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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010


In my time I have made many different types of potato salads. The old stand-by of boiled potatoes paired with mayonnaise, mustard, onions, pickles and boiled eggs...New potatoes with bacon, cheese, and Ranch dressing...Mustard potato salad which was my Aunt Nan's recipe that I have never been able to make taste like hers...that is just to name a few, but recently I ran up on this version in an old church cookbook and made a run of it and my husband Larry has given it his highest rating. It is delicious. Creamy..dreamy..and tasty as all get out...

Prepare a pot of mashed potatoes just like you always do adding milk, butter, salt and pepper. Add to this several globs of mayonnaise and  a healthy squirt of mustard. Chop up a dill pickle (or whatever pickle you have or like), some sweet onion, about 4 hot boiled eggs, and more salt and pepper to taste. Chill well in the fridge or just dig right in...

"I never met a potato salad that I did not like."~Adele Forbes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Steven is one of my best buds on Facebook and he is all the time posting fabulous pictures of the food he cooks. He was very kind to share one of his favorite cookies with me and so I wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

Beat together until fluffy:
1 lb. butter~that would be 4 sticks~oh me oh my
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time until fully mixed in. Use a medium cookie scoop (heaping Tbsp. size) and place 9 to 10 of them on a cookie sheet with no oil on it. With a WET thumb wiggle the centers out and make a dip in them to allow for the jam...USE JAM...not jelly, and fill the divits...sprinkle with a contrasting color of sugar~ grape jam and hott pink sugar makes um' really sparkle and so delicious. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes depending on your oven, on the center rack...let them cool on the sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before removing...use a piece of waxed paper to finish cooling on. LET THEM SIT until all the way cool or they will taste like hot flour...when fully cooled (Steven says he prefers them the next day) the flour is undetectable and they are the 'flippin' bomb!
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."~Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

IT'S CRYIN' TIME AGAIN BABIE'S 'CUTTIN'-UP' THE HORSERADISH; By: Adele Forbes; appeared in the Avery Post newspaper in April of 2001

And the story goes:
We were sittin' on the back deck, enjoying one of the first days of spring with a delicate piece of smoked salmon for the evenings appetizer and who should appear but our new found friend and neighbor, Richard Rink of Edgemont Road; a true connoisseur of the goodness of the earths bounty.
The subject of cocktail sauce came up and I enlightened him of my 'secret ingredient'...none other than horseradish...and lots of it!
"Horseradish", he said. "Girl, I can show you some horseradish." As quick as a wink he was gone with a promise to be right back, and back he came with a jar of home-canned horseradish in all its glory. It was a first for us and it did not take long to be addicted for life.
With one of those 'thin wheat crackers' in hand we placed upon it a bite of salmon, a dollop of ketchup, and a healthy spoonful of this special horseradish...a gift from nature. It took no time at all for our eyes to start runnin' along with our noses and our cheeks to light up with the ruddiness of roses.
Richard went on to explain how the goodness in this jar came to be~now i would like to share it with you as he shared it with me. He invited us to his yearly canning, explaining how we had to go about it soon, for the root was just beginning to poke its green crown through the ground.
We showed up early a couple of mornings later and set in to 'cuttin' up horseradish roots freshly dug. The potent heat of the root opened up not only our sinuses, but all of our senses. We cried and we cried and we cried some more. Larry's hair began to straighten and the chickens were fainting in the yard and straining through my tears I could have sworn I seen the paint beginning to peel right off of my car!
These 'horseradish memories' will be with us forever. Thank you Richard Rink for making them possible.               


Valued medicinally for ages, this mis-shapen member of the mustard family is a close cousin to the meeker broccoli, kale and nasturtiums. A vitamin lovers dream, it is rich in vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
When chewed or grated it's mustard oil compounds are released and this is were it gets its mucous loosening properties making it beneficial to the respiratory system. It is highly antiseptic which makes it useful when treating urinary tract infections.
To promote proper digestion and bring intestinal activity back to normal, grate fresh daily and enjoy in salad dressings, yogurt, and on your morning eggs. Daily use has been known to decrease allergy symptoms as well.
For coughs accompanied by sore throat mix 1 teaspoon of the freshly grated root in a small amount of water with honey and use as a gargle. Do this two to three times a day.
To relieve a cold with congestion make Horseradish Wine by boiling 1 cup of red wine with 2 teaspoons of the grated root for 10 minutes. Strain and drink while still warm.
CAUTIONS: If you suffer from chronic kidney disease or ulcers avoid the root as it can further irritate these conditions. Excessive amounts can also cause diarrhea and induce night sweats.

