Friday, December 28, 2012


Evening Everyone,
Thought  I would send my first newsletter for the upcoming year a bit early...will be working this weekend, off a couple of days and it will be 2013. Praying richest blessings on all my family and friends for the upcoming year.
Hugs, Paula
Food for Thought:
I  Awaken, to a New Year...
A new Chapter in my life...a new Venture...a new Pathway...searching and wondering what lies ahead.
As I turn the pages of life daily, new Chapters, new Ventures, new Pathways will unfold...
I will search diligantly to know that which is right and good for me, a new Chapter of happiness.
A new Venture to find love, laughter and contentment that I so desire.
A new that will open to trails of those things I have been missing in my life.
I  Awaken, To a New Year...a new Direction and Purpose for myself.  Fulfillment of the woman I am.
Direction, Purpose and Fulfillment  are those things that I find myself desiring.
Whether that Direction will be alone or shared with another, only time will tell.
Purposely seeking to make life worthwhile, seeking to enhance myself and others.
Fulfillment of knowing who I am, where I am going;  not compromising myself or my convictions.
I Awaken, To a New Year...completing old Chapters...having learned from life's experiences.
Ready to enter  new Ventures each day...seeking what Direction will be traveled.
Walking Life's Pathway with Purpose...enhancing life from day to day.
Finding Fulfillment...making a difference in my life and others...
I Awaken, To a New Year...a New Me, unfolding new Chapters, new Ventures and New Pathways.
Mushroom Puffs
from Patty Sandlin
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz.) can mushroom pieces and stems, drained and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 large egg
1 (17.3-oz.) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
Parchment paper
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
 Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Stir in mushrooms and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours.
 Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Roll 1 puff pastry sheet into a 16- x 10-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut pastry in half lengthwise. Spread 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture down center of each rectangle; brush edges with egg mixture. Fold each pastry half lengthwise over filling, and pinch edges to seal. Cut pastries into 10 pieces each, and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat procedure with remaining puff pastry sheet, egg mixture, and cream cheese mixture.
 Brush remaining egg mixture over tops of pastry pieces; sprinkle with pepper.
 Bake at 400° for 20 to 25 minutes or until browned. Serve immediately.
Note: To make ahead, prepare recipe as directed through Step 3. Freeze pieces on baking sheet until firm (about 1 hour), and transfer to zip-top plastic freezer bags. Freeze up to 1 month. To bake, place frozen puffs on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and proceed as directed in Step 4.

Sarasota's Cheesy Ham Dip in a Bread Bowl
Kim Churchill

1 round loaf pumpernickel bread
crackers or bread sticks
vegetables of your choice
2/3 cup baked ham, diced (deli ham works great)
1 small white onion, diced fine
1/2 cup scallions, diced fine (white and green parts)
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds and ribs removed)
1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, drained
2 cups white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
pepper to taste
pinch of salt
How To Make This Recipe
Step 1 Dip ... Add the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, ham, green chilies, jalapeno, scallions, onion, garlic, worcestershire, pepper, salt (go easy); then mix well and set to the side. Make sure to taste for seasoning.
Step 2 Bread ... Cut off a thin slice from the top of the loaf and scoop out the bread from the inside. Using a knife and a spoon, cut and then scoop out as much of the bread as you can without cutting through the loaf. You still want to keep a nice layer of the bread on the inside, so it isn't too thin. Save that bread - it makes a great dipper.
Step 3 Fill the hollowed bread loaf with the dip; cover with top slice of the bread loaf and wrap the loaf in heavy duty foil - or 2 sheets of regular foil.
Step 4 Bake ... Preheat a oven to 350 degree oven and bake 1 hour on the middle shelf.
Step 5 Serve ... Enjoy with the bread scooped out, cut in small cubes; crackers, bread sticks, vegetables, broccoli, par boiled potatoes, and asparagus is a favorite as is broccoli. Basically any of your favorite dippers. ENJOY!
Step 6 A fun, easy, and different dip, which is just that little bit unique. And the best part is - it is kid and adult friendly which you can make it ahead. Just don't fill the bread bowl until you are ready to bake it. If I go to someones house, I usually bake it for about 45 and then finish it in their oven for the remaining 15-20 minutes, and it comes out great. Also, it will also stay warm wrapped up in the foil and then a towel wrapped around it for a good 30 minutes after you remove it from the oven. It is best served warm, but room temp is just fine for this dish.
"This tangy, creamy dip tastes just like buffalo chicken wings. It's best served hot with crackers and celery sticks. Everyone loves the results!"
1.5 lbs. shredded chicken
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese,
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's
Red Hot®) 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 bunch celery, cleaned and cut into 4
inch pieces
1 (8 ounce) box chicken-flavored
crackers (or your favorite)
1. Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, cover, and cook on Low setting until hot and bubbly. Serve with celery sticks and crackers.
Fiesta Shrimp Dip
1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lemon juice
1-5/8 oz. pkg. Italian dressing mix (like Good Seasons)
1-1/2 cups shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined and chopped (I cook mine in Old Bay)
Blend well cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and dressing mix. Fold in shrimp. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with crackers or chips.
Yields: 4 servings
p.s. you might want to double or triple the recipe!!!

