TAG Treasury Team

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Top Blitz Recipes

Last week the TAGT Team held it's annual holiday recipe treasury blitz on Etsy.  The recipes are posted in the 11-23 blog post.  The team leaders have chosen their favorite recipes and I have the great honor and responsibility of selecting the best of the best.  Truth to be told it was tough because they are all wonderful.  This is the count down from 1st to 3rd place with a little extra information about recipes.

Being one for family traditions I chose for the 1ST Place recipe the PLUM PUDDING pictured here. 
This reminded me of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.  It was submitted by Laurie Ann who is the owner of  Artful Bits And Bytes.  The recipe originated in England with her mothers family and is served at Christmas.  Different members of her family prepare it each year and the leftovers are shared as they last well in the freezer.  Through the years some of the ingredients have changed such as a substitute for the suet.  Laurie Ann tells a story of the year it fell "One year it fell while boiling (outside in the yard) but no matter, it was picked back up and finished its cooking, there was just lots of extra hard sauce poured over and a full crown instead of sprig of holly on top (to hide the cracks).  Mostly, it is just full of warm memories.  Christmas was the only holiday when the youngsters were allowed a bit of alcohol (with the rum sauce and the spiked eggnog) so as kids, we felt a little naughty and special."

2nd place goes to the Mushroom Soup which was submitted by Osnat Ganor owner of OdPaAm.  Osnat's family makes this soup during the season between autumn and winter. The family likes to pick the mushrooms themselves in the forest near their village of Eshtaol, Israel.  The Eshtaol Forest is one of the largest in Israel and is a popular recreation area.  So this not exactly a holiday recipe but a seasonal one. 

3rd place is a wonderful sweet recipe with, to me, the strange name  Kaju Barfi.  It is a cashew nut fudge.  This was submitted by Alankar of SpectraKraft.  She has been making this sweet for about 4 years for her husband (and her own) sweet tooth, but it is a long time family favorite.  The recipe posted is a standard most people can follow.  She didn't use her mothers because as with many moms it is all a pinch of this and a bit of that a guestimate.  She tells me that in India fall is festival time and the largest festival is Diwali, the festival of lights which celebrates the triumph of good over evil.  During the festival they light oil lamps and make many deliciacies and Kaju Barfi was always one her mom made.  Alankar said "I love that time of the year - because it's festive and everyone's in very high spirits.  It's akin to Christmas.  Everyone's happy, you are constantly eating good food, meeting relatives after eons".  

Article by Gail of Digital Expressions and Artful Papers

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Holiday FEASTival

Welcome to our annual Holiday FEASTival of recipes!  TAGT Team creates treasuries around our favorite holiday foods and then we share the recipes with you!  We hope you will enjoy these tried and true recipes, and at the same time, get some of your holiday shopping done while you view the gorgeous treasuries inspired by them.

The Best Lemon Bars
submitted by Mary of MKH Quilts

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 lemons, juiced
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch pan.
3.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.
4.Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. For a festive tray, make another pan using limes instead of lemons and adding a drop of green food coloring to give a very pale green. After both pans have cooled, cut into uniform 2 inch squares and arrange in a checker board fashion.




Laurie's Cranberry Orange Relish
submitted by Laurie of Turban Diva
About 4 cups (1 bag) fresh cranberries, rinsed & sorted
1 orange
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup raisins or dried fruit
1 onion, chopped
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger root (fresh)
1 - 6 ounce can frozen cranberry or raspberry juice concentrate, thawed
2 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mustard seed
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Coarsely chop berries and place in a 4 or 5 quart pot.  With a zester, remove colored part of the peel from the orange and add to the pot.  (If you don’t have a zester, use a vegetable peeler and cut peel into julienne strips.)
Hold the orange over the pot to catch the juice.  Peel and discard the white membrane.  Chop the orange and add to the pot.
Add raisins, vinegar, onion, green pepper, garlic, ginger, cranberry juice.
Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.  Boil uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sugar, salt, mustard, cayenne and cloves.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture thickens (about 20 minutes).
If you’d like to can this, prepare 2 half-pint jars and process for 10 minutes.
Kaju Barfi
submitted by Alankar of Spectrakraft
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup sugar or as required
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp chopped rose petals (optional) or rose water or 8-9 strands of saffron
    1. powder the cashew in a coffee grinder or a dry grinder.
    2. the cashews should be in powdered form and not become pasty or oily.
    3. on a low flame heat sugar and water in a thick bottomed or non stick pan or kadai.
    4. meanwhile grease a plate or a tray and keep aside or keep butter papers ready.
    5. when all the sugar dissolved in the water, add the cashew powder. there is no consistency in the sugar syrup required like one string or two string. just let the sugar dissolve in the water and then proceed with the next step.
    6. stir and keep on stirring the cashew mixture on a low flame.
    7. the cashew mixture would start thickening.
    8. cook the cashew mixture for approx 7-9 minutes till the whole mixture starts to come together.
    9. remove the whole lump of the mixture from the pan and place it on work surface, bowl or plate.
    10. add the rose petals and ghee or oil to the cashew mixture.
    11. when the heat in the mixture is hot enough to handle, then knead the cashew mixture.
    12. flatten the dough and place it on a butter paper or on a greased plate/thali or tray.
    13. place a butter paper on top and then using a rolling pin, roll gently the dough from all sides till you reach a thickness of 3-5 mm in the dough.
    14. remove the butter paper and let the rolled cashew dough cool.
    15. when completely cooled, using a sharp knife cut the cashew dough giving square or diamond shapes.
    16. gently remove the kaju katli with a butter knife.
    17. serve the kaju katli straight away or keep in an air tight container.
    1: if using saffron, then roast them first in a dry pan and then coarsely powder them in a mortar-pestle. add the powdered saffron in the cashew dough.