And now for the RECIPES!

We might as well start off with a BLOODY HORSE OF COURSE:

46 ozs. Bloody Mary mix
2 to 3 tablespoons home-canned horseradish (recipe follows)
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
hot sauce to taste
celery salt, salt, and pepper to taste
2 cups vodka (omit for a virgin horse)
Garnish: coarse salt, lemon wedges, celery sticks

Mix all ingredients together except for garnishes, stir well. Chill. Squeeze lemon wedges around rim of glasses then dip in salt. Add celery sticks and ice.


Take clean pint jars and pour in 1/2 tablespoon salt. Fill 3/4-inch from rim with horseradish you have pureed in a blender or food processor. Pour over this white vinegar straight from the jar to cover. Seal and refrigerate. Will keep for many a day. Does not last long at our house. 


Ketchup and Home-Canned Horseradish with a generous splash of fresh lemon...that's it! Pure and simple. Be generous with the horseradish. You'll be glad you did!


Boil 8 medium potatoes until tender, drain and mash. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons horseradish and 1/2 to 2/3 cup buttermilk. Salt and pepper to taste.

"The horseradish was pungent, hot to the palate as it should be and beautifully white."~James Beard

Monday, December 27, 2010


This is the creamiest peanut butter fudge that I ever did have the pleasure of meeting up with. I took a whole plate of my homemade Christmas goodies to one of my neighbors and the lady of the house went right for the fudge. There were four pieces of fudge on the plate and after the first piece she took another, ate it, then took the third piece and was rolling her eyes around and uuhhing and aahhhing and then looked over at her husband who was watching her and said, "if you want that last piece you had better put it in your mouth." I wanted to roll on the floor laughing but I held my composure. So if you want to make someone happy who loves peanut butter fudge be sure and try this recipe. It is easy to make and a real keeper.
2 1/2 sticks real butter (10 oz.)
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and peanut butter together and when it comes to boil let it boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Add salt and vanilla, stir in powdered sugar until smooth and fudge begins to leave the size of the pan. Pour into dish and smooth the top with the back of a wooden spoon. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly over the fudge and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour. Cut into squares and return to refrigerator to store. 

COOKS NOTE: Have all of the ingredients ready prior to making the fudge so that everything goes smooth as silk.

"I never met a peanut butter fudge I didn't like!"~Adele Forbes

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Mildred is my mother-in-law and she always made the best yeast rolls this side of heaven. I received a 'special request' for this recipe and was happy to oblige the requester. Be sure to have some good butter on hand when these gems come out of the oven!
1 pkg. yeast or 1 yeast cake
2 to 3 tablespoons warm water
5 cups plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup shortening
2 cups buttermilk

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and soda together; cut in shortening. Stir in yeast mixture and buttermilk. Roll out on floured board, cut into biscuits; brush with melted butter. bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
NOTE: Dough will keep in refrigerator for several days but allow biscuits to rise before baking. Three-fourths cup butter may be substituted for shortening.

"In the Virginia of the olden time no breakfast or tea-table was thought to be properly furnished without a plate of these indispensable biscuits.....Let one spend the night at some gentleman-farmer's home, and the first sound heard in the morning, after the crowing of the cock, was the heavy, regular fall of the cook's axe, as she beat and beat her biscuit dough.....Nowadays beaten biscuits are a rarity, found here and there, but soda and modern institutions have caused them to be sadly out of vogue."~'Virginia Cookery Book' (1885)

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Bite into one of these tasty little morsels and your taste buds will do the 'happy dance'! As my hero Justin Wilson use to say...'I gar-on-tee it. 

