Sunday, December 31, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/31/2006

Who doesn't love chocolate with caramel. This is a really great, rich dessert that is the perfect finishing touch to just about any meal.

Individual Chocolate Melting Cakes

10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Caramel sauce
Coffee ice cream

Heat oven to 325º F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray. Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat. In another large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and melted chocolate. Mix with a spoon until well blended.

Divide the batter evenly into 8 muffin tins and bake until the cakes have just cooked through, about 15 minutes. The cakes will still look a bit moist on top. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.

Serve warm with the caramel sauce and ice cream.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/31/2006

T-shirt from Fleecho. They are giving away free t-shirts for a short time, so better hurry. They are nice, black t-shirts in your choice of size, with a small logo. For your free t-shirt, click here!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Point Worth Pondering

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.

John Locke (1632 - 1704)

RECIPE of the Day - 12/30/2006

I love the idea of a gift in a jar. This is a really cool gift to give especially when you put it into a gift basket and add a decorative kitchen towel, baking implements, etc. to make it extra special.

Holiday M&M's Cookie Mix in a Jar recipe

1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 1/4 C. M&M candies (use red and green for Christmas)
2 C. flour mixed with 1/2 t. baking soda and 1/2 t. baking powder

Layer ingredients in order given in 1-quart wide-mouth canning jar. Press each layer firmly in place before adding next ingredient.

Attach these instructions to the jar:

Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly blend mix, then add:

1/2 C. very soft butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 t. vanilla extract (optional)

Mix until completely blended. You will need to finish mixing with your hands. Shape into balls the size of walnuts. Place 2 inches apart on sprayed baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F for 12 to 14 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/30/06

2007 Roadsides in Bloom calendar from the Department of Environmental Protection in West Virginia. There are some really nice pictures in this calendar. For yet another free calendar, click here!

Friday, December 29, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/29/2006

Rigatoni is one of my favorites and this recipe for baked rigatoni is very easy and quite delicious. Enjoy!

Baked Rigatoni

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
16 ounces rigatoni
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan

Heat oven to 400° F.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices, red pepper, oregano, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon if using whole tomatoes) until the sauce thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cream and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.

Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Add the drained rigatoni to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole and top with the remaining grated Parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/29/06

Sample of Capella coffee. You can choose either hazelnut or french vanilla. For some free gourmet coffee, click here!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/28/2006

If you have never tried this dessert, you will be quite delighted. It is very rich and the perfect finishing touch to just about any entree. There are many different versions of dessert ravioli, but I really like this one.

Recipe from Roosters Espresso Cafe, Amarillo, Texas

White Chocolate Ravioli with Raspberry Sauce

1/4 cup heavy cream
6 ounces quality dark bitter-sweet chocolate
1/2 pint fresh raspberries

14 ounce white chocolate
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 pints fresh raspberries
1/4 cup light corn syrup

Prepare the filling or ganache for the ravioli. In a small nonstick saucepan, scald the cream. Add the dark chocolate to the cream. Mix in the raspberries, blending until the chocolate is melted. Refrigerate the mixture until cool but not hard.

Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate dough. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. Remove it from the heat and mix with the corn syrup until combined. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Use half of the dough to roll out through a pasta machine, making it into a sheet about 1 feet long. Dust with the powdered sugar and repeat using the other half of the dough to form another sheet of the same size. Lay one sheet out. Scoop out the ganache and place about tablespoon at 2-inch intervals on the pasta sheet, making two rows. Brush water around each mound of filling. Cover with the remaining sheet and use your fingers to seal the two sheets. Use up any leftover dough or ganache. Cut out the ravioli in squares or rounds.

In the blender or food processor, whirl until smooth the raspberries and the corn syrup to make the sauce. Garnish the ravioli with the fresh raspberry sauce and serve.

Yield: 24 raviolis

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/28/06

Eye rejuvenator from Borba. It's amazing how you never think of these products until you hit 40, but it is supposed to be a good product that helps you keep a youthful appearance. To try your free sample, click here!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Did you have a really great Christmas?

Everyone in our family had a really great Christmas. We gave gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. How fortunate we are that the Lord watches over us and guides us in the way we should go. I heard a really cool song on the Wiggles Christmas show about how Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus and how he is reborn in our hearts every year. How wonderful that is, because he is reborn in our hearts every year. We keep the spirit of Christmas alive by celebrating His birth. Even though the commercialism of Christmas is ever present, we know that we have a more meaningful reason to celebrate one of the most important holidays. I hope that you were blessed this holiday season and wish you the best for the coming year.


RECIPE of the Day - 12/27/2006

I usually make a lasagne with sweet italian sausage, eggplant, mushrooms, etc., but I love prosciutto and came across this recipe recently. It is very easy and is quite delicious. You can substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese if you like.

Italian Lasagne with Prosciutto

8 oz. Italian Prosciutto, chopped
8 oz. Lasagne pasta noodles, cooked
16 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 C. cottage cheese, lg. curd
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
4 T. fresh basil, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1/4 t. oregano
ground black pepper
1/2 C. dry white wine *(optional)
2 T. olive oil
fresh Basil sprigs for garnish

Cooking Lasagne: Cook lasagne noodles according to package directions or until tender but still firm. Drain, keep warm. In a large saucepan or cast iron skillet over medium-high high heat, saute the garlic, onion and prosciutto in the olive oil for 4 minutes.

Add the lean beef, oregano, a touch of black pepper and saute 10 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Add tomatoes and basil, reduce heat and simmer 35 to 40 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Grease a 9" x 12" or larger, lasagne baking pan. Arrange a first layer of lasagne noodles, a layer of the beef and prosciutto tomato sauce, cottage cheese, parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Add a second alternating layer of noodles, sauce and other ingredients.

Repeat until pan is full ending up with a top layer of the lasagna sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/27/06

Dog chew treat sample from Piece of Love. These are actually good for your dog. They have vitamins, minerals, fiber and promote good dental health. For a really good treat for your best friend, click here!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/26/2006

This is a great recipe for chicken with an italian flair. What I like to add is lemon scented basil. It really compliments the tomato and olive oil.

