Rosemary Cashews

1 pound roasted unsalted cashews
2 T minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I think I used Sriracha at your house)
2 Tsp. Light brown sugar
1 T salt
1 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 (177 C).

Spread the cashews out on a sheet pan.
Toast in oven until warm, about 5 minutes
In a large bowl, combine the Rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and butter.  Thoroughly toss the warm cashews with the spiced butter. Can serve warm or cold.


Stuffed Mushrooms

12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 T vegetable oil
1 T minced garlic
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder (I think I used 2 T finely chopped onion)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (again, I think I used siracha)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 Celsius)

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray
Clean mushrooms, carefully break off stems.  Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough ends of stems. (I also used your melon scooper on the cap and chopped them too, as it allows more stuffing in the caps).

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet.  Fry until moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic.  Set aside to cool.  When no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper.  Mixture should be thick.
Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing.  Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under the caps.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes by Paula Dean

This was absolutely amazing – may make it a new Thanksgiving staple!

1 package (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 T butter, melted

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
8 T butter, melted
1 16 oz box powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 (175C).
Combine cake mix, eggs and butter.  Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13×9 in baking dish.

To make filling:  in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.  Add eggs, vanilla and butter and beat together.  Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix well.  Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 mi .  Make sure not to overtake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with whipped creme.

Potica (Nut Roll)

Another Christmas tradition from my mom’s side of the family.

Bread (2 loaves):

4 1/4 – 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast (approximately 2 1/2 teaspoon)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten

In saucepan, heat together milk, sugar, butter and salt just till warm (115 F/46C).  Add 1-2T of milk mixture to yeast, let sit 10 min until foamy.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour to yeast and the rest of the milk mixture, and the eggs.   mix throughly by hand with wooden spoon.  Add enough of remaking flour to make moderately stiff dough.  Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic (8-10 min).  Place in a greased bowl, turn once to grease surface.  Cover, let rise until doubled (1 hour).
Divide dough in half.
Roll each half on floured surface to 24x 14 inch rectangle.  Spread each with half of the filling.  Beginning with long edge,Mollie up jelly roll fashion.  Wet edge and pinch to seal seam and edges.  Coil loosely on greased baking sheets.  Cover, let rise till double (1 hour).
Bake 350 (175C) for 20 min, cover with foil and bake additional 15 min.
Cool, frost with icing if desired, top icing with chopped walnuts.

1/4 cup butter, melt in pot
Add:1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Bring to a roiling boil.
12 ounces ground walnuts (3 cups)
Cool slightly, stir in:
2 beaten eggs
2 tsp lemon juice

Icing (optional)
1/4 cup milk
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt
Chopped nuts

Norwegian Krumkake

Norwegian waffle cookie made with a special decorative two-sided iron griddle. They are popular among Norwegian immigrant descendants in New England and the American Midwest. It was a Christmas tradition when I was growing up.


3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup flour


Beat together eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Mix in butter.  Beat in flour until smooth.  (Add more melted butter if krumkakes turn out too thick, or more flour if too thin).

Heat iron on stovetop.  Add a small dab of butter to season iron and then wipe off.
Put small amount of batter (1/2 T for 6 inch iron).  Close gently.  Bake til golden on one side (15-20 seconds), turn iron over and bake another 15-20 seconds.  Remove cookie with spatula, immediately roll into cylinder on wooden or metal form.  Cool, seam side down .

Can fill with cream or other filling.

Rich Roll Cookies and Icing

Roll Cookies recipe from Joy of Cooking. Made every Christmas by my mother. 

Cream:  1 cup butter, 2/3 cup sugar
Beat in:  1egg, 1 teasp. Vanilla or Almond extract
Combine and add:  2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1/2 teasp. salt
Optional:  1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Chill dough, 3-4 hours before rolling.  One hour works too.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll and cut with cookie cutters.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet 8-10 minutes or until slightly colored.

Decorate With: Mary Sullivan’s Best Icing Ever

Mix and boil for 1 min, then cool:
4 T sugar
2 T water
Beat 2 egg whites until fluffy:
Add sugar/water mixture & beat.
Add & beat in:
2/3 cup crisco
1 t vanilla
1/2 t butter flavoring
1/2 t almond flavoring
1/2 t salt
Add:  l pound sugar.
Beat until fluffy.

Chocolate Babka



  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa, Triple Cocoa Blend, or the cocoa powder of your choice, Dutch-process or natural
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips, mini chips preferred
  • 1 cup diced pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired


  • 1 large egg beaten with a pinch of salt until well-combined



  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients (starting with the lesser amount of water), mixing until everything is moistened. Add additional water if necessary to enable the dough to come together. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Then mix/knead it until it’s soft and smooth.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover the bowl. The dough is going to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s quite puffy.
  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Set the pieces aside, covered, while you make the filling.
  4. To make the filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, and espresso. Stir in the melted butter. The mixture will look grainy and slick; that’s OK.
  5. Shape each half of the dough into a 9″ x 18″, 1/4″-thick rectangle. If the dough “fights back,” let it rest for 10 minutes to relax the gluten, then stretch it some more. Don’t be fussy about this; 19″ or 20″ is as good as 18″.
  6. Smear each piece of the dough with half the filling, coming to within an inch of the edges.
  7. Scatter half the nuts, and half the chopped chocolate/chips over each piece. If using standard-size chips, process them in a food processor first, to create smaller bits of chocolate and a less chunky filling.
  8. Starting with a short end, roll each piece gently into a log, sealing the seam and ends. Working with one log at a time, use a pair of scissors or a sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise (not crosswise) to make two pieces of dough about 10″ long each; cut carefully, to prevent too much filling from spilling out. With the exposed filling side up, twist the two pieces into a braid, tucking the ends underneath. Repeat with the other log. Place each log into a lightly greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  9. Brush each loaf with the egg glaze. Mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly, and sprinkle half the topping over each loaf.
  10. Tent each pan with plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise until they’re very puffy and have crowned a good inch over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 300°F.
  11. Bake the bread for 35 minutes. Tent lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes (for a total of 50 to 60 minutes); the loaves should be a deep-golden brown.
  12. To ensure the loaves are baked through, insert a digital thermometer into the center of one loaf. It should register at least 190°F.
  13. Remove the loaves from the oven, and immediately loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Let the loaves cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out of the pans onto a rack to cool completely.
  14. Slice the babka and serve it at room temperature; or rewarm individual slices briefly in a toaster, if desired. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.