1 (12oz.) pkg. vanilla wafers, crushed ( I put them in a large zip-lock bag and beat them with my meat mallet)
1 (1 lb.) pkg. confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup flaked coconut
Mix the vanilla wafers, confectioners sugar and pecans in a bowl. Add the orange juice concentrate and butter. Stir until well mixed. Shape into bite-size balls. Spread the coconut on a plate. Roll the balls in the coconut. Store in an airtight container and chill until ready to serve.
Yield: 4 to 6 dozen depending on the size of the balls.

COOKS NOTE: Dip your hands in cold water now and then when rolling out these balls to prevent sticky fingers.

Friday, December 17, 2010


I would like to think my readers for their support of my blog since December of 2009 when I first traveled down the bloggers path. In celebration of my year long journey I am hosting a Christmas Giveaway.

Two copies of The Culinary Institute of America's 'A TAVOLA!'; RECIPES AND REFLECTIONS ON TRADITIONAL ITALIAN HOME COOKING will be awarded. All you need to do to enter the contest is comment on this post and click on the LIKE application. If you are not a FOLLOWER I would appreciate it you would take the time to become one. Two winners will be announced on Christmas Eve. Good Luck!



Thursday, December 16, 2010


sssh...don't tell anybody, but I am having a love affair with red bell peppers. I simply adore them! Can't ever get enough of that red flesh!
Maybe it has something to do with my life long love affair with the color red. Red lips, red sweater, red truck, red earrings, red dress, red shoes, red pocketbook...you get the picture.

1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced, peeled tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon each of salt & white pepper
8 ozs. rigatoni pasta, cooked just almost to al dente
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonated, that's a fancy word for rolling up the basil leaves and then cutting them in thin strips with a sharp knife

Place the bell peppers skin side down on a broiler pan and press down to flatten. Broil for 10 minutes or until the skin is blackened. Remove the pepper to a paper bag. Seal and allow to stand for 10 minutes or so. Remove from the bag and rub off the blackened skin with your fingers, don't worry, it comes off easily. Slice the pepper halves into 1/2-inch pieces. Roasting the peppers in this method makes them mighty sweet to your taste buds.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes, salt and white pepper. Simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir in the roasted bell pepper and cook just until heated through. Toss the pasta with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in serving bowl. Add the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Top with the basil strands. Serve warm with a green salad on the side.
Serves 4

"If you want to eat something, eat a bell pepper. Crave something sweet? ... Bell pepper. Homer Simpson: It tastes good like pepper, but crunchy like a bell. 

 If you want to eat something, eat a bell pepper. Crave something sweet? ... Bell pepper. Homer Simpson: It tastes good like pepper, but crunchy like a bell. 

"If you want to eat something, eat a bell pepper. Crave something sweet? ... Bell pepper. It tastes good like pepper, but crunchy like a bell."~Homer Simpson


If you look to the right of the first post on my blog you will see a badge for YBR~YOUR BEST RECIPE. Visit http://spiciefoodie.blogspot.com/p/your-best-recipe.html to get all the information you need to submit your own best recipe for the month of December contest. This year the December contest allows you to pick your best recipe from all of your food blogging posts for the entire year. I chose my SHEPHERDS PIE A'LA MACARONI & CHEESE. So if you are a food blogger be sure and visit Spice Foodie and enter your own best recipe. Who knows? The winner just might be you...or me.


Christmas is just around the corner. Set this delectable soup on the dining room table in your prettiest bowl, then stand back and wait for the applause.
3 tablespoons butter
1 large sweet onion, sliced
12 red bell peppers, seeded, cut in thin strips
3 tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/3 cup uncooked white rice
1/3 cup Cognac
9 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 teaspoon paprika

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add the bell peppers and tomatoes and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the rice and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the Cognac and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cream and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and puree the soup in batches in food processor or blender. Strain through a sieve and return to the saucepan. Stir in the cayenne pepper and season with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the chopped parsley and paprika.
Serves: 10 to 12

COOKS NOTE: This soup will keep stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Reheat gently to serve.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I am rating this recipe as 1 of the top 5 appetizer recipes in my massive collection of appetizers. Run with it....don't be afraid....friends, relatives and clients have repeatedly requested it. Does that not speak for itself?

