This recipe was sent to me by way of one of those recipe exchange posts. I tried this on dinner guests and they LOVED it. You can make up your own shapes with the little cheese balls. Time Saver Tip: Make the cheese balls the day before and keep them in the refrigerator and make the crust part the next day, it saves a lot of time. I found it needed a few more minutes in the oven. This recipe is a keeper.
Christmas Tree Pull-Apart
1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated artisan pizza crust with whole grain or Pillsbury refrigerated regular pizza crust
4 oz, or half brick, cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend shredded cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced very fine
3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil and rosemary
1 cup warmed marinara sauce for dipping
Heat oven to 400°. Lay pizza dough on a work surface and stretch to a 10 x 15 inch size. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 36 equal squares. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and shredded cheese. Mix well.
Add one tablespoon of the cheese mixture to each dough square. Make a ball with the dough, sealing the edges. Place on a cookie sheet in a Christmas tree form as shown in the photos above. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes, or until golden brown.
After removing pull-apart from the oven, brush with butter and sprinkle with chopped herbs. Serve pull apart with warm marinara sauce.
JOKE OF THE DAY: Recipe For Iced Coffee 1. Have kids 2. Make coffee 3. Forget you made coffee 4. Drink it cold
ANOTHER JOKE OF THE DAY: I just used the self check out at Walmart without needing assistance and they made me general manager.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1913 – The “Mona Lisa,” stolen from the Louvre Museum in 1911, recovered.
HAPPY DECEMBER 12 BIRTHDAY TO: Don Gummer 70, Mayim Bailik 41, Regina Hall 51, Bob Barker 93, Bruce Kulick 63, Cathy Rigby 64, Tracy Austin 54, Dionne Warwick 76, Jennifer Connelly 46, Bill Nighy 67, Connie Francis 78, Tom (Full Monty) Wilkinson 68, Sheila E. 59, Frank Sinatra (1915-1998), and Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973).
JOKE OF THE DAY: My holiday decorating style walks the fine line between festive and fire hazard.
ANOTHER JOKE OF THE DAY: Love it on Christmas Day when a present is labelled ‘from mom and dad’ and you just know dad has no idea what’s inside.
HAPPY DECEMBER 11 BIRTHDAY TO: Gary Dourdan 50, Jermaine Jackson 62, Brenda Lee 72, Lynda Day George 72, Terri Garr 72, John Kerry 73, Rita Moreno 85, Donna Mills 76, Max Martini 47, Nikki Sixx 58, Mo’Nique 49, and Carlo Ponti (1912-2007).
USE A PLAID BACKDROP
You might find yourself reaching into your closet for red-and-green plaid this time of year, so why not decorate with this classic print too? Purchase plaid wrapping paper and cover a picture on the wall and decorate with a bow, then cover some books and stack them on a table with a Christmas decoration on top for height. Make a tree skirt from plaid fabric or refer to our December 9, 2015 blog for a great way to use plaid to decorate a plain string of mini tree lights. In the store this year, we have covered two 4 x 8 foot sheets of chloroplast in two different plaid wraps and set displays in front, they are stunning.
JOKE OF THE DAY: There are people out there training for marathons and here I am, on the couch, trying to lasso the remote with my phone charger.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Pizzas have circular shapes, are placed in square boxes and eaten in triangles.
SAD DAY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: Joseph Mascolo, who played bad guy Stefano DiMera on NBC’s daytime serial “Days of Our Lives,” has died. He was 87. Mascolo, who had Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years, died Wednesday.
HAPPY DECEMBER 10 BIRTHDAY TO: Gloria Loring 70, Raven Simone 31, Matt Forte 31, Bobby Flay 52, George Newbern 52, Xavier Samuel 33, Susan Dey 64, Nia Peeples 55, Kenneth Branagh 56, Sultan Kosen 36 (Guiness World Book record holder at 8’3″), Michael Clarke Duncan (1957-2012), Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), and Dan Blocker (1928-1972).
Pantone, the world-renowned color authority has named “Greenery” the color of the year for 2017.
“Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew,” Pantone explained in a statement released on its website on Thursday, December 8. “Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of ‘greenery’ signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.”
‘Greenery” will make appearances in everything from fashion, to furniture, to home decor, to small appliances and kitchen gadgets, and so much more. As always, if you want to incorporate “greenery” into your home, do it on a smaller scale with cushions, a feature wall perhaps, bedding or live plants. Have fun.
