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Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Gift Idea "Homemade Caramels"


Christmas Gift Idea "Homemade Caramels"

In a large, heavy pan, mix together...
       4 cups sugar
       1/2 pound butter
       2 cups white corn syrup
Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil.

Add 2 tall cans evaporated milk a little at a time so that the mixture never stops boiling.  Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture reaches the firm ball stage.  Leave slightly chewy, but not as firm as the finished product.  It will firm up a bit as it cools.

Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla and 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.  Nuts are optional.

Pour into a buttered 9x12 pan.  When cool, cut and wrap in wax paper.

For caramel apples, do not add nuts.  Stir in the vanilla and dip prepared apples into the hot caramel mixture.  Turn to cover apple and let excess drip off into pan.  Let it rest on wax paper or buttered foil until set up.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

CINNAMON ROLL RECIPE


Melt in your mouth cinnamon rolls.  These do not last long.

Cinnamon Rolls
½ warm water
3 tablespoons yeast 
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup powdered milk  
1 cup instant potato granules
1 egg slightly beaten  
2 ¾ cup warm water
1 tablespoon salt  
½ cup oil
½ cup honey
6-8 cups flour
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1 cup raisins (optional)

2 squares butter, softened
1-2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

In a bread mixing bowl sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Sprinkle the sugar over the yeast.  Add egg, salt, oil, honey, powdered milk, potato granules, 2 ¾ cup water and mix.  Add flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of your bowl.  Add nuts and raisins. Let knead in bread mixer for 10 minutes.  Remove dough from bread mixer and transfer to a well buttered bowl and cover with a dish towel.  (It helps if the bowl is slightly warm and not cold.)  Let rest until double in bulk in a warm place away from drafts. Divide dough in half and roll  each half  into a rectangle shape on a greased counter top or canvas cloth.  Spread each rectangle with one square of softened butter,   generously sprinkle brown sugar on top of butter.  Sprinkle cinnamon over brown sugar.  Starting at edge closest to you roll dough into a jelly roll shape.  Cut dough with a sharp knife or string  into 1½” slices.  Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise until double  in a warm place.  Cover  with a dish towel.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and immediately glaze with butter glaze.
 
Butter Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1-3 tablespoons milk or water
Combine all ingredients, adding milk a little at a time till you get a glaze consistency. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hot Chocolate Gift Tag



Whoops.  In case you were wondering what it looks like here is the gift tag that goes with the Hot Chocolate.  Go make yourself a mug and curl up by the fire.  It is supposed to snow tonight.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE


We love this yummy Hot Chocolate Recipe.  When it is freezing outside there is nothing better than to curl up by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa.  This recipe whips up quick, stores great and is so economical.  Make up a batch, attach our tag, tie it with a bow and take it to the neighbors.  This gift can be given all season long.  Download free gift tag HERE.



RECIPE


2/3 cup brown sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup cocoa
2 ½ cups powdered milk
4 peppermint candies crushed or miniature candy cane per cup (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and store in airtight container.  To make hot  chocolate pour hot water over 1/4 cup of the hot chocolate mix in a mug.  Stir and  top with whipped topping or marshmallows and a candy cane.  Makes approximately 13 servings.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Poem "JINGLE BELLS LYRICS"



This is a fun twist to be sung to Jingle Bells Lyrics.  If you are feeling a little stressed this Christmas then it is quite possible that you will relate to these lyrics...and hopefully they will put a smile on your face.



