Dec 28, 2010

Tip- Red

While they are on sale, pick up red napkins and red paper goods to use for Valentine's Day and for summer picnics and bar-b-ques.

Dec 22, 2010

Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanza

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa. What every you celebrate, please relax, enjoy and remember to help someone less fortunate.

I won't be posting from 23 December thru the 28th. Resume posting on the 29th.

Dec 21, 2010

New Year's Entertaining

Don't forget the party hats and noise makers.
Here are some great  sparkling wines that are fine to serve at your New Years Eve party. Be sure to include non alcoholic beverages including sparkling water, fancy juice drinks, soft drinks and bottled water
for the designated drivers.

Here are some appetizers to serve through out the evening. 

Italian White Bean Dip


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 (15 oz.) can can white beans (Northern White or Cannelloni), drained, rinsed
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil (yes you can taste the difference)


  • Peel garlic and add to the food processor and process until minced. Add beans, juice and salt, and process into a puree (smooth).
  • With processor running, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Process until mixture thickens, about 1 - 2 minute.
  • Spoon into serving dish and serve as a spread for bread or crackers. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes about 1 cup
Pasta Salad in Martini Glasses Spoon store bought pasta salad into Martini glasses to make individual portions for guests. Serve with spoons

Shrimp Krispies from  Contessa Foods

 Contessa Foods

12 ounces Contessa Cooked Shrimp, thawed and chopped
8 ounces cream cheese
2 shallots, chopped fine
1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Wonton wrappers
Sesame seeds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon cold water
Steps: Preheat oven to 425º F. Mix first six ingredients together until well blended. Place 1 tablespoon shrimp mixture in center of wonton wrapper. Bring corners together, twist and pinch tight. Flatten bottom. Place in baking pan, brush with water, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauce made by combining soy sauce, rice wine and cold water.

Check out the Brie appetizer

Spanish Shrimp Cocktail

4 to 6 servings


  • 2 pounds cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato  juice
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped
Place the shrimp in a large bowl. Mix all the other ingredients together except the avocado. Pour over the shrimp and stir Fold in avocado. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve in a martini glass with a salted rim. 

Check out the tip for New Year's decorations.

Dec 20, 2010

Tip - Decorations for New Years

After Christmas sales are a great time to pick up clear and silver ornaments for decorations on New Year's. Clear ornaments can be arranged to look like champagne bubbles.  Silver wrapping paper can be used for table runners and to cover boxes for lifts on the table.

Don't forget to fill in an gaps in the dish department, there are some great sales out there.

Dec 18, 2010

Baked Brie No Fuss Appetizer

Servings: 8 to 10
1 (9 by 9 and 1/2-inch) sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 (8-ounce) wheel firm Brie cheese
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or pecans
1/4 cup raspberry preserves
assorted  crackers and fruits


1.Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Roll the puff pastry into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured surface.
3. Trim the pastry to a 9-inch circle with a paring knife.
4. Brush the edges lightly with the beaten egg.
5.  Spoon preserves onto center of pastry. Place cheese on top of preserves. Sprinkle evenly with nuts.
6. Place the Brie in the center of the pastry circle and, wrap it in the pastry.
7.  Brush the exterior of the pastry with beaten egg and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
8. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Cut pastry scraps into decorative shapes and arrange on top, if desired. Brush with egg mixture.
9. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
10. Bake the cheese until the exterior is a deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
11. Transfer to a wire rack.
12. Cool for about 30 minutes.

Serve with crackers and sliced fruit.

Dec 17, 2010

Celebrity eggnog

Today we stray into the land of celebrity eggnog with the following links.

I love eggnog, to me it symbolizes the holidays. Don't forget to dust it with fresh nutmeg.  Enjoy.

Sides for Holiday Meals


Prep Time:5 min
Cook Time:55 min
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Serves:6 servings
4 large baking potatoes 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk Pinch salt and pepper 1 cup half Swiss and half cheddar cheese, grated
A couple of drops of hot sauce (optional)
Cooked bacon crumbled


  • Boil the potatoes until tender
  • Cool and slice thinly. 
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk flour into melted butter and cook over medium heat until it thickens. Whisk in the milk and stir until the mixture thickens.
  • Layer the 3 components ending with the grated cheese in a buttered 9 by 9 inch oven proof dish, Top with crumbled bacon

Dec 15, 2010

Host a Tapas Party

Tapas  is the name of a wide variety of Spanish appetizers, or snacks. These are served either cold or warm depending on the item.

