My Christmas Decorations


I am so proud at the job I did with the Christmas decorations this yyear. Even though I live alone and and have a small apartment the place looks like “Winter Wonderland” when I get finished done. I have a credenza that I put a little winter scene on. I start with fluff blanket on both shelves and put my cute ornaments on the white blanket on both shelves. One wall of my front room is all angels. I have a circular end table that I have a beautiful gold angel on the top shelf, and at the botton shelf I have a fiber-optic angel. The end table next to my futon I draped a velvet red skirt with blue lights underneath. On top is my snow baby on a sleigh. At night, the blue lights shine underneath through the red velvet skirt and it looks beautiful.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites


I absolutely love truffles and this has to be the easiest truffle I ever did. I don’t know anybody on the free world that doesn’t like cookie dough.  The best part there is NO raw eggs in these truffles but you don’t have to worry.  

 
Ingredients:

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips, chopped (the idea is to get them to be about 1/2 – 1/3 their original size)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped

Optional Topping:
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt until pale and fluffy about 3 – 4 minutes. Stir in cream and vanilla extract. Add in flour and mix just until combine (dough will seem dry at first but it will come together). Mix in chopped chocolate chips. Scoop dough out 1 equal tablespoon at a time and roll into balls.

Place on parchment or wax paper. If drizzling with chocolate, place 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe container and microwave on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour melted chocolate into a small ziploc bag, seal bag and cut a very small tip off the corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate over tops of truffles.

Place truffles in freezer for several minutes until chocolate sets and hardens (mine only took about 3 minutes), then enjoy! For more firm cookie dough bites, chill 1 hour in refrigerator. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Chocolate covered Peanut Butter pretzel bites


Image 

I was seaching for a snack that would satisfy an afternoon craving for salty and sweet.  I found the perfect thing.  I did the chocolate dipped pretzel thing before forholidayss and  glammed them up with sprinkles and crushed candy but never did I sandwich them with a creamy filling . I wonder if they would travel well if I go to a trip…hmm.  

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
60 pretzels
1 semi-sweet Bakers Chocolate Baking Bar OR chocolate melts

Instructions

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium size bowl, mix together peanut butter and butter with a spoon. Stir in sugars until thick dough forms.

Roll peanut butter dough into 30 small balls. If it is too sticky, add more powdered sugar.
Sandwich balls between two pretzels and place on prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
While the pretzel bites are chilling, break up the chocolate and melt for about 1 minute in mircrowave, stirring every 20 seconds.

Dip the pretzel bites halfway into the melted chocolate and place bite back on baking sheet. Refrigerate the dipped bites for at least 10 minutes for chocolate to set.

 

 

 

Lemon Raspberry Cups


Everything is lemon these days, at least to me.  It seems my eyes are targeted to lemon recipes.  This one also get high ratings because how can you lose with the combination of lemon and raspberry.   The tart of the lemon and then coupled with the sweetness of the raspberry.  Ok..enough said, onto the recipe.

INGREDIENTS: 

 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon zest
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. raspberry jam


Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (you can use 1/3 less fat)
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 c. powdered sugar

For the cookie cups:

Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers until sugar is moist and fragrant. Cream the lemon sugar with the butter. Add the egg and beat well. Mix in the baking soda, salt, and flour until incorporated.

Grease mini muffin tins. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350F for 12-15 min. until a toothpick comes out clean. If the cookie cups have risen over the muffin cups, use a spoon to flatten them down slightly to make them level with the tin. While still warm, make a well in the center of each cookie cup with your finger or a small spoon. Chill the tins in the fridge for 30-60 min. before removing the cookie cups.

For the frosting:

Beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat in the powdered sugar until fluffy.

For the assembly:

After the cookie cups have chilled, remove from the tins. Spoon in 1/2 tsp. of raspberry jam into each cookie cup. Pipe in the frosting on top of the raspberry jam to cover it completely. If desired, add a dot of raspberry jam to the frosting in the center of each cookie cups to make it look pretty.

 

Lemon Brownies


 

This decadent recipe I couldn’t  pass on.  They say a picture says a thousand words and  that is so true for this.  I posted other lemon recipes and there are myriads of the so called “lemon bar” recipe and I posted one myself. Who’s to say one lemon bar is better than the other.  This really intriques me when I saw the Lemon brownie.   It’s a different twist and I would think it would be sort of cake like…which I would love.   Anyway, on to the important thing is to post the recipe.

 The Brownie Batter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Tart Lemon Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice
8 teaspoons lemon zest

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray/grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Zest and juice 2 lemons set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt and softened butter until combined.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest until combined. Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

When the brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze . Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice and zest. Spread 1/2 the glaze over the brownies. Let the glaze harden and spread the remaining half.

Fruity Oat Shortcakes


You can’t go wrong with shortcakes, especially when they combine juicy pears, cranberries and apricots.  The added touch of oatmeal gives these scrumptious shortcakes a healthy benefit.

2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 medium firm pears, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (21 oz) apricot pie filling

1 Heat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, mix Bisquick mix, oats, brown sugar, milk and butter until soft dough forms. Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar and oats if desired.

2 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

3 In 2-quart saucepan, heat pears, cranberries, orange juice and cinnamon to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, just until cranberries pop. Stir in pie filling. Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with fruit mixture.

Pulled Turkey Sandwich with Apple-Cabbage Slaw


Pulled Turkey Sandwich with Apple-Cabbage Slaw.

Pulled Turkey Sandwich with Apple-Cabbage Slaw


Instant espresso gives this barbecue sauce its deep, smoky flavor. Make the coleslaw first to let the tangy and sweet flavors meld before adding it to your sandwich.

Sandwich

1/2 cup reduced sodium barbeque sauce
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1 1/2 cups sliced cooked turkey (dark meat, without skin)
2 whole-wheat buns, sliced in half lengthwise

In a small saucepan, combine barbecue sauce, espresso powder and allspice. Heat over medium-low until espresso has dissolved. Stir in turkey and heat 2 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Arrange buns, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and broil about 6 inches from heat until golden, about 1 minute.

Divided turkey between bottom halves of rolls and top with equal amounts of slaw. Top with remaining roll halves and press lightly to compress.

Apple-Cabbage Slaw

1 Tbsp nonfat mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 small red apple, cored and finely chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, toss together all ing redients. Cover and chill.

Banana Mango Smoothie


I absolutely love smoothies and I make them practically every day especially in the morning. I was never a breakfast person so the next best thing is a healthy and satisfying smoothie. I buy bananas and strawberries when I go shopping and freeze them right away. I peel the bananas and cut each one in half and put them in a ziploc bag. For the strawberries, I wash them, cut them up in small pieces and put a cup of each in small ziploc bags. 

Ingredients

6-8 ice cubes
3/4 cup orange juice
1 sliced frozen banana
1 sliced mango
4 Tbls of non-fat yogurt
Salt
French vanilla non-dairy creamer (few teaspoons)

Put all of the ingredients in your blender or processor (I have a Ninja blender which I love, it does everything).

You can garnish your smoothie with a piece of mango or frozen banana. It’s so rich and healthy at the same time.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies


Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies


Another tasty morsel of a cookie……love  that lemon.

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
 3 tbsp lemon juice

2 eggs

1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cup flour
1 cup blueberries
1/2 pkg cream cheese, cut into 1 tsp cubes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside. 

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon zest, juice and eggs. Make sure to scrape off any bits of zest that stick to the mixer paddle.

In a separate bowl whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour then mix it into the wet ingredients. Gently fold in the blueberries so as not to burst any. Refrigerate the dough for about 15 – 20 minutes to make it stiff enough to roll.