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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

sliders or slyders - identity crisis

A suggestion for a great appetizer for upcoming New Year celebrations...sliders or slyders.  White Castle actually gave birth to this term but many have tried to duplicate it their way.  I haven't actually eaten a White Castle Slyder (that's their spelling) but I have had the privilege of having other in particular - Ann Hall's Slyders.  She introduced me to her version several years ago and I have made it "her way" since. We were at an after-school get-together when Ann made these and it was love at first bite! This recipe is so easy and a favorite in our household.  This is what she told me....

Fry ground beef (preferably ground chuck...1 pound or more depending how many batches you are preparing), add some onion and garlic powder (it's a guess how much) and any other spices of preference.  Add shredded cheese of choice (I use 2 cups - per pound of ground beef.  Sometimes I use cheddar, other times pepper jack and other times I mix two different kinds.  No matter what kind of cheese you use - it's good.)  Place mixture evenly between small rolls (I use the Sarah Lee Dinner rolls).  Top rolls with a mixture of butter, olive oil and poppy seed.  Bake for approximately 10 minutes. 

Monday, December 27, 2010


This cheese ball has been around for a very long time.  I received the recipe from a teacher friend many years ago and have made it every year during the holidays.  Taking it to school to share with my co-workers, preparing it for my family and giving it to a few special people as a gift are just a few of it's appearances.  I like to put the cheese ball on pretty and sometimes fun holiday plates and surround it with crackers.  Ritz is our favorite in the cracker category but many more are delicious with a sliver of this cheese ball.  This recipe makes a generous 3 or 4 cheese balls so not having enough is not a problem. 

Linda's cheese ball
3- 8 ounce cream cheese
1 cup crushed pineapple (a little juice)
1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 of one green pepper, chopped fine
4 or 5 green onions, chopped fine
generous amount of chopped pecans (fine)

Mix all ingredients together.  Chill mixture until firm.  Divide into 4 or 5 balls and roll in chopped pecans.  Refrigerate until serving time.  Serve with crackers of choice.

This mixture will be soft so refrigerate until firm.  This
makes it easier to roll in a ball and coat with pecans.

Using wax paper makes clean up easy!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Sugar Cookies

A mother-daughter tradition...sous-chefs/ two grandchildren and a daughter-in-law - RecipeKid's Favorite Sugar Cookie Dough... The icing is made with confectioners sugar, milk, light corn syrup and almond extract. 
My daughter is an art teacher...she is very creative!  The inspiration
for the bird design...the blue jays and cardinals on our deck all morning
and a ring my daughter was wearing. 
A small sample!



Voted ...Our Favorite!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Tradition

Making chocolate dipped pretzels is a Christmas tradition in our home each year.  It's messy and you have to start looking in the stores for pretzel rods in November...but the finished product is something to be proud of!  Many of my co-workers receive these as gifts each year.  It's always fun shopping for pretty/fun bags to put the chocolate pretzels in.  This year my daughter and I found some neat cellophane bags with fun colors.  It's also enjoyable buying new sprinkles for the final step.  These pretzels are made with almond bark.

Notice the ones dipped in chocolate and rolled in Oreo cookie crumbs. 
Crushed almonds, walnuts and pecans make yummy toppings too!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A friend's version of sushi...

I had to share Shawna's version of sushi....using rice crispy treats.  She did an amazing job!  Neither one of us like the real sushi. Someone on Facebook asked how she made the shrimp.  Her answer:   Vanilla Tootsie Rolls shaped into a shrimp tail and painted with orange food coloring.  This is one talented lady!  Do you agree?

Orange Slice Cookies

9 Days till Christmas and it's a snow day!

2010 Christmas Cookie Exchange
Featured Cookie - Shared by Kelli

Orange Slice Cookies
candy, glaze, orange juice

Do you like orange slice candy?  If you do, you'll love these tasty bar cookies.  The finished product is a little messy and they aren't the prettiest cookie on the plate...but the taste will surprise you!  My grandmother use to keep orange slices on hand so she would have loved making these cookies. 

Orange Slice Cookies
4 eggs
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts (pecans preferred)
2 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 cups orange slice candies
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon melted butter

Cut orange slice candies into pieces.  Mix together orange juice and vanilla and pour over the orange slice pieces.  Let sit for 1 hour.  Mix flour and salt together.  Beat eggs and gradually add the brown sugar.  Add the rest of the ingredients by alternating between the candies, the nuts and dry ingredients.  Place dough in a greased and floured 9X13 pan and cook for 30-35 minutes at 300 degree F.  Cookies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Prepare the glaze by combining the powdered sugar, butter and orange juice.  Pour glaze over cookies after baking while the cookies are still warm.  Slice.