    2: if using rose water, then add it to the sugar and water solution.
    Sweet Potato Casserole
    submitted by Amanda of Dragonflight Dreams

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (takes about 5 whole sweet potatoes to make 3 cups mashed, or use the canned pre-mashed stuff – fresh is better though, I think)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
    1. Peel sweet potatoes and boil in water to soften. If necessary, cut into smaller pieces and boil further before mashing.
    2. Beat eggs, granulated sugar, and butter together. Add milk and vanilla.
    3. Combine well with the mashed sweet potatoes (I use an electric hand mixer on lowest setting – but beware splattering); spoon into a greased 2-quart casserole dish.
    4. Combine brown sugar, flour, softened butter, and maple syrup in a separate bowl, mixing until smooth; drizzle over sweet potatoes.
    5. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
    Plum Pudding
    submitted by Laurie of Artful Bits And Bytes
    Would you believe the recipe from 1860 is almost exactly the one done every Christmas by my Grandfather. Including the beef suet, citron, and being boiled outside tied in a cloth. Then carefully opening the huge (HUGE) ball of pudding praying it wouldn't crack -but if it did, well nothing a bit of rum sauce wouldn't cover. (Yes, rum instead of wine or brandy) Sometimes served flambé always displayed with a touch of holly on top. I am looking for my copy of the actual recipe and a photo with the plum pudding and my grandfather. Such precious memories!
    Rich Plum Pudding Recipe, Lady Godey’s Book, December 1860
    Stone carefully one pound of the best raisins, wash and pick one pound of currants, chop very small one pound of fresh beef suet, blanch and chop small or pound two ounces of sweet almonds and one ounce of bitter ones; mix the whole well together, with one pound of sifted flour, and the same weight of crumb of bread soaked in milk, then squeezed dry and stirred with a spoon until reduced to a mash, before it is mixed with the flour.
    Cut in small pieces two ounces each of preserved citron, orange, and lemon-peel, and add a quarter of an ounce of mixed spice; quarter of a pound of moist sugar should be put into a basin, with eight eggs, and well beaten together with a three-pronged fork; stir this with the pudding, and make it of a proper consistence with milk. Remember that it must not be made too thin, or the fruit will sink to the bottom, but be made to the consistence of good thick batter.
    Two wineglassfuls of brandy should be poured over the fruit and spice, mixed together in a basin, and allowed to stand three or four hours before the pudding is made, stirring them occasionally. It must be tied in a cloth, and will take five hours of constant boiling.
    When done, turn it out on a dish, sift loaf-sugar over the top, and serve it with wine-sauce in a boat, and some poured round the pudding. The pudding will be of considerable size, but half the quantity of materials, used in the same proportion, will be equally good.

    Dark Cherry Pie
    submitted by Suzanne of Woodzy Shop

    This recipe has very simple ingredients, but it does take some time. I think the result is worth it because this pie has so much flavor. It's scrumptious. 
    Dark Cherry Pie Filling
    1 32oz bottle Bolthouse Farms Berry Boost 
    2 10oz packages Woodstock frozen organic dark cherries

    You will also need 2 pie crusts.

