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Re: Cutting Fudge
I was wondering if you could cut the fudge into one large piece as the fudge shops do. Let your recipients cut the fudge into smaller pieces as they need.
Vicky of Woodlawn

I'm invited to a Christmas lunch & the theme is Soups & sandwiches. There will be a lot of children there that will be picky. No mayo or salad dressing on sandwiches. Hope some of you will have some good ideas!
Thanks, Debbie/TN 

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Easy Chicken Pot Pies (Pasties)Easy Chicken Pot Pies (Pasties)

These are really easy pot pies to make because you can make them with a dough press..

The crusts are easy because you can use a just-add-water pie crust mix that comes out perfectly every time with only a minute of mixing.

There are three steps: make the dough, cook the filling, and then assemble your little pies. Once you get your filling made, you can make the crust and fill the little pot pies in minutes.

For the dough, use the directions on the package of your pie crust mix.br>
For the sour cream chicken filling:
1 large chicken breast, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water or broth
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten, for glazing

Brown the meat in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté for ten minutes or until the meat and onion are cooked.

Sprinkle flour over the meat mixture and continue cooking for one more minute to gelatinize the flour. Add the water to create an in-the-pan sauce.

Add the sour cream, stir to blend, and then remove from the heat. Add the chopped eggs, dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
To assemble and bake your little pies:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll the dough out on a floured counter to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Cut the dough into 6-inch rounds using the back of the dough press. Place a round in the floured dough press. Place three tablespoons of the filling on the round. Brush water on the edges of the pastry. Close the dough press firmly to seal the edges of the pastry. Continue with the rest of the rounds and filling.

Place the completed pies on a greased baking sheet. Poke a few holes with the tines of a fork to vent the pies. Brush with a beaten egg if desired.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry
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Whipped Cream Cranberry Salad

I got this recipe from the "Mike Douglas" afternoon TV Show in the mid '80s. I think it was Shirley Jones (the actress/singer) who shared it that day . It's particularly pretty at Christmas, because it's white, red and green and will even serve as a dessert.

1 lb. cranberries
2 cups sugar
2 cups green seedless grapes, sliced in half
3/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
1 carton whipping c ream

Grind cranberries. Mix with sugar and let stand, covered, over night in a large strainer over a non-metallic bowl to drain off juice.

The next morning whip the cream until stiff. then fold in berries, grapes and nuts. Chill and serve.

Cooking Tips
The juice from the drained cranberries is great to drink. Just add a little 7up or sparkling water.
This will serve 4-6, but can be doubled easily.
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Chili's Grill & Bar 

One thing many ask about around this time of the year is how to make perfect cut out (sugar) cookies. I just sent these recipes to a friend of mine that E-mailed me for a good tried 'n' true recipe, so thought I would share them here also, with all my personal notes for great results. Enjoy!

I have two main cut out cookie recipes I have used for years with perfect results, and call them both No-Fail recipes. The good news is, neither have to be chilled, and yet the dough handles beautifully. I use a Tupperware (plastic) pastry sheet, but I don't believe they make them anymore, so I look for them at yard sales, and my son got me one on eBay awhile back, as they don't last forever. Honestly though, am sure you would have no trouble using a pastry board, but just make sure it's floured well, and also is easier to cut the shapes perfectly and execute the dough from them, if dip the cutter into flour.

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine (I use I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten well
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt (I cut in half)
4 tsp. baking powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. milk

Beat the eggs up in the bowl for an electric mixer, and add the butter, margarine and sugar and mix thoroughly. Add vanilla and milk and beat in. Mix in half the flour (low speed) and add remaining flour with baking powder and salt and mix just till a soft dough forms. DO NOT CHILL. Roll out about a quarter of the dough at a time, to about 1/8 inch thick (I generally like them a little thicker) and cut with cutters. The scraps of dough re-roll out nicely without making the cookies "tough".

