls and separate the triangles. Spoon about 2 tablespoons chicken mixture into the center. Fold the edges of the crescent roll over and place on the prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Black-eyed Peas and Ham

Ingredients:
· 1 (16 ounce) package dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
· ½ pound fully cooked boneless ham, chopped
· 1 medium onion, finely chopped
· 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
· 2 tablespoons minced garlic
· 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
· Salt and pepper, to taste
· 6 cups water
· Hot cooked rice

Directions:
1. In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients, except rice. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until peas are tender.
2. Serve with rice.

Friday, December 26, 2014

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispies



Ingredients:
·         2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
·         2 cups dry roasted peanuts
·         2 cups miniature marshmallows
·         1 cup peanut butter
·         2 pounds white chocolate chips (2 12-ounce packages chips plus 1 1/3 cups)
Directions:
1.        In a large bowl, combine cereal, peanuts and marshmallows.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and peanut butter on high for 1 minute and then 30 second intervals until fully melted.  Stir chocolate into cereal mixture.  Drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper.  Let stand until firm, about 2 hours.  Store in an airtight container. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

'For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'
Isaiah 9:6

From our Family to Yours, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

For the Love of Fruitcake

I wrote an article in The Times today concerning the every-popular subject of fruitcake.  Just click here to take a look!  Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas Southern Ambrosia Salad

Ingredients:
· 1 cup sweetened coconut
· 1 cup pecan pieces
· 1 tablespoon butter
· 2 cups miniature marshmallows
· 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained well
· 1 (20 ounce)) can pineapple chunks, drained well
· 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
· ½ cup maraschino cherries, drained well
· 1 cup sour cream
· 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
1. In a medium skillet, toast coconut and pecans in butter until light brown; stirring constantly. Let cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, mix together marshmallows, oranges, pineapple, grapes and cherries.
3. In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and sugar. Pour over fruit mixture and mix well. Add coconut and pecans.
4. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Cranberry Punch



This is wonderful festive drink for the Christmas season!
 
Ingredients:
·         1 bottle sparkling white grape cider
·         1 2-liter bottle Sprite
·         5 cups cranberry juice
·         Cranberries, for garnish
Directions:
Before serving, chill cider, Sprite and juice.   Mix all ingredients in a large dispenser or pitcher.  Add cranberries to the dispenser or to glasses when serving.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sausage, Biscuit and Gravy Casserole

Well, we are on the homestretch of Christmas.  I was thinking about what sounded good for this week and I thought we might want a good breakfast/brunch dish, a festive drink and a salad perfect for our Christmas celebrations. 
So today let's start with our breakfast dish.  We have Christmas brunch at our house and I'm thinking this one is going to be on the menu.  Can you think of a better combination for breakfast - biscuits, sausage and gravy?  Yum ...



Ingredients:
·         8 large buttermilk biscuits, frozen or refrigerated
·         1 pound bulk mild sausage
·         1 envelope country gravy mix
·         2 cups milk
·         8 eggs
·         2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:
1.        Bake biscuits according to the package directions, using the lower end of the recommended cooking time so they don’t overcook.  Let cool and cut the biscuits in half horizontally.  Set aside.
2.       Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium heat and crumble. 
3.       Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Line the bottom of the dish with the bottom halves of the biscuits.  Sprinkle the sausage on top of the biscuits; then sprinkle about 1 ½ cups of cheese over the sausage.
4.       In a large bowl, whisk together the gravy mix, milk and eggs until well combined.  Pour this mixture into the baking dish.  Arrange the top halves of biscuits over the top of gravy mixture; lightly pressing the biscuits into the mixture. 
5.       At this point, if desired, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
6.       Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of biscuits during the last 5 minutes of cooking time.  Allow to sit about 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Frozen Brownie Peppermint Cheesecake



Ingredients: 
·         1 box chocolate fudge brownie mix
·         2 large eggs
·         2/3 cups vegetable oil
·         ¼ cup water
·         1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
·         1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
·         1 ½ - 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
·         8 soft peppermints, crushed
·         Red food coloring, optional
·         1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Directions:
1.        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 7-inch or 8-inch springform pan.  Can also do these as bars in a 9x13-inch pan.
2.       Prepare the brownie mix adding the eggs, vegetable oil and water.  Pour the brownie batter into the pan and bake according to package directions.  Allow to cool completely.
3.       Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.  Once it is smooth, slowly add the milk while continuing to beat the mixture.  Mix until smooth.  Add the peppermint extract, food coloring and crushed peppermints. 
4.       With a spatula, fold the whipped topping to the mixture gently until completely combined.  Pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie mixture and freeze at least 8 hours.
5.       Before serving, allow to thaw about 10 minutes before cutting.   Return any leftovers to freezer. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chocolate Toffee Drops



Ingredients:
·         2 pounds white chocolate bark, broken into pieces
·         1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
·         1 (4-ounce) chocolate bar, broken into pieces
·         1 (8-ounce) package toffee bits
·         1 ½ cups chopped pecans
Directions:
1.        Place the chocolate bark, chocolate chips and chocolate bar in a medium-size slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
2.       Reduce temperature to low.  After 15 minutes stir the mixture.  (Don’t stir before now).  Continue cooking 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. 
3.       Add the toffee bits and chopped pecans, stirring well. 
4.       Drop by tablespoons full onto wax paper.  Let cool completely and store in air right containers.
Makes about 36 drops.