JOKE OF THE DAY: If your Christmas gift looks like it was wrapped by a blind T-Rex, it’s from me.
SAD DAY IN THE WORLD: Former astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn died Thursday December 8. Glenn, who served four terms as a U.S. senator from Ohio, was one of NASA’s original seven Mercury astronauts. His flight on Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, showed the world that America was a serious contender in the space race with the Soviet Union. It also made Glenn an instant hero.
THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: 1965 A Charlie Brown Christmas airs on television for the first of many times.
HAPPY DECEMBER 9 BIRTHDAY TO: Kirk Douglas 100, Judi Dench 82, John Malkovich 63, Michael Dorn 64, Felicity Huffman 54, Beau Bridges 75, Simon Helberg 36, Jesse Metcalfe 37, Jakob Dylan 47, Tom Kite 67, Donny Osmond 59, Dick Van Patten (1928-2015), and Redd Foxx (1922-1991).
You know that fantastic soup they serve at Greek restaurants?? Well this is it! It’s called Avgolemono, and it’s so easy to make and soooo delicious. Serve a steaming hot bowl with warm pita bread on a cold day. Mmmmm. Recipe comes from cdkitchen.com. ***editor’s note: I tried this recipe and it is good, but it was lacking something and I can’t figure out what it is.****
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups cooked chicken, diced (a rotisserie chicken works great for this)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (do not use bottled)
Add broth and rice to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Add chicken to pot.
Remove soup from heat and cover.
In a separate bowl, whisk lemon juice into eggs until frothy.
Ladle out about 1 cup hot broth from soup pot and slowly whisk it into the eggs, whisking continually.
Slowly stir the warmed eggs into the pot of soup.
IN MEMORY OF ONE WHO IMAGINED: John Lennon (October 9 1940 – December 8 1980)
YET ANOTHER SAD DAY IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: Greg Lake, a singer and multi-instrumentalist who helped propel prog rock into the mainstream as a member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson, died Tuesday December 6. He was 69.
HAPPY DAY IN THE MUSIC WORLD: Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger has become a father again at the age of 73. The mother of the baby boy is Melanie Hamrick, a 29-year-old ballerina whom Jagger has been in a relationship with since 2014. Jagger became a great-grandfather in 2014.
JOKE OF THE DAY: During labor, the pain is so great, a woman can almost imagine what a man feels like when he has a fever.
ANOTHER JOKE OF THE DAY: My two most likely answers for why I did something dumb are: 1.It looked like fun. 2.I thought it would bounce.
HAPPY DECEMBER 8 BIRTHDAY TO: Teri Hatcher 51, Kim Basinger 62, Nicki Minaj 33, Ian Joseph Somerhalder 37, Gregg Allmann 68, Sinead O’Connor 49, Tyler Mane 49, Dominic Monahan 39, Wendell Pierce 49, Maximilian Schell (1930-2014), Sam Kiniston (1953-1992), James McCarthur (1937-2010), Jim Morrison (1943-1971), Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990), Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1587), Flip Wilson (1933-1998), and David Carradine (1936-2009).
DANGLE CANDY CANES
Keep treats on display (and out of kids’ and pets’ reach) by hanging them along the top of a window. Hooked on matching ribbon, the peppermints look extra sweet. Add a bit of Christmas to every room with minimum effort and minimum cost. So light, they can be hung from any curtain rod. If you open and close your curtains, hang candy canes with suction cups directly on the window.
JOKE OF THE DAY: I spend a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open looking for answers.
SAD DAY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY X2: Margaret Whitton, who was best known for her villainous role in Major League, died Sunday, December 4, according to multiple reports. She was 67.
Peter Vaughan, the actor who played Maester Aemon Targaryen on ‘Game of Thrones’, died in England on Tuesday, December 6. He was 93.
DECEMBER 7 is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
HAPPY DECEMBER 7 BIRTHDAY TO: Larry Bird 60, Priscilla Barnes 61, Jeffrey Wright 51, Ellen Burstyn 84, Jennifer Carpenter 37, Aaron Carter 29, Dominic Howard 39, James Keach 69, Eli Wallach (1915-2014) ,Harry Chapin (1942-1981), and Ted Knight (1923-1996).
Melted Snowman Cookies
1 package sugar cookie mix, or your favorite cut out sugar cookie recipe
10 large marshmallows
cookie icing (white and orange)
Wilton Decorating Icing Tubes in Black, Red, Green, Blue and Pink
TIP: You can save money if you make the icing yourself!