Roasted Chicken Oreganato

1 (3 1/2 pound) whole chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into medium chunks
4 plum tomatoes, cut into medium chunks
1 large onion, cut into medium chunks
2 cloves garlic, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Arrange chicken and vegetables in roaster pan putting the chicken on top. Mix oil, oregano, salt and pepper and pour over meat and vegetables.

Bake uncovered 1 hour 15 minutes or until done.

Recipe submitted by Gregory Piccino

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/26/06

Rhinaris nasal moisturizer sample. You have the choice of a mist or gel and it is a really good product, especially if you have dry nasal passages due to allergies or your environment. For your free sample, click here!

Monday, December 25, 2006

From my family to yours...A Very Merry Christmas! I love giving gifts to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May the Lord richly bless you and yours this holiday season and always.


RECIPE of the Day - 12/25/2006

This is a very easy cake to make and also quite delicious. The caramel topping really adds the perfect touch. It's kind of like a caramel apple and who doesn't like those?

Apple Cake with Caramel Topping

1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups thinly sliced apples
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups sifted self-rising flour

Mix all the ingredients and bake in a prepared 10-inch springform pan at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Caramel Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. Drizzle over warm cake, one piece at a time.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/25/06

Soy infant formula sample. This is brought to you by Member's Mark from Sam's Club. The formula has DHA/ARA and lipids to give you a product that is closer to breast milk. To get your sample, click here!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Songs

These are some of my family's favorite carols. They are more of the traditional carols. If you're like I am, you can't keep the order straight on The Twelve Days of Christmas. Here are the words to some old favorites.

***Silver Bells***

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
And on ev'ry street corner you'll hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa's big scene
And above all this bustle
You'll hear
Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas day

***The First Noel***

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel

***White Christmas***

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

***The Twelve Days of Christmas***

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Ten lords a leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Twelve drummers drumming
Eleven pipers piping
Ten lords a leaping
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree

***Let There Be Peace on Earth***

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With God as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step i take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
With peace eternally.
Let ther be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.
With god as our father
Brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

RECIPE of the Day - 12/24/2006

This is one of those soups that is really delicious, but you can never find the recipe for. Well, here you go. Just as the restaurants make it and it is so much better than the canned kind. As always, I would recommend cream or at least half & half rather than the milk. It is just richer that way.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

1 large stewing hen
6 cups water
2 cans mixed vegetables, minus liquid from one can
4 tablespoons chicken bouillon
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 small jar pickled pearl onions
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 Pillsbury pie crusts, per package directions
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce

Cook chicken, in water, for about 4-5 hours. Turn often and keep covered. Skim fat as needed but don't remove all fat. Transfer chicken to a plate to cool, Keep broth simmering on low. Add two small cans of mixed vegetables, minus the liquid from one can. When chicken is cool, tear into small bites and add to broth. Add chicken bouillon, poultry seasoning, sage, pearl onions, pepper and salt. Bake two Pillsbury pie crusts according to package directions and let cool. Set aside.

In a shaker jar, mix flour, corn starch and milk. Shake until smooth. Add slowly to the broth, stirring constantly. Add Kitchen Bouquet and stir until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Pour into bowls over the top of crumbled pie crust. Add a bit more crust on top.

This makes about 4 quarts of soup, which can be frozen. Defrost and bake pie crust at the time of serving.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/24/06

Gevalia Coffee. These are the people who will send you a free coffeemaker for buying 2 bags of coffee. Here is a chance to try the coffee and then take them up on their free coffeemaker offer if you like it. To get your sample, click here!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Children Believing in Santa Claus

Our daughter just discovered Santa Claus. She is almost two and loves Santa Claus. Of course, she is too young to understand what Santa is all about. I have heard some people say that Santa Claus is more prominant than Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate. To me, it is important for our children to believe in Santa Claus. If they can believe that Santa Claus can deliver gifts all over the world in one night, it will help them to believe that God can hear everyone's prayers all at once.

Christmas Songs

I love Christmas songs. They are so much fun to sing and some of them are so meaningful. Here are more Christmas song lyrics for you. Some of them are the more whimsical Christmas songs; Favorites for adults as well as children. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

***Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire ***

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
For kids from one to ninety two
Although its been said many times many ways
Merry Christmas to you.

***Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer***

Rudolf, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolf
play in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolf with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee:
"Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!"

***There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays***

Oh, there’s no place like
home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam
When you pine for the sunshine
Of a friendly face
For the holidays, you can’t beat
Home, sweet home.

I met a man who lives in Tennessee
And he was headin’ for Pennsylvania
And some home made pumpkin pie
From Pennsylvania folks a travelin’ down
To Dixie’s sunny shore
From Atlantic to Pacific, gee
The traffic is terrific.

Oh there's no place like home
For the holidays, ‘cause no matter
How far away you roam
If you want
To be happy in a million ways
For the holidays, you can’t beat
Home, sweet home.

***Santa Claus Is Coming To Town***

Oh! You better watch out,
you better not cry,
you better not pout,
I'm telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He's making a list,
He's checking it twice,
gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He sees you when you're sleeping,
he knows when you're awake.
He knows when you've been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sake!

So...You better watch out, You better not cry
You better not pout, I'm Telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Little tin horns, little toy drums.
Rudy-toot-toot and rummy tum tums.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

Little toy dolls that cuddle and coo,
Elephants, boats and Kiddie cars too.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

The kids in Girl and boy land
will have a jubilee.
They're gonna build a toy land town
all around the Christmas tree.

Ohh....You better watch out, you better not cry.
You better not pout, I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town.

***Frosty the Snowman***

Frosty the Snowman
Was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
And two eyes made out of coal

Frosty the Snowman
Is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow
But the children know
How he came to life one day

There must have been some magic
In that old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
He began to dance around

Frosty the Snowman
Was alive as he could be
And the children say
He could laugh and play
Just the same as you and me

Frosty the Snowman
Knew the sun was hot that day
So he said let's run
And we'll have some fun
Now before I melt away

Down to the village
With a broomstick in his hand
Running here and there all around the square
Saying catch me if you can

He led them down the streets of town
Right to the traffic cop
And he only paused a moment when
He heard him holler stop

Frosty the Snowman
Had to hurry on his way
But he waved goodbye
Saying don't you cry
I'll be back again some day

Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Look at Frosty go
Thumpety thump thump
Thumpety thump thump
Over the hills of snow

RECIPE of the Day - 12/23/2006

This is a great one dish recipe that is quite delicious. For the stuffing, you could substitute french bread or a combination of french and pumpernickel for a different taste. You can add celery and onion (1/2 C. each) with the carrots and I would recommend the portabello mushrooms, they are meaty enough to hold up to the density of the bread(s).

