Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sausage & Broccoli Noodle Casserole

2 jars Bertolli Creamy Alfredo Sauce
1/3 C. milk
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cooked & crumbled
1 - 9 oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
8 oz. egg noodles, cooked & drained
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In large bowl, combine Alfredo Sauce and milk.  Stir in sausage, broccoli, noodles, and just 3/4 C. cheese.

Spread mixture in a 13 x 9 baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes (or until heated thru).

Delish!!!!!  Great meal for one of those cold evenings and you want to warm up with some comfort food!!

We have adopted a cat from our local Humane Society that had been abandoned.  Since Lucy is actually a boy (super loooong story there!!) it is only appropriate that we named this girl cat ----- Ricky!!!  It has only been a couple days and they are both getting used to each other so there won't be any Ricky pics for a little bit yet.  The cats are close in age so no little kitten but Lucy is still acting like the Queen (King) that she is!   I found this first picture I took of Lucy.  She (he) still is cute -- but this is so precious!!!

I am linking to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.  You can click here to see more recipes from other blogs.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowman Tag in Frame

This is a very easy frame to make for gifts.  I think I made 15 of them in two separate sittings. 

I got these frames from Dollar Tree, but bought some later at Dollar General.  These I took out the glass and thought they looked good that way (I was also shipping them and thought it was safer, too).  I couldn't take out the glass from the Dollar General frames - so left those in as I was giving those gifts in person.

I used white card stock (because these frames needed more backing) and had some lovely gold paper that came in a package that my daughter received.  She asked if I wanted it (doesn't she know me? - I'm her mother/hoarder!!!!).

After both of these papers were cut to the size needed - then glue them together with glue stick.

The snowmen are "to & from" tags from Target.  But, you can find lots to put in frames, especially in the scrapbooking section.

I used a different glue for the tags since they were thicker.  I used Elmer's Glue Pen to glue the tag to the gold paper/card stock.

Put them in the frames -

To get the ribbon like this I cut 4 kinds of coordinating ribbon -

Here was the process -

Snipped the edges to get a nice finish -

Here they are in a nice stack -

I used a glue gun to put these together (that's 3 different kinds of glue!!) - just a dab on each layer -

Glue the ribbon to the frame using the glue gun -

I bought a bag of buttons at a quilt shop in Amish country.  I just snipped off the tab in the back with my jewelry tool -

Using the glue gun - glue the button to the center of the ribbon -

These look so cute and the possibilities are endless - not just with Christmas, but with other holidays, too.
I better get going - I've caught Lucy playing with the tree ornaments -- again!!!
I'm linking to Funky Junk's SNS - you can check out all the other projects here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!

May you all have a blessed Christmas!  We keep celebrating thru New Year's so I'll still be baking, cooking, visiting, etc.  Although our main tree is looking a little rugged at the bottom due to Lucy constantly hiding under it and trying to "scare" us as we walk past!  She is so big that you can hear the tree shake when she is playing.

Lucy wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas, too!!!  She thought she would give it a serious pose this year!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cookie Canes

I found this delicious recipe in a Hallmark insert years ago.  These are so good.

1 C. milk
4 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 C. butter
1 pkg. active dry yeast, dissolved in 1/4 C. warm water
2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 C. finely chopped apple
3/4 C. chopped nuts
1/3 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Canned vanilla frosting

Scald milk; let cool to lukewarm.  In a large bowl combine flour, 1/4 C. sugar, salt & lemon peel; cut in butter until like coarse meal.  Add yeast water, milk, and eggs to flour mixture.  Combine lightly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Prepare filling.  Divide dough in half and roll out on floured board to form an 18" x 15" rectangle.  Spread with half the filling.  Fold over twice to form three layers 6" x 15".  Cut into 15 strips 6 inches long.  Twist strips and pinch ends to seal.  Shape into canes and put on cookie sheet (I use parchment paper on them).  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until done.  Frost when fairly warm.  (I just use canned frosting since I don't use much on these.).

Here is the dough - it will be very soft but will firm up in the refrigerator -

The filling -

Rolled out on a pastry board and the filling dabbled on -

Spread the filling evenly -

Roll up half the dough -

And the other half -

Slice -

Twist and place on parchment paper on cookie sheet -

Fairly soon after baking - frost so it glazes on -

Lucy wants me to stop all this baking and play with her.  She just loves these little faux mice.  She looks so cute when she carries them around (that's because I know they are "stuffed" mice!!!!) -

Linking to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum - click here.

Also linking to Life In Grace's Christmas Sweet Treats Linky Party.  Check out the great recipes by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12th Annual Cookie Exchange

It would not be Christmas for me if it did not start with my annual Cookie Exchange.  It all begins with the invite -

As you can see - this year's had a theme - Ugly Sweater!!!!  I thought I would embellish a sweater --

It was a Goodwill sweater and a WalMart Snowman!!
Here are some of the appetizers we snacked on -

We had a special guest this year - Elvis --

I took photos of all of us next to our special guest.  Here are a few -

My sister (on the right) was so thrilled she couldn't keep her eyes open (you know how they used to just scream when they saw Elvis "back in the day") -

How cute!!

We all sit and chat - even Lucy fit right in -

We always take a group photo -

Look what my good friend, Barb, gave me as a hostess gift - an Ugly Sweater Ornament --

(Or maybe is was supposed to be a Cute Sweater Ornament!!)  I always give everyone a little gift.  This year I made them each a set of beaded silverware -

We bring our cookies all wrapped up - so we all get 1 dozen cookies from each person.  This year we each brought 8 dozen and took home 8 dozen.  We love how they are presented as much as what is inside!!  Do you believe that I forgot to take a picture of all the cookies??   So, to give you an idea I do have some past years cookies you can see. 
Here is last year - 2009 -

Here is one of each from the year 2008 -

2008 was also our 10th Cookie Exchange.  So, we had it on a Saturday night and came in our pj's!!  We also played a game (something we don't usually do) - the reindeer antler game - it was hilarious.  Here is the winning team -

And, our 2007 cookies -

We had a great time, as usual!  If you think this looks like fun - then I hope that you have one yourself! 

After almost everyone had left - I looked and there was Lucy - "please take my picture with Elvis, too!!!!"

Thank you very much!!!!
Next year it will be the Wigged Out Cookie Exchange.  I am going to be on the hunt for a pink wig - don't tell anyone!

I am linking to All Things Merry & Bright at All Things Heart and Home.  Click here.