Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Eggnog French Toast

Eggnog French Toast

7 oz. loaf (12 inches long) day-old Italian bread in 12 (3/4-inch) thick
slices
1 1/2 cup eggnog
1/4 cup butter or margarine
favorite preserves

Place bread in single layer in shallow dish. Pour eggnog over bread. Let
stand, turning bread once, until eggnog is absorbed, about 5 minutes. In
large skillet cook slices in butter until golden on both sides. Serve
hot, topped with cherry pie filling.
Makes 4 servings

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Air Dry Herbs | eHow.com

How to Air Dry Herbs | eHow.com

Step 1
Collect your fresh cut herbs. Now make small bundles of the fresh leafy branches. If you bunch too many together, it will take longer to dry and you risk loosing the whole bunch to mold. :(

Step2
Wrap the bottom ends together using a rubber band. A rubber band is better than string, twine, or anything like that and here's why. As the herbs dry out, they will shrink in size. If they are tied with something other than a rubber band or elastic cord, they may slip right out and fall. Yuck!

Step3
Now, using the twine, string or whatever, tie up your herb bundles in a dry, dim location. Make sure they are far enough apart so they have plenty of air circulation between bunches. Hang with stems pointing up.

Step4
Leave them to dry for 5 days to a couple of weeks depending upon the herbs used. Take them down when they are just about dry. Don't wait until they're so dry they crumble at the slightest touch. Gently remove the leaves from the stems and store in a glass air-tight container.

Step5
When you're ready to use the herbs, crumble them up a bit more fine and enjoy!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Potato Pancakes/Turkey Soup/Chicken Pot Pies/Turkey Cuban Sandwich/Homestyle Chicken Soup

Potato Pancakes

Yield: 12 servings

4 large russet (baking) potatoes
1 medium onion
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
Vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream or applesauce
Garnish: fresh chives

Peel and grate potatoes and onion. Transfer to a sieve or kitchen towel and squeeze out excess water. In a large bowl, combine grated mixture, egg, baking powder, flour, and salt. Warm a thin layer of oil (about 2 tablespoons) in a large, heavy skillet over moderate heat. Drop batter into skillet one heaping spoonful at a time (but don't crowd the pan). Flatten gently; don't push potatoes too hard into oil. (Each latke should be about 2 inches wide.) Fry in batches, turning once, 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of sour cream or applesauce, garnish with fresh chives, and serve immediately.


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CREAMY TURKEY SOUP

3 cups chopped leftover turkey
8 cups turkey broth
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
2/3 cup flour
1lb small new potatoes (1 to 1 1/2 inch inches ea)
4 stems celery, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp sage

Bring turkey broth to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes,
carrots, and celery, and cook for about 20 minutes, or
until potatoes are almost tender. Add leftover turkey,
green onions, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage, stir well,
and return to a boil. Cook over medium heat for another
5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix evaporated milk and flour in a
mixing bowl with an electric mixer. Blend milk mixture
into soup. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened
(approximately 8-10 minutes) Serve hot.

* Prep Time 15-20 minutes * Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings
DailyRecipe-GopherCentral.com

------------------

Easy Chicken Pot Pie


1 2/3 cups Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken (or use left over turkey)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg


Total Time: 20 min
1. Heat oven to 400°F. In ungreased 9-inch pie plate, stir vegetables, chicken and soup.
2. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until crust golden brown.

------------------------------

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

1 package (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg


Total Time: 20 min
1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased 2-quart casserole.
2. Stir remaining ingredients in small bowl with fork until blended. Pour into casserole.
3. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.


BettyCrocker.com

----------------

TURKEY CUBAN
A Bobby Flay Recipe

Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 4 Minute(s)

1/4 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Dijonnaise ™ Creamy Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. leftover cranberry relish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices good quality Italian bread
8 thin slices Swiss cheese
4 thin slices cooked ham
6 slices leftover cooked turkey
8 dill pickle slices
4 Tbsp. Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise


Whisk Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Dijonnaise ™ Creamy Dijon Mustard with cranberry relish in small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Arrange bread on flat surface, then evenly spread with Dijonnaise mixture. Evenly top 2 of the bread slices with 2 slices cheese, ham, turkey, remaining cheese and pickles. Top with remaining bread, Dijonnaise-side-down.
Spread 1 tablespoon Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise on top of each sandwich and cook in medium skillet over medium heat or in panini press, Mayonnaise-side down. Arrange brick* on sandwiches in skillet and cook 2 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove brick, then evenly spread tops of sandwiches with remaining 2 tablespoons Mayonnaise; turn over. Arrange brick on sandwiches and cook an additional 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut in half and serve warm.
*Wrap brick in heavy-duty aluminum foil to use as a press.