Chicken with Sourdough-Mushroom Stuffing

Nonstick cooking spray
2 T. finely shredded lemon peel
1 T. ground sage
1 T. seasoned salt
1 1/2 t. ground black pepper
8 small chicken leg quarters, skin removed
1/4 C. butter
4 C. sliced mushrooms, portabello or button
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 C. sourdough baguette pieces, 1 inch square
1 C. coarsely shredded carrot
1 C. chicken broth
1/4 C. chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
3 T. snipped parsley

Lightly coat the inside of a 5 1/2 to 6 qt. slow cooker with cooking spray. Reserve 1 t. of the lemon peel. In a small bowl combine remaining lemon peel, sage, seasoned salt and black pepper. Remove 3/4 of the mixture and rub onto chicken leg quarters. Place chicken in slow cooker.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Stir in remaining sage mixture. Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Add bread cubes and shredded carrot. Drizzle with chicken broth, tossing gently.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/23/06

Do-it-yourself water test kit from Culligan. They will send you a free kit to test the hardness of your water. We have unbelievably hard water at our house so we have filtered water. To find out how hard your water is, click here!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Songs

I will be featuring five Christmas Song lyrics each day until Christmas. I was in choir at church for so many years that I know most every song by heart. Sometimes, though, we might need help remembering the words (maybe not for the first verse, but for the third and fourth verses that we don't always get to hear.) Hopefully these will come in handy and put you in the spirit to do some caroling.

***Joy to the World***

Joy to the world! the Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
while fields and floods,
rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessing flow
far as the curse is found,
far as the curse is found,
far as, far as the curse is found.

***Hark! The Herald Angels Sing***

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King!

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with man to dwell;
Jesus, our Emmanuel!

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Risen with healing in his wings,
Light and life to all he brings,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lay His glory by
Born that man no more may die

Come Desire of Nations come,
Fix in us thy humble home.
Rise, the woman's conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.
Adam's likeness now efface
Stamp thine image in its place.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
and makes the nations prove
the glories of His righteousness,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders of His love,
and wonders, wonders of His love.

***Away in a Manger***

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

***Do You Hear What I Hear?***

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
"Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite."

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
"Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the the sea,
With a voice as big as the the sea."

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
"Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold--
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold."

Said the king to the people everywhere,
"Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
Listen to what I say!
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light,
He will bring us goodness and light."

***God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen***

God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!

From God our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tiding of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name.

"Fear not, then," said the angel,
"Let nothing you affright;
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in him
From Satan's power and might."

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
this holy tide of Christmas
Doth bring redeeming grace.

Helpful Holiday Hints

A lot of people stress over preparing the perfect turkey. I have some suggestions to hopefully ease that stress and help you prepare a beautiful, delicious turkey that your guests will love.

1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead-it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.

2. For a juicy, well seasoned turkey, cook the turkey in a roasting bag and if you are not using a stuffing in the turkey, rub the cavity with butter and place fresh sage, rosemary and thyme into the butter so that it surrounds the cavity. Placing the herbs into the butter holds them in place when it first starts to roast, ensuring a well seasoned turkey (you can also sprinkle garlic and onion powder in the cavity as well.)

3. Cooking times will differ depending on whether your bird was purchased fresh or frozen. Plan on 20 minutes per pound in a 325 degree F oven for a defrosted turkey and 10 to 15 minutes per pound for fresh. If you are unsure of the timing, purchase the pop-up turkey timers at the grocery store and they will pop-up when the turkey has reached the appropriate internal temperature.

4. Before roasting, coat the outside of the turkey with vegetable oil, season with salt, pepper and onion powder and tightly cover the breast with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. My grandparents used to completely cover the turkey with aluminum foil, thus steaming the turkey as it baked, removing the foil for the last 45 minutes for perfect browning. Be sure to baste with the turkey juices.

5. Remove the turkey from the oven when the deepest spot between the leg and the breast reads 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, then it is done. Check the internal temperature of the stuffing as well; it should be at least 165 degrees.

6. Tent the bird with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes before carving. This helps to ensure that the turkey slices hold together better.

7. Remember to carve your turkey with a very sharp or electric knife. Your carved turkey will be much more appealing.

For a really good giblet gravy, take the gizzards, liver and neck and boil in 6 cups water seasoned with fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion powder, 2 knorr chicken bouillon cubes and black pepper. Make sure to add 1 stick of butter to the pan and cook for 2 - 3 hours or until the meat begins to flake easily off the neck with a fork. To thicken, take 2 T. cornstarch and mix with enough water to form a milky looking liquid and add to the mixture after the neck bone has been removed. Make sure to stir as you are adding in the cornstarch and water to prevent lumping.

RECIPE of the Day - 12/22/2006

These are delicious little cherry filled pastries that are a perfect accompaniment to holiday dinners. The way I usually prepare these to bake is to brush with the egg wash, but leave the sugar off. When they are still warm from the oven, finish them off with a fairly thick glaze. The presentation is much nicer with a nice, white glaze to contrast with the red cherries.

Cherry Rugelach

1 C. butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 C. granulated sugar

1 (10 oz.) package frozen (IQF) sweet cherries
2 tablespoons tart cherry juice concentrate
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
Egg Wash (1 egg whisked with 2 T. cold milk or water)
Crystallized sugar

For pastry, beat together butter and cream cheese. Add flour and sugar; beat on low speed until crumbly, then knead until dough forms. Divide dough into thirds; chill 30 minutes.

For filling, place frozen sweet cherries in a food processor; coarsely chop.

In medium saucepan, combine chopped cherries, tart cherry juice concentrate, sugar, cornstarch and water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts. Chill 30 minutes.

