Archive for the ‘Christmas Food’ Category

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No-Bake Cheesecake Pie Recipe

Ingredient List:
1 (6 oz.) Ready-Crust graham cracker pie crust
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle® brand sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1/3 cup lemon juice from concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling, chilled or any other fruit in season


With mixer, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in Eagle® Brand‚ until smooth.
Stir in lemon juice, and vanilla.
Pour into crust.
Chill at least 3 hours.
After chilled, top with pie filling. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tasty Tip: Add whipped cream or other garnish as desired.

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Turn One Cookie Recipe Into 30 Varieties

A Month of Cookies

One basic cookies dough makes the building blocks for 30 different kinds of cookies — just in time for the holidays. Grab the kids and get rolling.

by Sandy Gluck

Inspired to bake? Make cookies for a cause. Visit to see how some lovin’ from your oven can help out Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Basic Cookie Dough
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1-cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.

2. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Tear off 2 sheets of waxed paper, each about 12-inches. Spoon half the dough lengthwise down the center of each sheet of paper forming a strip about 8 inches long.  With your hands, roll each strip into a log about 2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Wrap the logs up in the paper.

3. Freeze several hours until firm or freeze up to 3 months

4. To bake: preheat oven to 400. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap frozen dough and with a sharp knife, slice 1/4-inch thick. Bake until golden around the edges, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back. With a wide, thin metal spatula, remove from baking sheets to wire rack to cool completely.

1. Ginger Cookies: Add 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder to flour mixture. Beat 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger in to mixture when adding egg.

2. Peanut Cookies: Grind enough peanuts to make 1/3 cup finely ground. Reduce flour to 1 1/3 cups and stir ground peanuts into remaining flour mixture. Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts when adding egg.

3. Espresso-Almond Cookies: Add 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder to flour mixture. Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and add 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar. Add 1/8 teaspoon almond extract when adding vanilla. Fold in 1/3 cup sliced almonds after adding flour.

4. Molasses Cookies: Increase flour to 1 3/4 cups, swap in 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar for 1/4 cup granulated, and add 3 tablespoons molasses when beating butter and sugar.

5. Citrus Cookies: Beat 2 tablespoons grated lemon, lime or a combo into mixture when adding egg.

6. Malted Milk Cookies: Add 2 tablespoons malted milk powder to flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup crushed malted milk balls when adding egg.

7. Cornmeal-Currant Cookies: Replace 1/3 cup of flour with 1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal. Stir 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and 1/3 cup currants into mixture after adding flour.

8. Red-Hot Cookies: Finely crush 1/3 cup of red-hot candies and fold in when adding flour mixture.

9. Spice Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon allspice to flour mixture.

10. Peanut Butter Chips: Reduce butter to 6 tablespoons. Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Fold in 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips when adding flour mixture.

11. Brown Butter: Melt butter over low heat until lightly browned and fragrant (do this in a pan that isn’t dark so you can see the change in color). Chill butter until firm then proceed with recipe as directed.

12. Toasted Coconut: Toast 1 cup of angel-flake coconut (the sweetened kind you get in the supermarket in bags) until golden brown. Grind a little more than half to get 1/3 cup ground and replace 1/3 cup of the flour with the ground coconut. Fold the remaining coconut in when adding the egg.

13. Chocolate-Chile Cookies: Remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Add 3/4 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chile powder, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to flour mixture.

14. Granola Cookies: Coarsely shop 1/2 cup of your favorite granola and stir in when adding flour mixture.

15. Orange-Cranberry: Fold 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries into dough after adding flour mixture.

16. Black Forest: Beat 2 ounces of melted and cooled semisweet chocolate into dough after adding egg. Fold in ¼ cup finely chopped dried cherries after adding flour mixture.

17. White and Dark Chocolate: Remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Reduce granulated sugar to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar. Fold in 1/3 cup chopped white chocolate after adding flour.

18. Double Chocolate: Remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Fold in 1/3-cup mini chocolate chips after folding in flour.

19. Rocky Road: Beat 1/3-cup marshmallow fluff when beating butter and sugar. Increase vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Fold in 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans after folding in flour.

20. Carrot Cookies: Beat 1/2 cup of finely grated carrot into the mixture when adding egg. Swap in 1/3 cup maple sugar for 1/3 cup of regular sugar.

21. Pine Nut Cookies: Fold 1/4 cup of pine nuts into dough after adding flour mixture. Add 1/8 teaspoon almond extract along with vanilla.

22. Crispy Rice Cookies: Stir 2/3 cup of crisp puffed rice cereal into mixture when beating in flour mixture.

23. Sesame Cookies: Beat 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil and 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds into mixture when adding egg.

