Christmas Treats

Maybe it’s a holdover from my teaching days. Maybe it’s just having grandkids, but I got the hankering to make some fun treats for Christmas.

So off I went to Pinterest and found the instructions for these cuties! I pinned them to my board called “Christmas Food” if you want to try them yourself.

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I love the kind of project that is quick and easy and is like already half made. Chocolate dipped Nutter Butter Reindeer and Vanilla dipped Rice Krispie Treats are right up my alley.

Merry Christmas Treats!

Jill

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Scottish Tattie Scones

So, I’m collecting and testing recipes that I want to include in our Christmas celebration and the days that our family will be together this year. Last year, my grandboys were just one year old and still so little, but this year the oldest two boys will be eating what we eat. I want to gather some recipes that will become our family traditions, those recipes that the grandsons will remember for the rest of their lives. I really want to include some authentic Scottish, Irish, British and Spanish foods since that is their heritage.

My first experiment was a Scottish potato scone recipe I got from Christina’s Cucina. She gives very thorough instructions and I followed them to a tee. They turned out great. Sort of bland, but she very clearly says that traditionally the scones should be fried with the bacon to absorb the flavors of the bacon.

I think these will be a great addition to our breakfasts. I think this one is a keeper!

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Peace,

Jill

 

Little Visit

I’m really enjoying the little visits we’re getting from our kids and grandkids now that we live closer. A few days ago, my daughter-in-law, her Mom and Manny came for a visit while my son was in Mexico shooting a wedding. We had great fun just hanging out and doing Christmas-y things.

Now that we’re living so far from shopping and restaurants, I’m doing more cooking. So, while they were here I cooked Shepherd’s Pie (my recipe) and Joanna Gaines’ Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (with a few changes based on what I forgot at the store and what I had in the house, haha!) It’s from her Magnolia Table Cookbook. A great cookbook, by the way. It’s full of good and real food that you would actually cook and eat.

 

I also grabbed a Grinch Gingerbread Kit at the local H-E-B and Manny had fun decorating the Grinch’s house.

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But I think Manny’s favorite time was spent with Papa. They played and played and wrestled and wrestled.

I think they just like being together.

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Hope your holidays are full of little visits and special times with family and friends.

Peace,

Jill

 

A Healthy Soup To Keep You Going Through The Holidays

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The weather’s turned cool here in Magnolia and I’ve been feeling a bit run down lately. Not sick, just rung out. So, I made this soup and packed as many nutrient-dense foods in it that I could. I thought it would make a good go-to soup for the holidays to keep you shopping, decorating and celebrating. So, I thought I’d share. I don’t think it would make a great soup to serve for a dinner party, but just a pick-me-up meal to fill your tank with good nutrients to ward off sickness.

The base is a basic chicken soup – the scientifically proven cure for what ails you. So, start by making a basic chicken soup stock. I do it this way:

Either a whole chicken or pieces with bone and skin (that’s where the goodness is)              Onion, chopped                                                                                                                                      Celery, chopped                                                                                                                                      Fresh Garlic                                                                                                                                            Carrot, chopped

Saute the vegetables in olive oil and add chicken. Cover with water and cook until the chicken is done and falling off the bone. I usually let it simmer for quite a while.

Once it’s all done, pull everything out and strain the stock to clear it of big pieces of veg or chicken. Put the stock back on the stove.

Add:

More chopped onion, celery and carrot.                                                                                          Add the cooked chicken                                                                                                                    Then add: chopped cabbage, kale and parsley                                                                                I add some poultry seasoning, salt, pepper to season it

Let it simmer until the flavors marry.

Now, since I really like the Asian way of adding fresh vegetables to hot soup, I added fresh julienned spinach, thinly sliced mushroom and Steave added halved cherry tomatoes. You can add any other vegs that sounds good or you have on hand. I would’ve added avocado if it had been ripe.

My husband loves spice, so he added cayenne pepper which is great if you have a cold. Clears out the sinus!

I was in an Asian mood, so I added some soy sauce and a spritz of lime juice.

You can take this basic soup in so many different directions – you could even go Tex-Mex and add peppers and crunch up tortilla chips to add some texture. Experiment!

Wishing you a healthy holiday season!

Peace,

Jill

 

 

 

 

Delicious and Easy Thanksgiving Side: Jalapeño Corn

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One of the first times I came to Texas to visit my son-in-law’s parents, we had dinner at their house. The dish that stood out to me the most was the Jalapeño Corn. That was years ago and every now and then I start to crave it.

I got the recipe directly from Laurie to share with you.

Ingredients:

4 cans of whole kernel corn, drained

2 8oz. packages of cream cheese

3/4 stick of butter

1/4 – 1/2 c. chopped pickled jalapeño

Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and heat on high for about 4 hours.  You might want to garnish it with sliced jalapeno just to let everyone know it’s going to be spicy.

Enjoy,

Jill

 

 

Birthday Party Planning

I’m going to have to be cryptic in this post.

Someone, who may or may not read my blog, is coming to my house to celebrate her birthday. So, I don’t want to give too much away.

I love it when people say, “My birthday is coming up and I would like to do such and such.” I know it’s not very thoughtful on my part to like to have the birthday person request what they want, but it gives me a direction to go in and of course, I stray.

So, this person, who will not be named, sent me a link to a blog called, “Domestic Simplicity”   and she said, “I want hot dogs.” These are two of several photos from the blog post called, “Backyard Camping.”

I knew exactly what she was looking for. We have no trees in our backyard and it’s fall, not spring or summer, so I’ll have to improvise. However, I started gathering supplies for the party this past weekend and let me just say there may or may not be a chafing dish involved.

Stay tuned for party pictures.

Peace,

Jill

 

Sugar-Free Donuts

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Happy National Donut Day! At least the lesser known Donut Day. The most recognized Donut Day is in June, but November 5 is a second Donut Day.  So, I made sugar-free donuts in honor of National Donut Day, Jr.

I’ve been enjoying my nice, big kitchen! I never realized how having it connected to the living room could be such a great thing. I never really noticed how my old kitchen made me feel disconnected from people while I was cooking and cleaning. I remember just wanting to cook and clean and get out to spend time with the family. Now, I really enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve been trying out some sugar-free recipes for the Husband.

I found this recipe on The Sugar-Free Londoner’s website and instead of the almond flour, I used just plain all-purpose flour.

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I used my trusty donut pan and baked them so they wouldn’t be so greasy. I love my little donut pan! I use it to make cornbread donuts to serve with chili or soup. You can find one here on Amazon if you want to get your own!

I then melted some sugar-free chocolate and dipped the donuts.

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They were awesome! And I don’t usually like the flavor of Splenda but these were really good! I think the 4 eggs and heavy cream made them rich and delicious. The Husband loved them!

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Here’s the recipe. Thank you Sugar-Free Londoner!

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup Splenda

4 eggs

2 Tbsp heavy cream

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter, cream and Splenda with a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and blend until fully combined. Then add all-purpose flour and baking powder and mix until blended. Spoon the dough into a well-greased donut pan. Don’t overfill or you’ll have discs instead of donuts!

Bake 15 minutes until golden brown.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler with a of the heavy cream (because I usually burn chocolate when I try to melt it in the microwave :\

Dip the donuts in the chocolate and enjoy!

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Peace,

Jill