Halloween Au Lait

It’s finally getting cool around here! My absolute favorite time of the year and time for a tasty hot drink. I actually clipped this recipe from a Wal Mart ad a while back and have been waiting for some cool weather to make it. Enjoyed a cup or two on my back porch! Make it for Halloween and share with your friends in a “to go” cup when they bring their children to trick or treat! A real treat for the parents!
2 cups hot brewed coffee
2 cups milk, heated
3/4 cup Coffee-mate liquid creamer
1 T. vanilla
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Sweetener to taste
Combine coffee, milk, creamer, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large container. I then placed in my airpot to serve. Sweeten by the cup to individual preference. One sweet-n-low was perfect for me! The amount of nutmeg is reduced from the original recipe – it was just a little too strong for me. I also didn’t use the cinnamon sticks for stirring but only because I didn’t have any!
Happy Trick or Treating!

Friday Football Fare – Automatic First Downs

From the top left: Zeigler Barbeque Smokies, Southwestern Chicken Cheese Dip, Baked Smoked Chili Fries, and Cheeseburger Muffins all from Sprayberry Education Center’s “Game Day Specialties” Cookbook. These will be sure “first downs” when your friends gather to watch the big game!

Zeigler Barbeque Smokies
1 package Zeigler Little Smokies
1 bottle barbeque sauce
Put little smokies in a saucepan over medium heat. Poor BBQ sauce on top and stir until blended. Simmer on medium heat, stirring often, for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.
Doesn’t get any easier than this one and so tasty, especially when you use your favorite BBQ sauce!
Southwestern Chicken Cheese Dip
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) package Southwestern Chicken Breast Strips, chopped
Mix all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 6-7 minutes or until cheese is melted, stirring every 3 minutes.Serve with tortillas, crackers or assorted raw veggies.
Baked Smoked Chili Fries
4 medium baking potatoes, washed and cut into pieces lengthwise
1 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. black pepper
2 1/2 t. olive oil
Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes, chili powder, salt, pepper, and oil in a ziplock bag. Shake to coat potatoes evenly. Spread on a cookie sheet, without overlapping. Bake 20-25 minutes turning one time until cooked through. Let stand for 5 minutes.
This recipe was submitted to the cookbook by my sister in law, Suzanne, whose husband, Richard, coaches at Fort Payne High School. Go Wildcats!
Cheeseburger Mini Muffins
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
 2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
3/4 C. ketchup
 3/4 C. milk
1/2 C. butter, melted
2 eggs
1 t. prepared mustard
2 C. shredded cheddar
In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until done; drain. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder,and salt. In another bowl, combine the ketchup, milk, butter, eggs and mustard; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the beef mixture and cheese. Fill greased miniature muffins cups 3/4 full. Bake at 425 for 15-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Refrigerate leftover. Makes 5 dozen.
I actually made these regular muffin size this time. These muffins got an “honorable mention” in a tailgate recipe contest in the Alabama Alumni Magazine a few years ago. They are good!
 Happy Tailgating this weekend! Hope your team wins, unless you are a Mississippi State Fan! 🙂

Go To Ghosts

Meet two very simple ghosts! Need an easy decoration for a Halloween party or Halloween package? This is it! I saw this in a magazine several years ago and just got around to trying them out this year. I have them hanging on by buffet lamps!

All you need is cheesecloth, fabric stiffener, eyes and string or thread!

I cut an 8 X 8 piece of cheesecloth and soaked it in Fabric Stiffener and Draping Liquid (I used Aleene’s brand that I found at Hancock) The liquid is pretty thick so I thinned it with a little water and it worked better. I completely submerged the cheesecloth in the liquid, squeezed it out and then pulled back out into the square shape, roughing the edges a bit.

Next, I draped the cheesecloth over an inflated balloon that had been sized to fit into the top of a solo cup. It took less than an hour to dry. After popping the balloon, I was able to pull and stretch a bit to shape my ghosts. Then I added the eyes. I used black sequins because that it what I had available. I tried using a Sharpie first but it didn’t work so well.I actually used a piece of embroidery thread for hanging! Fun project – you could do one or more with little effort! I think they would be so cute tied to a Halloween treat basket!