With a few bottles of wine or a pitcher of Sangria (see recipe below) you can throw a tapas party that is quick and easy. 

Olives stuffed with garlic cloves are perfect right out of the bottle.


1/3 pound blanched whole almonds
1 teaspoon peanut oil

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread almonds in one layer in a roasting pan and roast in oven for 22 minutes. Remove, mix with oil, then mix with salt. Spread on a towel to cool, 15-20 minutes. These are best when eaten within a few hours.

Red Peppers Stuffed with Tuna Salad
1 jar roasted peppers

2 cans of oil packed tuna

Drain tuna and mix with a little mayonaise
Salt and pepper to taste. Drain peppers and stuff with tuna salad. Serve at room temperature.


1 dozen new potatoes, scrubbed

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons minced red onions

Place the new potatoes in a sauce pan and cover with water. Season the water with salt. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the eggs in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water up to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the eggs for 15 minutes after the heat has been reduced. Remove both potatoes and eggs from the water and shock in an ice bath. Remove the potatoes and eggs when cooled and pat dry. Using a paring knife, cut the tip of the potato off on both
sides, vertically, so the potato will stand straight up. Using a small melon baller, scoop out the center of the potatoes, leaving about a 1/8-inch shell,reserving the potato scraps. Peel and chop the eggs. In a mixing bowl, combine the reserved potato scraps, chopped eggs mayonnaise, garlic, parsley and onions. Mix thoroughly. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Season the new potato with salt and pepper. Fill each potato with the potato mixture. Garnish each potato with parsley. Yield: 12 stuffed potatoes.

Tortilla espanola makes 8-10 servings as an appetizer.


  • 1 lb shrimp, 25 count to a pound
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 oz of dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon for juice
  • 1 Baguette


This garlic shrimp recipe, makes 4 servings as an appetizer.
In a heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about one minute or until they begin to brown. Burnt garlic tastes bitter so watch the pan! Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika. Stir briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with fresh bread.

Try Pinchos Moruños

Dec 14, 2010

Punch and Alcoholic Beverages

Punch and Alcoholic Beverages
Looking for something different? Try this recipe for Puerto Rican eggnog

Christmas Punch recipe

1 quart of vanilla ice cream.
28 oz of Sprite, chilled.
2 cups of pineapple juice.
2 cups of orange juice.
½ cup of lemon juice.
¼ cup of honey.

Preparation Instructions:
Blend the juices and honey; and chill.

Pour the juice mixture and Sprite over small scoops of vanilla ice cream in a punch bowl, then stir until ice cream is almost dissolved.

Tequila Punch

1 quart (4 cups) tequila
4 750-ml. bottles sauterne
1 750-ml. (about 3 1/4 cups) bottle champagne
8 cups fresh fruit cubed
Chill all ingredients well before mixing.
Pour all ingredients but the fruit into a large punch bowl and sweeten to taste with simple syrup.

*Simple syrup: Heat equal parts sugar and water to boiling in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and continue cooking for just a minute or two. Cool.

Makes 40 servings or more.

Dec 13, 2010

How To Carve Your Turkey, Ham and Roast

The art of carving takes time and practice, the more you do it the easier it gets.  The links below will help you conquer that slab of meat in front of you.

Carving Beef
Videos for carving
Rules for carving

Dec 12, 2010

Tip - Holiday Table Setting

I told you that entertaining can be stress free and fun. I have gone from having 30 for Christmas dinner to two for dinner. You need to learn to go with the flow.

Great eye candy ideas for your holiday

Hors' Devours

Don't settle for cereal mixes, try something a little more grown up.

