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Today I made the
two ingredient fudge, bag of chocolate morsels, and one chocolate frosting tub. It hardened so quickly. Have any of you ever put the frosting in the microwave, for a very brief warming? If so for what length of time?

When using peanut butter morsels, do you add any peanut butter to the morsels? Thank you for your immediate reply....

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year to one and all...
Fae N. C.

I love the
two ingredient fudge. It is so easy to make. I have found if you use a full 12 ounces of real chocolate and the Betty Crocker brand (not the whipped) frosting the fudge turns out just right. Most of the newer packages of chocolate chips are now less than 12 ounces. In my opinion, the best tasting chocolate real chocolate chips and real wafers are from the Prepared Pantry.
(Just a suggestion, get more than you need because my biggest problem with both the chips and the wafers is I tend to eat them before they are made into fudge.
Nancy Rogers

Hello, Nancy:
In the Dec. 16 newsletter Pam from Maine told of her experience with the
two ingredient fudge and the problem with the pan she used. I use my Pampered Chef 6-cup measuring cup, and it has worked fine so far and I have used it at least a dozen times for the fudge. In fact, I made a batch today and it worked well.

Thank you, Nancy for working so hard on this newsletter for our enjoyment each day. Merry Christmas to you.
Nell in VA

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Cookie Mixes from Prepared Pantry
Christmas Gift Ideas for the Baker

Happy Holidays to everyone in Nancyland. I have a problem finding my recipe for pickled cucumber and onion salad. I had it out on the counter where i could see it and now it's nowhere to be found. I guess it was picked up and put in the trash. Looked through the bags, but was not to be found. Can anyone help? Thank you if you can.

This is to Anita in Camarillo regarding her too spicy chili. The first thing that came to my mind is to give it to a place of charity; I would think they would be more than glad to have it. Perhaps they would have to make more, but that is their problem, not hers. I personally would not want to throw it away. I have eaten chili over baked potatoes and loved it. One can serve it over spaghetti (spaghetti red). Maybe she has a neighbor that likes really spicy food. Food is too expensive to waste. Churches sometimes serve food to street people. Good luck on finding a way to use this chili. Sorry, Anita, I know how disappointing it can be to mess up a dish. I certainly have done it myself.
Barb in OKC

Susie asked about a gingerbread spice mix for a woman from Germany.

I entered "German gingerbread spice" into Google and found the following recipe. I am also including one of the reviews, which makes me think this recipe is authentic. The recipe is from about.com.

What is in Lebkuchen Spices?
Yield: 3 1/2 Tablespoons

2 T. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground anise seed
1/2 tsp. ground star anise

If you have whole spices (which have a longer shelf life), place the spices in a cleaned out knife coffee grinder (one that looks like a food processor inside, not a burr grinder) and grind until fine.

Sift the ground spices through a fine sieve to remove large pieces and add to other ground spices.

When your spices are ground, mix them together thoroughly and place in an airtight container to store.

Use 1 to 2 tablespoons per recipe.

Also, see here for more information about how to buy Lebkuchen Spice and possible substitutions.

Great recipe!, Member KitchenFairy61
For years I've purchased the packets of Alba Neunerlei spice mix. This year I found this recipe and decided to make my own. Being a from-scratch cook, making my own spice mix just seemed natural. You really do need to have the knife blade style coffee grinder as it works great. Also make sure that you have a really fine sieve to get any chunks out. Once I ground the whole spices, I mixed in the already ground spices and ran the whole batch through the grinder again to fully incorporate all of the spices. It is worth it to buy an extra coffee grinder to grind your own spices. Trust me!
Doris in Oklahoma City, Donna in Buffalo, MN and Sara FL
Click Here to Print this Recipe

Also, Anita in Camarillo asked for suggestions about taming too-spicy chili. I had this problem recently and solved it by making half of the chili recipe with no extra spices and adding it to the original batch. Since you are considering throwing it out and starting over anyway, you might as well give this a try. In doing my research to solve the problem, I also noted that sugar added to the chili will take out some of the fire. I did not try the sugar method.
Doris in Oklahoma City

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Sally's Fudge Recipe
At Christmas time (and sometimes throughout the year) I make about 20 pounds of fudge for my grandchildren to put on plates and give away as gifts. (I keep some also) but it is always a hit. They are now grown and still want the fudge for gifts.

1 (18oz package) of milk chocolate chips (also good with Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips just use two 10 oz packages)

1 can sweetened condense milk
Nuts (optional)

Grease a 9x9 pan with butter (bottom and sides)

Combine the chips and milk in a saucepan. Melt together over a very low heat stirring constantly. When melted and mixed together you can add nuts of any kind and pour into pan. Let it set for 2 hours or more. Turn out on a cutting board and cut into 1 inch squares. This fudge is so silky smooth.

