Monday, December 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider (5 Ingredients)

I almost missed sharing this one this holiday season! I've seen variations of this recipe all over the net but this is what I decided on.  

We love it!

Enjoy a beautiful CHRISTmas Day and week! 

SLOW COOKER SPICED CRANBERRY APPLE CIDER

3 c. apple cider (or juice)
 2 c. (lite) cranberry juice cocktail
2/3 c. orange juice 
1 tablespoon whole cloves 
2 cinnamon sticks 

Place all ingredients in 3 - qt. slow cooker.  Heat on low for 3 - 4 hours or on 
high for about 1-1/2 hours.
Keep warm to serve.  Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks prior to serving.  Garnish with fresh orange slices. 

May add more of either/or juice flavors or choose to add a little brown sugar. 

Yield: 6 - 8 servings  

Linked to Whatcha Crockin' Wednesday
Meal Plan Monday

A very Merry CHRISTmas to each of you!!

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Enjoy a blessed week - I plan to return here, refreshed, on January 3 for Weekend Potluck...
The Better Baker posts begin again on the 6th, 2014! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Make Ahead Pull-Apart Sticky Buns

These rolls are FAB.U.LOUS! and will be our new favorite addition to the holiday menu!

Made with frozen rolls, while still frozen, they can be made up to 2 days ahead! SERIOUSLY!! 

PERFECT FOR CHRISTMAS MORNING...or any day of the year! 

When my hubby picked up a few things at the grocery store, using a coupon for Rhodes frozen rolls, I was elated when he came home with a BIG bag!

They are soo tasty and I am soo excited about this wonderful recipe! Thanks a thousand times over to Monica at The Yummy Life for being willing to share this treasured recipe!  I am certainly a big fan of hers!! Be sure to pop over (I made a punny!) to check out her lovely tutorial for this special dish.

I used part xylitol to reduce the sugar content.  They are very simple to make. Generously grease the pan with butter, sprinkle with nuts, and it becomes a gooey nutty topping that is amazing!

MAKE AHEAD PULL APART STICKY BUNS

 1-1/4 c. chopped pecans 
 3/4 c. butter
2 lbs. frozen bread dough (24 frozen dinner rolls, or 2 1-lb. loaves, thawed for 1/2 an hour), cut into 12 evenly-sized pieces)
1-1/2 c. sugar
(I used 1/2 c. sugar/1 c. xylitol)
2 Tb. cinnamon
(I use Pampered Chef blend, and used a tad less)

Generously butter a 9" X 13" baking dish. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan.
In small bowl, blend sugar and cinnamon until evenly mixed. Melt butter (I use a mug or glass measuring cup in the microwave). Dip each roll in butter, then in the cinnamon/sugar mixture; lay evenly over top of nuts. (6 the long way, 4 across). Combine remaining butter with cinnamon/sugar and spread evenly over top of rolls. (It may clump, but will bake evenly). 

Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Let rise until doubled (see options below). Bake 350 for 40 - 45 minutes, uncovered, until brown. (If browning too quickly, cover with foil for the last 15 minutes or so of baking time...watch carefully.  This recipe can become a 'work of art' if timing is perfect). 

Remove from oven, let stand in pan for about 5 minutes; invert onto serving tray. (I covered a cookie sheet with non stick foil). Serve warm!

Get ready to be bombarded with OOOOHHS AND AAAAHHS! 

Monica gave me permission to share the rising options from her website:
 *MAKE AHEAD RISING METHODS (times may vary depending on the temperature of your house)
1. Assemble the night before, leave out to rise overnight (6-8 hours), and bake first thing in the morning.
2. Assemble 20-24 hours in advance, put in the fridge to partially rise. The next day, remove from fridge and allow to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours before baking.
3. Assemble 44-48 hours in advance, put  in the fridge to rise. Remove from fridge and warm to room temperature for 45 minutes before baking.
 

