Where to Start!

Oh my goodness, where have I been?
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday Carol!
Everything has been so hectic I’ve been neglecting this blog, but I haven’t stopped cooking or taking pitiful pictures of it all. Let’s see what I can do to catch up.
The Holiday Season (and Football Season) means both sweet and savory snacks and munchies, and plenty of them. Along with our Spicy Sausage Ballsand Bold Party Mix, we have Hot Mushroom Turnovers and Spinach and Cheese Filled Triangles. I make big batches of them all and stash them in the freezer to bake as needed.
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Sweets include Candied Orange Peel, some dipped in chocolate, and some not.
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Diana’s Cinnamon Crisps are a new favorite, and chocolate bark was eay to make by layering leftover chocolate and topping with chopped apricots and dried cranberries. I made a version of bark with crushed candy canes, too.
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Of course, real desserts are a must! My Sweet Potato Pie was baked in a Ginger Snap Crust and not one, but two New York Cheesecakes were served with Blueberry Sauce.IMG_0664 IMG_0696
Just for Michael, I made Bananas Foster Pudding with some of the cinnamon graham crackers that were left from the cinnamon crisps.
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In preperation for the big holiday gatherings most of our everyday dinners were kept simple, as in our Beef and Bean Burritos. Other meals came straight out of the freezer, like Vegan Red Beans and Riceand chicken croquettes made from my Chicken Burgers recipe.
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Cheesy Cauliflower Bake was the only new recipe to make it to the dinner table. I don’t know where the recipe came from, but it sure was good. I’ll make it again.
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And now, on to the main events.
On the morning of Christmas Eve Michael’s family came for Brunch. His mother, Nolene, was accompanied by his brother, Mitchell and his wife, Angie. Of course the usual culprits, Emily and her sons, Kaij and Kelton, and Aaron, Jen, and their son, Xander, joined the crowd. We had my version of a Cracker Barrel breakfast. I made Hash Brown Casserole to go along with biscuits, Sausage and Gravy, and scrambled eggs. I skipped making Cracker Barrel Fried Apples this time because Mitchell and Angie brought their fruit salad, and Nolene brought her “Green Stuff”. Baby Shower Banana Bread rounded out the menu for my part and Emily made some excellent cinnamon rolls from scratch.  I’ll have to get the recipe from her. I thought I was very clever to use my triple slow cooker buffet to keep the sausage, gravy, and eggs nice and hot, but we soon discovered that the eggs turned green! As we sat at the table laughing about “green eggs and ham” I realized…I had not put out the Baked Ham! By then it was too late to bother as everyone had cleaned their plates. Along with the ham, I forgot to take any pictures. Oh well. The ham didn’t go to waste. We had it at Emily’s the next day for Christmas dinner.
The Saturday after Christmas we entertained some of my side of the family with a Traditional Lasagna dinner. I also made Broccoli and Mushroom Stuffed Shells as a meatless alternative. Again, no pictures! My brother, Billy and his wife, Kim drove down from Smithville, and my sister, Betsy and her husband, Wendell came from Fayetteville. Emily, Aaron, and families came again too. Everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoy the food. The leftovers did not go to waste and were happy to pose for pictures.
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Michael and I celebrated a quiet New Year’s Eve together at home. We splurged on a couple pounds of crab legs and I pulled Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes out of the freezer. The potatoes were good, but the crab legs were not. Even trying to drown them in Butter Dipping Sauce didn’t help much.
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Well, that gets us through to the new year. It’s late Friday night and I would like to publish this post in the morning, so I’ll wind it up for now, but check back later on Saturday. If you choose to “follow” me, you’ll get an email whenever I post.
It’s great to have so much to post about. Be thankful for what life gives you.

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