Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Morning guys and girls... how is everyone today? As usual, its winter in Texas... 65 degrees and raining and just plain EWW! Its been an interesting 24 hours really... DS18 needed a swift kick in the behind last night, then after the smoke from all that cleared, we went to bed and I must have been grinding my teeth in my sleep cause I woke about 1am in terrible pain to find I had broke a tooth. That and my stomach was hurting so badly... think its my kidneys again. So I finally fell asleep about 5 or so then didn't hear the alarm to get up with the kids... UGH! I hope this is not how the whole day is gonna be!

I want to take a moment and let you into my head a little. Last night the oldest, Michael, kept (what I call) putting a "price tag" on everything and it just drove me insane! So I stopped him dead in his tracks and told him how I feel. I told him how the best gifts sometimes cost very little or better yet nothing at all. The gifts that come from the heart... just a small token to show someone how you love and/or care for and appreciate them. And how a homemade gift shows that you invested a moment of your time and thought into that person. I have kept everything my kids have always made me... I have rubbermaid totes full! All this came up because my DD had Daddy take her to the store last night so she could get me a Christmas bear. She gets me one every year... ya know the ones with the year embroidered on their foot? Yea I collect those... and nutcrackers too. So each year, they get me one of each. I get the bear early so I can hang it up with the rest LOL. But see, I know (and she knows I know) that the bear doesn't cost much... but its like a tradition... something special to her cause she knows I like them. Michael (DS18) never had that growing up, so when he came to live with me, its been a rough road teaching him simple things... but I think he's understanding more each day and will turn out to be an outstanding young man. I'm very proud how far he's come since coming to our home.

Let's see, waking up late has left my brain about as foggy as it is outside! What kind of craft do we want to make today... hmmm... how about an old fashioned gumball machine? LOL It's not a real machine, but its cute as a button!

Craft Idea of the day: Gum Ball Machine candy dish

1 small terra cotta pot and dish (think its the 3" size)
1 small glass fishbowl/candle bowl
Red spray paint (or whatever color you want really)
Gumballs or candy

Alrighty... first thing is to spray paint the terra cotta pot and base/dish both inside and out. Once it is dry, you can paint a little opening where the candy "should" come out if you want. Once its completely dry, turn the terra cotta pot upside down and adhere the fish bowl to the bottom (I use hot glue). Fill the bowl with your candies/gum and set the dish on top as the "lid". That's it... you are done! I made this craft for about $3 and that included the gum! I got the pot and bowl both at Michael's Arts & Crafts store for $1 for the bowl and like 79c for the pot and dish. Got the bag of loose gumballs at the grocery store for about a buck! And then I had the paint, but if you don't, the "W" store has spraypaint for like $1 as well... including red! My daughter wanted me to make one for her in blue to match her room. They make great gifts. When you give it to someone though, do not unwrap/open the candies and wrap the gift carefully cause it can break obviously!

Ok, as far as food goes, I'm really in the mood for something simple. I'm thinking some oven roasted seasoned leg quarters with some sides and potato rolls. Not really a recipe to share with these. You just season the chicken leg quarters with whatever type of seasoning you like- be it Emeril's essence or lemon pepper, etc. Then you sear the quarters in the pan and get the skins nice and crispy but seal in the juices and flavor, then oven roast them til finished. So since I am going easy today, the "food" recipe I am gonna share with you is fairly neat I think. Its bread. But not just any bread. Its a cornucopia that you can eat. You can also shelac it and keep it as a centerpiece for a long time too! I remember the first time I saw one I was like "OMG! I have to learn how to make that!!" They are easy and fun to make and are a wonderful conversation piece! I'm thinking of making one for my cookie exchange party this Saturday!



3 (11 ounce) containers refrigerated soft bread stick dough
1 egg
1 tablespoon water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly spray a 17x14 inch (or lager) cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Tear off a 30x18 inch sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Fold it in half to 18x15 inch. Roll diagonally to form a hollow cone, about 18 inches long with a diameter of 5 inches at the widest end (Cornucopia opening). Fasten end with clear tape. Stuff cone with crumpled regular foil until form is rigid. Bend tail of cone up then down at end. Spray outside of cone with non-stick cooking spray. Place on cookie sheet.

