Saturday, December 26, 2015

Leader Enterprise - December 23 - Holiday Recipes (Sugar Free Options)

It's that most wonderful time of the year. With the new year just around the bend, I think everyone would agree it certainly is a busy (I love to say buzzy) time of year. How about trying this idea? Set aside five minutes each morning to sit quietly with a cup of your favorite blend coffee or tea, and breath deep. Use this time to ground yourself, ask God for help and prepare for the day that is to come. 

Christmas can remind us of what we don't have, but let's try hard to make the most of it and concentrate on all the good things in our lives. Having an attitude of gratitude can make all the difference in the world. 

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and happy 2016! Let's remember to focus on the REASON FOR THE SEASON. 


1 sm. box (4-serv. size) instant (sugar free) vanilla pudding mix
4 c. milk
4 c. heavy cream (or half and half)
1/3 - 1/2 c. sugar (or sweetener)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 - 3 tsp. rum extract
Garnish: whipped cream and 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.

This amazing dish is quick and can be made sugar free! No one will know but you. A creamy, dreamy dish to please all. 


1 lg. (8 serv) (sugar free) instant vanilla pudding 
(I used 1 sm. cheesecake and 1 sm. vanilla)
1 (16 ozs) can crushed pineapple (or tidbits)
1 (16 ozs) container (lite) sour cream
(or use fat free Greek yogurt) for a 'lighter option' 
mini marshmallows, coconut, fresh strawberries, etc., optional 

In large bowl, stir pudding mix into pineapple, stirring until well blended.  Let stand a few minutes to thicken.  Stir in sour cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

(For Gift-Giving)

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)
1/4 c. sugar (or substitute)
1/4 c. packed 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. 


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  

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”~ Oren Arnold

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

Thanks so much to all of you who have been so wonderful to support my blog this year! 

I never would have imagined SO many folks being interested in what I whip up in the kitchen!


Wishing you all a Very Merry CHRISTmas week and New Year too. 


WOW!  How'd we get so old so fast huh????

I'm going to take a break from my blog for a few weeks. Not only to enjoy the holidays, but we are getting ready to head to Florida - for 3 months! We've never been gone that long before and it's taking me some time to sort and pack. There are some things I just don't want to live without that long!

And sometimes...we just need a break! 

I like to choose a "Word of the Year"...through God's leading. 
In years past, I've chosen JOY, RESTORATION, and PEACE.

This year God has directed me to the word REFRESHED! 

And He gave me this verse to emphasize it to me....


So for now, I will say 'so long'...I will continue to publish
"Blast from the Past" at my blog on Wednesdays, to share old blog posts at my social media pages and to participate in Weekend Potluck parties on Fridays, but hope you'll hang with me and be ready for some new recipe ideas come February. 

May you enjoy some R & R after a busy busy month too!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Cream Cheese Dainties

AAHHH - I've been making these tasty cookies for the holidays for many years.

This is an old Taste of Home recipe - I love making it for my special diabetic friends.

The cookie ingredients are butter, cream cheese and flour....

And you fill the centers with regular or sugar free preserves or jam! 

EVERYONE WILL LOVE THESE!  The flaky crust that holds the tasty jam makes you feel extra special when you know they were made just for you. 

My recipe is tattered and worn. It's a great option when you want something special and sugar free too. 

(hover over photo to pin)


1 c. butter or margarine, softened
1 pkg. (8 ozs) cream cheese, softened
2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugarless or regular apricot or raspberry preserves

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Mix in flour. Divide dough into 4 sections; cover and refrigerate until easy to least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of dough at t time into a 
10" X 7-1/2" rectangle. (Trim edges if necessary).  Cut into 2-1/2" squares.

Drop 1/4 tsp. preserves in center of each square. Moisten 2 corners with water; fold over and press lightly.  Place on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350 for 12 - 14 minutes or until corners are lightly browned.  Cool 2-3 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Yield: about 4 dozen. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Homemade Biscoff Cookies


Oh my - if you've ever tasted a biscoff cookie...most likely on an airplane'll know they are a European cookie that is TO.DIE.FOR!

They are crispy and perfectly spiced! So pour some coffee or a glass of milk and imagine you're flying to Hawaii (or your favorite spot) as you enjoy these scrumptious treats. 

So Gina at Kleinworth & Co. created her own recipe and it is spot on! 
She used a scalloped cookie cutter which makes her cookies so much more professional looking. Click on the link above to take a peek....

I'm so glad I tried these...but fair warning: they are very difficult to stay away from!

The only thing I did differently was to roll the cookies into balls and flatten them instead of rolling/cutting them out as Gina did. Then I dipped the top of each ball in sugar before baking.  

Either way they are a very special treat and would be so awesome to add to a holiday cookie tray!! 

I know I'D be VERY happy to get some! 
(I I wipe the drool from my chinny chin chin)

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 Tb. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. butter (2 sticks) softened
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • sugar for rolling, optional 

  • Preheat oven to 350.

  • In large bowl cream butter, sugar & brown sugar together on low speed; add vanilla; blend.
  • Slowly add flour, spices, salt & baking soda; beat until well combined and mixture is smooth. (I refrigerated first for about 30 minutes for ease in rolling). Roll the dough into 1" balls. Dip the tops of each ball in sugar until coated. Place UN-sugared side down. Bake for 13 - 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. They will fall when cool and become crispy - just like the 'real deal'. 
Linked to Weekend Potluck

You might also enjoy...

Christmas Gumdrop Cookies

Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pineapple Upside Down Biscuits & Weekend Potluck #201

We thank you all for taking part in our giveaway!
We have already contacted the winners and gift cards are being sent. 

Trust you all will enjoy a blessed CHRISTmas season. We will return to partying at Weekend Potluck in the new year.  

