Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mongolian Beef

1-½ pound Flank or sirloin steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons beef broth
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 C Water
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal, I like to just use the green ends.
Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package
Preparation Instructions
In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, broth, water,brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Let marinate for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.
Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

Chicken Spaghetti

1 package spaghetti noodles
3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped green pepper or 1 can diced green chiles
1 cup chicken broth
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 can mild rotel tomatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup

Boil spaghetti noodles, and put them into a large bowl.
Add chicken, green pepper, and chicken broth.
In a smaller bowl, combine the cheese, diced tomatoes, and cream of chicken soup. Stir, and melt mixture in the microwave.
Pour the cheese mixture into the large bowl, and mix.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Zuppa Toscana

I could eat soup every single day and never get tired of it. Loron, on the other hand, doesn't believe it is man food! But, he claimed he could eat this one all the time and be perfectly satisfied!


1lb Italian Sausage--browned, and if you use links, slice it thin rounds
3 C diced potatoes
1 small onion -- minced
1 1/2-2 tsp minced garlic
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (Do more or less depending on how much heat you like)
Pinch of Salt
Ground Black Pepper
4-5 C chicken broth (Make sure you have enough to cover the potatoes when cooking)
2-3 C chopped kale
3/4-1 C heavy cream

In a large pot add a couple of tsp of olive oil and saute the onions and garlic. Add the broth, potatoes, and seasoning. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.
Add sausage and kale. Let cook for just a minute, the kale will soften up. Add cream. Serve.

Its time for some new recipes.

So I decided it was time to post some more of my favorite recipes. Thanks to sweet Suzie for being the catalyst. Here are some recipes that I hope you like.

Panera Potato Soup
Servings: 4-6

4 cups chicken broth
4-5 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2-3/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Fresh ground black pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks Change

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr

1 Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.2 Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.3 Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening.4 Reduce to low heat.5 Add cream cheese.6 Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

This soup stands on its own, but it is also a great base recipe. You can add broccoli, asparagus, ham, bacon, sausage, corn, clams (Although I don't think I would all of them at once:P) Enjoy.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holly Punch

Thanks to all my friends and the fun baby shower they threw for me last week! I had a blast. Karen Hyde brought this delicious slush that we just couldn't get enough of, she said I could share it with all of you! You have to try this for your next party! MMM, wishing I had some right now!


1 quart cranberry juice
1 cup sugar
1cup water
1 cup red hot candies(do not substitute anything else)

Bring to a boil slowly in a large pot while stirring. Once the candies are dissolved, add the rest.

46oz. can pineapple juice
6oz. lemonade concentrate
6oz. OJ concentrate

Stir together, pore into large tupperware or a couple of zip-locks and freeze.

To serve, shave off "slush", mix with 7up!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cheesy Spinach Dip

Thanks to Karen Schneiter for this yummy dip, its a little twist on an old stand-by.

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 envelope dry vegetable soup mix (Knorr)
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 C grated cheddar cheese
1/2 C real bacon bits/ pieces. (I use the Hormel brand ones you find at Costco)
In a medium bowl, mix together spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, dry vegetable soup mix, water chestnuts,green onions, cheese and bacon. Cover and chill in the refrigerator approximately 2 hours before serving. Serve with crackers, chips, or sliced baguette.

Tis the Season...

For parties! Does it seem like you are having to take a dessert or an appetizer for everything this month. I thought I would share some of my favorites for just such a gathering So here goes.

Thanksgiving Hangover

Hope everyone had a tasty Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones. We sure did! If you had success with any of the recipes please leave a comment and tell us what you thought!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We just wanted send out our thanks to all of our family and friends. We love you all so much and wish you a very happy holiday season. We wish we could share a Thanksgiving table with all of you, so create some of these recipes and think of us, because we will sure be thinking of you!

Pumpkin Trifle

1 box of spice cake mix
2 3 oz boxes pumpkin spice pudding
2 C cold milk
3 C whipping cream
gingersnaps -- crumbled
Large,pretty bowl, preferrably glass so you can see the layers.

