December 19th, 2015


From Southern Living

Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 (5-oz.) containers finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded medium Cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces thinly sliced deli turkey, cut into 2-inch squares
4 cooked bacon slices, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil, and lightly coat with cooking spray. Spoon Parmesan cheese by tablespoonfuls 1/2 inch apart onto prepared baking sheets, forming 12 (2 1/2-inch) rounds on each sheet.

2. Bake 1 sheet at 350° for 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and beginning to set. Working quickly, transfer cheese rounds to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 24-cup miniature muffin pan, pressing gently into each cup to form shells. Repeat procedure with second baking sheet.

3. Microwave milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup 30 seconds at HIGH or until warm. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in warm milk. Bring to a boil, and boil, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in shredded Cheddar cheese, kosher salt, and black pepper.

4. Increase oven temperature to 425°. Line each Parmesan shell with 2 turkey pieces, and fill each with 1 tsp. cheese sauce. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and top with crumbled bacon and diced tomato.

1/2 cup diced fresh tomato

Garnish: fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Fritata


1 pound mild turkey breakfast sausage
4 cups frozen chopped broccoli florets
10 egg whites
5 large eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease or spray a tin for 12 muffins. (Spray them really well!)
2.In a medium frying pan, brown the sausage over medium high heat. Break it up into small pieces as it browns. Once browned and cooked through, add broccoli and continue to cook until broccoli is thawed. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, eggs, skim milk, cheese, salt and pepper.
4.Add sausage and broccoli vegetables evenly to each of the 18 muffins tins.
5.Pour egg mixture evenly on top of the sausage and broccoli. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to do this - it works out almost exactly as 1/4 cup in each.
6.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until puffed up and golden brown. Leave in muffin tin for about 5 minutes before

Sparky's Little Elves

I loathe crowds. I loathe customer service people who don't know their jobs. So, on Thanksgiving morning, Amazon dot com and I spend a few quality hours together. This year, I had to include QVC because I could not find elegant, well-made pajamas on Amazon for Anne (Sam's widow). While I respect those who think giving gift cards is lazy, I ADORE getting them and relish the thought of someone buying themselves exactly what they want with my gifting of them.
Illya in blue

I'd eat this - sausage dip!

Garden Sausage Dip
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:40 minutes


1 pkg. Jimmy Dean® Premium Pork Regular Roll Sausage
1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed, softened
⅔ cup (about 3 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
1 pkg. (10 ounces) frozen chopped broccoli or spinach, thawed, drained
Baked pita chips or toasted French bread slices for serving


1.Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook sausage in large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently; drain. Place in large bowl.
2.Add cream cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and milk; mix well.
3.Stir in broccoli; spoon into lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
4.Bake 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
5.Serve with chips.


5¼ cups or 42 servings (2 tablespoons each))

Found on
Christmas Elf

Pink Champagne Cake

Per spikesgirl58's request. I'll be back later to read and join the party

 photo Pink Champagne Cake.jpg

Pink Champagne Cake

Ingredients for the Cake Batter:
1½ cups cake flour, sifted
1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup champagne, flat (use a sweet champagne like a pink/rosé champagne, a moscato, or an asti)
¼ cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1-2 drops red food coloring, optional (Start with 1 for a blush and work up)
5 large egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Collapse )

Pink Champagne Buttercream
Prep time: 10 MINUTES cook time: 5 MINUTES total time: 15 MINUTES


1 cup butter, softened
½ cup shortening (I used Crisco)
48 ounces (6 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup pink champagne
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoon heavy whipping cream
3-4 drops red food color
Pinch of salt
Collapse )

Strawberry Mousse Filling

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 3.5 oz. box of instant vanilla pudding
½ cup strawberry jam
Collapse )

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Learned this only recently: "Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker wrote “Do You Hear What I Hear” in 1963, around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, in response to the existential dread they felt because of the Cold War." Article Seems an appropriate song to go with UNCLE's mission of peace and security.

Though I love anything by Bing, Whitney's version is my favorite.

Illya drinking

Sex in a Snow bank

1 1/2 ounces Malibu rum
3 tablespoons coconut cream
6 large ice cubes

1.Place ingredients together in a blender.
2.Blend until smooth.
3.Pour into a chilled martini glass.

If you want a thicker consistency, use less ice and more coconut cream.
For a really fancy drink, coat the rim of the glass with finely shredded coconut!

calories -296, fat - 9g, protein - 1g, carbs - 30g

Linda's Easy Apple Crisp Recipe

I adapted this recipe to taste. You can tweak it also. I know a lot of people don't care for nutmeg.

apple crisp

Easy Apple Crisp

6-8 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced tart apples (any other types will do, but tart is best)

Arrange apples in an 9x13" buttered baking dish.

Combine the following:

3/4 cup quick-cook rolled outs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cut into dry mixture:

1/2 cup cold butter

Sprinkle mixture over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. It's done when the topping is nicely browned and apples are soft. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 6. I guarantee there will not be any leftovers. This dessert is hot, cold, sweet and sour, all at the same time.

Sopa de Abdondigas (Meatball Soup)

1 ½ pds. lean ground beef
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 Eggs
47 oz chicken broth (canned or bouillon cubes works just fine)
32 oz. beef broth (consommé again, canned is fine for this)
1 t. oregano leaves
2 medium onion, chopped
1 large dried ancho or pastille chile or 1 small dried whole red chile (I used red pepper flakes instead)
6 carrots, sliced very thin
¼ cur rice
¼ to 1/3 cup fresh cilantro (rough chopped)
¾ pd. Spinach
2 -3 limes cut into wedges

Combine beef, flour, eggs, and 1/3 cup of chicken broth into a bowl (if this mixture is too wet, add additional flour). In a large stock pot, bring the remainder of the chicken broth, consommé, oregano, onions and chile to boil. Reduce heat to low. Quickly shape the meat mixture into meatballs approximately 1 ½ inches (I use a medium size ice cream scoop to make this go faster.) Drop them into the broth and let them simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Spoon any fat or foam from the surface (so the recipe says, I used a very lean beef and don’t bother with this step). Add the carrots, rice and cilantro. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the rice and carrots are tender to the bite.

