Tag Archives: Christmas

Pink Marshmallow Cornflake Candy Heart with Cinnamon


Pink Marshmallow Cornflake Candy Heart with Cinnamon

My husbands favorite Christmas treat is the Cornflake wreath, made with marshmallows and green food coloring.  I’ve been hearing about his favorite Christmas treats for years, but never got exactly what they were called.  Finally, Christmas 2010, he tells me that it’s the Rice Krispie treats he loves, colored green, with red cinnamon candies.  My little boy and I made a big batch of Rice Krispie treats, colored green, with red cinnamon candies.  We were very proud that we made Daddy’s favorite Christmas treat.  When Chris came home we proudly showed him our creation.  To which he says, that’s not like Mom makes it.  Oh. Really.  Just HOW does Mom make them?  He informs us that she uses Corn flakes, not rice krispies.  I remind him, HE said, Rice Krispie treats.

Flash forward to Christmas 2011.  Again.  All we hear about is the favorite, elusive, Christmas treat his Mom makes.  The year before, his Mom made him some, but they were eaten before we were able to get there, in her defense; she does live 5 hours away, and they are really good……

I let him know, since he can not decide what the treats are called, the ingredients, or how they are made,  he will need to produce a recipe, or there will be NO favorite treats for him unless his Mom makes them and he goes to retrieve them before they are eaten.

Finally, a few days before Christmas, I received two e-mails from him each with a recipe attached.  He assured me the recipe is the one his Mom uses.  I, unfortunately, did not get around to making them for him.  I have felt bad about it, so I decided I would make them for him for Valentines day.  A real surprise, don’t you think? He better like them. Just kidding. Okay. No. I’m serious.  (grin)

Here’s what you will need.

Pink Marshmallow Cornflake Candy Heart with Cinnamon

2 small jars of marshmallow creme

1 stick of butter

1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract

Cinnamon hard candies

Pink decorating sugar crystals

red food coloring

4 1/2 cups corn flakes

In a *double boiler combine the  marshmallow creme, butter, and a couple of cinnamon hard candies

Melt together then add the vanilla,

2 drops of red food coloring,

shake some pink sugar crystals then

mix well until a lovely pink color

Add the Corn flakes gently stirring to mix well

Spoon into a heart-shaped pan, or on to a cookie sheet and form into a heart shape

Sprinkle more pink sugar crystals and arrange the cinnamon candies into heart shapes

Let cool and serve

You could also make small heart shapes instead of one big one, pipe a frosting bow on the hearts and shake pink sugar crystals on it

*Note:  If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a ovenproof or stainless steel bowl and a large pot.  Place water (don’t fill it up, just about 1/4 way) in the pot.  Put the bowl on top (it must fit on top, and not IN the pot).  Heat the water until it steams then you’ll see the butter and marshmallow creme melting.


One Pot Chicken Pot Pie


I love this recipe for Chicken Pot Pie.  I use to hate pot pies, with all the crust and meat, it was all too much for me. When I was a kid, I hated pot pie.  I didn’t think there was anything good about serving a kid a pie crust filled with meat and vegetables.  I hadn’t eaten a pot pie since  my Mom had served me the last one when I was a kid.  Here I am, several (cough) years later and I am in love with Chicken Pot Pie.  Another cook book received last Christmas, gave me the idea for this super easy, super fast recipe.  I modified it, of course.  My whole family adores this recipe, the Chicken pot pie does not last long in this house.

I have a 10″ enameled cast iron pan that I cook/bake my pot pie in.  I posted a recipe for,Slow Cooked Lemon Chicken and this is what I did with the left over chicken.  There are only “so many days” one can eat the same thing.  Chef Michael Symon was commenting on his FB page about food waste, so I’m trying to keep my food waste down and join the  Food Network tackles food waste. In that spirit, I chopped up the remainder of the Lemon Chicken and added it to the pot pie recipe.  YUM!






