Monthly Archives: December 2012

Peanut Butter Globs (a.k.a. Buckeye’s)



Peanut Butter Blobs (a.k.a. Buckeye’s)

I did not put the eye in these addicting little balls of peanut butter and chocolate.  It was much easier to completly cover it in chocolate.

  • 1 1/2 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 2 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use natural peanut butter)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups (12 oz.) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Microwave white chocolate chips in bowl on 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 1 minute.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat peanut butter, melted white chocolate, butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medum high speed until just combined, about 1 minute.  Roll dough into 1 1/4-inch balls and place on prepared sheet.  Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Microwave semisweet chocolate chips in bowl on 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.  Using toothpick, dip chilled balls into melted chocolate, leaving top quarter of balls uncovered, or cover completely with chocolate.  Return balls to prepared sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

Makes 4 dozen.

“Jesus takes us as we are and makes us what we should be.”


Mexicali Cheese Ball


mexicalicheeseballMexicali Cheese Ball

With all the parties this time of year, this is the perfect holiday hors d’oeuvre.  So easy to make and way better than any store bought cheese ball.

  • 2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup blue corn tortilla chips, crushed

Process all of the ingredients (except tortilla chips) in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary, about 1 minute.  Transfer the cheese mixture to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap.

Holding the corners of the wrap in one hand, twist the cheese with our other hand to seal the wrap and shape the cheese into a rough ball (mixture will be somewhat loose).  Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.  (The cheese ball can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.)  Once the cheese ball is firm, reshape it as necessary into a smooth sphere.  Unwrap the cheese ball and roll it in crushed tortilla corn chips.  Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 15 to 20.

“When I’m thinking about an answer while others are talking – I’m not listening.”

Eggnog Bread


eggnogbreadeggnogbread2Eggnog Bread

After making 6 to 8 quarts of eggnog this year, I decided to use some of it up making this bread.  You don’t need to make your own eggnog for this recipe, just buy some ready made.  It was so good I think I made 6 batches to give to my friends and family.  Try it, you’ll love it.

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, or three 3 x 5-inch loaf pans with no-stick cooking spray.

Mix butter and sugar until well blended.  Add eggs and mix.  Add eggnog and vanilla extract and mix.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until just moistened.  You may have lumps.  Pour into your prepared pans.

Bake large loaf for 50 to 60 minutes, smaller loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes, and remove from pan.  Cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and store in refrigerator.

“If God never does anything more than redeem us, He has already done far more than we deserve.”


Holiday Eggnog



Holiday Eggnog

If you are willing to stand at the stove and stir this for a half hour, it is well worth it.  It has a relatively thick and creamy texture and not too sweet.

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Off heat, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and salt in heavy large saucepan.  Stir in milk, one-half cup at a time, blending well after each addition.  Heat slowly over lowest possible flame, stirring constantly, until custard registers 160 degrees on instant read thermometer, thickens, and coats the back of a spoon, 25 to 30 minutes.  Strain, if you like, but I didn’t.  Stir in heavy cream, vanilla and nutmeg.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least three hours and up to three days.

To spike eggnog, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of brandy to glass before adding eggnog.  Sprinkle additional nutmeg on top, if desired.

Serves 12 to 16.

“No gift is greater than the gift of Christ Himself.”

Cranberry-Eggnog Muffins


cranberryeggnogmuffinsCranberry-Eggnog Muffins

These are fabulous muffins!

For the muffins

  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup apple juice or rum
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups eggnog
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the topping

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

Prepare the muffins:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mist muffin pan with cooking spray.  Warm cranberries and apple juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, then remove from the heat and let steep 5 minutes.  Drain.

Whisk flour, baking powder, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk butter, eggnog, eggs and vanilla in another bowl.  Gently fold into the flour mixture.  (The batter will be lumpy; do not overmix.)  Fold in the cranberries.  Divide the batter evenly among 18 muffin cups.

Make the topping:  Mix flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt and brown sugar in a bowl with your fingertips until it looks like wet sand.  Sprinkle generously over the batter.

Bake until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes.  Cool slightly in the pan, then carefully remove to a rack.

Makes 18 muffins.

“Our salvation is secure because God does the holding.”



Sausage Soup



Sausage Soup

This is a delicious soup to make on a chilly day.  Serve it with cheesy garlic bread for a complete meal.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed (I used all-natural pork sausage)
  • 2 onions chopped fine
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped fine
  • 2 (14.5-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 4 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Cook sausage, breaking up large pieces with wooden spoon, until it is well browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl.  Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat left in pot, add onions and celery and cook over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes.

Stir in browned sausage, tomatoes, broth and water and bring to boil.  Add pasta and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8 to 10.

“God is actively working to keep you from the danger of getting lost in sin.”

Rolo Pretzel Turtles


rolopretzelturtlesRolo Pretzel Turtles

These are the easiest turtles to make.  They are soooo good!!!

  • Small Pretzels
  • Pecan Halves
  • Rolo Chewy Caramels in Milk Chocolate

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Place pretzels on prepared sheet and top each pretzel with one Rolo.

Bake 3 to 5 minutes (I left mine in for 2 minutes.) or until caramel piece begins to soften, but not melt.  Remove from oven, top with pecan half and slightly press down.  Cool completely.

Bet you can’t eat just one!!

“No gift is greater than the gift of Christ Himself.”


Skillet Chili Mac



Skillet Chili Mac

This is not exceptionally spicy, so if you would like to make it spicier, add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes along with the chili powder.  I love skillet recipes.  They are so easy and quick to make.  Try it, you will love it.

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion, chili powder, cumin, and salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir in garlic and brown sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add beef and cook, breaking apart meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in water and tomato sauce, then add pasta.  Cover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat to maintain vigorous simmer, until pasta is al dente.

Off heat, stir in 1 cup cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over top, cover, and let stand off heat until cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes.  Serve.  Delicious!

Serves 4.

“When we reflect on the power of God’s creation, we see the power of His care for us.”

White Fruitcake


whitefruitcakeWhite Fruitcake

This fruitcake is for everyone that loves fruitcake, and for everyone who thinks they don’t like fruitcake.  This is citrusy and light.  Not soaked in alcohol!

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 pounds candied fruit (4 cups)
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) slivered almonds
  • 1 cup (3 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees.  Generously grease 12-cup tube pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Microwave orange juice in medium bowl until hot, about 30 seconds.  Add candied fruit and stir to coat completely.  Let cool completely, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Process almonds, coconut, and 1/4 cup flour in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute.  Transfer to second medium bowl and whisk in remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt.

Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with candied fruit in 2 additions, scraping down bowl as needed.  Give batter final stir by hand.  Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 2 hours, rotating pan halfway through baking.  Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes.  Remove cake from pan, discarding parchment and reinverting cake.  Let cool completely, about 3 hours.

You can decorate the top of your cake however you want.  I brushed mine with melted orange marmalade (while it was still warm) and then lined pecans around the top edge and brushed the pecans with the marmalade.  Or you could just dust the top with powdered sugar.

“Facing death with confidence comes from trusting Christ.”



Salmon Spread


salmonspreadSalmon Spread

This is a delicious appetizer for the holiday parties.

  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (6-oz.) cans boneless, skinless red salmon, drained

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.  Serve in a pretty dish along with a variety of crackers.

“The Christian’s race is not a sprint – it’s a marathon.”