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

These biscuits are so tasty and easy, using canned biscuits! Perfect for Christmas morning breakfast! 

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

The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Lightly Candied Pecans by Mirlandra's Kitchen

Recipes that caught our attention ~

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels by Kim'S Country Line

And, a personal favorite ~

Crazy Carrot Cake  by Sweet Little Bluebird

Your hostesses ~

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


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. 
    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 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Fudge (made with honey)

Oh yeh...a fudge you can enjoy without all the guilt that goes with many of the holiday treats! 

I just had to give this a try after seeing it at Skinny Ms. I slightly adapted the recipe she shares there.

I got other baking done while this recipe 'cooked' in the slow cooker, and gave the kitchen another wonderful aroma boost. 

Feel free to use whatever flavor chocolate chips you'd like, but I chose
to use dark chocolate....

 I just love that dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure and increases blood flow to throughout the body. Eating dark chocolate provides you with energy, fat, minerals and antioxidants to help maintain your overall health. It is also loaded with antioxidants to ward off cancer causing free radicals.  

As for coconut milk, it is an excellent alternative to dairy and contains high amounts of vitamins and nutrients to fight illnesses.One cup of canned coconut milk has more than 10% of your daily value of iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It's also high in fat, but it contains a type of fat that provides health benefits.

Honey helps prevent cancer and heart disease. Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

So eat up - and enjoy!!! It's rich, so a small piece will be enough to tickle your taste buds. 


2-1/2 c. chocolate chips, (I used mostly dark chocolate chips because of their health benefits.  A bag of dark chips contains 2 cups - I added 1/2 c. semi-sweet - use your favorite kind)
1/2 cup coconut milk, (canned)
1/4 c. honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar
dash of sea salt
3 Tb. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla (or peppermint) extract
1/2 - 3/4 c. crushed nuts (we prefer pecans), optional

Lightly grease an 8" X 8" square pan; set aside.

Add chocolate chips, coconut milk, honey, salt, and coconut oil to slow cooker; stir to combine, being sure to scrape the edges so everything's in the middle of the pot. Cover and cook on low 2 hours without stirring. Please DO NOT remove the lid during cooking - very important. 

After 2 hours, turn the slow cooker off, uncover, and add vanilla. Do not stir fudge mixture at this point. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, using a large (wooden) spoon, stir vigorously for 5-10 minutes until it loses some of the gloss. Stir in nuts if using. 

Pour fudge into pan, cover and refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Cut into small pieces to serve. 

You might also enjoy...

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cran-Razz Banana Protein Smoothie

I'm excited to share this post with you.  I decided to take part in the Chobani
challenge to see what you can create with leftovers....

We have plans to spend the winter in Florida so I have been trying to use up much of what I have in the freezer and pantry. 

Since I had some cranberries, banana slices and a few raspberries in the freezer, I decided to add some Chobani Greek Yogurt and make a tasty smoothie. I also added a little cottage cheese for added creaminess and protein.

M-M-M-M Good!
Oh how I love the creamy texture of Chobani Greek Yogurt!! It's very delicious and they have so many varieties to try. 

I also love that Chobani Greek Yogurt has NO articificial flavors or sweeteners, and NO preservatives!  It also has THREE kinds of probiotics and at least 11 grams of protein. 

YAY Baby!  Bring it on!!!

Here's the basic ingredients I used to make this luscious smoothie. 

Do hope you'll enjoy this healthy drink soon too. It's filling and I think the flavor combo is awesome. It's #MadeWithChobani


1/2 c. cranberries, fresh or frozen, partially thawed
1/2 c. partially frozen raspberries
1/2 - 1 banana 
(I keep slices frozen on hand)
1/2 c. coconut milk
(use almond or 2%)
1/2 c. water
1 (6 ozs) container CHOBANI strawberry/banana Greek yogurt
1/4 c. cottage cheese
(it gets obliterated in the blender) 
2 - 3 pkts. Stevia or Truvia
(or could use a big squirt of honey) 

Place all ingredients in the blender. Cover; blend until smooth and frothy. 
Add ice cubes or more liquid to make it the consistency you want. 

Yield: about 2 servings 

Linked to Weekend Potluck

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cheesey Mixed Vegetable Casserole

This side dish is wonderfully delicious!  I love the addition of sliced water chestnuts for crunchiness, and the cracker/butter topping is perfect. 

I tweaked a recipe of Paula Deen's, found in her Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics

She used a can of Veg-All....I cooked a bag of frozen mixed vegetables.

Instead of using 3/4 c. mayonnaise, I used a can of cream corn and about 1/4 c. mayo for creaminess. 

I also sauteed the celery and onion. 

I had this in the oven in less than 15 minutes. As the veggies cook, you can grate the cheese, open the corn and saute the celery and onion. 

It would go perfectly with any meat. We enjoyed it with meatloaf. 


1 - 1# bag frozen mixed vegetables, cooked el dente
1 (8 ozs) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
3/4 c. chopped celery 
1/2 sm. onion, chopped
1 Tb. oil (I like coconut)
1 can (15 ozs) creamed corn
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grated (sharp) cheddar cheese 
20 Ritz crackers, crushed
2 Tb. melted butter 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 1-1/2 qt. casserole dish; set aside.

In medium saucepan, cook vegetables; drain; set aside.
In same saucepan, heat oil; saute celery and onions in oil for 
about 8 minutes, stirring often. 

In large bowl, combine vegetables, chestnuts, corn, mayo & cheese. Pour into prepared baking dish; bake for 30 minutes, uncovered. 

While casserole is baking, combine cracker crumbs and melted butter; blend well.  Sprinkle over top of casserole after 30 minutes of baking; return to oven to bake about 8 minutes longer or until browned and bubbly. 

Print Friendly and PDF