On the Christmas menu…

Christmas countdown is here. Presents are wrapped but there is plenty of  cleaning and cooking for me to do over the next two days. Our big dinner here will be Christmas Eve this year, versus Christmas Day which we usually do.

I made a big grocery run on Saturday and am now compiling my last minute “I forgot this” list. One of the things on the Christmas menu this year is this gorgeous cake from Sherry at The Charm of Home. I always like to try something new and then oftentimes, that becomes a favorite of the family.

You can find Sherry’s Jam Cake recipe HERE.   I only have two cake pans so I’ll just bake two layers at a time. She said the recipe has been in the family for four generations. I figured that if they were still baking and eating it after four generations, it was probably going to taste wonderful and that I should be quite safe making it as a special Christmas dessert :)

While Thanksgiving is all about the mashed potatoes and gravy, on Christmas we have ham. Some years I have done both turkey and ham but this year it will be ham with pineapple and an old stand-by that my sister and I love at Christmas; the hash brown casserole, which she calls “party potatoes.”

  • 2 lb. Ore Ida Southern Hash Brown potatoes ( another brand is fine ; this is an old Ore Ida recipe )
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed cornflake crumbs + 4 T. butter ( amazed at the price of pre-crushed cornflake crumbs, I bought a box of cereal and will crush my own! )


I usually double or triple this recipe if it is for a big crowd. Mix the potatoes, cheese, sour cream, soup and onion together. Put into a 9 x 5 casserole pan. Mix the crumbs and butter and pour over top. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  The recipe says that it serves 12. HA HA HA not if men or boys are in the house. Better double or triple it :)

Other standbys are sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole ( where they are mashed and then baked),  a stuffing and zucchini casserole that I might post about another time, sometimes a jello salad or cranberry-orange relish, coleslaw, the standard green bean or broccoli casserole, and new recipes that we might want to try out.

An old standby that is very good to have if there are young children is Corn Souffle. It’s plain and it is sweet tasting so they like it.  It is simple enough for them to mix up in a bowl themselves, and little kids always tend to want to eat what they helped to make.

  • 1 can corn
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 T butter

Just mix these ingredients in a bowl and then bake in a glass plan at 350 degrees until done. ( This depends on the size of the pan and if you are making the original recipe or doubling or tripling it. It could run anywhere from 1/2 hour to an hour…testing with a toothpick in the middle in the same manner that a cake is tested always works for me.)

When I was a young married, I had a recipe box. Later on I started this binder which held not only the cards but magazine clippings of recipes, etc. It is still my first go-to for holiday dinners where at least some of the menu must be old standby recipes.

I think that I can safely say at this point that it is “Vintage” ! :)

recipe binder

Well, off to get started on baking that cake. Have a Merry Christmas!

You might also enjoy: Merry Christmas Cookies Day  or  Decorating for Christmas in a Small Space 

Sewing & a Warm Winter Solstice

I had hoped to link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching party last week, as well as Sew Many Ways but my indoor pictures in the low light were not good enough for a post.  That’s alright…I got a little farther on with things here and there throughout the week. I wanted to keep track of where I was prior to Christmas, so late Friday afternoon I went through the muddy back yard ( we’ve had nothing but snow and rain with little respite for 6 weeks now ) and hung a few things out on the line.

There was no sunshine, and it was almost dusk,  but I still had a better chance of decent light out there than in the house.

  • Coming along with the flower applique here and there.
  • Then for the sampler…there are actually 3 pieced baskets…two are on the line and one must have been left upstairs.
  • There is an applique basket that I worked on this past week on the left, and I have one in progress.

applique and baskets on the line

  • Here is the one in progress. It is a basket of oranges.

Basket of Oranges in Progress

  • Any slow stitching on Sunday will be to continue to baste these shapes and if there is time, start to applique them onto the background square. I host Christmas here, and there is a child’s birthday party on Sunday to attend, but I will get some sewing time in nonetheless :)
  • The last project that I’ve been working on in December is this snowball quilt and while it was almost dark outside the colors are truer than I could get in the house  at this time of year.

Snowball top first sections pieced

  • Next comes a border section with some applique flowers. This is a Kim Diehl pattern.
  • The other project started in 2013 that is not completed is a rag rug on a loom. I’d put it away for awhile around Thanksgiving,  and need to get back to work on it.

As to Christmas dinner here, my dining room is lived in until the last minute. And here is what it looked like recently. Sewing, wrapping, recipe look-ups, and of course the cat inspecting and participating in everything, especially the Christmas present wrapping. She loves the curling ribbon! :)

REAL Pre Christmas Table

After six weeks of cold, rain, snow, ice, more snow, etc., Winter Solstice has officially arrived today and it smells like spring outside. The current temperature, Dec. 21st, 7 a.m. is 59 degrees. We are having a mild spell. It is to rain heavily later, and that means more mud, but when I opened the door an hour ago to let the dogs out, I have to say that I enjoyed that spring-like scent. Hopefully I will get my grocery shopping done for Christmas  dinner prior to or in between the downpours.

You might also like : Saving Money : They Go Straight to the Fridge  or  Merry Christmas Cookies Day  or   She’s Just Ordinary; Like Most of Us

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