HELLMANNS.COM


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HOMESTYLE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
6 cups of water
5 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 onions, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges
8 springs of flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups medium egg noodles

DIRECTIONS:
In a Dutch oven, bring chicken and water to a boil over high
heat. Add carrots, celery, onions, parsley sprigs, bay leaves,
salt, and black pepper. Return the mixture to a boil. Reduce
heat to low, cover, and simmer 1 hour, or until the chicken
is no longer pink inside and the vegetables are tender. Remove
and discard the bay leaves and parsley sprigs. Remove the
chicken from the soup. Skim the fat from the top of the soup
with a large spoon. Remove and discard the chicken skin. Remove
the meat from the bones. Cut the chicken meat into 1-inch
pieces and return the soup. Add noodles and return the soup
to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes, or until
the noodles are tender.

Yield: 4 Servings
Category: Soups


DailyRecipe-GopherCentral.com

More Cookies & Candy Recipes

Peanut Clusters

1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 (12 oz.) pkg. butterscotch pieces
3 c. salted Spanish peanuts

Melt chips. Add peanuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and let
cool. Store with wax paper between each layer so they won't stick
together. Cover peanut can with wrapping paper (Christmas, etc.) and
stick matching bow on plastic cover. Don't forget wax paper between each
layer. Makes a great Christmas gift.


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Chocolate Candy-Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 50 min
Makes: 3 dozen cookies

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sugar
36 Hershey's® Kisses® milk chocolates, unwrapped


1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Mix milk and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth. Stir in Bisquick and vanilla.
2. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy into top of each cookie.


-----------------

Candy-Topped Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 35 min
Total Time: 2 hours 5 min
Makes: 48 cookies

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons sugar
48 round chewy caramels in milk chocolate (from 12-oz bag), unwrapped


1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat condensed milk and peanut butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
2. Stir in Bisquick mix and vanilla until well blended.
3. Shape dough into 48 (1-inch) balls. Measure sugar into small bowl. Dip top of each ball into sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart.
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes. Firmly press 1 caramel into center of each cookie. Bake about 1 minute or until chocolate begins to soften and cookie begins to turn light golden brown. Cool 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

----------------

Fudgy Frosted Brownie Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 min
Total Time: 1 hour 15 min
Makes: 18 cookies


Cookies
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Frosting
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons hot water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix cookie ingredients until well blended.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4. In 2-quart saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of the hot water until smooth. (If frosting is too thick, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time.) Spread frosting over cookies.


-----------------

Extraordinary Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour 25 min
Total Time: 1 hour 40 min
Makes: About 6 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag (24 oz) semisweet chocolate chips (4 cups)


1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed or with spoon until light and fluffy. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips.
2. On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by tablespoonfuls or #40 cookie/ice cream scoop 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly.
3. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

Mixed Drinks For The Holidays

Here are some mixed drinks you can try this holiday season.


Black Magic Shooter recipe

serve in
Shot Glass - for 1 serving

1 oz vodka
1/2 oz coffee liqueur

Shake both ingredients with ice and strain into a shot glass. Slam it and cast your evil spell.

---------------------

Sea Breeze recipe

serve in
Highball Glass for 1 serving

1 1/2 oz vodka
4 oz fresh grapefruit juice
1 1/2 oz cranberry juice


Pour vodka into an iced highball glass. Fill partially with grapefruit juice and top with cranberry juice. Garnish with a lime wedge, and serve.



-----------------------

Bloody Mary #2 recipe

serve in
Highball Glass for 1 serving

2 1/2 oz vodka
5 oz tomato juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/8 tsp black peppers
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp celery salt
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco® sauce



Combine vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, pepper, salt, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a highball glass almost filled with ice cubes. Garnish with a stick of celery and a wedge of lime, and serve.