Prepare spice cake according to instructions. Let cool completely. Cut up into cubes.
Combine pudding and cold milk, mix for 5 minutes. Refrigerate until set.
Whip the cream with 1 C powdered sugar until stiff.
Combine pudding with a third of the whipped cream.
To assemble:
Layer spiced cake cubes, pumpkin pudding mixture, whipping cream, repeat and top with crushed ginger snaps.

Layers of Heaven -- pumpkin style

I was inspired by Jello's Pumpkin Spice Pudding to create this dessert and it was a huge hit!

Gingersnap Crust:
Combine 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 cups finely crushed gingersnaps in a medium mixing bowl; toss to mix well. Spread evenly into a 9x13 pan. Press onto bottom and up sides to form a firm, even crust. Chill about 1 hour or until firm. (Or, bake in a 375 degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until edge is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before filling.)
Shortbread Crust:
1 C flour
1/2 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C slivered almonds or pecans (you can leave them whole or grind them down a little)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Cool

1 8 oz package of cream cheese
2-3 C powdered sugar
2 3 oz packages pumpkin spice pudding
2 C cold milk
1 quart heavy whipping cream

1. Whip cream with about 1/2 C powdered sugar until stiff. Set aside
2. In another bowl beat together softened cream cheese and up to 2 C powdered sugar (do the sugar to taste. Add about 2 c of the whipped cream, folding together. Spread on the cooled crust and put into the fridge.
3. Mix pumpkin pudding with 2 C cold milk for 5 minutes. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes, until set. Combine with 1 - 1/2 C whipped cream. Spread over the cream cheese mixture.
4. Top with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle the top with either crushed gingersnaps or toasted nuts, depending on what you did for your crust.
5. Let set for at least an hour. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This is such a delicious pie! I am not a huge fan of baked pumpkin pies, they are a little strong for me. So if you feel the same way give this one a go, it is so much ligher and milder in flavor.

Combine in a saucepan:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Stir in:
3/4 C milk
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1 C canned pumpkin
Stir over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat and chill.

In a bowl:
2 egg whites
1/4 C sugar
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, slowly incorporated sugar and beat until stiff.

1/2 C heavy whipping cream

Fold the whipped cream into the egg whites and the completely cooled pumpkin mixture. Pour into already baked pie crust and chill. Serve with whipped cream.

Grandma Ruth's Pie Crust

3/4 lb Tenderflake lard
1/4 lb butter
5 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 can 7up

Have lard, butter, and 7up cold. Cube lard and butter, and with a pastry cutter cut the fats into the flour, until you have the texture of pea gravel. Slowly add 7 up only using as much as needed to hold dough together.

Makes 4-5 pie crustas, can bef rozen. Seperate and roll into discs, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

I will see if I can post Tressa's famous crust recipe here this week.

Yam and Apple Casserole

6 medium yams
3-4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 C butter
3 TBSP cornstarch
1 C sugar
1 tsp salt
2 C water
2 TBSP lemon juice

Parboil yams for about 20 minutes. Cool, peel, and slice. Layer in buttered casserole dish, yams then apples.
melt butter in saucepan, add cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Blend well. Add water, cook and sitr until thickened. Add lemon juice, then pour over yams.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Serves 8.

Pumpkin Dip

1 pkg cream cheese -- softened
1 jar amrshmallow cream
1C canned pumpkin
pumpkin pie spice to taste
Cream the cheese until smooth, then add in marshmallow and mix. Last add the pumpkin and spices and mix til smooth. Chill and serve with vanilla wafers.

Thanks to Karen Schneiter for this goodie.

Acini de Pepe Salad

Most of you out there know this one as Frog-eye salad. We love having this one at Thanksgiving time. Loron and I had the assignment to make this for our first Thanksgiving since we had been married. I had been trying to get the lid off of a can of mandarin oranges and because of a crummy can opener was having a difficult time. Loron came to my rescue with his great manly strength, well he slipped and cut his finger on the lid. The blood started flowing and next thing you know he just about passed out on the floor, luckily I got him to the couch just in time! One day ask him how he did when he observed his first surgery where an epidural was was a doozy, and there was no good wife there to catch him!

1 1/2 C acini de pepe pasta. Cook according to package instructions
1 C sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 C pineapple juice (get the juice from the pineapple you drain for the next day)
3 beaten egg yolks

Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Add pineapple juice and beaten egg yolks. Cook over med-high heat until thickened. pour over cooked pasta. Let stand overnight.

