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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reindeer Cookies

These are awesome to make as an awesome snack the night you watch Rudolph with the family

Reindeer Cookies
Source: adapted from Jif 

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 and 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I used 1 stick salted butter.)
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 and 3/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon.)
Mini chocolate-covered pretzels
Mini brown M&Ms (I used chocolate chips.)
Regular red M&Ms

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease cookie sheets with baking spray.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, and shortening (or butter) and beat at medium speed until well blended. Add milk, vanilla, and egg and beat until blended.

Add flour to peanut butter mixture and beat at low speed until blended.

Form dough into one-inch balls, slightly pinch the bottom of the ball to form a point, and then gently flatten. Space cookies about two inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7 – 8 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.

Remove from the oven and immediately press two mini chocolate-covered pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Don't press too hard. Next, press two mini brown M&Ms (or chocolate chips) for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose.

Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gumdrop Cookies


Gumdrop Cookies
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of chopped gumdrops

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar
  1. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition
  2. Beat in vanilla
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture while the mixer is still running.
  5. Fold in the chopped gumdrops
  6. Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes
shared at one or more of these parties
Anything Goes (3a)- Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
Best of the Weekend (p.m.)- Cooking With Curls, A Little Claireification, Little Miss Celebration,  The Mandatory Mooch
Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? (Fa) Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Craft Frenzy Friday (Th7)- Craft Dictator
Eat. Create. Party! (Th7p)- Endlessly Inspired, I Want Crazy, A Dash of Sanity, Living Better Together
Fabric Frenzy Friday (F)- Fort Worth Fabric Studio
Fabulous Friday- Simple Nature Decor
Feature Friday Link Palooza (Th pm)- Blissful and Domestic
Five Friday Finds- Morsels of Life
Weekend Bites (Th7:30)- Simple Living and Eating and Home Maid Simple
Foodie Friends Friday (Th8)- Foodie Friends Friday, Walking on SunshineFrom Calculus to CupcakesCindy’s Recipes and WritingsBusy Vegetarian MomThis and ThatWinelady CooksIn the Kitchen with JennyThe Chef Next DoorRobyn’s View
Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends (TR 7:30)- My Turn for Us, Love Bakes Good Cakes
Friday Favorites (Th7pm)- The Diary of a Real Housewife

*Friday Features (Th7)- Oh My Heartsie Girl
Friday Link Party (Th8)- The Pin Junkie
From the Farm (7aF)- The Homestead Lady,  The Homesteading HippyMy Healthy Green Family, Spring Mountain Living
Inspiration Spotlight Party (F5a)- Dear Creatives
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Link Party Palooza (F6p or earlier)- Tater Tots and JelloLil LunaI Heart Nap TimeSomewhat Simple, Today's Creative Blog
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Pin Me (8a)- Diana Rambles
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Pure Blog Love (Th7p)- PicNic

Say G'Day Saturday (F6)- Natasha in Oz, What's On The List?
That's Fresh Friday(biweekly Thurs7)- Prototype Mama
(*New) The Handmade Hangout (Th5)- Too Much TimeFrom Gardners 2 BergersChristina's AdventuresRedoux Interiors, A Glimpse Inside

Weekend Potluck (F6A)- The Better BakerThe Country Cook, 4 Little Fergusons, Sunflower Supper Club, Frugal Family Favorites
Weekend Recipe Link Up (F afternoon? before 4)- Gator Mommy Reviews
Weekend re-Treat (Th6p)- The Best Blog Recipes

Weekend Social (Th8)- Kitchen Dreaming , The McCallum's Shamrock Patch
Weekend Wind-down (F5p)- This SimpleHome
What To Do Weekends (Th9:00)- Crafts a la Mode


Now while these cookies were originally created for a valentine recipe I believe they would make an awesome Christmas cookie after all anything we bake we do it with love in our heart and these are my sons favorite cookies
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour and baking soda.
Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press with a glass to flatten a bit.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

recipe source here

shared at one or more of these parties
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Artsy Corner Thursday- Artsy Fartsy Mama