---------------------------

Egg Nog - Kahlua recipe

serve in
White Wine Glass
servings for 1

1 oz Kahlua® coffee liqueur
4 oz eggnog
nutmeg

Pour kahlua into a white wine glass, and add egg nog. Stir together, top with nutmeg, and serve.

---------------------


Christmas Martini recipe

serve in
Cocktail Glass for 1 serving

6 oz gin
1 oz dry vermouth
2 tsp peppermint schnapps


Pour the gin, dry vermouth and peppermint schnapps into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice. Shake well, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a candy cane, and serve.


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Martini Cocktail recipe

We're more likely accustomed to the Martini by psyche than any other cocktail; James Bond, F.D.Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway. When reminded of this drink, knowing of it's social hierarchy, few can deny it's merits.

To an old hand, a well made Martini is pure delectation. As writer and novelist Bernard DeVoto once said "You can no more keep a Martini in the refrigerator than you can keep a kiss there. The proper union of gin and vermouth is ... one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived."
1 serving:

1 1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth


Stir with ice cubes, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive or a twist of lemon.



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Egg Nog Captain Morgan recipe


serve in
Highball Glass for 1 serving mix:

1 oz Captain Morgan® Original spiced rum
4 oz eggnog
1 pinch nutmeg

Pour rum into a small highball glass, and add egg nog. Stir together, top with nutmeg, and serve.

For 4 servings mix 4oz of rum, 16 ox eggnog 4 pinch nutmeg. Half that for two servings.




drinkmixer.com


--------------


homemade eggnog

6 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1 quart milk* divided
1 teaspoon vanilla,
Garnishes or stir-ins, optional (see below)

In large saucepan, beat together eggs, sugar and salt, if desired. Stir in 2 cups of the milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film and reaches at least 160°F. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, several hours or overnight. Just before serving, pour into bowl or pitcher. Garnish or add stir-ins, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 1.5 quarts or twelve 1/2-cup servings.

*For faster preparation heat milk until very warm before stirring milk into eggs and sugar.

straightdope.com

Choco Christmas Cookies/Cake Mix Christmas Cookies

EASY CHOCOLATE CHRISTMAS COOKIES

1 can condensed milk
12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 stick butter
Vanilla
Melt above over boiling water.

Add:
1-1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir well. Add 1 cup chopped pecans. Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.


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CAKE MIX CHRISTMAS COOKIES

1 pkg. cake mix (chocolate, cherry, lemon) of your choice
2 eggs
1/2 c. shortening
1 tbsp. water
1/2 c. nuts
Mix all together. Shape in 1" balls and roll in powdered sugar. You may want to chill dough before rolling. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375 degrees.


nancyskitchen.com
Magic of Candles

The magic of candles
• To make any candle a scented candle, add a drop of essential oil to the melting wax just next to the wick. Consider cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, pine, or bay for traditional holiday fragrances.

• Burning a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve is a tradition that has been around for many years. If you burn it all the way down, you’ll have good fortune throughout the coming year.

“A bayberry candle/Burned to the socket/Brings food and larder/And gold to the pocket.”

• Beeswax candles tend to drip less than paraffin candles, won’t smoke, and hold their shape well during hot spells. A 12-inch beeswax candle will burn for 10 to 12 hours—several hours longer than a paraffin candle of the same size.

Tip: Keep candles away from heat sources. If your candles warp, immerse them in a pan of warm water to make them pliable enough for straightening.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Sun & Spellwork





The Sun & Spellwork


The Sun emits an uncomplicated, direct masculine energy that is warm
and golden-feeling. Unlike the Moon, He moves through several
different phases every day, availing the practitioner of unlimited
opportunities for immediate spellwork. His wide range of properties
can boost almost any magical effort normally aided by the Moon.

* SUNRISE *
Sunrise lends its energies to beginnings, change, and cleansing. This
phase is beneficial to magical workings that involve new endeavors in
employment, love, or direction in life. Rejuvenation matters such as
renewing hope and trust, good health, or even mending a broken heart
also benefit from this energy.

To seal spells performed at sunrise, use this chant or one of your
own choosing.

