Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Versatile Cheese Ball Recipe

Here's another yummy recipe you might want to try for your next party or family get together.  It is easily adapted to suit your taste.   Be creative and add your own twist to either recipe,  have fun and ENJOY!

Pineapple Pecan Cheese Ball
2 ~ 8oz blocks of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 ~ 8oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (a combination of red and green is nice for Christmas)
2 Tablespoons minced onion
1  cup chopped pecans (1/2 cup mixed into the cream cheese, 1/2 cup for the outside of the cheese ball)

Mix together the above ingredients and shape into a ball or log.  Roll in the chopped pecans, cover and refrigerate until chilled thoroughly.  Serve with assorted crackers, toast points, celery sticks or pita chips.
Dessert Cheese Ball

2 ~ 8oz blocks of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 ~ 8oz can crushed pineapple (drained)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tablespoons Kraft Marshmallow Cream
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup shredded coconut (save 1/4 cup for the top)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix together the above ingredients and shape into a ball or log.  Roll in the shredded coconut, cover and refrigerate until chilled thoroughly.  Serve with vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, shortbread, graham crackers or graham cracker sticks.

Tomorrow......A Treat for Our 4 Legged Friends

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Recipe For Fun

From mid November to January 1st, there are many occasions to celebrate a host of holidays.  It's a time to get together with family and friends and reflect on memories of  the past, rekindle  and mend relationships and simply enjoy the company of one another. As the old year draws to an end and a new one is about to begin, we begin to reminisce, we become aware of how quickly time goes by and how important it is to make the most of each day and focus on the things that are the most valuable.  So, we plan parties and get~togethers and luncheons and dinners and before you know it we've filled our plates so full that we're exhausted and too tired to enjoy the simple pleasures that we were trying so hard to embrace, we're stuffed with preparation and hustle bustle and have no room left  for dessert or the sweetest part of our celebrations.  We think our homes need to be decorated to the hilt and look like the cover of The Ultimate Southern Living Christmas Book and everything we serve must be made from scratch and served on Lenox, Royal Daulton or Vietri.   Just to set the record straight, I'm not saying your home "Can't" look like the cover of The Ultimate Southern Living Christmas Book or that everything can't be made from scratch and served on fine china.  I love The Ultimate Southern Living Christmas Books and glean a lot of inspiration from them, I have a set of Royal Daulton and much I make for gatherings is from scratch.  Let me also say, I have been guilty of thinking everything has to follow those guidelines or it just isn't good enough.  All of those perceptions are a fallacy, the most important thing is the fellowship enjoyed, them time you spend together, not the decoration, the food we eat or what we eat it on.  If you are gathering together for the right reason, none of those things should matter, if they do, you've missed the reason for gathering together.  So, I'm encouraging you invite someone over even if it's for a bag of lays and a carton of French Onion Dip and celebrate the season together.  I know you and your guests will be glad you did, but in case you have the time and want to make some homemade goodies instead we'll be posting some simple and delicious recipes  we hope you'll try and enjoy. 
Bon App├ętit
Garlic Feta Cheese Spread
4 oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
4 oz Cream Cheese (1/2 of an 8oz block) softened
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 clove of garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme crushed
Fresh thyme or basil ~ optional
Assorted vegetables and crackers

In a food processor bowl or mixing bowl, combine feta, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic and dried herbs.  Cover and process or beat with an electric mixer on medium speed till combined.  Cover and chill until time to serve.  If desired, garnish with fresh thyme or basil.  Serve with assorted vegetables and crackers.  Yields 1 1/2 cups

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Out With The Old.....In With The New....Sort Of

Before & After

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

In this disposable world we live in today, people are getting rid of the old and getting new without thinking twice.  Granted, there are times when it's time for something to go, but more times than not they just need to be tweaked a bit and shown a little TLC.  There was a time, not so very long ago,when people planned and saved before making a new purchase and repaired and restored things and kept them as long as they were useful.  Today, not so much.  We live in a world of MORE, MORE, MORE and instant gratification and don't think twice about discarding a perfectly good item and purchasing new.
  I love going to thrift and antique shops to look for treasures and I always wonder what the people were like who owned  those treasures, the stories behind the items and how many memories were made with them and while I could go out and purchase new, I love giving new life to something old yet still useful.  I love taking something I already have and transforming it and that just what I did this week.  

