Monday, December 7, 2009

This week's prize is one roll of each style of the new Basic Grey wrapping paper...I think I may use some of mine in mini-book making. Just leave a comment on the blog, in response to this week's question, and I will do a random drawing for the gift wrap. Here's this week's question: Do you have a favorite family recipe to share with us--one that is especially good to pull out for holiday gatherings??? I need all the help I can get! I think we would would all love those great sweet recipes...but if you have a killer potato or roast beef that you want to share...go for it...cannot wait to hear what the responses will be...I did warn you last week, so you have had a bit of time to go up into the attic to find those great hand-me-down recipes!!
In the newsletter, I wrote that I just heard from the Beads for Life folks, that our trunk show will be here and ready to roll on Wednesday, December 16th...these beads are a great added little gift, great hostess gift, cool stocking stuffer..and don't forget those bags of beads for yourself!! I will be spending the rest of the week in Prescott, Arizona, at the feet of the master, Tim Holtz having fun and learning stuff...mostly just playing with ART!! Be sure to check out his "12 Tags of Christmas" on his are like taking a 12 day class with Tim himself.
We have a new employee here at the store, Kate Bartlett...I know..another Kate!!...does it get any better?? Come in and say hi to her sometime..also, please check to be sure she is actually working.


  1. Here is my "secret" GUACAMOLE DIP recipe! Great with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa, or as a top "cold" layer in the infamous "Seven Layer Dip".


    1/8 tsp. SALT (OR MORE TO TASTE.)
    1/8 teaspoon CAYENNE (RED) PEPPER, POWDER OR FLAKES, (OR MORE, TO TASTE). - Warning: this has got some "kick" -- a little goes a long way.

    In a large bowl, mix together the avocado chunks, red onion, tomato, and garlic. Use a fork to lightly mash the avocado into smaller pieces. I think this dip tastes better with the avocado remaining sort of chunky, but if you prefer your avocado smooth, it's good that way too.
    Then add half of the lime juice, and all of the other ingredients: red & black pepper, salt. Mix well. Taste. See if you need to add more lime juice, salt, or pepper(s).

  2. As a child, my family always traveled to different relatives homes, and somehow we always "missed" a sit down dinner, so my mom always made Christmas morning extra special. I've continued the tradition with my family, so here is one of the favorties to serve for Christmas breakfast....
    I call it:
    The Diva's Delish Stuffed French Toast
    1 loaf raisin bread
    1 1/2 blocks cream cheese softened
    1 banana
    1/2 pt strawberries
    cin-sug mixture
    8 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 cup maple syrup
    1 cup milk or heavy cream

    The nice thing about this is you prepare it the night before and cook it in the morning.
    Spray a 9X13 pan, mash the banana into the cream cheese. Layer bread into pan, cut up the end pieces to fill in the gaps. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bread slices. Layer strawberries over the cream cheese and sprinkle LIBERALLY with cin-sug mixture. Top with remaining bread slices.
    In a lg. bowl beat eggs, milk, syrup and vanilla together. Pour it over the entire pan, soaking the bread. If it floats, just push the bread down. Cover tightly with plastic and refridge overnight.
    In the morning, pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until set and golden brown.
    The bread "puffs" up. Serve with confectioners sugar and maple syrup.
    Refridge leftovers, they are fantastic cold as well!
    Did i mention mismosa's compliment this dish very nicely!?

    From my home to yours, Merry Christmas!
    aka The Craft Diva

  3. How about a fabulous desert to bring to your Holiday Gatherings....

    Heath Bar trifle

    1 Chocolate cake (prepared per box directions)
    2 bags of Heath toffee bits (or 5 Heath bars smashed into bits)
    2 boxes of chocolate pudding (prepare per box directions)
    1 tub of Cool Whip

    In a trifle dish, layer crumbled cake, then toffee bits, then pudding, repeat layers until dish is full. Top with Cool Whip and festive sprinkles.

    Hope you enjoy this delightful desert, I'm so Happy Tim directed me to your blog/Store. I live in MA and will be making a trip soon to come check out your store!

