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*In The Kitchen ~ Party Recipes

Spring Fruit Salad...
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Canned peaches and a little juice
  • Cutie orange slices
  • Green grapes
  • Pears--diced
Very refreshing for a warm spring day.

Yummy Punch Recipes...
 I always love to have a great tasting punch at any party!

Spring Punch Recipe:  
 2-6oz cans frozen lemonade(concentrate)
 1-6oz can frozen orange juice(concentrate)
 9 cups water
 1 qt. rainbow sherbet
 1 qt. vanilla ice cream
--Mix juices & water in punch bowl, then scoop in sherbet & ice cream--stir gently. Enjoy!

Isabella Punch:
1 bottle cran-raspberry juice
1 bottle raspberry gingerale
1 qt. vanilla ice cream
--Add cran-raspberry to punch bowl, slowly add the gingerale
--Slowly add enough ice cream (to taste)

Cranberry Lemonade  --Sooooo easy and sooo good!
Equal parts  Lemonade (Minute Maid, Simply Lemonade or Homemade
Cranberry Juice Cocktail  (Ocean Spray)
   (about 1/2 gallon each for a large punch bowl ) 
Crushed ice  (about 2-3 cups)
Lemon & Cranberry ice ring (directions below)
 Place lemon & cranberry ice ring in the bottom of the punch bowl.  Then add crushed ice, 2 cups at first, then more at the end if needed.
Pour in lemonade, then cranberry.  No need to stir.  Enjoy!

Lemon & Cranberry Ice Ring...
     Use your favorite jello ring mold or bunt cake pan.  Line with sliced lemons and real cranberries (frozen ones work well.)  Pour in water.  Add a little yellow or red food coloring to the water and mix, if desired.  Do this to the water before you pour it in the mold.  Freeze overnight.  To pop out the ice ring, turn it upside down on a plate and secure in place.  Run under warm water until loose.  You can make ice rings with any kind of fruit. 

Creamsicle Punch...
One 64 oz container of your favorite orange juice, 100% juice. 
One container of french vanilla ice cream; creamy slow-churned ice cream or even vanilla frozen yogurt for a healthy alternative.

Place orange juice in large punch bowl.  Scoop in most of the vanilla ice cream.  Stir until frothy and add a few handfuls of ice.  Place a few scoops of ice cream to float on top.  Add a few orange slice circles to float in between the scoops of ice cream. 

Simple Holiday Punch

1  2liter bottle Ginger ale
1  2liter bottle Cranberry Ginger ale or Cherry 7up
1 64oz bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
Frozen cranberries
Crushed Ice
Mix equal parts of juice and pop, stir lightly.  Toss in some frozen cranberries and ice.

Party Cookies...
Our Sour Dough Sugar Cookies
Sour Dough Sugar Cookies ~ Drop Cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 small egg
2 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar for sprinkling on cookies prior to baking

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a mixer or fork, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla extract. Blend in the dry ingredients.
Roll into loose balls of dough and sprinkle a little sugar on top.
Place on lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cracked and set.  Don't allow them to get golden brown on edges.  Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet.  Store in your favorite cookie tin and ENJOY!!!
Makes about #40 small cookies.
Key Lime Coolers

Christmas Snowball Cookies
a.k.a. Russian Tea Cakes Recipe
by Betty Crocker
*1 cup butter
*1/2 cup powdered sugar
*1 3/4 cups flour
*1/4 cup cornstarch
*1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well, roll into balls, bake at 350 degrees, 10 minutes or until golden brown on bottom, immediately roll in powdered sugar.
Key Lime Coolers:  Add 1 tsp. lime zest and a little juice, (just a squeeze.) Flatten rounded balls of dough, bake, coat with powdered sugar.

