Holiday Fare of Film & Song! “The Best Pumpkin Pie” From “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”


The Best Pumpkin Pie

Few things say “The Holidays” than smooth, creamy, spicy pumpkin pie. I’ve tried many recipes over the years; mostly with the called for condensed milk. All were good, but always needed a mask of whipped cream to be completely palatable. “Why not put the whipped cream ‘in’ the pie?”I thought to myself. I did just that and developed a creamier, scrumptious recipe. Yet, I still add copious amounts of whipped cream to the top for good measure :-) I say without a doubt, that this is definitively the “best” pumpkin recipe in my pie recipe  box –hands down.

1 unbaked Perfect Pie Crust

Dried beans for blind baking

Filling Ingredients:

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons dark rum or maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line an 11-inch pie pan with the unbaked pie crust and place it on a sheet pan. Line the crust with parchment paper. Fill the paper three-quarters full with the beans and bake the crust for 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown. Remove the beans and paper (save the beans for another time), prick the crust all over with the tines of a fork, and bake for another 5 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, eggs, cream,milk, and rum. Pour the filling into the baked pie shell. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until the filling is just set in the middle and knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Set as side to cool completely. Serve with whipped cream.

““Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,”

“Rocking around the Christmas Tree

at the Christmas party hop

Mistletoe hung where you can see

Ev’ry couple tries to stop

You will get a sentimental feeling

When you hear voices singing

“Let’s be jolly; Deck the halls with boughs of holly”

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Have a happy holiday

Everyone’s dancing merrily

In a new old fashioned way

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Let the Christmas Spirit ring

Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie

and we’ll do some caroling

You will get a sentimental feeling

When you hear voices singing

“Let’s be jolly; Deck the halls with boughs of holly”

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Have a happy holiday

Everyone’s dancing merrily

In a new old fashioned way”





“Healthier” Garlic Herb Turkey Salisbury Steak with Portobello Gravy

Salisbury Best

Comfort food with a capital C! Yet, a much healthier, quick and easy version made with lean ground turkey; filled with all of the same goodness of Mom’s version, but with fresh herbs, sliced portabellas and a kiss of spice.


1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup bread crumbs 

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian herbs or 1 teaspoon dry

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces sliced white or mini portabello mushrooms

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon allspice

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or arrowroot powder

2 ½ cups chicken broth

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Gently mix turkey, egg, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, herbs, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a large bowl using your hands. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into oval patties, about 1/2 inch thick.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the patties, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet. saute mushrooms until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, allspice, salt and pepper to taste, scraping up any browned bits. Sprinkle in flour and stir, then stir in 2 1/2 cups warmed chicken broth and simmer until sauce begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, swirling to combine.

Return patties and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Simmer until sauce thickens and patties are cooked through, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes and a side of vegetables of choice.

Guest Chef Christmas Cookie Exchange! Dolores’ Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies


Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies photo source: munchkinmunchies

Here’s a buttery twist to an all-time classic recipe. The addition of brown sugar and butterscotch pudding not only adds a wonderful depth of flavor, but a special softness to the texture as well. Santa will love a taste test after his descent from your chimney top–remember the milk!  The dunk is fantastic!

Dolores says, “Whenever I make these amazing cookies, the spicy aroma brings me back to childhood when I helped Mom bake and deliver them to family, neighbors and friends.”


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 packages (3-1/2 ounces each) cook-and-serve butterscotch pudding mix

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves



  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Combine flour, pudding mixes, spices, baking powder and vanilla; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1” apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool. Decorate as desired. Makes about 2 dozen.

photo source: perenialpassion


Some Favorite Foods of Famous, and Infamous, People by Ken Bayliss


photo source:thisismarilyn


They say we are what we eat, yet if you look at what some famous people ate, you would wonder.

For instance, Charlie Chaplin had a very difficult childhood and ended up famous and very rich. Yet one of his favorite foods was tripe, the stomach of a cow. Not only that but tripe stinks.

Then there is Howard Winstone, a World Featherweight boxing champion. He trained hard and could have any food indulgence he desired. His favorite was dipping biscuits in his tea.

Hitler on the other hand loved Baklava. Though his other vice was reckoned to have been an over indulgence of chocolate. Some reckon it was up to seven pounds of it a day.

