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Busy student mom holiday recipe contest

Win a $200 Williams-Sonoma gift card

A feast for the eyes: Williams-Sonoma products are the best.

No time of year is more busy for moms—especially moms in school—than the holidays. There are decorations to hang, presents to buy, visitors to entertain, and food to prepare—lots and lots of food. That’s where moms get clever. We learn how to whip up 30-minute gourmet dishes that fill bellies and get compliments.

Now is your chance to show off your best 30-minute holiday recipe and get a sweet prize to boot. You’ve gotta love this prize:

  • One $200 Williams-Sonoma gift card to the entry with the most votes

  • One $50 Harry & David gift card to one randomly chosen contestant

Win a $50 Harry & David gift card

Serious scrumptiousness: Harry & David chocolate truffles

Here’s how you enter:

  1. Like us on Facebook .
  2. Put your recipe in the comments below. It has to be a recipe that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and it has to be your own original recipe.
  3. For an extra entry, tweet about us or link to us on your blog to be entered into the drawing for the Harry & David gift card. If you tweet us, use the tag #momsinschool. Make sure you leave a note in the comments below, telling us where you tweeted about or linked to us.
  4. Invite your friends and family to come to this page and vote for you. The recipe with the most votes wins the $200 Williams-Sonoma gift card.

The contest ends at midnight (11:59 PM Mountain Time) on December 13. The winners will be announced on December 14. So enter your yummiest, speediest holiday recipe in the comments below! This could be your merriest Christmas yet!

Official Rules
All entrants must be US residents, 18 years or older. Multiple entries are allowed, but will only qualify if they follow the steps listed above. Recipes entered must be original recipes from the entrant. Plagiarized or stolen recipes will result in immediate disqualification from the contest. Entrants must provide a legitimate recipe that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less and ‘Like’ the Moms in School Facebook group page in order to qualify for the Williams-Sonoma gift card. Entrants must ‘Tweet’ the contest on or provide a backlink from another page to the contest page to qualify for the Harry & David gift card. For every ‘Tweet’ or backlink, the entrant will be entered again in the contest. reserves the right to publish/create a book or application based on any of the recipes entered into this competition. By entering, Contestants yield intellectual rights to the recipe to will not produce an application or book based on a recipe provided without first notifying the entrant, however guarantees no compensation, monetary or otherwise, for use of the recipe. will not sell nor use contestants’ information for anything outside of notifying entrants or otherwise communicating with entrants. The contest will be discontinued unless a minimum of 30 qualifying entries have been entered by 11:59pm MST, 12/01/2010. reserves the right to cancel the contest at any point for any reason.

56 comments on “The Busy Mom’s Holiday Recipe Contest

  • Basalmic Chicken

    • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    – Whisk together the balsamic, chicken broth, and garlic in a bowl, place the chicken breasts in the marinade, and marinate for 10 minutes on each side.

    – Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Put the chicken in the heated pan and cook until brown.

  • Soothing Cinnamon Tea

    1 cup water
    2 teaspons lemon juice (the real stuff)
    1 tbl spoon honey
    1/4 teaspoon or less cinnamon

    Easy to make, great for a sore throat.

  • Cheese Sauce On Toast

    This recipe is oh so easy and good and cheesy!

    Cheese Sauce:
    4 Tablespoons butter
    4 Tablespoons flour
    2 Cups milk
    2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
    salt to taste (optional)

    Melt butter, remove from heat and whisk in flour (and salt if desired). Gradually add milk, until well mixed. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Continue cooking about 5 minutes more – don’t forget to keep stirring. Add shredded cheese and stir until completely melted.

    Serve with thick tomato slices over toast.

    Note: This recipe can be a good way to get your kids to eat healthy bread and vegetables. Serve with a side of steamed cauliflower and broccoli and use the cheese sauce to make these go down easily.

