Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

It's so fun for me to look back at the year and see what recipe you all thought were fabulous.  Sometimes I'm surprised, but I think you've got a great line-up this year!  I absolutely LOVE every single one of these, you guys know how to pick 'em!  (Not that I don't love everything we post...if I didn't I wouldn't include them on the blog!:))

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful New Year's filled with goodies, friends and family!  (If you need ideas for appetizers for your New Year celebrations...check out this post!)  We look forward to another wonderful year here on the blog!  Hope you will all join us for 2013!

Top 12 Recipe of 2012
(I love how colorful this group is pretty!:))

(make sure to click the link and check out the candy bar card & Teacher's Valentine's card...I think that's why it hit #1 this year!)

(The best EVER!!)

(Made these for my son's birthday who loves Sonic's Cherry perfect!)

(These are so decadent...and are topped with the Cream Cheese frosting from #2!)

(aka, German Pancakes, Hootinannies, baked pancakes...but they'll always be African to me!  Try them with this Buttermilk Caramel Syrup!)

(One of my absolute favorite cupcakes on the blog, so refreshing and delicious!)

(This is the only main dish that made it on this list!  I love it because it's delicious, easy to make and affordable!)

(You just can't go wrong with this pie...even my "I don't like coconut" son loves this one!)

(This Jell-O is so fun, but my favorite is the Quesadillas with Guacamole!)

(I could just eat the frosting on these by the spoonful!)

(For my Rootbeer float lovin' son's birthday!)

(So addicting I can only make it when I know I'll have somewhere to take it, otherwise I eat the entire thing!)

And because eating black-eyed peas on New Year's is supposed to bring you prosperity throughout the new's a fantastic soup made with black-eyed peas!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy New Year Appetizers

The New Year is almost upon us!  It has been a fabulous year here at our home.  Our oldest became a teenager and our youngest started Kindergarten.  What huge milestones!   We can't wait to see what's in store for our family in 2013!

We love to have our table spread out with appetizers galore for our New Year's Eve party.  So we decided to give you some of our favorite, can't have a New Years Eve party without recipes.

One of my hubby's must haves!

One of my must haves!

Use the smaller sized tortillas to make them a perfect appetizer

Use the mini cute!

Our new year would not be complete without it!

SOOO good...and I'm not a corn lover!

A childhood favorite!

My Grandma's recipe....delicious!

I only make this once a year...too dangerous for me!

To round off all the heavy stuff, you've got to have some fruit in the mix!

Happy New Year everyone!  Thanks for being a part of our fabulous year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Orange Glazed Ham

Just in time for all you last-minute people out there...the perfect ham for your Christmas dinner!  We always have our Christmas dinner on the Sunday before Christmas because frankly I think I deserve a day off too.   So we always do easy fix-it-yourself type of stuff on Christmas day.  We usually have leftover ham or turkey from our Sunday Christmas dinner so we do ham or turkey sandwiches, and I always love to have my Deviled Ham Cheese Ball and crackers lying around for the snacking too.

But for you out there who like to have a nice fancy dinner this ham's for you.  It is super easy to do & tastes a-maz-ing!!  And I like that I can just buy a cheaper ham instead of the spiral cut ham and it is just as good if not better.  Always nice to save a little dough, especially at Christmas time!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends!

Orange Glazed Ham

1 ham, fully cooked (5-8 pounds)
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon ground mustard

Place ham in a roasting pot and cover with a lid.  Bake ham at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle reaches 140 degrees.

Mix brown sugar, orange juice and mustard and pour over the ham when you have 20 minutes cooking time left.  Cover ham again and continue cooking for the last 20 minutes.

Delicious!  The orange in the glaze is perfect with the ham.  I just love it!  You can also substitute pineapple juice for the orange juice if desired.

Enjoy & Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lil' Cheddar Meat loaves

We finally got some snow today.  It is freezing outside.  I'm going caroling tonight with Kyla and a group from church in this freezing cold weather.  Oh, and it's my Anniversary!

14 years...holy cow how time has flown!  Can't believe Tony has put up with me for this long, he is the most patient man on the planet!  And just in case you don't believe me, this fact will make you a believer...he's a teacher!  2nd grade for the last 10 years and 3rd grade this year.  Just think about trying to teach 25 7, 8, and 9 year olds for 7 hours a point exactly!

Anyway, since we have other obligations tonight, we can't go out to eat to celebrate like we usually do.  So, I'm making one of my husbands favorite meals.  He may be eating it alone with the boys cause Kyla and I will be caroling...what a romantic evening!:)  Don't worry we'll make up for it sometime.

Lil' Cheddar Meat Loaves

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground beef
2/3 cups ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into eight loaves; place in a greased 9X13 baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. (45 minutes has always been plenty for me!)

Tony loves this with mashed potatoes, white gravy, and corn.  The perfect "guy" dinner!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Cranberry Eggnog Braid

Who loves eggnog?  I do!!  But I can only drink it during Thanksgiving/Christmas time (good thing that's the only time they sell it!:)) & I can only have 1 glass.  Too much of it makes me dizzy!:)  Sugar rush or something.  Although I can't drink it straight.  I dilute it about 50/50 with skim milk.  It's just too thick otherwise & kind of activates my gag reflex.  My husband likes to add Sprite to his eggnog.  I don't personally like it, but to each their own!  

What's your method of drinking eggnog?  Love it?  Hate it?  What do you like to add to yours, if anything?  I'm really curious about everyone elses eggnog drinking habits.:)

If you love (or even just like) eggnog, I think you'll really enjoy this treat!  I love doing fun things with my braiding it!  Looks so pretty & yummy!  

Make this sweet treat for your eggnog lovin' friends!

Cranberry Eggnog Briad

1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups eggnog, scalded
1/4 cup oil
3 - 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup craisins
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of nutmeg

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in your mixer.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.  While the yeast is sitting, place eggnog in microwave for about 2-3 minutes.  You just want to scald it...heat it to just before boiling point.  Let eggnog cool until 10 minutes is up.  Add the sugar, salt, nutmeg, eggnog, oil and 1 1/2 cups of the flour to your yeast mixture.  Beat together until smooth.  Add craisins and enough flour to make a soft dough.  Let knead in your mixer for about 5-8 minutes.

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl.  Cover and let sit in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.

Divide dough into 2 equal parts.  Place one half on surface that has been sprayed with cooking spray (lot less messy than a floured surface & works great!)  Divide that half into 3 equal parts.  It doesn't have to be exact, just eyeball it.

Using your hand, roll each ball into a 16" or so long "rope".

Press the top of the tree "ropes" together to start.

Then just start braiding your 3 ropes together.

When you get to the end of your ropes (funny!:)), just tuck the bottom ends underneath a little and pinch dough together.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover and let raise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until they are lightly browned.  Let cool.

For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until smooth.

Place cooled braids on wax paper.  Using your fork, drizzle glaze over braids.

Wah-lah!!  Isn't it beautiful?  

You could wrap them up nice and give them as Christmas treats to neighbors & friends!  They will love you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Goodies! (and my favorite Christmas show)

I love Christmas time & if you follow us on facebook or twitter you know that we "decked our halls" this last weekend!  The hubby thinks I over do it...but I really enjoy it! 

There's just something so wonderful about sitting in front of the Christmas tree at night snuggled in a warm, soft blanket with a cup of hot chocolate and Christmas music playing in the background.  It's my favorite thing to do...even if there's a million things that I should be doing instead...the tree just beckons to me!

Last night we watched one of my favorite Christmas movies (actually just a short film I guess) with the kids.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.  Reminds me  what Christmas is all about, and was a great way to start the Christmas season!  Mr. Kreuger's Christmas.
(The link will take you to watch it on's 25 minutes long and so worth the time!  I'm also including the video at the end of this post.)

So with all this wonderful Holiday spirit in the air I decided I needed to create a Christmas category here with all my favorite foods that remind me of Christmas!  So that's what I've spent the last hour doing.

(and no they're not all desserts...just the majority!:))

And here are a few of my favorites:

(anything minty makes my Christmas goodies list!)

Orange Zest Cupcakes
(and anything orange!)

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
(as well as any kind of caramel corn...this is my favorite though)

Mom's Potato Rolls
(homemade rolls are a must have at Christmas time!)

(and these are a must have for the love of my life!)

And last but not least...

(my #1 favorite Christmas food that we had every Christmas growing up.  It just wouldn't be Christmas without it!)

And here's Mr. Kreuger's Christmas:
(not the best quality, but it's the only one I could find of the show in it's entirety.)

What's your favorite Christmas show that you have to watch year after year after year?
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