Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Best Punch Recipe Ever!

I have tasted many different punch recipes over the years. I have to say, this is my all time favorite so far! It is sweet, but not over the top. The flavors blend together, but you can still taste each ingredient. Some of you reading this, may have tried my punch recipe at one time or another. I have made it at several occasions.

Deanna's Favorite Punch

1 liter of Sprite (7up or ginger ale can be used as well)
1 large can of pineapple juice
1/2 gallon of sherbet (any flavor)

Combine soda and juice in your bowl. Then, scoop in the sherbet.

Prepare this punch just before your guests arrive, so that the sherbet stays frozen as it is served.
Serve with a ladle and enjoy!

Warning: this punch will not last long, so be sure you get a cup too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Home Made Air Freshener

I am all about my house smelling good. I am also all about finding ways to save money! I have a recipe for a home made air freshener that brings both of these values together......

Home Made Air Freshener

10 whole cloves (or 2 teaspoons of ground cloves)
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
Apple and/or orange peels (if you have them available)

Take a small pot and fill it half way with water. Add your ingredients to the pot.
Place it on a burner of the stove and simmer on a medium-low setting.
This will fill your home with a warm, refreshing scent.

Be sure not to let all of your water evaporate, or the ingredients will burn to the bottom of the pot :-) ..... we live and learn :-P

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chocolate Chip cookies (with a twist)

We all have our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, right? Well, the following recipe has been one my favorites for a long time! I have 3 favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes and have decided to share this one with you!

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

1 pack of instant pudding**

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 bags of semi sweet chocolate chips (18 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375*.

Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and pudding.

Beat in your eggs and then add your dry ingredients (batter will be stiff).

Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool & enjoy!

** I like to use white chocolate or cheesecake flavored instant pudding. Get creative!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chocolate Mocha & Raspberry Truffle Brownies

Mmmmm, Chocolate and berries, what a terrific combination! Several years ago, I went to a craft fair of some sort and picked up a package of brownies that resembled these. So, the baker that I am, came up with a recipe of my own!

This recipe is actually printed in my first book called, "Party and Shower Planning Made So, So Simple. This book also includes recipes for your events. I have copies of this book if you are interested in purchasing. They are also for sale in the book store at, Living Word Family Church in Wake Forest, NC!

If you have a sweet tooth, this will for sure, quench it for you!

Chocolate Mocha & Raspberry Truffle Brownies

1 box of brownie mix
1 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee*
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1/3 cup raspberry jam

Make your brownies as directed on the box or bag.
Add 1 Teaspoon of instant coffee to the mixture.
Bake brownies and let them cool.

Mix cream cheese in a mixer until fluffy.
Add sugar and jam to the cheese and mix until well blended.

Melt chips in microwave until melted. Stir frequently to prevent burning. This should not take longer than 1-2 minutes. Check at 30 second intervals.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon of coffee to this mixture. Mix.

Fold chocolate mixture into cheese mixture.
Spread over cooled brownies and chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
Cut, serve and enjoy!

* If you would like a more intense coffee flavor, add 2 teaspoons of instant coffee to the mix and 2 teaspoons to the icing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Contest Winning Recipe!

This is so exciting! To the left is the actual picture of my cheesecake that was published in Taste of Home Magazine! My "Mascarpone Cheesecake" was published in the August/September issue of TOH (pages 35 & 37). It had also been published in two of their cookbooks, 2009 TOH Annual Recipes (page 122) and Best of TOH, Volume 2 (page 152).

This cheesecake has been a hit with my family and friends.

You know, when I entered the contest, my reason for entering was to win a free issue of the 2009 TOH Cookbook. But, God's ways are so much better than ours! Not only did I win the book, I won the Best of TOH book and I also received a check for $150.00 for a dinner for 4 at the restaurant of my choice! I am so thankful!

Following is the winning recipe!

Mascarpone Cheesecake

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
2 cartons (8 ounces each) Mascarpone cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 envelope whipped topping mix
1 tablespoon caramel ice cream topping


Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter.

Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.

Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cheeses, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.

Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.

Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Before serving, prepare topping mix according to package directions. Garnish cheesecake with whipped topping; drizzle with caramel. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes!

A friend of mine encouraged me to get creative with breakfast yesterday morning. So, I experimented with apple and cinnamon pancakes. In addition, I made scrambled eggs with cheese and breakfast sausage (for the boys).

The pancakes came out fabulous! Here is the recipe: (Using Bisquick)

Follow the directions on the box:
2 Cups Bisquick mix
1 Cup milk
2 Eggs

Then add:
1 small container of apple sauce (4 ounces)
1 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Encorporate all ingredients well.

Spoon out about 2 Tablespoons of mixture into a hot non stick pan, for each pancake.
Cook on the first side until bubbles appear on top of each pancake and then flip. Cook until underside is browned to your liking.
I like my light.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Cream!

Have you ever tried snow cream? Of course you need to have snow, for it is the main ingredient! We got the snow from our back deck this morning...being very careful not to scrape the bottom :-) I made it for Anthony, it was his first time tasting this tasty concoction.....

Snow Cream


Milk (we use soy)



Place snow in a bowl or mug. Add milk, vanilla and sugar to taste.

After you add the milk, it sould have a slushy texture. I have heard of people using sweetened condensed milk in the place of regular about sweet! :-)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowball cookies!

Have you heard of Russian Tea Cakes? How about Snowball cookies? I have a simple and tasty recipe for these cookies! A friend of mine made them for me for Christmas one year and they were so good and buttery, I asked her for the recipe. If you know me, you know I have to change up recipes to make them "my own", right? Well, I took this recipe and omitted the nuts. They were awesome plain. Then, I got creative and added chocolate shavings in place of the nuts. Oh, yum! If you decide to give these a try, let me know what you think!

Russian Tea Cakes (Snowballs)

1 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 1/4 Cup flour
1/4 Tsp. salt
3/4 Cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Powdered Sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 400*.
With mixer, mix margarine, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, salt and nuts until dough holds.
Form into 1 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet (I line my sheet with no stick foil).
Bake 10-12 minutes until set, not brown. Immediately roll in powdered sugar. Allow to cool and roll in sugar again.
If you have any ideas on how to change these up to create something new, please leave your comments!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sweets :-)

Hello, all! I have given up eating sweets! My dad has encouraged me to do this. He said he does it every January for 6 months. He said he looses 10-15 pounds every time!
So, I thought, "If he can do it, I can do it." So, I have done it. Today I had my first struggle with it. I was REALLY wanting to eat a piece of chocolate. Keep in mind, I used to eat something sweet EVERY day! Weather it was chocolate, a cookie, brownie or whatever. Instead of succumbing to the desire, I had a container of yogurt and it did the trick!
This just proves, with God, all things are possible :-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Get ready for the cold!

Hello! Get out your heavy coats, hats, scarves, gloves and fuzzy slippers! This week, we should see some of our coldest temperatures in years! Just when I found peace in the weather.... accepting it wether it be warm or cold, it decides to get cold. Its OK though.

I will press through and bundle up when I run! Not a big deal.

I pray you all are warm and toasty with your heaters on and fireplaces lit! Enjoy the time and make the most of it. Lay a blanket down in front of your fireplace and have hot chocolate with your family...hey, roast some marshmallows together!

Happy winter 2009!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What A Girl Wants...Book Review

I finished this book last week and it was so good! Billerbeck is very funny and whitty! The way she writes makes it easy to get totally wrapped up in this book.
It is about a single patent attorney who finally starts dating again. Her family is a bit strange. Her brother...even stranger. She is part of a singles group at her Church and has just had enough of her life and decides to make some changes.
I liked it so much, I ordered the other 2 books of the series. It is a Christian book, so there is no unnecessary language in it at all. Yey! Please let me know if you decide to give this book a try! Warning: it is hard to put down :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

What a GREAT night we had at Church New Years Eve! We danced, ate and fellowshipped with our Church family. It was wonderful. Anthony had a blast staying up so late. He thought he was such a big guy! I pray you all have a wonderful year in 2009! I know it is going to be great! The best yet!

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