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A Tasty Tradition–Sweet Potato Souffle

I’m sure your family has certain holiday foods that you look forward to enjoying each year. Not only to taste, but to anticipate, prepare, smell…. oh, the season of cozy warmth, deep spices, and quality family time! For us, it would be hard to imagine a holiday spread without our Sweet Potato Souffle from our family cookbook, Tasty Traditions. In fact, we almost crossed it off the menu this year for various reasons, but nooooo. It is now in the freezer just waiting to jump into the oven on the Big Day of Gratitude (it is also anticipating being gobbled up with delight, just like the turkey).

We hope you are all enjoying the days that are passing so quickly and savoring every delicious moment to the fullest. There truly is much for which to be thankful!

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Thanksgiving Turkey Treats

These fun and adorable treats are perfect for building relationships with the small people in your life. Watch smiles form and grow as you build your turkeys with your children, siblings, nieces & nephews, or little friends. And besides, who doesn’t like to have miniature turkeys around for the week of Thanksgiving? Smile

 

You will need:

Oreo cookies – 1 per turkey

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Large marshmallows – 1/2 per turkey

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Candy Corn – five per turkey, plus a few extra

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Small amount of frosting

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

Mix all ingredients to make frosting.

 

Assemble your birds:

Spread a little frosting onto a cookie.

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Press half of a marshmallow (cut around the middle “east/west” fashion) onto the cookie, NOT centered.

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Place 5 candy corn evenly spaced above the marshmallow. These are the feathers that make your gobbler’s fan. Winking smile

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Break a tiny piece from one of the extra candy corns, and stick it to the marshmallow with a teeny bit of frosting. This is the gobbler’s beard. Winking smile

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Your bird is complete!

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

It’s the time of year for spicy, pumpkin sensations, and the girls and I had fun putting these little pies together for a ladies event at our home. The recipe measurements should be done a little ad lib (the pie filling is adapted from our family favorite Paradise Pumpkin Pie from Tasty Traditions), but that makes it all the more fun. Enjoy!

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit. Line 3, 1 dozen, muffin tins with papers.

Prepare the crusts:

2 c. graham cracker crumbs

3 Tbsp. sugar

1/3 c. butter

Combine all three in a food processer and process until well combined, then press about 2 Tbsp. of mixture into each muffin cup. Set aside.

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Make the filling:

1 large (29 oz.) can of pumpkin

1/2 c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/4 t. ginger

1/4 t. nutmeg

Dash of salt

1 c. evaporated milk

2 eggs

Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined.

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Assemble the pies:

Using a large muffin scoop, drop one scoop of pie filling into each crust.

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Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until the tops are golden and starting to crack slightly.

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Lyon & Healy Lever Harps for Sale

We are currently selling our Lyon & Healy Prelude lever harp, which we purchased through the Atlanta Harp Center in late 2013. It has been lovingly cared for and enjoyed. We are now selling it because of a recent upgrade. There are some “wear and tear” marks on the column and base. Levers are in excellent working condition. This harp has a vivid, clear, and warm tone, easily comparable to the L&H Chicago pedal harps.
Preludes are wonderful for gigs, studio use, and students. They are able to handle pedal tension gut strings, and feature pedal harp spacing, making them an excellent option for those who would like to progress to a pedal harp. Includes a tuning key and dust cover. We are asking $4500.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions.

 

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Also, we are selling our Lyon & Healy Troubadour III, age unknown. The soundboard and levers were replaced in 2015. The rest of the harp is in like-new condition, and is structurally sound. This harp has a beautiful lever harp tone – clear, vibrant, and it carries well. It would make an excellent student instrument or gig harp. We are asking $3000.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions.

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Old Glory Dessert

One of our faithful readers asked for this recipe… so here it is! This makes a wonderful treat to serve to guests; it looks beautiful but is incredibly simple to put together.

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Old Glory Dessert

2 cups sugar cookie dough [or 1 (18 ounce) tube refrigerated dough]
11 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

Press cookie dough into a greased 15”x10” baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown (do not over-bake). Cool on a wire rack.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Set aside 1/4 cup of mixture. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture over crust. Decorate with blueberries and strawberries to resemble a flag.

