Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus Christ

2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cinnamon Ornaments

When I taught first grade, we would make these every year for Christmas. They are fun for kids and make the room/house smell great!

Makes 12 to 15 ornaments.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours, or 1 to 2 days drying time

3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (4.12 ounces) McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
Supplies needed:
cookie cutters
drinking straw
colorful ribbon

1. Preheat oven to 200°F.

2. Mix applesauce and cinnamon with hands in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole in top of ornament with drinking straw. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

3. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)

4. Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. May be decorated with opaque paint markers found in arts and crafts stores, if desired.

Test Kitchen Tip: If a different size bottle of cinnamon is used, measure 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cinnamon.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Tortilla Chicken Chili

I am not a fan of chili, but I thought I would try this recipe to give my family a form of chili and we loved it! It was great! 

Tortilla Chicken Chili

Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 package McCormick® Chili Seasoning Mix, Original
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) kidney, white or pinto beans, undrained (I used kidney)
1 can (11 ounces) Mexican-style corn or whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups broken tortilla chips (bite-size pieces)
Shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Heat lightly oiled large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

2. Stir in Seasoning Mix, tomatoes, beans, corn, water and tortilla chips; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Tip: If a thinner chili consistency is desired, stir in an additional 1/2 cup water.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I leave these out.)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F ( 165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt and nuts; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.

Serving Size : 2

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

This was a very easy recipe to make. I found it here.

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup


3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Western Potato Rounds

Western Potato Rounds
Pampered Chef Recipe

2 large unpeeled baking potatoes (about 1 ¼ pounds)
Vegetable oil
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded co-jack cheese
6 bacon slices, crispy cooked, drained, and crumbled
1/3 cup green onion slices (optional)
¼ cup barbecue sauce

Pre-heat your oven to 450. Cut potatoes into ¼ inch slices. Spray both sides of the potato slices with oil. Place on a 15 inch Round baking stone. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned, remove from oven.

Combine in a bowl cheese, bacon, onions. Generously brush potato slices with barbecue sauce, sprinkle with cheese mixture. Return potato slices to oven. Bake 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yields 24 rounds.

Tips: Leaving the peel on the potatoes will help keep the shape of the baked potato slices. The potato slices will cook more evenly when sliced to the same thickness.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chicken and Broccoli Braid

Chicken and Broccoli Braid- Pampered Chef Recipe

2 cups cooked and diced chicken
1 cup chopped broccoli
½ cup chopped red pepper
4 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese (or more if you like)
1 pressed garlic clove
½ cup mayonnaise (my friend uses Ranch dressing)
2 teaspoons All Purpose Dill Mix
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
2 packages (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375*. Combine chopped chicken, red pepper, broccoli, and pressed garlic. Combine dill mix, salt, and mayo. Place mayonnaise mixture and cheese in the chicken combination. Mix gently and thoroughly.
Place crescent rolls covering 12x15 stone. Cut 8 strips on each side of dough leaving a middle base for the filling. Place filling in the middle of dough and lift each strip and twist and place over the filling mixture. Brush with egg white and bake for 25-28 minutes (it should be golden brown).

[Those directions sound complicated, but all you are doing is laying the crescent rolls out- make sure that they are still together and roll them to get rid of the lines. Then cut strips along the sides, put the mixture down the middle and fold the sides over the top. You can be as fancy or plain as you like. It is best not to overlap the braid too much on the top or you will have to cook it longer so that the dough is fully cooked. I always make mine on my baking stone. I am sure it could work on most baking surfaces.]

Friday, December 12, 2008

Baked Manicotti

This is a very easy, yet oh so good recipe! I usually add extra cheese on top. I found the recipe here.

Baked Manicotti

Ready in: 30-60 minutes
Serves/Makes: 6

Ingredients: 8 ounces Manicotti -- uncooked
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim Ricotta cheese -- whipped until smooth
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg -- beaten
1/4 cup sliced scallions
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (26-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese -- for topping

Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. In medium bowl, blend Ricotta, Parmesan, egg and scallions. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper. Stuff pasta with cheese mixture. Arrange in a 13 × 9-inch baking dish. Pour spaghetti sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. Cover. Bake in a 350ºF oven until hot, about 35 minutes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Confetti Peanut Butter Cookies

Confetti Peanut Butter Cookies

½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup butter or margarine, softened
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 egg
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup miniature candy-coated semisweet chocolate chips

Makes: 4 dozen

Heat oven to 375. In large bowl combine peanut butter, sugars, butter, shortening, and egg. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Stir in chips.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten balls with fork in crisscross pattern. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool completely before storing.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chocolate Swirls

Each year my friend Emily has a "Sweet Swap" during the holiday season. It gives you a chance to have a variety of goodies around for people who might come and visit your home. This is the "cookie" that I am going to make this year. I always try a new recipe- which is not always a good idea. I let my husband pick the cookie... so we shall see how these turn out!

Chocolate Swirls

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

Makes: 4 dozen cookies

Heat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, butter, cream cheese, egg, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Fold melted chips into dough until lightly marbled. (Do not over mix.)

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Cool completely before storing.