1 large can crushed pineapple--drained, reserve the juice for your sauce
1 large can pineapple tidbits -- drained
3 cans mandarin oranges -- drained
1-2 C red grapes
1/2 package marshmallows
1 lg container cool whip

Combine and chill for 1 hour.

Braised Carrots and Fennel

This recipe is from Rachel Ray. I have yet to try it, but I think it looks delicious. I might have to add this one to the spread this year!

6 large carrots, peeled
2 large bulbs fennel
1 large onion
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Slice the carrots 1/2-inch thick on an angle.

Quarter the fennel bulbs lengthwise, cut into bulb to remove core and thinly slice, or roughly chop. Reserve 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds.

Halve and slice the onion. Fill a skillet with 1/4-inch water. Add vegetables then sprinkle with sugar and salt and drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Simmer covered 20 minutes, and uncovered for 5 minutes and adjust salt. Toss vegetables with fennel fronds, dill and chives.

Sauteed Carrots


2 pounds carrots
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Peel the carrots and cut them diagonally in 1/4-inch slices. You should have about 6 cups of carrots. Place the carrots, 1/3 cup water, the salt, and pepper in a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are just cooked through. Add the butter, and sugar,saute for another minute, until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter. Off the heat, toss with the dill. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Cheesy Broccoli and Corn

This is a dish served at Loron's Mom's Thanksgiving table and a big hit with the kids!!

1 can of corn
2 bunches borccoli
3-4 heaping TBSP cheez whiz
cold water mixed with several tablespoons of cornstarch
1 C cream

Cook broccoli til tender, drain and save water. Chop fine and set aside. Make sauce with 1/2 C broccoli water, cheez whiz, cream and cornstarch. Boil until thickened. Add vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste.

Not your momma's green bean casserole.

Ok, so my mom never made green bean casserole, for which I was very thankful! But I am such a fan of these green beans, they are fresher tasting and so delicious! This is one of the recipes where you can just toss together the ingredients without too strict of measuring.

Garlicky green beans with bacon and mushrooms

1 package of fresh french green beans (I find mine at Costco)
1 lb bacon--diced (or if you are in a hurry those Hormel bacon pieces can just be tossed in)
10-20 mushrooms
2-3 cloves of garlic -- minced
2 shallots -- minced
1/4 C butter
lemon juice

To start, blanch you beans. This will help your beans stay nice and bright green in color and not too mushy. To do this, bring a large pot of water to boil, and have a large bowl filled with water and ice. Put beans in boiling water for a few minutes, just until barely tender and still bright green in color. Remove immediately and place in ice cold water so that they stop cooking. Let sit for a few minutes, until completely cooled. Remove and set aside. Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces (if you put your bacon in the freezer for a half and hour or so before cutting it is much easier). In a large saute pan, cook up bacon. Remove from pan and place on papertowels. Pour off excess grease from pan. Add butter and over med heat saute mushrooms, sahllots, and garlic. Add bacon back in, and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for just a few minutes until beans are tender and warmed through, don't over cook. Add just a splash of lemon juice. Serve and enjoy.

Sweet Roasted Acorn Squash

2 acorn or dumpling squash, about 1 pound each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C butter, softened
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
8 fresh sage leaves
1/2 pound crushed almond biscotti, or vanilla wafers
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Split the squash in half through the equator and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Set the squash halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If squash are very large, cut lengthwise into quarters.

In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar, and almond extract. With a brush or a spoon coat the cut sides of each squash half with the butter mixture and put 2 sage leaves on top of each. Sprinkle with the crushed cookies. Bake until tender, 30 to 35 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with any remaining butter. Adapted from Tyler Florence.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This recipe was shared at out Relief Society recipe group. Thanks to Lindsey Guisti for this yummy side dish.

2 small acorn squash
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp chicken boullion granules
2 TBSP boiling water
2 C cooked stuffing(Stovetop)
1/4 C grated Parmesan (optional)
1 tsp paprika

Cut squash in half, and discard seeds. Place squash cut side down in a baking dish and 1/2 inch of hot water. Bake uncovered at 400 for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out pulp leaving a 1/4 inch in the shell. Drain the water form pan; place the squash cut side up in pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine, pulp, egg, salt and pepper. Dissoulve boullion in water; add to squash mixture. Add the stuffing; spoon into shells. Top with cheese if desired. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 400 for 20-25 minutes until heated through. This could be prepped the day before, refrigereated and then do the final baking just before serving.

