Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas decorations

Red Snowflake Candle
Add a wintry glow with this festive pillar candle nestled in greenery and peppermints. Here's how to embellish the candle: Using embossing ink, trace the pattern onto white tissue paper, then sprinkle the ink with red embossing powder. Hold the paper design against the candle and use a heat gun to embed the pattern into the wax.

Candle Cakewalk
Use a cake plate as the base for a winter vignette of candles, trees, ornaments, and nonflammable faux snow. Place in front of a mirror for glittering reflections.

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Cooking Instructions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolk until combined. Add vanilla. Beat until combined.
Add flour and salt. Beat until combined, scraping down side of bowl occasionally.

Between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap with a rolling pin roll the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out shapes. Reroll and use scraps until all dough is used.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes,depending on the size of the cookies, or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
These cookies can be made through step 3, wrapped well, and refrigerated up to 1 week, or frozen up to 6 months.

Toffee Candy Cookies

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Cookie Layer:
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar

½ cup chocolate chips

Cooking Instructions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast pecan pieces on jelly roll pan 12 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
In large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolk until combined.
Add flour and salt. Beat until combined, scraping down side of bowl occasionally.
Between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap with a rolling pin roll the dough to a 12-inch-by-9-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to a cookie sheet
Bake 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove cookie sheet to cooling rack and let cool completely.
In a medium pot bring brown sugar and butter to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally 5 minutes. Immediately spread over cooled cookie.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee. Put back in oven 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Spread melted chocolate chips over the toffee and immediately sprinkle nuts.
Put in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Break candy into desired size pieces.

Any toasted nut can be sprinkled on top of the chocolate layer.
Storage Tips
It can be stored, well wrapped, in the freezer for 6 months.

Preparation Time:
20 minutes
Cooking Time:
5 mintues

Christmas decorations

Styrofoam Snowman
What you'll need:
Two inch Styrofoam ball (Note: or use three balls in incremental sizes)
Two and a half inch Styrofoam ball
Three inch Styrofoam ball
Four toothpicks
Mini black pom poms
Orange chenille stem (regular or bumpy)
Wire cutters
Tacky glue
Piece of ribbon or felt
Butter knife

How to make it:
Take a butter knife and even off the bottom of the largest Styrofoam ball. This will allow the snowman to stand up.
Push a toothpick halfway into the top of the largest Styrofoam ball (make sure the flat bottom is on the table).
Push the medium-sized Styrofoam ball onto the toothpick.
Push a toothpick a little more than halfway into the top of the medium-sized Styrofoam ball. (Note: You don't want the toothpick sticking out the top of the head!)
Push the smallest Styrofoam ball on top of the toothpick. This is the head.
Cut a short piece of orange chenille stem off for the nose. (Parents please do this step)
Push the nose into the middle of the (front) of the smallest Styrofoam ball.
Glue on pom pom eyes, mouth, and buttons.
Cut a strip of felt or ribbon for the scarf. Glue where the scarf crosses both to the Styrofoam ball and to the other piece of scarf.
Stick two toothpicks in the middle-sized Styrofoam ball for the arms. (see photo)
How fun! Your own non-melting snowman!

Christmas Decorations

Chenille Candy Cane
What you'll need:
White and red chenille stems
Ribbon (optional)

How to make it:
Hold one white and one red chenille stem side by side (they should be of equal length). Twist one end together and then twist together working your way down to the bottom.
Twist the bottom end together to secure. One chenille stem makes two nice sized candy canes.
You can buy chenille stems in large packages of multiple colors

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If there is anything that I am thankful for is my family.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Breakfast Idea on Thanksgiving Pumpkin Oat Muffins Recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon cold butter

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the egg, pumpkin, milk and oil; add to the dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in oats and raisins.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and pie spice; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle 1 rounded teaspoonful over each muffin. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm

Extra Cranberries? Cranberry-Nut Fruit Cups Recipe

1 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup halved green grapes
1 snack-size cup (4 ounces) pineapple tidbits, drained
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup whipped topping

In a food processor, chop the cranberries. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight; drain. Stir in the grapes, pineapple and walnuts. Fold in whipped topping: 2 servings.

Strawberries al Moscato with Vanilla Cream Recipe

I just love Moscato wine! Try out this recipe

1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
1/4 cup Gallo Family Vineyards Moscato
4 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
Fresh mint leaves, optional

In a bowl, toss strawberries with the Moscato, honey and lemon juice. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form. Spoon berry mixture into chilled serving dishes. Garnish berry mixture with vanilla cream and mint leaves : 8 servings.