Roll one-third of dough on lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle. Spread dough with one-third of cooled filling (approximately 1/3 cup). Cut circle into 8 wedge shape pieces. Roll up dough, beginning at wide end of each wedge.

Place cookies, tip side down, about 2 inches apart, on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Brush each cookie lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a 350 degree F conventional oven 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/22/06

A book for children called Time to Sleep featuring a character called P. J. Bear. This book is brought to you by the National Sleep Foundation. For a bedtime book for your child(ren), click here!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/21/2006

This recipe was submitted by Gina Laurentis. I love the bacon, onion and choice of cheeses in this recipe. I do suggest using cream though, it really makes a big difference.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

4 strips bacon
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
6 oz. elbow macaroi, uncooked
8 oz. mozzarella cheese shredded (2 cups)
2 to 4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 to 1 cup)
1 C. half & half or cream
1/8 t. ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, turning once. Drain bacon on paper
towels; crumble. Reserve bacon drippings in the skillet.

Cook onion in reserved bacon drippings for 5 to 8 minutes or until onion is tender and golden brown. Set aside.

Cook elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain and place in an ungreased 1 1/2 qt. casserole. Add the crumbled bacon,
onion, 1 1/2 C. of the mozzarella cheese, the blue cheese, half & half or cream and black pepper. Toss gently to combine.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir gently. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake about 10 minutes more or until the
top of casserole is brown and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serves 6.
331 Calories

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/21/06

Arm & Hammer Advanced White Brilliant Sparkle Toothpaste. They not only send you a sample, but they also give you a 2.00 coupon to print. You really can't beat that. We have tried the toothpaste and it is great. For your free sample and coupon, click here!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Don't Invite Bacteria to Christmas Dinner

Sometimes it may seem your stomach aches a little more over the holidays than it does during the rest of the year. You may ask yourself: "Is it the flu?" or "Did I eat too much?" But, do you ever stop to wonder, "Could it be a food-borne illness?"

Here are some special tips for handling meat, poultry and fish:

As a general rule-of-thumb, purchase fresh raw meat, poultry or fish no more than 1 to 2 days before your holiday meal. Freeze for longer storage. These foods taste freshest if cooked the day of your meal.

If you have frozen your meat, poultry or fish, plan time for safe thawing in your refrigerator. Allow approximately 24 hours for each 5 pounds of weight.

Prevent cross-contamination. Thaw or store a package of raw meat, poultry or fish on a plate on a lower shelf of your refrigerator to prevent its juices from dripping on other foods.

If you prepare meat, poultry or fish the day before your meal, divide it into small portions. Then refrigerate in loosely covered shallow containers within 2 hours of cooking -- limit depth of meat, etc. to about 2 inches. Cover tightly when cooled. On the day of your meal, reheat thoroughly to a temperature of 165° F until hot and steaming. For best safety and quality, reheat foods only once. Then either eat or toss.

How to Carve a Ham

It's always a challenge to carve a ham to not only make a beautiful presentation, but to get as much of the meat off the bone as possible. I hope this helps.

1. Place the ham on a cutting board with a trough to catch the juices. Keep the knife perpendicular to the board and cut across in 1/8-to 1/4-inch slices. You won't hit the bone for the first few slices. As these slices fall off, transfer them to a platter.
2. Once the knife starts hitting the bone, continue slicing across the meat above the bone until the entire ham has been cut into parallel slices.
3. Make a long horizontal slice along the top of the bone to separate the meat. Transfer the slices to the platter.
4. Turn the roast over. Cut off the meat remaining underneath the bone in whole pieces by making parallel slices on both sides of the bone. Place the pieces on the cutting board and thinly slice. Transfer to the platter.

RECIPE of the Day - 12/20/2006

This fudge is very rich and is a great alternative to chocolate fudge. If you don't want to use macadamia nuts, you can use pecans, cashews or almonds. All of these work very well to make a delicious candy. For the Chocolate-Dipped Nuts, you can substitute other varieties for the macadamia nuts as in the fudge and they are just as delicious.

Honey-Macadamia Nut Fudge

1 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. half & half or cream
1/3 C. milk
2 T. honey
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 recipe Chocolate-Dipped Nuts (recipe follows)

Line an 8x8x2 pan with foil, extending foil over edges of the pan.

Butter the foil; set aside. Butter the sides of a heavy 2 qt. saucepan. In the saucepan, combine the sugar, brown sugar, half & half, milk and honey. Cook over med. high heat to boiling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to dissolve sugars. This should take about 8 min. Carefully clip a candy thermometer to side of pan.

Cook over med. low heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer reaches 236 degrees, soft-ball stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate over the entire surface. Reaching soft-ball stage should take at least 15 to 20 min. Remove
saucepan from heat. Add the 2 T. butter and the vanilla, but do not stir. Cool, without stirring, to lukewarm (110 degrees). This should take 45 to 50 min.

Remove candy thermometer from saucepan. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until fudge begins to thicken. Add coarsely chopped nuts. Continue beating until mixture is very thick and just starts to lose its gloss. This should take about 10 min.

Quickly turn fudge into the prepared pan. While fudge is warm, score it into 1 1/4" squares. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of the pan; cut it into squares. Tightly cover the fudge and store in a cool, dry place. To serve, top the fudge pieces with Chocolate-Dipped Nuts. Makes 36 pieces.

Chocolate-Dipped Nuts

In small saucepan, melt 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips and 1 t. shortening over low heat. Add 36 whole macadamia nuts.
Stir to coat. Remove each with a fork, allowing excess chocolate to drip off. Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper.

Allow to stand until set. Makes 36.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/20/06

Zostrix topical analgesic cream for arthritis pain. From what I hear, this is a really good product for arthritis pain and just for joint pain in general. For your sample, click here!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Potpourri Christmas Tree Ornaments

If you love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree, but like the convenience of an artificial tree, here is a solution for you. You can make ornaments to hang on the tree filled with Pine Scented potpourri or homemade potpourri sprinkled with Pine Essential oil to give your artificial tree a more welcoming and homely appeal for your family and guests.

