Ham Pinwheels

Here's a recipe I've been making for years, especially for holiday gatherings, but also for tea parties. Enjoy!

8 oz. package cream cheese
1/4 cup minced black olives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3-4 drops hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 oz - (5) slices ham

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese till smooth. Stir in black olives, mayonnaise, hot pepper sauce, wine vinegar, minced onion, mustard, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Divide into 5 parts. Spread one section on each ham slice. Roll tightly and place on baking sheet. Freeze for thirty minutes. Slice each roll into 8 pieces. Insert toothpick and serve. Makes 40 pinwheels.
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Cheese Ball

This is a favorite family recipe we use during the holiday season. I hope you enjoy it!

2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon finely grated onion
2 oz. grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon parsley

In medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion and cheese. Divide and form two balls. Roll balls into chopped pecans and parsley. Refrigerate and serve with crackers. Delicious!
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Christmas Wreath Macaroons


Here's a delightful little recipe we found in Southern Living Magazine (12/2014), that has been slightly altered. Enjoy! 

14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Candy sprinkles and chopped candied cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine coconut, egg whites, sugar, and vanilla. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets. make a hole in center of each to form a wreath shape. Sprinkle with nonpareils and cherries. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until coconut begins to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
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Marshmallow Mint Sandwiches

This is a favorite holiday recipe. Works especially well for tea parties.

2 packages fudge graham crackers (25 oz)
1 cup water, separated
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red food coloring

Line the bottom of an ungreased 13X9 baking pan with graham crackers. In large bowl, combine 1/2 cup water and gelatin; set aside. In saucepan, combine remaining water and sugar. Boil 2 minutes. Stir sugar mixture into gelatin, blending well. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Beat at highest speed of mixer until gelatin turns white and thick like meringue. Beat in extracts and a few drops of food coloring. Pour over crackers. Top mixture with remaining crackers. Refrigerate until set, about one hour. Using sharp knife dipped in water, cut into sandwiches using cookie tops as guide. Makes 36 cookies.
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Mary Ball's Venison Stew

Mary L. Ball is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in North Carolina and writes about real-life problems, blended with romance or mystery. Her novels include, Escape to Big Fork Lake, Stone of Destiny, Postmarked Ever After, Christmas at Angel Ranch and Redemption in Big Fork Lake. She is also a contributing author of 21 Stories of Faith. When Mary is not working on her latest story, she enjoys fishing, reading, and singing with her husband at church functions. Readers can connect with her on Face Book and Twitter. Twitter and Facebook. Watch for Mary's new release, Sparks of Love tentatively scheduled for summer 2016. 

Mary's Latest Book Release: Christmas at Angel Ranch

Kayla is a home designer for a well-known company, or was, until a police raid proves the decorating company is laundering money. The investigation shows her innocence, but she's without a job, no prospects for employment. To get away from the dishonesty surrounding her, she returns home to the mountains of North Carolina to help with the family business until the New Year. 

Angel Ranch is a hunting lodge that caters to elite hunters, and Reed Jessup is ready to trade in his corner office for a few weeks of R&R. He arrives with his rifle and a trophy buck on his mind. When Kayla and Reed meet, two mistrusting hearts collide. Can love prevail, or will it take a Christmas miracle? Purchase the book HERE. 

Mary's Recipe for Venison Stew

2 pounds venison (cut into 1'' cubes)
1⁄4 cup flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 1⁄2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon paprika
4 carrots (sliced)
4 potatoes (diced)
2 onions (chopped)

Place meat in crock-pot. Mix flour, pepper, and salt in bowl. Pour over meat and coat. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce and the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours.

*Note- If you’re short on time. You can substitute the vegetable preparations with a bag of prepackaged veggies. Add those last 30 mins. of cooking.

Christmas Wassail

Here's a recipe to enjoy at Christmas.

1 bottle (64 oz.) cranberry juice
1 bottle (32 oz.) apple juice
1 bottle (16 oz) pineapple juice
1 can (12 oz) frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
3-4 cinnamon sticks
1 quart water

In large saucepan, combine juices, lemonade, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for one hour. Add water if desired. Serve hot or cold. Makes about 4 quarts.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

Holiday Cookie Slices

Here's a fun refrigerator cookie you may enjoy baking during the holidays. They are fantastic with a cup of hot tea!

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/3 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped candied red and green cherries
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugars until combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture a little at a time until combined. Fold in cherries and almonds. Pat mixture into a foil or waxed-lined 8x4x2 loaf pan. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Uncover. Invert loaf pan onto a cutting board. Remove lining. Cut dough into slightly less than 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half diagonally to form two triangles. Place cookies 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes approximately 72 cookies.
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Carole Brown's Toni DeLuca's Yummy Apple Pie

Carole Brown is a member and active participant of many writing groups and enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? Learn more about Carole and her writing HERE.

Carole's Latest Book Release: Sabotaged Christmas

Toni DeLuca, the Italian owner of DeLuca Construction, finds herself confronted with doubts about her father and his possible deceptions--all because of the mysterious pink notes she’s receiving.

Relations with Perrin Douglas who has a troubled history—but the first man in years who’s interested her--is building to a peak. Yet Perrin‘s own personal problems and his doubts about women and God, keep getting in the way.

Gossip, a Spanish proposal, an inheritance, and a sabotaged construction business all converge to play a part in ruining Christmas for Toni’s employees. Will the mysterious person behind it all succeed in pulling off the biggest scam Appleton, West Virginia has ever seen?

Will this culprit destroy Toni’s last chance at happiness with the man of her dreams? BUY THE BOOK HERE. 

Carole's Recipe for Toni DeLuca's Yummy Apple Pie

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup Crisco
6-7 tablespoons of water

Cut shortening into flour until it resembles corn meal. Add water, one tbsp at a time. Add more if needed, but be careful not to over soak it. Divide into half, then roll each half into an even circle and place in pie plate.

Apples (I like to heap my filling, but use however many that suits your taste). Peel and slice into first pie crust liner.
Sugar to taste
4-6 teaspoons butter placed over the apples
Cinnamon to taste
Sprinkle (LIGHTLY) a touch of vanilla over the filling

Place the second half of the pie crust on top of the filling. Pinch the sides together in whatever simple or elaborate decoration you want. Add top decoration with carved letter, added crust pieces, etc.  I usually keep mine simple. Add a sprinkle of sugar on top of crust if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, then turn down oven to 350 degrees and bake until apple pieces are done. Normally about 30 - 40 minutes, and crust is golden brown. 

Snowball Cookies


Here's a delightful cookie recipe I like to make for the holidays, which are especially sweet for tea parties!

1 cup soft butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In large mixing bowl, cream butter and gradually add 3/4 cups powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour, salt, and pecans, mixing thoroughly. Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until done. Bottoms should be golden brown, but tops will still be white. While warm, roll in remaining powdered sugar, repeating a second time for a better cover. Cool on wire racks. Makes 36.
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Blueberry Muffins

Here is a recipe from my childhood. My girls love these muffins. Enjoy!

1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a glass measuring cup combine the egg, milk and oil. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just till moistened. Fold in blueberries, being careful not to overmix. Fill greased or paper cup-lined muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.