Monday, December 19, 2011

Hosting Christmas....special recipes

Every year I host Christmas for my side of the family. Weeks in advance I am planning the menu, set up, decorations, centerpieces and dessert table. I make lists for everything, shopping,  food, desserts, and gifts. I'm a huge planner and have to do everything early including prepping early. Doing things this way helps me not to be stressed and just enjoy hosting events. I even draw out a layout set up for food table, appetizer table and dessert table. A couple days before I am chopping and preparing everything that can possibly be made ahead of time. I do all these things because it really helps to stay super organized for all my events I host. This year I made a turkey, garlic mash potatoes, sweet caramel pecan glazed potatoes, cream of spinach, homemade noodles, stuffing, white balsamic salad, corn and biscuits. For appetizers I made three dips, a sausage cheese Rotel dip, guacamole, sweet relish pepper dip. For the dessert table there were Cake pops, Brownie pops, Sugar cookies, Shortbread cookies, Oreo and Vanilla Truffles, Marshmallow Peppermint Pops, Rice Crispy Treat Tree pops, Cake batter cookies, Chocolate covered pretzel sticks and Peanut Butter snowflake cookies. Some specialty drinks I made were a Holiday Sangria, Holiday Sherbet Punch, Iced Vanilla Lattes.  We just celebrated last night and had a wonderful time. Below I will share some of my recipes of the night. Enjoy!

Cream Of Spinach

5 Tablespoons 
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 dash of ground nutmeg
1 c. half and half cream
4 oz. cream cheese
1 small onion - chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 - 10 oz. pkg. of frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

In a 2-quart sauce pan over medium-low heat melt 3 tablespoons of butter, stir in flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg; slowly whisk in cream, stir in cream cheese.
Increase heat to medium, whisk mixture constantly until thick and smooth; remove from heat and set aside.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook onions and garlic in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until tender; stir in spinach and water into pan.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cover;simmer;stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
Stir spinach mixture into creamy; return to medium heat; heat, stirring often, until warmed throughout.
Remove from heat and fold in Parmesan cheese.









Sweet Caramel Pecan Glazed Potatoes

3 cups sweet mashed potatoes
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs beaten slightly
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter

Topping:

1/2 c, brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. melted butter
1 cup of chopped pecans

Bake 5 sweet potatoes in the oven at 350 for a couple of hours or until done. When done take peels off and mash up the sweet potatoes in the bowl. Combine the first 6 ingredients together in a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Mix remaining topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 35 minutes.







Homemade Noodles

This is my mother in law Sherry's family recipe. She makes these for the family for special occasions and they are wonderful. These are a great addition to a turkey dinner.  I started making them a couple of years ago and now my family enjoys them too.

Ingredients:

dozen of large eggs
water
1/2 bag of flour
 1-2 tsp. salt

Ia a large bowl crack all eggs and put them in. Beat them with a 1/2 of egg shell of cold water. Add 1-2 tsp of salt. Beat well. Add in flour. Use just about a half of bag. Consistency must be able to roll out. Knead with hands. Flour surface. Roll out dough thin. Allow to dry for 5 hours or longer. Then cut with a pizza cutter into small strips.
When cooking them use your turkey juice from your turkey and cook in a pot with the noodles for 30-40 minutes or until done. You can also add some chicken stock to the turkey juice if you don't have enough. 













Here is my lovely turkey!



Before...


After...

Here is my mother in laws delicious Vanilla Iced Latte's 



Ingredients:

Starbucks Espresso Ground 1 heaping cup
1 1/2 c. vanilla syrup
2. cups sugar
1 gallon 2 % milk



Brew coffee in a 10 cup coffee maker using a heaping cup of ground Starbucks espresso. In a large bowl pour hot coffee and dissolve 2 cups of sugar and vanilla. Add milk. Using a funnel pour back into the milk jug until ready to use. Serve with whipped cream and sprinkles.


Holiday Punch

2 liters of sprite
2 liters of strawberry crush
1 large container of Sherbet 

Pour into punch bowl and serve...




Here are the cups I added Sprinkles and ribbon to for the Iced Vanilla Latte's




Here are some of the present I wrapped...










Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brownie Snowflake Pops-Shortbread Cookies-Prizzelle's

The baking still continues for me...lots of orders to fill which has been so fun! Tonight as I was baking I was thinking of those who this time of year might not be so "merry". There's people who have lost a loved one this year or in December or in years past, some may be less fortunate, some don't have jobs, some don't have families or some other circumstance. I just wanted to take some time tonight to pray for those friends or for those I know that this time of year is difficult for them. Praying for strength, peace and joy during this holiday season! Grateful to God for all that He does for us...
2 Corinthians 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness"

Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas and New Years!

Here are some more recipes:


Brownie Cake Pops

1 box of Brownie mix
1 container of chocolate frosting
1 pkg. white choc. Almond bark
sprinkles

Bake Brownies according to package. Let them cool completely. Crumble up in a bowl and add about 3/4 c. of choc. frosting. Mix well. Make into balls. Melt a little chocolate and dip the tip of the cake pop stick in it and place it in the center of the brownie pops. Repeat until all of them have sticks in them. Place in freezer for 15 minutes. Melt the remaining amount of chocolate. Dip the brownie pop then tap off excess chocolate. Sprinkle or decorate as desired.





Shortbread Cookies

2 sticks of softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. powered sugar
2 cups flour
Bakers semi sweet choc.
sprinkles

Mix everything all together. Place dough in the frig for 2 hours. Take pieces of dough and shapes them into long bite size pieces. Bake for 350 for 10 minutes. Cool completely. then dip in the melted Baker's chocolate and sprinkle 



Pizzelle's

I love pizzelle's! If you've never tried one you should! They are an Italian pastry that is delicate and light.  You need a pizzelle machine in order to make these. My mom has had one of these machines for years and only would make them 1 time of year and I always looked forward to having them. You can purchase one of these machine's @ Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl's or online.

1 3/4 c flour
3 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tsp. baking powder

Melt butter mix all ingredients together. Heat Iron. Spray it before using it so the pizzelle's won't stick. Drop a tablespoon on iron and cook for 20-45 seconds depending on iron. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or decorate.