Monthly Archives: December 2011

Today’s free kindle book is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, originally published serially from 1891-1892. These are the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories. They are quite good, and in my opinion this Sherlock Holmes has nothing to do with the new movie version currently out.


Click on the picture below for the free download on the Amazon Kindle store.

Today’s free k…

Pillow Covers

I made a pillow cover using this blog post and it turned out great! I recommend THESE instructions even for someone like me who can’t sew very well!

Mom’s Brittle

Mom’s Brittle

This recipe is really my grandma’s but my mom has always made and and called it Mom’s brittle. It can be made with a variety of nuts depending on your taste and mood.

Blend on low heat 5-10 minutes in a medium saucepan:

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup light corn syrup

Bring to a strong simmer until softball stage when dropped into cold water.

Add the following in a large mixing bowl:

4 cups corn flakes
2 cups rice krispies
2 cups salted roasted peanuts
1 cup flake coconut

Mix well and pack down in a greased cookie with with edges or 2 9×13 pans.

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Luscious Apricot Bars

Luscious Apricot Bars

Cover 2/3 cup dried apricots (rinsed) with water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Chop and set aside. Note: fairly moist apricots do not need to be boiled. I personally have never had to boil them.

Mix the following using a fork until crumbly:

1/2 cup soft butter or margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8×8-inch pan. Pat into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, mix the following:

2 well beaten eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup flour

Mix in the order given. Add  apricots. Spread over baked layer and bake another 30 minutes or until done.

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Makes about 4 dozen slices

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 apricot preserves
1 cup (5 ounces) finely chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup currants
1/2 golden raisins, coarsely chopped
3 Tbs heavy cream
Powdered sugar for rolling

1. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and cream cheese. Add flour mixture gradually. Do not over-beat. Roll dough into a ball and refrigerate for 6 hour or overnight wrapped in plastic.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg; set aside. Divide dough into quarters. Roll each piece out on a lightly powdered sugared surface to an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread 3 Tbs apricot preserves on the dough, leaving 1/4 border. Sprinkle with 1/4 each walnuts and currants, 2 Tbs raisins and about 2 Tbs sugar mixture. Roll tightly into a log starting with a long side. Place seem side down on  a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

3. Brush the tops of each log with cream and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Slice into 1 inch pieces. Store up to 2 days.

Very good with just currants and not raisins also.

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Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza Dough Recipe

I tried this pizza crust recipe from last night for our Christmas dinner with my mom and David. It turned out well, but I think the crust could use a little more salt, or something to give it a bit more flavor. But it was nice and crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.


  1. Mix a little sugar into the warm water.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top.
  3. Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy.
  4. Pour into a large bowl.
  5. Add flour, salt, olive oil.
  6. Combine.
  7. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to).
  8. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans.
  10. Sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal.
  11. Divide dough in half.
  12. Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan.
  13. Try to make it thicker around the edge.
  14. If desired, pre-bake at 425 F for 10 minutes (I don’t always do this).
  15. Then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice.
  16. Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot.
  17. Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.
  18. If you don’t want to use all the dough, you can freeze it.
  19. Take a portion of dough, form into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag (the oil makes it easier to take out of the bag).
  20. When you want to make a pizza, take dough out of freezer and allow to thaw before using.
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

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1/2-1lb cooked deboned chicken or turkey
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 soup can measure of milk
1 cup salsa
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Corn or flour tortillas

Mix soup, milk and salsa. Line baking dish with tortillas. Layer Chicken, soup mix, cheese and more tortillas. Repeat layers, finishing with tortillas and cheese. Bake until Cheese is bubbly in 350 degree oven. Let casserole set 30 minutes before serving.

Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars

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2 well beaten eggs
3/4-7/8 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup whole cranberries
1/3-1/2 cup chopped nuts
Beat sugar into the eggs. Add melted butter and beat in. Gradually add flour, baking powder and salt. Do not over beat. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Bake in round or square 8″ glass dish @ 325 degrees for 40-45 minutes, checking at 35 minutes.

Pecan Bars

Pecan Bars

Make about 3 dozen
For the crust:
1 cup plus two tbs (21/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
For the filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs honey
2 tbs granulated sugar
2 tbs heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups (8 ounces) pecans
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the crust: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in salt. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition. Continue mixing until dough begins to come together in large clumps.
2. Press dough evenly into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan (it should be about 1/4 inch thick). Pierce dough all over with a fork. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
3. Make the filling: Combine butter, brown sugar, honey, granulated sugar, and heavy cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in nuts, salt and vanilla. Pour filling into cooled crust.
4. Bake until the filling bubbles, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut when cool.

Sugar Cookie Icing

Sugar Cookie Icing

 (see more recipes Here)
Original Recipe Yield 1 dozen cookies’ worth
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring
1.     In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
2.     Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.