Antipasto Loaf

1  loaf of French bread
 (8 oz.)  Cream Cheese softened
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup packed in oil
drained peppers, chopped
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 lb thinly sliced salami
1/4 thinly sliced ham
1/2 cup finely chopped basil


Cut french bread  lengthwise in half. Remove soft insides from both bread halves. Spread cream cheese onto insides of bread shells. Layer salami and ham on bread.  Fill with tomatoes, peppers, Parmesan and sprinkle with chopped basil
Put on bread top; wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Bread Sticks
1 (11-ounce) container refrigerated bread stick dough
1/3cup grated Parmesan
sesame seeds to sprinkle on bread sticks (optional) 24 paper-thin slices prosciutto or ham.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking pan with parchment paper. Tear the dough along the perforations into strips. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut each dough strip in half lengthwise to form thin strips. Roll each dough strip in the Parmesan cheese, sprinkle with sesame seeds and twist. Transfer the dough strips to the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the bread sticks are brown and crisp, about 20 minutes. Cool the bread sticks completely on the baking sheet. Before serving, wrap 1 slice of prosciutto around each cooled bread stick. Arrange the prosciutto-wrapped bread sticks on a platter or stand up in a decorative container.

Small individual cheese pizzas

Individual pizzas can be topped with various items such as mushrooms, sausage, veggies and cooked.  Cut into small bite size pieces.

Dec 11, 2010

Fondue and Dips

Fiery Fondue from the Food Network Cook Time: 10 min  Ingredients
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages white Cheddar, shredded
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages Monterey Jack, shredded
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces light beer
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 chipotle chiles, minced
  • Vegetables, for dipping
  • Fruit, for dipping
  • 1 loaf bread, cubed, for dipping
In a large bowl toss together cheeses and flour.
To a 4-quart saucepan, add the beer, smashed garlic and chipotle chiles and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Whisk in cheese by the handful, making sure each addition melts before you add the next. Keep at a bare simmer. Transfer to a fondue pot and set over a low flame.
Serve with fondue accompaniments of fruits, vegetables
and bread cubes.

Cheddar, Garlic, and Zinfandel Fondue recipe from Fondue

12 ounces (4 1/2 cups) extra sharp Cheddar cheese (finely grated) 2 ounces (1/2 cup) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (finely grated) 1 cup Zinfandel (or another hearty red wine) 1 tablespoon corn starch 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/4 cup roasted garlic puree (recipe below) 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS 1. In a medium saucepan, bring wine and vinegar to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Toss the Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Slowly stir in cheese mixture in small handfuls until completely melted. Stir in roasted garlic and season with pepper flakes.
3. Transfer to a cheese fondue pot and keep warm with burner. Serve right away.

Roasted Garlic Puree

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 2 large garlic heads in half, while trying to keep the cloves intact. Pour a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over the cut surfaces and put the two garlic heads back together.

2. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake until the garlic is softened (40 to 50 minutes depending on size). Cloves should be a deep beige. Unwrap and let cool completely.
3. Squeeze garlic into a bowl, discarding the hulls. Mash with a fork until smooth. Use for seasoning for fondue or spread onto bread.
Tomato and Bacon Spread Ingredients:
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened, (8 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • 1 tomato, peeled & chopped
  • 6 to 8 slices cooked bacon crumbled


In a bowl, blend cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Add garlic powder and tomatoes. Add bacon to cream cheese mixture when ready to serve. Serve with party rye rounds or as a party dip.

Pizza Dip Ingredients:

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened (8oz)
  • 1 jar (14oz) favorite pizza sauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 oz sliced black olives or green
  • 2 ounces sliced pepperoni


Press cream cheese in bottom of 9-inch pie plate. Spread pizza sauce over cream cheese and layer remaining ingredients in the order listed. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Serve with slices of ciabatta bread or your favorite crackers. Serves 8 to 10.

Dec 10, 2010

Tip - Make the List for After Christmas Sales

As you go along, make a list of the items you need to fill  in your entertaining goody bag.  Watch for sale items after the holidays, to make your entertaining easier or to add a bang  to you party.


Remember you need a photo ID to mail packages through UPS and Mail Boxes Etc.

Dec 9, 2010

Glassware Warning

Be sure to read about glassware problems Shattering Glassware

Getting ready for Christmas week of party

  • Wipe down storm door and make a sign for party night inviting guests to come on in.
  • Clean and supply bathrooms.
  • Make sure you have rock  salt if you live in a cold region.
  • Shop for perishables at the end of the week
  • Get out serving dishes and china.
  • Don't forget extra ice.
  • Don't wear yourself so you don't enjoy the party

Dec 8, 2010

The Perfect Christmas Tree How To

 Have you ever wanted a perfect Christmas tree.  Follow the directions on this site and you will.