Dashing through the house 
With Christmas on its way
So much left to do
I need a few more days!!!
Jimmy wants a car.
Susie wants a doll.
What fun it is to wait in line 
While shopping at the mall.
Oh.......
Get the tree, hang the lights, 
Bake cookies every day.
Don’t forget to feed the dog
and remember Jimmy’s play!
Push and shove, Get more toys,
Sing a carol or two.
And all the while you better let
The Spirit of Christmas through.
A day or two ago, 
I thought I’d take a break, 
If only I had known 
I was making a mistake.
Now Jimmy wants a plane
And Susie wants a bear.
I know this isn't good
Cause I'm pulling out my hair...
Oh.....
Shovel snow, clean the house,
Spread some holiday cheer.
Avoid the scales throughout the month
and don't look in the mirror. 
Send out cards, wrap the gifts, 
Play Santa with great zeal!
Gather all the kids each day
Around a home-cooked meal...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Friday, December 10, 2010

KIDS CHRISTMAS TREATS - REINDEER




What you will need:

Swiss Chocolate Rolls
Candy canes and pretzels for antlers
Cherry candies  for nose
Cookie  decorating candies for eyes

Attach candies with icing. Combine 1 cup powdered sugar to 1 tbsp. water. 
(Add more or less water to make a sticking paste.)
Stick two pretzels or candy canes in the top of the Swiss Rolls for the antlers.
So easy and kids and adults love them.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dinner Party Ideas – Oh Christmas Tree


Looking for dinner party ideas for Christmas?  Download our "Oh Christmas Tree" Themed party to get recipes, invitations, party favors, placemat pattern, candy bar wrappers,  place cards and activity ideas.  Whether you’re having everyone from Aunt Nellie to cousin Bob over or you’re just sitting down for your typical family dinner there is so much fun to be had by incorporating themed dinner party ideas.  We thought we’d start it off right with a Christmas Tree Themed party.  You know the Christmas season has officially begun once the tree goes up and the last ornament is hung. Click HERE to download the package online.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

SOFT GINGERSNAP COOKIES


Soft Gingersnaps

1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
sugar for coating 

In a large mixing bowl beat oil, sugar, eggs and molasses.  In a separate bowl mix flour, soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon.  Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.   Form dough into balls and roll each ball in sugar.  Bake on a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper for 6-8 minutes.  Do Not Over Bake.   Remove from pans immediately and put on a rack to cool.  Enjoy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Card Table Playhouse Pattern "Sweet Shop"


Card Table Playhouse Pattern "Sweet Shop".  I have to say that I just love my card table playhouses. I love everything from creating them to watching my grandchildren play in them. This Sweet Shop is an interactive playhouse that has removable cupcakes and ice cream cones and is the perfect get-away for the littlest baker in your home. This pattern includes all the instructions you need including the patterns and a list of materials to create this Sweet Shop for endless hours of fun.
Download the pattern here and at Parties and Patterns.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Poem "GIVE THANKS"

For muddy shoes, and short little misses,
Sticky hands and chocolaty kisses.
For spilled cups of milk, and scribbled love notes,
Pets on the loose, and lost winter coats.
For long days, short nights, and little boy pranks,
There are so many reasons for us to give thanks!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

PUMPKIN MUFFINS FOR THE HEALTH CONSCIOUS :)


For all you health nuts...here is a healthy recipe for pumpkin muffins.  Well, almost healthy I could not resist throwing in some chocolate chips!!!!

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins  

1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour (I prefer white wheat and ground fresh)
1 - 2 tbsp. flax
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
In a medium size bowl,  whisk these ingredients together until well blended.
3/4 cup agave (a healthy alternative to sugar and can be found in most grocery stores)
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips (the darker the chips the healthy the muffin)  I still like my milk chocolate!!!!
In another medium size bowl mix these wet ingredients together until well blended.  Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until mixed.  Do not over stir.  Bake muffins in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

APPLE FRITTERS!!


Apple Fritters

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix with wire whisk.  In another bowl mix together:

1 egg (beaten)
1 cup milk
4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients to liquid mixture and blend.  Then add:

1/3 cup orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1 cup chopped apples or 1 1/4 cup prepared apple pie filling

Mix just to blend.  It should be a heavy batter-like consistency. Heat oil in wok or fry pan to 400 degrees.  Drop by teaspoonfuls into the hot oil.  Cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain apple fritters on paper towels. Roll in cinnamon and sugar.