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Showing posts from December, 2011

New Year's Eve Appetizers

Are you getting ready to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012?  Me, too.  Do you want some suggestions for appetizers to get your New Year's Eve started? My two favorite dips ... I like to have at least one dip to serve with tasty crackers or toasted bread slices.  My two favorite dips are spinach and artichoke dip, which is served warm, or caramelized onion dip.  Choose one, or the other...or both.  They are certain to please your guests. Spinach and Artichoke Dip Spinach and Artichoke Dip Ready for Heating Caramelized Onion Dip Caramelized Onion Dip and Crackers My favorite stuffed mushrooms.... For a spicy version of an old favorite, serve these kicked up stuffed mushrooms .  Stuffed with hot sausage and cheese, these are delicious bites, perfect for any party.  Don't worry about the hot sausage.  There is just enough to add a kick, but not enough to overwhelm. Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms Spicy Stuffed Mushrooms Ready for the Oven My newest favo

Joanne's Cherry Cheesecake

Whew!  With the Christmas holiday behind me I am free to get back to the blog world.  This past week was filled with much holiday preparation because we traditionally host a Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day brunch for family and friends. Joanne's Cherry Cheesecake Today I wanted to share one of the delicious desserts we enjoyed this Christmas, Joanne's Cherry cheesecake.  Joanne is my neighbor and friend who was kind enough to share this family favorite with me.  I loved this recipe because it is beautiful to look at, light and delicious.  Thanks, Joanne, for sharing this recipe with me. You will like that this dessert is very, yes, very easy to assemble, with no baking required.  It makes a lovely presentation, and it's light as can be.  It is decadent, though, and is not light in the calories area. You'll also like that this is a make ahead dessert, requiring an overnight stay in your refrigerator. Make this recipe the next time you need a quick, bu

Cream Cheese Brownies

An old favorite brownie recipe of mine is the cream cheese brownie.  Most of the time I favor a straight up, no frills, fudgy, chocolate brownie, but occasionally I want a  kicked up version.  Mixing brownies and cream cheese is a winning combination in my book and is always a crowd pleaser. Yummy Cream Cheese Browies I also like that you can start with a box brownie mix and end up with a delicious dessert. If you don't want to use a box mix you can use your favorite from scratch brownie recipe .   Using a pre-packaged mix makes this a perfect addition to your dessert menu at the holidays because this recipe is relatively easy to bake when you have a lot of things going on in your kitchen all at once.  You'll appreciate that no kitchen appliances are required to make the brownie layer.  You can, and should, mix your brownie batter using a your favorite bowl and a wooden spoon.  This will ensure that your brownies are fudgy and dense, the perfect texture to support the cr

Holiday Cheer-The Pomegranate Cosmo

When hosting holiday gatherings it is fun to have a festive adult beverage available for your guests. This Pomegranate Cosmopolitan is a deep red color that is the perfect signature cocktail for holiday gatherings. Make Pomegranate Cosmopolitans Your Signature Holiday Cocktail A Pomegranate Cosmopolitan for the Holidays The pomegranate cosmopolitan is a favorite of mine any time of year, and it is especially festive during the holidays because of the deep red color from the pomegranate juice.  You can make a large batch of Pomegranate Cosmopolitans easily by following the "parts" recipe below. Here's how we make our Pomegranate Cosmos for our Just One Donna  holiday parties. The Pomegranate Cosmo Serves 1, or Many 2 parts mandarin or orange flavored vodka 2 parts Pom pomegranate juice 1 part Cointreau 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice Lime slices for garnish Directions Early in the day prepare your martini glasses by first rubbing the r

Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

Truth be told, I am not one to make dozens and dozens of cookies for the holidays.  Cookie platters have never been my thing.  I also avoid cookie exchanges.  It's not that I don't like cookies, I just don't like many cookies...all one time.  You're thinking that's a little strange, aren't you?  Maybe, but I like to think of it as a cute little idiosyncrasy.   I have one or two... I do like a special cookie or two for the holidays though and this cranberry-pistachio biscotti has become a favorite of mine over the past few years.  Make it this weekend and treat yourself.  It is the perfect cookie to have with a hot cup of tea when you want to take a break from the hectic pace of holiday preparations. Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti Printer Friendly Recipe Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperatur

Cocktail Time-An Old Fashioned

Donna's Old Fashioned When the weather turns colder my preferences in cocktails change.  Right now I'm favoring a delightful mix of lemon, orange, bitters and Maker's Mark bourbon, that is my version of a cocktail from the age of great cocktails.  The Old Fashioned is purported to have its beginnings in the 1880s.  It was first offered as a bourbon cocktail at a gentleman's club in Louisville, Kentucky and was a favorite cocktail of presidents Harry S. Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The original version of this drink muddles sugar with bitters, bourbon and a twist of citrus.  My version is made with the muddled rind and juices of lemon and orange, sugar, and a generous dose of bitters.  The cocktail is then strained into a short, round glass with 2 ounces of bourbon and topped with seltzer.  We're not done until the cocktail is adorned with two or three maraschino cherries.  Cheers! Donna's Old Fashioned Donna's Old Fashioned Ingredients 1/