    1. Put the juice in a sauce pan and cook on medium to low heat until it reduces to a thick, creamy texture, which will take a few hours. Return to the kitchen frequently to stir.
    2. Taste the mixture to make sure it's to your liking. If it's too sweet, add a little lemon juice for additional tartness. If you don't find it sweet enough, add a little sugar.
    3. Place the thickened juice in the refrigerator to cool. 
    4. Begin pre-heating oven to 350 degrees.
    5. Prepare pie crust. You can use pre-made crust if you like. I usually make my own. What I like about mine is that I use salted butter, and this gives the crust a slightly savory taste, which contrasts really nicely with the rich, tart flavor of the filling. Below is my crust recipe.
    6. Put the frozen cherries into the lower crust and spread the chilled filling on top. 
    7. Put the top crust on the pie and brush the top with milk or a mixture of milk and egg whites to give it a nice color when it bakes. 
    8. Put tinfoil loosely over the pie and insert into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes at 350, then remove the foil and turn the oven up to 400 degrees for another 30 minutes with the top off. Check the pie occasionally in the last 15 minutes to make sure it's not browning too much. All ovens vary, but this works well on mine.

    Salty pie crust
    2 sticks salted butter
    1 heaping cup of flower
    cool water (variable but about 8 TBS)

    1. Place the butter in a large ceramic bowl and dump the flour on top. 
    2. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it is well-mixed. The key here is not to over-cut. Leaving large (up to chick-pea sized) pieces of butter in the mix will yield a layered, flaky crust.
    3. Once the butter is mixed into flour, begin adding cool water 1 TBS at a time until you get all the flour to become sticky and create a large ball in the bowl.
    4. Create two chunks with the dough. I like to make one ball slightly larger so that my bottom crust hangs over the edge, while the top crust is smaller and doesn't have to be trimmed as much.
    Cranberry White Chocolate Cheesecake
    submitted by Mary-Ellen of Latrouvaille and Meoneil

    Prep time25 minutes
  • Total time6 hours
  • Portion size16 to 18 servings


    • 100 g good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
    • 3 pkg (each 250 g) cream cheese, softened
    • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sour cream
    • 2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
    • 5 tsp  cornstarch
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp  (5 mL) vanilla

    Ginger Crust:

    • 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) gingersnap cookie crumbs
    • 1/3 cup  (75 mL) butter, melted
    • 2 tbsp.  (30 mL) packed brown sugar

    Cranberry Topping:

    • 3 cups  (750 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
    • 2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) cranberry juice
    • 1 tsp  (5 mL) orange zest
    Crust:  Set racks in the lower third and middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Mix the  crumbs, sugar, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until combined. Press into the bottom and 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan  . Freeze until ready to fill.

    Make the filling: Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a small pot; remove from the heat. Put the white chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set over the pot (do not let the bowl touch the water); stir until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pot and set aside.
    Beat the  cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 7 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the cornstarch and beat 2 minutes. Beat in the melted white chocolate, vanilla and salt until combined.
    Fill a roasting pan halfway with water and set on the lower oven rack. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and set on the middle oven rack. Bake until the edge is set but the center still jiggles slightly, 1 hour, 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven, 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
    Make the compote: Combine the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the orange zest and juice, and 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil with the cranberries, stirring, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer  until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cool.
    Before serving, run a hot knife around the edge of the cheesecake, then remove the springform ring. Top with the cranberry compote and shaved white chocolate
    Sopapilla Cheesecake
    submitted by Alisann of Abees Art Studio

    BEST dessert you will EVER have.  Even people who do not like Cheese Cake love this...Awesome!!


    2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
    1 ½ cups sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    ½ cup butter, melted
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


    1 Heat oven to 350°F.

    2 Unroll 1 can dough. Place in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Stretch to cover bottom of dish, firmly pressing perforations to seal.

    3 In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1 cup of the sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Spread over dough in baking dish.

    4 Unroll second can of dough. Carefully place on top of cream cheese layer. Pinch seams together.

    5 Pour melted butter evenly over top. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter.

    6 Bake about 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate for easy cutting. Cover and refrigerate any remaining bars.

    For a more authentic sopapilla flavor, top with honey.

    These need to be stored in the refrigerator, but are best served warm. Heat bars in microwave uncovered 5 to 10 seconds to rewarm..
    Sausage and Sage Stuffing with Cranberries
    submitted by Jenn of Glory Gift
    We had a bbq and I had a ton of rolls left over.  This is a great recipe for killing the excess.  It was completely enjoyable as leftovers too.
    1lb. ground pork - season pork with salt and pepper. 
    1/2-1 tsp. salt, to taste
    1/4-1/2 tsp ground pepper, to taste

    2 cups turkey stock,  I used chicken bullion
    1 whole bay leaf
    1/2 tsp sage
    1 tsp cracked pepper
    1/2 cup butter
    1/2 cup coconut oil
    3-4 small loaves of day-old bread
    7 oz. whole berry cranberry sauce

    Season pork with salt and pepper and drain if needed. Place in Stock pot.  Add stock, seasonings and butter. Place mixture in a large bowl, then add meat.  Stir to incorporate.  Mix in cranberry sauce.  Bake in a large ungreased casserole dish,  Bake at 325 for 1 hour or until golden brown.  Savor the Thanksgiving flavor!
    Mom's Moist Turkey
    submitted by Robin of jarmfarm
    This was my mom's recipe and has been my "go to" recipe when it comes to roasting a big bird for the holiday meal.

