Monday, December 30, 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's a holiday feeling

Families getting together over the holidays is one event we look forward to every year.  Not only is there great food..........

It's also fun to see the little cousins together.

It's nice to have family traditions.

How was your Christmas??

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

May the celebration of the birth of Jesus inspire us all to rejoice and to serve Him with humble hearts. May we always remember the "Reason for the Season". That our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His beloved Son to this fallen world, to die for our sins so that we may live forever with Him. It's a gift that cannot be earned or worked for. 
It's free to all men.

May your hearts be filled with love and joy this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Oh the weather outside is......


I think the Reindeer will be putting on water skis, instead of snow skis this year.

And here is why..........

I love living in Florida :-)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Peppermint Tree

Many years ago, my friend and I made Peppermint Trees for table decorations for a Christmas luncheon.  Over the years I've made the Trees to give as gifts.  They are great for co-workers, friends, teachers or for someone who is hard to buy for.

Start with these basics -

I've always used hairpins, but you can use straight pins too.  I like the hairpins best because you can just pull a candy off the tree and the pin stays in place, and you don't have to worry about discarding a straight pin.

Start with the bottom layer

 You can make the candies as tight or lose as you prefer.  I like to leave a little space between rows.

The closer you get to the top, you will need to angle the pins into the styrofoam.  

Cut pieces of thin green ribbon and pull them into a knot (not too tight) 

 then insert another hairpin

 which goes right into the tree.

You can put as many or as few ribbons into the tree as you like.  I loop some ribbon and take another hairpin and stick it into the top of the tree.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Spanish Flan

Creamy Caramel Flan Recipe

My whole life my mother made Spanish Flan.  Living in the part of the south that is steeped in Latin traditions, we ate a lot of Spanish foods.  

However, recently I tasted a flan that might have been better then what my mother used to make.  This recipe originally was published in the newspaper. I'm sorry to say I don't know when it was published to give proper credit.  However after taking one bite of this Flan, I had to have the recipe.  So here it is for your enjoyment.  Believe me, once you taste this Flan, you will forever compare it for smoothness and creamy taste.

Sylvia Alvarez's Flan De La Habana

1 cup sugar                                     1 teaspoon vanilla
6 egg yolks                                      1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk                                    1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1 can evaporated milk                      4 egg whites
1 can sweetened condensed milk       3/4 cup sugar

Put 1 cup sugar in a heavy pan and heat to medium to medium high heat. Stir constantly until sugar starts to melt and turns a light golden brown.  Be careful because this mixture gets very hot.

Quickly pour the caramelized sugar into a 2 to 2 1/2 quart Corningware dish or glass pan. Tilt and turn the pan to coat with the hot caramel.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together egg yolks, 3/4 cup milk, evaporated and condensed milks, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.  Put softened cream cheese, egg whites and 3/4 cup sugar in a blender and blend until creamy.  Pour contents into yolk mixture and mix thoroughly.  Pour into caramelized pan.

Place pan in a larger one and add water about the depth of flan pan.

Bake about 90 minutes.  Flan is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.  Place in refrigerator and chill at least 3 hours.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loose.  Place serving dish over the pan and flip.  Scrape any caramel in the pan and pour over flan.  Serve 8 to 10.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Beauty of God's Earth

Living in the deep south, we never see snow. A couple of years ago our family experienced the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. It always overwhelms me how the beauty of God's earth declares His holiness.

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!"

Isaiah 6:3

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tomato Basil Toast

I always like to find an easy recipe that will jazz up a meal.  Recently my grocery store was doing food demos and this was one of the samples I tasted.

And you know it's always fun to add your own twist to a recipe.  So here is my version.

Tomato Basil Toast

1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
4 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 (6 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped
finely sliced onions and mushrooms, sauteed
1/4 cup feta cheese
sliced black olives
8 slices frozen Texas Garlic toast

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Chop basil, tomatoes and artichokes. Place in bowl.   Stir in cheese and olives.   Saute onions and mushrooms in olive oil.

Arrange garlic toast on baking sheet; bake 3-5 minutes on each side or until toasted and golden.

Spoon onions and mushrooms over toast, then add tomato mixture on top.  You can serve it this way, or stick it back in the hot oven for 2 - 3 minutes.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Blues

A couple of years ago, our family traveled to snow country.  My kids love to snowboard, while my Hubby and I stay warm inside with a hot cup of cocoa :-)