Last minute holiday ideas



1 egg plus

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1/4 c. water

1/2 c. gran. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/4 c.  tarragon wine vinegar

1/2 c. mayonnaise

3 Tbsp. butter, softened

4 c. fresh broccoli flowerets

1/2 c. raisins

2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms

1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted

6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled

1/2 large red onion, sliced

In top of double boiler whisk together egg, egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch and dry mustard. Combine vinegar and water. Slowly pour into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Place over simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in mayonnaise and butter. Chill. To serve toss dressing with broccoli, mushrooms, oranges, raisins, slmonds, onion and bacon in serving bowl. 10-12 servings.



2 1/2 tsp. loose tea leaves

2 whole cloves

1 tsp. coarsely crushed  cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp. dried orange peel

Cotton string

1/4 tsp. dried lemon peel

5” square of fine-mesh cheesecloth

Place tea leaves, cinnamon pieces, orange and lemon peel, allspice and cloves on cheesecloth square. Bring corners together and tie with string to form a bag. To brew tea place bag in mug and add 6 oz. boiling water; steep four – five minutes.



3 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted

2 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. chopped pecans

1 1/2 c. chopped fresh cranberries

1 Tbsp. grated orange peel


1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. grated orange peel

1/4 c. chopped pecans

For muffins combine flour, sugar and baking powder in large mixing bowl. Make well in center of mixture and add milk, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir just until all ingredients are moistened (batter will be lumpy). Stir in cranberries, pecans and orange peel. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. For topping, combine sugar, orange peel and cinnamon in small bowl. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over muffins. Bake in preheated 375° oven for 25-30 minutes or until muffin springs back when gently pressed. Makes about 24 muffins.


We have a reader asking for a caramelized popcorn mix including pretzels and potato chips, with malted white and chocolate. She says she has tasted it and it was very good, but she has been unable to find a recipe. I’ve looked in many of my books with no success. Can anyone help?



1 (16 oz.) jar peanut butter    2 Tbsp. honey

1 c. miniature semisweet 1 c. chopped miniature

chocolate chips   marshmallows

1/2 c. chopped salted peanuts

Graham cracker bears or vanilla wafers

Combine all ingredients (except bears or wafers) in microwave-safe container, blending well. Microwave on high 1 minute and gently stir to swirl mixture. Do not overcook; chocolate will soften when stirred. Spoon into container. Serve with graham cracker bears or vanilla wafers. About 3 cup of spread.



2 c. chopped dried apples   10 c. popped popcorn

2 c. pecan halves                4 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 Tbsp. firmly packed 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

brown sugar   1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Place apples in large shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes in preheated 250° oven. Remove pan from oven and stir in popcorn and pecans. In small bowl combine remaining ingredients. Drizzle butter mixture over popcorn mixture, stirring well. Bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Pour onto waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes about 1/4 cup.



6 Tbsp. butter or margarine, softened

2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 c. whipping cream

6 red baking apples, cored

1 (10 oz.) pkg. caramels

1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. water, divided

1 c. whipping cream

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In small bowl combine butter and nutmeg. Using 1 Tbsp. for each apple, fill centers of apples with butter mixture. Place apples in baking pan and add 1/4 c. water to pan. Bake 30-35 minutes in preheated 350° oven. In heavy saucepan over low heat, melt caramels with 2 Tbsp. water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cream. To serve pour caramel mixture over baked apples. Top with sweetened whipped cream (whip 1 cup cream, add sugar and vanilla).