Materials Required:

Clear Glass ball ornaments with removable tops

Potpourri of your choice - A blend containing red, white and green in line with the traditional colors of Christmas are a popular choice.

Small lengths of edging lace

Floral wire - thin

Ribbon for bow and hanging - Satin or velvet.

Hot Glue Gun or quick set glue

Small artificial or dried Flowers - one for each ornament.


1. Remove the metal top and hook from the ornaments.

2. Fill each ball about one third full with potpourri.

Note: Add more Pine Essential oil to the mixture if you feel the scent of your store bought potpourri is not strong enough

3. Attach hook back to top with a drop of glue - using glue gun or quick set glue

4. Thread a piece of thin floral wire through each piece of lace gathering the lace onto the wire as you thread it.

5. Attach lace with a drop of glue to the top of the glass ornaments.

6. Make a small ribbon bow and ribbon hanger and attach to the top of each ornament with glue.

7. Glue a small artificial or dried flower to cover the center where the bow and hanger join.

Your potpourri Christmas ornaments are now ready for hanging on the tree.

RECIPE of the Day - 12/19/2006

You don't have to use the white, purple and red potatoes. The red potatoes add just the right touch when used by themselves, however, the three colors make for a beautiful presentation. Also, if you find the tenderloin too pricy (after all, I think most of us are on some kind of budget) you can always use eye of round or a really good rump roast.

Roasted Tenderloin with Tri-color Potatoes

3 T. bottled minced garlic
4 t. dried marjoram, crushed
1 T. finely shredded lemon peel
2 t. cracked black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 2- to 3-pound center-cut beef tenderloin
3 T. olive oil
1-1/2 pounds tiny white, purple, and/or red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
1/2 t. salt
Fresh marjoram sprigs (optional)
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl stir together garlic, marjoram, lemon peel, cracked black pepper, and the first 1/2 teaspoon salt. Brush tenderloin with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sprinkle half the garlic-pepper mixture evenly over roast, patting to coat. Place meat on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the meat. Roast tenderloin for 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare (140 degrees F) or 45 to 50 minutes for medium (155 degrees F).

2. Meanwhile, toss potatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining garlic-pepper mixture, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add potato mixture to roasting pan during the last 30 minutes of roasting.

3. Remove tenderloin and potatoes to serving platter. Cover loosely with foil. Let stand 15 minutes (the meat's temperature will rise 5 degrees during standing). With a sharp knife carve into 1/2-inch slices. Garnish with marjoram and rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges, if desired. Makes 8 servings.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/19/06

State of the States book. This gives you information on all the different states and also gives you maps, etc. To get your state reference book, click here!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Tree Facts

* Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the sixteenth century.
* In 1841, England's Prince Albert decorating the first English Christmas tree at Windsor castle with candles and a variety of sweets, fruits and gingerbread.
* Charles Dickens described an 1850 Christmas Tree as being covered with dolls, miniature furniture, tiny musical instruments, costume jewelry, toy guns and swords, fruit and candy.
* The first record of a Christmas Tree being on display in America was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania.
* By the 1890s, Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S. It was noted that Europeans used small trees about four feet in height, while Americans liked their Christmas to reach
from floor to ceiling.
* The early twentieth century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments. Popcorn was used after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts.
* Electricity brought about Christmas lights making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country.
* In Poland, Christmas trees tops were always angels, peacocks and other birds as well as many, many stars.
* In Sweden, trees are decorated with brightly painted wooden ornaments and straw figures of animals and children.
* In Denmark, tiny Danish flags along with mobiles of bells, stars, snowflakes and hearts are hung on Christmas trees.
* Lithuanians cover their trees with straw birdcages, stars and geometric shapes. The straw sends a wish for good crops in the coming year.
* Czechoslovakian trees display ornaments made from painted eggshells.
* A Ukrainian Christmas tree has a spider and web for good luck. Legend has it that once a poor woman with nothing to put on her children's tree woke on Christmas and a spider had spun a web covering her tree that glistened silver in the sunlight.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/18/06

Flower Cow Calendar. It sounds a bit odd until you see their calendar. It features cows with flowers on their heads. It's really very cute in a whimsical way. My daughter really loves cows, so she had a fit over the picture on the website. You have to scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click on the flower to bring up the order form. For a really cute calendar, click here!

RECIPE of the Day - 12/18/2006

This is a great recipe for entertaining. Truffles make an elegant presentation and the taste is superb. You can double this recipe with the same great results.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles

1/3 C. whipping cream
8 oz. finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
6 T. unsalted butter
1/4 C. seedless raspberry jelly
Sweetened cocoa or ground almonds

In large saucepan, heat cream to a simmer and turn off heat. Add chocolate and butter to hot cream and allow to melt. Whisk until smooth. Add jelly and mix until blended. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until firm.

Roll chocolate mixture into balls of any size you prefer. Roll each in cocoa or nuts. Transfer to paper candy cups and chill. May be stored in an airtight tin in refrigerator for 2 weeks or frozen up to 1 month.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Tree Helpful Hints

Use these tips to keep your Tree safe, alive with a fresh pine scent and providing beauty throughout the holiday season:

Select the freshest-looking Real Tree available. To test for freshness, gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand. Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal.

If not setting up right away, store the tree in water if possible and out of the sun and wind.

Make a fresh cut off the bottom of the trunk one half inch from the bottom just before putting in the stand. Keep the tree’s stand full of water at all times, checking the water level daily.

The stand you use should hold at least one quart of water for every inch diameter of the trunk after the tree is in the stand.

Don’t add anything to the tree’s water. Research has shown that plain tap water is by far the best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss.

Place the Christmas Tree well away from heat registers, space heaters, fire places, wood stoves, televisions, computer monitors and other heat sources. These will speed up evaporation and moisture loss of the tree.

Free Food Donation

Campbell's Click for Cans free donation for those who do not have enough to eat. Just click on vote, choose your favorite football team and they will donate cans of soup in the name of your favorite team. You can go to this website and donate free food every day. To help feed those who are hungry, for free, click here!

RECIPE of the Day - 12/17/2006

These cookies will melt in your mouth and they have the most wonderful, subtle lemon flavor. The icing and sprinkles make a beautiful, festive cookie.