  • Cajun Chicken Pasta

    1 pound linguine pasta (or other shape pasta)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into slices
    2 teaspoons Cajun season salt
    1 teaspoon lemon pepper
    ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained (or fresh)
    1 (15 ounce) jar creamy Alfredo sauce
    ¼ cup milk, plus more if desired
    8 ounces cream cheese
    paprika & dried parsley for garnish

    Cook pasta according to package directions, once cooked, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat olive oil over high heat. Add chicken breast slices, seasonings and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Add drained mushrooms and mix well. Pour jar of Alfredo sauce into skillet, mixing well to coat all of the chicken. Measure out milk and then pour it into the empty Alfredo sauce jar and shake around to get any extra Alfredo sauce out, pour into skillet along with all of the other ingredients. Break small pieces of the cream cheese off and place them into the skillet, stirring well so that they are evenly distributed and can melt evenly. Stir until cream cheese is completely melted. Add the cooked and drained pasta into the skillet and toss well. If the pasta is too dry for your liking, simply add a bit more milk until you reach the consistency that you like. Garnish with sprinklings of paprika and dried parsley on each individual plate.

  • Banana Bread
    This makes a quick and very moist banana bread which is great to bring to brunches

    2 overripe frozen then thawed bananas smashed (we throw our overripe bananas in the freezer, so I almost always have some on hand)
    2 not-necessarily overripe bananas diced
    1/2 stick butter and generous scoop of homemade applesauce (or if you don’t have applesauce in freezer–I always seem to have a ton of it b/c my mom makes it–then just up the butter to about 3/4 stick)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    Pinch of salt
    1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
    chocolate chips

    Mix it all up and don’t be worried about it being lumpy so long as the flour is not in clumps.

    Bake in buttered ceramic pan at 350. Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean–note however, that you may have to insert toothpick multiple places as the chocolate and banana dices will be gooey even when completely baked.

  • ms(dot)verymarried(at)gmail(dot)com


    1 can pie filling (you choose the fruit but cherry is red and festive!)
    1/2 box white cake mix
    1 stick butter

    Pour the can of pie filling in a loaf-sized pan. Cover generously with white cake mix. Cut butter into small slices and place over the cake mix. Cook in oven at 375 for 20 min or until Cake mix is golden brown.

  • Pumpkin Bars

    4 eggs
    1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    15-ounce can pumpkin
    2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Using an electric mixer at medium, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool then frost. Cut into bars.

    To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

  • This is a crockpot recipe, but I think it counts because it takes a few minutes to throw everything in and then it’s ready to serve when you get home from work!

    Taco Soup
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    1 can Rotel
    1 can green beans, undrained (could use frozen or fresh as well)
    2 cans hominy, undrained (could use corn too if that’s all you have)
    1 can chopped green chiles
    1 bouillon
    1 lb browned hamburger or turkey meat, or several chicken breasts (whatever you want to use)
    1/2-1 packet Ranch seasoning
    1/2-1 packet taco seasoning (I adjust based on how strong I want the flavors to be)

    This is such a tasty soup! Hope you enjoy.

  • Maple Bacon Bundt Cake
    1 cup of sugar
    2 cups of flour
    1 tablespoon of baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
    1 teaspoon of vanilla
    1 1/2 cups of milk
    2 eggs
    1 cup cooked/chopped Sugardale Thick Sliced Bacon.

    oil and flour for bottom and sides of bundt pan

    Maple Glaze
    1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    1 tablespoon milk

    Instructions Preheat oven to 350
    Coat bunt pan bottom and sides with oil and flour.
    Place sugar, flour,baking powder and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix in eggs,milk,vanilla and stir until no lumps. Fold in bacon. Pour batter into the bundt pan. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. To make maple glaze: In a bowl, combine confectioners sugar and milk. Gradually whisk in maple syrup to make a coating consistency. Pour on top of cooled bundt cake and serve.

    Servings 6-10

  • Hot Swiss Canopies
    Layer your favorite thin-sliced ham, small slices of swiss cheese, a dallop of sauer kraut on top of the small slices of rye or pumpernickle bread that have been spread with a tsp of mustard/mayo mixed together. Place them on cookie sheets and toast until cheese is melted. Add green onions or bacon bits to the top as a colorful garnish.

    Make as many or few as you like and serve them up as yummy, warm appetizers!

  • Easiest appetizer ever!

    Cut 20 large cherry tomatoes in half and scoop out seeds. Stuff each half with bacon pieces and shredded cheddar cheese and put under broiler for a minute or two until the cheese melts.

    I use the Real Bacon Pieces you can buy at the store to save time.