  4. OK, not all sweet, but sweet & savory (and totally NOT on the WW list!):

    Cranberry & Garlic Stuffed Brie

    1 stick butter,softened
    2 cloves fresh garlic (more or less to taste), chopped
    1/4 cup dried fruit (craisins work great here), chopped

    Put the brie in the freezer for a bit to harden it up to make it easier to slice in half. Mash together butter, garlic & dried fruit. Slice Brie in half and put the butter spread across - close the sandwich. Done!

    Really nice served with baguette or water crackers. (and if you are feeling a bit fancy, roll it in more of the dried fruit or fresh chopped parsley.

    Only thing is, your date for the evening must eat some too!


  5. On Christmas Eve we have revived the "7-fish" tradition of years ago. So, I'm sharing my "Seafood Casserole" that everyone in our family looks forward to...

    Seafood Casserole

    Lobster (1-2 lbs)
    Shrimp (1-2 lbs)
    Minced Clams (1 lb)
    Large scallops, cut in half (1 lb)
    Crabmeat (1 lb)
    Langastino (1 pkg defrosted)
    Haddock (1 lb, cut into 3"x3" pieces)
    3-4 cloves Garlic
    1-2 stacks of Town House Crackers
    1-2 sticks of butter
    White Wine

    In a baking dish, spray with Pam so food will not stick. Then, place all fish in dish. You can layer it, or mix it up.

    Use a garlic press - press 3-4 cloves over the fish. Then, sprinkle white wine over fish.

    Take the crakers and crumble. In a small sauce pan, melt butter then remove from heat. Add cracker crumbs and mix to coat. Spread over all the fish.

    Lastly, sprinkle paprika and parsley on top and bake for 30-45 mins in 350 degree oven. Yum-Yum!

  6. In my family, a friend began joining us at holiday dinners. the first year she brought this dish: it is now a expected every family gathering...

    Sheila’s Spinach Balls

    4 boxes chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
    3 eggs, beaten
    ½ cup parmesan
    1 medium onion chopped fine
    3 cloves of garlic, minced fine
    1 tsp ground thyme
    2 cups herbed stuffing mix
    ¾ cup butter, melted, cool slightly

    Saute onion and garlic in 1 T of butter.
    Combine ingredients, chill for a few hours or overnight.
    Form into balls, about the size of golf balls.
    Place in large casserole,
    Bake in preheated 350 oven for 15 minutes.
    Makes 3 – 4 dozen balls

    Jenny B

  7. Hi Kate,
    I have a "new Tradition" recipe that's been added to our holiday festivities. It's a brown sugar pecan glazed brie. So easy, and very delicious.

    One large wheel of brie
    1/4 c. brown sugar
    1/4 c. chopped pecans (or other nuts)
    1 1/2 t. brandy or coffee liquer

    Combine brown sugar, nuts and liquer and pour over scraped and softened cheese. Bake at 500 degrees for approx. 5 minutes, or until sugar melts. Serve warm with crackers and apple or pear slices. YUMMY!!

  8. This is a recipe my daughter made up; it is one of our favorites at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime:D

    Spiced Apple Bread

    2 2/3 cups flour (substitute: 1 2/3 cups light wheat flour and 1 cup oat flour, ground fresh)
    1 1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp each: nutmeg (freshly ground), cloves, allspice
    2 cups granulated sugar (I use organic cane sugar from Costco)
    1 cup vegetable oil (substitute applesauce, it's good)
    4 eggs, beaten
    2 tsp vanilla
    4 cups coarsely chopped apples
    1 1/2ish cups shredded unsweetened coconut (I just threw that in there 'cauze what -isn't- better with coconut?)
    1 cup raisins (idk, I never put them in. Raisins in apple bread? Really?)
    1 cup chopped pecans (I don't put these in, either)
    2 tsp sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp cinnamon & nutmeg

    In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
    In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs and vanilla, then stir in chopped apples, coconut, raisins, and pecans. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
    Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans.
    Pour batter into pans, smoothing the top with a spatula or spoon.
    Bake for 20 minutes at 325º.
    Pull out rack and sprinkle loaves with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
    Continue baking for 30-40 minutes, or until cake tester inserted in center cmes out clean.

    Cool for 10 minutes; turn out onto a rack. Slice and serve or freeze.