This can be microwaved but I like doing it in a pan on low heat and stirring constantly (about 5 minutes)
Sally W
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I had a recipe for candy made with chocolate chip cookie dough and make caramel for the top after you bake the cookie dough then melted milk chocolate chips and put on top of that. Does anyone have this type of recipe.

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Do you have a recipe for Butterfinger candy using candy corn and peanut butter?
Thanks so much, Laura

Hi Nancy, Re: Anita in Camarillo request about spicy chili, (12-16/N/L.

I have split my recipe after discovering the chili to spicy, added more ingredients to tone it down. If the chili has oil on it or seems to greasy, add a small amount of prepared mustard (about one half teaspoon to a fairly large serving bowl) this suggestion was given me many years ago by an elder co-worker, I was skeptible I tried it and it really works, plus there is no mustard taste. This was from the same gentleman who told me to coat bacon with small amount of flour to keep it flat as it cooked in fry pan.
Margaret, Tulsa

For Susie who is trying to help a friend find where she can buy gingerbread spice mix(12/16 newsletter,. amazon.com sells edora Lebkuchen Gewurz Gingerbread Spices) 1 - .05oz. Just go to amazon.com and type gingerbread spice mix in the search box. You can also visit the site of the manufacturer of the spice at their web site, www.edora.net/englisch/ The site is primarily in German and I had some problems with the English tab, so if I were ordering I would probably just buy from Amazon. I hope this helps.
Robbie IN

In the 1216 newsletter Anita in Camarillo wanted ideas on what to do with her too spicy chili. I would make a second batch without any of the spices and combine the two batches. You might have far more chili than you will eat at one meal, so freeze part of it. chili freezes well and it will be great to have on hand for a day when you don't have time to cook. I have read that adding a few tablespoons of smooth peanut butter will tone down the hotness of any dish, but have never personally tried this. Good Luck.
Robbie IN

To solve Anita’s too spicy chili I would suggest making a second batch eliminating the spice in the second batch and then combining them. If it is only a little too zippy, perhaps just adding an extra can of beans or more of whatever tomato. products she uses would alleviate the extra heat. Boiling a potato might absorb some also as I have used that trick when I have overly salted. I would not waste it for sure.
Nana in SE Ohio.

Hi Robbie,
I am interested in your recipe for Crockpot Smoked Sausages With Potatoes and Cabbage which was posted in the 12/16 newsletter. My question is: Do you cook the sausage before putting it into the slow cooker?

Warmest wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy holiday season!
Artemis in NYC

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Chili's Grill & Bar 

For Anita in Camarillo. For chili to spicy, I would try using a small whole Irish potato, let it simmer with the chili for maybe an hour, or so. I have used the peeled potato in cooking, when I had something too salty.
Fae N. C.

Hi Nancy,
Know that everyone is so busy getting ready for Christmas this year. And I am more behind than I've ever been - must be that thing called "age"

This is a generic thank you to everyone who was nice enough to send in tips for cutting the fudge. I wanted to wait until we actually cut it - that was today - to try all of them - had printed them as they came in.

What worked best for us was using a chef's knife and when needed wiping it off with a paper towel wrung out well after a hot water bath. We worked out a system this year where David cut the fudge and I packaged it -he never realized how much work it was until today. HA! He said this would be the last year - but I hope not cuz love doing it
Think we should cut down the list a bit though

We made 36 lbs and today packed up 34 boxes - they still need to be tied with gold cord and get his David's World Famous Fudge sticker on them.

Someone had asked for favorite flavors - this year they were -
White chips, Cream Cheese frosting, dried cranberries (infused with orange - hard to find - plain ones will do) and walnuts

And then White chips, lemon frosting, candied pineapple cut up finely, coconut and almonds - with rum flavoring

And then White chips, Cream cheese frosting, candied mixed fruit, chopped nuts (pecans are good) extra candied cherries and again rum flavoring

But it changes from year to year

Oh also, one friend especially likes coffee - which is Chocolate chips, chocolate frosting and 4-5 packets of Starbucks Via stirred in - nuts are optional but very good
We experimented for 2 years to find the right amount of espresso powder and this is about it - any less gets "lost"

So - sorry for the late thank you but just wanted to do a test - and this is what worked well for us.
THank you to all of you.