Paula's Smoked Salmon Spread
Paula George
1 lb. flaked smoked salmon (Alaskan Smoked Salmon, preferred)
1 lb. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp. dried dill
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire
2 Tbsp. prepared horseradish (or more)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Delish, served with flatbread, crostinis or "good" crackers to spread on.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Favorite Christmas Candies!!!

I have made numerous candies over the years for my family that includes 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. These are a few favorites of family and friends.

Old Fashioned Potato Candy (Jeremy's favorite)
  • 1 small potato
  • 2 pounds confectioner's sugar
  • peanut butter
  1. Peel and slice potato. In small sauce pot, cover potato slices with water and cook over medium heat until soft. Drain potato and place in mixing bowl. Beat until mashed. Add 1/2 sugar and mix well. Mix in remaining sugar, scraping down sides as needed.
  2. Line a countertop with a sheet of waxed paper dusted with confectioner's sugar. Scrape out dough onto waxed paper and dust top with more confectioner's sugar. Roll out to a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch. Spread dough with peanut butter and roll up like you are making cinnamon rolls. Once you have rolled up into a log, roll log up in your waxed paper and cut in half. Place halves in a gallon zipper seal bag and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. When ready to serve remove waxed paper an slice into 1/4 inch slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares aka Homemade Reece's Cups (Josh's Favorite)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
12 oz. chocolate chips

Mix brown sugar and peanut butter until well blended.

Add powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of melted butter.

Place peanut butter mix into a 13x9 pan.

Melt chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of butter in microwave, stirring
every 30 seconds.

Pour chocolate mix over peanut butter and spread evenly.

Chill until firm before cutting into bars.

Jill's favorite! me, she doesn't care for a lot of sweets unless it is LEMON! ;)

Grandma Cadelle's Pecan Pralines (My longtime friend Marsha Banko's favorite)

Cadelle was my step-grandmother...lived in Algiers, LA.
She taught me to make these in the early 70's.

In a heavy saucepan, combine:
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 small can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt
Bring to a soft boil over medium heat and boil for 8 minutes.
Remove from heat and add:
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups chopped pecans
Stir until pecans are coated and drop by spoonfuls onto cookie
sheets lined with waxed paper. Let stand until firm.

  1. refrigerator.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2012 Newsletter

Food for thought:

Thank You, Great Spirit, for the beautiful gems You've placed in my pathway.
Family, friends, all of nature to brighten my life each day.
Thank You, Great Spirit, for the varied ingredients You've provided to compile life's recipe.
Family, friends, all of nature; unique, yet pertinent, compiled to reveal a life of beauty.
Thank You, Great Spirit, for Your Love and Guidance, that You shower upon us each day.
Family, friends, all of nature; leaving a glimpse of You while crossing my pathway.
                                     Paula 2003

Can't go through the holidays without thinking of Becky...
2 cups red or green bell pepper strips
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup (or more, depending on taste) chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1 cup dried apricot halves, slivered
6 cups sugar
3 oz. liquid pectin
Combine pepper strips, vinegar and jalapeno peppers in a blender or food processor.
Pulse until small chunks remain.
Combine with apricot slivers and sugar in saucepan; bring to a boil.
Boil and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat; skim off any foam.
Cool 2 minutes; stir in pectin. Pour into sterilized jars; seal at once.
(If desired, process in boiling water bath 15 minutes). Makes 6 1/2 cups.
Carolea's Jamaican Jerk Shrimp
2 pounds frozen peeled LARGE cooked shrimp (with tails)
1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1-1/4 cups from a 24-26 oz. jar refrigerated sliced papaya, drained and coarsely chopped
1 (8 oz.) can/jar pineapple junks, drained
1/4 cup chopped roasted red sweet peppers
1/4 cup sliced green onions (not just the white – include the green part)
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced

Thaw shrimp.  Place shrimp in a resealable plastic bag.  Add Jerk seasoning and oil to shrimp.  Seal bag; turn to
coat shrimp.  Chill for (at least) 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine papaya, pineapple, sweet peppers, sliced green onions, lime peel, lime juice and
garlic.  Cover and chill until serving time.