Apricot and Coconut Kisses
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tbsp butter at room temp. sliced
3/4 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 cup coconut lightly toasted
Diced cherries for garnish

Finely chop apricots.  Pour in a bowl with orange juice and soak until completely dissolved.
Beat butter and sugar, add the soaked apricots and other ingredients.  Shape into balls and chill.  Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.  Makes 12
Recipe from the Complete Book of Cookies by Catherine Atkinson

Colorful Lemon-Cooler Cookies 
 (Also Christmas Snowballs--Omit lemon)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
Powdered sugar
Food coloring

Colored sugar crystals-Variation

Heat oven 350.  Beat softened butter and powdered sugar.  Stir in flour, cornstarch, lemon, and vanilla.  Beat until well combined (separates from the bowl.)  Separate dough into how ever many colors you would like and add food color; mix.
Roll into balls.  (Roll in colored sugar crystals at this time if preferred.)  Place on cookie tray and bake until edges are light golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them. Remove from tray and immediately roll in powdered sugar, (unless using sugar crystals.)

Makes about 3 dozen.  I usually double this recipe to make sure I have enough, because they just melt in your mouth.

Variation:  You can use any flavoring, like lime, strawberry or plain vanilla. The possibilities are endless. 

-adapted from Betty Crocker Cookie Book, 2003

Choco-Mint Sugar Cookies...
Melt chocolate chips and Andies mint chocolates in a microwave safe bowl--30 seconds--stir--then 30 more seconds--stir until smooth.  Use as a glaze over your favorite sugar cookies.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.  Enjoy!

More to come!

How to Make Edible Dirt...

Chocolate graham crackers
Chocolate Oreos (with out the filling)  Twist them and remove filling.
White non-perils (sprinkles)

Using Zip Loc bags and a rolling pin, fill the bags with cookies and use the rolling pin to crush the cookies.  This is one of the best ways to crush cookies with out a mess.  You can also use a food processor.

Mix together all cookie crumbs and add white non-perils for a "soil" type look.
You can use a little brown graham crackers in the mix, depending how you want the dirt to look. 

Use on top of wet frosting (frosting before it crusts.)  Use for dirt desserts, ice cream cakes, cupcakes and more. 

Edible dirt and fondant veggies, decorate these cute little cupcakes
by Samantha's Sweets

How to Make Edible Sand:

Graham crackers
Vanilla wafer cookies
Granulated brown sugar

There are lots of different ways to add edible sand to your desserts...
  • Use crushed graham crackers, vanilla wafer cookies and brown sugar mixed.
  • Use just granulated brown sugar.  Dominoe makes a granulated brown sugar that looks more realistic than soft brown sugar.
  • Use the cookie mix described above and add some white granulated sugar.
  • Bread crumbs work for savory recipes. 
How to Make Edible Water:
There are several different things you can use to make edible water...
  • Wilton supplies--Blue Sparkle Gel, Blue Sparkling Sugars, Pearlized Sprinkles, Cake Sparkles or Colored Sprinkles.  All items available at  Just sprinkle on the top of wet blue tinted frosting.
  • I like to use a product called piping gel.  Mix piping gel with a small amount of gel food coloring.  Pick a shade of blue to best match your project... Cornflower Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Delphinium Blue or Teal--Wilton colors, available at Micheal's and Wal-Mart.  I sometimes mix a little white frosting in for a foam or wave effect. 
  • Use butter cream frosting in different shades of blues and white, do not mix together the entire way and then spread for desired look.
  • Use your spatula to apply.  Use an upward motion to create ripples or waves in the water unless it is to be a flat fishing pond. 


Most everyone loves a good brownie!  Here are some recipes and tips for great brownies...

  • Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie mix is one of the best mixes to use!
Add ingredients to spice things up!
  • Add a little real vanilla extract or almond extract for extra flavor.
  • Add chocolate chips of different varieties like milk, dark, semi-sweet, white, swirled or peanut butter.
  • Add pecans and caramel topping for Turtle Brownies!  Toast the pecans separately then add to cooled brownies with drizzles of ready-made caramel sauce.
  • Add candy bar pieces for Candy Bar Brownies!  Just cut up your favorite candy bar and throw the pieces in the batter.  Add some to the top also, when you 1st bring it out of the oven.
  • Add M & M's for a colorful sweet touch.
  • Frost with chocolate frost or colored butter cream. 
  • Add marshmallows, walnuts and chocolate chips for Rocky Road Brownies.
There are so many possibilities!  Have fun experimenting with different combinations and let the kids help!  Baking is a great family activity and you can teach them science, measurement and math skills.

My Brownie Frost Recipe (Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting)...