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce


2 cups cranberry juice
1 (6-ounce) bag sweetened dried cranberries
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 cup sugar
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons corn starch


In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cranberry juice, cranberries, cinnamon and sugar. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have softened and apples are tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove 8 ounces of the liquid to a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Slowly add the cornstarch-juice mixture (slurry) to the cranberry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and pour into a serving bowl. Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and serve.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Do you love to cook ! Signed up for a Recipe Contest @

Recipe contest !!! "La Receta de mi Cocina,"
Recipes can range from main courses and side dishes to desserts,with each entry using at least one of Que Rica Vida's 14 priority brands, plus additional ingredients and serving ideas. The grand prize winner will receive a trip to General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis, where they will receive a personal tour of the famous Betty Crocker Kitchens, and its Cocina Hispana, in the company of Executive Chef Adriana Amione. The second and third finalists will each be awarded checks for $500. There's also monthly "People's Choice Awards" where visitors to the website will be invited to vote for the recipe they feel best meets contest judging criteria for taste, creativity and ease of preparation. The winner of the "People's Choice Awards" are going to be awarded a $100 gift bag. The recipe contest runs from October 1 to December 31.
Easy & simple brands
Hambuger Helper
Toaster studel
Cinnamon toast chruch
Yoolait GoGurt
Green Giant
Honey Nuts Cheerios
Nature Valley
Fiber one

Goldy Granola and Fruit.

10 bar (5 packs of 1.5 oz each) granola Nature Valley Crunchy Oats' N Honey crushed, or 2 cups of granola.
2 apples, unpeeled, chopped.
2 bananas, peeled and sliced.
1 cup pineapple or any fruit of the season, minced.
2 packages (6 oz each) of yogurt Yoplait Original 99% Fat Free French Vanilla or your preference.

How to prepare:
Place the granola and yogurt in a deep dish. Insert a toothpick in each piece of fruit.
Put the pieces of fruit yogurt with granola and then to cover them completely. If you want to serve on a platter
For more great recipes check out

Cream Cheese Stuffed Cuernitos

1 / 4 cup powdered sugar.
4 oz (half a package of 8 oz) cream cheese, soft at room temperature.
1 1 / 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur or strong liquid coffee (freshly made).
1 / 2 teaspoon vanilla.
1 / 4 cup macadamia nuts, style, finely chopped.
1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent croissant dinner rolls.

1 / 4 cup chocolate chips semi-sweet.
1 / 2 teaspoon vegetable shortening or vegetable oil.
How to prepare:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a baking dish. In a mixing bowl boy powdered sugar, cream cheese, coffee liqueur and vanilla until fully incorporated. Add the macadamia nuts.
Separate dough into 8 triangles. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of filling on the smaller or narrower part of each triangle. Roll it up loosely, starting at the narrow or girl to the opposite side. Place the tip facing down in the pan to be greased baking, forming a semicircle forming a Cuernito.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until browned. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in pot 1 quart low heat melt the ingredients for the glaze, stir until incorporated and smooth look, no lumps of sparks. With a fork or spoon the glaze decorated with zigzag on the horns. Serve hot or cold. Keep them in the refrigerator.

Parfaits with Yogurt Cheerios!!!!

3 containers (6 oz each) strawberry yogurt Yoplait  Original 99% Fat Free or vanilla flavor (2 cups)

1 cup crushed pineapple or 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in syrup, drained
2 cups Cheerios 
1 medium banana, sliced, or other fruit
1 can (11 oz) mandarin orange segments in syrup, drained, or other fruit (1 1 / 2 cups)
1 / 4 cup toasted shredded coconut
4 fresh strawberries, sliced

How to prepare:
In a medium bowl mix the yogurt and pineapple. Place 1 / 4 cup of Cheerios  cereal at the bottom of 4 glasses or cups long Parfaits or dessert.
Empty at the bottom of each cup 2 tablespoons yogurt mixture above the grain. Above again put yogurt 1 / 4 cup Cheerios  and then the banana or fruit you want.
Place remaining 2 tablespoons of yogurt mixture on top of the fruit and put up tangerine segments above or other fruit. Sprinkle coconut and decorate with strawberries.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Turkey Note Holder

What you'll need:

2 jumbo craft sticks
Brown acrylic craft paint
Small wooden clothespin
Small straw hat, cut in half
Small red foam heart
Miniature orange foam triangle
2 yellow foam chick feet
2 small wiggle eyes
White craft glue
Hot glue gun
9 feathers in fall colors

How to make it:
Paint both craft sticks and clothespin with brown paint, set aside to dry. Paint a second coat on the craft sticks, but not the clothespin.
Glue feathers in a fan behind one of the craft sticks. Sandwich the second craft stick behind the feathers.
Glue the straw hat half to the top of the craft stick.
Glue two wiggle eyes under the hat.
Glue red heart upside down for waddle. Glue the orange triangle upside down at the top of the waddle.
Glue the yellow duck feet to the bottom of the craft stick, pointing upward.
Glue the clothespin to the front of the craft stick, pointing downward.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (1/4 L) pumpkin purée*
1/2 cup (1 dL) olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup (1 dL) chopped walnuts

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.
3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.ns

Chocolate Pudding

1 bar (4-ounce) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups milk
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cups cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoons salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 cups whipped cream (optional)
2 tablespoons
chocolate shavings (optional)

Combine chocolate, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl, and set aside. Heat milk in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl. Beat the yolks in a bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium, for 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the sugar mixture. Beat together until it resembles wet sand. Add half the hot milk, and whisk until blended. Transfer the cocoa mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, while continuously whisking, until thickened -- about 8 minutes. Strain into the bowl of chocolate. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring smooth with a wooden spoon. Press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Pumpkin Cream Tarts with Candied Cranberries

3 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cups puréed pumpkin
2 tablespoons brandy or Cognac
1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
4 large egg yolks
1 cups heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks

Make the tart shells: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the gingersnap cookie crumbs, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and butter in a large bowl. Cover the bottoms and sides of eight 3 1/2-inch tartlet pans with removable bottoms with the crumb mixture. Transfer the tartlet shells to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Make the cranberry topping: Bring 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the cranberries and cook until they just begin to soften. Remove cranberries with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and set aside. Reserve cranberry syrup for another use.
Make the filling: Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set aside. Place the milk in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it, and set aside. Combine the pumpkin purée, 3/4 cup sugar, brandy, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and egg yolks in large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and a thermometer reads 140 degrees F. Stir in the milk mixture, cook for 1 more minute, transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and place over the prepared ice bath. Stir occasionally, until cool — about 10 minutes. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled pumpkin mixture, fill the prepared shells, and smooth the tops. Chill for 6 hours or overnight. Top each tartlet with a spoonful of the candied cranberries and serve cold.

Lemon Meringue Pie

2 1/4 cupsall-purpose flour
1 1/4 cupssugar
7 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cups cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cups vegetable shortening, cold
5 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cups lemon juice
1 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
3 large eggs, separated

Make the crust: Combine the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cut 3/4 cup butter and the shortening into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, 2 knives, or your fingers, until a coarse meal forms. Stir in 4 to 6 tablespoons of iced water until dough is just combined and holds together when pressed. Transfer to a clean surface and gather the dough into a ball and flatten to a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or up to overnight. (Chilled dough may be frozen for up to 3 months.)

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim away the excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the edges under and crimp along the rim. Prick the bottom of the dough several times with a fork, line with parchment paper, and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake for 15 more minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Make the filling: Whisk the cornstarch, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water together in a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, zest, and yolks and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken -- about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and strain into the prepared crust.
Make the meringue: Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Add 5 tablespoons sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue to beat until the whites have increased to about six times the volume and are glossy and firm. (The whites will make pointy peaks when pulled up with the beaters or whisk.) Spread the meringue over the filling, to touch the crust edge. Bake until the meringue is golden brown -- 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Easy Centerpieces for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Candle Centerpiece
easy and simple only 3 ingredients pumpkin, a candle, and berry sprigs.

What could be simpler for Thanksgiving Centerpiece Corn and Candles.

  • dried corn

  • plain glass jar

Serve up a stylish centerpiece by simply centering a serving tray on an autumn-orange table runner and filling it with a sampling of mini pumpkins and fall plants.

Pumpkin Pie Yummy :)


1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see below)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 5-ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk

1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry; crimp edge as desired.
2. For filling, in a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater or fork just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.
3. Place the pastry-lined pie plate on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage. Makes 8 servings.

Holiday Treats