Linked to
            Spring Link Party
                Full Plate Thursday
         Meal Plan Monday
       Weekend Potluck

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Leader Enterprise - December 18, 2013 - Holiday Recipes/Gifts

Can we even believe Christmas is right around the corner?? I'm really behind in every way possible, as I spent the first full week of December in Minneapolis. I went with a group of 28 from Hillsdale county and surrounding areas, to process Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes prior to being sent overseas to needy children. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and service. What a gigantic operation. We were at one of 6 centers, and that facility alone, was going to process 750,000 boxes! I look forward to going again next year. It's a reminder to think past ourselves, and give to others. There's always someone worse off than we are. I've been a friend to those in need. I've also had a friend when I was in need. The saying is true...it IS more blessed to give than to receive. Do a little something special for someone this holiday season and you'll be blessed beyond measure.

As we prepare to celebrate the REASON for the SEASON, I wanted to share some favorite holiday recipes to help you share, impress and enjoy.

Here are a few recipes that are great for gift giving or adding to holiday trays.

SIMPLE PRETZEL (OR SALTINE) TOFFEE BARK 



8 ozs. (or less) mini pretzels, broken into small pieces 

(or about 40 saltine cracker squares)

1 c. butter (2 sticks)

1 c. packed light brown sugar
2 c. (or 12 ozs) bag semisweet chocolate chips
chopped nuts, optional 
Preheat oven to 375. Line a 17" X 11" cookie sheet with foil (nonstick works great). Cover the bottom of the pan with broken pretzels (or whole saltines); set aside. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and sugar. When mixture begins to boil, let it bubble for 3 minutes without stirring. Immediately pour over pretzels, moving pan from one end to the other while pouring to spread evenly. (Don't worry if you have some 'bare' places where the toffee hasn't spread.) Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Let stand for 5 minutes; then spread melted chocolate evenly over top and sprinkle with chopped nuts; cool. Break or cut into pieces.


EASY TIGER BUTTER
(3 INGREDIENTS-MICROWAVE)

1 lb. 8 ozs. pkg.white almond bark
2 c. peanut butter, creamy 
6-12 ozs. semi sweet chocolate chips 

Line 15"x10"x1" jellyroll pan with waxed paper. In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until semi-sweet chocolate is melted; set aside. In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate in the microwave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until white chocolate is melted; add peanut butter and then stir rapidly until white chocolate and peanut butter are mixed evenly. Spread mixture onto prepared pan. Pour semi-sweet chocolate over peanut butter mixture in a lazy river design, and swirl through with a knife.  Chill until firm. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

HOT CINNAMON MILK MIX (Sugarfree Options)

2 c. powdered milk
1 c. powdered (sugar free) french vanilla creamer
1 c.sugar (or Splenda)
1/2 TB. ground cinnamon
To enjoy the mix, warm 1/2 c. water with 1/2 c. milk. Place 1/4 c. mix in a mug,add the liquid and stir well. (May dissolve mix in all water, but the milk adds creaminess that is wonderful)


HOLIDAY CORNFLAKE WREATH
30 large marshmallows 
1/2 c. butter (do not substitute)
1 Tb. vanilla extract
20-22 drops green food coloring
3-1/2 c. cornflakes
red hot cinnamon candies
 red shoestring licorice and one red Dot candy, optional 
 
In large saucepan, combine marshmallows and butter; heat,stirring over low heat, until smooth. Stir in vanilla and food coloring. Remove from heat; add cornflakes and stir until well blended. Drop by spoonsful onto prepared pan, forming a 9" wreath. Decorate with red hots. If desired, make a bow with shoestring licorice and top with Dot candy. Yield:10-12 servings  
This recipe is PERFECT for Christmas morning. Made with frozen rolls, it can be made up to 2 days ahead. A.MA.ZING!

MAKE AHEAD PULL APART STICKY BUNS
1-1/4 c. chopped pecans 
3/4 c. butter
2 lbs. frozen bread dough (24 frozen dinner rolls, or 2 1-lb.loaves,thawed for about 1/2 an hour, cut into 12 evenly-sized pieces)
1-1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 heaping Tbs. cinnamon
Generously butter a 9" X 13" baking dish. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan. In small bowl, blend sugar and cinnamon until evenly mixed. Melt butter. Dip each roll in butter, then in the cinnamon/sugar mixture; lay evenly over top of nuts. (6 the long way,4 across). Combine remaining butter with cinnamon/sugar and spread evenly over top of rolls. (It may clump on top of rolls, but will bake evenly). Tightly cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Let rise until doubled (see options below). Bake 350 for 40-45 minutes, uncovered, until brown. (If browning too quickly,cover with foil for the last 15 minutes or so of baking time; watch carefully. This recipe can become a 'work of art' if not overbaked). Remove from oven, let stand in pan for about 5 minutes; invert onto serving tray. (I covered a cookie sheet with non stick foil). Serve warm! (Don't burn your mouth!)

