Sunday, November 23, 2008

Easier-Than-It-Looks Holiday Recipe: HELLO DOLLIES

There are two words for Hello Dollies: YUM YUM! This is my favorite dessert recipe from Linda's Big Red Recipe Book. She makes them occasionally during the year when we're invited to eat over and bring the dessert. (When we say we can't make it, they say:"Oh that's too bad. Can you still send the Dollies?").

They are a really great dessert during the holidays. It's like a reward for handling the stress of cooking, shopping, visiting, and entertaining (and the associated drama). They'll always bring a smile to your face, and those of your friends and family. They also make a good gift. So here's the best combination of CHOCOLATE, COCONUT, and WALNUTS that you will ever find!



1 stick butter (melted)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup coconut

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts (chopped)

1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk


MIX the melted butter in with the graham cracker crumbs. SPREAD the crumb mixture in a 8 x 8 (or 9 x 9) inch baking pan, PAT it down on the bottom of the pan to form a crust (also a little on the sides of the pan). SPRINKLE the coconut, the chocolate chips and the walnuts in layers on the crust. SHAKE the canned milk and POUR it evenly over the top. BAKE at 350 degrees (preheated) for 25 minutes. BROIL until brown (a few minutes). COOL in the refrigerator until it hardens, then CUT it into 1" squares. Refrigerate to store the remainder.

Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Remember that during the holidays the best drama is NO drama.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

EASIER-THAN-IT-LOOKS Holiday Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Linda looked in her Big Red Recipe Book and got me a couple of my favorite holiday recipes that I decided to share with you. We do enjoy eating during the holidays, and she does most of the baking. This recipe doubles as a dessert. I mean, if you add frosting they become Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes. Very good too.

I love this time of the year. It offers an opportunity to celebrate, and take note of the good things that I am fortunate enough to have in my life. It is especially joyous this year, as we can now also celebrate this country pulling together to elect a new president who offers us hope. Yahoo!!! I know also that this is a difficult time for many people, especially those who have lost loved ones, or people who have developed other negative associations with the holiday season. Some of us also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (see my posting of 11/20/07, " It's SAD, ... But It Can Be Fixed").

This is a time to look forward. Make an effort to make this a good time for you and your family. As 2009 approaches, take a look at some of the changes that it may be helpful to start the new year with (see my postings of 12/2/07 and 12/12/07, " 'Twas The Night After Christmas" -parts 1 and 2). Have some optimism. And enjoy some easy Pumpkin Spice Muffins (and cupcakes!).



- 1 pkg (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix

- 1 can (15 oz. ) Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin (or use your favorite canned pumpkin)

- 3 large eggs

- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (we use olive oil)

- 1/3 cup water

- 1 container (16 oz. ) prepared cream cheese frosting [for the cupcakes, yummy]

To make 24 muffins BLEND the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and water in a large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. POUR batter into 24 paper lined muffin cups. Fill 3/4 full. BAKE in preheated 350 degree oven for 16 - 21 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. If you are making cupcakes, spread with frosting. Decorate as desired. ENJOY!