What’s in the Cookie Jar? No Baking Required

Boiled Cookies with Nutella
When I was first learning to cook, I made these cookies (without, the Nutella, of course!). It was one of the more memorable cooking learning experiences for me. If you cook them too long, they will be crumbly. If you don’t cook them long enough, they will not “dry” (the term I used back then for the cookies becoming firm). When I think of these cookies, I can’t help but think of Patti Lawson Wilhite (who LOVED these cookies) and fun times growing up on Bowden Street!
2 C. sugar
1/4 C. cocoa
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. margarine
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
1/4 C. peanut butter
1/4 C. Nutella *
3 C. quick cooking oats
Over medium heat, cook sugar, milk and margarine. Boil one minute. (Use timer!) Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter, Nutella and oats. Stir until combined. Drop by teaspoonful onto wax paper and cool until they “dry”.
You can use 1/2 C. of peanut butter and leave out the Nutella if you’d like! That’s how I have always made them but they are good with the Nutella, too!
* Nutella is a Hazelnut Spread with Skim Milk and Cocoa.
Did you know?
Nutella® spread, in its earliest form, was created in the 1940s by Mr. Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker and founder of the Ferrero company. At the time, there was very little chocolate because cocoa was in short supply due to World War II rationing. So Mr. Ferrero used hazelnuts, which are plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy (northwest), to extend the chocolate supply.

Friday Football Fare – "Hearty" Dishes with a Tebow Favorite

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Here is another super easy crock pot recipe that is perfect for watching the big game! Wings are not my favorite, but I love the sauce, so this recipe is just right. We had this on Friday night before a game and it was a hit!
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle buffalo wing sauce, divided (I used Moore’s)
1/2 (1 oz.) pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
2 T. butter
6 hoagie rolls, split (I used Water Rolls from Publix Bakery)
Place the chicken breasts in the crock pot. Pour 3/4 of the wing sauce over the chicken and cover with the ranch dressing mix. Cover and cook on low for 6 – 7 hours. After the chicken is cooked, add the butter, and shred the chicken using two forks. Serve on rolls with a splash of the wings sauce.
 Found this recipe at allrecipes.com Here
Tebow Family Pizza Pie
Here is another “hearty” game day recipe – contributed to “Taste of Home”  Here by Pam Tebow of Jacksonville, Florida, Tim Tebow’s Mom. It was enjoyed by the children and adults in our family!
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped green pepper
1 pkg. spaghetti sauce mix
1 can tomato paste (6 oz.)
3/4 C. water
1 can (10 count) refrigerated biscuits
1/4 C. plus 1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
 2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook the ground beef and pepper in a skillet until meat is done; Stir in the sauce mix, tomato paste and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Separate biscuits and press onto bottom and up the sides of a greased 9 inch pie plate, forming a crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 C. Parmesan cheese. Fill with meat mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese, then remaining Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until crust in golden brown and cheese is melted.
I have been a fan of Tim Tebow since a friend of mine met Tim and his Mom on the airplane to Tuscaloosa for a recruiting visit – doesn’t matter to me if he plays for Florida, Denver or the New York Jets – Tim is on the team that matters most – God’s Team!
Tim Tebow’s Story is amazing – the story of his birth, the story of his faith, the story of his determination, the story of his mission – their is something to be learned from him in every aspect of his story! The fact that his platform is so large (for example, @timtebow on Twitter has 1.9 million followers) tells me that he has a message worth sharing!
A few of his eye-black verses….
John 16:33 – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only beloved Son that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal life.”

Ephesians 2: 8-10 – “For by grace are you save through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” 
His quote of the day @timtebow was “Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, THANK GOD.”
Thanks to Tim Tebow for sharing his “heart”, his Mom for the recipe and the Lord our God for ALL of our blessings!

Thankful Thursday – "Annie’s Nurse"

This big red circle with children in it is known as “Annie’s Nurse” in our family! Elle was two when Annie was born and she would see this logo on everything and she associated it with the nurses taking care of her little sister – anywhere – billboards, mail, newspaper, magazine – that she would see it, she would point and say “Annie’s Nurse”. So sweet!

Today, as Annie and I spent the day at The Children’s Hospital of Alabama for annual clinic visits, I was reminded of how thankful we are for everything that Children’s has meant to our family. We were introduced to Children’s on April 10, 2003, the day after Annie was born, when she was taken by ambulance due to several medical complications. It would be 2 months and a day later before she would come home. Today, I was reminded of the NICU nurses, the Neonatologists, the Special Care Unit, the Pulmonary Unit, the Pulmonologists, the Orthpedic Surgeon, the Neurosurgeon, the Respiratory Therapists, Radiology technicians, ENT Specialists, the General Surgeon, the Clinics, Urologists, GI Specialists and even cafeteria workers and can recall moments in which each of them provided hope, encouragement, teaching, medicine, caring, skill and so much more!
We have walked in and out of Children’s Hospital through this corridor over 7th Avenue more times than I can count, and never I have I been more thankful than today as we left with Annie all smiles and giggles all day, remembering how far she has come and being thankful for all who had a part!
So thankful for “Annie’s Nurse” today!