Meanwhile wash and de-stem the spinach (if you are using bagged spinach, then just rinsing is fine). If the leaves are large, cut them crosswise into bite size pieces. Add spinach and cook, uncovered, for another five minutes. Ladle into wide soup bowls. Pass the lime around with them. Make 6 -8 main dish servings.
We also like to pass around some slices of avocado. They go very well with this soup.


Said the night wind to the little lamb,
Do you see what I see
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
Do you know what I know
In your palace wall, mighty king,
Do you know what I know
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Let us bring Him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere,
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
Listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light


Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honour Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
When we come.

Pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum pum pa rum pum pum
pum pum pum ahh

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give a king, pa rum pum pum
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
(pum pum pum part)

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
(pum pum pum part)

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.


I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky


Mary had a baby
Yes, Lord
Mary had a baby
Yes my Lord
Mary had a baby
Yes Lord

Mary named him Jesus
Yes, Lord
Mary named him Jesus
Yes my Lord
Mary named him Jesus
Yes, Lord
The train hath gone pass
Going to where Mary was born

He was born in Bethleham
Yes Lord
He was born in Bethleham
Yes my Lord
He was born in Bethleham
Yes Lord
The train hath gone pass
Going to where Mary was born


Mary did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

[Verse 2]
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

[Verse 3]
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am


Sweet little Jesus boy
They made you be born in a manger
Sweet little holy child
We didn't know who you were
Didn't know you'd come to save us Lord
To take our sins away
Our eyes were blind, we could not see
We didn't know who you were

Long time ago
You were born
Born in a manger Lord
Sweet little Jesus boy
The world treats you mean Lord
Treats me mean too
But that's how things are down here
We don't know who you are

You have told us how
We are trying
Master you have shown us how
Even when you were dying
Just seems like we can't do right
Look how we treated you
But please Sir forgive us Lord
We didn't know it was you

Sweet little Jesus boy
Born a long time ago
Sweet little holy child
We didn't know who you were
My default

Can't have a party without more cookies

Chewy Ginger Cookies:

3/4 cup butter (or shortening)
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter (or shortening) and 1 cup sugar. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla; mix well.
Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Roll into 1 inch balls; roll in remaining sugar. Place 1-1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Store in an air-tight container.

Yield: about 4 dozen.

Pine-Nut Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen
4 eggs
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ t. grated lemon rind
Few drops of oil of anise
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ t. salt
Confectioner’s sugar
Pine nuts

Put eggs and granulated sugar in the top part of a double boiler over hot water (removed from heat). Beat with a blender until the mixture is lukewarm. Remove from water; beat mixture until foaming and cool. Add flavorings and then fold in flour and salt.

Drop by teaspoons onto grease and floured cookie sheet. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and nuts. Let stand for about ten minutes.

Bake in preheated (375 degree F) oven for about ten minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen

Russian Tea Cakes

1 cup butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 t. vanilla
¼ t. salt
2 cups flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts
Confectionary’s sugar/cocoa powder – optional

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Blend in vanilla and salt. With a wooden spoon, carefully stir in flour and nuts. Divide dough into five portions, shape into a 12” x 1” roll, wrap in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly. When ready to bake, slice in 3” lengths and then in half, roll each into a ball and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 oven 12-14 minutes or until light brown in color. Cool on racks – just before they are completely cool, roll in sugar or cocoa powder.

Makes about 40
UNCLE artwork
  • mrua7

Au revoir..

Hate to dance and run, but I can't look at all this virtual food. Making me hungry for things I can't eat anymore.  I'm off to eat my yummy ...salad.  ugh. Par-tay on! Chow.

Christmas Nverland


So, what was your favorite Christmas present? A special doll when you were a kid, a special outfit as an adult, what?

I've always thought I got one of the greatest presents ever in 1990. My daughter gave me my first grandchild.

So what was yours?

My best childhood Christmas memory

I grew up in an Italian neighborhood. And, for the first 9 years of my life, Christmas was ALL about cookies. My mom and her friends would begin baking before Thanksgiving and not stop until New Year's. Without a doubt, Annie Gismondi's knots were my favorite. I haven't tasted them in almost 50 years, but when I found this recipe, I could remember everything about them.

Truffles for the party

Sorry I'm late to the party but how about a few truffles for the road?

Mint and vodka (you know who inspired THIS)

Almonds and Cointreau

Cranberries and French brandy (Napoleon brought a bottle back from Paris and contributed it to the party)


Best Christmas Ever

Is this year.

For the first time since Ron died, I'm not sad. I'm not envious of other people and their celebrations. I'm not bleeding out from loneliness.
No, everybody in my family who was dead last year at this time is most assuredly still 100% dead. But, inside, me, I'm not dead anymore.
My circumstances haven't changed, but somehow, someway, I am at peace and content with who I am, where I am, with what I have and with who I don't have.

This picture kind of says it for me.

Charles, long life and love, Erik

(no subject)

Just posted these links to my family and friends.  For me, Straight no Chaser make any party swing.  Maybe going to see them in Paris in February, since I didn't know they were in the UK earlier this year.      -   Carol of the Bells      -     Christmas Can-Can     -     Who Spiked the Eggnog?     -     The Twelve Days of Christmas  (Christmas Medley)