Sunday, December 21, 2014

Eggless Eggnog (Sugar Free Option)

(This will be my last NEW recipe post for the year...I will be taking a break over the holidays and will plan to return on Friday, January 2nd, 2015 for our Weekend Potluck party!) 

May you and yours enjoy a blessed and merry CHRISTmas season and a very happy new year! I am so grateful to be a part of your world and thankful to have you in mine.  Thanks again and again for all you've done to support me this year and for sharing my recipes like you do!




OH.MY.GOODNESS!

This easy recipe says 'HAPPY HOLIDAYS' for sure....it's great for Christmas or New Years. 

I just love so many wonderful holiday recipes floating around in blog world....
And this is definitely a favorite.

I've never been fond of drinking store-purchased eggnog.  It's just too thick, so I've always added more milk.  I use to have a cooked recipe that I would chill and mix with the store-purchased product. 

But after finding this recipe at Mandy's Recipe Box , then trying it, and being impressed! there's no turning back. My family LOVED it too. 

This is wonderful cause it tastes just like eggnog...has no eggs...is no cook, and you can even make it sugar free - which is what I did for my family. 

I have some of this luscious beverage in the fridge now and I'm trying to keep it 'hidden' from hubby so we can have some this coming week! 



EGGLESS EGGNOG (No Cook)

1 sm. box (4-serv. size) instant (sugar free) vanilla pudding mix
4 c. milk
(I suggest you use 2% for fullest flavor, but 1% works too)
4 c. heavy cream
1/3 - 1/2 c. sugar
(I used xylitol)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 -  3 tsp. rum extract

Garnish: whipped cream & nutmeg (fresh grated is best) 

In a large bowl (or blender) stir together dry pudding mix and 1 C. milk. 
When mixture beings to thicken, add remaining ingredients... 
(except garnish).
Mix well. Cover and chill for at least 2 - 3 hours. 
Garnish with whipped topping and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Yield: 1/2 gallon.

Linked to Weekend Potluck

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Ultimate Creamed Corn & Weekend Potluck #149

WELCOME TO THE 'WEEK-BEFORE-CHRISTMAS' EDITION OF WEEKEND POTLUCK! 
We're so grateful you've joined us this busy time of the year...

This will be my last WP party this year...I'm going to take a needed break from blogging over the holidays...hope you all get some what of a break too.  Will return refreshed and renewed in the new year!
and...


When I share something worth sharing...again...

This side dish really IS the Ultimate! Cream Cheese is the star...
guaranteed to be a hit at your holiday meal! 




The recipe with the most clicks was ~

                                     

Ham Frittata by With a Blast

                                      

And, a personal favorite ~

220
Sunday Morning Coffee Cake by The Prairie Mom 

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!





Wednesday, December 17, 2014

3 Simply Delicious Simple Appetizers for the Holidays {Blast from the Past}


Warmed bacon, canned chili, cream cheese, shredded cheese & onions...
Serve with tortilla chips. Then step aside cause you might get run over. 



Only 4 simple ingredients...Sour cream,
cream cheese, rotel tomatoes, ranch dressing.  LOVE!
Fix it and forget it....serve chilled.




An awesome 'lighter' dip every one will love...
4 simple ingredients



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Simple Ruby Lemonade Punch (3-ingredients)

The daughter of one of my mom's friends (we are both gray now ourselves!) recently gave me an old local church cookbook that belonged to her mom and I found this recipe there. 

The pages are yellowed and the cover is stained...don't you just love that?
It's actually been USED! much. 

This cold punch is really very simple and tasty - great for a holiday get together.  And can easily be doubled or tripled.  AND..you can use low cal ingredients if you wish. 

Do hope you'll try it soon.  I just made it for a ladies party at church and it was enjoyed much. 



SIMPLE RUBY LEMONADE PUNCH

1 (6 ozs) can frozen lemonade, thawed
1 qt. (4 c.) (low cal) cranberry juice cocktail
1 (16 ozs) bottle (low cal) citrus flavored carbonated beverage 
(Sierra Mist, 7-Up or Fresca...I have even used cranberry gingerale)

In large bowl, stir concentrate into cranberry juice.  To serve; stir in carbonated beverage.  Serve on ice.  Yield: 8 servings 


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Tips for "Shaving Time and Money" During the Busy Holiday Season

I discovered Dollar Shave Club, a subscription service whose motto is "Shave Time and Shave Money". Their service make it easier for you to get nice razors at a great price. (they ship to USA/Canada and even Australia!). It's $1 is for 5 cartridges for a month + shipping! They also have an option to get 'higher class' razors and shipping is free. Perfect for gift giving! 
They're awesome...Check them out!

