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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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Sunday, December 5, 2010


 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





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