Cook It Craft It Share It (Wp7:30)- View From the Fridge, Top Notch Mom, Juggling Act Mama, Miss Information, Clarks Condensed
Create it Thursday (Wp)- Lamberts Lately
Creative Exchange (Th)- A Vision to Remember, The Happy Scraps, Laura's Crafty Life, The Diary of Daveswife, Summer Scraps
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Creative Ways (new)- (W8P)- Posed Perfection
Enchanting Inspiration (W8pm)- Everyday Enchanting
Four Seasons Blog Hop (W6p)- Turnips 2 Tangerines

(Fridays Unfolded (Th11a)- Nancherrow)
Full Plate Thursday (W730)- Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Inspire Us Thursday (Th5A)- Organized 31
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No Rules Weekend Blog Party (Th)- Sincerely, Paula

Pin It Party (W9p)- One Organic Mama, Our Three Peas, Creative Geekery, Mama Lew,
Crafty and Delicious (W9pm)- Grace and Good Eats (formerly Sweet Bella Roos )

Project Pin-It- Glitter, Glue and Paint (was Throwback Thursday)
Share Your Cup Thursday (W afternoon 4)- Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olsen
new Simply Create Thursdays (Th)- Simply Dream and Create
The Project Stash (W7)- 7 Alive
Thrifty Thursday (Th8a)- Living Well, Spending Less
Thursday Favorite Things (W9pm)- Katherine's Corner, Over 50 Feeling 40
Wildly Original (W)- I Gotta Create!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

No Words Needed

Diabetic Recipe : Mixed Berry Cobbler with Cornmeal Crust

Diabetes runs in our family and we are always looking for recipes that the entire family can share. This recipe is awesome as it is also a dessert recipe that will taste great
2 Tbsp SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
2 Tbsp cornstarch
30 oz. frozen mixed berries, thawed
For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 Tbsp SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ cup cold butter, cut into chunks
¾ cup fat-free buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

For the berries: 
In a mixing bowl, combine SPLENDA® Sugar Blend and cornstarch.  Add berries, including their juice.  Gently stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.

For the crust:
In a small bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, SPLENDA® Sugar Blend, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a fork. Add butter and cut  into dry ingredients until pieces are pea-sized. Add buttermilk and stir until just moistened.  Drop crust batter over fruit.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes before serving to allow sauce to thicken.  Serves 9.

recipe resource here

Monday, December 8, 2014

Orange Dreamsicle Fudge

Orange Dreamsicle Fudge
I just love fudge it is so good but oh so sweet When I was growing up I only thought there was one type of fudge and that was moms chocolate Now that I am older I realize that there are so many other different types I hope you enjoy this fudge recipe for Orange Dreamsicl Fudge

3/4 Cup Butter (1 1/2 sticks)
3 cups sugar
1 5 oz can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1 12 oz package vanilla chips
1 7 oz jar Marshmallow Crème
1 ½ tea. orange flavoring (extract)
Orange food coloring

Butter a 13 X 9 or 9 X 9 pan. On MEDIUM HEAT, melt butter in heavy 3 quart sauce pan. Add sugar and milk, stir until combined. Cover pan to wash down sides of pan. Remove lid. Stir often with a plastic or wooden spoon to prevent burning. Heat to a Soft Ball Stage, 234 degrees at sea level. ** Decrease recommended temperature 2 degrees for every 1,000 feet above sea level, or use a cold water test. Remove from heat, gradually stir in chips until melted, add marshmallow crème and flavoring. Stir until combined. Pour half of the fudge into the butter pan. Add orange food coloring to the remaining fudge, stir to combine. Pour orange fudge over white fudge. With a knife swirl the two colors together. Let cool at room temperature. Cut into squares to serve.

