Holidays and Entertaining

We love, love, love the holidays!  To us they start the first of October and continue through the New Year.  Sean's birthday is early October and we usually give a Halloween themed party----he thinks Halloween is made just for him.

Christmas Cheesecake

2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
Beat cream cheese, add eggs one at a time.  Next add sugar and extract.  Mix for 5 minutes on high speed.   Spray a deep dish pie pan with Pam.  Pour mixture in and make at 350* for 50 minutes (325* for glass  pan).  Cool completely for 20 minutes (cake will collapse).

1 8 oz container sour cream, 3 tbs sugar, 1 tsp vanilla; blend together and pour into cake depression. Bake 15 minutes longer.  Cool completely, then refrigerate.

Our family has always been huge fans of Halloween.  The first Halloween party we ever had is still so vivid in my mind---I was 7 or 8.  Dad dressed up like Igor---he used an egg shell and used it for a bulging eye in which he drew a blood shot eye on----he of course had a pillow attached to his back for a hump and walked dragging one of his legs.  He also used a refrigerator box and made a coffin-- a MONSTER in it with dry ice making a fog all thorough the house!  Then my parents took the entire group trick or treating----back then everyone went.  Not like now where in some parts of town you are lucky if you have one child.  (My brother can make the best haunted houses out of refrigerator boxes now!)

My grandmother (dads mom) loved Halloween too.  She would make caramel and candy apples, popcorn balls and give out little bags of candy!  We always looked forward to going over to grandmas to trick or treat :)

Unfortunately, dad and grandma are no longer with us but mom still gives us a Halloween party every year!  Its suppose to be for the grandkids but I think it is more for the 4 of us adult kids now :)  Here is the menu that mom sets up for our Halloween party every year.

Homemade chili
Beans for the people who think they have to eat beans in their chili---none of us do----meat only for us.
Shredded cheddar cheese
ketchup (must in my chili :)
cupcakes----cupcake bouquet usually with characters from Charlie Brown---the Great Pumpkin.
Hawaiian punch
And of course plenty of candy :)

Great Recipe for the Holidays to give as gifts!  Simple too!  (from McCormick)

Spiced Nuts
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This spiced nut mix gets it spiciness from cinnamon and allspice.
Makes 3 1/3 cups or 18 (3-tablespoon) servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons McCormick® Cinnamon, Ground
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Allspice, Ground
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 egg white
3 cups nuts, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts and pecans
1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix sugar, cinnamon, allspice and seasoned salt in small bowl. Beat egg white in large bowl until foamy. Add nuts; toss to coat well. Add spice mixture; toss to coat nuts evenly.

2. Spread nuts in single layer on lightly greased baking sheet.

3. Bake 1 hour, stirring once. Cool slightly and break apart. Cool completely. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks



Tiger Cub

Tiger Cub


First day of practice


Mom making her peach cobbler.

Moms Peach Cobbler