Neighborhood gifts-Pumpkin bread

Christmas menu:  Ham, roasted vegetables (green beans or asparagus), rolls, strawberry/spinach salad, jello, veggie tray, dip, relish tray, cranberry sauce, sugar cookies, ice cream peppermint pie.

Glazed Christmas Ham

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern about 1/8-inch deep. Place cloves in the middle of each diamond. Place the ham in a large roasting pan with a rack, tent it with foil, and bake for 2 to 2/12 hours---or longer, depending on the package directions. (Some hams may require 3 to 3 1/2 hours at a lower temp; just check the package).

After about 2 hours of baking time, remove the foil and brush the glaze (that comes with) on the ham in 20 minutes intervals (put the ham back in the oven, uncovered, in between) until it's nice and glossy. Remove from the oven.  Add round pineapple slices and maraschino cherries with toothpicks, put in for 15 minutes more. Allow to rest 15-20 minutes before carving.

Funeral Potatoes

Serves: 16 side dish servings
  • 12 large Russet potatoes, boiled, then peeled and grated or
  • 1 large 24-32 oz package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2½ cups cheddar cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • Topping options:
  • 1 cup Panko Crumbs or 2 cups crushed Corn Flakes + 2 tablespoons melted butter (optional)
  • or
  • ½ cup grated cheese

  • Instructions
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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in middle of oven.
  2. Place butter, chopped onions, salt and pepper in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook just until onions are softened. Place soup, sour cream, 2 cups of the grated cheese in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the cooked onion/butter mixture over the soup mixture in the bowl. Mix well.
  4. Add grated potatoes. Fold ingredients together.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan.
  6. If using topping, spread the Panko or cornflakes mixture or additional ½ cup of cheese over the top of the casserole and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and golden on top.
  7. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Ice Cream Peppermint Pie
Serves 16

1 pkg. chocolate cream sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 container peppermint ice cream
1 container (18 oz) whipped topping
1 bag peppermint rounds, lightly crushed for topping
Chocolate sauce for drizzle

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray 2 pie pans with nonstick spray.  Using a blender, grind the cookies into crumbs.  Transfer to a bowl; add melted butter and mix thoroughly. Divide mixture in half.

Using a spoon, press the mixture into 2 pie pans. Bake about 10 minutes until firm.  Let cool.

Let ice cream soften on countertop, then mix with the whipped topping.  Using a spatula, evenly spread it into the cooled pie crusts. Lightly sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy.  Freeze for 2-3 hours.  Remove and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Fresh Fruit Tart

Total Time:
54 min
25 min
15 min
14 min
Yield:8 servings

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press the dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4-inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling in any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.

For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.

Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Every year we get together for a gingerbread house making party.  This year is no different and we've been baking up a storm to get the houses ready.  I thought i'd post our family recipe which I got from Grandma Stout years ago:

2/3 C. Molasses
1 Egg
1/2 C. Oil

Mix together and add 1/2 C. brown sugar

Then add:
1 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Ground cloves

Then add:

2 3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder

Roll it out and bake at 350 degrees for 10 min., 
Cut out your pieces and bake another 15 minutes
Gently move the cut out pieces to wax paper (to cool)

  • 3large egg whites
  • 34cups powdered sugar
  • 12teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Directions:
  1. In a large clean bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer at medium speed.
  2. Add powdered sugar in small amounts, mixing well on high speed after each addition.
  3. Beat on high speed 4-5 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  4. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.
  5. You may need to stir icing to soften before use

For gingerbread houses:  red cinnamon candies, small candy canes, gum drops, red and green M & M's, frosted shredded wheat squares, pretzel sticks, peppermint circles, red/green sprinkles, sugar cones, chocolate Santas

Coconut Macaroons

2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Dash salt
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/3 C. flaked coconut

Grease a cookie sheet.  Beat egg whites, vanilla, and salt till soft peaks form.  Gradually add in sugar, beating til stiff peaks form, Fold in coconut.  Drop from a tsp. 1 1/2 inches apart onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 325 degree oven about 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Makes 20

A Merry Morning
Bacon, Tomato and Spinach Strata
Refrigerate overnight
Serves 9

1 tsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pkg. (10 oz) fresh spinach
2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes, drained and divided
1 pkg. sliced bread
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 1/2 cups milk
salt, pepper
5 large eggs
3/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
Chopped, fresh parsley for garnish

Heat oil in Dutch oven over med heat.  Add garlic and spinach; cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts and liquid almost evaporates.  Cool.

Spread 1 can of tomatoes over the bottom of a 13X9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Arrange half of the bread slices over tomatoes.  Top with 1 can of tomato spinach mixture, bacon, and remaining bread slices.  In large bowl combine milk, salt, pepper, and eggs, whisking until combined.  Pour over bread slices; sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours.

Uncover strata.  Bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.  Serve immediately.  300 calories a serving

Warm drink station:  Peppermint tea, cider, cinnamon sticks, cocoa, cream, marshmallows, peppermint sticks, white mugs with gold oil based marker and stencil (bake to set)

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