Sunday, July 8, 2012

Christmas Time!!!

                                   Mistletoe Jello Shots

Lime jello
1 cup water
1/2 cup Apple Pucker
1/2 cup Absolut Vodka
Whole mint leaves
Red Hots or red candies
Whipped cream


Add boiling water to jello mix along with the 1/2 cup of pucker and the 1/2 cup of vodka. Dice a teaspoon the mint leaves and add to the mix. Pour the mixture into your shot cups. Arrange the cups on a tray and pop them into the fridge. Once they are setup, add a thin layer of whip cream to the top. Finally, garnish the top of each cup with red candies as berries and whole mint leaves. Two berries and two mint leaves per cup is a good rule of thumb.

It’s so pretty :)
Apple Spice Bourbon Infusion

makes 2 cups

3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup apple juice (unfiltered)
1 apple, cored and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups bourbon

Add the sugar, water and apple juice to a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has melted. Add the apple, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean, and continue cooking until the apple just begins to caramelize. (The fruit will start to soften and brown slightly.) Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, add the apple mixture to a sealable glass jar. Add the bourbon, and then store in a cool, dark place for 24 hours, shaking occasionally. (You can infuse the bourbon for up to 2 days if you desire a stronger spice flavor). Once the infusion is complete, shake one more time and then strain out the liquid. A tea strainer will work well for this - if you want to strain out the little bits, you can strain a second time with a coffee filter. This recipe makes 2 cups, just enough to fill a pint-sized mason jar.

And once you've created your infusion, you're ready for...

The Spicy Bourbon Ginger
Add ice to a glass. Fill a little more than halfway with the bourbon infusion. Top with ginger ale and stir.

Grandma Rosia's Noodles
My grandma made these at every holiday that I can remember.  This is the recipe exactly as she gave it to me.  Notice at the bottom she says"good luck"  How funny!  I have made this a lot of times and they always turn out.  Nothing better than an heirloom recipe passed down from a little German Grandma!

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
This was one of the most requested cheesecakes we made at the restaurant.  It's my mom's recipe and it is fabulous.... and so easy!!  We like to use fresh raspberries if possible! Mom found this recipe in an Eagle Brand Milk Holiday Cookbook.  Love to have this at the holidays.  You can also use blueberries if you like.

Servings: servings
Serving Size: 8 to 10
Nutrition: See Below
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 (6 oz.) prepared chocolate crumb pie crust
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons heavy cream

HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla, beating just until blended.
ARRANGE 1 cup raspberries evenly in pie crust. Place pie crust on baking sheet. Slowly pour cream cheese mixture over raspberries. Bake on baking sheet 28 to 32 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on baking sheet on wire rack.
COMBINE chocolate chips and cream in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 20 to 30 seconds or until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth when stirred. Spread evenly over cheesecake using the back of a spoon. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional raspberries, if desired.

Baked Apple French Toast
You can make this the night before and have ready to pop it in the oven, or just throw it together in the morning.  Great both ways!!

20 slices French bread (1 inch thick) or other thick, dense bread
1 can (21 ounces) apple pie filling
8 eggs
2 cups 2% milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons corn syrup
Arrange 10 slices of bread in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Spread with pie filling; top with remaining bread. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over bread. (If prepping this the night before, cover and refrigerate overnight and remove from fridge about 30 minutes before baking).
Place brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans and corn syrup. Sprinkle over French toast.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 10 servings.
Source: Taste of Home
Perfect Standing Prime Rib Roast

My mom got this recipe when they lived in Athens GA.  It turns out PERFECTevery time. Rib Roast can be expensive, so this is a total splurge or special occasion dish. Enjoy."

1 (5 pound) standing beef rib roast
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
! Tbsp Beef base mixed with  1 !/2 cup water (for Aux Jus )

1. Allow roast to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small cup. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan so that the fatty side is up and the rib side is on the bottom. Rub the seasoning onto the roast. Pour the beef base water in bottom of roaster.
3. Roast for 1 hour in the preheated oven. Turn the oven off and leave the roast inside. Do not open the door. Leave it in there for 3 hours. 30 to 40 minutes before serving, turn the oven back on at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) to reheat the roast. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (62 degrees C). Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving into servings.


10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
1 cup whole, blanched almonds (5 ounces)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Chocolate Frosting for Pinecone Cake
6 cups sliced almonds (1 1/2 pounds)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)
Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper, and set aside. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven, tossing occasionally, until light golden and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
Place the toasted almonds and 3/4 cup sugar in a food processor, and pulse until the mixture is finely ground. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in flour; set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan; remove from heat, and stir in rum and vanilla. Let cool slightly.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating to stiff glossy peaks.
Fold the flour mixture into the egg-white mixture in three batches, alternating with the butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 20 minutes on wire rack. Turn out cake onto wire rack, and let cool, top-side up.
Using a 3-inch oval cookie cutter, cut eight ovals from cake. Discard scraps. Trim each to resemble a pinecone with a rounded base and a pointed tip. Leaving bottom unfrosted, spread about 1/3 cup frosting on each pinecone; smooth and round to create a three-dimensional shape.
At the base of one cake, arrange sliced almonds in a spiral, overlapping slightly. Continue arranging almonds in closely set rows to cover the entire surface. Transfer finished cake to a baking sheet in the refrigerator to set while repeating process with remaining cakes. Just before serving, dust the cakes with confectioners' sugar and garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired.

