From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

Archive for Let’s Party

How do you “do” the holidays?

The busy holiday season is upon us. Canada celebrated Thanksgiving in October, the United States a few days ago. The Christmas parties are about to begin. Then we move on to the New Year celebrations.
I for one decided a few years ago to slow down during the holidays and focus on what’s most important. For the most part I have been successful in my resolve only momentarily slipping back into trying to meet everyone’s expectations.
I thought it would be fun to share thoughts on how you “do” the holidays. Do you prefer to “do it up big”, keep it simple, or somewhere in between? What is your most special holiday tradition? Share your thoughts about Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Eve.
I would like to hear about some of your favorite recipes as well. They can be simple yet tasty, or extravagant but worth the effort.
Let’s talk.

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A wonderful twist for a fruit salad & always a crowd pleaser!

This is fairly quick & easy. Every time I’ve taken it to gatherings someone asks for the recipe.

Buttermilk Salad

Ingredients:
1 liter buttermilk 1 lg. can mandarin oranges
1 lg. can fruit cocktail 1 lg. tub of Cool Whip
1 lg. can pineapple tidbits
2 lg. pkgs. instant vanilla pudding mix

Directions: Whip together buttermilk and pudding mix.
Drain all fruits and add to buttermilk mixture.
Gently fold in Cool Whip and chill until set.

Another Sweet Treat

In a hurry and don’t have time to bake buns from scratch? Try this……….

Pull-Apart Maple-Pecan Sticky Buns

What You Need
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cans (340 g each) refrigerated country biscuits
1 pkg. (250 g) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, cut into 20 cubes

Directions
HEAT oven to 400°F.
SPRINKLE nuts onto bottom of 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan sprayed with cooking spray. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter; mix with syrup until well blended. Drizzle over nuts.
MELT remaining butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon in shallow dish. Separate dough into 20 biscuits; press each to 1/4-inch thickness. Roll cream cheese cubes in cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated on all sides. Place 1 cream cheese cube in centre of each biscuit circle; gather up sides of dough to enclose filling. Press edges of dough together to seal; roll into ball. Dip top of each ball in remaining butter, then in cinnamon sugar.
ARRANGE half the balls, cinnamon sugar-sides up, in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining balls to form second layer. Drizzle with any remaining butter; sprinkle with any remaining cinnamon sugar.
BAKE 30 min. or until golden brown. Cool 1 min. in pan; invert onto platter. Spoon any nuts remaining in pan over buns. Serve warm. They are pefect for a ladies gathering or a Christmas morning treat for your family.

Pie in a jar from Mennonite Girls Can Cook

This is a fun idea for a Christmas party or family gathering. Check out their website; it’s full of great ideas and recipes!
http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca
This is not so much a recipe as an idea of a fun way to serve dessert or give as a gift from your kitchen! You can use this idea for apple crisp or graham wafer crumbs layered with pudding and whipped cream.
What you need:
•Your favorite pastry dough
•Canned cherries or any other fruit pie filling. Wide mouth jam jars
What you do:
1.Roll out your pastry like you would for pie. Cut out circles that fit your jars. Push the dough circles into your jars pressing the dough to the bottom and sides to form the crust. If you don’t want to cut out the circles, just push pieces of dough into the jar covering the bottom and sides.
2.Spoon your filling into the dough lined jars.
3.Using the screw-on ring for the jar, cut a circle of dough and place on top of the filling, pushing down the edges a bit to form the top crust.
4.Cut a vent on top crust, I used a little tree shaped cookie cutter.
5.Brush with melted butter and sprinkle a little coarse sugar over top.
6.Place jars on a cookie sheet and bake at 350º for 40 to 45 minutes.
7.Remove from oven, let cool.
8.Serve in jars with a scoop of ice cream or run a knife around the edges and slide pie out to serve on a plate.

Mushroom Turnovers from Mennonite Girls Can Cook

Do you ever get an unexpected invitation to a Chistmas gathering and panic because there isn’t time to prepare anything? I like that you can make the pockets ahead, freeze them unbaked and pop them in the oven when needed. They are so much better than what you pick up in the freezer section of the store!

What you need:
Pastry:
250 g / 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
Filling:
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, minced
½ lb fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
pinch thyme
2 Tbsp flour
¼ cup sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
How you make them:
1. Cream together cream cheese and butter.
2. Add flour, mixing until smooth. Cover and chill.
3. Sauté onion and mushrooms. Cook until tender.
4. Stir in salt, thyme, flour and sour cream. Cook until thickened. Cool.
5. Divide dough in half. Roll out each half very thin (1/8 “) and cut rounds with 2 1/2 – 3 inch cookie cutter.
6. Drop 1 tsp filling on each circle. Brush edges with egg.
7. Fold dough over filling. Press edges together with a fork and brush tops with egg.
8. Prick with fork.
9. Freeze unbaked.
Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheet at 425 F for 12 – 15 min. or until golden. Makes 3 – 3 1/2 dozen

Another holiday recipe- Spiced Pudding Cake

What you will need
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 cup molasses
• 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1-1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup water
• 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 1-1/2 cups water
• 1/4 cup butter, cubed
• Whipped cream and ground cinnamon, optional
Directions
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg; beat well. Beat in molasses.
Combine the flour, baking soda, spices and salt
Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with water,beating well after each addition.
Transfer to an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; sprinkle with brown sugar.
In a microwave, heat water and butter until butter is melted; carefully pour mixture over batter.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon if desired.

I got this great recipe from Taste of Home -check out their site for lots of great recipes. http://www.tasteofhome.com

Keeping it simple!

As you may have noticed my theme the last few posts is keeping it simple; back to the basics. I have been encouraging you to keep first things first.
Click on the link above for practical guide may help you do just that.
Be watching for my post of another holiday recipe soon.
Let me hear from you about holiday tips, memories & recipes!