Quick Decorating Tips

Colonial Candles
Decorations shouldn’t be limited to one room. Pick up several  holiday hand towels for the powder room, maybe a small evergreen arrangements for the back of the tank. Adding small touches to each room gives a festive air. Put a glass bowl filled with ornaments in your book case, a Christmas fragrant candle (just not near food) on an end table, a cookie cutter tree in the kitchen. Look around for areas that could use a small touch. Also you can put out water goblets (empty)with small tea lights (battery operated) in them for sparkle. Check out Colonial Candles for some ideas.

Dec 7, 2010

Setting Up A Bar

Bars can be set just about anywhere there is a flat surface. Preferable where there is space for your guests to move around and not cause a traffic jam.  Pick up a cheap plastic table cloth to protect your surface, you can then cover it with a cloth to create the theme you are having for this event. Remember  a bar will give guests somewhere to congregate and get to know the other guests.

When setting up a bar, here are the basics: vodka, rum, gin, rye, scotch red and white wine. You will also need sparkling water, sodas and juices, non-alcoholic drinks and mixes.  Put out small bowls with cherries, olives and lemon slices and toothpicks for garnishes. Don't forget a cork screw for the wine, shaker for mixing, jigger and an ice bucket with tongs.

Dec 6, 2010

Dec 5, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas two weeks before party.

Finish deep cleaning. Clean out the refrigerator. Cook anything that can be frozen. Make list of perishable food items and any items still needed (linens, extra dishes). Order table decorations.

Dec 4, 2010

Tip -Alcohol

When ever you serve alcoholic beverages make sure you offer appetizers, even just cheese and crackers. Remember you are responsible for the safety of your guests.

Dec 3, 2010

Quick Appetizers

Here are a handful of links to some quick and easy appetizers:

This site has appetizers broken down by category, Not to be missed Great appetizers

As I come across more appetizers I will post them. Sorry for the late start yesterday, computer problems.

Spiced Nuts


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts (combination of almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts) What ever you like.


Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
  1. Select power high.
  2. In a 2 quart microwave safe dish combine sugar, water and spices.
  3. Heat 1 to 1 1/2 minutes til sugar is melted.
  4. Stir in nuts.
  5. Place nuts on a microwave safe plate heat on high for 3 1/2 minutes or until syrupy.
  6.  Be careful to spread the nut mixture evenly on the plate and watch closely not to burn.
  7.  Place nuts on wax paper to cool completely.
  8. Break into pieces store in air tight container.

Dec 2, 2010

Tip - KISS

Keep it simple: Serve the number of people you can comfortably accommodate. Convenience foods can be a life saver. Your menu  should have some make-ahead recipes as well as a few last minute items.

Dec 1, 2010

Dessert Buffet

Looking for an  easy entertaining party? Invite your guests to a dessert buffet.  This can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.

First choose a date a couple weeks in advance so your guests can reserve the date. Next decide on a menu.  Your holiday decorations will help set the theme for your party.  Finger food will make this easy. If you are having a large group, use sturdy holiday styrofoam plates and heavy paper napkins. Makes for easy stress free fun.  Concentrate on the food.

Design your tablescape and make your table have several different levels (staggering heights) makes your food look more appetizing. Use cake stands, clear blocks or use sturdy boxes covered with Christmas wrap.

Beverages can be mulled wine, a large punch bowl filled with a bright red beverage or coffee. Offer a variety of cupcakes, assorted cookies, petite fours, brownies, and mini cheesecakes. Put bowls of wrapped candies on the table to fill out the menu.

All the food can be made or purchased before the party so you will be able to relax and enjoy your guest.

Things You'll Need:

  • Styrofoam Plates
  • Napkins
  • Glasses
  • Styrofoam Cups
  • Coffee Pot
  • Creamer
  • Sugar - Sugar Substitute
  • Stir Sticks 
  • Desserts

Tip - Less is really more

Less is really more. Take time to enjoy the holidays and your own parties.  Your guests are here to see you.

Nov 30, 2010

What's on Your Cheese Plate?

When planning a cheese plate you need to consider what beverages you are going to serve with it.  All types of beer go with Pecorino, Cheddar, Gouda, and Gruyere serve with olives, crackers and salted nuts.  