 ** Strawberry and Cream, just use strawberry extract and red food coloring
 ** Chocolate Fudge, just use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of vanilla chips. Use 1 tsp. vanilla extract instead of flavoring. Add 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired.
 ** Candy Cane Fudge – Add 1/3 Cup crushed "soft" candy cane, then use peppermint extract and red food coloring.

shared at one or more of these parties
A Round Tuit (Sun3)- Creating My Way to Success
Bloggers Brags (M8a)- Creative Kids, Denverista
Busy Monday (Sun2p)- A Pinch of Joy
Craftastic Monday (Sun5p)- Sew Can Do
*Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop (Sun late)- Carrie This Home, LilyWhite Designs, A Blossoming Life, Sneaky Spoons, The Casual Craftlete
Gingham and Roses Link Up and Social Media Hop (Sun pm)- New Mama DiariesA New York Foodie
Grand Social- Grandma's Briefs
In and Out of the Kitchen- Feeding Big
Inspire Us Mondays (8a)- Cookin' MimiSimple Life of a Fire Wife , Morsels of Life, Just Another Mom, Diamonds in the Rough
Mad Skills (tutorials) (Mon a.m.)- Mad in Crafts
Made By You Monday (M6a)- Skip to My Lou
Marvelous Monday (Mam)- Smart Party Planning
Meet Up Monday- Jenny Marie

Melt in Your Mouth Monday (Sun 6:30pm)- Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Merry Monday- Happy House and Home, The Kolb Corner, My Pinterventures
Metamorphosis Monday (M am)- Between Naps on the Porch
Mix it Up Monday (Sun7pm)- Flour Me With Love
Monday Funday (Sun6p)- Uncommon DesignsC.R.A.F.T.Lines AcrossThat’s What Che SaidCreatively Living, A Night Owl BlogClub Chica Circle, Setting for Four
Monday's Musings- What Joy is Mine
Mostly Homemade Mondays- The Sustainable Couple

Motivation Monday (Sun6p) healthy recipes and crafts- A Life in Balance
Much Ado About Monday(S8p)- Huckleberry Love
Munching Mondays (Sun7pm)- Nibbles by Nic, A New York Foodie, Skinny Sweets Daily, Mom's Test Kitchen, What the Forks for Dinner
Link Up Your Link Up Party (Mp)- Mumbo Jumbo, Nana's Wisdom
Weekend Recap LinkUp- Grapefruitprincess Reloaded
What'd You Do This Weekend? Tumbleweed Contessa, Pioneer Mama -

Strawberry Soda Pop Cake

Strawberry Soda Pop Cake

1 - 18 oz package Strawberry Cake mix (any brand)
1 1/3 - cups Strawberry Soda
(strawberry soda is substituted for the amount of water on the cake mix)
2 - 3 Eggs (if you want it lighter and fluffier use three eggs)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 - 8 oz tubs Plain or Strawberry Flavored Cool Whip
1 – 2 lbs Fresh Strawberries (Sliced)

Add cake mix to a large mixing bowl. Add egg, oil and strawberry soda. Beat until smooth. Pour into two round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake as directed on cake mix or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When cake is done remove from oven and cool in pans for 15 minutes.

Then remove to a wire rack and completely cool. Frost first layer with cool whip and arrange sliced strawberries on top. Add the second cake layer and frost top and sides with more cool whip and top with more sliced strawberries. Save one whole strawberry for the middle of the cake. Gently slice and fan the whole strawberry, Place on top in the middle of the cake.

Notes: Measurements vary depending on what brand of cake mix you use. Follow the directions on the back of the box substituting strawberry soda for the amount of water listed. Also add the amount of eggs and oil stated on the mix, I use Duncan Hines.

Also if you want you can make a strawberry cool whip frosting in place of regular or strawberry cool whip. Follow the directions below; this is optional if you are watching your weight just frost the cake with Light Cool Whip.