3. Beat the egg with the water to make a glaze. Open and unroll the first can of breadstick dough on work surface. Separate breadsticks. Begin by wrapping one breadstick around tip of cone. Brush end of next breadstick with Glaze and press to attach to end of first breadstick. Continue spiral-wrapping cone, slightly overlapping dough until there are 3 breadsticks left.

4. Pinch one end of the 3 breadsticks together, then braid. Brush bread around opening of cornucopia with glaze. Gently press on braid. Brush entire cornucopia with glaze.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until bread is a rich brown. (If parts start to darken too much, cover them with pieces of foil.)

6. Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet on a wire rack. Carefully remove foil when cool. (If freezing, leave foil in bread for support. Remove when thawed.)

Now... for the yummy portion of the day... I'm diggin' some eggnog recipes today! I'm gonna give you 3 sweets today that all require some eggnog! The cake is courtesy of allrecipes and the cookies are courtesy of Taste of Home. All of these I've made and my family has tested and added to the "approved-omg-mom-please-make-again" box LOL!

Eggnog Cake


1 (18.5 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 eggs
2 cups eggnog
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon rum flavored extract

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups eggnog
1/2 teaspoon rum flavored extract

Whipped Topping:
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon rum flavored extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans.

For the Cake: In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, eggs, 2 cups eggnog, melted butter, nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp rum flavored extract. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.

Bake the cake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool on wire racks.
For the Filling: Mix together the vanilla pudding mix, 2 cups eggnog, and 1/2 teaspoon rum flavored extract in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

For the Whipped Topping: In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the cold water, allow to stand for 5 minutes to soften and then stir until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Whip the heavy cream in a large mixing bowl to soft peaks. Add the sugar, gelatin, and 1/2 teaspoon rum flavored extract, and continue whipping to stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Build the Cake: Remove the cakes from the cake pans. Place one round onto a serving plate. Spoon the filling onto the cake round, and spread over the cake evenly. Place the second cake round on top of the filling. Cover the top and sides of the layered cake with the whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

OMG pure yumminess! Ok, now have some:

Eggnog Filled Cookie Cups


1 package (3 ounces) cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
1-1/2 cups eggnog
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons rum extract, divided
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


In a small saucepan, combine the pudding mix, eggnog and milk. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 teaspoon extract. Transfer to a small bowl. Cover surface of pudding with waxed paper; refrigerate until chilled.

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and remaining extract. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine sugar and allspice. Shape dough into 1-in. balls; roll in sugar mixture. With floured fingers, press onto the bottom and up the sides of well-greased miniature muffin cups.

Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Just before serving, pipe or spoon pudding into cups. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.

Butterscotch Eggnog Stars


2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup eggnog
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup crushed hard butterscotch candies

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
2 to 3 tablespoons eggnog
Yellow colored sugar


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and eggnog. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one portion at a time to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. star cutter. Cut out centers with a 1-1/2-in. star cutter. Line baking sheets with foil; grease foil.

Place large star cutouts on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon candy in center of each. Repeat with remaining dough; reroll small cutouts if desired.

Bake at 375° for 6-8 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Carefully slide foil and cookies form baking sheets onto wire racks to cool.

For icing if desired, beat confectioners' sugar, rum extract and enough eggnog to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies if desired. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired. Let stand until hardened. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Well, aren't you ther lucky one today racking up on the recipes!? LOL! Well I've decided that if I go crazy baking cookies for the party and by Friday I haven't shared everything I've made... then Saturday and Sunday is gonna be all cookie day! WOOHOO! Actually, you should probably be expecting it, cause I tend to go nuts with the cookies LOL! Ok kids, I'm outta here... off to put Betty Crocker to shame! HUGS!

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