    Mom's Moist Turkey Recipe

    Wash the turkey well using cool water. Salt the inside cavity and the outer skin.
    Stuff the inner cavity with:
    one (1) apple (quartered)  one (1) large onion (quartered)  two (2) stalks of celery (cut in 2 inch lengths)
    and six (6) individual tablespoons of butter or margarine

    Tie the legs together securely using twine and place in a large roasting pan breast side up.

    Note: Enamel roasting pans work the best but any type of pan can be used just make sure it can be covered during the majority of the cooking process.

    Sprinkle the outside of the turkey lightly with sugar and dot with four (4) tablespoon of butter or margarine
    Add enough water, or broth to make 1/4 inch deep in the bottom of the pan.

    Cover and bake at 350 degrees for the recommended by the weight of the turkey
    Remove cover during the last 1/2 hour of baking time to obtain a crispier brown outer crust.

    The drippings from the fruity veggie inner stuffing make for an excellent gravy base!
    Note: This recipe is for those who prefer to make bread stuffing separately from the bird.

    Scalloped Oysters and Corn
    submitted by Nancy of Toletally Painted and The Vintage Dresser
    This is a recipe that my mother always made at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now my brother and husband don’t feel like the dinner is complete if I don’t make it.
    3 C saltine cracker crumbs (2 tall pkgs crushed)
    1/2 C melted butter
    4 C cream style corn, mixed with 1/2 C cream
    16 oysters; drain, save 1/2 the liquid
    Combine cracker crumbs and butter. Place 1 C of mixture in bottom of a deep 2 qt. casserole. Cover with half the corn mixture, then arrange half of the oysters over top of corn. Season oysters lightly with salt unless salted crackers are used, and moisten with part of oyster liquid.
    Now add another layer of crumbs (1 C), another of the corn mix. and another of oysters (also seasoned and moistened). Finish with layer of remaining crumbs. Bake @375 for about 40 min. Serves 8
    Strawberry Salad
    submitted by Cindy of Gaffney Girl Studio and Seven Gypsies Jewelry

    1 package ramen noodles, crushed (discard flavor packet)
    ¼ cup sliced almonds
    ¼ cup sunflower seed kernels
    ¼ cup butter (1/2 stick) melted
    1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and dried
    1 5 oz. bag baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
    1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
    1 cup grated parmesan cheese
    ¾ cup sugar
    ½ cup red wine vinegar
    ¾ cup vegetable oil
    ½ tsp paprika
    ½ tsp. salt
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Directions: for the salad: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
    In a small bowl, mix the crushed ramen noodles, almonds, sunflower seeds, and melted butter.
    Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally until brown, about 10 minutes.
    Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
    Tear the lettuce and combine with the spinach, strawberries, and cheese in a large salad bowl.
    For the dressing: Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar.
    Combine the oil, paprika, salt, and garlic and then add to the sugar-vinegar mixture.
    Mix well and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
    Just before serving, sprinkle the crunchy topping over the salad greens and toss the salad with enough dressing to coat the greens.
    Pumpkin Maple Cheesecake
    submitted by Paula of Pretty Little Thorn


    1 1/2 cups finely crushed gingerbread cookies
    1/3 cup melted butter


    2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each) at room temperature
    1 cup maple sugar
    1/2 cup maple syrup
    1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
    3/4 cup whipping cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    4 eggs
    2 cups pumpkin puree
    3/4 cup sour cream

    Crust instructions:

    Combine crushed cookies and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9" spring form pan, set aside.

    Filling instructions:

    Beat the cream cheese, sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Gradually beat in the maple syrup, whipping cream and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin puree and the sour cream.

    Pour mixture into the prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees for 75 minutes. Turn oven off and prop door open slightly.  After 30 minutes, remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool. Chill for at least 4 hours. Decorate as desired.

    Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad
    submitted by Carol of Beads Galore 2 and C Schmauder Watercolor
    3 small pkg. raspberry jello
    2 c. boiling water
    16 oz. fresh cranberries, ground
    1 whole orange, peeled & chopped
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    1 c. celery, finely chopped
    1 Granny Smith apple, finely chopped
    1 c. crushed pineapple (drain juice and reserve)
    1 c. pineapple juice (from crushed pineapple)
    1 c. chopped nuts
    In a medium sized bowl dissolve the jello in boiling water.  Let cool
    Add all other ingredients to liquid jello, mix very well.  Place in a large mold an chill in the refrigerator overnight until firm.
    Luscious Healthy Banana Bread
    submitted by Leslieanne of Sereba Designs
    This is worth making ..low sugar, low fat and very moist and delicious.
    -3 very ripe bananas
    -1/2 cup sugar
    - 3/4 cup plain yogurt
    -1/4 cup vegetable oil
    -1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
    - 1 tlb vanilla
    - 1 egg
    - 1 egg white
    - 1 cup white w/w flour
    -1 cup unbleached white flour
    -1 tsp baking powder
    - 1/2 tsp baking soda
    -1/4 tsp salt
    -1/2 cup of toasted pecans

    Combine 1st 8 ingredients until well blended
    Combine flour and next 4 ingredients
    Add flour mixture to banana mixture stiring just until moistened.
    Add pecans
    Spoon batter into a 8 1/2" x 4" by 3" loaf pan with floured cooking spray.
    Bake on 350 oven for 50 minutes or until wooden stick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    Cool before slicing.
    Enjoy with a bit of butter, natural peanut butter, or a bit of whipped cream cheese.
    Congo Bars
    submitted by Allison of Allis Studio
    11 T butter (2/3 cup), melted and cooled (unsalted)
    1 lb light brown sugar (2 c, packed)
    3 large eggs
    1 t vanilla extract
    2 3/4 c all purpose flour
    2 ½ t baking powder
    ½ t salt
    10 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut in chunks
    1 ½ c toasted pecans, chopped
    ½ c coconut, optional 
    Preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10×15 inch pan or line with parchment. 
    In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, breaking up any lumps in the sugar. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then stir in the chocolate and nuts. 
    Spread the batter as evenly as possible into the prepared pan, patting it out with hands if necessary. 
    Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until a deep golden brown or the coconut just begins to brown. Cool briefly, then score into triangle while still warm. When completely cool, pull apart. 
    Makes 1 15×10 inch pan (yield depends on how big you cut them).
    Cranberry Orange Relish
    submitted by Nancy of NH Quilt Arts
    Easiest (and best) cranberry sauce ever!!

    1 pound cranberries
    2 oranges, chopped coarsely (peeled)
    2 apples, chopped coarsely
    2/3 cup orange juice
    1 cup honey

    Bring all to boil, lower heat and cook 15 minutes, until cranberries are soft. Cool . Keeps in refrigerator for several days.

    Melomakaron (Honey Cakes)
    submitted by Maria of Mannia Titta
          ·         1 cup vegetable oil
    ·         1/2 cup white sugar
    ·         2 oranges, juiced
    ·         1/2 lemon, juiced
    ·         1 egg yolk
    ·         1 tablespoon ouzo liqueur
    ·         3 cups self-rising  flour
    ·         3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ·         1 1/3 cups walnuts, finely chopped
    For the syrup:

    ·         1 cup white sugar
    ·         1/2 cup honey
    ·         1/2 cup boiling water
    ·         1 cinnamon stick
    ·         4 cloves
    ·         1/2 lemon, juiced
    Step 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 flat baking trays with baking paper.
    Step 2
    Using an electric mixer, beat oil, sugar, 1/2 cup orange juice and 2 tablespoons lemon juice on high speed for 10 minutes or until thick and creamy (see tip). Add egg yolk and ouzo. Beat for 5 minutes. Sift flour and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon over oil mixture. Fold gently to combine (mixture should be a light, doughy texture).
    Step 3
    Using hands, roll tablespoons mixture into oval shapes. Place on prepared trays. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to touch. Allow to cool on trays.
    Step 4
    Make syrup! Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 4 minutes or until syrup thickens slightly.
    Step 5
    Using a slotted spoon, dip cooled cakes, 1 at a time, into hot syrup for about 30 seconds, turning over often until well coated. Return to trays. Combine walnuts and remaining ground cinnamon. Sprinkle over biscuits. Allow to cool. Serve.
    Cranberry Orange Salad
    submitted by Janet of Janet Long Arts
    1 6 oz. pkg Cranberry or cherry gelatin dissolved in 2 C hot water. Allow to cool.
    Mix in large bowl:
                2 C sugar (Mom would use less, Eric uses 2 C)
                1 can 20 oz. crushed pineapple & juice
                1 C diced celery
                1 C chopped walnuts
    Grind and add to above:
                1  12 oz. bag cranberries washed & sorted
                2 small oranges or 1.5 large oranges  [Navel are seedless]
    Add to cranberry/cherry gelatin ½ pkg Knox gelatin to a small amt cold H2O,             
    dissolve & add enough hot water to make ½ C. This will make it certain to set.
    Refrigerate to set.  It’s delicious!   
    Marie’s Christmas Butter Crisps (JoJo's mom)
    submitted by JoJo of JoJos Artistic Design
    1 c. butter
    1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese softened
    1 c. white sugar
    1 large egg yolk
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
    ½ tsp. salt
    ¼ tsp. Baking Powder 
    1.      Beat together the butter and the cream cheese. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
    2.      Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla.
    3.      Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, then gradually add to the butter mixture.
    4.      Shape dough into disk, then refrigerate for 30 min.
    5.      Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8” thickness and cut into shapes. Place cutouts on a greased cookie sheet.  You can sprinkle unbaked cookies with sugar, or bake and top with favorite frosting when cooled.
    6.      Bake in oven heated to 350 F.
    7.      Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes.