24. Apricot-Anise Cookies: Fold in 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seed and 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots after adding flour.

25. Cashew Cookies: Reduce butter to 6 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons cashew butter. Add 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg to flour mixture. Fold in 1/3 cup finely chopped salted cashews after adding flour.

26. Sunflower Seed Cookies: Reduce butter to 6 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter. Fold 2 tablespoons toasted hulled sunflower seeds and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest to mixture after adding flour mixture.

27. Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Cookies: Replace 2/3 cup of flour with 2/3-cup whole-wheat pastry flour. Add 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon to flour mixture. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar to sugar and butter mixture.

28. Toasted Oatmeal Cookies: Toast 1 1/2 cups rolled or quick cooking oats until fragrant and golden brown. Grind 1 cup of the oats and once ground measure and substitute for an equal amount of flour. Reduce sugar to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Fold remaining 1/2 cup oats into dough after adding flour.

29. Butterscotch Cookies: Reduce sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar. Fold in 1/2 cup butterscotch morsels after adding flour.

30. Tropical Cookies: Fold 1/3 cup finely chopped dried pineapple, 1/4 cup finely chopped dried banana chips, and 2 teaspoons grated lime zest after adding flour.

Sandy Gluck hosts Martha Stewart Radio’s Everyday Food weekdays at 11 a.m. EST on on Sirius XM.

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Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Green Bean Casserole is one of the staple dishes of a good Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Try this recipe:

2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup  (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups cooked cut green beans
2 2/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions

Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3-quart casserole.

Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.

Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

To add crunch, add 1/2 cup sliced almonds to the onion topping.

For bacon lovers, add 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, to the bean mixture.

To add a festive touch, add 1/2 cup chopped red pepper with the soup.

For cheese lovers, stir in 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese with the soup. Omit the soy sauce.  Sprinkle with an additional 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese when adding the remaining onions.

For Golden Green Bean Casserole, substitute Campbell’s® Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup for the Cream of Mushroom Soup.  Omit the soy sauce.  Stir in 1/2 cup chopped red pepper with the green beans.

    Recipe Tip: Use 2 bags (16 to 20 ounces each) frozen green beans, 4 packages (9 ounces each) frozen green beans, 4 cans (about 16 ounces each) green beans or about 3 pounds fresh green beans for this recipe.

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    Christmas Dinner Menus Your Guests Will Love

    Ah, Christmas dinner. The sights. The smells. The thought can make visions of turkey drumsticks, heaping bowls of stuffing, cranberry sauce and slices of pumpkin pie dance in your head. All of the traditional foods we love just waiting to be eaten are enough to stir anyone’s taste buds into a frenzy.

    But who says you have to serve the same foods you’ve always served for Christmas dinner? You can try something new if you’re tired of always having the same meal and you can even center your food around a holiday theme or you can serve foods from another country. With a little bit of thought, you can come up with the main courses and deserts you’d like to serve or you can try these tasty suggestions.

    For meat, instead of turkey, how about filet mignon? This delicious meat, which was a hit among the French before it arrived on America’s plates, is easy to cook and if you wrap a piece of bacon around it before you broil it, there won’t be any leftovers!

    If you’d prefer something different than beef, you can try a savory lamb roast cooked with tender vegetables like asparagus on the side. Instead of roasting a turkey, you can roast a chicken or duck.

    If you’re having trouble making a choice between which meat to get, have more than one. Christmas kabobs would be a hit with juicy morsels of beef, chicken and pork. Flavored with red pepper, cherry tomatoes and pineapples, this is sure to please any crowd.

    Side dishes don’t have to be the same old stuffing or green bean casserole. Squash that’s baked with cinnamon sprinkled apples or with juicy chunks of pineapple will disappear as fast you serve it.

    If you don’t believe you’d like a side dish that’s slightly sweet to the taste, you can op for cranberry stuffed squash instead. If you’re not a fan of squash, try tomatoes stuffed with cheese and salmon spread.

    You can also make mashed garlic cauliflower. This vegetable tastes like a potato. Prepare it just like you would mashed potatoes-cook until you can run a fork through it. You can also mix cauliflower with cheese such as Parmesan.

    Some people say the best part of any Christmas menus are the desserts guaranteed to delight guests of all ages. You don’t have to have fruitcake or pumpkin or apple pies year in and year out.

    Try something different. How about Elegant Cheesecake Pie? Quick and simple to make yet this dessert will quickly become a favorite. The ingredients are a regular sized bar of cream cheese, and an eight ounce tub of whipped cream, one third cup sugar and a teaspoon and a half of vanilla.

