Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas Dinner…

31 Dec

On Wednesday night Tony and I hosted his family for our Christmas dinner.  I really like to host dinners.  They give us a chance to spend quality time with our guests as well as a chance to use our fancy china!

Dinner and dessert were delicious.  Presents were exchanged and champagne was toasted!

On The Menu:

  • Cheese & Cracker Sampler
  • Pecan & Bleu Salad topped with Cranberry Vinaigrette
  • Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto
  • Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • Pomegranate Roast
  • Pecan Pie
  • Christmas Cookies

Tony & I both worked on Wednesday but I was able to do lots of prep work on Tuesday night.

The table was set…


with our Kate Spade Lenox China!


Appetizers were served:

34 degrees Crispbread and Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Crackers

Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar, Soft White, & Goat Cheese Platter

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Salads were served:



And then we finally enjoyed dinner.





Pecan & Bleu Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette


  • 1 Cup Bourbon Pecans
  • 3 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Tbs Splenda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Water


  • 1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 1 bag Mixed Spring Greens
  1. In a blender, combine the vinegar, oil, cranberries, mustard, garlic, Splenda, salt, pepper, and water. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the pecans, onion, blue cheese, and greens.
  3. Serve dressing with salad.


Pomegranate Roast

From A Year of Slow Cooking

  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3 lbs. Sirloin Tip Roast
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Fire-Roasted Crushed Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Cup Pom Pomegranate Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Golden Raisins
  1. Coat the bottom of a 5-quart crockpot with the olive oil.  Add the onion.
  2. Combine the spices and rub on all sides of the roast.
  3. Place the roast on top of the onions.
  4. Add the garlic, tomatoes, pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and syrup.
  5. Sprinkle the raisins on top.
  6. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  7. Serve with sauce on top.
  8. Enjoy!

I will be posting the side dish recipes next week.

Time to figure out our New Years Eve plans!  Happy New Year!  Have a great night celebrating!


You Know You’re A Food Blogger When….

28 Dec

Santa spoils you and brings you many new kitchen tools such as….

a fancy rice cooker….


that looks like a robot….


multiple cookbooks to use with the robot….


a fancy glass bowl for your stand mixer….


multiple coated beaters to use in previous stated bowl…..


mini tasting dishes for future parties…….


a cordless warmer to use for said parties……


more tools to fill up the cooking drawer……


an immersion blender because I broke my first one…..


and a fancy wood cutting board to cut veggies on (or use as a picture background, shhh don’t tell my husband who bought this fancy piece of wood for me!).


Thank you Santa for spoiling me!

I can’t wait to share so many new recipes with you using all of my new gadgets!

Did Santa treat you well this year?

I must have been extra good because he brought me too many gifts!

I started a Facebook page.  Make sure you become a fan of theSheenBean.

Grandma’s Apricot and Nut Rolls….

24 Dec

I spent Tuesday learning how to make my Grandma’s Apricot and Nut Rolls.  I enjoy eating them every Christmas but never helped with making them.  They took a lot more work than I had anticipated.  But they are well worth the work put into them!  I can’t imagine a holiday at Grandma’s house without them.



The recipe is in our church cook book under French Pastry.  Of course Grandma goes by the recipe but she has many tips along the way.



You start out by making your dough.  Cut the Crisco into the dry ingredients.

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Beat eggs with a little bit of the milk.  Just enough to thin out the eggs.  Add to the dough and mix with your hands.

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Add all BUT the last 1/3 cup of milk.  Refrigerate dough until ready to use.

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Make your nut filling using the remaining milk, a jar of nut filling, and diced walnuts.

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Once you have your dough and filling made, clean off a table and get everything ready to make your rolls.


Prep you surface with sugar, not flour!


Roll out a small portion of the dough.


Cut into 3-4 inch wide sections.


Spread your filling using the back of a spoon.  Leave a 1/2 inch empty on the longest side.

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Roll up the dough starting on the shorter side.  Use a butter knife to help pick up the dough from the table.  Be careful, the dough is fragile!  Seal the edge of the dough to the roll.



Once rolled, cut into 1-2 inch slices.

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Place the rolls seam side down on an ungreased cookie sheet.



Bake for 10-12 minutes.


Sprinkle with powder sugar and let cool.





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Grandma’s Apricot & Nut Rolls

  • 6 Cups Flour
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 lb. Crisco
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • Powdered Sugar
  1. Mix flour, salt & baking powder with Crisco.  Cut the Crisco into the flour until it resembles small crumbles.
  2. Beat eggs with 1/4 cup of evaporated milk.  Put 1/3 cup of milk to the side.
  3. Slowly add egg mixture to dough.  Continue to add the remaining milk to the dough and mix with your hands.  You will have a nice firm dough when finished.  Refrigerate until ready.
  4. Roll out in sugar.  Roll as thin as possible.  The dough will be thin enough that you will be able to see through it.
  5. Cut into 3-4 inch wide strips.
  6. Cover with filling.  Leave 1/2 inch uncovered on long seam side.
  7. Roll up gently.
  8. Cut into 1-2 inch rolls.
  9. Place seam side down on cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 375 degF for 10-12 minutes or until slightly hard to the touch.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and let cool.