Italian Christmas Balls

3 C. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
½ t. salt
3 eggs
½ C. sugar
½ C. cooking oil
1 t. lemon extract
Vanilla icing (see recipe below)
Multi-colored sprinkles

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs, sugar, oil, and lemon extract.
With the mixer, beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can. With a wooden spoon stir in the remaining flour mixture. (If necessary,
use your hands to mix in the remaining flour.)

With your hands form 1 - 1 ½ inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350° oven about 15 minutes or until
golden. Cool on wire racks. Spread or drizzle vanilla icing on cookies. Shake a few sprinkles on each cookie. Makes about 60 cookies.

Vanilla Icing:

1 cup sifted powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 2 tbsp. milk

In a medium mixing bowl combine sifted powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk (enough to make desired consistency).

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/17/06

Robert Rothchild Farms gourmet food sample. This offer is back again. I received a sample of their ginger wasabe sauce and it was simply superb. When my husband likes a product, I know that it is exceptional. For your gourmet sample, click here!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Merry Christmas in any Language

African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian: Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Norwegian: God Jul or Gledelig Jul
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Philipines: Maligayan Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese: Feliz Natal
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Slovakian: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Vietnamese: Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Yugoslavian: Cestitamo Bozic

RECIPE of the Day - 12/16/2006

I'm one of those people who love to make bread from scratch. I love the whole process of making bread and the best part is the wonderful aroma as it's baking.

Rustic Country Sourdough Bread recipe

2 pkg.dry yeast
1 1/4 C. warm water
1 C. sourdough starter (at room temperature)
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1 T.. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 C. vegetable oil
5 1/2 to 6 C. unbleached flour, divided
Vegetable oil
Melted butter

Dissolve yeast in water in a large nonreactive bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Stir in sourdough starter, sugar, salt, eggs, oil and 3 cups flour. Gradually add remaining flour. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 to 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F ), free from drafts, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; divide in half and place on a floured surface. Roll each half into an 18 x 9-inch rectangle. Beginning at narrow edge, tightly roll up dough. Pinch seam and ends together to seal. Place loaves, seam side down, in greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Brush top with oil. Cover loaves; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans; brush with melted butter.

Yields 2 loaves.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/16/06

Free gold shamrock charm from Juhlin Glass Studio for signing up to receive their catalogue. They have some beautiful items to offer. For your free charm, click here!

Friday, December 15, 2006

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/15/06

5x7 brushed silver magnetic backed picture frame from the American Association of Orthodontists. They will send you a confirmation e-mail that you need to respond to. To get this beautiful picture frame, click here!

RECIPE of the Day - 12/15/2006

This is the old-fashioned way to make a Pineapple Upside-Down cake. A cast iron skillet gives the very best results. This is one of my husband's favorite cakes and I hope that you will enjoy it as well.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1/4 C. butter
2/3 C. firmly packed light brown sugar
20 oz. canned pineapple slices
9 maraschino cherries
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

In 9-inch cast-iron skillet, melt butter. Spread brown sugar evenly over bottom of skillet. Drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 cup juice; set juice aside. Arrange pineapple slices in single layer over brown sugar mixture and place cherry in center of each pineapple ring; set skillet aside. Heat oven to 325° F.

In bowl of electric mixer, beat egg yolks at medium speed until thick and lemon-colored; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well.

In small saucepan over low heat, heat reserved pineapple juice until warm. Gradually add juice to yolk mixture, beating until well blended. Combine all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder; add dry ingredients to yolk mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. Spoon batter evenly over pineapple slices.

Bake 45-50 minutes. Cool cake in skillet 30 minutes; invert cake onto serving plate.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Special Day

My mother works with a nice lady named Debra, who had a birthday yesterday. I'm sorry that I'm a day late, but I wanted to wish you a Happy "Belated" Birthday. Best wishes to you.


The Origin of Santa Claus


The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas' popularity throughout Europe. His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop's mitre. In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.

After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.

RECIPE of the Day - 12/14/2006

Two of my favorite foods, crab and chicken. This is a really great dish and if you want a little extra richness, you can substitute cream for the milk.

Crab Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 T. butter, divided
1/4 C. flour
1 C. chicken broth
3/4 C. milk
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 (6 oz.) can crab meat or 6 oz. imitation crab meat
1 can mushroom stems
1/3 C. crushed saltines (10)
2 T. parsley
1/2 t. salt pepper
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 t. paprika

Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound to a 1/4-inch thickness.

In saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in chicken broth and milk and bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a skillet, saute onion in remaining 1 tablespoon butter until tender. Add crab meat, mushrooms, crushed saltines, parsley, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of the white sauce; heat until warm.

Place 1/2 cup or less of mixture on each chicken breast. Roll up and secure with wooden picks. Place in greased baking dish with secured side down. Top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until chicken runs clear.

Sprinkle cheese and paprika on top. Bake uncovered 8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/14/06

Pen from Levitra. You just answer a few questions and they send you a free pen. Who doesn't need a few extra pens, anyway? To take advantage of this offer, click here!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Symbolism of Holly

Christmas evergreens represent endurance while the berries represent resurrection of life. Since the 15th century, holly and ivy were essential part of Christmas decorations for church.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/13/06

Soft & Dry Clear Glide Anti-Perspirant. Soft & Dry has always been a good brand and this is supposed to be a really good product. To get your free anti-perspirant from Wal-Mart, click here!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/13/2006

These cookies are great. Just like your grandmother used to make, chewy and delicious. They are especially good if you put a light frosting on them. Mmmmmmm.

Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

1/8 t. Salt
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Shortening
2 Eggs
1 C. Molasses
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Nutmeg; ground
1/2 t. Cloves; ground
2 t. Baking soda
1 C. Water boiling
1 t. Baking powder
5 C. Flour

Sift the flour, spices and baking powder. Cream the shortening with the sugar, then add the eggs and beat well. Add the water and enough flour to make a soft dough.

Drop by teaspoonful on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

RECIPE of the Day - 12/12/2006

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
8 slices ham
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. white wine
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried parsley
1 t. salt
1 t. ground black pepper
1 (6 ounce) package herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Lay a ham slice, then a cheese slice on top of each breast.

