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Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope that all of you are enjoying this wonderful Christmas Season!  I know I am!  I love having my family all around me, seeing the anticipation in the grandkids faces and hearing all about the projects our customers are making for gift giving.  Isn't it a wonderful time of the year?

I thought that I would share a couple of recipes with you for the Holidays. The first one - Egg Nog - I have been making for about 30 years.  It was given to me by a neighbor, Elaine Crane.  (Of course, I tweaked it a little).  It is a Holiday staple at our house and I really hear about it if we run out!  This tastes best if made the day before.  Make sure you shake it well, during the making and each time you use it.  Be prepared to have enough ingredients on hand to make another batch.  One won't be near enough!

Egg Nog
2 small pkgs. vanilla instant pudding mix (I like the Jell-O brand best)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 gallon whole milk
nutmeg, to taste

Pour 3 cups milk in a blender.  Add pudding mix, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg.  Blend on high until well mixed.  Pour into gallon pitcher.  Pour 3 more cups milk into blender and blend.  This just gets all the leftover mixed in.  Pour into same pitcher with the rest of the milk.  (I actually pour it back into the milk jug.) You might have to do this gradually, as it tends to foam up a little.  Shake or stir well.  Chill.

The second recipe is for Candy Cane Brownie Truffle.  This one was from a co-worker - Annette Page.  Again, I have "tweaked" it a bit.  It is a great way to use up the candy canes that Santa left on the tree.  I took this to my Relief Society Christmas Party and came home with a scraped out dish!

Candy Cane Brownie Truffle

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Melt butter in large saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Blend in sugar and vanilla. Cool slightly. Beat eggs with a fork, then mix well into sugar mixture.  Combine in a separate bowl; flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into egg mixture; mixing well but do not over beat. spread into a jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes or 350 degrees until done.  Cool completely.

2 pkgs. Milk Chocolate Mousse mix (Nestle or Dr. Oetker)
1 1/3 cups milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
12 peppermint candy canes, crushed*
Brownies (above)

Mix mousse mix with milk.  In a separate bowl, add a few drops of lemon juice to the chip cream. This helps stabilize it.  Break up brownie into bite sized pieces and place 1/3 of them in the bottom of a trifle dish.  Spread 1/3 of mousse on top, then 1/3 of whipped cream.  Sprinkle with candy cane bits.  Repeat twice more EXCEPT on the last layer of candy canes; sift out the larger pieces of candy cane and "decorate" the top.  Save the "dust", it's great in hot chocolate!  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  YUM!

*crushed candy canes - remove candy canes from wrappers and break up into large pieces.  Place in a gallon freezer zip bag.  Place bag in a towel and smack with the side of a hammer.  (My great husband does this for me. =]  )

May all of you have a peaceful and wonderful Christmas!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Mystery Quilt of the Month

Yes, I am a little behind on posting the November Mystery Quilt of the Month (just where did this last month go?)!  Well, here it is: our November Mystery Quilt of the Month.   All Boxed Up, came in three different color-ways.  It was fun and easy to make.

We took December off from the Mystery Quilt of the Month and so, the January Mystery Quilt of the Month is just getting posted.  There are two color-way choices for January.  You can choose from the Brown & Blue or the Green & Orange.  Kits are limited, cost $28.95 each (borders are purchased separately) and must be ordered by January 8, 2015.

When these fabrics are gone, we will add another color-way.  What do you think of the fabrics?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Quilting Recipes

As most of you know, we hand out a recipe a week.  Some of these come from our staff, but most of them come from our great customers! This all started several years ago when a customer asked me, after being here all day, what I was cooking for dinner that night.  When I told her, she asked for the recipe.  Thanks to Susan Ward who gave me this recipe years ago!  It is a great one for those busy days (and aren't all days busy at this time of year?) . I call it "Quilt Day Chicken".  You just put it in the slow cooker in the morning and just let it go all day!

Quilt Day Chicken

4 large chicken breasts, (frozen is what I use - then I don't need to take the time to thaw them)
2 cans cream soup (chicken, celery, mushroom - or a mix)
8 oz. brick of cream cheese
1 pkg. dry Good Seasons Zesty Italian Dressing mix

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker.  Spread cream soup on top.  Place cream cheese on top of this, then sprinkle with the dressing mix.  If you like a little more zest (which I do) try sprinkling on some red pepper flakes.

Let cook on low 8 hours.  Remove chicken and whisk sauce in the slow cooker together. You can cut the chicken up and serve over rice or noodles with the sauce, or serve the chicken as is with the sauce poured over the top.  Add a veggie and you have a great meal!

You can even use frozen cream cheese.  This time of year it is usually a great price and freezes well enough for cooking with.

Try adding water chestnuts, chopped celery or mushrooms to this.  I wonder what it would be like served over a popover, like Chicken a'la King?