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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hot Cocoa

Winter means wood stoves burning, snow falling, tubing and sledding, shorter days and lots of hot cocoa to warm you up after a time being outside.
We love our cocoa with lots of tiny marshmallows. Did you know that marshmallows are great for sore throats? Another great reason to have some marshmallows. If you are all out, a big dollop of whipped cream is wonderful too! This is a delicious recipe from Joy The Baker Cookbook. Be careful, it's addictive! Nettie

Hot Cocoa

1 1/2 cups milk 
3 heaping tablespoon chocolate chips
2 heaping tablespoons white chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, heat milk over low heat.  Whisk often so the milk doesn’t burn.
While the milk is heating, bring a medium saucepan with two inches of water to a boil.  Place a heat-proof bowl with chocolate pieces over the simmering water.  Bottom of the bowl should not touch the simmering water.  Stir the chocolate pieces until melted.
Add the melted chocolate to the hot milk.  Whisk together until completely blended.  Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream. Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker
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Waffles with Mangoes and Cream

Since we are on school break, we have been baking and cooking a lot. Breakfast for dinner is our favorite! So waffles it is.  We doubled the recipe for the waffle recipe, because it is just so darn delicious and it is so easy to start your waffle iron for another day and have the batter ready whenever you like. We are always in NYC for Christmas but this year we are home. We always go to our favorite Greek restaurant and they serve us Waffles with fresh Strawberries. These waffles are just as wonderful as our Greek friends waffles. Give them a try!

Classic Waffles


2 cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Milk
5 Tablespoons Melted Shortening
4 Tablespoons Melted Butter


Preheat Waffle Iron, spray with vegetable oil if non stick, I still spray my waffle iron and it is a non -stick waffle iron. 
In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix in eggs, milk, shortening and butter. Add batter to heated waffle iron, I add 1/3 cup of batter, my waffle iron is a 2 waffle iron, add more batter if your iron is larger. Cook until light says ready or until brown and crisp. Keep warm in the oven until all the waffles are done. Add freshly cut mangoes and whipped cream. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine of 50 Pancakes and Waffles
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eggnog French Toast

The colder it gets, the more I bake. I know it may sound impossible, but if I could bake everyday, I would and I do most days. Everyone migrates to the kitchen, the southern light comes pouring in, it's warm, cheerful and inviting. I baked a couple loaves of my English Muffin Bread this week and wanted to try making French Toast with it. French Toast tastes great using stale bread. But fresh bread is still very nice. English Muffin Bread is a hearty, thick dense bread full of nooks and crannies and has a great flavor.  I used a rich delcious eggnog from our Health Food Store. This week, we have been having so much fun wrapping gifts, singing Christmas Carols and drinking egg nog, I had to try dipping English Muffin Bread in the Eggnog Mixture. I think you will love it too! Perfect for Christmas Morning! Nettie



Whisk together in a shallow bowl:

1/3 cup milk or half and half
1/3 cup eggnog
4 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt

One at a time, soak both sides of bread, then place in a hot well-buttered skillet.Cook on each side 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot sprinkled with Confectioners sugar or maple syrup, or jam. 
Recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking
Number of Servings: 8
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ho Ho Ho Holiday Eggnog

This is my favorite Wrapping- the- Gifts- Holiday- Drink. Listen, if you really want to make it into a dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I am not judging, whatever gets you through the holidays! Put on your favorite Christmas Carols and just enjoy yourself, tell your friends and family, Nettie says so!

( Disclaimer: For Adults Only. )
Holiday Eggnog
6 Ounces Eggnog
1 shot Calico Jack Spice Flavored Rum
Whip Cream
Freshly Grated Nutmeg


Pour Eggnog into a tall glass, add rum, stir, top with whipped cream, grate or shake nutmeg over whipped cream! Enjoy! Merry Christmas! Serving 1.
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Christmas Fudgy Crinkles

This is a super easy cookie to make for the holidays when you are rushed, stressed and have run out of time, even when you do have time and your son asks if you can make cookies for his school Christmas Party. I probably should make a double batch, so that they all actually get to the party, I see you sneaking in the container!

Christmas Fudgy Crinkles


1 box Devil's food cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Powdered sugar


Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick cookie sheets). In large bowl, stir dry cake mix, oil, eggs and vanilla with spoon until dough forms.
Refrigerate dough 15 to 30 minutes, or as needed for easier handling. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls about 2 inches apart.
Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.