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine  (I always use butter!)
2/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. real vanilla extract

Melt butter, stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Add a little more powdered sugar until desired taste, which makes a lighter cocoa flavor.  Also for a lighter cocoa flavor, add less cocoa.  Stir in small amount additional milk, if needed.  Stir in vanilla.

Best Brownies ( Hershey's recipe)

If you want to make brownies from scratch, this is a nice recipe...

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 350, grease your pan (9 inch square,) stir together butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs, beat well.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beat until well blended.  Stir in nuts or other ingredients if desired.  Spread into pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes.  Cool, frost and decorate!  Enjoy.

Fruity Marshmallow Jello Recipe...

  • 1 large box raspberry Jell-O (6 oz)
  • 4 cups water, minus 2 tbsp
  • 1 small can mandarin oranges (11 oz) with a tbsp of the light syrup
  • a few sliced strawberries (about 3-4 large strawberries)
  • a bag of fruit flavored mini-marshmallows (about half the bag)

  • Make the Jell-O according to the directions. (I like to use the speedy-method with some ice cubes.)
  • Pour it into a glass or ceramic pan. (I like to use a 10 x 10 size for this recipe.)
  • Add the oranges with a little of the light syrup (1 tbsp,) and the sliced strawberries.

  • Top with marshmallows and place into the refrigerator until completely set (a few hours.)

  • Enjoy!
  • For a decorative touch, make the recipe in individual clear containers for a fun and refreshing treat!

Tea Party Recipes...

Easy Cinnamon Roll Bisquits...
  In a greased baking dish, place ready made Pilsbury biscuits (5), spread a mixture of (3 tbsp. softened butter, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon) onto the top of each biscuit. Then place another biscuit on top of each, spread with more mixture and sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Double the mixture recipe if you want them extra sweet and throw a little extra sugar & cinnamon on top of pecans. Bake at 375 for about 10-12 min. or until golden brown. Watch bottoms don't burn. Top with more butter and serve. So yummy! Great for a tea party!

Easy Chocolate Pecan Cake...
  Bake your favorite chocolate cake recipe for one layer of cake.  Simply warm already baked cake in oven, take out and add already made caramel sauce (warmed also) and toasted, lightly sugared pecans!  So easy and so good! 

Tip:  Bake your favorite chocolate cake in 9inch rounds, wrap up well and freeze.  So anytime you need a quick dessert for company or a party, just unthaw and follow the directions above. 

Lightly Sugared Pecans:  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray (use a thick coat.)  
 Toss chopped pecans evenly on sheet then lightly sprinkle with sugar.  Roast in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes, take out and toss around on sheet.  Place them back in the oven to roast until toasty.  Watch them so they don't burn!  Let cool and store in an air tight container. 

Crock Pot Favorites:

Three Pepper Sausage Soup

1 large box chicken broth
1 large can tomato sauce
1 onion-chopped
3 celery stalks-chopped and some celery leaves as well
1/2 of a green, red and yellow pepper-chopped
1/3 of a regular can of spinach
5 Italian sausage links-Mild, hot or sweet(which ever you prefer)
Noodles-egg or shells - cooked separate
Salt and pepper

Chop vegetables and cook in a skillet with a few tablespoons butter and salt and pepper.
Add all ingredients into a crock pot.  Cook on low in crock pot for about 6 hours, at least.  Cut up sausage into bite size pieces.  Add cooked noodles with soup when serving and garnish with some cheese (Mozzarella or Parmesan)  Enjoy!  Very flavorful!  No other seasonings needed!

Italian Wedding Soup

2 large boxes + 2 cans of chicken broth
1/2 can spinach
Mini meatballs (recipe to follow) browned in skillet
Small shell noodle cooked separate
Salt and pepper, garlic seasonings
Cheese to garnish

Brown meatballs in skillet.  Add to chicken broth and spinach in crock pot.  Cook 6 hours.  Add cooked noodles before serving and garnish with cheese, Parmesan. 

Meatball Recipe:

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
Salt, pepper and garlic seasonings
Roll into small meatballs and brown in a drizzle of olive oil, in a non-stick skillet.  Cook the rest of the way in soups or spaghetti sauces.