Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is, by far our family’s favorite. I cook a pecan pie every Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup Karo corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell

In a large bowl, stir eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in 350F degree oven for 50-55 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool.

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Peas in Cheese Sauce

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This year for Christmas I asked everyone what dish they would like me to cook for Christmas dinner.  My youngest said macaroni and cheese.  I figured it would be too many carbs for dinner since I was already making mashed potatoes and gravy.  So I changed his request up a little bit to get some green vegetables in the meal.

Peas in Cheese Sauce

4 1/2 teaspoons butter
4 1/2 teaspoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup cubed Velveeta
2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen peas, thawed

In a large pan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese, stir until melted. Stir in peas, cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Mold

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This is one of my favorite recipes to serve at Christmas.  I know it is one of those old fashioned jello mold things but it looks just like a red wreath to me.  I also just love cranberries and I have to sneak it in somehow.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Mold

1 1/2 cups boiling water
8 oz. package of Jello Cranberry (I can’t find cranberry anymore so I use black cherry instead.)
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium apple, chopped
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce (I just pour the whole can in.)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened

Stir boiling water into jello in large bowl 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water and cinnamon. Pour 2 cups of the gelatin into a medium bowl. Refrigerate about 1 1/2 hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Reserve remaining 1 cup jello at room temperature. Stir apple and cranberry sauce into thickened jello. Spoon into 6 cup mold. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set but not firm (should stick to finger when touched and should mound.) Stir reserved 1 cup jello gradually into cream cheese in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Put over jello layer in mold. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Unmold.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

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These rolls are so easy to make because the bread machine does most of the work.  They taste wonderful too.  These can be made ahead of time and frozen if needed.

Here is the recipe for a 1 1/2 pound bread maker.  It makes about 1 1/2 dozen rolls.

½ c. milk
¼ c. water
3 rounded tbsp. butter
1 large egg
2 rounded tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 c. bread flour
2 ½ tsp. bread machine yeast

Egg Glaze
Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp. water

Select recipe size recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Add all ingredients except Egg glaze into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer. Process in dough/manual cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough to lightly floured surface. If necessary, knead in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. Divide dough into 8 (12) greased 2 ½ inch muffin pan cups. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Brush Egg Glaze on rolls. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until done. Remove from cups; cool on wire rack.

Valentine Cookies!!

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What is Valentine’s Day without cookies?  Sugar cookies cut in heart shapes and iced with red icing makes the day!  I used the same recipe I used for the Christmas cookies that I made.

3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar (I use sugar that I’ve stored vanilla beans in)
2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
1 egg
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.

Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.