Oven 350 F

Serves 4-5

½ cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped apple

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup chicken broth


Chop onion fine into 1/4″ bits. Cut the apple into quarters and core the seeds, leave the skin. Chop the apple and celery into 1/2″ bits.  Place ingredients in a large glass bowl and microwave 2 minutes on high.


1 (8 oz) bag Pepperidge Farms Herb Seasoned Stuffing ~ 4 cups


Place the stuffing crumbs in a large bowl. Add the vegetable mixture.

1 egg

1 tsp sage

Add the egg and sage. Mix well until all of the stuffing is moist.

Place in a greased casserole dish. Cover with a lid or foil. Bake 40 minutes at 350 F.


This is Fred’s favorite holiday dish; he calls it “Filling”. Is that a Philadelphia thing?  I double this recipe for turkey dinners. You may substitute your own freshly made bread crumbs. To 4 cups of breadcrumbs, add 1 Tbsp Provence Herb mix and 1 tsp salt.

Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Pie 


Serves 8

Single pie crust

Prepare a single baked pie crust and set aside to cool.


¼  cup milk

3 Tbsp cornstarch

1/3 cup cocoa

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla


Mix together with a wire whip or fork until the cornstarch is dissolved.

2 egg yolks


Add the egg yolks and beat well.

1 ¾ cups milk


Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the milk is warm (not boiling), add the egg mixture while quickly stirring with a wire whip. Continue to stir and cook until the pudding becomes very thick. Remove from the heat and pour into the baked pie crust. Cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.


Serve with whipped cream.


Jenny’s favorite Christmas treat is the chocolate pie. Ask her about the year I forgot to add the sugar!

Spicy Shrimp

 Spicy Shrimp


Serves 6-8

2 lb frozen raw shrimp

 (Look for large, deveined or cleaned shrimp in the shell, 16-20 per pound)  

Remove the frozen shrimp from the package and place in a bowl of cool water to thaw for 30 minutes. Peel the shrimp and place in a colander to drain. Leave the tails intact or remove if you prefer.


3 cloves garlic

¼ cup olive oil

4 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot sauce

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Provence or Italian herb Mix

½ tsp salt

Grated black pepper


Mince or finely chop the garlic.


Heat the oil, butter and garlic in a sauté pan or wok over medium heat. Add the seasonings. 


Carefully add the shrimp, protecting yourself with a splatter screen. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon and cook for 4-5 minutes, just until the shrimp becomes pinkish-white and opaque.

1 fresh lime


Remove from the heat and squeeze the lime juice over top.


For an appetizer, serve on a bed of crisp Romaine lettuce leaves.


For a main dish, serve on top of rice or pasta.

Thinking of Bing Crosby? No wonder… Christmas Eve dinner starts with this shrimp appetizer at our house.

Peanut Butter Treasure Cookies

Peanut Butter Treasure Cookies


Oven 375 F

½ cup sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup shortening

½ cup peanut butter

1 egg

Blend together.

1 ¼ cup flour

¾ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

Stir in dry ingredients. Roll dough into ¾ inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake until set, but not hard, about 5-6 minutes.


5 Hershey chocolate  candy bars

Break the candy bars into the rectangular pieces. Press a rectangle “treasure” into each cookie while it is still warm.


Laura and I first made these cookies for Christmas 2007. The chocolate reminded us of little treasure chests stuck in the sand. They will definitely be part of our holiday traditions in the future!

Sugar Bombs

Sugar Bomb 
 You will need 4 lbs of Domino’s powdered sugar in total. Buy the 2 lb bags, or if you are measuring by the cup, use 4 cups of powdered sugar per pound. 


Yields 10-12 dozen candies

(Seems like too many… until you taste them!) 

2 cups butter (4 sticks)

2 pounds Domino’s powdered sugar


Warm the butter to room temperature. (You may microwave on lowest power setting for 10-20 seconds, but take care not to melt.) Mix the butter on high speed until soft. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on slow speed.  Add the second half of powdered sugar and continue to mix for 5-10 minutes until it forms a fluffy ball.


2 tsp vanilla

½ cup heavy cream


 pounds powdered sugar


Add the vanilla and mix on medium speed. Alternate small amounts of powdered sugar and cream, continuing to mix until all of the cream is added. The dough should be on the dry side. Keep adding powdered sugar until the dough comes clean from the side of the bowl.

1 – 2 cups of powdered sugar

Sprinkle the countertop with a 1 cup of powdered sugar, turn out the candy and knead in additional sugar with the heel of your hand until no longer sticky. Roll into balls, using additional sugar to keep the candy from sticking to your hands. Place on wax paper covered baking sheets and refrigerate several hours. At this point, you may place in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to dip in chocolate.


5 packages Nestle      semi-sweet chocolate chips

Dip the chocolates in 3 or 4 small batches. For each batch, place 2” of chocolate chips in the top of a top of a double boiler with 3” of water in the lower pan. Melt the chocolate by boiling the water on high heat. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a smaller sauce pan inside a larger one. Place 2 “of water in the bottom pan.

Once the chocolate is melted, turn the temperature to low, and work quickly or the chocolate may crystallize. Place one sugar ball in the chocolate and use a spoon to cover it with chocolate. Use two toothpicks to quickly remove the sugar bomb and place on wax paper.

After each batch, wash the pan and begin melting a fresh batch of chocolate chips.

Cool the tray of candy in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets up. Package in air-tight containers and refrigerate until you are ready to enjoy them.


 My first experiment with this candy was shortly after Fred and I were married. I noticed that he would pick through a box of chocolates, looking for the vanilla creams. Little Freddie called my home made version “the bombs”, and we have been making them every Christmas since.