In a medium bowl combine the soup, sour cream, wine, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well and pour mixture over chicken/ham/cheese pieces. Top all with the dry stuffing mix to cover.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Serves 8

The Meaning of the Candy Cane

This is something that I wanted to share with everyone. It shows us the true reason the candy cane was first made. I hope this speaks to you as much as it did to me. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season! So here is the fascinating story behind the candy cane.....

The birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ are
signified through the elements of the candy cane ~

our Good Shepherd (staff shape) ~ 1 Pt. 5:4
our Rock (hard candy) ~ 1 Cor. 10:4
our Sinless Savior (white) ~ 2 Cor. 5:21
our Sacrifical Lamb (red) ~ Eph. 1:7

The STRIPES symbolize pain inflicted upon
Jesus before his death on the cross and a bold
stripe to represent the blood he shed for
mankind. The three stripes can also represent
the power and presence of the Trinity
(the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

The smell and taste of PEPPERMINT relate
to the herb hyssop. Psalm 51:7 states,
"Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean,
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

The candy cane is meant to be shared --
broken into pieces for all to share. That
reminds us of Jesus' words, "This is my body
which is broken for you" (1 Cor. 11:24).
What a sweet way to share the Gospel !

And you just thought it was good candy :-)

Some of the legends may vary,
but the truth of the symbols remain.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/12/06

Mailing labels from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They give you the choice of roses or patriotic labels. To order yours, click here!

Monday, December 11, 2006

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/11/06

Move Free Advanced glucosamine chondroitin supplement for joint pain. This really does help with those achy joints. To get your free sample, click here!


I just wanted to give a special word of thanks to my Mother. She works very hard and still comes over to see us after work or on weekends. If you need help with anything (no matter what time of night or day) she is there. There was a time when I had a really nasty virus, that she left work to come over and watch our daughter, so that I could rest. She is always telling people how wonderful her son-in-law is (of course he is the best husband and father you could find) and how she loves him like a son.

She would give you her last dollar if you needed it and look for change to go with it. I know I don't always tell her how much I appreciate her, but I do appreciate all that she does and I just wanted to say......


Sunday, December 10, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/11/2006

This is a very good chicken dish that gives you something a little different for the holiday season. The bacon, mushrooms and red wine vinegar add so much flavor and the chicken is very tender. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Chicken Scaparella

1 large chicken breast, split, cleaned
2 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
2 T. olive oil
1/2 C. quartered button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. chicken stock
2 T. red wine vinegar
8 small, white onions, peeled
4 small red bliss potatoes (new potatoes), halved
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 T. flour + 2 T. chicken stock for thickening
Chopped parsley for garnish

Set a small pot of water on to boil. Boil red bliss potatoes for 10 minutes, or until they are beginning to get soft.

Heat a sauté pan with the olive oil over med-high heat. Once heated, place the chicken in the pan and brown well on all sides. Add the onions, potatoes, salt, pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Add the vinegar and chicken stock (except the 2 T.) Reduce by half, or until the onions and other vegetables become tender.

Dissolve the flour into the 2 tablespoons of chicken stock. Stir this into the sauce to thicken until smooth. Set on a large plate and garnish with the freshly chopped parsley.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/10/06

Nautica Voyage Fragrance for Men. My husband hasn't tried this cologne yet, but I ordered it for him. You never know, it may smell really good. To order your free sample, click here!

RECIPE of the Day - 12/10/2006

This is a great alternative to baking an apple pie. The bars taste the same, but they are much more convenient (no plate and fork needed) and you have more servings than a regular pie. Plus (and this is a big plus in my book), you have a sweet glaze over the top.

Glazed Apple Pie Bars

1 egg, separated, reserving egg white
1/2 C. milk
2 1/2 C. flour
1 t. salt
1 C. butter

1 C. crushed corn flakes
8 C. granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 C. sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 reserved egg white
2 t. sugar

1 C. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T. milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg yolk in small bowl. Add 1/2 C. milk; mix well.

Combine flour and salt in medium bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in egg yolk mixture with fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half.

Roll out half of dough on lightly floured surface into 15x10-inch rectangle; place onto bottom of ungreased 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with corn flakes; top with apples.

Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl. Sprinkle over apples. Roll remaining half of dough into 15 1/2x10 1/2-inch rectangle; place over apples.

Beat egg white with fork until foamy; brush over top crust. Combine remaining cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar in small bowl; sprinkle over crust. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until lightly browned.

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Drizzle over warm bars.

Recipe Tip
If pastry dough does not form a ball easily, add up to 1 tablespoon additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.

Recipe Tip
To easily transfer pastry to jelly-roll pan, fold pastry in half; fold in half again. Place folded corner at center of pan. Unfold pastry carefully.

Recipe Tip
Top pastry should be rolled on lightly floured surface slightly larger than bottom pastry to allow pastry to cover filling easily

Saturday, December 09, 2006


In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?"

"Fifty cents," replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it. "How much is a dish of plain ice cream?" he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.

"Thirty-five cents," she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed. When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies - her tip.

Anonymously contributed

RECIPE of the Day - 12/09/06

As promised, here is a great fudge recipe. You can make fudge with sweetened condensed milk and marshmallows, etc., but the only true way to make fudge in my book is to cook it. It is definitely worth the extra trouble.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

1 1/2 c Milk
4 oz. Unsweetened chocolate (sqs)
4 C. Sugar
3 T. Light corn syrup
1/4 t. Salt
3 T. Butter
1 1/2 t. Vanilla

Combine milk and chocolate in medium-size heavy saucepan; cook over low heat until chocolate is melted. Add sugar, corn syrup and salt and cook, stirring constantly, to boiling.

Cook, without stirring to 234 degrees on a candy thermometer. (A teaspoonful of syrup will form a soft ball when dropped into cold water.) Remove from heat at once. Add vanilla and butter or margarine, but do not stir in.

Cool mixture in pan to 110 degrees, or until lukewarm; beat with wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss. (This will take about 15 minutes.)
Spread in a buttered 8x8x2 pan. Let stand until set and cool; cut into squares.