Here's a few helpful ideas to help you 'SHAVE' time over the holidays....

I like to keep a list of recipes written out for review & reference. I try to make every minute count - get up and do something while a commercial comes on TV, and I always make myself lists so I can think of what I need to do next.

One thing I do to keep things moving along in the kitchen, is to keep hot sudsy water in the sink all the time I'm working there, and wash dishes when I have a minute in between things. It helps keep the counter cleared and dishes can dry (use HOT water to rinse) and you can put them away when you have another few minutes. (And really...who cares if they're still a little damp when you put them away?  They will air dry! =) 


I also like keeping cooked meat and chopped (leftover) veggies on hand in the freezer. All I have to do is thaw and throw the meal together. It's a real time saver. Here's my method for browning ground beef in the crockpot. You'll save money by not running through the nearest drive thru at the last minute! 


Sometimes, we just have to prioritize. I do that often during this very busy month. And I have to consider what REALLY needs to be done first - usually, according to the day of the week it needs to be ready. We gotta 'keep the main thing, the main thing'....I always record comments on new recipes - 'excellent'....'rubbery' (just did that today with a sugar free cookie I tried =) If the recipe isn't in a book, and I'm not wild about it, I usually throw it away and keep trying new ones.

I have always loved making and giving homemade gifts from my kitchen. It doesn't have to be a pricey gift because you are already investing your time in the gift of love.  I have always been ALL ABOUT quick & easy!

(Click on links for recipe)
White Christmas Mix


White Christmas Mix is a really yummy, easy, pretty holiday gift to give. Cereal, pretzels, nuts & candies coated with white almond bark - simple! Give it in the holiday printed zipper-seal bags because then you can see how pretty the mix is. Even plain ziploc bags, decorated with curly ribbons is 'fun and festive.'

Date Balls


Homemade Date Balls are a special holiday treat worth sharing. The date/butter/sugar mixture is cooked on the top of the stove, stir in nuts and cereal, cool, roll into balls and then roll in powdered sugar.  Addicting!! They keep in the refrigerator for weeks ahead.

Fruited Oatmeal Mix is a nice gift to give – it’s warm and filling and is a healthier option, too! It can be bagged and tucked into a pretty tin or given in a pretty gift jar.

Or how about making a simple 
Infinity Scarf from a t-shirt


Honestly - These are all NO sew! 
Anyone can do this...and it's ready to wear in about 2 minutes! I also have tutorials for a Ruffle Scarf from a t-shirt (check it out...it's so cute!)
and a practical bag from a t-shirt!  (everyone raves!) I have purchased many t-shirts from second hand stores or used ones I was no longer wearing. 

I try to be ready for last minute gift giving by purchasing items on sale throughout the year - candles, books, calendars, Avon, & clearance items I come across. I have two file drawers in my desk with gifts in them, so I can look through and see if I can find anything 'fitting' for the person I desire it for. And I always have something edible made up - even if it's in the freezer.

I hope these ideas will have 'shave time and money' during the holiday rush! 

I'd love to know your favorite hints for 'shaving time' during the holidays....



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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spiced Apple Butter Bars (5 ingredients)

My oh my!

How I would LOVE to be able to share a taste of these luscious bars...if only we had Taste-A-Puters huh?  

My friend, Sandy, who often drops by samples of her latest new recipe try, for us, introduced us to this tasty bar.  This is a Betty Crocker original. 

I'm not sure I would have tried it otherwise, but the flavor blast was phenomenal! 

I knew I would have to make them.  

I just so happened to have some no sugar added (no splenda either) apple butter, and I thought I had picked up a spice cake mix, but in actuality it was a butter pecan mix, but it was just as wonderful as the spice mix was. 

These are simple to make...mix the cake mix with egg and butter, then add nuts if you'd like...pat part of it in the foil-lined pan (9" X 9"), spread the apple butter over the bottom, then top with cake mix crumbles.  

That's it!  The result is a thick moist, and VERY scrumptious bar. And simple cleanup too!  What more could you ask for.

A perfect fall dessert...or anytime treat. 