3 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup chopped salted peanuts
8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
Major Grey Chutney
Flaked coconut
Finely chopped fresh parsley

Mix the cream cheese through curry powder together in a bowl. Shape into 2 balls and wrap each one individually in plastic wrap. Chill until firm. Unwrap and place on your prettiest serving plates. Top with chutney, coconut and parsley. Serve with crackers.

COOKS NOTE: These fabulous cheese balls may be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 hours prior to serving.


When I want to impress someone, I pull out this recipe. It is not only addictive to the palate, but it will be the most admired dish on your holiday table.
3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1 small apple, cored and chopped
1 small firm pear, cored and chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup apple juice or rose' wine
1 (16 oz.) wheel of Brie cheese, well chilled
thin slices of baguette or other similar bread

Combine the dates through wine in a bowl and allow to stand for 2 hours.

Place the Brie on a cutting board. Slice into halves horizontally. Place the bottom half cut side up in a shallow round 10-inch baking dish. Spread with 2 1/2 cups of the fruit mixture. Cover with the top half of the Brie, cut side down. Spoon the remaining fruit over the center of the Brie. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted at the edges and the center is warm. Place on a hot plate to keep warm. Spread on baguette slices to serve.
Serves 16

Monday, December 13, 2010


When a billowy wedge of this pie ends up on your plate you will know sweet bliss.
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/4 cup strong coffee
1 1/4 cups evaporated milk
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 prepared chocolate graham cracker crust
Garnish: chocolate covered coffee beans

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually stir in the coffee, milk and egg yolks using a wire whisk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; whisk until smooth. Place plastic wrap directly over the surface of mixture, chill 1 hour.
Beat whipping cream at low speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
Fold 1 1/2 cups whipped cream into coffee mixture, reserving remaining whipped cream for topping. Spoon filling into pie shell. Dollop remaining cream on top of pie. Chill at least 8 hours. Garnish with the coffee beans to serve.
Serves: 8

"Hot, black, and strong enough to walk by itself."~The Book of Coffee & Tea


Sugar and Spice and everything nice...a cup o' this Joe is just what the doctor ordered for a cold blustery day.
1/2 cup ground dark roast coffee
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 cups water
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
sweetened whipped cream

Put coffee in coffee filter, add cinnamon and nutmeg, and brew. Combine brown sugar, chocolate syrup, and milk in heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Stir in coffee and vanilla. Serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle a little ground cinnamon over the top.
Yield: Over 6 cups

"Coffee played a big role in our life. The first thing you did in the morning was put on water, and the last thing you did at night was take off the pot."~Paul Prudhomme

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spicie Foodie ~ Spicy Foodie ~ Learn to cook~ ethnic cooking in Europe Healthy, Fresh and deliciou: Your Best Recipes (YBR) October Roundup, Yum and Wow!

Spicie Foodie ~ Spicy Foodie ~ Learn to cook~ ethnic cooking in Europe Healthy, Fresh and deliciou: Your Best Recipes (YBR) October Roundup, Yum and Wow!


My mother's sister, Nan Vance Hamwey, made this wonderful Jell-O salad for the holidays. It is one of my all time favorite dishes because it is so very refreshing and brings with it good memories of a special aunt.
2 small pkgs. strawberry Jell-O
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen strawberries
1 large can crushed pineapple
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup sour cream

Mix Jell-O and boiling water well. Add strawberries, pineapple with juice and bananas. Put half of mixture  in a mold or 9X10 dish; let congeal in refrigerator. Leave remaining Jell-O mixture at room temperature. When first layer is congealed, spread sour cream over it and then pour remainder of Jell-O over sour cream. Chill until set.

COOKS NOTE: Picture of falling strawberries uploaded from http://www.geekphilosopher.com/  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

THE POWER OF A DAISY (For all cancer survivors and those living with cancer)

From one of my favorite cookbooks: "FORGET ME NOT", Recipes and Stories to Remember from Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, NC.