  • Easy Chicken Pot Pie

    1 package frozen pie crust (includes 2 shells)
    1 chicken breast
    1 can of Mixed Vegetables (drained)
    1 can of Cream of Mushroom soup

    Boil chicken breast with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, mix vegetables and mushroom soup, set aside. Once boiled, dice chicken and add to the vegetable mixture. Separate pie shells. Place vegetable mixture in pie shell; top with remaining pie shell. Seal sides and slit center. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

    Everyone loves this recipe. *After assembling, pie can be frozen in a large ziploc bag and used at a later date.

  • Barbeque Chicken Ranch quesadillas

    *Shredded chicken from one medium to large sized rotisserie chicken
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 -4 oz. can green chilies
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 15 oz. can black beans(drained)
    1 15 oz. can corn niblets(drained)
    1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped
    8 strips of crisp bacon, chopped
    8 10″ flour or corn tortillas
    4 cups mexican blend shredded cheese
    bbq sauce
    ranch dressing

    Saute the onion and bell peppers in a medium sized pan, then mix in the chicken, corn,chilies,black beans, cilantro and bacon bits. In seperate frying pan/griddle, with heat on medium/low, place flour tortillas, spread handful of cheese over tortillas and place heaping spoonful of chicken mixture on one half of the tortilla, then drizzle bbq sauce and ranch on top of mixture. Fold over the tortilla and cook until lightly browned on both sides and cheese is melted.

    Serve with rice and refried beans!

  • Goulash (sort of)

    1 lb ground turkey (or beef if you want to be bad)
    1 onion
    1 bell pepper
    2 cans of tomato soup
    1 can of tomato sauce
    1 box of medium pasta shells
    Garlic Salt (to taste)
    Pepper (to taste)

    Boil the pasta shells as directed

    Brown hambuger meat. While browning, chop bell pepper & onion

    Once hamburger is browned, remove from sautee pan and sautee bell pepper & onion

    Once shells are done, drain. Once bell pepper and onions are done to taste, remove from pan

    Combine meat, onion, bell pepper, shells, tomato sauce, and tomato soup. Heat until thoroughly warm.

    Salt and pepper to taste.

  • Chik n Waffle Redux

    2 large skinless breasts, sliced
    1 medium onion
    1 orange, zest and juice
    1 cup chicken or veggie stock
    1/4 cup cranberry sauce
    1/2 teaspoon thyme
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Cranberry Waffles (simply your favorite waffle batter with a heaping spoonful of cranberry sauce mixed in)

    Sautee onion then add chicken, orange zest and juice. Cook till chicken is cooked through and golden. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Add stock to pan and scrape up tasty bits. Add cranberry sauce to pan and simmer till thickened. Add chicken back to pan and simmer for a few more minutes adding salt and pepper to taste. to plate the dish, lay down 2 quarters of a 4 square waffle and top with the chicken and sauce. Garnish with small slices of brie cheese and a dollop of cranberry sauce and serve immediately.

  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1/2 cup sour cream
    8oz. cream cheese
    3 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
    2tbsp. bottles roasted red bell peppers, drained
    1/2 tsp. hot sauce
    3/4 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    1 garlic clove minced
    2 tbsp. chopped green onion

    **Pita chips and/or fresh vegetables accompany this dip nicely**

    1. Place mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, hot sauce, salt and black pepper into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, Add in garlic and green onion and blend again.

    2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use

    I like to serve mine in a bread bowl surrounded in fresh vegetables, so my guest can choose to dip the bread squares or vegetable in the dip. Enjoy!

  • No Nut Cranberry Muffins


    2 c flour
    ½ c sugar
    ½ tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tbs wheat germ
    ¾ c milk
    ¼ c canola oil
    1/3 c orange juice
    ¼ c soy vanilla yogurt
    2 tbs orange zest
    1 c chopped cranberries

    Grease muffin cups with shortening and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir together until blended. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and the orange zest. Stir until just blended, the batter will be lumpy but don’t over-mix. It will make the muffins too chewy. Stir in the cranberries. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20 to 22 minutes.