    Golabki (Polish Cabbage Rolls)
    submitted by Sylwia of Sylwia Glass Art and See World Thru My Eyes
    2/3 cup uncooked white rice
    1 1/3 cups water
    1 large head of cabbage
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 onion, finely chopped
    1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (can use ground beef, turkey, or pork instead)
    2 eggs
    4 cloves garlic, pressed
    salt and ground black pepper to taste
    one pinch dried marjoram
    2  8 oz can tomato sauce

    Eggnog Bars
    submitted by Leanna of Seams Victorian and Bits and Purses and Teez Loueez

    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons brandy or rum flavoring
    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 cup dairy or canned eggnog
    1 cup chopped candied cherries (I use Maraschino cherries)
    1/2 cup chopped almonds
    3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
    Cream first 2 ingredients; blend in 1 teaspoon flavoring. Stir flour with soda, nutmeg , and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Add alternately with eggnog to creamed mixture. Stir in cherries and nuts. Spread in greased 15 ½ x 10 1/2x 1- inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Mix powdered sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon flavoring, and enough milk (3 to 4 teaspoons) to make mixture pourable.  Drizzle over warm cookies. Cool; cut into bars and serve.  Makes 48
    Pumpkin Bread
    submitted by Genevieve of Green Ribbon Gems

    3 1/2 cups flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    2 TBSP cinnamon
    3 cups sugar
    1 cup salad oil
    4 eggs
    1 can pumpkin
    1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans are best, I substitute sunflower seeds because my daughter has nut allergies)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift dry ingredients into large bown.  Mak ea well and add all remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into 2 well greased bread pans.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool slightly in pans.  You can eat the bread immediately, but the flavors develop over time and its even better a day after baking! :) 

     Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
    submitted by Carol of C Schmauder Watercolor and Beads Galore 2
    1- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/4 c. brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 t. vanilla extract
    3/4 c. evaporated milk
    2/3 c. all purpose flour
    2 t. pumpkin pie spice
    1/4 t. salt
    1/4 t. baking powder
    1/4 t. baking soda
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 cup muffin tin with foil liners sprayed with cooking spray or just spray the cups with cooking spray.  Either method will make it easy to remove the cupcakes.
    Mix the pumpkin, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk.  add the dry ingredients to the mixture.  Fill each muffin cup 1/3 full with the mixture.  Bake for twenty minutes and let cool for twenty minutes before removing from the pan.  Cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkle a little pumpkin pie spice on top to garnish.  Makes 12 cupcakes.
    Crescent Cookies
    submitted by NaLa of Jewelry by NaLa

    2 sticks butter                                         5 tblsps. sugar

    2 c. flour                                                 2 tsps. vanilla

    2 c chopped walnuts                               1 tblsp. water

    (or one 8 oz. pkg.)                                  ½ tsp. salt


    Cream butter, sugar, vanilla and water. Add flour and salt and mix well. Stir in walnuts. Using about a tsp. of dough, make crescent shape and place on cookie sheet. Bake @325 degrees for 20 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar immediately after baking.
    Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake
    submitted by Linda of Sewcial Graces and Antler Pantry
    A beautiful dessert to end a beautiful meal!
    Prep Time: 25 minutes Serving Size: 12

    ·         2 1/4 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
    ·         1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
    ·         1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
    ·         3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
    ·         1 cup sugar, divided
    ·         1 teaspoon vanilla
    ·         3 eggs
    ·         1 cup canned pumpkin
    ·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    ·         1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    ·         Dash of ground cloves