The Best Buns

These are melt-in-your-mouth, tender, light buns and oh so good. Thanks to my mom for this recipe. Excuse my Canadian, I think down here they are referred to as rolls.

2C warm water
2/3C powdered milk
1/2 C oil
1/2 C sugar
2 beaten eggs
2 TBSP yeast
1 tsp salt
6 1/2-7C white flour

First you need to proof your yeast. To do this, combine 1/2C of warm water with 1 tsp sugar (this feeds the yeast) and the 2 TBSP of yeast. Let sit until it bubbles and doubles in size. In your mixing bowl combine the remaining 1 1/2 C warm water, powdered milk, oil, sugar, and eggs. Add the yeast. Combine salt and 3 C of flour. Incorporate flour into wet ingredients, mixing until smooth. Continue adding four one cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. The less flour you use the lighter your buns will be. Do not over mix your dough. The dough should pull away from the sides of your bowl and it will be a little bit sticky, but your should be able to form it into a ball shape. I mix mine in a Bosch so I remove the dough to another bowl that I have sprayed with cooking spray, cover it with a clean dish towel, place in the sun and let it rise until it doubles in size(about 30-45 minutes, the time depends on how warm or cool your kitchen is. Grease baking sheet or glass pan (this is a good option because then you can see if the bottoms are nice and brown). Shape dough into balls (about 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter). Place in pan, slightly space apart. Let rise a second time until double in size. Don't cheat your rising time otherwise your buns will turn out heavy. Bake in preheated oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes. The tops and bottom should be nice and golden brown, if your tops start getting too dark and the bottoms aren't done, lay a piece of foil over the top. Remove from oven, let sit for several minutes, remove to wire wrack to cool. Bag up as soon as thoroughly cool. These freeze great if you want to make them ahead of time.

Mona's Crescent Rolls

If any of you hail from Southern Alberta, you know that Mona (Loron's mom) is famous for her crescent rolls. These ones take a little work to make look pretty, but are well worth the effort!

1/2 C milk
2 C water
1/2 C sugar
2 TBSP yeast
1/2 C oil
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
6-7 C flour (sprinkle it in slowly so you don't get too much)

Follow the same method as the above recipe. Knead until smooth, let rise one hour, make into rolls, raise one more hour nake at 350 for 15 minutes.

To make the crescent rolls:
Roll our your dough, spread with softened butter (like you would with cinnamon rolls) Then use a pizza cutter, and cut down the venter of an oval piece of dough, then cut into wedges like a pie ; alternating back and forth so that the triangular pieces are uniform in size. Roll up starting at the wide end, then you have to place the narrow end down on the pan so they don't unroll while baking.

These doughs are also delish for cinnamon buns or orange rolls.

Thanksgiving Continued...Sausage & Sage Stuffing

Yummy Stuffing

Just remember, don't put this in the bird!! To cook all of the poultry juice germs out of it would result in an extra dry turkey. I know that some of you out there love exact measurements, but I just don't cook that way. So this is about as exact as its going ot get.


1lb sage flavored or original sausage -- browned and then let drain on paper towel
1 large onion-- finely diced
3 stalks celery -- finely diced
10-20 mushrooms -- washed and sliced (do as many as you would like)
3 TBSP butter
6-7 C cubbed challah bread (let it sit out a bit and become a little dry) or any dry bread cubes
2 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
1/4 C melted butter
1/4 C heavy cream
1-2 C chicken broth/stock

In a large pan cook up sausage. Remove from pan and set on paper towels to let excess fat drain off. Pour off any left over grease from pan. Add 3 TBSP butter and over med heat saute up celery, mushrooms, and onion. In large mixing bowl combine cubed bread, sauteed veggies, sausage, meleted butter, cream and 1/2 C stock. Add seasonings to taste. Add the remaining chicken stock a 1/2 C at a time until you have a really nice moist consistency, it shouldn't be soupy, but you want it to be moist after it cooks. Pour into large baking dish and cook at 375 for 35-45 minutes. If it starts to get too brown on top just put foil over it. This can be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated. Tjust bake it before serving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I just can't eat turkey without cranberries.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
1-2 oranges, zested and juiced
1/2-1 cup sugar (add to your desired sweetness)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. These take just minutes to prepare and taste so much better than out of the can!!