"Oh, Youngest Babe, so newly born,
Help me on this bright new morn.
Aid this spell with Your fresh power,
And strengthen it with every hour."

* MORNING *
During the morning hours, the energy of the Sun expands and becomes
strong and active. Any project that requires building, growth, or
expansion works well during this phase. This is an excellent time to
build upon the positive aspects in your life, to resolve situations
where courage is necessary, and to add warmth and harmony to your
home. Morning-Sun energy is also of benefit when performing plant
magic or working spells for financial increase.

To seal spells performed in the morning, use this chant or one of
your own choosing.

"Oh Brother Sun of growing strength,
Come to me and stay at length.
Wrap this spell with intensity,
And add to it Your potency."

* NOON *
The influence of the Sun reaches its peak at high noon. This
vibration is excellent for performing efforts that involve the mental
abilities, health, and physical energy. It is also of value when
charging crystals, stones, or metal ritual tools such as athames,
censors, and cauldrons.

To seal spells performed at midday, use this chant or one of your own
choosing.

"Father Sun, of strength and might,
Aid this spell in taking flight
To its target, now please guide -
Increase its power as it flies."

* AFTERNOON *
As the Sun journeys downward, His energies take on a receptive
quality. Use this phase to work efforts involving professionalism,
business matters, communications, and clarity. It is also of benefit
for spellwork involving exploration and ravel.

To seal spells performed in the afternoon, use this chant or one of
your own choosing.

"Aging One of Amber Light:
Hearken! Hear me! Aid my plight!
Take this spell where it must go,
And give it power that it might grow."

* SUNSET *
The predominant energies of sunset provide a suitable condition for
spellwork requiring reduction or alleviation. This phase lends itself
to the removal of stress and confusion, hardship, and depression, and
the disclosure of deception. It is also a good time for dieting magic.

To seal spells performed at sunset, use this chant or one of your own
choosing.

"Oh Setting Sun of passing day,
Aid me in Your gentle way.
Take this spell, oh Ancient One;
Give it Your strength as You pass on."

Source: ADailyTarotYahooGroup

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Decorating Tips

HOLIDAY DECORATING TIPS:

(Came across these ideas and thought I would add them to the blog for
others to get some decorating and entertaining tips for the holiday.)

* Use small or mini ornaments as accents. They are great for
things like ceiling fan pulls, curtain ties, attaching to
napkin rings, accenting house plant pots, attached to candle
holders, let your imagination go.

* If you have access to a holly tree or to mistletoe, use
it liberally. Accent picture frames and wall hangings,
doorways, cabinet tops, centerpieces. Hang sprays
of it everywhere, even in the bathroom.

* Nothing enhances the holiday mood like the smells of
Christmas. Use Christmas potpourri, air fresheners, scented
candles, plug ins, etc. Tie cinnamon sticks to a sprig of
holly with festive ribbon and lie them around the house and
hang them on the tree. Cloves add wonderful scent to the
holiday home.

* Have holiday music on hand and play it constantly.

* Pine cones! Put them everywhere. In baskets, on tables, on
mantles, on the bathroom counter. Pine cones are beautiful
holiday accents plain or decorated.

* Ribbons and bows are a versatile part of holiday decorating.
Buy several spools of ribbon and use it everywhere. Tie it
around the kitchen cabinets and attach a small classy bow in
the front, tie them around finger tip towels and napkins,
lamp shades, throw pillows, just use your imagination.

* Candles make a beautiful addition to any decor....all kinds!
Even if you never light a candle its presence alone suggests
warmth. With small children around its often not safe to have
them lit.

---------------------------


*** A WORD FROM THE KITCHEN ***

It's great to have all types of nibblers and other
appetizers for parties and potlucks but when you're
spreading out dinner you've got to be careful of
overstuffing people before the meal...that's what
Thanksgiving was for. You spent all kinds of time
carefully preparing and want to make sure everyone
has a chance to enjoy. So, today I'm including a fitting
appetizer for before the meal....BACON WRAPPED CHESTNUTS.
Another handy idea is a fruit/cheese tray, a simple
cheese ball with crackers/vegetables or even some
deviled eggs fancied up with a piece of shrimp and
parsley on top of each.

Source: TheDailyRecipe
gophercentral.com