Merry Christmas, Nancy - and God's blessings to all of you as well as a Merry Christmas.
Rosemarie in rural Kansas City

Re: Too Spicy Chili
Anita, I would add all other ingredients and no spices again. You would be making double but it would cut down on the spices and then freeze what you want and that way it won't be wasted. Outside of that I'm not sure how you could recover it. Anxious to see what others have to save. Linda D. Topeka, Ks

Wanted to add to Robbie's Chex mix. Just made this, with my Granddaughter's help, and we used almond bark 4 pk and l more 16oz M&M's and used all the dry ingredients up. That way I had plenty for the family and to give it away. Also my sister's recipe calls it Reindeer Trash.
Linda D. Topeka, Ks

Steamed Cabbage Savoy
6 Servings

2 Savoy Cabbage, Shredded
12 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Red Pepper, crushed
1 cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, To Taste

Place half the cabbage in a large pan; add half of the garlic (more to taste), red pepper, olive oil salt & pepper. Add remaining cabbage & add the rest of the ingredients. Fill pot with 3" of water; bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and steam 30-40 minutes. Drain & serve with chicken or sausage dish.
Denise in the Villages, FL

Cranberry Bread

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 c. orange juice
1 egg, beaten
1 c. fresh or defrosted cranberries
1/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Beat in juice and egg until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spray the bottom of 9x5 inch non stick loaf pan with cooking spray. Spoon in batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until bread tests done.
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Holiday Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

2 c. cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
1 lb. sausage meat
8 c. crumbled cornbread
2 lg. red Delicious apples, pared, cored & diced
2 med. size celery stalks, diced (1/2 C.)
1 med. size onion, finely chopped (1/2 c.)
1/4 c. chopped parsley
2 tsp. leaf thyme, crumbled
2 tsp. leaf marjoram, crumbled
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine cranberries, water and sugar in medium size saucepan. Bring to boil. Lower heat, simmer 10 minutes; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Sauté sausage in medium size skillet, breaking up into small pieces with wooden spoon until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat. Combine with cranberries in bowl. Add cornbread, apples, celery, onion, parsley, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper to cranberry sausage mixture. Toss gently. Stuff turkey and roast according to your favorite recipe or spoon stuffing into greased shallow baking dish. Bake, covered in preheated moderate oven for 45 minutes or until heated through. Uncover for the last 10 minutes of baking time for a crusty top.
Yield: 10 cups.
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Holiday Cranberry Salad Ring

4 (3 oz.) black raspberry Jello
2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. cold water
2 c. fresh cranberries, ground
2 oranges, unpeeled, seeded, ground
2 apples, unpeeled, cored, ground
1 (15 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 c. sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Add cold water and chill to egg white consistency. Combine remaining ingredients then mix well into gelatin. Pour into a lightly greased ring mold or bundt pan. Chill until set.
Serves 18 to 20.
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Sweet and Sour Cranberry Meatballs

2 lbs. lean ground meat
1 med. onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Mix well. Add bread crumbs to make mixture firm. Form into small balls.

1 sm. can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz.) can cranberries, drained
Bay leaf

Heat slowly. Add Sweet-n-Low to taste. Simmer meatballs in sauce for 1 hour, covered. Add liquid not to burn. Can be served with long grain rice or small shell pasta.
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Christmas Cherry Pudding

1 can (14 ounce) sour pie cherries
2 tsp. soda
2 eggs
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 c. chopped nuts

1 can (14 ounce) sour pie cherries
Juice from 1st can cherries
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt

Drain 1 can cherries and keep juice for sauce. Add soda to drained cherries, mix and let stand (they turn grey). Beat eggs, adding sugar, flour, chopped nuts and cherries, mixed with soda. Mix well. Pour in 9 x 13 inch pan in which you have melted 1 tablespoon butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cook sauce ingredients until thick, stirring constantly. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter. Serve cool but not cold. I always serve it in squares with the sauce, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry and a holly leaf on top.
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Christmas Gum Drop Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup red and green gumdrops, cut up

Cream sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and stir well. Stir in nuts and gumdrops (dip scissors blades in flour to make cutting easier.) Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350F. for 15 minutes.
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Krispie Christmas Trees

1/4 c. butter or margarine
About 40 reg. marshmallows
or 3 c. miniature marshmallows
5 to 6 c. rice cereal
1/2 tsp. green food coloring
1/2 c. powdered sugar
Sm. container of red candied cherries, if desired

Melt butter in 3 quart saucepan. Add marshmallows and green coloring. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is well blended. Remove from heat. Add rice cereal and stir until well coated. Allow to cool to room temperature - about 1 hour. Roll candy in palm of hands to get a ball shape. Then shape balls in tree shapes. Place trees upright close together on paper. Put powdered sugar into sifter. Sift over trees to get "snow". Cut cherries into halves or quarters and place sticky side to tree.
Yields: approximately 2 dozen trees.
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Christmas Orange Cinnamon Tea Mix

1/2 c. instant tea
2 c. Tang
1 lg. pkg. instant lemonade
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice

Combine all ingredients. Store in airtight jar. Use 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of boiling water. Makes a nice holiday gift. 
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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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