Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The World According To Abigail, Age 4

Today's Subject: Santa Claus

Meemaw? Do you know why Santa has such a big round tummy?
No, Abigail, I don't. Why does he?
Because he eats all those cookies and milks and he never goes to the bathroom!
He never goes to the bathroom?
No! How can he fly around the world all night and never go to the bathroom?
I don't know, but he never does and his tummy gets bigger and bigger!

Well, I think he must go once he gets home.
Nope! He doesn't.
He'd have to. Otherwise he'd explode!
(Laughing) Nope, he never goes at all!
No, I think you're kidding me. I think he goes once he gets home, then he can eat more and build his tummy up again for the next Christmas. Otherwise he wouldn't fit into his red suit and the reindeer couldn't pull the sleigh because he'd be too heavy.
I dunno, Meemaw, but I'm not kidding (impish look and giggle).
Abigail, I still think you're kidding me.
(Dives onto my lap, wraps arms around my neck, giggling together)
Abigail, you're a funny kid!
Yeah. I love you, Meemaw.
I love you too my little one.

Moments like this are the best of all!
Thank you for stopping by. Wishing you lots of best moments in your life!
Hugs, Leena

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Festive Food for Fun Feasting - Recipe 6

Here's another festive cocktail from Southern Living sure to make your guests' noses light up as red and bright as Rudolph's!

Rudolph's Tipsy Spritzer


5 Cups Orange Juice
2 Cups Chilled Lemon-Lime Soft Drink
1 and 1/2 Cups Vodka
1/2 Cup Maraschino Cherry Juice
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
Garnishes: Fresh lemon and mint sprigs


Stir together all ingredients in large pitcher - serve over ice. Garnish if desired.

Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment if you try any of the recipes in this series and let me know what you think! Hugs and Happy Holidays! Leena

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Fun Food for Festive Feasting - Recipe 5

Hi! Sorry to have been away for a few days. The keyboard on my lap top died just as I was finishing my last post. Perhaps it over ate all of those yummy appetizers. Let's see how this new one deals with these recipes for celebratory cocktails!

This first libation is fabulous! Combine the zest of peppermint with the cool, smoothness of vanilla and you get a real treat in a glass! Enjoy!


Candy Cane Martini


1 and 1/4 ounces vanilla vodka
1 and 1/4 ounces crème de cacao
3/4 ounce peppermint schnapps
Garnish: crushed peppermint candy, whole candy cane


Combine vanilla vodka, crème de cacao and peppermint schnapps into an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish rim with crushed peppermint candy. Fun addition: hang a candy cane from the top of the glass for dipping while sipping!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fun Food For Festive Feasting - Recipe 4

Posting all of these recipes is sure putting me in a party mood - and making me HUNGRY! Who would have thought that there were so many different types of appetizers? We've featured ones made from puff pastry, cute little cheese balls, a warm yummy spread - a far cry from the squirt cheese and crackers of days gone by!

Today's recipe combines smooth, warm blue cheese, earthy mushrooms and smokey bacon - oh yes, bacon! Doesn't everything taste better with bacon? AND they can be made in advance, refrigerated, then baked when it's PARTY TIME! So go on, get your YUM-YUM on!

Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
 24 large fresh mushrooms
 1 carton (8 ounces) reduced-fat spreadable chive and onion cream cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese 4 green onions, chopped
 2 garlic cloves, minced
 3/4 cup bacon bits, divided

    1. Remove stems from mushrooms and set caps aside; discard stems or save for another use. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, blue cheese, onions, garlic and 1/4 cup bacon bits. Stuff into mushroom caps, a scant tablespoonful in each.
    2. Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining bacon bits. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Yield: 2 dozen.

      Fun Food For Festive Feasting - Recipe 3

      So, have I tickled and tantalized your taste buds with the last two recipe posts, or are you ready for more? I say MORE! MORE! MORE!
      Now, I can't profess the same level of love for spreads that I have for cheese balls, but they do come in a close second! Why? Well, like their round counterparts, they're easy to prepare, you can make them using a variety of ingredients and the ability to prepare them in advance is always a plus! This warm crab spread is sure to be a real crowd pleaser!

      Cheesy Hot Crab and Red Pepper Spread


      1-1/2 cups  KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
      1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, softened
      1tsp.  garlic powder
      1tsp.  Italian seasoning
      1 red pepper, chopped
      1small  onion, finely chopped
      1can  (6 oz.) crabmeat, drained

      HEAT oven to 375°F.
      RESERVE 1/2 cup mozzarella; refrigerate until ready to use. Mix all remaining ingredients except crackers until well blended.
      SPREAD into 9-inch pie plate.
      BAKE 20 min. or until crab mixture is heated through and top is lightly browned. Top with reserved mozzarella. Serve with crackers.

      I hope you're enjoying these recipes. Thanks for stopping by!
      Hugs, Leena

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      Tuesday, December 9, 2014

      Fun Food For Festive Feasting - Recipe 2

      Cheese balls. I adore cheese balls! They're so cute and colorful and just scream PARTY! While they can be quite costly to purchase, they're so easy and economical to make at home. AND there's like what, a million flavors of cheese out there, so you can make up your own recipes, add diced vegetables and top with nuts, dried parsley or other herbs. PLUS, easy peasy, they can be made in advance of your party and refrigerated! A real time saver during this hectic month! So, why not try the recipe below? CHEESE PARTY!

      Holiday Feta Cheese Ball (
      2 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
      2 pkg.  (8 oz. each) ATHENOS Traditional Feta Cheese, coarsely chopped
      ¼ cup  sliced green onions
      ¼ cup  finely chopped red pepper
      1 cup  PLANTERS Walnut Pieces, finely chopped
      MIX cream cheese and feta cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Cover.
      REFRIGERATE several hours or until chilled.
      SHAPE into ball. Roll in chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serve with assorted crackers.

      Enjoy and please come back for tomorrow's festive recipe!
      Hugs, Leena

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      Fun Food For Festive Feasting - Recipe 1

      I don't know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to eat strange little foods on cute colorful plates with matching napkins, but I DO! I love cutesy little appetizers during the holidays because they're usually so different from every day food. They can make any occasion more fun, whether shared with a large group of family and friends or during a cozy evening with your honey. Perhaps these lovely little morsels evoke a scene of some luxurious cocktail party from a favorite movie or maybe they just put us more in a celebratory mood. Whatever it is, I find their decadence delightful!

      We often have an hors d' ouvres night during the holidays, usually for our at home New Years Eve dinner, since we generally don't go out. While scouring the Internet looking for this year's menu, I decided, "why not share?" So, for the next several days, I'll be posting an appetizer recipe for your eating enjoyment (I may even sneak in a sweet or two and perhaps a drinkie-poo!)

      ·        1 pkg. (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
      ·        1/2 cup mayonnaise
      ·        1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
      ·        1 tsp. onion powder
      ·        1 tsp. garlic powder
      ·        1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
      ·        1 pkg. (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
      ·        1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

      1.      Heat the oven to 400°F.  Stir the mayonnaise, cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, spinach and artichoke hearts in a medium bowl.

      2.      Unfold 1 pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Spread half the spinach mixture on the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll up like a jelly roll.  Press the seam to seal.  Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.

      3.      Cut each roll into 20 (1/2-inch) slices, making 40 in all.  Place the slices, cut-side down, onto 3 baking sheets.

      4.      Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

      Thanks for dropping by! Be sure to stop in tomorrow for another tasty tid-bit!
      Hugs, Leena

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