I was 32 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was very fortunate to have the support of a loving husband, family and friends. However, during the course of my battle with cancer, I came to realize the importance of a pet during such a traumatic time in one's life. It is uncanny the intuitiveness that my dog exhibited during this time.
Daisy Leigh is a four-year old yellow Labrador Retriever. She is a very playful dog with a tremendous amount of energy and intelligence. Daisy's encouragement and playfulness helped me to endure my cancer treatments.
It all started the day after my biopsy. I was sitting in the tub, getting prepared to go back to my surgeon, not realizing that in two hours time I would receive a diagnosis that would forever change my life. As I was bathing, Daisy came into the bathroom and placed her head on my breast at the location of the incision. She very gently kept her head there for a few minutes. Daisy had never done this before while I was bathing, and has never done it again. She knew that I was in pain, and she was trying to help me. I sometimes wonder if somehow she knew before I did that I had cancer.
Daisy helped to keep my spirits up during my chemotherapy treatments. During my first few treatments, I was sicker than I had ever been in my life, but Daisy would always find a way to make me laugh. She would do something that was totally outrageous to cheer me up. As my treatments began to make me sicker, I could always count on Daisy to be there for me. No matter what time of day, no matter where she was in the house, any time that I was physically sick from treatments, Daisy would come to the bathroom and sit there with me.
She would gently lick my face to let me know that everything was going to be okay.
During the third month of my chemotherapy treatments, I started to lose my long, blonde hair. This was a very traumatic event for me. My hair loss was very gradual. Every day I would pray for my hair to stop falling out and, being the eternal optimist that I am, I never imagined that I would lose all of my hair. Each day, handful after handful of hair was falling out in spite of all of my prayers and positive thoughts. I learned that chemotherapy treatments show no favoritism.
It was during this time that I also discovered how cruel people could be, even though they think they are somehow making you feel better. As my hair was falling out, people would ask, "Have you tried to wear a wig?" Others remarked, "You never really did have thick hair anyway," and "If hair is coming out, that means the chemo is doing its job." I even had a coworker bring me a brochure advertising a product to promote hair growth in balding men. Although I am sure that these people did not intentionally want to hurt me, their remarks would infuriate me on my "good chemo days" and make me cry on my "bad chemo days."
As my hair continued to thin, I decided it would have to be cut. I had my hair cut from below shoulder length to chin length, crying as my beautician cut each strand. My hair had not been this short since I was a toddler. I felt so ugly. Feeling a lot of self pity at this point, I thought to myself that this was just another treasured possession that cancer had taken away from me. However, when I got home, Daisy greeted me with her tail wagging, happy as ever to see me. She did not care anything about the length or thickness of my hair. Her only concern was the tears on my cheeks. As I sat down, she put half of her body in my lap and gently licked my tears away, providing me with a tremendous amount of comfort and support.
Although my physical appearance had changed during the previous six months, Daisy did not care. She loved me regardless of my hair, weight, scars, or any other physical attributes. Daisy and I had been through six months of  chemotherapy treatments and, through it all, she continued to be a source of happiness, encouragement, and unconditional love.
After my final chemotherapy treatment, I went and had my head shaved to eliminate the few straggling strands of hair that remained. For a variety of reasons, I had decided that I would not wear a wig. I realized that people who did not previously know I had cancer would now know. I also knew that I was opening myself for public scrutiny for a 5-foot 10-inch tall woman with a shaved head cannot be very inconspicuous. Before I went to bed that night, I prayed for the courage to make it through the next day with my shaved head and short stubble. I also prayed for the strength to ignore the stares from strangers and the innocent, but hurtful, remarks from friends.
The next morning, I was awakened by a very unusual sensation. Daisy was sitting above my head licking every square inch of my head. Once again, Daisy was there in my moment of need. I attribute the very thick hair I now have to the "power of Daisy."
The ancient Romans believed that certain dogs possessed a magical, healing power and that these dogs could diagnose and cure (sometimes with a lick) human illness. Perhaps they were not completely wrong...I have been cancer-free for two years.~Susan Freeze. Cancer Survivor.


Fresh orange juice gives these Holiday cookies their sensational flavor. They would be a welcome sight on any ones table.

2/3 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 big eggs
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (do not use reconstituted orange juice)
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease baking sheets. Cream butter with sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs, orange juice and peel. Add flour, salt and baking soda, mix well. Fold in nuts. Drop dough by large tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on rack.