Grab a golf ball sized chunk of cookie dough and squish it down until it’s about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Do not worry about the shape or how lumpy it is, the more misshapen the better! Bake according to recipe directions.
Once the cookies are cool, load them up with the cookie icing and spread it around with the back of a spoon, let some dribble over the edge for a “puddle” look.Spray a microwave safe plate with cooking spray, and place marshmallows on the plate. Set the microwave for 30 seconds, but watch the marshmallows as they cook. Stop the microwave as soon as the marshmallows start to get puffy, do not let them double in size.
Spray your fingers with cooking spray or grease them up with shortening, and carefully pull the marshmallows off, by the base, and set them on top of the frosted cookies.
If some of the marshmallows fall over, just leave them that way! It gives the cookies character (note the guy at the back of the photo). Start decorating! It is easier to do the arms and faces first, then add the rest of the details. For the arms, eyes and mouth, use black piping gel. It comes in a small tube and is easy to use for fine details. Plus, the glossy look of the gel adds to the melting feel.
Decorate as you’d like with the Wilton frosting, or your own homemade frosting!
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring
Add all ingredients to list
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In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.
THIS DAY IN SPORTS: 1992 – Jerry Rice, the greatest NFL receiver of all time, catches his record 101st touchdown pass.
THIS DAY IN ENTERTAINMENT: – 2005 Brokeback Mountain starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal premieres.
JOKE OF THE DAY: Coke and Pepsi can’t even be in the same restaurant together and you want world peace?
HAPPY DECEMBER 6 BIRTHDAY TO: James Naughton 71, Debbie Rowe 58, Jobeth Williams 68, Ira Gershwin (1896-1983), Wally Cox (1924-1973), Agnes Moorehead (1900-1974), Ryan White (1971-1990) became the reluctant poster boy for HIV/AIDS movement, and John Singleton Moseby (1833-1916).
Build A Hot Cocoa Station and try this crock pot recipe.
So…it could be a toboggan party, or a skating party, a sleigh ride, snowmobiling, cross country skiing or any other activity that gets you outdoors. Provide a welcome home your guests soon won’t forget. Deck out your go-to place for a warm cup of hot chocolate and all the fixings. Find a small table that works, decorate it any theme you choose and plug in the crock pot before you leave. Have marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream, chocolate chips and any other add-ons you like (maybe even a plate full of cookies) nice and handy. This hot chocolate station isn’t just for kids either. If it is an adult party, try nutty flavored liqueurs to mix in. Great for movie nights with the family as well. *******Serve hot chocolate in ENAMEL LOOK CERAMIC COFFEE MUGS found at Charter House Interiors. Check them out in the MISCELLANEOUS product section of our website. Available in 9 colors.*******
Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate
Prep time: 5 mins
Serves: 6-8 servings, double this recipe for a party
Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate, or hot cocoa, recipe to warm you up on those cold winter days. It is a great hot drink to serve for Christmas or a party.
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of milk chocolate chips (can also use half semi-sweet)
Double this for a large party and use a 6.5 quart crock pot which is filled almost to the very top.
Instructions: Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a 5 quart crock pot (if doubling, use a 6-7 quart slow cooker/crock pot).
Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally with whisk, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
Once it is heated through and chocolate is melted, switch the slow cooker to the warm setting. Stir again before serving. (If you have trouble getting the chocolate to melt, turn to high temporarily).
Garnish individual cups of hot chocolate with whipped cream or marshmallows.
JOKE OF THE DAY: Brain at 3:00 am. I can see that you are trying to sleep, so I would like to offer you a selection of every memory, or unresolved issue, or things you should have said or should have done today as well as in the past 40 years.
TIP OF THE DAY: To sooth a sore throat: eat 3 or 4 marshmallows. There’s a scientific reason as to why it works. Apparently, the gelatin is very helpful when it comes to relieving irritation and soothing pain in your throat.
HAPPY DECEMBER 5 BIRTHDAY TO: Andy Kim 70, Jose Carreras 70, Frankie Muniz 31, Little Richard 84, Morgan Brittany 65, Kali Rocha 45, Nick Stahl 37, Margaret Cho 48, Gary Allen 49, Jim Messina 69, Walt Disney (1901-1966), and George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876).
