Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Goodbye 2008!

Good Tuesday everyone! We are having beautiful weather this week, the sun has been out almost every day. And the temperature has gone up to around 40 degrees! I may sound crazy getting excited about 40 degree weather but, after having 10 degree weather, this is so warm.

I know #3 for the appetizers isn't in this post but I have been in a cooking/baking rut lately. I will finish it after Thursday. I hope you all have a enjoyable rest of the holidays and Happy New Year 2009!
Lewis is spoiled, but I don't think he knows that.
Can I say lets GO Colts & Trojans?? While most of us like the Trojans, I am the only one who is a Colts fan. In fact, most of us like different baseball and football teams. Guess that is what happens with 5 siblings! Any of your teams get in the playoffs for the Superbowl?

I'll see you with more appetizers and some snowboarding pictures. Happy New Year 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Get A Kick Out Of These Wings.

Happy Saturday morning! Hope your Christmas went well and you ate lots of yummy food! Here, my Mom made a turkey dinner and then we all headed out to the movies. The theatre was packed, but we were able to see what we went there for. We saw Valkyrie that night and it wasn't like I thought, after seeing the trailer. I thought there was going to be lots of action, but there wasn't much. I personally thought it was a sad movie. I didn't expect the guys trying to kill Hitler were going to be shot. That was the worst part of the movie. What do you guys think of it? Any of you seen it yet?

Onto some happier stuff. These wings at #4 are hot and spicy but delicious! My Dad and brother were gobbling these right up and if you have a family member who likes spicy with-a-kick, they will love these.

Spicy Ranch Chicken Wings
3 pounds cut chicken wings, mini (We get these at Walmart or Sams Club)
3/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 teaspoon paprika
In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, combine the hot pepper sauce, butter and vinegar. Add chicken wings; seal bag and toss to coat evenly. Refrigerate for 4-8 hours. Place chicken on racks in two greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Sprinkle with dressing mix and paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until juices run clear. Yield: about 4 dozen.

I'm sure most of you guys love hot cocoa, who doesn't?? Homemade hot cocoa is so much better than store bought and this recipe with almond extract in it is dee-licious.

Hot Cocoa
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups milk
2/3 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Miniature marshmallows, optional

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in milk and water. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Remove from the heat; stir in extracts. Serve in mugs with marshmallows if desired. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

Have a great weekend and see you with #3 next!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas And Want To Vote?

Good Monday evening everyone! Hope you all are much warmer than we are. The temperature today was no greater than 7 degrees today, can I say c-o-l-d!? After Thursday it is supposed to start getting warmer, in the 30's. These days that is warm for us.

Okay, guys time to cast your vote. With Christmas here, I thought it would be fun to have you guys vote on some holiday pictures. See the two photos below? Which do you prefer? #1 or #2? I would definitely go with #1.

I will get to finishing my appetizer countdown after Christmas. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

#5 And Some More Delicious Cookies.

Good Saturday everyone! Hope you are enjoying the start of your weekend. I am excited because I am on Christmas break. 2 whole weeks off! We did have plans to go snowboarding today, but where we go is under a blizzard watch...so we will hopefully go next weekend.

For those of you who like quiche, these are perfect for you. They are mini and are quite easy to make. The crescent dough on the bottom really makes this appetizer a whole lot easier. They are perfect for breakfast too.

Mini Sausage Quiches

1/2 pound bulk hot Italian sausage
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tube (8 ounces) Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) 4% cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, brown sausage and onion over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in chives. On a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent dough into one long rectangle; seal seams and perforations. Cut into 48 pieces. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Fill each with about 1 teaspoon of sausage mixture. In a large bowl, combine the eggs and cheeses. Spoon 1 teaspoonful over sausage mixture. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 4 dozen.
A quick and delicious cookie for that holiday plate...I love the chocolate sprinkles!

Super Duper Chocolate Kisses

1 (16 1/2 ounce) refrigerated choc. chip cookie dough

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2/3 cup chocolate-flavor sprinkles

2 tablespoons milk

40 dark chocolate kisses, unwrapped


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet well; set aside. In a bowl combine cookie dough and cocoa poweder. Mix until well blended. Place chocolate sprinkles in a shallow dish or small bowl. Place milk in another shallow dish or small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in milk to moisten, then roll balls in chocolate sprinkles to coat. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet(s). Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are firm. Wait 2 min. before pressing kisses in cookies. Transfer to wire racks to cool. --------------------------------------------------------
These mice are so cute and people will love the way they look!

Peanut Butter Christmas Mice

1 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup peanut halves
2 tablespoons green and red M&M's miniature baking bits
4 teaspoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Cake decorator holly leaf and berry candies
60 to 66 pieces red shoestring licorice (2 inches each)


In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. (Dough will be soft). Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Pinch each ball at one end to taper. Insert two peanut halves in center of each ball for ears. Add one M&M baking bit for nose and two chocolate chips for eyes. Arrange holly and berry candies in front of one ear. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Gently insert one licorice piece into each warm cookie for tail. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: about 5 dozen.

I love Christmas decorations, the lights are by far my favorite.
Have a great weekend and see you with #4 next!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Long Awaited #6 & The Winners.

