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Grandma's Chocolate Delight Dessert

My Grandma Swiler used to bring this to our family gathering every Christmas. It is still a popular hit. 

1 cup flour
2 cups chopped pecans, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
12 oz. whipped topping, divided
2 - 3.9 oz. instant chocolate pudding mix
4 cups milk

In small bowl, mix together flour, 1 cup pecans, and butter. Press into an oblong baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool.

In mixing bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping until combined. Spread mixture onto cooled crust. 

In another mixing bowl, whisk together pudding and milk for two minutes until pudding begins to thicken. Spread pudding over cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle remaining 1 cup chopped pecans to cover. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight before serving. Serves 20-24.
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Raspberry Vanilla Scones

Here's a delicious recipe to serve your family.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup half and half
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry jam + 1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in butter with knife or fork until mixture is crumbly. Add half and half, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir into flour mixture and work together until completely mixed. Pat out onto a floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cut first half into eight pieces and place each in lightly greased scone pan. Press to form into the pan. In small bowl, mix together jam and water. Spoon half of the raspberry jam onto dough. Create a second layer by repeating the process with remaining dough. Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons sugar. Bake 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan.
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Christmas Tea Party Ideas

One of my favorite traditions at Christmas is to have a tea party with our daughters and those who are special to us. Here are some recipe ideas for you to try. Enjoy the moments . . . 

CLICK HERE for more tea party recipe ideas.

Chocolate-Coated Raspberry Spritz Cookies

Here's a delicious recipe to make for your next tea party or for the holidays. You may omit the chocolate on the bottom, if you so desire...they are delicious either way! Enjoy! 

1 cup salted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups raspberry jam
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together salt and sugar until well blended. Mix in flour and salt. Add egg and extracts and mix until combined. Fill cookie press cylinder with dough and press cookies out onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 

Fill a decorating press with jam and dot cookies in the center with jam. Bake for 14-17 minutes until cookies turn golden brown along the edges. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. 

In medium glass bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave in 2-minute increments until silky smooth. Using a decorating knife, glaze bottom of cookies with chocolate and allow to dry upside down on wire racks. Store in refrigerator. Makes 30-36 cookies.

Chocolate Caramel Cookies

We love chocolate covered caramel pecan candies --chewy caramel, pecans, covered in delicious chocolate. A quick search through my cupboards revealed all the ingredients, so I decided to try a cookie version of the candy. We LOVED them. I hope you will too.

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix in well. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture in three parts. Stir in caramel, chocolate chips coconut, and pecans. Scoop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on racks. Makes 5 dozen. Enjoy!
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Gail Kittleson's Mellow Sugar-Free Cranberry Chutney

 When Gail Kittleson’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in one edit or another, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing workshops and classes, both in Iowa and Arizona, where winters find her enjoying the incredibly gorgeous Ponderosa forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, and hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters. Learn more about Gail HERE.

Gail's Latest Book Release: A Purpose True

Southern France - Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens? Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion - L’Invasion. Buy the book HERE.

Gail's Mellow Sugar-Free Cranberry Chutney

1 cup water
1/3 cup dry Xylitol
1/2 cup vinegar
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch allspice
pinch cloves
1 cup chopped apples

Boil water with dry Xylitol. Add vinegar, fresh cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and chopped apples. Bring back to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Serve warm with turkey, turkey burgers, or pork chops. Keeps well refrigerated.

Christmas Divinity

If you love light and fluffy sweetness, here's a yummy recipe to make this Christmas Season!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 cup chopped pecans

In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup and cook until sugar is dissolved and comes to a boil. Cook over medium heat, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 250-265 degrees (hard-ball stage). Remove from heat. 

Meanwhile, beat egg white in a large mixing bowl, until stiff peaks form. On high speed, carefully pour hot syrup in a slow, steady stream into the egg whites. Add vanilla and salt. Beat on high speed until candy loses its gloss and holds its shape, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in pecans. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Makes 36 pieces. 
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Party Sausages

Here's a recipe to try this holiday season for a family gathering. Enjoy!

2 - 14 oz. Lit'l Smokies smoked sausages
1 bottle (8 oz) Catalina salad dressing
1 bottle (8 oz) Thousand Island dressing
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup minced onion

Heat sausages in large skillet with 1 tablespoon oil. Transfer cooked sausages to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients to skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour over sausages. Heat on low for 1-2 hours. Serves 16.
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Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Here are a few Thanksgiving recipe ideas to serve with your turkey tomorrow. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Mom's Turkey Dressing

Here's my mom's wonderful turkey stuffing recipe that she makes every year for Thanksgiving. Enjoy! 

6 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup hot turkey broth
*8 cups dry bread cubes (10-12 slices). 
1 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 1/4 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Turkey giblets and meat from neck/wing
1 cup chopped celery
1 package cornbread stuffing mix, prepared as package directed
1 package turkey stuffing mix, prepared as package directed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, saute onion in butter. Stir in turkey broth. In a large bowl combine dry bread cubes, poultry seasoning, sage, salt, and pepper. Pour butter mixture over bread crumbs and toss to moisten. May add more broth, if needed. Mix in giblets and turkey meat. Stir in chopped celery and prepared stuffing mixes. Mix everything together and place in a foil-lined roasting pan. Bake for 30-60 minutes until edges turn crisp and brown. Serves 20-24.

*Dry bread cubes beforehand, slice and cube and freeze until ready to use. Do not use store bought as it is too hard.
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