One Pot Chicken Pot Pie:

1 Can Chicken broth
salt & pepper to taste
Reduced fat milk
3 tbl spoons butter
2 shallots chopped
3 Carrotts chopped
3 celery stalks chopped
2 cups left over veggies you would like to use
1/3 cup flour
2 cups cooked chicken
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tbl spoon cilantro chopped
1 frozen pastry pie crust

Melt butter in the same pan you will be baking the pot pie in and sautee the veggies until soft, sprinkle the salt.
Add the flour and slightly brown


In a measuring cup pour chicken broth and milk to make 2 cups add to the veggies and cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
Take the pie crust out of the tin and place on top of the pot pie.
I invert the tin and push it onto the mixture.  I don’t  smooth it out because once it gets into the hot oven it will form to the pie.

With a sharp knife slice some steam vents in the crust


Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown


Slow Cooked, Lemon Chicken


Last year I was given a large Crock Pot for Christmas, or slow cooker.  This year, I was given a fantastic cook book to go along with it.  It’s called “Fix-It and Forget-It, Christmas Cookbook, 600 Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes.”  I am really enjoying this cookbook. There is nothing better than the smell of slow cooked meals permeating the house.
My husband picked out the Lemon Chicken recipe and I modified it a bit to suit how I like to cook.  I don’t like to cook things before I, well, cook them.  So if a recipe calls for braising, or browning, I usually won’t.  Such is the case with this recipe.

MY NOTES:  I did not brown the chicken pieces.  I used about 7 lbs of pre-cut thighs with the skin on.  I also didn’t thaw the lemonade I just put it on top of the chicken and I added lots of pepper.  I love lemon pepper chicken.   I also added the cornstarch to the slow cooker at the beginning.  I got a little ahead of myself, as I just realized I was suppose to add it at the end.  While I was typing it into this blog to be exact.  It didn’t make too much of a difference.  This recipe is delicious and could even be used as a BBQ for the summer.  The chicken is so tender it falls off the bone and most of the above ingredients are found in sweet BBQ sauce. I suggest adding some “red pepper flakes” for some kick and serving with baked beans and cole slaw.  A very versatile and delicious dinner!





“Lemon Chicken
Judy Newman
St. Mary’s Ontario Canada
Fix-It and Forget-It by Phyllis Pellman Good
Good Books, Intercourse, PA 17534

Makes 10-12 servings

Prep. Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-4 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 5 qt.

1/4-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
5-6 lbs. chicken, cut into pieces
2-4 Tbsp. oil, divided
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. cold water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

  1. Combine flour and salt in a shallow bowl.  Dredge chicken pieces in it, one at a time.
  2. Place 2 Tbsp. oil in large skillet.  Brown several pieces of chicken in oil at a time.  Be careful not to crowd the skillet, or the chicken will steam and not brown.  Continue until all pieces are browned on both sides, adding more oil as necessary.
  3. As you finish browning pieces of chicken, place them in slow cooker.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together lemonade concentrate, brown sugar, ketchup and vinegar.  Pour over chicken
  5. Cover.  Cook on High 3-4 hours.
  6. Remove chicken, place on platter, cover with foil and keep warm.
  7. In a small bowl blend cold water into cornstarch.
  8. Stir into juices in slow cooker until well blended. Cover and continue cooking juices several minutes, until thickened and bubbly.
  9. Spoon some of thickened juice over chicken to serve.
  10. Place remaining juices in serving bowl and pass as topping for chicken and cooked rice…..”

Slow Cooked, White wine & Plum Chicken Breasts




I got a Slow-cooker cook book for Christmas.  It is super!  I found a delicious recipe for slow cooking chicken breasts.  The only problem, I didn’t have some of the ingredients.  I didn’t want to go back out to get them so I created my own recipe with the help of my Mother-in-law, Susan.  When I was listing the ingredients I would be using, she suggested using the dried plums, or prunes.  It added a really nice flavor undertone.



Slow Cooked, White wine & Plum Chicken Breasts:

4 large frozen Chicken Breast (skin less)

Fresh Ginger root

10 dried plums (prunes) *see note

2 cups White Wine

1 can of Chicken Stock

1 package of French Onion Soup mix

3 crushed garlic cloves

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a slow cooker, place the frozen chicken breasts

Pour wine & Chicken stock over the chicken

Sprinkle the dry soup mix on the moistened chicken so it sticks a little

Peel the ginger-root then cut about 10 thin slices of ginger and place in the cooker

Add the remaining ingredients

Cook on Low for 3-4 hours


*Note: I must say it turned out very well, just one note of caution.  The fruit absorbed the taste of the alcohol and ginger, so I wouldn’t recommend eating it.



