Cranberry Gelatin Salad

It’s hard to believe that we are just 1 week away from another Christmas! It seems to me that 2017 has flown by faster than any other year!

My family has been scattered all over the world this year, so we have had no opportunity to get a family picture taken. I made this picture from ones we took throughout the year so that you can see how the family has grown.


Last night we had our church’s annual service of Lessons and Carols. I think that it is one of my favorite services of the year. I needed to take a dessert and a salad for the fellowship meal afterwards. My family has always enjoyed a cranberry gelatin salad at Christmas time, so I decided to make one for the meal. As usual, I didn’t follow a recipe, but just made it up as I went along. Many people liked it and asked for the recipe! I was shocked that it was really that good!¬† ūüôā

I think the trick to the flavor came from the wassail that I used in place of the cold water when I made the gelatin. It added an extra burst of cranberry flavor which did make it a delightful salad.

1 large box raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup regular apple juice (no extra sugar added)
1 cup cranberry wassail
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 can whole cranberry sauce
Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, stirring until completely dissolved. Stir in the apple juice and the cranberry wassail. Stir in the whole cranberry sauce so the gelatin melts.
Put a layer of the crushed pineapple in the bottom of your dish. Pour some of the gelatin over the top and refrigerate until set. Add another layer of pineapple and more gelatin; refrigerate until set. Keep doing this until you use all the pineapple and the gelatin mixture. Refrigerate for several hours or until firmly set.

Peppernuts and Christmas Memories

As many people do, I become very nostalgic during the Christmas season. It is the time of year that I miss my parents, especially my dad, more than any other time of the year. My dad absolutely loved Christmas! He loved having all the family together around the table, the food, the fellowship, and the giving of gifts. My dad was a giver. He loved giving to others without ever expecting anything in return. He was a great example to me of giving!

When we lived in New Jersey, we always had Dad’s two oldest daughters and their families over to our house for every holiday. When all of us got together it was fun…noisy, but fun! After dinner, we kids would all go up stairs and play tag, freeze tag or upset the fruit basket. We didn’t rely on the adults to entertain us!

This picture ¬†from the mid-1960s shows my grandmother (my dad’s mom) seated in the middle with her daughter, daughter-in-law (my mom), grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I am assuming my dad was the photographer for this one!

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Here is a picture of my parents in the early 1980s.


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As my dad got older, his taste buds changed, and his desire for sweet things increased. Mom and I often speculated that he could taste only sweet things, but we really didn’t know. Anyway, one of the treats he loved most at Christmas were small cookies called Peppernuts. They are actually a German cookie called Pfeffernusse. My oldest sister, Sybel, married a man of German heritage, and his mother had the recipe. My mother would make these for my dad. He would often fill his pockets with them every morning after breakfast and have them to munch on throughout the day! I always thought they were rather hard and loved dipping them in hot tea to soften!

I have searched and search for the original recipe, but I can not find it anywhere! I am so disappointed! However, thanks to the internet, I did find a recipe that is pretty similar. This recipe calls for anise seed, but ours called for anise oil. Mom also made the dough into long ropes and cut them into bite-sized pieces instead of making the dough into balls.

New Kitchen Tools for Christmas!

This year for Christmas, the hubby, Ben, Sam and I traveled to see Barbi in VA. She couldn’t come home because of her job in retail, so we decided to go see her! It was a fun time. We missed Russ, Hope and sweet Mia, but they got to spend a week in FL with Hope’s family. Several of those family members got to meet our darling Mia for the first time!

We took most of our gifts up with us and had fun opening them with Barbi Christmas morning. ¬†I was excited to receive a new blender and immersion blender! I can’t wait to try them!

025I made a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie that we took with us for Christmas dinner dessert. We also took a turkey with us, and Barbi purchased most of the other items we needed for our dinner. I enjoyed working with both Barbi and Tim in the kitchen to get our dinner together. ¬†As he did at Thanksgiving, Tim did a fantastic job with the turkey and dressing. ¬†I didn’t get a picture of our Christmas buffet, but it was wonderful!

Earlier this week I noticed that I am almost up to 16,000 views to the blog!  This totally amazes me! I was hoping to reach 15,000 by the end of this year, and here we are in the final week of the year, and I am almost 1000 over that goal!  Only 196 more to go!


Cranberry, Coconut, White Chocolate Bars

I came across this recipe the other day when looking for a quick dessert recipe for Sam to take to the youth group Christmas party. ¬†I love the way the flavors blend together…and the fact that it is a super easy recipe!

2 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. shortening (or butter, softened)

3/4 c. sugar

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. almond flavoring (or vanilla)

1 c. quick oats

2 c. white chocolate chips

1 c. coconut flakes

1 c. dried cranberries

Lightly spray a 15×10 jelly roll pan.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.  Beat shortening and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and almond flavoring; beat until blended. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat until blended.  Add oats and continue beating. Add white chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and dried cranberries, and mix until blended.  Spread into prepared pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into diamond shapes or bars. If desired, drizzle with confectioners sugar glaze.