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December 28, 2017

I have baked a ton of lemon bar recipes over the years and have never found "the one".  I took what I liked from my top recipe picks and developed what I think is an awesome lemon bar recipe!  They are incredibly luscious and luxurious.  You might wonder what the secret is to these wonderful bars - well, I'll tell you.  It's the flour in the filling.  The flour gives the filling a rich creaminess that I absolutely love.  The short bread cookie is all that it should be - buttery with a hint of lemon.  They would make great additions to a New Year's Eve celebration or any party really.  Please try these lemon bars and let me know that you think!  I would love to hear from you.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Place the lemons in a microwave for 15 seconds to make it easier for max juice and zest.

Preparation time is 20 minutes.  Total time is approximately 1 hour.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • ...

December 27, 2017

Caution...these are extremely addicting!  If you are a jalapeño fan, these poppers are for you.  With a creamy cheesy filling and bacon crumbles, they will not disappoint.  These cheesy bacon poppers are hard to resist and so very yummy!  I served these appetizers at a dinner party not too long ago, and everyone loved them.  These poppers are perfect for spicing up a New Year's Eve party, but just make sure that you have plenty of them on hand (the recipe can be easily doubled) as they will disappear fast.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can make the filling and arrange the jalapeño's on a broiler proof low rimmed cookie sheet/jelly-roll pan.  Divide the filling among the peppers, and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until ready to broil.  You can also cook and crumble the bacon and refrigerate until ready to use.

I found the red pepper jelly at my local grocery store where they keep all the other jellies (grape, strawberry, etc.).

When handling peppers, you may wa...

December 21, 2017

If you are a fan of chai tea, I have the perfect truffle for you!  These chai truffles come from the December 2015 publication of Southern Living's Christmas at Home magazine.  I can definitely say that these little chocolates are heavenly.  If you want to impress friends and family with a gourmet tasting truffle, I recommend you make these chai chocolates.  As an extra bonus, they are easy to prepare, and they keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks!  I enjoy these little desserts while sipping coffee (but I imagine that they also would be delightful with chai tea) as the hot liquid melts the chocolate and the spices onto my tongue.  The flavor is exquisite!

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 15 minutes.  Total time is 2 hours and 35 minutes (includes chilling time).

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup whipping cream

  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly groun...

December 19, 2017

This flavorful bisque is perfect for warming you during a cold winter.  It also would be great as an appetizer for your Christmas or New Year's Eve celebration.  A bisque is a type of creamy soup that is made with shellfish.  This bisque uses shrimp as the shellfish component.  The other main component of this seafood bisque is the cod.  I got this wonderful recipe from Betty Crocker's 2004 Holiday publication, and it is definitely a keeper!  The added basil pesto is what makes this dish extra special as it adds a richness to it.  This seafood bisque is so good you might be tempted to pour it over pasta as a sauce!  Now there's a thought...

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I used store bought pesto, but feel free to make your own.

As you dish up the soup, sprinkle chopped fresh basil leaves and a little freshly shredded parmesan cheese on each serving.

Preparation time is 15 minutes.  Total time is 25 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • ...

December 14, 2017

I have been making these cookies for many years now.  They have become a holiday favorite with my family.  When you take your first bite into one of these mouthwatering cookies, you will understand why these cookies are always on my baking list for Christmas.  What makes these decadent cookies unique is the browning of the butter.  The browned butter adds a depth and richness to the flavor of these Christmas cookies that cannot be beat!  They really are extraordinarily good.  I believe even Santa would approve!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

When browning the butter, keep a careful eye on the color of the butter as it cooks.  Once the butter starts to brown, cook until it is golden, but watch closely, as it will burn easily.

When adding dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, I like to add in thirds, mixing after each addition.  This method ensures the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Preparation time is 20 minutes.  Baking time is 10 minutes per batch.

C...

December 12, 2017

These potatoes are an absolute favorite among my family and friends!  They are the perfect mashed potatoes for the Christmas holidays.  If you love garlic, this is most definitely the dish for you.  The recipe calls for garlic herb butter - which means that it is no more extra work than your usual mashed potatoes.  There is no messing with garlic cloves, and extra steps as the butter is all that's needed.  This butter really does make these mashed potatoes shine.  Rich and creamy mashed potatoes are a great addition to any meal, and the garlic taste just makes everything better.  If you're looking for a mashed potato recipe, I highly recommend you give these a try!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I use Kerigold garlic and herb butter.  You can find this butter along with the other butters in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Preparation and cook time is 45 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

  • ...

December 7, 2017

If you are looking for a mincemeat pie that isn't so work intensive, I found one!  This mince pie with hard sauce comes from The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (2001).  I love this recipe, because you have the convenience of store-bought mincemeat combined with other ingredients to give it a homemade taste.  This pie is perfect for the month of December and Christmas!  I have made (a vegetarian) mincemeat before, and while it was delicious, it is involved.  It takes a week of sitting in the refrigerator to mature the flavors.  This mince pie is better for convenience and tastes wonderful.  I highly recommend this recipe.  You can serve it with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or a vanilla custard.  I personally like serving it with the hard sauce (laced with brandy).  It is extremely yummy!

Bon Appetit!

Preparation time is 25 minutes.  Baking time is 30 to 40 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Pastry doug...

December 5, 2017

This is a beautiful and elegant main dish for any celebration.  It especially works as a great Christmas meal.  Beef tenderloin is a special cut of meat that is absolutely delicious when prepared properly.  My recipe will give you a well seasoned and tender dish that you and your guests will love!  The secret is rubbing Kosher salt onto the beef and letting it sit uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.  This process will tenderize your meat, making it the best you have ever had!  The tenderloin is simply seasoned, seared, and then roasted for optimum flavor.  Serve alongside a yummy garlic sauce or a horseradish sauce to round out this outstanding main attraction.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

This is an expensive cut of meat - look for sales during the holidays.

I like to make the sauce(s) a day ahead.  Make sure you remove from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before serving.

When searing the beef on the stove top, make sure to have your ven...

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