Bake on ungreased sheets at 400º about 8 minutes, till brown around the edges. I only bake about a dozen cookies at one time on each sheet, as they spread out. If you frost these with a butter frosting and put the "sprinkles" on the top, they will store better, but I still put wax paper, or plastic wrap between the layers, so don't stick together. When I make the butter frosting, I don't measure, but use about 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup butter and enough evaporated milk to make right
consistency, and I add little almond AND vanilla flavorings to it, but suit your own taste. Depending on the size of the cutter, I get around 30-34 cookies per batch. This dough recipe doubles well too.

NOTE: Be sure and use butter AND margarine both, and not all butter, or the texture will be different if you don't.
Judy (in Alaska)
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This is another tried 'n' true recipe from a Taste Of Home magazine 17
years ago.

Deluxe Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Beat together in electric mixer bowl, the butter, sugar, egg and extracts. Add half the flour and mix in on low. Add remaining flour, soda and cream of tartar and beat on low just till blended into a smooth dough. Roll out a quarter of the dough at a time on a floured surface (they say to use powdered sugar instead of flour, but I never have).

Roll to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes with cutters. (re-roll the scraps of dough, till all is used up). Place on ungreased sheets. Bake at 350º until edges begin to brown, about 8 minutes, or so. Can sprinkle with colored sugar before baking, but I like also to frost them with a vanilla butter icing, tinted with different colors and put the colored "sprinkles" on the frosting before it dries. These store
well. Makes about 3-1/2 dozen.
Judy (in Alaska)
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Hi Nancy,
RReading all the lime Jell-O recipes has brought back a memory from my childhood (going back quite a few years). My Mother used to make a Jell-O salad that I remember grating cabbage and carrots for. It also had crushed pineapple in it. Does anyone have a recipe for this? I would love to make it for our family New Years brunch. I just love receiving the newsletter and all the great recipes that are submitted.

LLeah – your suggestion about searching for a recipe or an ingredient is brilliant. Thank you a million times over! All these years I never knew such help was so easily available! I keep all my recipes in word documents, separated of course by folders. For example, I’ll have a folder called “Bread” and within that folder will be sub folders such as “Quick breads”. Even within that sub-folder I’ll have other folders named Nut breads, Cranberry, Lemon, etc. If I’m looking for a quick bread to use up my leftover cranberries it’s super easy to find one. With Leah’s suggestion for searching I’ll be able to look for any recipe using cranberries, not just a quick breads.

For peace of mind about not losing anything on my computer I subscribe to a service that does this for me. It’s very inexpensive (less than 16 cents per day) and when I bought a new computer it was super, super easy to have them put everything from my old hard drive on my new computer. I never worry about hard drive crashes, flash drive failure, etc., ever using this service. br> Donna in Buffalo, MN

MaryAnne in upstate NY had a fruit cake in the letter on Sunday Dec.1, 2012 and I would like to know what size of pan she was using.
Colleen, Canada

Terry in Hilton, NY on 12/2 asked for what sounds like the following recipe, just with a different name. I found many variations doing a search but this one looked like the best of all. You can always frost the outside with the mousse and add the almonds. Sounds yummy but my angel food cakes never turn out so I won’t be trying this one.
Donna in Buffalo, MN
Chocolate Mousse Filled Angel Food Cake

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar, whizzed in food processor about a minute to create extra fine sugar
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325º. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position.
Remove half of sugar from food processor. Add flour to sugar in the processor and process about a minute.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar with mixer on medium low till frothy. Increase speed to medium high and slowly add in reserved sugar. Beat till soft peaks form, about 6 minutes. Add vanilla and mix to combine.

Sift the flour and sugar mixture, and gently fold into egg white mixture in 3 additions. Put batter into ungreased angel food cake pan with removable bottom, then smoothing top.

Bake 40-45 minutes, till toothpick inserted into a crack comes out clean. Invert cake and cool for about 3 hours. To remove, use knife to cut between pan and cake.