  • Like you on Facebook:

    Too Easy Taffy Pine-Apple Salad
    1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits drained
    2 cups mini marshmallows
    1 8 0z tub Cool Whip
    2 cups diced apples
    1 cup dry roasted peanuts
    1 egg beaten
    1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tbsp flour
    Combine juice from pineapple, vinegar, sugar, flour and eggs. Cook in small pan over medium heat until sauce thickens stirring occasionally. Chill whilel preparing rest of ingredients. Mix pineapple, marshmallows, apples & peanuts in large bowl. Mix cool whip and thickened pineapple mixture together and stir into apple mixture Refrigerate. Serves 12

  • No Bake Banana Pudding
    12 Bananas
    Box of mini nilla brand wafers
    1 small pkg Vanilla instant pudding
    1 small pkg Banana instant pudding
    3 cups milk
    1 Large can of sweet and condensed milk
    1 pkg of cream cheese
    18 oz of whipped cream
    Blend milk and pudding set aside
    blend sweet and condensed milk & Cream Cheese
    add whipped cream add ilk & pudding mix
    Line pan with nilla wafers
    Slice 12 bananas place on top of nilla wafers
    dump mix on top
    put remainder bananas on top and sprinkle crushed nilla wafers on the very top

  • Holiday Gingerbread
    1 box gingerbread mix
    1 granny smith apple, diced
    3/4 cup dried cranberries
    1/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
    1/2 tablespoon orange zest

    Prepare gingerbread according to mix instructions. Before baking, mix in apple, cranberries, ginger, and orange zest. Bake and enjoy!

  • Mom’s Ritz Cookies

    Snack crackers
    Peanut butter
    Melting chocolate

    Make cracker sandwiches with the peanut butter and cracker. Melt chocolate and dip sandwiches in crackers until fully coated. Place on wax paper until chocolate hardens. Keep in air-tight container.

  • Sinful Potatoes

    Needed ingredients
    -velveta cheese

    1. One package of bacon
    -cooked and cut into pieces
    2. Two bags of frozen hash browns

    3. Two bags of frozen diced potatoes

    4. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and put half a block of velveta cheese(melted). Add a cup and a half of mayo.

    5. Place in casserole dish and bake at 350 till golden brown.

  • Hamburger Dip

    1 lb Hamburger cooked and drained
    1 can refried beans
    1 can Hormel Chili no beans
    Cheese (add as much as you like)
    Salsa (as much as you like for taste)

    Mix all together in a large container on the stove until everything is melted together and warm. Serve in bowls with tortilla chips. Yum Yum!!!!!

  • The easiest holiday appetizer, takes 10 minutes prep and 10 minutes bake time:

    Baked Brie and Cranberry

    1. Lay puff pastry sheets flat
    2. Place a round piece of Brie cheese in the middle
    3. Add two handfuls of dried cranberries on top (Ocean Spray pomegranate juice infused dried cranberries taste delicious)
    4. Take the four corners of the puff pastry sheet and raise them around the cheese, and cover the top of the cheese & cranberries with the puff pastry so that it is entirely surrounded.
    5. Put the cheese-filled Puff Pastry in a toaster over or regular oven on 375 for 8-10 minutes or until the outside is golden brown and flaky
    6. Slice 2 granny smith green sour apples into very thin pieces
    7. Serve the cheese with the apple slices and top apple slices with a slice of the puff pastry and baked brie “pie”

    I hope I win!!

  • Creamy Salmon Penne

    • 16 ounces penne rigate
    • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
    • 8 ounces chive and onion cream cheese
    • 2 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons fresh dill, coarsely chopped,
    • 3 tablespoons capers
    • 8 ounces smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
    • ½ cup canned in water artichoke hearts – coarsely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons lemon zest.
    • Sea salt to taste
    • Pepper to taste
    1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling heavily salted water until al dente.
    2. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water and drain.
    3. Bring drained pasta back into the pot. Add onion, cream cheese, lemon juice, dill, capers, salmon, and artichoke hearts to pasta. Toss, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a thin sauce.
    4. Spoon pasta on to serving dishes and top with lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • E-Z cheeZee Spinach Dip!

    1 stick butter
    1 small onion, chopped
    10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
    8 oz cream cheese
    8 oz sour cream
    8 oz parmesan cheese, grated
    14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

    Melt butter in a large skillet and add ingredient one at a time, stirring well after each addition.

    When done transfer to a fancy serving dish or a bread bowl to WOW your guest.
    Serve with tortilla chips or vegtables of choice!