Nut Filling

  • 3 Cups Ground Walnuts
  • 10 oz. Nut Filling Mixture
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk.
  1. Mix all ingredients together.  If mixture seems too thick you can add additional milk to thin it.
  2. Spread thin layer on dough.

The apricot filling that we used was premade from the grocery store.

What is your favorite Christmas cookie?

Christmas Sugar Cookies…

22 Dec

Everyone needs cookies to set out for Santa even if you are in your mid-twenties.  Monday night, Mom and I made her famous sugar cookies.  She has been making this recipe since I was in Kindergarten.  The cookies don’t need icing, just some festive sprinkles!



Mom’s Sugar Cookies

Mix your wet ingredients.


Add the dry ingredients and mix again.


Flour your surface.


Roll out and cut out different Christmas shapes.



Put cookies on ungreased cookie sheet and decorate with sprinkles.


Be creative with the sprinkles!  The more sprinkles, the better!




Let cool on a wire rack or fiber free towel.



Take your mom’s finest Christmas china outside and take pictures of the cookies in the snow!






Don’t leave them on the ground too long or your dog will steal one!





Mom’s Sugar Cookies

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 2 1/4 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degF.
  2. Mix butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to wet mixture.  Mix until uniform.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out on floured surface to desired thickness.
  6. Cut out cookies using Christmas cookie cutters.
  7. Decorate with your favorite sprinkles.  Gently press the sprinkles into the cookies so that they will not roll off.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.  Cookies will not be brown but will be firm.
  9. Cool.
  10. Store in air-tight container.
  11. Enjoy!

What type of cookies do you leave out for Santa?

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods….

13 Dec

Finally the tutorial that I promised last week:  How to make my famous Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods.  2 weeks ago I made 160 of these, they aren’t very difficult.  It took a while but I have plenty to use for gifts and Christmas parties.

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Christmas Pretzel Rods

Melt your chocolate chips.

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Set up your station.


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Prep your colored chips.

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Coat the pretzels with chocolate.  Use a spatula to spread the chocolate while spinning the pretzel with your other hand.

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Place your pretzel on cookie sheet and drizzle on red and green topping.

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Sprinkle your favorite toppings: Sprinkles, Crushed M&Ms, Mints, Candy Canes, Etc.

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Let pretzels harden in freezer then enjoy!

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Christmas Pretzel Rods

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Red and Green Melts
  • Sprinkles and Candy for Toppings
  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
  2. Coat the pretzel with chocolate leaving a small part exposed to use as a handle.
  3. Lay on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper.
  4. Melt red & green chips in a squeeze bottle per the directions on the bag and pour over pretzels.
  5. Decorate with sprinkles.
  6. Freeze until hard.
  7. Store in closed containers, in a cold area (garage, freezer etc.) until ready to share.
  8. Enjoy!

These can be adapted for any holiday but for some reason I only make them at Christmas.

Check back tomorrow for a perfect winter soup recipe!

Holiday Bake Sale

6 Dec

Tina at Carrots ‘N’ Cake is having an online bake sale today to raise money for Team in Training which will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I have donated 2 dozen of my wonderful Holiday Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods.  You can find these along with many other delicious treats on her blog post.

All of the rules and logistics are explained on her site.  I hope you get a chance to bid on a delicious treat and help raise money for such a great cause.  Good Luck and Happy Bidding.

Holiday Bake Sale:


I will be posting a recipe tutorial later this week!

A Shony Christmas!

22 Nov

Sunday was full of Christmas decorating and cooking at the Shony house. (Shony is a nickname Tony and I have acquired from our friends).   I will share the recipe for our fantastic dinner later this week.  Back to the decorations….I know it is early, but we will be out-of-town this weekend so yesterday seemed like the perfect day to decorate the house.  It only takes about 2 hours to decorate our tiny house.  Here are some pictures of what we have decorated….

Hopefully Santa will fill my stocking again this year!

Yes, we have two sets of stockings but Santa only fills the ones on the fireplace!

My new table runner and candles!

Every house needs a mistletoe and a pine scented candle! 

I love having our decorations up early!  We get to enjoy them for an extra week. I hope you have enjoyed the mini tour of our holiday decorations.  We still have to decorate our porch and put the lights in the windows, but that can wait until after Thanksgiving.  I don’t want our neighbors to think we are too crazy!

When do you put up your Christmas decorations?


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