Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year - Appetizers

Well, here I am eating my words (no pun intended). I said a few posts ago that I don't usually procrastinate and here I go doing just that. I wrote this article last Friday and am just now posting it. Hopefully, you will have time to go out and get the ingredients should you want to make this appetizer for a New Year's Eve party.

I've never been one that goes out to party on New Year's Eve and other than an occasional cocktail, I don't consider myself a drinker. However, I do enjoy making appetizers for dinners and parties.

There's one dish that I make where people always ask for the recipe. It's a simple Mexican Dip. So, if you are hosting or attending a New Year's Eve party, you might want to consider giving this dip a try.

Mexican Dip

2 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
2 T. milk
2 T. chili powder
1 t. garlic salt
shredded lettuce, green pepper, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, shredded cheddar, colby, and mozerella cheesess.

Mix first 4 ingredients well. Add chili powder and garlic salt. Blend until mixed well. Spread on pizza pan. Layering on top of mixture with lettuce, green pepper, onion and tomatoes. Finally, top with the shredded cheese. Chill until ready to serve. Use Nacho Chips or Doritos to dip.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Christmas is over. Some of you may have already taken your tree down, some may still have it up for a while, but there's one thing that almost all of us have in common right now; leftover food. I know that I get really tired of turkey sandwiches or turkey salad.

For the last few years, I have tired to come up with something different to fix with all of that leftover turkey. After trying a few different things, I found what has turned out to be one of my favorite winter dishes, Turkey Pot Pie. It's something warm to satisfy us on a cold winter day and it's full of vegetables, which we all need after eating all that holiday cookies and candy. Most important, it uses up a lot of that leftover turkey.

Turkey Pot Pie

1 can Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Cream of Celery Soup
1 C. milk
1/4 t. pepper
1 15-16 oz. package frozen vegetables
2 C. cooked turkey, cubed
1 can refrigerated biscuits

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. In a 3 qt baking dish, combine soups, milk, and pepper. Stir well. Add vegetables and turkey. Bake for 15 minutes. While mixture is baking, cut each biscuit into quarters. Remove dish from oven and stir. Top with biscuit pieces and return it to oven for 15 minutes more, or until biscuits are golden brown. This serves about 5. You can also substitute chicken for the turkey.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Between baking, shopping, and holiday dinners, I will be very busy between now and Christmas, so I want to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I'll be back after Christmas with some ideas on what to do with all the leftovers.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Running out of Time

I usually don't procrastinate with my baking for Christmas, but I have done that this year. I haven't baked anything yet and I'm running out of time. Normally, I have a full day of baking Christmas cookies with my daughter, but this year we just haven't had time.

With the prediction of snow for the weekend, I spent Friday searching the Internet for some new holiday cookie recipes. I found a few good ones, especially on the Betty Crocker site, my personal favorite, and also on

We did get our snow and since the roads are slick, I believe we will be staying home and baking today. After looking at all the recipes, I think we'll stick with the cookies we usually make, Old Fashion Soft Sugar Cookies and Spritz's. Of course, there's always next weekend to make more.

Old Fashion Soft Sugar Cookies

6 C. flour
3 C. confectioner's sugar
1 t. salt
2 t. baking soda
1 C. margarine
2 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 t. vanilla
1 C. sour cream

Sift flour, confectioner's sugar, soda, and salt into a bowl; set aside. Mix together sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Add the sour cream, then gradually add the flour mixture until all is mixed well. It will make a very thick dough. Roll out onto a flour surface and cut with cookie cutters. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool and then spread on frosting and decorate.


2/3 C. sugar
1 C. butter
1 egg
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour

Preheat over to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Beat for about 2-3 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add flour and mix for another 2 - 3 minutes or until well mixed. Place dough into a cookie press. Place cookies about 1 inch apart on cookie sheets and bake for 6 - 8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Happy baking,


Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Shopping

With only a few weekends left for Christmas shopping, every minute counts. If you're like me, you want to get to the sales as quickly as you can and spending time fixing breakfast in the morning can take up valuable shopping time. My solution for this is to fix breakfast the night before in your slow cooker. When you get up the next morning, the smell of a hot breakfast awaits you. What makes the morning even better if you have one of those coffee makers with a timer so hot coffee is ready at the same time.

One of the best things about cooking with slow cookers, also known as a Crock Pot, is that they retain the heat for quite awhile after being turned off. So, no matter when your family members get out of bed in the morning, a hot breakfast is waiting for them.

Below is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes for breakfast.

Sausage and Egg Casserole

1 dozen eggs
14 slices of bread
2 1/4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 lb. sausage, fried and drained
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

Spray inside of crock with cooking spray. Layer the following inside the crock in order: bread, sausage, cheese, and ending with a cheese layer. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together and pour over the entire mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours.

Of course, if you would rather use your slow cooker for your dinner meal, all you need to do is chose your recipe, fill the crock, and turn it on before you leave for the mall. When you get home tired from a full day of shopping, dinner is ready.

For more of my Crock Pot recipes, you can purchase "Carol's Crock Pot Classics," an e-book with 19 of my best slow cooker recipes, at

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Foodie BlogRoll

I am pleased to announce that Carol's Food Bites is now a member of the Foodie BlogRoll. If you look at the right side of the page, you will find dozens and dozens of blogs related to food. I highly recommend checking some of them out for some great recipes.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Kitchen Gifts

Christmas will be here before we know it and it's always been a tradition for me to give gifts from my kitchen each year to family and friends. My favorite things to put together are jar mixes. The idea first came to me years ago when I saw a recipe for Brownies-in-a-jar in a magazine. After that, each year I came up with a new jar mix to give. In the past, I have given soup mixes, cookie mixes, trail mix, and my favorite, home made hot chocolate mix that I have to my co-workers a few years ago. I even get asked each Christmas for more of that one.

Presentation is important. I like putting together gifts baskets with the jar mix being the focal point of the basket. One year, I have a basket with M&M Cookie Mix in a jar, an oven mitt, and a box of herbal tea with a cup. I also always cut a circle from holiday fabric with pinking shears to put under the ring of the jar to make it a little more colorful.

Most mixes work best in a quart size canning jar, but depending on the mix, smaller jars might work better. For instance, this year I will be making a flavored coffee creamer for someone and I will put that in a small bottle that I found at the Dollar Tree store. I stored the hot chocolate mix in a small canister type jar I found at Big Lots. I made a card on the computer with mixing instructions and attached it to the jar with a pretty ribbon.

In addition to the coffee creamer, I am mixing up something new for Christmas this year. What is it? Well, that's going to have to wait because I don't want my family and friends reading about their gift on here ahead of time.

Below is the recipe for my hot chocolate mix that everyone loved. It makes a very large batch to divide into several jars. Attach a bag of mini marshmallows and it makes a great gift. Happy Holidays.

Hot Chocolate Mix

8-quart box of powdered milk
1 15 oz. can chocolate milk mix
1 6 oz. jar plain coffee creamer
2 cups powdered sugar
1 bag mini marshmallows

Mix the first four ingredients together in a large bowl and store in individual jars. Attach a small bag of mini marshmallows and a card with the following instructions: Add 4 1/2 tablespoons of mix to a mug of hot water and enjoy.