  • Alicia d, your recipes are AWESOME all the way! Couldn’t wait to try this one, had it this evening for a pre-holiday get together. It wasn’t too filling before the dinner, and all the guests just had to have the recipe. Way to go, and please keep these coming. I won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner through the holidays.

  • My quick and easy, favorite recipe: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Sandwiches.

    Take two slices whole wheat bread. Spread margarine on the two slices. Place slice American cheese on a slice of bread. Place two slices of tomato on a slice of bread. Toast in toaster oven on toast setting until cheese has melted or bread toasted. Remove and place two slices together and cut in halves.

    This is a great quick fix meal.

  • 2-cans of corn drained
    1-can of cream of mushrooms and add half of can of water
    4-chicken tenders cooked throughly on stove and cooked in teryaki sauce
    cut chicken in small sized pieces
    3-cups shredded cheese
    2-cups sour cream
    Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top!
    Mix this all in a bowl and put in the oven for 20 min on 375 degrees.

  • These are my families quick Tasty Stuffed Mushrooms we always make as an appetizer during the holidays!

    2 packs of Mushrooms
    1 cup bread crumbs (plain
    1 cup freshly grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
    1 med onion (finely chopped)
    1 lb pork sausage
    1 Tbs minced garlic
    4 Tbs butter, soft
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 tsp pepper
    1 tsp parsley
    1 tsp basil
    1 tsp oregano
    1 tsp cayenne pepper

    Wash and remove the mushroom stems. Dry the mushroom caps and stems. Place the caps aside.
    Take the mushroom stems and chop them finely and place in a large glass bowl.
    Next take a large skillet or frying pan and cook the sausage and onion together,over low heat.
    After the sausage and onion is cooked, drain fat, and add to the bowl of mushroom
    stems. Next, add all the other ingredients. Stuff mushroom caps, place on a baking pan in a single layer
    and cook for 30 minutes. Let them cool for 5 minutes.

    Everybody LOVES these and they are actually so easy to make!

  • Quick Chicken and Broccoli Almond Curry
    2 cups almond milk (from the dairy section)
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in bite size pieces (about 3 cups)
    1 tablespoon crushed garlic
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup chopped onions
    2 1/2 cups of fresh broccoli florets
    1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
    1 tablespoon Indian curry powder
    1/3 cup unsalted, toasted, slivered almonds
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)

    In a medium bowl, mix almond milk with cornstarch until smooth; set aside.

    On a sheet of wax paper mix chicken breast pieces, crushed garlic, and salt; set aside.

    In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken, broccoli, and red pepper, cook for 2 minutes without stirring. Sprinkle chicken mixture with curry powder, continually stir and sauté for 2 minutes. Add almond milk to chicken, reduce heat to medium, stirring continually until chicken is thoroughly cooked and sauce has thickened. Taste and stir in more curry or salt if desired. Reserve 2 tablespoons of almond slivers for garnish; stir remaining almonds into chicken curry. Garnish with cilantro and reserved almond slivers. Serve over rice or pasta, or in a bowl by itself! Serves 4

  • Ingredients:
    8 boneless, skinless breast halves
    1 C. brown sugar
    1 pt. (2 Cups) cream
    1 C. white Port wine
    1 C. apple puree
    Apple slices
    Sliced toasted almonds

    Season the chicken with salt and pepper (I like a little celery salt, curry and nutmeg, too) Set to color gently in butter. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15 min. slowly. When cooked remove and place on a serving dish to keep warm. Add the sugar and port to the cooking pan and reduce by half. Add the cream and apple puree and reduce by half again. Decorate the chicken with quarters of peeled
    apple which have been brushed with butter and glazed under the grill. Then strain the sauce over and sprinkle with the sliced roasted almonds.
    If you like your chicken very well done and more flavorful, bake it very low in some of the sauce without the cream. I remove the chicken to warmed plates, add the cream to heat through and finish as above.
    I usually serve this with potatoes mashed with cream cheese or sour cream and seasoned with garlic and chives.
    We also like grated carrots cooked gently in chicken broth, parsley and some grated onion served with butter, salt and pepper with this.