Cut a small hole in a corner of a pastry or plastic bag. Insert star tip (#16). Fill with reserved cream mixture. Beginning in one corner, pipe stars in the spaces between blueberries. Store in refrigerator until serving.

 

Notes from TNT:

*As you can see from the photo, piping stars between the berries isn’t always necessary… it does look more esthetically pleasing, though. Smile

*For those of you who are – like us – chocolate fanatics, chocolate-chip cookie dough makes a nice substitution for the sugar dough. Winking smile

*A few weeks ago, we had fun coming up with a gluten-free, dairy-free version of this recipe, simply by using gluten free, dairy-free cookie dough, and using a natural strawberry jam in place of the cream cheese frosting. It was a sweet treat for those with intense diet restrictions.

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Happy Independence Day from the Neely Team!

May each of our hearts turn anew to the One in Whom we have true freedom, that His glory may once again dwell in our land.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

Delicious Use for Old Cookies: “Peanut Butter Mountains”

Who likes to eat stale cookies?

At our house, fresh-baked cookies (and even the un-baked ones, for that matter Smile) have a tendency to disappear quite rapidly. But alas! For the poor neglected old ones… those that have been sitting on the counter for days… those that dried out because someone accidently forgot to seal the container after an afternoon snitch… those that weren’t really the favorite recipe (or didn’t contain enough chocolate Winking smile)…

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Recently we had a bag of stale peanut butter cookies on our counter. Not wanting to waste them, and also desiring to concoct a special dessert to have together on Dad and Mom’s date night, Victoria and I had a little fun making up “Peanut Butter Mountains.”

These can be done with any kind of cookie.

We spread them with a layer of peanut butter (and, next time we’ll be more generous with it) and put a scoop of ice cream on top (chocolate/vanilla in this case, but almost any flavor would be great).

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Then we put them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. This kept the ice cream hard while we continued working on dinner, and allowed the cookie/peanut butter to get cold.

Before serving, we topped it all off with chocolate syrup and whipped cream. Smile

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You should try them! They were a definite hit with all of the kiddos, everyone unanimously agreeing that the layer of peanut butter was the touch of amazingness. Smile

Other ideas:

  • For those that are peanut intolerant, try a layer of almond butter. Or better yet, use Nutella (chocolate hazelnut) spread.
  • Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips, finely chopped nuts, or colored candy sprinkles after the whipped cream.
  • Add some banana slices between the peanut butter/ice cream layers.

Classic Belgian Waffles

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Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 cup applesauce

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Directions:

In a medium sized bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate, larger bowl mix together the maple syrup, apple sauce, milk, and vanilla. Once the wet ingredients are well incorporated, add in the dry ingredients and mix well until combined. Cook according to your waffle maker’s directions. Serve with your favorite waffle toppings and eat with loved ones. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe from allrecipes.com

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Special thanks to our dear friends, the Wilkes Team, for giving us the most amazing Christmas gift of a double waffle maker! What once took hours-and-hours to make for a family of our size now only takes a few minutes! My sweet daughter and I had fun making them together.

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Blueberry Breakfast Rolls

Try this delectable breakfast recipe, that tastes more like a dessert! Soft, sweet, and simple to make, this is sure to become a favorite for any family. Drop us a comment to tell us how you like them.

 

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Blueberry Breakfast Rolls

375° F
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 16 rolls

 

1 (12.4 ounce; 8 count) package refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and well drained
1/3 cup blueberry preserves
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

  •    Lightly grease 16 2 1/2″ muffin cups. Remove cinnamon rolls from package; set icing aside. Cut each cinnamon roll in half crosswise. Press each half in bottom and about 1/2″ up the side of each muffin cup.
  • In a small bowl, stir together blueberries, preserves, and lemon peel. Spoon filling onto dough into muffin cups. Sprinkle with pecans.
  • Bake at 375° F for about 12 minutes or until golden. Cool in muffin cups for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely.
  • Place icing in small bowl. If necessary, add a little milk to make icing of drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over rolls. Serve rolls warm.

 

For more delicious blueberry recipes, check out our family cookbook, Tasty Traditions.