Christmas Sweater Pillow
Found this on the internet somewhere. Just a quick note: If you have a favorite child’s sweater they have outgrown or an ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ and you want to preserve them, turn them into a sweater pillow. Basic instructions below.
A trimmed-down sweater is just the touch for a cozy corner. To make, buy a pillow insert that fits snugly within the bottom opening of your sweater. Turn your sweater inside-out and measure the appropriate length of your pillow up into the torso of the sweater. Stitch across the width of the sweater. Trim off the top part of the sweater and turn the sweater right side out. Insert the pillow form and whip-stitch the pillow closed.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” -David Bowie.
JOKE OF THE DAY: Sometimes, I like to agree with my husband, just to see the look of fear, confusion and nervous anxiety on his face.
HAPPY DECEMBER 4 BIRTHDAY TO: Tyra Banks 42, Marissa Tomei 52, Tony Todd 62, Nick Vujicic 44, Kevin Sussman 46, Jay Z 47, Jeff Bridges 67, Robert Adler (invented the television remote) (1913-2007), Dennis Wilson (1944-1983), and George A. Hormel (inventor of SPAM) (1860-1946).
Make your gifts stand out this year by getting on board with the chalkboard craze. Black craft paper is decorated with white paint markers. Each gift can be custom designed for every family member. For example, to add a bit of flair, draw a half tree on one side of the package and glue gems of tiny pom poms to the tree for decorations. If you can’t draw, cut out pictures from old Christmas cards or magazine pictures and glue them to the package. Tie it up with fancy ribbons or stick on a keepsake ornament. The possibilities are endless.
JOKE OF THE DAY: I keep seeing these posts “Would you smack your ex for a million dollars?” I would run them over in my car for a Snickers bar.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY: The saddest moment is when the person who gave you the best memories, becomes a memory.
HAPPY DECEMBER 3 BIRTHDAY TO: Amanda Seyfried 31, Katarina Witt 51, Steven Culp 51, Steve Harris 51, Brian Bonsall 35, Julianne Moore 56, Darryl Hannah 56, Sean Parker 37, Brendan Fraser 48, Ozzy Osbourne 68, and Andy Williams (1927-2012),.
COMBAT MEAT TOUGHNESS
Marinate inexpensive cuts of meat in at least one of the following: beer; vinegar; or citrus, papaya, tomato, or pineapple juices. These liquids contain enzymes or acids that will combat the meat’s toughness.
SAD DAY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY: Comic actor Andrew Sachs, known primarily for his role as Manuel in the 1970’s situation comedy Fawlty Towers, has died. He was 86 and had been suffering from vascular dementia.
SAD DAY IN SPORTS: TORONTO – The Canadian Football League is mourning the loss of Saskatchewan Roughriders running back Joe McKnight, who was gunned down in a road rage incident Thursday afternoon December 1 in Terrytown, La.
JOKE OF THE DAY: I wonder what people who write “u” instead of “you” do with all of their spare time.
HAPPY DECEMBER 2 BIRTHDAY TO: Cathy Lee Crosby 72, Dan Butler 62, Monica Seles 43, Britney Spears 34, Rick Savage 56, Mac King 57, Lucy Lui 48, Nelly Furtado 38, and Gianni Versace (1946-1997).
One of the best and certainly the most realistic of all the battery operated candles is REALLITE candles from Abbott. The operate on 2-AA batteries and a 5 hour timer feature. Set your candles to come on for when you get home from work. What a nice welcome home that is. These are great for high places where you cannot easily get to them to turn them on every day. REALLITE candles come in 5, 7 and 9″ heights, 3 and 4″ diameters and a variety of colors. They also come in battery operated taper candles. Available at Charter House.
JOKE OF THE DAY: If anyone asks; I’m drinking all this wine to collect corks for a project I saw on Pinterest.
SAD DAY IN SPORTS: Colombian aviation authorities said Monday that an airliner that crashed with a Brazilian soccer team aboard had run out of fuel before it could land. The Nov. 29 accident killed 71 people. Pilot of plane carrying Brazilian soccer team told controllers he was out of fuel
QUOTE OF THE DAY: If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron. – Lee Trevino
HAPPY DECEMBER 1 BIRTHDAY TO: Bette Midler 71, Woody Allen 81, Sarah Silverman 45, Treat Williams 65, Carol Alt 56, Lee Trevino 77, Zoe Kravitz 28, Charlene Tilton 58, Richard Pryor (1940-2005), and Lou Rawls (1933-2006).
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