Monica gave me permission to share the rising options direct from her website:
 *MAKE AHEAD RISING METHODS (times may vary depending on the temperature of your house)
1. Assemble the night before, leave out to rise overnight (6-8 hours), and bake first thing in the morning.
2. Assemble 20-24 hours in advance,  put in the fridge to partially rise.The next day, remove from fridge and allow to rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours before baking.
3. Assemble 44-48 hours in advance, put in the fridge to rise. Remove from fridge and warm to room temperature for 45 minutes before baking. 

Extending warmest wishes for a very Merry CHRISTmas to all! Thanks so much for your great support this year. May you and yours enjoy sweet blessings in 2014!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Easy Turkey Pot Pie & Weekend Potluck #98

WELCOME TO THE HOLIDAY 'ISSUE' OF WEEKEND POTLUCK!!! 

We are so happy you're here and are excited to see what you'll be bringing, but know...

We are all taking a break from blogging next week, but WP will return on Friday, January 3, 2014!!

Trust you'll enjoy a fabulous Christmas week with those you love most! 





What a wonderful way to enjoy turkey leftovers! 


The recipe with the most clicks was ~

 
Millionaire Fudge by Cooking with K

Recipes that caught our attention ~

 
Holly Jolly Fudge by With a Blast
 
Homemade Hot Chocolate by Kathy’s Kitchen Table

And, a personal favorite ~

Slow Cooker Pecan Sticky Buns by The Shady Porch 

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Pie in a Pan

 One of the last dessert recipes left in my drafts!  Gotta share it before January, and 'lighter choices' arrive! =)

I LOVE this combo of two of my favorite pies all wrapped up in one!

This lovely recipe came from Very Best Baking and we loved it. 

Perfect when you can't decide which of these yummy pies to make.

You can do them both at once!! 

The base is made with flour, oatmeal, brown sugar & butter. 

YES PLEASE!!!

PUMPKIN PECAN PIE IN A PAN

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. instant or old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
1 (15 ozs) can pumpkin puree
1 (12 ozs) can (2%) evaporated milk
2 eggs
2-1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. pecans, chopped 
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
Whipped Cream 


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
    In small bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter. Beat at low speed for 1 to 2 minutes or until crumbly. Press on bottom of ungreased 9" X 13" 
     baking pan. Bake 15 minutes. 
 In large bowl, combine white sugar, pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat at medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes; pour over crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. In small bowl, combine pecans and brown sugar.  Sprinkle over filling; continue baking for 15 - 20 minutes or until knife  
  •  inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Cut; serve with whipped topping.
  • Yield: about 15 servings, depending on how you cut it.
  •  Linked to Weekend Potluck
  •  


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

I think this terrific cookie screams EAT ME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!! 

Tickled to see this recipe from allrecipes.com...
these are a great addition for gift giving or even a cookie exchange.  I added
the vanilla and cinnamon.

Choose to add white chocolate chips, or chopped white chocolate. 

Anyway you fix 'em, you're sure to love 'em!

Enjoy every yummy bite! 


OATMEAL WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP CRANBERRY COOKIES 

 2/3 cup butter, softened 
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1  cup (or a little more) dried cranberries
2/3 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate,
or white (or chocolate) chips  
chopped pecans, optional
Preheat oven to 375*. 
In medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. In medium bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda and cinnamon; stir into butter mixture one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries, white chocolate and nuts, if using. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Cornflake Wreath

I have made this simple treat for years.  And it's frugal too.

I have always loved the crunch of corn flakes.  A family favorite of my mom's, Cheesey Cottage Potatoes calls for crushed cornflakes mixed with butter for the topping.  Near and dear to my heart....MMMM good! 
(I recently found out that recipe is going to be in one of Gooseberry Patch's cookbooks next year! YEHAW!!)