Old wreath undergoes transformation.
  Year before last I purchased 3 new wreaths for our home in South Carolina to replace the much smaller wreaths I'd had  for many years (approximately 13 years).  Before purchasing the smaller wreaths I'd always had "a" Christmas wreath or some type of decoration on our front door, but that was about the only outdoor decoration that I had.  After moving to North Carolina  and having 6 front windows and a door I thought it would be nice to have a wreath for every window and the door, so off to the craft store I went  to purchase 7 standard pine wreaths and 7 VERY basic red velvet bows.  I fluffed the wreaths, attached the bows, hung them up and Voila! within no time the house looked like a picture from Currier and Ives (minus the snow).  A few years later my daughter and I decided it was time for something with a bit more pizazz , so after scouring a myriad of magazines and the latest Southern Living Christmas book we had our inspiration and were off to the our local discount store for some embellishments to give new life to our demure little wreaths that had served us well, but were in much need of a makeover. We filled the cart with a few spools of the perfect red, green and gold stripped ribbon and several boxes of very basic glass ornaments in a variety of colors and a paddle of floral wire.  After we arrived home with our treasures we spread them all out on the dining room table and got to work.  We removed the old bows, fluffed the wreaths and began attaching hundreds of shiny glass ornaments to them and then topped them off with a dazzling new bow.  Our little wreaths that only a few hours before were looking a bit drab were now spectacular! Now instead of looking like a picture from Currier and Ives our house looked like the cover of House Beautiful ~ December issue!  The little pine wreaths had been given new life and adorned our house for several more years, not only in North Carolina, but for 4 COLD and SNOWY Decembers in Massachusetts before returning to sunny South Carolina.   After spending 4 years in the snow many of the glistening bulbs had lost their luster and some had cracked from the cold so I tweaked them a bit by removing the cracked and lack luster bulbs, added a few new ones and hung them back up for 2 more years.  That's where the 3 new, larger wreaths came into the picture.  The new house in South Carolina had 2 VERY large front windows and one door and the little wreaths looked lost so they were on their way to live with my sister in Tennessee to adorn her house, that is until we got our His and Her's houses (see previous post)  so one of them returned to North Carolina from whence it came and underwent yet another transformation.  As you can see, the little pine wreath was given new life once again and is all gussied up in her newest Christmas attire and ready to deck the door, or in this case the fireplace with grandeur.  Not only do I have a beautiful new wreath (for very little money) I've had a lot of pleasure regenerating them and lots of memories from the Christmases the little wreaths welcomed family and friends to our home.  
  Isn't this what the Lord does with us?  He keeps the old and breaths new life into it to make it a thing of beauty and just like the little wreaths we occasionally need to be tweaked and shown a little TLC.   There are times when we are affected by the elements of the world and start to show some wear and need to be fluffed, enhanced and given a new commission. He finds pleasure in restoring and seeing the beauty of His handiwork.  
  What do you have around your house that could be transformed?   I hope you will look for something that you can give new life to either for yourself or someone in need.  And remember, He is the Reason for the Season, He came to transform the old and make it new and He never tires of renewing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Growing Pains and a New Name

Miss Caroline helps Grandmomma and Mommy make a Christmas wreath.
I can hardly believe it's been nearly a year since my last post when I told myself I would start to post regularly.  I suppose annually could be considered regularly and that's a schedule I might just be able to keep up with.  We've experienced a lot of growing pains since my last post in January.  Five days before my last post, our little Miss C turned 2 and in April her family grew by 1 and she became a BIG sister!  

Meet Master Jacob

In addition to Jacob we added a new grandcat, Sebastian to the family in August, our precious Wicket became a sister when Packer adopted us in October and our youngest son moved home in the spring bringing  with him another of our granddogs, Momma.
Sebastian helping Grandmomma choose linens for a wedding.
Packer and Wicket

Me and our Boston babies.
Momma, one of our 3 granddogs.

Yes, we now have a zoo, maybe I should start charging admission. Then to top it all off, if that wasn't enough growing, we added an additional residence when my husband accepted a position in NC in February.   His and Her's towels are one thing, but His and Her's houses are quite another and since the Lord has continued to bless my business we've decided to expand to NC so hopefully that will be growing in our new location as well.  With so many changes I decided to revamp my blog and rename it, Cre'me dans mon cafe' or, Cream in my Coffee and Other Simple Pleasures in Life and hopefully starting sharing some of the new happenings around here as well as some of the simple pleasures in life that I enjoy, so Cheers and Christmas Greetings!!