1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Swirl icing over top of cookies, covering completely. Store in airtight container.
Yield: 3 dozen

"Cookies are made of butter and love.~Norwegian Proverb


 Dec. 1st: "Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated, the bird of dawn singeth all night long: And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad, the nights are wholesome, then no planets strike, no fairy takes nor witch hath power to charm, so hallow'd and so gracious is the time."~William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Dec. 2nd: Keep your Christmas tree fresher longer: Mix 2 cups corn syrup with 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. bleach in one gallon hot water. Allow to cool then use it in place of plain water. DO NOT use this water if your children or pets can get to it.

 Dec. 3rd: RED RED RED SMOOTHIE: 1 cup lowfat strawberry yogurt or frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail, 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, 1 cup frozen raspberries. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Good and Good For You!

Dec. 4th: Today is my daughter-in-law's (Tonya Oakes Forbes) Birthday...Happy Birthday Tonya! A dessert for you: STRAWBERRY BANANA PUDDING...1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding, 1 cup milk, 1 (8oz.) Cool Whip, 3 bananas-diced, 1 1/2 cups miniatur...e vanilla wafers-divided, 2 cups strawberries-sliced. Combine pudding mix and milk, stirring with a whisk, fold in Cool Whip. Layerr 3/4 cup cookies in the bottom of an 8-inch square dish. Spread half of pudding mixture over, repeat with remaining cookies and Cool Whip.Top with strawberries. Serves 6...Enjoy and have a wonderful day!
Dec. 5th: Is there a Santa Claus? "Dear Editor..."I am eight years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says "If you see it in the Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?"~Virginia O' Hanlon
Dec.6th: SNICKER BAR SALAD: 9 snack-size Snicker bars-chopped, 4 apples-2 red-2 green-cored and chopped, 2 bananas-sliced, 1/3 cup honey, 8oz. Cool Whip.
Mix Snickers through honey together, fold in Cool Whip. Store in fridge.

Dec.7th: "Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we o'er these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."~Calvin Coolidge, 1927
Dec. 8th: CROCK-POT SPICED CIDER: Mix 3 peeled and thinly sliced cooking apples with 2 quarts apple cider, 2 cinnamon sticks and 1 orange studded with whole cloves in the crock-pot. Cover and cook 4 hours or until apples are tender on LOW. Serve with dollops of whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Serves 8 to 10

Dec. 9th: HOLIDAY WREATHS: Melt 1 stick butter in microwave for 30 seconds. Add 4 cups miniature marshmallows and coat with butter. Microwave 1 minute, stir. Fold in 5 cups cornflakes and blend well. Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper on cookie sheet. Shape into wreaths with fingers. Decorate with red hots. Refrigerate until set.

Dec 10th: "It is Christmas in the mansion, Yule-log fires and silken frocks. It is Christmas in the cottage, mothers filling little socks."~Anon

Dec. 11th: CHRISTMAS MERINGUES: Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheets with foil. In a small bowl, beat 3 egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating 3 to 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1 to 2 drops of green food coloring. Spoon 1-inch mounds on to foil-lined sheets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until crisp and dry. Cool completely and remove from cookie sheets. Makes about 3 dozen pieces of candy.

Dec. 12th: "Christmas! Friend, 'tis Christmas! If there is no joyous way to give a festive package...give some love away!"~Christine G. Curless
Dec 13th: JOYFUL MINESTRONE: In a soup pot combine 3 cans beef broth, 2 cans cannelloni beans, 1 can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups V-8 juice, 1 (6oz.) can tomato paste, 2 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Bring to boiling, add 1/2 cup frozen Italian blend vegetables. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add 2 cups fresh spinach leaves cut in strips and 2 cups cooked snowmen or other Christmas shaped pasta. Heat through. To serve: Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serves 8
  Dec. 14th: "My door is open wide tonight, the hearth fire is aglow; I seem to hear swift passing feet, the Christ child in the snow."~Anon

