Dec 23, 2014

Sausage Balls

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Cook's Note: My dad has made these sausage balls every year at Christmas for as long as I can remember. It is a staple in our household from around Dec 23rd until New Years Eve. Now my husband and Dad make these together. I hope you will try them and incorporate them into your family's holiday treat menu! 

What You Will Need: 

3 Cups Bisquick
3 Cups Cheese
1 pound of Sausage Meat (We used Jimmy Dean Regular)
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper


Preheat oven 350 degrees,

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients until well blended. Once combined, roll into 2 inch balls and place onto a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place about 1 inch apart (these do not spread out like cookies, so its OK to have them close together).

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield approximately 75-80 sausage balls.

This "Pinspiration" comes from My Dad


Strawberry Almond Shortcake Cookies

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Cook's Note: I love ANYTHING Shortbread and this recipe DOES NOT disappoint. It's rather simple and super delicious. I just made these yesterday and they won't last more than 48 hours here in my house. GREAT with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

What You Will Need: 

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup strawberry jam
sugar for sprinkling


 In your Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, beat butter at medium speed for about 30 seconds or until frothy. Add sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Beat in flour gradually with whisk attachment and change to dough hook if needed. Alternative, you can use a wooden spoon to stir in any remaining flour if the dough gets too stiff in the stand mixer. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on  cookie sheets, sprayed with nonstick Flour Cooking spray. Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with just a little  sugar.
Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
Yield about 3 dozen cookies.

This Pinspiration comes from “Parent Pretty”


Butterscotch Haystacks

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Cook's Note: My mom made these every year for Christmas. This is a staple in our household EVERY YEAR.  This is the simplest recipe in the world and DELICIOUS! 

What You Will Need: 

1 large package of Butterscotch chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp of Butter (softened)
1 can (8.5 oz.) or 2 cans (5 oz. each) chow mein noodles 


LINE trays with wax paper.

MICROWAVE morsels in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH for 1 minute; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. 

Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Add chow mein noodles and toss until all ingredients are coated.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared trays. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This dish is enjoyed most through the holidays!

This Pinspiration comes from My Mom (I miss her dearly!) 


Dec 21, 2014

Elf on the Shelf Cookies

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Cook's Note: I was having a mommy/daughter cooking baking day today and we made these adorable little cookies! 
I bought the Elf on the Shelf candy decorating pieces at Joann Fabric (but I've also seen them at Target, Michael's, etc). They are in the Christmas/Seasonal baking section. These adorable toppers are really meant for cupcakes, I think - but I was making these yummy cookies and needed a cute topper for them and I remembered I had bought these and they turned out adorable! 

If you don't have the Elf on The Shelf toppers, you could use Christmas sprinkles or Christmas Trees, Snowflakes, Hearts, Santa Hats - be creative and have fun!

What You Will Need: 

1 box white or vanilla cake mix 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
green food coloring, 2-3 drops 
Confectioners (powdered) sugar for dusting
Sprinkles or candies for tops


Preheat oven to 350° F.
In your stand mixer, cream together cake mix, food coloring, oil, and eggs.

(** NOTE: I used green food coloring to be festive, you can omit the food coloring or use a different color - have fun with with this!) 

Chill the dough in the freezer or fridge for about 15 minutes (covered in a bowl).
Place the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside.
Spray your cookie baking sheets with Non-Stick Cooking spray, such as Floured Cooking Spray for baking.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls and then roll the ball around in the powdered sugar to coat.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 810 minutes until just set.
As soon as you pull the cookie sheet out of the oven, gently press your candy or sprinkle decoration into the middle of the cookie.
Let cool 2-5 minutes on pan before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

This Pinspiration comes from In Katrina's Kitchen


Dec 20, 2014

Christmas Dessert Recipes

We thought we'd share some of our favorite Christmas dessert recipes with you! Below are the direct links to to the recipes ... we hope you will bake and ENJOY!





Dec 10, 2014

Toilet Paper Roll REINDEER Craft

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This craft is pretty easy and self explanatory, if you are crafty person. This is a great craft to do with toddlers and early elementary ages. 

The craft took about 5-10 minutes and my child ADORES it! 

What You Will Need: 
Empty Toilet Paper rolls or Paper Towel Rolls cut into 3
Brown Cleaners
Red Fuzzy Balls for the noses
Glue on Wiggly Eyes 
Black Marker
Glue (both regular school glue and/or Hot Glue Gun for adults to use only!)

Once you have your empty toilet paper rolls or cut up empty paper towel rolls ready to go - cut 2 small holes in the tops and push the pipe cleaners through and then bend them and tie them. 

Glue on the Eyes and the Nose (the eyes stay on with regular school glue, but the fuzzy balls for the nose may require a more adhesive glue). 
I used a glue gun for the nose and of course, I did that for little one - NEVER let a small child use a hot glue gun!

Let your child draw on a mouth, eyebrows or eyelashes!

Have fun with it and be creative with your child. 

Crafting with children is one of the most enjoyable things a parent can do.


Dec 8, 2014

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Dried Cranberries

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Cooks Note: I made these for Thanksgiving, just trying to change things up a bit and I am so glad I did. This recipe is simple, but has so much flavor and is beyond delicious. I actually have made this a 2nd time since Thanksgiving and plan on making it a staple for weeknight dinners. You can make this with or without the bacon, or with or without the cranberries. You could also add some pecans or additional Balsamic if you want. Any way you look at it, this is amazing and simple for holidays or everyday. Enjoy!


2-3 strips thick cut bacon 
Splash of Olive Oil
25 fresh, raw brussel sprouts, sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon of salt to start, then more to taste. (I used course sea salt)
1/4 teaspoon pepper to start, then to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Drizzle of balsamic at the end


1. Rinse the brussel sprouts and then slices off the root ends
2. Thinly slice the brussel sprouts, slicing from the root to the tip
3. Dice the bacon and saute till almost crisp
4. Leave drippings and bacon in the pan as you add the brussel sprouts to saute
5. If the brussel sprouts look a little dry, give them a splash of olive oil, continue to saute
6. Once the brussel sprouts are cooked (7-8 minutes), add cranberries and continue to saute 2-3 min
7. After everything is cooked and mixed together, add butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir till well combined. 
8. Right before you serve, drizzle with balsamic. Don't drench the brussel sprouts in balsamic, just enough for a little extra flavor.

This Pinspiration comes from

Dec 6, 2014

Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Rice Casserole

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Cook's Note: Who doesn't love Cracker Barrel? Well, this is a classic dish that I thought we must certainly try and this is comfort food at its best. Simple ingredients here. I have modified my recipe, as I usually do, from the original, but I hope you will like our take! 

 BONUS: It's super simple to make and something that the entire family will enjoy! 

What You Will Need:

2 Cups cooked wild rice
1 diced onion
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 Jar of Chicken Gravy
3-4 Chicken Breasts 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the rice according to package directions. Add diced onion and mix well, add garlic salt and salt and pepper to taste. 

In a glass baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, place your rice mixture in the bottom of the dish.
Next, put chicken on top of the rice, then spread the Cream of Chicken soup over chicken.

Pour gravy over top of the chicken and rice and cover dish with aluminum foil.
Bake at 350 for 45-50  minutes.

This "Pinspiration" comes from Serendipity and Spice