Dangelas Manjar with La Lechera or Sweetened Condensed milk



Delicious Sweet and Savory Treat


 My little boys best friend, has an older sister, who is just a sweetheart.  Her name is Dangela and she is so good with Alex and Ben.  She’s a lot of fun to hang around, and she has made a delicious treat which she brought me for Christmas.  My favorite things to receive on Christmas are always homemade.  This was a most special gift because Dangela had created it on her own.  I wanted to share this recipe because it is sweet and savory, a lovely combination.






Dangela is from Chile, but has lived here since she was a little girl.  Her mother, Ana, is a fabulous cook and decorator.  So the apple didn’t fall far from the tree where cooking is concerned.   The ingredient in the Manjar is La Lechera.  If you can’t find La Lechera, you can use *sweetened condensed milk.




Dangelas Manjar:


1 can *La Lechera


2 bags unsalted crackers (like Saltines)


Pour La Lechera into a bowl


Crush the crackers very well and add to the bowl


Stir to combine and then shape into balls

Put in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator

*If you don’t have La Lechera, then use 1 can sweetened condensed milk,

Place unopened can in hot water and boil for 3-4 hours until it turns a caramel color.

Don’t use the easy open can, use the can that you have to use a can opener for, or it will open itself and boil over causing a mess.



Handmade Cinnamon Broken Glass Christmas Candy


I enjoy watching the Cupcake and Cake wars on Food Network. I find it fascinating when the chefs make their own candy and spin them into fabulous designs. I may not be able to craft a candy cane, or fantastic flowers or spinning fairies with candy wings, but I can make some delicious cinnamon candy.

I got the recipe off a friend and co-worker who called it Rock Candy. He would bring bags of it around Christmas and we would all go crazy for it. He wrote the recipe on a torn piece of paper, that is much stained from years of use. I suppose I’ll print off a new one after I blog it to you all.

I do have some warnings to go with this candy, I learned the hard way.

Warning 1: Try as hard as you can not to have your face or any other body parts close to the hot sugar when you add the cinnamon oil. A facial is nice, but having pure cinnamon oil infused into your open pores is miserable. It’s much worse if it goes up your nose, much worse. Trust me, I tried to stay away from it tonight and a little got on my face. My cheek is a little hot, and my hand is red and tingling a bit. I smell very nicely of cinnamon though.

Warning 2: Try to use a very deep pot, or make sure you have on a shirt you don’t mind to ruin with the food color. Once you drop the food coloring into the hot sugar, it will start sputtering and erupt like a volcano of red dye.

Ok, with the warnings out-of-the-way, lets move on to the good part. Making candy! YUMMY.

NOTES: The past few years I used a wooden spoon and was so disappointed that my candy didn’t have a nice cinnamon, well honestly, any cinnamon taste to it. This year I used a stainless steel spoon, and my candy is so nice and Cinnamon flavored.

Rock Candy or Broken Glass Candy

3 3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup white corn syrup

1 cup water

1 small bottle of Cinnamon oil (find in Pharmacy or bulk food store)

Red Food Coloring

Candy thermometer

Sheet pan with sides

aluminum foil (optional)


Powdered sugar

Have the sheet pan prepared before you start boiling the sugar, also have the cinnamon oil bottle opened and close by as well as the bottle of food coloring. Things move quickly once hard crack stage is reached, be prepared.

Mix sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil

Stir constantly until thermometer reaches 300-310 degrees

Remove from heat Immediately stir in cinnamon and food coloring

Pour into sheet pan that has been oiled (or place a piece of aluminum foil on sheet pan and butter it)

Let cool Once cool take the handle of a butter knife, or case knife and crack the candy into pieces

Place in a bowl or zip lock baggy and Roll in powdered sugar

This recipe is very versatile, you can use any sort of flavored oil you like. Peppermint, wintergreen, anise….likewise, you can use any color food coloring you like as well.