 Dec. 15th: CHOCOLATE CHILI TRUFFLES: 12oz. milk chocolate, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 stick unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, 1/2 cup ground cinnamon, 1/4 cup each of green and red chili powders. Melt the chocolate, cream, and butter in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly. Stir in liqueur. Pour into a bowl and chill for several hours until the chocolate hardens. Roll into balls about 1/2-inch in diameter. Dip each ball into the cinnamon, then the chili powders making half green and half red. Will keep refrigerated for several days. Piquant and decadently delicious.
Dec. 16th: Happy Birthday to my daughter, Joielle Forbes Calhoun, the greatest Christmas present ever! We Love You!
Dec. 17th: "All of us hear angels for a little while at Christmas."~Elisabeth Burrows
Dec. 18th: CRUNCHY CARROT BALLS: Beat together 3 oz. cream cheese with 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar. Stir in 2 teaspoons honey and 1 1/4 cups grated carrot. Refrigerate until well chilled, then shape into balls. Combine 1/2 cup Grape nuts cereal with 2 tablespoons dried parsley. Roll the balls in the mixture. A delightful appetizer.

Dec. 19th: Wrap fragrant soaps in festive colored tissue and place in a bowl in the bathroom. They will not only scent the air but will make a nice little gift when you need one on the spur of the moment.

Dec. 20th: Happy 9th birthday sweet Trinity Celestine Forbes~our beautiful and precious granddaughter. You are the essence of what Christmas is all about...Love, Faith, Hope and Joy!

Dec. 21st: ARTICHOKE BAGEL BITES: Combine 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts (chopped and well drained) with 1 cup Romano cheese, 1 tablespoon paprika and 1 cup mayonnaise. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 10 mini garlic bagels in half and arrange on baking sheet. Spoon 1 tablespoon artichoke mixture on top of each bagel half. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Serves 8 to 10

Dec. 22nd: "I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable time, a pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-pessengers, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, though it has never put a scrape of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and I say, God bless it!"~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Dec. 23rd: HOT CHOCOLATE FOR SANTA: Mix 4 cups milk, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup chocolate syrup in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low 2 to 4 hours until well heated, stirring now and then. Garnish each serving with a large dollop of marshmallow cream.

Dec. 24th: CHRISTMAS EVE COOKIES: 2 big eggs, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 lb. each of candied red cherries-chopped and candied green cherries chopped, 2 lbs. chopped dates, 1 lb. chopped pecans, 2 lbs. chopped dates. Combine eggs through flour, mixing well. Stir in fruits and nuts. Drop on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
Dec. 25th: "This is Christmas Day, the anniversary of the world's greatest event. To one day all the early world looked forward: to the same day the later world looks back. That day holds time together."~Alexander Smith
Dec. 26th: ROASTED CHESTNUTS: Make an "x" slash on the rounded side of the chestnut, cutting through the shell to the nut. Arrange on a 9-inch glass plate. Cook in microwave oven uncovered 5 minutes or until shells pop open when slashed, stirring once, Serve warm by breaking open shells and removing nuts. If nuts become cold, return to microwave for a few seconds until steaming hot.
Dec. 27th: SKIERS SAUSAGE: 1 lb. sausage links, 6 medium baking apples-pared and sliced, salt and pepper to taste, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Brown sausage and cut each link in half. Drain thoroughly. Butter a 1 1/2 quart casserole. Combine apples and sausage and put in casserole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, lemon juice and brown sugar. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Dec. 28th: "Be at war with your voices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man."~Benjamin Franklin
Dec. 29th: FORTUNE COOKIES FOR THE NEW YEAR: 1 unbeaten egg white, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 stick butter. Combine unbeaten egg white and sugar, mix well until sugar is dissolved. Stir in, one at a time, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat until well blended. Melt butter. Beat the butter into the batter. Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls well apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute only. While still warm, shape cookies into hollow tubes by wrapping baked cookies around the handle of a wooden spoon. Slip fortunes inside the cookies and press cookie ends closed. If the cookies cool to quickly, place in warm oven for a few minutes before shaping.
Dec. 30th: TRIM THE FAT: When doing your holiday baking replace 1 cup butter with 1 cup applesauce; instead of 1 cup sour cream use 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese plus 2 tablespoons skim milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Dec. 31st: "Farewell; Old Year! With goodness crowned a hand divine hath set thy bound. Welcome, New Year, which shall bring fresh blessings from my God and King! The old we leave without a tear, the new we shall hail without a fear; because I know that o'er it all rules He who notes the sparrow's fall."~Anon