I have this recipe in my mom's handwriting, and it's a favorite of one of my daughter -in-loves, so I make it nearly every year.

Such a simple treat and pretty presentation too. 

One that I can make at the last minute because I always have these simple ingredients on hand. 

I have seen photos where a bow is made with red shoestring licorice - 
such a GREAT idea.  

Enjoy! 


HOLIDAY CORNFLAKE WREATH

30 large marshmallows 
1/2 c. butter (do not substitute)
1 Tb. vanilla extract
20 - 22 drops green food coloring
3-1/2 c. cornflakes
red hot cinnamon candies
red shoestring licorice and one red Dot candy, optional 

In large saucepan, combine marshmallows and butter; heat, stirring over low heat, until smooth. Stir in vanilla and food coloring. 

Remove from heat; add cornflakes and stir until well blended. Drop by spoonsful onto prepared pan, forming a 9" wreath. Decorate with red hots. If desired, make a bowl with shoestring licorice and top with Dot candy. 

Yield: 10 - 12 servings 


Date Balls

This is one of the easiest, and most addicting candies I make during the year.
They're caramel-y, chewy balls of deliciousness that are irresistible.

This simple 6 ingredient recipe is a terrific addition to any holiday tray. I got the recipe from an dear friend many years ago. (Thanks Betty!)

Deliver a tinful to your neighbors...they will love you forever. 

Your friends and family will ask for M-M-More please!


DATE BALLS 

1-1/4 sticks (10 Tb.) butter
1 c. white sugar
(I like to use half xylitol/half sugar)
1 (8 ozs.) pkg. dates, chopped
(not pre-packaged chopped dates)
3/4 c. chopped nuts (we like pecans)
2 c. rice krispies cereal
powdered sugar or coconut flakes 

In skillet over medium heat, combine butter, sugar and dates; cook until thick like jam (it will all come together), stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in nuts and cereal. Allow to cool until you're able to handle them, then roll into walnut-sized balls and
drop them into a bowl of powdered sugar or coconut flakes. 

LAND O'GOSHEN!  These are mighty fine treats! 

Linked to Weekend Potluck
Candy Plan Monday

 


Monday, December 16, 2013

Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake (A REAL Crowd Pleaser!)

I love this stuff and everyone who has ever tried it does too!

I took these photos a couple of years ago and just found them in my files....can hardly believe I've not shared this recipe before!


This is an original Paula Deen recipe...and always a winner! The base is a cake mix and I think that always makes things easier.

This is from the 'old' way that Paula bakes..pre-diabetic days...with lots of butter.  MMM!

I'm sure you can lighten it by cutting back a couple of TB. for each time it's called for in this recipe. 

Hope you get to enjoy it over the holidays too. 

OOEY GOOEY PUMPKIN CAKE 

1 (18 ozs) box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted
1 (8 ozs) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (15 ozs) can pumpkin puree
3 eggs
1 tsp. real vanilla
1 stick butter, melted
1 (16 ozs.) box powdered sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
whipped topping of choice

Preheat oven to 350*. 

Crust: In medium bowl, combine cake mix, egg and first stick of butter, with electric mixer until smooth.  Press evenly into 9" X 13" X 2" baking dish.

Filling: In large bowl, blend cream cheese & pumpkin; then add eggs, vanilla and remaining butter, beating until smooth. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix until well blended. Pour over crust and bake 55 - 60 minutes. Center will be a little gooey when done.  Don't overbake.  Cool and chill; serve with whipped topping and enjoy every single bite!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Double Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

I love a good cake mix cookie.  I've tried several recipes and am always willing to try one more.

I was tickled to see this simple recipe at Artsy-Fartsy Mama, but I adapted it with just a few changes. 

They turned out wonderfully.  I made them to put in the freezer so when I need a plateful of goodies to take to someone for the holidays, I am ready, set to go!

I always stock up on cake mixes when they're on sale. Was shocked when I didn't have a yellow cake mix on hand, so I used chocolate.  LOVED these!

You could add coconut, coffee or toffee for other 'flavor bursts'.