Happy Thursday everyone! Thank you to everyone who entered my contest, reading your favorites was so fun! You guys mentioned some songs I haven't heard about, and I've been checking some of them out. Okay, the winners are:
  • Amy G. who said...
    "Mary, Did You Know" is probably my favorite one, too! I love that song.
  • Brian Piero who said...
    "Joy To The World" & "Silent Night" are my Christmas favorites...Thanks for the giveaway.

Congrats guys!
If you are the winners, please e-mail me at priscilla91@iowatelecom.net, so I can get your prizes out!

I was amazed at how many of you guys liked "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". I've always thought that one was so funny. O' Holy Night & Silent Night were by far the most popular. Anyway, here are your guys's songs maxed out:


#6 is Pudding Dip. The Strawberry yogurt in this dip makes it taste even better. I didn't make mine quite right, so the texture is a little funny. The Vanilla Wafers with this dip are the best. And it only has 3 ingredients, not hard at all!

Pudding Dip

3 oz. pkg. vanilla pudding
6 oz. cup of strawberry yogurt
8 oz. sour cream
Mix together. Serve with apples, bananas, grapes, or Nilla wafers.


Another yummy cookie to add to that baking list. The Reese cup in the middle of the cookie and the drizzling on the top make it even better.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package (13 ounces) miniature peanut butter cups
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon creamy Jif® Peanut Butter
2 tablespoons shortening

In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-1/4-in. balls. Press a miniature peanut butter cup into each; reshape balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. For drizzle, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Yield: about 3 dozen. See you with #5 and other yummy dessert for the holidays!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pomegranate Giveaway!

Good Monday night everyone! Here is another chance for two of my readers to win 5 Pomegranate Juice and 5 Pomegranate Tea Coupons each. A big thanks to the folks at POM Wonderful for making this possible. To enter, leave me a comment telling me what your favorite Christmas song is. I have a bunch but I really love, "Mary, Did You Know". But, hurry. You only have until Wednesday night at 12 midnight!
There is really something called summer? I think with this 0 degree weather, the cold has wiped the word summer from my mind.
My sister Anna (on the left) and cousin Natalie (on the right). Summer hasn't been wiped from their minds yet.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Winner & #7.

Good Saturday evening everyone! Thanks to everyone for entering my contest. Using Random.org....the winner is: Megan. Please e-mail me Megan at priscilla91@iowatelecom.net so you can get your prize!

Hope your weekend is going well so far. Last night I went with my Mom and some of my brothers and sisters to see "The Day The Earth Stood Still". I'd have to say it would rank in the top 5 for loopiest movies ever for me. It seemed creepy to me, very weird. What do guys think of that movie? I am so looking forward to seeing "Bedtime Stories" on Christmas Day!

Anyway, #7 is one quick and ever delicious dip. It has 3 ingredients and literally takes 10 minutes to make. Great way to use those apples up too sitting on your counter. Mmm, I think these would be a hit at any party.

Cheesecake Dip

2 pkg. cream cheese
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Mix all together. Serve with apples. I received the Uber Amazing Blog award from Rebecca at Adventure Creations. Thanks so much Rebecca! I am going to pass this onto:


My brother, Steven and I are almost twins. We are 13 months apart. While I don't think we look at all alike, I think it would have been loads of fun to have a twin brother. Steven thinks otherwise.

See you with #6 next!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mini Pizzas And 3 Ingredient Cookies.

Happy Thursday everyone! Hope your week is going well. I've been busy with school, work, & music lessons. Baking/cooking hasn't been showing up lately, mostly due to school and music lessons. But, I hope to get some done this weekend. Did I mention I am really looking forward to the weekend?? We might get to go snowboarding on Saturday....I am really hoping we get to.

These little pizzas are so good that come in at #8. The recipe orginally called for only a pesto sauce on the dough but I decided to make it more like a real pizza. I spread some pasta/tomatoe sauce on the dough and then topped with a tomatoe and mozarella cheese. The pesto was suprisngly good. The variations for these could be endless.

"Mini Pizzas"

1 can refrigerated classic pizza crust or 1 can refrigerated thin pizza crust
1/3 cup basil pesto
20 slices plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
If using classic crust: Heat oven to 425°F. If using thin crust: Heat oven to 400°F.
Spray or grease cookie sheet. Unroll dough on work surface. Press dough into 12x8-inch rectangle. With round cutter, cut dough into 20 rounds; place rounds 1 inch apart on cookie sheet. Spread each with pesto. Top each with 1 tomato slice. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake classic crust 10 to 12 minutes, thin crust 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.


If you guys need a quick and yummy dessert, try these. Guaranteed easy with 3 ingredients. Who doesn't love that??

"Easy Peanut Butter Cookies" (thanks Jade)!

1 Egg

1 Cup of peanut butter

1 Cup of sugar

Hersheys Chocolates

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix egg, peanut butter, and sugar in large bowl. Roll into balls and flatten with fork. Bake for 9 minutes. Cool slightly and top with chocolates.

The birthday week is officaly over. But we did have some amazing good cakes. And amazing presents. No more birthdays until next month, my little brother is turning 16!

L to R: Joe, Mom, Me