Thursday, November 15, 2012

November Gift Card Give Away

It's time for our monthly give away! I can hear the groans now. Not another short story contest? I can't. I'm writing for NaNoWrMo and am 12,385 words behind! And Thanksgiving is a week away. Haven't you looked at the calendar?

Well, I'm with you! I'm a little behind with NaNo and haven't shopped for groceries either. So this month's $10 Amazon gift card contest will be different. Yes, you can still enter a 500 word or less story using a November prompt if you'd like. We love to read your stories!

However, keeping with the theme of food and recipes, we are giving you the opportunity to comment with a favorite holiday dish. That's right. Copy and paste your favorite recipe right on the comment part of the blog or use the contact page and you are automatically entered in this month's contest.

Make sure you've entered by midnight on November 25th and we'll announce the winner on December 1st. A story or a recipe. It's your choice!


  1. Easy Cream-Cheesy Pie...

    Easy-to-make desserts always get my vote, and these are super yummy and have lots of variations.

    Graham Cracker Pie Crust
    1 large box of flavored gelatin
    1 8oz tub of whipped topping
    1 and 1/2 block of cream cheese (can use fat free version as well)

    Soften the cream cheese to make things easier to mix. Mix in the whipped topping (I like Cool Whip Extra Creamy, but it also works well with some of the diet versions of topping). Add about half of the flavored gelatin powder (more if you want a stronger flavor, less if you want more of the cream cheese flavor to come through) and mix until the gelatin is dissolved into the cream cheese & topping mix.

    Note: If you really don't want any granules of sugar, you can dissolve the gelatin in a glass cup in the microwave with a little water. It makes kind of a thick syrup.

    Note2: Use your favorite flavor for the gelatin. I have found lemon and cherry to make the best-tasting cheese pies. I have also had good results making this with sugar-free gelatin, but I've been avoiding the aspartame products lately, so I'll probably stick to the sweet until they come out with a stevia-flavored one.

    Pour all ingredients into the pie crust and chill until ready to serve.

    Optional: sprinkle some of the remaining gelatin powder over the top for a sort of sparkly look. You can even use stencils to make a greeting on top if you like.


  2. Mini-Pumpkin Bread

    What you need...
    2 small loaf ramekins/pans
    1/4 cup oil
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/8 tsp ginger
    1/8 tsp cloves
    3 tbsp water
    1/2 cup pumpkin

    Turn the oven to 350°.
    Put the sugar and oil in a mixer and mix until combined. Then add egg and mix again.

    Mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (or use 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice) in a separate bowl.

    Alternate between adding part of the flour mixture and part of the water until all ingredients are combined (if mixture is not moist enough add an extra tbsp of water). Once all ingredients are mixed add in pumpkin and combine.

    Divide into two mini loaf pans and bake between 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick (or thin knife) comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

    **You can add in chocolate chips to the badder or to the loaf pan individually to make one with and one without chocolate. But lets be honest - chocolate makes everything better!

    You can find the full recipe on my blog here:

  3. Thanks Crystal and Emilie! Great sounding recipes! And the pumpkin is dairy-free, so I could eat it :)

    I'll enter you in our drawing...

  4. Christmas Peppermint Patties

    3 ¾ cups powdered sugar
    3 T butter (not oleo) softened
    2 or 3 t. peppermint extract
    ½ t vanilla
    ¼ c. evaporated milk
    2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
    2 T. shortening

    Combine first four ingredients, add milk and mix well. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill for about 20 minutes. Flatten with a glass to 1/4 –inch thick; chill for 30 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and shortening. Dip patties; place on waxed paper to harden. Yield: About 5 dozen

  5. One of my favorites is the classic Green Bean Casserole: 4 cans of green beans (drained), 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup mixed with one can of milk. Stir together, salt and pepper to taste. Bake in 350 oven until bubbling. Top with French's onions and bake for another five minutes or until golden brown. Yummy!

  6. Where do I begin? LOL We always smoke a ham for the holidays, and it is so yummy! I'll use that.

    Ingredients: 10 lb. ham, 1 bag of hickory wood chips, brown sugar glaze

    Soak wood chips in water until well saturated. Start charcoal in the smoker or grill, then add wet wood chips. Place ham (or turkey) in a tin pan inside the grill or smoker. Smoke at a low temp (under 300 degrees) for 45 minutes for every pound of meat. When the meat is done, cover with the brown sugar glaze. Carve and enjoy!

  7. Thanks Lollipops, Cara, and Katie! Sounds like yummy recipes and you are entered in the drawing! Watch Dec. 1st for winner!

  8. Okay, so I have no clue how ya'll will decide whose recipe is best, but here's my contribution:(my son requests this instead of cake for his birthday which is tomorrow, so I think it counts)

    Peanut Butter Pie

    Pie crust:
    1 cup flour
    dash of salt
    1/4 cup oil
    1/8 cup water

    Mix in bowl. Roll out between two pieces of wax paper. Turn out over pan and fix edges. Bake at 475 for 8 to 10 minutes.

    OR you can do what I do and buy frozen (deep dish are best) pie crusts at the grocery store. :)

    3/4 cup confectioners sugar
    1/2 cup peanut butter (either creamy or crunchy)
    2 cups milk
    vanilla instant pudding
    Cool Whip

    Mix until peanut butter and confectioner's sugar until lightly colored and it looks like sand and small pebbles. Sprinkle all but 2 Tbsp. in the bottom of the baked pie shell.

    Mix pudding and milk and let begin to thicken. Pour over crumbs in shell. Top with Cool Whip then sprinkle with remaining peanut butter crumbs.


    Makes 1 pie. Easily multiplied.

  9. Thanks Ginger! Sounds are entered!