Turkey Time

So there are about a bazillion different ways to prepare a turkey, I have decided that this one is my favorite. It makes for a moist and flavorful turkey. Thie is a recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse.

1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
1 large orange, cut into 1/8ths
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
Salt and pepper
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 bunch sage
3 or 4 sprigs parsley
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting

For the Brine:

To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a nonreactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, food grade plastic storage bag). Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary. Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.

Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Sage Butter:

Combine 1/2 C softened butter with 2 tsp dried sage.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels both inside and out. Place turkey, breast side up, in a large, heavy roasting pan. Rub breast side with orange segments and rub on all sides with the butter, stuffing some underneath the skin. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, remaining orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock. Don't over cook it!

Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Serve with pan gravy and delicious cranberries!!

Thanksgiving at our house.

Tis the season for too many calories, but they don't count on Thanksgiving and CHristmas, right!?!?!? So here is to some great tasting food that have become some of our family favorites.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Savory Gift Ideas

Lemon Rosemary Salt

Ingredients:Makes about 1 cup
Grated zest of 2 lemons (about 2 Tbsp.)
Fresh rosemary leaves from 2 (5-inch) branches (about 3 Tbsp.)
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup coarse sea salt
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process lemon zest, rosemary leaves, and pepper until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add salt and pulse until salt forms smaller crystals and mixture is blended, about 30 seconds.

Pack into glass jars with tight-fitting lids and store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months. Attach a ribbon and gift tag with serving ideas, such as "Terrific sprinkled on roast chicken, grilled meats, fish, or steamed vegetables."

Lemon Vinegarette

1 C olive or canola oil

1/2 C white wine vinegar

2 lemons -- juice and zest

1/2 C sugar

1 TBSP poppy seeds

1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and pour into pretty glass bottle, add a few slices of fresh lemon. On the label print, "Great served with over a spinach, strawberry, and toasted almond salad."

Milk & Cookies

I love this idea!! I found milk packaged in glass bottles at Whole Foods and paired it with one of my favorite Christmas cookies, White Chocolate Ginger Snaps.

Ginger Snaps

2 1/2 C butter
3 C sugar
3 eggs
3/4 molasses
6 C flour
6 tsp baking soda
3-6 tsp ginger (depends on how gingery you like them)
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt

Cream together softened butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until fluffy. Add molasses. Combine dry ingredients and add to wet. Roll into balls and roll in white sugar. Place on cookie sheet and barely flatten with the bottom of a glass. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. If desired melt white chocolate, dip half of cookie in white chocolate and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let cool and package.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa Mix
4 1/2 C Nestle Quick
3 1/2 C creamer
2 C powdered sugar
11 C instant powdered milk
3/4 tsp salt
Mix together. To serve mix 1/3 C cocoa mix to 1 C hot water.
For different flavors add part plain creamer and part flavored creamer, i.e. vanilla, mint, hazelnut, whatever you like!
Mexican Hot Chocolate:
Add cinnamon to the mix.
Hot Cocoa Stir Sticks
Peppermint Softmint Sticks
Milk Chocolate
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave on med heat. Stir until smooth. Dip sticks in chocolate about 2/3 way up. Place on wax paper or parchment lined baking sheet and let cool. Package in cellophane treat bags. Enjoy!
Spiced Cider Mix
2-3 C Country Time Lemonade Drink Mix
1 C Tang
1 TBSP Crystal Light cranberry drink crystals
1/2-1 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 TBSP cloves
This is one of those recipes where I just tossed together ingredients until it tasted right to me. So you may choose to adjust some of the amounts.
To prepare, mix 1 tsp cider mix with 1 C hot apple juice or cider.
I packaged all of the drink mixes in tea tins I found at By the way if you are a friend or neighbor, no stealing this idea. The pregnant girl wants this easy treat for Christmas giving this year!!