For pairing cheese with wine visit Wine Pairing

Picking one cheese from the category of milk types –sheep, goat, cow – can create a cheese plate, be sure to serve odd numbers of cheese as it is more appealing. Crackers are good if they are to be used as a palate cleanser. Bunches of grapes add color and are great paired with cheese.

Remember to take the cheeses  out of the refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes prior to serving so that they may reach room temperature.  Serve all soft ripened cheeses in wedges, present fresh soft cheeses like Brie, in the entire form and have a knife to cut and spread onto crackers or bread. Hard cheeses should be cut into pieces for serving.

Don't forget your cheese knives, cheese forks and wooden picks for serving 

Hosting a Brunch- Easy Peasy

Great idea for holiday entertainment. One of the easiest ways to entertain is to host a brunch.

The following menu will offer your guests a nice assortment of foods and have you as a relaxed hostess/host with much of the menu prepped in advance. 

Items in purple are links to easy recipes.

Nov 29, 2010

Tip - Unexpected Guest

Plan for the unexpected. Fill a large bowl or basket with inexpensive individually wrapped gifts, suitable for either male or female.  Tuck in some greens to make it festive. Your unexpected guests will be thrilled to receive a gift from you. Don't forget to have a few gifts for children.

Getting ready for your Christmas Party- Beginning of December

Send out invites for the holiday party. Decide where your guests will be mingling and start doing deep cleaning and decoratingPlan the menu Remember if you are serving buffet style every thing must be easy to eat with a fork, spoon or fingers.  Shop for non perishable foods. Order specialty items and whatever beverage/cocktail fixings you need.

Nov 28, 2010

Nov 27, 2010

Getting ready for Christmas

You now have Thanksgiving under your belt, time to start making notes for Christmas. Get out your trusty entertaining book. Look over your December calendar and see what events are scheduled. Make a page in your book for  each event.  Got a pot luck - write down the recipe and list of ingredients including the serving dish. Hosting a brunch, check back next week when I will post a menu and recipes for one.  What's for Christmas dinner?  Work on the menu and grocery list early so you don't stress over it.  How about a dessert party? More ideas on that next week.

Equipment for Easy Entertaining

A great item to add to your entertaining stash is a  Triple burner set . Be sure to get the chafing inserts.  These pots are very versatile You will wonder how you got along without them.  

Nov 26, 2010

Your Entertaing Notebook1

After you get home from the sales and sit down to catch your breath, take out your entertaining notebook.  You want to do this while everything is fresh in your mind.

Make a list of everything you put on the table with the amount ie: turkey 20 lbs. Now next to each item note whether you had leftovers and if you want it on your next menu.

Make notes of linens, tablescape, list of people  attending, and anything you want to change or add for the next time. You can use these notes for planning your Christmas dinner.

Leftovers Galore

Try some of these links for using up your leftovers, if you have any. With my hungry hoard there was only mash taters (will make potato cakes for breakfast) and fruitcake.

Nov 24, 2010

 Thanks to readers for these recipes.

 hannie 201 Hot Browns

Our left over turkey always goes for Hot Browns----It's famous in our part of the Country and easy.
Toast one or two slices of white bread(or whole wheat if that is what you like).  Place them on a plate you can put under the broiler for a minute or two.   Place sliced turkey on the toast, place a slice of fresh tomato on turkey and two bacon strips.  I make cheese sauce from cheddar cheese or, I guess, you could use cheese sauce from the grocery, whatever kind you like.  Pour some cheese sauce over your "sandwich" and place under broiler til cheese melts.   Yum, yum!
That is the basic Hot Brown.   Leave the tomato off, or bacon off, and you'll still have a nice wholesome dish.   Just watch it when under the broiler.  I am famous for burning things from lack of attention!!

Lynne's Leftovers from Turkey Dinner Casserole

Take a 13x9 pan and spray it with cooking spray. put a layer of the dressing down in it; then a layer on the turkey; then a layer on the mashed potatoes, then the gravy over it and bake it again in the oven for a hour at 350 degrees.
my family just loves it this way! hope this helps!
have a great thanksgiving day!

Nov 23, 2010

How to Get Rid of the Bird or What to Fix for Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!  Time to get the big guns  out for Black Friday shopping. Here are a couple of quick use up the leftover recipes, to get you out of the house and into the mall.