It is sometimes hard to get the middle cookies done without burning the ends.  Play with the time and temperature setting for your oven. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

11 days till Christmas...more cookies to share

Christmas Cookie Exchange 2010

Featured Cookie:
Lemon Wreath Cookies
shortbread, lemon, butter, glaze, sprinkles

shared by: my daughter, Jamie

Christine's Lemon Wreath Cookies

Monday, December 13, 2010

wine and a cookie

Christmas Cookie Exchange 2010

Featured Cookie: 
Tart Cherry Chocolate Merlot Cookies
cherries, chocolate, wine
SOURCE:  Mary Jarboe

1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. good quality Merlot wine
10 oz. dark chocolate, broken into chunks
1 c. tart cherries
     Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside
     Beat the butter with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add both sugars and beat until well-mixed.  Beat in the egg, vanilla, and wine.  By hand, stir in the flour mixture.  Fold in the chocolate and cherries.  Scoop up rounded tablespoons of dough and drop, shaping into small mounds, onto an ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, spacing cookies about w inches apart.
     Bake until tops are still soft-looking but edges look firm.
     Baking dough immediately will yield flatter cookies, chilled dough will result in puffy cookies.
     Let baked cookies rest a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to wire racks and cool completely.
     Top with Hershey Kisses, pecans or cherries before baking.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Classic Thumbprint Cookies

...13 days till Christmas

My daughter and I held our 2nd annual Christmas Cookie Exchange today.  We appreciate our friends and family that braved the cold and snowy country roads to join us.  The cookie of my choice to share was ... CLASSIC THUMBPRINT COOKIES.  The link to the recipe is -

While this recipe included lots of extra steps...the final product proved it was worth it.  These remind me of that Easter candy I love...Are they called Coconut Nests?  The ones with the hole in the center with jelly beans?  These cookies also remind me of pecan sandies or shortbread.  I used three different kinds of filling for the center.  Two of my own homemade blackberry and strawberry jams and to add a contrasting color I bought some orange marmalade.  Not only are these pretty but they are delicious! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cookie/Candy Countdown

17 Days till Christmas...
crockpot chocolate candy

As a young child, I remember going to the Amish to buy Christmas Candy.  One such candy was peanut clusters.  I can't say I've ever made peanut clusters myself until now, but when I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks...I decided it sounded pretty simple. It was a surprise to discover a crockpot method.  Who would have ever thought???  Make sure you read my notes after the recipe and pictures.

crockpot chocolate candy
2 pounds (36 ounces) salted dry-roasted peanuts
4 ounces (4 squares) German's sweet chocolate
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips)
2 1/2 pounds white almond bark
DIRECTIONS:  Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker.  Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips, and then the almond bark.  Set the temperature on low and cook for 3 hours.  Do not stir the mixture.  After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Drop the candy into cupcake pan liners using about 2 tablespoons per liner.  Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners. 

  • I have a warm, low and high setting on my crockpot.  I put my crockpot on low, per the directions.  After about two hours I could smell something burning (slight odor).  When I checked the crockpot...I discovered that the peanuts around the outside edges were browning too much.  I decided to stir the mixture (the directions said not to) in order to get the browning peanuts away from the outside edges.  When I stirred the mixture, I discovered the chocolate was melted.  At this point I decided to turn the crockpot off and proceed with the next step.
  • I felt the peanut clusters were a little large so I have decided that I will use the mini cupcake liners next time.
  • I'm very pleased with the taste of this candy.  I prefer a darker chocolate though.  This recipe creates more of a mild, milk chocolate taste. 
  • My crockpot will be set on warm versus low next time. 

SOURCE:  home cooking with trisha yearwood: stories & recipes to share with family and friends

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Cookie...Candy Countdown

18 days till Christmas....

Christmas Crackles
These easy to make and delicious cookies are a Christmas favorite each year.  The dough will be really thick...just roll them in balls, cover with powdered sugar and bake. 

1 (18 ounce) package devils food cake mix
2 eggs, stiffly beaten (5 minutes)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup solid shortening
2 cups chopped pecans
powdered sugar
Combine cake mix, eggs, vanilla and water.  Stir.  Stir in pecans.  Shape dough into 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar.  Place dough balls 1 1/2 " apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes.  Cookies will be soft when removed from the oven.  Let cookies set on cookie sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.  Makes approximately 5 dozen. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hash Brown Potato Pie

Many years ago I attended a Taste of Home Cooking School for the very first time.  Actually it was in 1998 when they called it Homemaker's School. I have attended many times since.  One perk of attending is receiving a Cooking School Recipe Collection issue.  One of the recipes found inside has been changed a little bit which, when prepared, results in a wonderful breakfast casserole.  It's easy and delicious!  You can make it the night before and place it in the oven the following morning.  Our family counts on this breakfast casserole every Christmas morning.  Now that our family has grown a takes two for the table. 

1 pound sausage
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 cups frozen country style hash browns
1/3 cup green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

A good quiche dish is a must!
I bought this one at a corning ware outlet store
Spray with cooking spray.
 Brown sausage.
 Shred pepper jack cheese.
  large eggs
 Beat eggs with a whisk.
Thaw hash browns.
 Add milk. 
 Wash, slice green onions. 
 Crumble cooked bacon or use the crumbles
 you can buy in a bag.

 Mix all ingredients.  Add salt and pepper.
 Add the hash browns last.
Pour mixture in quiche dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for
25-30 minutes
 or until center is set.
SOURCE: Homemaker Schools Recipe Collection (Fall 1998)  page 47