If you are making a Gingerbread house, you can pour the candy into pre-made little molds to make the window glass and “glue” it in with royal icing. Place a light inside the house (single corded lights can be found at craft shops all around. They have one socket for a Christmas light bulb) and you’ve made a magical gingerbread house for Christmas.

You can also form foil into a circle and pour the candy into it to make a lovely pond for skaters to skate upon in front of your gingerbread house or Christmas village. Simply tint the candy blue instead of red, once cool dust lightly with powdered sugar to look like snow-covered ice. My Mom always did those things when she made our Gingerbread houses. She really is creative.


Dance of the Sugar Plum Candies!


Often I’ve heard the song, “‘Twas the night before Christmas”, with the lyrics;

The children were nestled

All safe in their beds

While visions of sugar plums

Danced in their heads”

I love that old song, it always creates an image of Christmas magic with elves, candy, stars and Santa dancing in the dreams of sleeping children. I’ve often wondered what a sugar plum was and how delicious it must be, if the children dream of them the night before Christmas.

Children love cartoons, and I have not grown out of that love myself.  I do enjoy cartoons, and don’t mind the least that my child wants to watch them all the time.  One of my favorite cartoons is “Max and Ruby“, a story of a little boy bunny and his perfectionist sister.  In one episode, Ruby and her friend Louise are giving a “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies”, ballet recital to Grandma and Max.  The refreshments include, you guessed it, sugar plums.  I was kind of disappointed to see that they were sugar coated plums.  What a bummer.

One day, while shopping in Whole Foods (my favorite grocery store ever), I saw a display of Christmas treats.  I noticed a box of sugar plums.  Now the moment of truth.  I turned the box around to read the ingredients, to my pleasant surprise, it was not a box of sugar coated plums.  Score.  I purchased them and went to the car to see if the sugar plums held up to the Christmas song hype.  They did and then some.  Now, I wasn’t going to spend a ton of money buying these sugar plums, so I would have to learn to make them.  I searched the web for a recipe that was similar to the ones I had finally found.  There were many recipes, but the one I am posting, with a few minor changes, is the one that included all the ingredients I really liked.

The base recipe is by Treva Bedinghaus, About.com Guide.


I added a couple things which I will include under the original ingredients, and italicized.


2 cups whole almonds

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp. grated orange zest

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground allspice

1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup finely chopped dried apricots

1 cup finely chopped pitted dates

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp. grated ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1 bag semi-sweet chocolates

Whole cloves


Preheat oven to 400. Arrange almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then finely chop.

Meanwhile, combine honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg (ginger, cardamom) in a medium mixing bowl.  Add almonds, apricots and dates and mix well.

Pinch off rounded teaspoon size pieces of mixture and roll into the shape of a plum and add a clove to the top as the stem.  (Rinse hands often, as mixture is very sticky.) Roll in sugar, then refrigerate in single layers between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers for up to 1 month.  Their flavor improves after ripening for several days.

I actually rubbed my hands with a little butter and that helped keep the mixture from sticking.  Before I formed the sugar plums, I used a double boiler and melted the bag of semi-sweet chocolates.  Then as I formed the mixture into plum shapes, I dropped in the melted chocolate and covered them.  I dropped the chocolate coated balls onto a lined cookie sheet and my little boy took a spoon and sprinkled (dumped….whichever you choose) colored sugar on the chocolate (purple would be ideal).  I didn’t use the confectioners sugar. 

A few notes for those who can learn from my mistakes.  I, mistakenly, thought I could take a cup of dried apricots and when they were finely chopped by the food processor, that it would still be one cup. duh, not so.  As my Mom told me, it will vary, best is to finely chop and measure appropriately.  Same with the dates.  If I had chopped the dried fruits first, thereby getting the correct amount added to the mixture, it would have tasted better.  Don’t get me wrong, they taste good, but a little too much nut flavor for my taste. 

My Mom also had a great idea, take a pitted prune (dried plum) and use a melon baller and scoop out the middle, then stuff the sugar plum mixture into the prune shell and THEN dip in chocolate.  Too much detail work for me.  I like short and sweet recipes, not complications….but, for those of you who don’t mind I think it’s a great idea.  Let me know how it turns out!!!

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/c/christmas_songs/#share