Christmas Cookies

Years ago, every time we would go to Texas to visit family, my mother-in-law made sure to welcome us with these amazing decorated sugar cookies.  It was usually in the summer time, so they would be cut outs of beach balls, umbrellas and even the cutest flip flops.  They were bright and colorful, perfectly shaped and decorated…and delicious!  They came from a lady at a bakery in town, and we looked forward to them.  But, there came a time when that sweet miracle worker of a baker was no longer at the store, or decided to quit making them…not sure of the story…but all I knew was that delicious treat would no longer be a part of our lives.  It was devastating for the family.  Ha!  But really.  I was determined that I would do my best to recreate them.  That’s how important they were.  So I tried recipe after recipe…mixing, baking, eating…on and on…until finally one day…AHHHH…this is as close as it gets! Continue reading “Christmas Cookies”

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”

Marinated Flank Steak

I was introduced to this dish by my mother-in-law.  I was told early on in my marriage that this was my husband’s favorite birthday dinner, and I would need to learn how to make it for him.  I happily accepted the challenge, and it has become a favorite of mine as well.  It presents itself as a fancy dish that looks like you worked really hard…good news…it’s quite simple.  Even better news…it’s special enough for company or a celebration, but it’s perfect for just high-fiving the fact that the whole family was able to make it to the table to share a meal together on a week night!   Continue reading “Marinated Flank Steak”

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”

Cornbread Dressing

Growing up in Texas, I didn’t know about “stuffing” at Thanksgiving.  We had “dressing.”  It was made from cornbread, and we would have never dreamed of sticking it in unspeakable places inside a turkey carcass.  Ewww.  Just saying’.  If you’re into that…rock on.  But we cooked ours in a casserole dish and served it as a side dish that was yummy either with or without some gravy on top.  And, of course, we just ended up mixing everything together on the plate anyway…dressing, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, etc.  I know that may scare those of you who don’t want your foods to touch!  That’s ok!  So, as we approach the big feast day…I felt it was important to include this in my “Twelve Weeks of Holiday” series.  Although I will not be completing this dish until the big day.  So, the pictures will have to come later!  For now, I will include a couple of pics from last year’s feast! Continue reading “Cornbread Dressing”

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”