Open-Face Turkey Sandwiches:
The open-face turkey sandwich is a staple for using up leftovers. Take a  slice of bread, mound it up with turkey, add a slice of cranberry sauce, pour some gravy over it, and heat the whole thing up in a microwave or toaster oven.

Grilled Turkey Cheese with Apple Sandwiches:


or artisan Bread
Sliced Turkey
Cheese slices
Thin slices of apple


Butter out side of bread slices
Arrange sliced turkey on unbuttered side of bread
Add apple slices and top with cheese
Put second slice of bread on top of cheese butter side out
Lay on preheated grill pan or panini machine and toast till light brown

Turkey Apple Salad

 3 cups torn green leaf and/or romaine lettuce
 2 medium red pears or apples, cored and cut into thin wedges
 2 cups cubed cooked turkey or chicken
 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
 1/4 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

 Arrange lettuce, pears, turkey and walnuts on serving platter.
 Drizzle with  Raspberry  Dressing and serve immediately.

Sheppard's Pie Serves 4 to 6


3 cups cooked stuffing
 1 cup cranberry sauce for topping
1 pound diced cooked  turkey  
 10 ounces mixed vegetables (cooked)
4 to 6 tablespoons gravy
 3 to 4 cups mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In an oven safe dish,  place stuffing on bottom; layer cubed turkey and mixed vegetables. Moisten with gravy; spread potatoes on top. Place dish on a baking sheet, and bake until heated through and potatoes are golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with cranberry sauce on the side.

    Nov 18, 2010

    Serving Dishes and China

    Today, we need to check our china and serving dishes.  Pull out your serving dishes and put a note in each one with the item being served along with the serving utensil.  Get out your glassware and run it through the dishwasher or wash by hand so they are sparkling clean. If glassware is cloudy, rub with vinegar to remove.

    Finish up your tablescape. Make a note of what still needs to be done around the house ie: guest bathroom.

    Nov 17, 2010

    Pioneer Woman verus Bobby Flay

    Tonight the Pioneer Woman is challenging Bobby Flay

    Lisa's sausage balls

    Who can't use another appetizer, which is the hit of the party?

    Cheese & Sausage Balls
    recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
    1 (7.75 ounces)package Bisquick Complete Cheese-Garlic Biscuit mix
    1 pound ground pork sausage (I used sage flavored)
    1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

    Oven to 350.

    Let the sausage sit out for a half hour to come to room temperature. This makes it easier to mix. Combine the sausage and biscuit mix. Add in the egg and mix (with your fingers) to combine. Mix in the cheese and chives. Form into walnut size balls and place on a baking sheet lined with no-stick foil. Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until cooked through.

    Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.

    Be sure to visit Lisa's blog

    Nov 16, 2010

    Puff Pastry Pinwheels

    Prep Time:  10 Min
    Cook Time: 10 Min
    Ready In: 20 Min

     Yield 8 servings


        * 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
        * 5 ounces prosciutto or deli ham, thinly sliced
        * 5 ounces Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
        * 2 teaspoons prepared Dijon mustard


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick oil spray. 

    2. Roll the thawed pastry out onto a flat surface. Spread Dijon mustard to taste on the pastry sheets. Cover pastry with a layer of prosciutto/ham, then cheese. Roll the sheets, beginning at the long side. Cut into 1 inch thick sections. Arrange the sections on the prepared baking sheet. 

    3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

    Nov 15, 2010

    Make ahead

    Time to look at your menu and figure out which items can be prepped or made ahead of the big day. 

    Finish any last  minute food shopping.

    Plan a light meal for the night before so you can devote this time to finishing up without feeling stressed. You want to be able to enjoy the holiday meal with your family and friends.

    Savory Parmesan Bites

    Prep Time:15 min
    Total Time:30 min
    Makes:32 servings

    1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
    1 cup  Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
    2 cans (8 oz. each) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
    1 cup  chopped red peppers
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    Heat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup Parmesan with mixer until well blended.

    Separate crescent rolls into 8 rectangles; press perforations together to seal. Spread each with 3 Tbsp. cream cheese mixture. Top with peppers and parsley. Fold 1 long side of each dough rectangle over filling to center; fold again to enclose filling. Cut each into 4 squares. Place, seam-sides down, on baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

    Bake: 13 to 15 min. or until golden brown.