Makes 30 Cookies.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Carrot Cake

This was the cake that I was supposed to have for my birthday. If you know me, you know that I am totally addicted to carrot cake, it is my favorite cake, the more carrots and nuts the better. This has been my favorite since I was a girl. Going through all of the recipes on the Internet, I made my favorite recipe from my Mom and Baby Wayne. This was the cake that we would make for parties and birthdays. When it was baking, all the memories of those parties started flooding back, my Mom and I with all the guys from the Floral Market. Since I told my daughter that I was going to make this cake and then made my Gingerbread Cake. She hadn't forgotten, and asked if I could make it when I got a chance. Since Amy's Annual Wreath Making Party was coming up, I thought this would be perfect for the party. Everyone loves Carrot cake.
Carrot Cake


2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 unbeaten eggs
3 cups grated carrots


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease tube pan or two cake pans.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, sift these ingredients. Set aside.
In another bowl, cream oil, sugar and eggs. Add dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Add carrots. Pour batter into tube pan or two cake pans. Bake for 45 minutes in tube pan or 30 minutes in cake pans or until toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on cooling rack. Invert cake on to plate, let cool completely before frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting


1 stick butter- softened
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans ( optional)


With a mixer or Kitchen Aid, blend butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. On low speed, add 1 cup of sugar, mix until blended, add another cup of sugar. Frost cakes. Sprinkle nuts on top of frosting.  
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Monday, December 3, 2012

Crock Pot Pork Chops

We play a game every day. We meaning hubs and I do. The game goes like this, "What do you want for dinner", one of us says, "I don't know what do you want". Hubs says, "I'll make pork chops". I say, "It's too cold for grilling, it's 10 degrees out." Hubs makes chops one way and one way only, on the Grill. He says, "It's okay, it doesn't bother me if it's cold outside." ( Hubs has been known to grill in sub zero weather). So I decided to make Crock Pot Pork Chops and not have any freezing bodies lying around.

This recipe is so easy, you are just going to love it!
Crock Pot Pork Chops

  • 6 Pork Chops
  •  1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce ( I used 1/4 cup sot sauce and 1/4 cup Uncle Gary's Hot Pepper Jelly)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fried onions
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place Pork Chops in Crock Pot, mix all of the ingredients and place over pork chops. 
  2. Cook on Low setting for 6 hours, or high setting for 4 hours until internal temperature of pork has reached 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).
This recipe has been adapted from ALLRECIPES.Com and made even better by Me!
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Sunday, December 2, 2012

~Sundays With Joy~ Birthday Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

So I thought I was a year older, all year I have been saying that I am a year older, so surprise to me that I wasn't turning 50 this year. I actually had a mini panic attack when I thought I was turning 50, that I should at least have a party or something of the sort. Hubs should really be planning something...then it dawned on me, I started counting back, no I am not 50. So then on to the next MAJOR decision, WHAT KIND OF CAKE would I like, or am I going to make? Some of you may know that I am purely obsessed with Carrot Cake, I think I have pinned over 100 Carrot Cakes on Pinterest! But then I started reading about Joy The Baker's Gingerbread Cake and it looked like all of my dreams had come true, I think I have found a cake that I love more than carrot cake! I know, it seemed impossible, but it is true! This cake is so moist and perfectly perfect in it's gingerbready-ness and the cream cheese frosting is so delicious, I had to try 3 tablespoons full to make sure that I didn't poison my family, it's the least that I can do to save the poor souls.
Birthday Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup unsulphered molasses 
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons orange zest ( I didn't have any on hand so I omitted this)
3/4 cup warm water

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese frosting, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

Method for Cake:
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  I used a 10-inch square baking pan, Grease the pan.  Line with parchment paper ( I wish I had done this part, really helps to get the cake out of the pan.) Grease and flour the parchment paper.  Set pan aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs until thick and pale.  Stir in molasses and honey.
Add all of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Stir together until incorporated.  Add the warm water and gently stir until incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  If you find that the mixture fills the pan more than three-quarters of the way full, you might consider using a larger pan (a 9 or 10-inch pan may serve your better). I used a 10-inch pan and it worked perfectly.
Bake cake for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Method for Cream Cheese Frosting:
While the cake bakes, make the cream cheese frosting.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cream cheese on medium speed.  The cream cheese should be soft and smooth. Stop the mixer.  Add the softened butter.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the two together over medium speed until smooth and incorporated.  Add one cup of powdered sugar.  Blend until incorporated.  Add vanilla extract and remaining cup of powdered sugar.  Beat on medium high speed until frosting is smooth.
Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the cake.  
This cake can be stored, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.  
Recipe Adapted From Joy The Baker

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