    Mix together, put ingredients in a graham cracker pie crust. Top with strawberry pie filling, or apple pie filing or blueberry pie filling. Refrigerate for five hours until set. Helpful hint: if using store bought pie crust, invert the plastic pie covering, gently wash it and use it to cover the pie once it’s made.

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    Christmas China Is a Special Kind of Dinnerware

    Christmas means grand parties and celebrations over scrumptious meals. Setting a table is an important part of creating just the right atmosphere for your gathering. Christmas china, whether plain or featuring Christmas scenes, can bring an added layer of sophistication to your holiday table.

    You can also use Christmas dinnerware as part of your decorations. You simply keep the table set with a nice Christmas tablecloth or runner, crystal wine flutes or goblets and Christmas china.

    When it’s time to eat and you’re not going to use the china for the meal, just move it off the table and as soon as the meal is cleared away, then reset it. It takes a bit of extra work but as a result, you have a holiday table that has a completed look. You’ll find that many magazines often depict pictures of a table already set. Those tables aren’t always just set that way for the photo shoot. They stay like that throughout the day.

    Christmas china isn’t called china because it comes from China, rather it’s a reference to the material made in the dinnerware. China dishes are made of the highest quality porcelain, which is one of the reasons why it costs more than everyday use dishes.

    Setting a table with china shows the effort the host or hostess went through to make it beautiful for the guests. Having special dinnerware is a sign of hospitality that you recognized the event was more than ordinary and that the guests were as well.

    The holidays are a special event and you don’t want to set the table using the same dishes you use all year long. You want to make everything about your holiday decorations add that sparkle, that ‘something extra’ that’s found in the magic of Christmas. Plain dishes and even run of the mill Christmas dishes won’t suffice. You need Christmas china to complete the ambiance.

    The best thing about buying China for your Christmas dinnerware is that you don’t have to settle for just one pattern if you see more than one that you like. You can get multiple settings and simply rotate their use during the holidays.

    Major companies are always creating designs for Christmas as well as keeping in stock their traditional Christmas designs. Of course, if you don’t like designs on your Christmas dinnerware, you can still have elegance by choosing one of the many patterns that feature a simple gold or silver circle around the dinnerware.

    There are a few people who will purchase gorgeous sets of Christmas china and then unfortunately won’t use it. They keep it put up out of reach and often out of sight ‘in case’ something happens to it.

    There’s no beauty in not using things that bring us pleasure. Life is not meant to be lived packed away in a box or in a cabinet. You’ll rob yourself of many priceless memories by not using the best you have in life.

    Go ahead and celebrate the holidays with special Christmas china. You’re worth it and so are your friends and family. No matter what holiday dinnerware you pick out, it’ll help to make your holiday one to remember.

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    Crystal Dinnerware at Your Christmas Table

    Christmas crystal dinnerware

    Christmas is not an ordinary day and Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day dinner is not an ordinary meal. It’s one to be celebrated with the best of family and friends and with the best of foods. Don’t serve the meal on plain dishes that you have around the house and don’t serve this extraordinary food on dishes you can get anywhere.

    You want to use dinnerware and decorations on your dinner table that show your effort, items that will make your table memorable. Why use crystal? Crystal, despite its name, is a very sturdy dinnerware, but more than everyday dishes, it has an elegance that deserves a class of its own.

    If you can afford to set your entire table in crystal at once, then go ahead and do so, the beauty is stunning and gives the impression of opulence, almost like one is about to dine in a winter wonderland.

    But if can’t afford to set the table completely with crystal, then buy it a piece at a time until you have everything you need. Begin with place settings. You’ll want to get these first.

    You’ll need enough place settings for yourself and every person who lives in the home. Then you’ll need to figure how many guests you usually entertain at your Christmas meals.

    After you have your place settings, then begin buying the glasses. Some of the pieces will cost you more but elegance is always worth the extra price you pay and crystal does retain its value. You’ll want to get both glasses and flutes. When the settings and glassware have all been purchased, begin buying those extras that make a holiday table one of a kind.

    Make sure you purchase a cake plate for those holiday deserts. You can find large crystal cake plates that are footed and well suited for large gatherings or you can find ones with a smaller diameter and height.

    A tip for those cake plates is that you don’t have to always serve cake on them. You can serve pies and other holiday treats as well. Many of the finest crystal cake plates are limited edition within their collections so you don’t want to wait too long to get your dinnerware complete. You’ll also need a crystal punch bowl and cup set for holding that special holiday punch recipe.

    Holiday crystal doesn’t just end with the dinnerware. There are also the table decorations to consider. Small, round crystal dishes are perfect for filling with Christmas ornaments or flower heads or candles floating in water. A crystal vase in the middle of the table can house those gorgeous Christmas poinsettias. This year, aim to deck your table out in fine crystal.

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