  • Quick garlic shrimp
    (great appetizer or throw on some pasta)

    * 1 lb shrimp (about 25 peeled)
    * 4 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
    * 1 tsp paprika
    * 1 tsp red pepper flakes
    * 2-3 oz of dry sherry
    * 1/4 cup STAR virgin olive oil
    * 3 tsp chopped fresh parsley
    * juice of one lemon

    In a sauté pan or heavy frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes, and garlic and sauté for about one minute or until they begin to brown.

    Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly until the shrimp turn pink and curl – about 3 minutes.

    Remove from heat and transfer shrimp with oil and sauce to a warm plate or serve right from the pan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

  • Merry Christmas Avocado Dip

    4 large avocados
    1 tablespoon grated onion
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon hot chili sauce

    Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

    Scoop out the meat and mash with a fork.
    *Do not process in a food processor or [email protected]!

    Stir in the onion, sour cream, salt and hot sauce.

    Serve with tortilla chips, or fill a pita or whatever Makes about 3 cups.

  • 4 bananas
    Vanilla wafers
    Banana pudding mix
    2 egg whites
    2 tbsp. sugar

    For an easy to make pudding, use an instant banana mix, prepare according to direction on box. Line bottom and sides with wafers. Then put alternate layers of bananas, pudding mix and wafers. Make meringue of 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Spread on top and sprinkle with fine wafer crumbs. Brown meringue in slow oven, 300 degrees.

  • Cheeseball

    2 8oz cream cheeses
    3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    1 tsp onion pwder
    1tsp gralic pwdr
    1 tsp worchstire sauce
    cayenne pepper to your taste

    roll into ball
    roll ball in almonds
    serve with crackers

    less than 10 minutes prep time

  • Speedy Mediterranean Pasta

    1 pound CAVATELLI pasta
    1 pound of asparagus, washed, ends snapped off and cut into 2 inch pieces
    1/3 cup olive oil
    1 white onion, chopped
    6 cloves of garlic, sliced paper thin
    1 can marinated artichokes, drained and cut in half
    1 jar roasted red peppers, sliced into 2 inch pieces
    1/4 teaspoon dried chili pepper
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    Chop asparagus and onion, slice garlic, artichokes and red peppers and grate Parmesan cheese to prepare. Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 6 minutes until al dente, then add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes.
    In a large skillet or saute pan, add olive oil and cook onions on med-high heat for 3-4 minutes, add garlic, artichokes, and roasted red peppers and turn to low. Add chili pepper, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
    Drain pasta and add to saute pan, incorporating pasta with all other ingredients. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and serve hot! Enjoy!

  • I usually make this in the summer, but if you can find good tomatoes, it makes a great holiday appetizer:

    Caprese Salad

    2-4 garden fresh tomatoes, sliced (use enough to cover a dinner plate when laid flat)
    4-6 oz fresh mozzarella, in small slices
    6 fresh basil leaves
    1 1/2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
    3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1/2 Clove Garlic, minced
    Salt & Pepper

    Slice tomatoes and arrange flat on a dinner plate. Slice the mozzarella and arrange over the tomatoes. Finely chop basil and sprinkle over all.

    For the dressing, first mix vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper – stir until salt is dissolved. Add olive oil and stir well. Drizzle all over tomato plate. Cover and refrigerate 20-30 minutes and then serve.

    Is best served with a rustic Italian bread to be used for sopping up extra dressing!

    (I like you on Facebook.)

  • Holiday Citrus Crocked Ham
    3-4 lb. precooked (not canned) ham
    one orange, thinly sliced
    one lemon, thinly sliced
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    12-ounce can gingerale
    1-2 cloves
    one thin slice of ginger

    Place ham in crockpot. Alternate slices of citrus over the ham. Cover the top of the ham and citrus with brown sugar. Sprinkle part of the can of soda over the brown sugar and the rest around the sides of the ham. Place cloves and ginger in the soda pop. Turn crock pot up to high for one hour, and then low for 3-4 hours. Let ham sit 15 minutes prior to serving.

    Delicious — the aroma is intoxicating. Easy to do, easing holiday stress. Leftovers or scrumptious.

  • Cucumber Slices With Dill


    Original recipe makes 8 servings
    4 large cucumbers, sliced
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon dried dill weed
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    1 teaspoon salt (optional)


    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
    2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
    4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

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