Christmas Tree Cakes

Cupcakes get dressed up for the holiday season with a topping of snowy cream cheese frosting in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Martha Stewart Living, 2007

Serve this snowy dessert this holiday season. Cupcakes are shaped like trees, covered with Snowy Frosting, and sprinkled with sanding sugar. Save some sugar to create beds of "snow" for serving.

  • YieldMakes 1 dozen


12 waffle cones (2 to 2 1/2 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Frosting for Christmas Tree Cupcakes SEE BELOW

Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Invert two 9 1/2-by-3-inch disposable round foil baking pans. Using a craft knife or a paring knife, cut six X shapes in bottom of each, spacing them evenly, to make 1 1/2-inch openings. Fit a waffle cone snugly into each opening, standing the cones upright. Line each cone with parchment paper, and then place a dried bean or a hazelnut in bottom to prevent batter from leaking. Place pans and cones on parchment-lined baking sheets. Line a 12-cup mini-muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl. With a mixer on low speed, gradually add egg mixture to flour mixture, beating until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and beat for 3 minutes. Carefully pour batter into cones, filling each two-thirds full. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup (these will be the tree bases).

Bake until a skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for cones. Let cakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from cones and parchment. Let cool completely on the rack. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days before assembling.)

If necessary, use a serrated knife to trim top of each cupcake to create a flat surface. Place a dab of frosting on top of each cupcake, and position a cone cake on top. Insert toothpick through each cupcake base and into "tree" to support it (remember to remove toothpick before eating). Place frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip (such as Ateco #3) or a small plain 1/8-inch tip, and pipe frosting decoratively all over tree. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Trees can be refrigerated, uncovered, for up to 6 hours before serving.der

Frosting for Christmas Tree Cupcakes

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until very smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Add sugar, and beat for 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.

Marinated Goat Cheese Appetizers
Marinating fresh goat cheese gives it more flavor and also extends its life. Serve this cheese as an appetizer with bread or salad. Save the drained oil for use in a salad dressings.


Small fresh goat cheeses, approximately 2 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil
Pink peppercorns
Fresh thyme
Dried hot chile peppers, (optional)


Place cheeses in a jar; add oil to cover. Add peppercorns, thyme, and dried chile peppers to taste. Cover jar tightly, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Drain before serving.


This was a favorite at the restaurant.  Special enough to serve for company during the holidays!  I alway made homemade salsa but you can use store bought.

Butter, for greasing pan
6 eggs
4 1/2 cups half-and-half
3 cups plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
3 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
27 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked
48 ounces mild salsa, thick and chunky
6 pounds shrimp, cleaned, peeled,
and deveined
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack (use easy melt too)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
Grease a 12 by 8-inch pan or glass dish with butter. Combine the eggs, half-and-half, yogurt, Swiss and feta cheeses, parsley, basil, and oregano in a large bowl, mixing until thoroughly blended. Spread 1/2 of the cooked pasta evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Cover the pasta with the salsa. Add 1/2 of the shrimp and then cover it with Monterey Jack. Add the remaining pasta and shrimp. Spread the egg mixture over top of the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


3 lb. sweet potatoes
1/2 c. oleo
1/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed
1/4 c. oleo
1/2 c. pecans
1/2 c. coconut
1 c. crushed corn flakes
Cook unpeeled potatoes until soft.  Peel potatoes and beat for about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup oleo, sugar, eggs and milk.  Beat until smooth.  Put into a greased casserole pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  To make topping, melt 1/4 cup oleo and mix with rest of the ingredients.  Spread on top of potato mixture and bake 15 more minutes at 350 degrees.

This recipe came from Southern Living.  It is fantastic!!!
Caramel Cream Cake

1 cup finely chopped sweetened flaked coconut
Pecan Pie Cake Batter

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Pecan Pie Filling

1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
Garnishes: raspberries, fresh mint sprig


1. Stir 1 cup finely chopped coconut into Pecan Pie Cake Batter; See Pecan Pie Cake Batter below


1. Beat 1/2 cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well until blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans.

3. Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; fold one-third of egg whites into batter. Gently fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until blended. Use immediately.

4. Spoon batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.

5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Preparation for filling

1. Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla. Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill 4 hours.
Cream Cheese Frosting

3. Spread Pecan Pie Filling between layers.

Preparation for cream cheese frosting

1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle top and sides with toasted pecans and toasted coconut. Garnish, if desired.

Black Bottomed Mini Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Beautiful Presentation!!

This recipe came from the Picky Palate. I have made them for a couple of years at the holidays and they are fantastic. They really add to your cookie and dessert trays!

8 whole Oreos, finely ground in food processor
1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
3 Litehouse Lowfat caramel dip (comes in a package of 6 20z little cups), or caramel ice cream topping

12 Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, unwrapped (if you can’t find those pesky pumpkin kisses, the original chocolate ones are great too)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ground Oreos and melted butter into a bowl until well combined. Spoon into12 mini cheesecake cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Press into the bottom of each cup so the crust is flat. Partially bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.

2. In a stand or electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin until smooth. Beat in egg, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Pour evenly into the 12 cups filling about 3/4 way full. Spoon about a teaspoon of caramel into the tops of each filled cup and swirl with a toothpick gently. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked through. Let cool completely.

3. Remove cheesecakes from pan and top each with a spoonful of remaining caramel and a Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

12 mini cheesecakes

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