    Nov 14, 2010

    White Bean Dip

    Two 19-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained  
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
    1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
    19-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    Water to smooth beans to dip consistency (about 2 t)
    Crushed red pepper flakes
    Pita chips, for serving

    Directions In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, sage and rosemary and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant and the garlic is just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the beans and toss to coat. Transfer the cannellini beans to a food processor. Add the water, season with salt and cayenne and process to a fairly smooth puree. Transfer the dip to a small serving bowl, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and serve with pita chips.

    Nov 13, 2010

    Lemon Curd

    Quick tip keep a  jar of lemon curd and a box of sugar cookie on hand in the pantry for unexpected guests that stop by.  If cookies go stale, crush them and use as topping for pudding or ice cream.

    Nov 10, 2010

    Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

    OK, it's time to get out the pencil and paper. This will be your guide to a great Thanksgiving dinner. First you need to make several columns. In the first column you are going to list your entire dinner menu. Second column is list ingredients needed to prepare the item in column one with serving quanity. Third column is where the recipe for that item is iie: which  cookbook. Fourth column is what dish you are going to serve that item in. The last column is to make notes about each dish for planning next year, whether it is to much, not enough or plan to replace it with another item. When this done you will make two lists for shopping. One for all the dry goods (flour, spices, can goods). Second list is for all the perishables (fresh veggies, turkey, cool whip),  Take the first list to the grocery store now and get the dry items. The second list can be purchased a few days before Thanksgiving.  Next make sure your linens are ready as well as the serving dishes. Planning ahead will ensure a great dinner and a relaxed host or hostess.

    Tips for tablescapes Ask Ina



    1 large peeled and grated cucumber
    2 cups Greek yogurt
    1 small minced garlic clove
    1 Tbl chopped mint and dill


    Mix all ingredients together and chill. Serve with raw veggies and or crackers

    Nov 8, 2010

    Microwave Popcorn

    Couldn't resist posting this Make-your-own-microwave-popcorn-packs, great for the cold winter nights watching TV or movies.

    Hot Pizza Dip

    Prep Time: 10 Min
    Cook Time: 5 Min
    Ready In: 15 Min
     Yield 16 servings

     1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
    1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 cup pizza sauce
    2 tablespoons chopped green bell pepper
    2 ounces pepperoni  chopped  or 2 ounces cooked and crumbled  Itl. sausage
    Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
    2 tablespoons sliced black olives

     In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, oregano, parsley, and basil.
    Spread mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate, or a shallow microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese on top of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the pizza sauce over all. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then top with green pepper, pepperoni and olive slices. Cover, and microwave for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

    Nov 7, 2010

    What's On Your Thanksgiving Menu

    Tell us what you have on your Thanksgiving menu.

    A few Thanksgiving links to help you have a fabulous Thanksgiving.

    Better Homes and Gardens  
    Thanksgiving Dinner
    Thanksgiving Turkey
    Thanksgiving Recipes 

    Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

    Caramelized Onion Dip Recipe

    Yield: 6 Servings

      1  tb Unsalted butter  
      1  Large red onion, sliced  
      1/2  c Mayonnaise  
      1/4  ts Cayenne pepper  

       1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
      1/8  ts Tabasco sauce  
      1  tb  oil  
      1/2  c Sour cream  
      1/4  ts Salt  
      1  ts Red pepper flakes  

      1. Slowly saute onion in butter and oil until caramelized (golden brown), about 20 minutes.
      2. Cool and combine the remaining ingredients.
      3. Mix well and chill for at least 1 hour.
      Serve with crackers or chips.

    Dips and More Dips

    Working on dips for the holidays will be posting one a day for the next week.

    Fast easy reduced calories and who doesn't love bacon.
    "The flavor shines through in this reduced fat BREAKSTONE'S Sour Cream dip with dressing, cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles and green onions. "
     Prep Time:
    15 Min
    Ready In:
    15 Min
    Recipe Yield 2 -1/2 cups dip

     1 cup BREAKSTONE'S Reduced Fat Sour Cream
     1 cup MIRACLE WHIP LIGHT Dressing
     1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar Cheese
     4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
     2 green onions, sliced
     RITZ Crackers

     Mix all ingredients except crackers.
    Serve with crackers.