Thursday, December 30, 2010

Camera Strap Cover

I couldn't wait do dress up my new camera with a fun personalized strap cover.  Here is the tutorial I followed.  I've already made a second one to give as a gift.  I did make my width a quarter inch wider, my first strap cover was a little tight over my strap. Next time I make one, I will add a little pocket for the lens.  

Cocktail Deviled Eggs

I messed up.  I meant to make the ranch style deviled eggs, but that didn't' happen.  I read the wrong side of the magazine and didn't realize it until I was finished making them.  Ridiculous, I know.  But, totally something I would do.  I was so focused on finishing a recipe that I didn't pay attention to the recipe I was following! But....they were actually pretty good.  I didn't serve them with shrimp. A) because I didn't have any & B) because that sounds gross to me.  I don't think anyone would have believed me that they were made with cocktail sauce.  So next time you're looking to change up your plain old deviled egg recipes...look no further. Enjoy!

cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
tablespoon cocktail sauce
teaspoon salt
teaspoon pepper
cooked tiny to small shrimp (61 to 70 shrimp), peeled, deveined (tail shells removed, if desired)

  • 1In Dutch oven, place eggs in single layer; carefully add enough cold water to cover eggs by about 1 inch. Cover; heat to boiling. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Immediately place eggs in cold water with ice cubes or run cold water over eggs until completely cooled. To remove shell, crackle it by tapping gently all over; roll between hands to loosen. Peel, starting at large end.
  • 2Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Carefully remove egg yolks to medium bowl; place egg white halves on serving platter. Mash yolks with fork; stir in mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of the chives, the cocktail sauce, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • 3Using decorating bag fitted with open star tip, carefully pipe yolk mixture into each egg white half. Cover; refrigerate at least 30 minutes to blend flavors.
  • **Another Pillsbury recipe***

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cranberry Crock Pot Meatballs

Ever since I can remember my parents have always made crock pot meatballs for our Christmas Eve open house.  Usually, they use grape jelly and chili sauce.  This year we decided to try something new.  And...I have to say that I prefer this variation over the grape jelly. Enjoy!

2 packages of frozen italian meatballs
1 can of jellied cranberry sauce (14-16 oz)
1 jar of chili sauce (12 oz)

Place meatballs in the crock pot. Pour chili sauce and cranberry sauce over meatballs and mix.  Cook for 6-8 hours, stirring once an hour.  When it's time to eat, place crock pot on warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Green Chili Artichoke Dip

I've made this dip twice over the holidays and it was a smashing hit both times.  Even my hubs, who doesn't like artichokes loved it.  I did make a few changes, which I noted in red.  And, like always- my favorite part of this recipe was how simple it was to make! Enjoy!

package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
cup mayonnaise or salad dressing (mayo)
jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
cup finely chopped red bell pepper
to 10 Old El Paso® pickled jalapeño slices (from 12-oz jar), drained, chopped (2 tbs. green chili)
cup grated Parmesan cheese
cup Progresso® panko crispy 

bread crumbs
water crackers (Sociables & Pepperidge Farm crackers)
  • 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
  • 2. In medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise. Stir in artichokes, bell pepper and jalapeños. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cheese; stir remaining cheese into artichoke mixture.
  • 3. Spread cheese mixture evenly in bottom of pie plate. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs and reserved tablespoon cheese.4.Bake about 20 minutes or just until top is lightly golden. Serve warm with crackers.**This recipe is from Pillsbury.  I changed the name since I didn't use jalapenos. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cranberry Brie

The Pillsbury Appetizers and Desserts magazine was one of the best purchases this holiday season.  I found so many terrific recipes that I can't wait to share with you! You can't go wrong with bringing brie to any party.  It's easy to make and always delish.  I enjoyed this variation & know you will too!

Cranberry Wrapped Brie 

can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
round (8 oz) Brie cheese (do not use triple crème Brie)
tablespoons whole berry cranberry sauce
tablespoon apricot preserves
teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed
ripe medium unpeeled pears, thinly sliced
  • 1Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough and separate crosswise into 2 sections. Press dough into 2 (7-inch) squares, firmly pressing perforations to seal.
  • 2Cut cheese round horizontally to make 2 rounds. Place 1 cheese round, rind side down, on center of 1 dough square. (Do not remove rind from cheese.) In small bowl, mix cranberry sauce and preserves. Spread over top of cheese; sprinkle with rosemary. Top with remaining cheese round, rind side up.
  • 3With small cookie or canapé cutter or sharp knife, make 1/2- to 1-inch cutouts to look like poinsettia petals from each corner of remaining dough square. Roll 3 small pieces of dough into 3 small balls; set cutouts and dough balls aside. Place remaining dough on top of cheese round. Press dough evenly around cheese, folding top edges over bottom edges; press to seal completely. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 4On 7-inch square sheet of foil, arrange dough petals to look like a poinsettia. Place balls in center on top of arranged petals. Lift foil square with poinsettia and place on cookie sheet next to wrapped cheese.
  • 5Bake poinsettia 8 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown around edges. Lift with foil from cookie sheet; cool. Continue baking wrapped cheese 25 to 30 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet; place on serving plate. Place poinsettia on top of wrapped cheese. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with pears

Coconut Macaroon Blossoms

This cookie recipe came off the back of an M&M package.  Even though they were very tasty, I didn't like that I couldn't tell if they were completely done or not.  I was afraid to overcook them, but think I could have left them in the over a bit longer.  If you're a fan of chocolate and coconut, you'll want to try these! Enjoy!

1/3 c. butter, softened
1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. orange juice
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
5 c. (14 oz. pkg.) flaked coconut
54 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped


Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add egg yolk, almond extract and orange juice; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in 3 cups of the coconut. Cover tightly; chill 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll in remaining coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately press unwrapped kisses on top of each cookie. Cool 1 minute and remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on a wire rack. About 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

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