1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces strong coffee
1 tablespoon Kahlua
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon plain gelatin (I use Knox brand)
Whipped Cream Icing:

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 envelope Whip It, whipped cream stabilizer, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt, chips, coffee, Kahlua and butter together in the microwave, stirring and stopping every 30 seconds till smooth. Cool till just slightly warm. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of the cream in small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Add gelatin to chocolate when chocolate has cooled.

Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream till soft peaks form. Fold 1/4 cup into chocolate, then fold half the remaining cream, followed by the last half of the whipped cream. Refrigerate about an hour.

To assemble cake, slice off top about an inch down. Set aside top. Cut out a trench in bottom of cake, making sure not to get too close to bottom or edges. Save removed cake pieces for snacking. Fill trench with mousse and top with reserved round of cake.

To make icing, whip cream with sugar, Whip It and vanilla. Frost cake. Chill before serving.
DoDonna in Buffalo, MN
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Hi Nancy, I did not intend to try to help with "Where to Store Recipes" for I knew that there were many who were far more knowledgeable on this matter, but when I saw a couple of tips on storing recipes on an external flash drive I decided to send a word of caution.

I only store things I might need temporarily on a Flash Drive, as I had read on some tech newsletter that a Flash Drive is only good for 10 years. After that you run the risk of losing what you have on them if you use them as a permanent storage unit.

I too have an external hard drive where I put things I want to keep, but you have already been advised on making folders there, etc.

And, welcome back "Miss Kay" in ABQ, NM...looking forward to your contributions.
Betty in MS

I love this

Cranberry Mold

2 small Cherry Or Strawberry Jell-O
1 cup Hot Water
1 large can Crushed Pineapple With Syrup
1 cup Walnut
1/2 cup Coconut
1 can Cranberry Sauce

Dissolve Jell-O in hot water. Heat cranberry sauce and add to other ingredients. Put in mold and then jell. Unmold on plate.
Denise in the Villages, FL
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Apple Pecan Baked Pancakes
6 Servings

2 Tbsp Butter, Melted
1 cup Granny Smith Apples, Peeled/Cored/Sliced
1/3 cup Pecans, Chopped
5 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Cinnamon/sugar
2 cups Pancake Batter

[Note: The pancake batter can be your own recipe, Aunt Jemima Original or Bisquick) I made my own using half whole wheat and half all purpose flour.]

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pancake batter and set aside. Melt butter and pour into a 9" pie plate/dish. Place apple slices in bottom of pie plate, and sprinkle with pecans and cinnamon/sugar. Drizzle syrup over all and carefully pour batter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Loosen edges and immediately invert onto serving plate. Cut in wedges and serve
with warm maple syrup.
Denise in the Villages, FL
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This is for Teri Hilton NY, who in the 12/1 newsletter wanted recipes for cheeseburger soup. this is from Taste of Home. If serving this with other items, you may be able to serve more than four, but if they are big eaters and there are not other items on the menu, you might only have enough for two.
Robbie IN

Cheeseburger Soup

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups water
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, diluted
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
3 tablespoons dill pickle relish
1 cup uncooked small shell pasta
Ketchup and Mustard

In a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, soups and relish. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add pasta. Cook, uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender stirring occasionally. Drizzle each serving with ketchup and mustard, if desired.
4 servings.
Robbie IN
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This could be close to the recipe that Terri Hilton NY remembers from high school. You could probably substitute Cool Whip for the whipped cream, but it won't taste nearly as good and I am fairly certain that the real thing was used in Terri's original recipe.
Robbie IN

Chocolate Filled Angel Food Cake

1 Baked 10-inch angel food cake
32 large marshmallows- best if they are fresh, not dried up ones
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whipping cream
Chocolate for garnish- optional

Slice 1 inch off top of angel food cake and set aside. Cut down into cake and carefully remove core of the cake, leaving a wall approximately 1-inch thick on bottom and sides. Place cake on plate.