    1.     Heat oven to 325 degrees.
    2.     Mix crumbs, pecans, and butter in 9 springform pan. Press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake 10 minutes.
    3.     Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the batter. Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, and spices into remaining batter until well mixed.
    4.     Spoon pumpkin and cream cheese batters alternatively over crust. Cut through batters with knife several times to marblize.
    5.     Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake. (Cool before removing rim of pan.) Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Remove rim of pan before serving.
    Balsamic Green Bean Salad
    submitted by Linda of Antler Pantry and Sewcial Graces



    1. Place beans in a Dutch oven and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and immediately place beans in ice water. Drain and pat dry.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, garlic powder, mustard and pepper. Drizzle over beans. Add the onion; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in tomatoes and cheese. Yield: 16 servings.
    Marshmallow Pops
    submitted by Som of Soms Studio and Som's Studio Supplies

        Regular Marshmallows

        1 package Almond Bark (white Or Chocolate) Or Meltable Candy Wafers

        Sprinkles, Chopped Nuts, Chopped Pretzels, Chopped Candy, Etc.

        Equipment: Lolipop Sticks (sold In Craft Stores)
    Preparation Instructions
    Melt the chocolate or white (or both) almond bark in a double boiler.
    One by one, dip the very tip of the lollipop stick into the melted chocolate, then stick that end of the stick into the marshmallow until it's not quite all the way through. Repeat with the rest of the marshmallows, standing them up as you go.
    Next, roll the marshmallow in the chocolate to coat it, then tap the stick gently on the side of the double boiler to get rid of the excess. Using your fingers, sprinkle the topping of your choice all over the chocolate. Set them stick side up on a piece of waxed paper OR stick them into that crazy florist stuff that makes flowers stand up.
    Have fun with the toppings and make no two marshmallow pops the same!

    Low Fat Creamy Corn Chowder Soup with Chicken
    submitted by Leslieanne of Sereba Designs
    The trick is to blend frozen corn to a paste and add to soup to thicken it!
    One medium onion diced
    One medium red onion diced
    One shallot diced
    Three stalks of celery diced
    Three cloves garlic
    Three long carrots cubes
    Three red potatoes or any cooking potato peeled and diced
    One orange or yellow pepper diced
    Splash of white cooking wine
    Olive oil
     2 cups of trader joes natural vegetable broth
    1 can creamed corn
    Package of frozen succotash
    One package of Perdue cooked chicken
    Tlb whipped butter
    A pinch or two of:
    Salt and pepper
    Cayenne red pepper
    Package of frozen corn
    1/2 cup whipped cream cheese

    Enjoy with a slice of corn bread!

    Sauté first eight ingredients in large soup pot with olive oil until onions are translucent.
    Add a splash of white cooking wine and sautéed another few minutes adding the Perdue cooked chicken pieces.
    Add the vegetable broth along with one can creamed corn and frozen succotash, whipped butter and spices.
    Stir all and bring to a gentle boil until carrots and vegetables are cooked.
    Simmer on low to meld flavors for about an hour.
    Cook the frozen corn and once soft throw into blender with 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese making it into a paste.
    Add this paste to the soup which acts as a thickening  agent.
    Add a bit of low fat milk to soup to thin if to thick.

    I know you'll love this with no regrets to the waist line!

    Non-Alcoholic Wassail
    submitted by Leanna of Seams Victorian and Bits and Purses and Teez Loueez

    2 cups water
    1 cup sugar
    6 cups apple cider
    2 sticks of cinnamon
    12 whole cloves
    12 whole allspice 

    In large pan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes.
    Add one 12 oz can frozen orange juice concentrate and 3 cans of water using the concentrate can. Add one 12 oz can frozen lemonade concentrate and 3 cans of water. Bring to boiling and serve.

    Note: I have made this successfully with ½ cup sugar instead of the full cup.

    Vegan Peanut Stew
    submitted by Marukasa of Neferknots
    It’s flexible enough to incorporate your creativity in the selection of vegetables to be included in the stew. It’s a very substantial winter stew and can easily serve as a full meal.