And who would have thought St. Francis of Assisi of all people, indulged in the medieval equivalent of KFC! Fried chicken legs were his favorite.

So, are we what we eat? Check out some famous people below and see what you think.


photo source: mccarthyemy


Charlie Sheen, Actor – Salad leaves


Marilyn Monroe, Actress – Steak


Tom Hanks, Actor – Boston Baked Beans


Charlie Chaplin, Actor – Stewed Tripe


photo source: corporaciontulpasur



Miley Cyrus, Singer – Twix


Taylor Swift, Singer – Cinnamon Toast Crunch


Frank Sinatra, Singer – Fried Calamari


Elvis Presley, Singer – Peanut Butter and Bacon Sandwiches


Joseph Stalin, Soviet Dictator – Harcho, a spicy Georgian meat soup


Adolf Hitler, German Fuhrer – Baklava


Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Dictator – Doritos


Kim Jong Un, North Korean Dictator – Emmental Cheese


photo source: sodahead


Elected Leaders

Winston Churchill, UK Prime Minister – Roast Beef

Barack Obama, US President – Chilli

George Bush, US President – Huevos Rancheros

Bill Clinton, US President – Burgers


Kelly Rulon, Water Polo – Tacos

Howard Winstone, Boxer – Biscuits

Dara Torres, Swimmer – Green Salad

Kip Keino, Marathon Runner – Animal Blood


Holy People

St. Francis of Assisi, Monk – Fried Chicken Legs

St. Gregory the Great, Pope – Cherries

Pious II, Pope – Cacio Cheese

Mother Teresa, Nun – Lentils






Northwest Glazed Smoked Salmon: The 30 Minute Marvel


Best Close

Get to know your food: Did you know that salmon is considered anadromous: born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, and then return to fresh water to reproduce. They maintain one color when living in fresh water, then change color when they are in salt water. Good to know and makes me tired just thinking about it; what a first class traveler! I make this restaurant-quality salmon in my smoker and it tastes twice as good with double the satisfaction at half the cost. So can you. This simple café class recipe is a keeper!


4 center-cut salmon fillets with skin on, each 6 to 8-ounces

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s aka Best Foods

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or dill, or 1 teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon each; paprika, onion powder & chipotle powder

Lemon wedges and fresh chopped dill for garnish (optional)


Remove any pin bones in the salmon with kitchen tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Cut the fillets about 3 to 4 inches thick. Dry with paper towel, massage with oil and season with salt & pepper

Make the glaze: Combine mayonnaise, mustard and spices in a small bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and dill. Spread the flesh-side of the fillets with the glaze.

When ready to cook, start your smoker with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350* and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Arrange the salmon fillets on the grill skin-side down. Grill for 25 to 30 minutes or until opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to a platter or plates, garnish with sliced lemons and chopped dill and serve immediately if you can wait that long ;-)

Best All


What’s Your Foodie Elf Name?


Yes, this is silly, but quite fun :-) Mine is Lollipop Jingly Drawers…what yours? Slightly off the wall, but I bet you can’t resist finding out what your Foodie elf self says about you this Christmas Season. Do you happen to possess Sugar Socks or are you possibly a Snickerdoodle? I’d love to see what your name is–simply type it in the comments box. Happy Holidays! Cheers!

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Best All

These luscious, creamy & lightly spicy bars are a fine fusion of apple pie & cheesecake–sure to satisfy your craving for both. Everywhere you turn, foodies everywhere are latching onto the latest craze of making pie cakes. My appley bars simply simplify the process :-) YUM 10 Fold!


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 up packed brown sugar

1 stick cup cold butter, cubed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 eggs lightly beaten

3 medium tart apples, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice)


1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup quick-cooking oats

4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed

1/3 cup hot caramel ice cream topping

1/2 teaspoon course kosher salt

Best Mid


Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine flour and brown sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a well-greased 13×9-in. baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg; beat on low speed just until combined. Spread over crust.

In a small bowl, toss apples with spices and remaining sugar; spoon over cream cheese layer. In another bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over apple layer. Bake 25-30 minutes or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping; cool in pan on a wire rack 1 hour, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon course kosher salt. Refrigerate at least 2hours. Cut into bars. Makes about: 2 dozen.