Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Treasures in Our Hearts and On Our Plates

I can't believe Christmas is already over and we are counting down until next year.  I have to tell you that I still wasn't ready with all I had to do by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I must admit that I could have done better in the gift department and I vow to do better this year.  Every year I say, "I've had 365 days to prepare for this and I'm still not ready."  Four of those days have already passed until next Christmas and I am already resolved to do better.  One of my problems is that I can't wait to give the gifts I've purchased in advance and go ahead and break down and give them early.  Then I am totally unprepared for Christmas.  I vow not to do that this year.  Now, about what was on our plates.....

Even though I wasn't totally prepared for that either, we ate well.  I want to share some photos and a couple of delicious recipes that we made and hope that you might want to use them for your New Years Eve Party or a future event.  On Christmas Eve, we always have a meal of finger foods, appetizers and goodies.  It's not a formal sit-down dinner, but a buffet style free for all.  Eating begins the minute they hit the door and finishes when they can't eat another bite. 

One of the best things we ate were what we called Muffy Puffy's in the past.  Now they would be called Shrimp Crostini.  It's the very same thing, but an updated name.  They are on the snowman plate pictured above.  Here is my recipe and believe me, the family requests them each and every year.

Shrimp Crostini

Servings: 24 crostini
Cook Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced green onion
24 medium fresh cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
24 toasted French bread rounds


In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except for bread.  Spread shrimp mixture evenly over French bread rounds. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until crispy and brown. Serve hot! Enjoy!

Of course no buffet is complete without an assortment of olives and other goodies to put on a cracker...
Even though Christmas is over this year, we will always have the great memories of an evening spent with family and the love that was shared by all.

The food was amazing, they company even better.  As usual we had too much food to eat and had leftovers for a week.  At this point, I have no desire for any more of this type of food...but give me a month or two and I'll be ready to have another party and find something to celebrate.

Now about what is in our hearts.....

The highlight of the year for us was two things.  One, having my parents back in Florida for Christmas and the winter.  They had been away for 6 years and not able to come back for the holidays.  This was their first year back and I hope the first of many.  There is nothing like having your mother and dad with you for the holidays. 
Of course, if you've been following my blog, you know that the other highlight is our first grandchild, Jack.  Even though he was too little to enjoy or participate, just having him here was such a blessing.  He is our miracle child and we are totally in love with him.  Having Matthew, Trisha and Marshall here and being able to be together is so important to me.  On Christmas Day we were able to have more of our family here, my brother Mark and his wife Marie along with their children, Stephenie, Trevor (Stephenie's boyfriend) and Christian.  Marie's mother and here sister and her family joined us as well. So Christmas was about the real treasures in our hearts.  The birth of the most important baby ever born, Jesus Christ and celebrating that with our family. 

May God bless you all and bring you a healthy and happy New Year.  I vow to you to make this food blog one of the best that there is out there for your to enjoy this year.  I already have some things in the works. 

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Strawberry Heaven

“The “Debbie” recipe – the recipe that is authentically me.
My absolute favorite dessert recipe.”
All I ever talk about loving is strawberries. I am to strawberries as Paula Deen is to potatoes and butter.
When thinking about my absolute favorite dessert, it had to combine cheesecake, strawberries, and chocolate. Chocolate covered strawberries to be exact!!! So I developed a pie that features all my weaknesses. I love a regular pie crust instead of graham cracker so I have used pie crust, topped with a luscious layer of Kraft Philadelphia Ready-to-Eat Cheesecake Filling, followed by 1 pound of ripe, juicy strawberries enveloped in strawberry glaze topped with creamy, dreamy Cool Whip, and followed by 6 GIANT chocolate covered strawberries. This pie would be a strawberry lovers’ most decadent dream. It is mine…now you know what I dream about.

Strawberry Heaven
Prep time: 50 minutes Cook time: 9 minutes
Serves 6 - 8
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 ½ c. Kraft Philadelphia Ready-to-Eat Cheesecake Filling
2 lbs. of strawberries
14 oz. strawberry pie glaze
8 oz Cool Whip
¾ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place pie crust in pie pan and flute edges. Bake at 450 degrees for 9 minutes.
3. Cool pie crust at room temperature for 10 minutes and follow in freezer for 10 minutes to cool quickly.
4. While pie crust is cooking and cooling, prepare other ingredients beginning with strawberries. Wash strawberries, core, and slice in half. Save 6 LARGE strawberries for top of pie. Eat a few and enjoy them while you are working so hard. Save enough for the pie.
5. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for approximately 1 minute stirring every 20 seconds. Dip 6 large strawberries in chocolate about ¾ of the way up the strawberry. Place a piece of parchment paper on a plate and cool the strawberries on the paper in the freezer.
6. After the pie crust comes out of the freezer, spread the cheesecake filling directly on top of crust.
7. Place strawberries directly on top of cheesecake and pour strawberry glaze over strawberries.
8. Pipe Cool Whip over strawberries and glaze and top with chocolate covered strawberries. Place in freezer for approximately 15 minutes and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Strawberry Heaven

Strawberry Heaven
This pie is for the true Strawbery ADDICT and lover.

Mounds of Joy Whipped Pie

Using My Blog

This blog is intended to show you some wonderful recipes and highlight what is happening in the food world. In order to see the recipe demonstrated that is pictured. Click on the photo and you will get to see just how you can make this in your own kitchen.

Cinco de Mayo Layered Black Bean Dip