Strawberry Cool Whip Frosting (optional)
1 - 4 ounce box instant strawberry pudding mix, dry
1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup milk
8 ounces Regular Cool Whip

Add pudding mix, powdered sugar and milk to a mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until blended. Let mixture stand 3 minutes. Fold in defrosted Cool Whip and frost cake. Refrigerate frosted cake
recipe source here

Chocolate and Caramel Squares

This recipe is what I refer to a short-cut dessert. It helps that it starts with pre-bought items that give you a head start. Making delicious sweet recipes "from Scratch" are the way I love to do it but when there is not enough time to get it all done I believe it is ok to cheat. This delicious shortcut dessert will not disappoint anyone and make them wonder how I did it all with such little time

5 oz evaporated milk
14 oz pkg of caramels
1 pkg of German Chocolate or Devils Food Cake mix, pudding-included
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips

Heat unwrapped caramels and evaporated milk (reserve 2 tbsps for later) over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix, nuts, butter, and reserved 2 tbsps of evaporated milk. Mix well until crumbly then press half of the dough mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Set aside the rest of the dough for later. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the partially baked crust. Carefully spoon caramel mixture over chocolate chips. Crumble reserved dough mixture over caramel and chocolate chips. Return to oven and bake 15 -20 more minutes. Cool completely and cut in bars.
Taken from Pillsbury's Best of the Bake Off Cookbook

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Peanut Cashew Candy Cups

Peanut Cashew Candy Cups

My husband has always loved chocolate covered nuts. My mother in law admired cashews they both would have loved these and I am sure would have left none behind.

This candy is made, oddly enough, in a crockpot! I received my first crockpot after I got engaged to my hubby a few years ago, from one of my best friends. She is a crockpot genius, and I had little, if any experience using one before. I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting better at the mastery of crockpot cooking! So turn on your crockpot and get ready for a batch of sweet and salty candy cups!

9 oz semisweet chocolate baking squares
3 oz unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1 lb and 8 oz vanilla almond bark
10 oz milk chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz dry roasted peanuts
9 oz salted cashew pieces

Turn the crockpot on low and put all the chocolate in and cover. After one hour, uncover and stir well. Return the lid and let sit for 20 minutes. Then remove lid and stir. This time add the peanuts and cashews. Return the lid and let cook for another 20 minutes. Remove lid and stir. Using a small cookie scoop, fill mini cupcake liners with the warm chocolate mixture. Then wait about half an hour to let the chocolate fully set up.
recipe resource here

My mother was always famous for her German Chocolate Cake and I can not tell you the number of times my oldest son has requested it for his birthday. Oh yes you can say that German Chocolate with the Pecan coconut Icing is something special in our house. When I found this awesome recipe for German Chocolate Cookies I thought yep have to try this one and must say we love them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 box Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Swiss Chocolate Mix
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (walnuts are another option)

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a mixer. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by tsp onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

The Frosting:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (smallest can they make)
2 egg yokes
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, egg yokes and butter in a medium sauce pan. Cook and stir on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately add coconut, pecans and vanilla. Continuing to stir until thick, once cool spread on cooled cookies.
Tis the season for family get together and fun parties. Often I need a quick dish to take to these gatherings. If you are like me and have little time but want to surprise your fellow party goers check out this delicious appetizer recipe Feel free to make any changes that you may want to as this is an old fashioned pass down add and take away as you feel bean dip recipe.


Large can of refried beans
1/2 c salsa
Guacamole or guacamole dip(I use Dean's, the bigger of the 2 sizes)
16 oz sour cream
1 pkg of taco seasoning
Shredded cheese, cheddar or cheddar/jack mix
1/2 c olives, sliced
Green onions,sliced
Tomatoes, chopped(I left out)
Mix beans with salsa. Spread in a 9X13 pan. Next spread the guacamole over the beans. Mix together the taco mix and the sour cream. Spread over guacamole. Sprinkle with olives (and tomatoes if using). Cover with shredded cheese. Lastly add onions. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.