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Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday ideas

Today's post is more a hodge-podge of items I hope you enjoy.

I like to give and receive holiday cards.  But I still like to make my cards when time allows.  In this digital, e-book, email card era receiving an old school card in the mail is even more special.  If you enjoy giving cards, consider buying a few extra, write some encouragement, and delivering them to the hospital or a nursing home.  I remember being a child in the hospital over Christmas day and it can be rather sad.  The elderly can always use some extra cheering up as well.

If you enjoy baking, you might like this great idea called "Drop In And Decorate" (click here for website).  I shared about this in 2011, but I think it is worth mentioning again.  You pick a charity that is "serving basic human needs (food or shelter) in your community, without discrimination," enlist cookie bakers, invite friends over to decorate the cookies and then donate them to the charity.  If the shelter or food pantry can't take home made food, then sell those decorated cookies and give the proceeds. I thought this was a fantastic idea that even children can join in on the fun and it spreads the holiday giving theme and encourages a holiday tradition that brings people together.   The website provides a "How to Host," food safety, and even decorating guidelines.  Here is a short video about the Drop In & Decorate idea featuring three different events across America.

While we are on the topic of  cookies, remember making holiday cookies with grandma when you were young? You probably used Aunt Chick's cookie cutters. Aunt Chick's was the Martha Stewart of her time and her cutters were enjoyed by everyone from Prince Charles to housewives across America. Find out more at  Here is a short video that gives a history of these unique three-dimensional cookie cutters

Now to make your holidays even more decadent, here is a rich recipe :-)  This dessert pie, layered with chocolate, coconut, and pecans, tastes like a million dollars!

Millionaire's Pie (from

2/3  cup dark-colored corn syrup
1/2  cup sugar
1/2  cup butter or margarine
4  eggs
1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1   teaspoon vanilla
1   Pastry for Single-Crust Pie
1  6  ounce package (or 1 cup) semsiweet chocolate pieces
1 1/3  cups flaked coconut
1   cup pecan pieces (about 4 ounces)


1.  In a small saucepan, stir together corn syrup and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is melted and mixture boils; remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted; set aside to cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
2.  Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll Pastry for Single-Crust Pie to form a 12-inch circle. Ease into a 9-inch pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry. Crimp edge. Set aside.
3.  In a large bowl, beat eggs, flour, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is blended and smooth. Add corn syrup mixture in a slow, steady stream, beating constantly.
4.  In pastry shell, layer coconut, semisweet chocolate pieces, and pecan pieces. Pour egg mixture over all, spreading evenly. Cover edge of pastry shell with foil.
5.  Bake in a 325 degree F oven for 1 hour. Remove foil; bake for 20 minutes more or until filling is set in center and slightly puffed. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream, if you like. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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