To serve, gently stir together the shrimp and fruit mixture.

Makes 12 servings (?).

NOTE:  I have substituted refrigerated jarred mango for the papaya and after making the dish the first time I added
an additional teaspoon of Jerk seasoning and ONE TEASPOON of lemon juice.

Carolea Dick
Newton, KS
August 2011
Crockpot Caramelised Onions
Becky aka decolady
Caramelising onions in the slow cooker eliminates the possibility of burning them that exists when you cook them on the stove top. An added bonus is the broth you end up with, which can be used in other dishes along with or separately from the onions. Use the onions and liquid to flavor soups, stocks, and stews. They make a wonderful addition to risotto, a perfect pasta sauce, and the world's best pizza topping (for this use you will have to drain off the liquid first). The onions can be served on their own as a vegetable to accompany fish, meat, or fowl. Cooking for a very long time insures they are a deep mahogany color.
3 lbs Vidalia or other sweet onions (4-5 onions, 3-4” diameter)
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
Peel onions and cut into 1/8” thick to ¼” thick slices. Place the onions and butter in the slow cooker, cover, and cook on LOW for 12-14 hours, or until the onions are deep brown and very soft. It's almost impossible to overcook these; make sure to let the onions cook until they are mahogany colored.
1. If you have a larger slow cooker, you can double the onions, but probably don't need to double the butter.
2. When you drain and chill the onions, the onion-flavored butter will congeal on the surface of the cooking liquid. Skim it and use it when you sauté other vegetables, over pasta, or in risotto.
3. I like to put these on at night and then they are ready in the morning.
Makes about 3½ cups.
1. These are so easy. Tonight I used about 6 onions to fill the crockpot. They were a little large, so I quartered the onions lengthwise before slicing. They are in the crockpot now. I will make a photo of them tomorrow after they are cooked.
2. My crockpot is one of the older ones that cooks more slowly. If you have newer one you probably will need to adjust the time.
Sunday Gravy
Originally posted by upstate  aka Maria in Recipe Requests
No secret at all. Here you go..........
2 Tbs. of olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
- Saute onion in oil until transparent.
1 whole clove garlic
assorted meat (normally it’s beef and pork for flavoring ~ the meatballs provide the beef and for pork you can use pork spare ribs, pork neck bones or make brascioles with pork steaks) ~ recipes follows.
- Add garlic and meat to the pan. Brown meat.
- Add 1 glass of white wine ~ cook until alcohol evaporates. Then add:
1 large can of crushed tomatoes (I use my own canned)
1 large can of tomato puree (I use my own canned)
enough water to cover meat
2-3 small cans of tomato paste (depending on thickness desired)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional tomato paste if sauce is too watery. If too thick, you can dilute with a bit of water or wine.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and top with several fresh basil leaves. Put lid on the pan and simmer slowly for several hours until cooked. You can add a pinch of baking soda to reduce acidity.
1 lb. ground beef
1-2 beaten eggs
bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
grated romano cheese (1/4 cup)
chopped parsley ~ 2 TBS.
chopped garlic (1 clove)
salt/pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients and shape into small balls. No need to fry or pre-cook. Drop into your sauce gently.
Brascioles (pork steaks):
lay piece of meat flat
add small pieces of chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. grated romano cheese
pinch of salt/pepper
chopped flat leaf parsley
- Roll tightly and secure with toothpick. Brown with other meats before adding to sauce. 
Salt Potatoes
5 pounds new potatoes
1 1/2 cups fine salt or 2 cups Kosher Salt
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1.Wash the potatoes and set aside. Fill a large pot with water; stir in salt until it no longer dissolves and settles on the bottom. Place potatoes in the pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain; cover to keep hot.
2.While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small pan over medium high heat, or in microwave. Serve immediately poured over potatoes.
Clyrelle's recipe for RED VELVET CAKE
1/2 cup crisco 1/1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs 2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 tbsp cocoa 1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk 2 oz red food coloring
1 tsp vanilla 1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
cream crisco, sugar,and eggs. sift cake flour,cocoa and salt together sift well. add alternately dry mix with buttermilk and crisco mixture. add food coloring and vanilla in seperate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar then add to batter. pour into 3 greased and floured cake pans bake 350 for about 25 minutes ICING
1 cup milk
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crisco
1 cup reg sugar
cook milk and flour until thick, cool must be cool. beat crisco and sugar till light and fluffy. add vanilla and cooked milk-flour mixture. beat until it reaches consistency of whipped cream spread between layers sides and top
I double the recipe for the icing so there will be enough.