In medium saucepan combine marshmallows, water, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until marshmallows have melted. Add chocolate chips and

vanilla, stirring until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature. Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form; fold into the cooled chocolate mixture. Spoon chocolate mixture into hollowed cake; replace top section of cake. Frost with additional whipped cream or sprinkle with sifted confectioners' sugar. Can also garnish with chocolate curls.
Robbie IN
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In the 11/27 newsletter Barb FL asked how much ahead of time she could place spreads and dips on crackers, when serving them as appetizers. I have found that it is best to do this right before the guests arrive and only do what you think will be eaten in the first 20 - 30 minutes, then let your guests spread there own. I have read that placing a piece of thinly sliced deli meat or pepperoni on the cracker, then the dip can help delay the cracker from getting soggy, but I have not tried this and obviously it would not work with all spreads. I also think the type of cracker you use can impact how quickly things get soggy, but I have no firm data on this. Good Luck with your party.
RoRobbie IN

Eggnog Recipes from Past Newsletters

Easy Eggnog Cake 

1 package yellow cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup dairy eggnog
4 eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1/2 cup finely chopped candied cherries

In a bowl, combine cake mix and pudding. Add eggnog and eggs. Beat 8 minutes at medium speed. Fold in nuts and cherries. Turn into well greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool 10 to 15 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan.

Eggnog Frosting:
2 Tbsp. soft butter
3 c. sifted confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
3 to 4 tablespoons eggnog
1 to 2 teaspoons rum

Beat butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, salt and eggnog until smooth and creamy. Add rum, if desired. Frost cake and sprinkle with nutmeg.
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Eggnog Custard

4 eggs
3 cups dairy eggnog
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
ground nutmeg

Beat eggs slightly with rotary beater or fork. Stir in eggnog, sugar, vanilla and salt; mix well. Pour mixture into casserole type dish or individual baking glass cups. Sprinkle with a little nutmeg. Bake in 350 degrees oven about 40 minutes or until knife inserted (off-center) comes out clean. Serve warm or cold.
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Eggnog French Toast

7 oz. loaf (12 inches long) day-old Italian bread in 12 (3/4-inch) thick slices
1 1/2 cup eggnog
1/4 cup butter or margarine
favorite preserves

Place bread in single layer in shallow dish. Pour eggnog over bread. Let stand, turning bread once, until eggnog is absorbed, about 5 minutes. In large skillet cook slices in butter until golden on both sides. Serve hot, topped with cherry pie filling.
Makes 4 servings
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Christmas Eggnog Pound Cake

1 c. butter
1 c. Crisco shortening
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. commercial dairy eggnog
1 c. flaked coconut
3 c. sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a spoon, add flour to creamed mixture alternately with eggnog, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in coconut and flavorings. Blend well. Pour batter into well-greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove.
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Non-Alcoholic Eggnog

2 (32 ounce) cartons prepared eggnog
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
1 quart Canada Dry ginger ale

Chill eggnog and ginger ale ahead of time. Allow ice cream to slightly soften. Pour chilled eggnog into punch bowl. Dip softened ice cream by spoonfuls into eggnog. Gently pour ginger ale into mixture. Gently stir once. Serve at once. Since this contains no alcohol the whole family can enjoy this delicious beverage.
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Holiday Eggnog

4 eggs
3 cups milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla
dash salt
dash Nutmeg

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Gradually beat in remaining ingredients except nutmeg. Chill. Garnish with Nutmeg. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Use only clean, un cracked Grade A eggs. ( I buy my eggs at a health food store.) For substitution of raw eggs; you can use 1 cup pasteurized egg product or 1 cup egg substitute.
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Email Address to respond to newsletter replies, requests and tips. Please include date of newsletter, name of recipe and number of servings. Remember to include your name within the message as well.

Nancy Rogers
P.O. Box 98424
Lubbock, Texas 79499

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