Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 15!

In just 10 days it will be Christmas! Please come join me over at href="">My Simple Walk, for a countdown. I > will have my family's top 10 all-time favorite COLOR="006633">Christmas movies, the 10 best > songs of the holiday > season, and 10 last minute, make in less than a day, > gift ideas with patterns > and instructions for each! Shhhhh....There may be a few other > surprises > as well. > >
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> > Grab a warm mug of cocoa, turn on those Christmas > tunes, and sit a spell with me on December 15th, for the 10 Day > Christmas Countdown!

Club Baked~Baked French Toast

It is time again for another episode of Club Baked.!! Every 2 weeks everyone in Club Baked makes the featured recipe from the book, Baked Explorations written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. This is one great cookbook. I have liked every recipe we have made~until today.  It just wasn't for me!
The recipe seems like it is really great.
It also looks great. I thought it would be
wonderful for the holidays!
It has a raspberry sauce that was fantastic tasting.
However the food had no taste. I used a loaf of
Challah bread, which was on the recipe as a choice of 
breads. I added a lot of extra cinnamon, but the flavor 
just wasn't there for me. 

I hope everyone else had better luck than I did
with this recipe. I really wanted it to work.
The idea of baked French Toast is 
fantastic. My son will be home from college next
week, and I was hoping this would be a time saving
breakfast we could have while he is here.

If you are interested in this recipe, drop by and see
Julie, our hostess, at Little Bit of Everything.
Let me know what you think!

Thanks for joining me today!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 14 is here!

 It's a pleasure to be sharing in this special blog share, The 25 Days of Christmas,  started by the Parga's Junkyard Blog. I hope you check out the other blog posts sharing the holiday season with 24 bloggers who have joined forces to make this season a bit more magical..

 The Bunnies of Christmas...

 Often the Holidays can be a difficult or lonely time for those who have no family or friends nearby, or are left behind because it is difficult to manage having one come to visit for a holiday visit-perhaps due to constraints of illness.  Or sadder still, whether through ill family relations or neglectful family, the elderly or disabled family member is left behind.

It is usually difficult for an elderly or sick person in a nursing home, hospital, or assisted living facility, who receives few or no visits, to watch others receive visits or go out during the holiday season.  I have seen this first hand, having worked in nursing homes, a rehab hospital and mental health facility for about 18 years. Even the smallest gesture is appreciated by these people and can mean a lot.

On the other hand, the warmth of a hug, for example, is nice when given by perhaps a staff person or visitor from a church, it is not always the same as when these people participate in interactions with animals.  There is something about animals, that for most people will let them feel even more relaxed and free to enjoy the interaction than with people they aren't as familiar with. Often times the results are amazing!

For years, I have participated in pet therapy programs with various animals owned by facilities or more often with bringing in my own houserabbits (litterbox trained and all!).  Come share this recent holiday season visit at an assisted living facility and feel the holiday magic yourself with....

The Bunnies of Christmas in the Rabbit Slippers Blog  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cowboy Christmas!

Join Parga's Junkyard as we Share Christmas
with some of the web's best bloggers!

25 Days of Christmas
December 13, 2011

 Code of the West
(from "Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West" by James P. Owen)

  1. Live each day with courage.
  2. Take pride in your work.
  3. Always finish what you start.
  4. Do what has to be done.
  5. Be tough, but fair.
  6. When you make a promise, keep it.
  7. Ride for the brand.
  8. Talk less and say more.
  9. Remember that some things aren't for sale.
  10. Know where to draw the line.

    In honor of the Code of the West and Cowboy Ethics, 
    we are celebrating a  
    Cowboy Christmas at The Freshman Cook, 
    with 5 Food Gifts for the Cowboy in all of Us!

    1 package (11 oz) Butterscotch Morsels
    1 package Chow Mein Noodles 
    2 cups Peanuts
    Melt the butterscotch morsels in a double boiler.
     Let them get warm and start to melt, then stir.
     Once the morsels are melted, stir in chow mein 
    noodles and peanuts.
    Mound mix into small pieces like above.
    Let them set up.


    3 cups Sugar
    3/4 cup Butter
    5 oz. Evaporated Milk
    12 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate
    7 oz. Marshmallow Creme
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    2 Graham Crackers
    1/4 cup Peppermint Marshmallows

    Bring sugar, butter and milk to a boil 
    over medium heat. Stir constantly.
    Prepare your 8" or 9"  pan with foil.
    Spray the foil with pan spray.
    Boil for 4 minutes or until temperature
    gets to 234 degrees.
    Remove from heat, and add chocolate 
    and marshmallow creme.
    Stir until melted. Add vanilla and stir.
    Pour into pan.
    Crack pieces of graham cracker off 
    and insert in the fudge while it is still 
    soft. Press peppermint marshmallow
    into the fudge also.

    2 cups Flour
    1 teaspoon Baking Soda
    1 teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
    1 cup softened Butter
    3/4 cup Sugar
    3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
    2 Large Eggs
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
    6 ounces Semisweet Chocolate
    In a separate bowl from where you are mixing,
    place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
    In your mixing bowl add butter and both sugars.
    On medium high, cream together the sugars and butter.
    Reduce the speed to medium and add your eggs, one at
    a time. Beat after each addition.
    Add the vanilla.
    On low speed, add the flour mixture, a little
    at a time. Mix just until it is incorporated.
    Add chocolate and....
    oats just until combined.
    Place small scoops on your baking sheet.
    Top each cookie with mini M and M's.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes.
    Cool on a wire rack.

    1 cup Peanuts
    1 cup Cashews
    1 cup Pistachios
    1 cup Smokehouse Almonds
    1 cup Dried Cranberries
    1 cup Golden Raisins
    1 cup Pretzel Sticks
    2 cups Holiday M and M's
    Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
    Break the pretzel sticks in half before adding them.
    Happy Trails!

    1/4 cup Butter
    4 cups Mini Marshmallows
    6 cups Rice Krispies
    1 teaspoon Vanilla
    1 bag Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips
     Melt the butter in a medium pot on low heat.
    Add the mini marshmallows.
    Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted.
    Take off heat.
    Add vanilla and stir.
    Add your rice krispies. 
    Stir completely.
    Put butter or pan spray on your hands.
    Shape into cow pies. Don't make perfect
    circles. Cow pies are not perfect.
    Melt your chocolate in a double boiler. Dip
    rice krispie treats into chocolate.
    Dip one part, then place in freezer until  chocolate sets.
    Take out of freezer, then dip another part,
    then put back in freezer.
    Here are your cow pies!

    Thanks for joining The Freshman Cook today!

    I hope you have the Merriest Christmas ever! 

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