DBL CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT COOKIES

1 yellow cake mix
(I used chocolate)
1 tsp. baking powder
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/4 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. M & M candies 

In large bowl, combine cake mix, baking powder, oil eggs, vanilla & oats; beat with mixer until blended evenly. Stir in chocolate chips and 
M & M's. Drop by rounded Tablespoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheet Bake 350ยบ for 10-12 minutes.

Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen good-sized cookies 

Pecan Cheesecake Pie

 ONLY 10 MORE DAYS?  ARE YOU READY YET???

SUCH a tasty pie! I saw the recipe in Pillsbury's 'best ever fall Entertaining" booklet, and was it ever enjoyed!

Cream cheese n' me go together like cookies and Cookie Monster! =) 

And when you can combine two of my favorites, well, YES PLEASE!
This is like pecan pie on top of cheesecake - WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE???? 

I made this for our Sunday School class fall potluck recently. My hubby teaches the 'seniors' and since many are careful about what they eat....

I lightened it just a tad by...using 1/3 reduced cream cheese...substituting half agave nectar for the corn syrup...and using mostly xylitol for the sugar amount.

Lightened or not, your family will adore you for making this delicious treat for the holidays!

PECAN CHEESECAKE PIE 

1 - 9" pie crust, unbaked
1 (8 ozs) pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/4 c. chopped pecans
1 c. light corn syrup
whipped cream, optional
ground cinnamon, optional 

Heat oven to 350*. Move oven rack to the lowest position.

In medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and salt, beating until smooth.  Pour mixture into crust; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

In a large bowl, whisk together corn syrup, remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 c. sugar and remaining 1 tsp. vanilla. Pour mixture over pecans.  Place pie on cookie sheet.

Place pie on bottom oven rack and bake 45 - 55 minutes or until set.  Cool completely on cooling rack, for about 2 hour.  Serve or refrigerate.  Serve with whipped cream and cinnamon.  

Store leftovers covered in refrigerator for up to 2 days. 
(I doubt there will be any leftovers!!)

Linked to Meal Plan Monday 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

This is one of my most favorite holiday recipes and I can't get through the holidays without making these at least once.  

I LOVE 'EM!

And I can't believe! I haven't shared this recipe before!!!!

It's amazing how much they really do taste like PECAN PIE!  But they're small...mini, in fact, and such a great treat to share for any reason. 

These truly are a 'party in your mouth'!!

Only 5 simple ingredients and you're ready to mix and enjoy!!

Use a whisk or mixer to blend them.  Any way, they are terrific!!!  

I remember the day, years ago, when I found this recipe in a magazine while visiting a friend! It's been a favorite ever since!

Don't wait to make them!  You'll want them again and again. I've been asked quite a few times if I would make these for a party!

I love to use holiday mini muffin liners for a special touch. 


PECAN PIE MINI MUFFINS 

1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. chopped pecans
2/3 c. butter (no substitutes), softened 
(not melted)
2 eggs  

Preheat oven to 325. Combine sugar, flour and pecans; set aside.  In large bowl, combine butter and eggs; blend with mixer or whisk, until well blended. Stir both mixtures together until moistened. (I blend by hand). Fill greased and floured or paper-lined mini muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 16 - 18 minutes. 

Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen 

Linked to Mix it up Monday
Weekend Potluck  
Meal Plan Monday




Friday, December 13, 2013

BEST EVER Caramels & Weekend Potluck # 97

WELCOME TO WEEKEND POTLUCK!
I missed being here with you last week and trust you all enjoyed a great Thanksgiving.
Can we even believe Christmas is right around the corner??? OH MY!! 
No doubt, you'll be inspired by all the amazing recipes being shared right here this week!
We want to see what dishes you have planned for your holiday meals/parties!


I'm VERY excited to share this favorite recipe I've chosen this week for 


These tasty treats really do live up to their name. Dip them in chocolate, sprinkle with sea salt or eat them plain.  You're sure to LOVE them!!





Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

The recipe with the most clicks, over 4,000, wow!!!!!~


Christmas Wreaths by Organizer by Day

Recipes that caught our attention ~

 
Farmers Casserole by Real House Moms
Chocolate Roll with Candy Candy Whipped Cream by Hun, What’s For Dinner?

Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all FIVE blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines:

If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video. Please use a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!