SPICED APPLE BUTTER BARS

1 (16 ozs) box spice cake mix
(or butter pecan)
2/3 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 c. finely chopped pecans
1 c. apple butter

Preheat oven to 350. Line 9" sq. pan with foil, leaving 2" of foil overhanging at 2 opposite sides; spray foil with cooking spray. (Not necessary to spray if using non stick foil)

In large bowl, beat cake mix, butter and egg with electric mixer on low, about 2 minute, or just until crumbly.  Stir in pecans, by hand is easiest. Reserve 1 cup mixture. Press remaining mixture in bottom of pan.  Spread apple butter over crust.  Crumble reserved pecan mixture over top. 
(I think that part took the longest...the dough is a tad more sticky, rather than crumbly, but it all bakes together so just spread as easily as you can). 

Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely in pan on cooling rack for about 2 hours.  Use foil to lift out of pan.  Cut into 5 rows of 4. 

Yield: 20 pieces

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Rolos & Weekend Potluck #148

HELLO DEAR FRIENDS...

WELCOME TO OUR WEEKEND POTLUCK PARTY!

I really missed you last week and can't wait to see what kinds of YUM you've been cooking up since I've been gone...

For my 


I'm sharing a luscious and rich cookie...that begins with a cake mix!
GOTTA LOOOVE IT! 



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

The recipe with the most clicks was ~


Recipes that caught our attention ~


Twice Baked Potato Casserole by Everyday Mom’s Meals

And, a personal favorite ~

50 amazing holiday baking ideas that will get you baking or at least drooling!
50 Best Holiday Baking Recipes by Coffee with Us 3 

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!



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fruited Raisin Oatmeal Mix (Gift Giving Idea)

I keep thinking of recipes I've had in my file for the last year, and am shocked when I haven't thought of it before. I've been making this recipe for quite a few years. 

I bagged this up and gave as gifts to our 'seniors', the JOY class 
(Just Older Youth) Sunday School class that my husband teaches.  That way, the recipients can enjoy them when they want.

They are just delicious with dried apples and/or banana chips and/or raisins. 

I also used xylitol for the white sugar to lower the sugar content... you can reduce the salt too (or reduced sodium salt) for those who need to watch that. 

Consider giving these as a gift to the newspaper or mail delivery person.  It's always a good, healthy 'warm up' after a cold day outside.  Keep it on hand for yourself!  We eat a lot of oatmeal during the cold months, even in the evenings.

How I love practical gift-giving ideas like this.  



FRUITED RAISIN OATMEAL MIX 

6 c. quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. chopped dried apples or dried banana chips
(use any flavor combo of dried fruit - I have used apricots also)
1/4 c. sugar (or substitute)
1/4 c. packed brown sugar (or Splenda brown sugar)
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

In large bowl, combine all ingredients.  For gift giving, divide mix into two batches; store in airtight containers in a cool dry place for up to 1 month. 
 Yield: 7 cups of mix. 

Directions for one serving: In large microwave -safe bowl, combine 1/2 c. oat mixture, and 3/4 c. water.  Microwave, uncovered, on high for 45 seconds; stir.  Cook 20 - 50 seconds longer or until bubbly.  Let stand for 1 - 2 minutes before eating. 

You can find many printables if you just google them....

This link to Organized Christmas has SO many cute gift ideas...

Linked to Weekend Potluck

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Crockpot Hot Vanilla Milk

OOOOO - this one'll make your tongue wag for sure...and beg for more. 
And it's sooooooooooo easy!!

A very simple mixture of milk, sugar, hot water and vanilla (or your favorite) coffee syrup. I'm making RASPBERRY next time!

Put it in your crockpot and you are good to go!

I was so delighted to come across this recipe at The Frugal Girls I made it the very same day I found it...that doesn't happen often.

I can't wait to serve this one to friends...
It's great for the holidays, but perfect for any winter-time warm up! 



CROCKPOT HOT VANILLA MILK 

1/2 c. white sugar
(may use substitute like xylitol)
1 c. hot water
5 c. (2%) milk 
6 - 7 tsp. french vanilla (coffee) syrup 
(more or less according to preference)

In large saucepan, combine sugar and hot water. Stir; heat just until it just begins to boil. Transfer to crockpot; add milk and flavored syrup. Stir; cook on high for 1-1/2 hours or low for up to 3 hours. 

Serve in mugs; top with whipped cream and sprinkles of cinnamon if desired. 

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