Makes about 2 pounds.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/09/06

Mother Earth News Conscientious Coffee. Their coffee is organic, shade grown and has a terrific flavor. I just received mine today. They will send you the coffee sample and a 30% off coupon as well. For some really great coffee, click here!

Friday, December 08, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/08/2006

Divinity always reminds me of Christmas. Divinity and Fudge are the candies of Christmas. They may be a little time consuming, but the end result is always delicious. Tomorrow, I will feature a really great fudge recipe, so please check back.


21/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. light corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 t. vanilla

In 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup water.
Cook to hard ball stage (260 degrees F) stirring only until sugar dissolves.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gradually pour syrup over egg whites, beating at high speed on electric mixer. Add vanilla and beat until candy holds its shape, 4 to 5 minutes. Quickly drop from a teaspoon onto waxed paper.

Makes about 40 pieces.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/08/06

Gooseberry Patch Family Favorites cookbook. I always love to try different recipes. If you would like to get free recipes, click here!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/07/2006

This is a great alternative to the traditional "chex mix". It has some of the same components, but is really delicious with the dried cranberries, coconut and nuts. This is a definite must for the appetizer table when entertaining.

Festive Christmas Mix

2 C. wheat cereal squares
2 C. rice cereal squares
2 C. corn cereal squares
2 C. oat cereal squares
2 C. flaked coconut
1 C. slivered almonds
1 C. pecan pieces
1 C. sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 C. butter
1 C. honey

Line 2 15x10x1 pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper; spray well with cooking spray. Layer half of the cereal, coconut, nuts and cranberries in each pan. Gently mix with hands or wooden spoon.

In a 2-cup glass measure, microwave butter on high for 1 minute, or until melted. Measure honey in same glass measure; whisk to combine. Drizzle half of the butter mixture over each pan of cereal mixture; gently stir with spoon to coat mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until coconut turns light golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool pans on wire racks.

Makes about 14 cups.

194 calories per 1/2 cup serving.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/07/06

Zhong Guo Cha tea sample. You have 12 teas to choose from; green teas,oolong teas, black teas & some other varieties. For your free sample, click here!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/06/2006

Macaroons are one of my husband's favorite cookies. You can hardly ever find a recipe for the ones that are really chewy and moist. These cookies are really great and they definitely pass the test with my husband. I'm sure you will love them too.

Chocolate and Almond Macaroons

3/4 C. sweetened condensed milk
1 (14 oz.) pkg. sweetened coconut
1/4 t. almond extract
1/8 t. salt
24 whole unblanched almonds
1/2 C. dark chocolate morsels

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Drop dough by lightly greased tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press an almond into top of each cookie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Microwave 1/2 C. chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at high 1 minute and 15 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervels. Transfer to a 1 qt. zip-top plastic freezer bag; cut a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe melted chocolate over cooled cookies by gently squeezing bag.

Submitted by Fran DeAngelo

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/06/06

This calendar has some really cool pictures in it. I love calendars with animals, scenic prints, impressionist paintings, etc. For a really cool calendar, click here!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/05/2006

This is a great alternative to turkey or even the traditional Christmas ham. It still gives you the cranberry glaze, with a little bit of a twist.

Orange-Cranberry Glazed Pork Tenderloin

1 (16 oz.) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 t. grated orange rind
2/3 C. fresh orange juice
2 t. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground cloves
1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
1 1/2 T. olive oil

Bring first 9 ingredients to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Remove half of mixture and set aside.

Brown pork in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place pork in a lightly greased, shallow roasting pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155 degrees, basting occasionally with half of cranberry mixture. Remove from oven; cover pork with aluminum foil and let stand 5 minutes or until thermometer registers 160 degrees.

Slice pork and serve with reserved cranberry mixture. Garnish with orange slices, cut in half and sprigs of fresh thyme.

***Always cook pork to at least 160 degrees.***

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/05/06

Lindt Excellence Chocolate. You get your choice of milk chocolate, dark chocolate (70% or 85% cocoa) or dark chocolate with orange. Lindt is a well-known name in chocolates and this is a great opportunity to get some for free, just click here!

Monday, December 04, 2006

RECIPE of the Day - 12/04/2006

This is a great recipe for tender, fluffy biscuits. Follow the tips following the recipe and you have a fool-proof biscuit.

Easy Homemade Biscuits

1/3 C. butter, softened and cubed
2 1/4 C. self-rising flour
1 C. buttermilk
3 T. melted butter

Cut softened butter into flour with a pastry blender until butter cubes are coated with flour. Using your hands, gently combine until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in buttermilk with a fork just until blended. (Mixture will be wet.)

Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface, and pat to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough with a well-floured 2 inch round cutter and place on lightly greased baking sheets.

Bake at 450 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter while warm. Serve immediately.

Biscuit Tips:

Soften butter at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Butter that is too cold will overwork the dough and produce a tough biscuit. Butter that is too soft will coat the flour and prevent the pea size pellets from forming, thus producing a flat biscuit. It is important to form the pea size pellets because they are distributed evenly through dough and release steam, which causes the biscuit to puff and make a fluffy, tender biscuit.

When you're cutting out the biscuits, don't ever twist the cutter. Just press straight down and pull straight up. Twisting the cutter will compress and seal the edges of the biscuit, preventing it from rising as it should.

FREEBIE of the Day - 12/04/06

2 week supply of Nature Made vitamins. These are a well-known brand and a 2 week supply is very generous. Also, you can accumulate points for every Nature Made product you buy and get a free product. For your free vitamins, click here!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

RECIPE of the Day

Being December and having Christmas just around the corner, I am posting a recipe every day. This is the season for baking cookies, pies, cakes and candy. I hope you enjoy all of the great recipes this month. I'm starting off with this delicious cake.

White Christmas Cake

1/2 cup water
4 ounces white confectioners coating or vanilla chips
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Remove from the heat; stir in confectionery coating until melted. Cool for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks; mix well. Beat in coating and vanilla.

Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix well. Stir in the coconut and pecans. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into the batter.

Pour into three greased and floured 8-in. square baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

Combine frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat well. Frost tops of two layers; stack on serving plate with plain layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake.