So here is one for the sugar-free folks. I myself like sugar but my stepmom is diabetic so this one is for her.


• 1/4 cup shortening
• 3 tablespoons sugar substitute with
• aspartame (such as Equal packets)
• 1 egg
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons skim milk
• 1 1/4 cups cake flour
• 1 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, melted


Cream shortening. Add sugar substitute, egg, vanilla and milk and blend well. Add half the flour, mix well and stir in chocolate and the rest of the flour. With cookie press, press onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Use hands and make small ball if you do not have press. Putting flour on your hands, this keeps dough from sticking. Press down with fingers on top of each cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes.

1 cup tomato sauce cooked uncovered till reduced to l/2 cup.

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you and yours are having a wonderful Christmas!


• ¼ C fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, thaw cranberries first)
• 2 T balsamic Vinegar
• 2 T sherry Vinegar (if you can’t find sherry vinegar, can substitute red wine or rice vinegar)
• 1 T sugar
• 1 t Dijon Mustard
• ¼ t dried rosemary
• 1 c canola oil
• ¼ t salt
• ¼ t fresh ground pepper


In the work bowl of a food processor, puree cranberries until smooth. Add vinegars, sugar, mustard, thyme, and rosemary. Pulse to combine. With food processor running, gradually add the oil and process until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Before serving, bring to room temperature and whisk the dressing again.

Today is the daythe hubs fam comes over and we get to see the grandkids! What are your family traditions?


• 1 small red onion, chopped
• 1 T canola Oil
• 1 (5 oz.) bag Spring Mix lettuces
• 1 t Kosher salt
• 1 t fresh ground pepper
• ½ c walnuts – toasted
• 1 red pear, cored and sliced
• 1 green pear – cored and sliced
• ½ c Gorgonzola Cheese
• Garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired


IN a small skillet cook the onion in oil, on medium setting until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes before adding to salad.
In a large bowl mix lettuces, salt, pepper, walnuts, pears, and red onion. Drizzle with desired amount of Cranberry Vinaigrette (recipe to follow) and toss salad to coat. Crumble the Gorgonzola over the salad and sprinkle the seeds on if desired.

Today I am off and doing some prep work for the big meal on Friday.... that and spending time with my son who is over from Texas.


• 6 medium sweet potatoes, washed and skins scrubbed
• ¼ c firmly packed light brown sugar
• ¼ c butter- melted
• 4 oz. cream cheese – softened
• 1 t vanilla extract
• ½ t ground cinnamon
• ¼ t ground nutmeg
• ¼ t salt
• 18 jumbo marshmallows


Preheat your oven to 350
Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until soft, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and let stand long enough to be cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes down the middle lengthwise and remove the insides to a medium size bowl, keeping the skin shells. Beat the insides on medium speed until smooth. In another bowl, beat the brown sugar, butter, cream cheese, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt at medium speed until smooth. Add the mixture to the sweet potatoes, beating well. Spoon the micture back into the potato shells.
Bake on a baking sheet until heated through, about 15 minutes. Place 3 marshmallows on top of each potato and bake 5 to 10 minutes, until marshmallows are brown. Serve immediately
*Notes* Potatoes can be baked 1 day ahead. Then do the mixing on the day of serving


• 3 lbs fresh green beans - trimmed
• 6 slices of bacon
• 2 large sweet onions - chopped
• 2 T sugar
• 2 T balsamic vinegar
• 1 t black pepper


In a large saucepan, cook beans in boiling water until tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Drain and set aside. (Beans can be precooked and refrigerated overnight if desired.) Also this year I am using fresh frozen green beans.
Next, in a large Skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon, let cool, then crumble. Add onion and sugar to skillet and cook onions until they are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. (You can also prepare this a day ahead and refrigerate if desired).
Add Beans and vinegar to onions and cook until heated through, which would be about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top before serving.

This one (and the Carrot Cake) is for my son.


1 gal. apple cider
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
Garnish: apple slices


Bring apple cider, orange juice, lemon juice, orange slices, lemon slices, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Discard solids. Garnish each serving with an apple slice, if desired. Serve hot.
Makes about 4 1/2 qt.

So some of my friends will say, "There she goes, using liquor in a recipe again!", and I say "Why not!", cooking with the spirits adds great flavor to many recipes. And who doesn't enjoy a nice glass of wine or brandy on occasion?


• bag (12 oz.) fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup brandy
• tablespoons finely shredded orange zest


Preheat oven to 325°. Discard any soft or decayed cranberries.
Mix cranberries, sugar, brandy to taste, and orange zest in an 8- or 9-in. square baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

1 tbs. instant minced or 1 tsp. onion powder.

Brussels Sprouts aren't for everyone, but I heart them! This recipe tones down the sprouts strong flavor just a bit so that most everyone likes them!


• 4 bacon slices
• 1 (14-oz.) can chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved


Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in Dutch oven. Crumble bacon.
Add broth, brown sugar, and salt to drippings in Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Stir in Brussels sprouts. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Transfer Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl using a slotted spoon, and sprinkle with bacon. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 to 8 servings


  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mashed potato flakes
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, yeast, sugar, chives, salt and parsley. In a small saucepan, heat milk and sour cream to 120°-130° add to dry ingredients. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 24 pieces. Shape each into a roll. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 35 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks.
2 dozen.

24 Servings

Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 30 min.

Warm Citrus Cider
Christmas Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Roasted Turkey with Nannies Cornbread Stuffing
Twice baked Sweet Potatoes
Bacon - Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
Green Beans with Caramelized Onions
Brandied Cranberries
Herb Potato Rolls

Then ending with:

3 Layer Carrot Cake with Apricot Mousse filling and Cream Cheese Icing


• ½ C Balsamic Vinegar
• 2 t Honey
• 1 t Dijon Mustard
• 4 t Cold Water
• 6-8 t Olive Oil
• ¼ t each of Salt and Pepper
• (Optional) ¼ to ½ t herbs such as dill or basil


Warm vinegar and honey in microwave for 20 seconds or more until honey dissolves in vinegar. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Shake vigorously after pouring into a bottle and chill before serving.

I Large Marshmellow

3/4 to 1 tsp dried herbs


I have been making these for quite a while. The beer adds to the "fluffiness" of these pancakes and you can't taste the beer. Great on a relaxing Sunday Morning! This time I adapted the recipe to add pumpkin...
First the basic recipe...


• 2 C Bisquick
• 2 T Sugar
• 1/2 t Cinnamon
• dash of Nutmeg
• 5 beaten eggs
• 1/2 C Beer
• 2 T Oil

If you want to make them pumpkin style add:

• 3 T pumpkin
• 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
• increase sugar to 3 T

In large mixing bowl stir together the bisquick, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Stir together the eggs, beer and oil. Add the dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Add a little extra beer if thinner pancakes are desired. Fry the pancakes on a griddle or frying pan!

Serve with warm syrup, or butter and powdered sugar.