Santa Faces

I used to love getting those little holiday themed mini magazines/cookbooks at the grocery store checkout.  I got one many years ago when our son was little that had ideas to make treats for Santa.  They were super easy, and the kids could even help make them.  I ran across these Santa faces, and not only were they cute and easy, they were really yummy.  So, we made them every year.  I even remember the year my mom was supposed to come visit us in North Carolina, but had a stroke the first weekend in December…so, change of plans.  Instead of Christmas in our home, we loaded up our 4 wheel drive sleigh and headed to Texas.  Our son was just 4…and I didn’t want his Christmas to be disrupted in the least.  So, in addition to all the presents, I packed up all the supplies and ingredients I would need to carry on with our traditions of baking and decorating everything as usual.  And, that included all the items necessary for Santa faces. Continue reading “Santa Faces”

Reindeer Treats

From the time my son was probably 2 or 3 years old, I can remember making these treats every year to leave on the plate for Santa.  I had already found a recipe for Santa faces, which we will discuss in the next post.  However, I hadn’t seen a reindeer treat that I really liked.  So, I played around with some ideas until I found one that worked.  It’s basically just graham crackers, pretzels, chocolate candy coating or chocolate chips and candies or chocolate morsels for eyes and a red hot candy for a nose!  You can get chocolate bark, so it’s already brown.  I have done that, but I didn’t want it that dark.  So I mix a little of both white and chocolate for a light brown.  I first toasted coconut to a golden brown and pressed it into the chocolate coating to mimic his furry texture…and it was cute and tasty.  But, most kids, and some adults, don’t like coconut.  So, I gave that up.  But feel free to add it if you like!  The “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” continues. Continue reading “Reindeer Treats”

Peppermint Bark

We love peppermint bark at Christmas.  We usually make a trip to a fancy gourmet kitchen store to browse during the holidays.  That is my happy place.  For some people it’s the beach…for me it’s Williams Sonoma!  Just sayin’.   It is there that we usually pick up a tin or two filled with the peppermint goodness to munch on throughout the holidays.  Confession…it tends to be a budget buster.  So, I decided to try and make it myself…and it worked!  For a fraction of the price.  Another confession…I saved all the beautiful tins the original stuff was packaged in, and now I put my own in there.  I don’t think anyone will know the difference!  Shhhhh!  So here’s how easy it is.  Another treat in my “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” series. Continue reading “Peppermint Bark”

Eat Mores

When I was welcomed into my husband’s family in 1994, I was given a wonderful little cookbook by my mother-in-law.  It was a 1977 publication that was a result of a joint effort of all the ladies in the neighborhood woman’s club in Houston, Texas.  I love looking through old recipes handed down from generation to generation.  It’s as if you’re reading a culinary history book.  You come to know the trends, styles of cooking and even the products of the times that may, or may not, still exist.  Among the contributions my mother-in-law made to this book was a delicious treat called “Eat Mores.”  I was told it was a childhood favorite of my husband and one of Santa’s preferred Christmas Eve munchies.  I can certainly understand why.  They are so decadent!  It originally came from his grandmother, who made a batch every Christmas.  His Nanny Lucy is turning 100 in January and is still going strong and lives a happy, active life.  So through the years, she has made a lot of “eat mores”.  For a little bit of Christmas nostalgia, it’s such a fun treat for your family and friends.  They make great gifts!  So here’s the next addition to my “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” series…and you’ll certainly want to “eat more.” Continue reading “Eat Mores”

Cinnamon Swirl Cake

Ever since I was little, this cake was a special part of our Christmas.  We always made it on Christmas Eve and sliced up a big piece to leave for Santa.  My job as a child was to help “swirl” the cinnamon/sugar mixture through the batter to give the cake the signature look it’s named for.  It’s super easy, and the warm cinnamon flavor just brings back great memories and reminds me of the holidays.  As we move from Thanksgiving into December, I am excited to add this family favorite to my “Twelve Weeks of Holidays” series.   Continue reading “Cinnamon Swirl Cake”

Lemon Blossoms

This recipe has been a Thanksgiving morning staple in our family for a number of years.  It’s a Paula Deen creation that is amazing!  It makes a bunch, so it’s perfect for taking to a party.  It’s also a great brunch item if you’re hosting.  And, it can be made ahead and frozen…so, it’s a time saver, and you can just take out and thaw the amount you need.  It’s so perfect!  My family adores them.  They taste like little glazed donuts…need I say more!  The Twelve Weeks of Holidays series continues! Continue reading “Lemon Blossoms”

Sausage Balls

This is an old recipe from Jimmy Dean.  It goes way back to my childhood…and maybe yours, too!  My mom would make a big batch of these at the holidays and keep them warm in the crock pot.  We’d snack on them as long as they lasted on the buffet.  My son shares a love for these yummy little cheesy sausage bites.  Long ago, I used to make a bunch of appetizers and host an appetizer party the night before Thanksgiving.  Things over the years changed, and due to work and time constraints, that was no longer an option.  But, these apps survived, and now they make an appearance as a quick Thanksgiving breakfast bite.  We also make a sweet treat
to go with them, and that will be the subject of another post.  However, Sausage Bites are the next addition in my Twelve Weeks of Holiday series! Continue reading “Sausage Balls”

Pilgrim Hats

I love Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite meal all year long, and I have many fantastic memories of big family dinners.  It holds a special place in my heart.  And so, when our premature son finally came home from the hospital right before Thanksgiving…my mother-in-law came to the rescue to help as I juggled a new baby and the big feast.  Having already had other grandchildren, she gave me so many helpful hints and ideas that even tho’ he was an infant and would not care about crafty treats for a long time…I could file them away for when he would.  And, more importantly, I would have plenty of impressive things to take to the many school parties I would be involved with in the years to come.  This is one of those tried and true kids’ treats that made numerous appearances both at our dinner and the classroom party table.   Continue reading “Pilgrim Hats”

Pecan Pie

Our Thanksgiving is not complete without a pecan pie.  It’s just a rule or something…we have pumpkin pie and pecan pie.  Even if it’s just the three of us with no other family members attending.  We have a dessert table that usually goes untouched until hours after the meal or until the next day because, let’s face it, the meal usually leaves no room for dessert…pity, right?  This is one I make ahead and freeze to cut down on the cooking frenzy leading up to the feast.  So, this is the perfect item to add to my “12 Weeks of Holidays” series.  Hope you enjoy!
Continue reading “Pecan Pie”

Pumpkin Pound Cake

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without this yummy cake on our dessert table.  I started making this many years ago when our son was little.  He loved it so much that I continued to make it at his request every year.  It is so moist and delicious with just the perfect, yet not overwhelming,  pumpkin flavor.  It smells and tastes like the holidays in every way.  And that is why it is the next recipe in my “12 Weeks of Holidays” series.   Continue reading “Pumpkin Pound Cake”