     3 Tbsps. Olive Oil
    1 medium onion, diced
    5 cloves fresh garlic, grated
    2 Tbsps. fresh ginger root, grated
    ¼ tsp. black pepper
    salt to taste
    1 Tbsp. ground cumin
    1 Tbsp. ground coriander
    ½ tsp. ground cloves
    2 cups (or 1 can) diced tomatoes
    2 large carrots, chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    Other chopped seasonal vegetables of your choosing; consider broccoli, cabbage, greens, mushrooms and other root vegetables.
    Include a medium chopped sweet potato or plantain to add sweetness to your stew
    6 cups water
    1 low sodium vegetable bouillon
    1 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 small can tomato paste
    1 or 2 handfuls of peanuts
    In a large soup pot, sauté the onion, garlic and ginger in the olive oil. Add the spices and continue to sauté until the vegetables are brown and fragrant. Add the diced tomato and continue to cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
    Add chopped vegetables, water, vegetable bouillon, peanut butter, tomato paste and peanuts. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and then lower heat to medium/low and cover. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and the stew is thick.
    Serve over rice or with bread.
    Marshmallow Cream Fudge
    submitted by Maddie of Lady Madeline Clothing
    • 2/3 cup (160ml) evaporated milk (not sweetened condensed milk)
    • 6 ounces (170g) salted butter, cubed
    • 3 cups (600g) sugar
    • 8 ounces (225g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
    • 4 ounces (115g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
    • 7 ounces (200g) marshmallow cream*
    • 1 cup (120g) roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
    1. Line an 8-inch (20cm) square pan with foil, leaving an overhang on at least two sides. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.
    2. Put the evaporated milk in a 4-quart (4l) saucepan and fix a candy thermometer to the side.
    3. Add the evaporated milk, butter, and sugar to the pan, and heat – stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn – until the temperature reaches 234ºF (112ºC).
    4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, as well as the unsweetened chocolate and marshmallow cream.
    5. Stir in the peanuts, then scrape the mixture into the foil-lined pan. Let cool for at least four hours.

    Once cool, lift the fudge from the pan, and cut into cubes.

    Fava  (A Classic Mediterranean Taste)
    submitted by Pinar of Pinara Design

    Serves: 6 

    225 g (8 oz) yellow split peas

    75 g (2¾ oz) onions, chopped

    1 small clove garlic, crushed

    Juice of ½ lemon, or to taste

    1 teaspoon olive oil

    Salt and black pepper (I prefer red pepper)

    To garnish: paprika

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    Pick over and rinse the split peas, then place them in a large saucepan with the onions and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the split peas are thick and mushy (the exact time will depend on the age of the peas). If there is still some water remaining, drain it off before transferring the peas to a bowl.

    Beat in the garlic, lemon juice and oil until thick and well blended. Leave to cool, then add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with paprika.

    Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
    submitted by NaLa of Jewelry by NaLa

    2 c. Nabisco Graham Cracker Crumbs   

    7 tblsps. butter

    1 ¼ c. sugar                                            

    3 8 oz. pkgs. softened cream cheese

    3 eggs 

    2 tsps. vanilla

    1 pkg. chocolate chips

    pan of water
    ​on a cookie sheet for catching moisture and drips.

    For crust:  Combine crumbs, butter and ¼ c. sugar. Press on bottom and up sides of an 8” springform pan.

    For filling:  With electric mixer, beat at high speed, cream cheese, remaining sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs 
    and add chocolate chips.

    Pour into crust in pan. Bake
    ​on rack above cookie sheet
     @350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until center is set and lightly browned. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in with door slightly ajar for one more hour.
    efrigerate overnight
    ​. Next day, remove sides of pan, cut and serve.



    Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce

    submitted my Mary of Empty Nestegg

    From Bert Greene's Kitchen Bouquets
    1 lb (4 cups) cranberries
    1 Cup orange juice
    2 cups granulated sugar
    Pulp of 1 orange, membranes removed, seeded, chopped
    2 tablespoons finely slivered orange peel
    1/2 cup Grand Marnier

    1. Pick over the cranberries and wash in a colander under cold running water.
    2. Place the orange juice and sugar in a large sauce pan: cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
    3. Add cranberries, orange pulp, and orange peel. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmering until skins pop and cranberries are tender, 10 to 15 min. 
    4. Add Grand Marnier and simmer 2 min longer, Refrigerate. ( Sauce will be runny rather than jellied.) 
    Big Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    submitted by Leanna of Seams Victorian and Bits and Purses and Teez Loueez

    ½ cup raisins
    1/3 cup water
    ½ cup shortening
    1 egg
    1 ½ cups light brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups flour
    1 ¼ cups rolled oats (regular or quick)
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ cup raisins
    Preheat oven to 275°  Lightly grease two cookie sheets, or line them with parchment paper. Set aside.
    In a blender or food processor, combine ½ cup raisins and the water and blend until it becomes a gloppy, brown puree.
    In a large mixing bowl, beat together the raisin puree, shortening, egg, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. In another bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Combine this mixture with the raisin mixture and beat until all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Stir in the remaining ½ cup raisins. By hand, form the dough into golf ball sized balls and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly to about ½ inch thickness. Bake for 18-20 minutes until lightly browned on the bottoms but still soft in the middle. Don't over bake them or they'll lose their chewiness. Let cool. Yield 30 cookies.