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30 Days of Christmas Day 8:Testing, Testing--A Giveaway

We're going to try something new today. I read about InstaFreebie online, and I want to see if it's as easy as they say. Soooooo, if you haven't read THE SLEUTH SISTERS or you know someone who should, here's the link to a FREE e-copy http://www.instafreebie.com/free/1XMHQ I would appreciate some feedback on how well InstaFreebie works, because I understand people are abusing the Amazon Gift books that authors provide. When we "gift" an e-book on Amazon, a few nasty folks trade that gift in for cash and spend it on something else. I know, it's sad. I guess people who would do that aren't likely to provide an Amazon review anyway, which is why we give books away (and because we love our readers, of course!) InstaFreebie claims it can work with any e-reader. I put the book up for a week, so you have until next Wednesday, Dec. 9, to get your copy or tell someone else how to find it. If it works well, I'll do more giveaways over the next few mo

And for Christmas Dinner...

How about replacing rolls with something new and interesting? Yorkshire Pudding Put 2 tbsp. of oil into a round cake pan and set it in a 425 degree over to heat to almost smoking. (While looking for pictures, I saw that some people make these in muffin cups. I've never tried it, but you can if you like.) In the meantime, mix 1 c. flour 1/2 tsp. salt Dash pepper 2 eggs 1 c. milk This will make a thin batter, which you'll pour into the hot oil and bake 25-30 minutes (don't open the oven door until time is up). Slice like a pie and serve with butter/gravy.

Easy Holiday Breakfast Omelet

If you've got a houseful of company for the holidays, here's a breakfast treat you can make ahead and pop in the oven just before the gift opening begins. It makes the house smell great, and when the last of the unwrapping is done, there's breakfast for everyone! 1 doz. eggs dash pepper 1 tsp. salt 2 1/2 c. milk 1 c. American cheese, grated 3 slices bread, cubed Mix ingredients ahead of time and refrigerate. Get creative with things your family likes by adding chopped ham, crumbled bacon, peppers, onion, sausage, etc. In the morning, pour mixture into 9x13 pan and bake for 45 min. at 350 degrees. You can serve this on bagels or English muffins, or with toast on the side for a complete and wonderful holiday breakfast.

Fruit Pizza

I don't claim this one is exactly healthy, but it does have fruit, and you can make it look very festive by focusing on reds and greens. Make sugar cookie dough and flatten it onto a lightly greased pizza pan. You can use your own recipe or even store-bought, but here's one that works: Crust: 1 c. butter or margarine 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar 1 egg 1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 tsp. almond extract 1 tsp. soda 1 tsp. cream of tartar Blend butter, sugar, egg & almond extract well. Mix flour, soda, and tartar and blend in. Bake in 375 degree oven until lightly browned. Cool. Topping When cool crust is completely cool, spread with topping. 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened 1/3 c. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla Fruit: Top with fresh fruit: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi, bananas, etc. (Note: I've never gotten as creative as the pic above, but someday I might!)

Four-layer Delight

The pudding you use is your choice. I like pistachio for this one. 1 stick oleo/butter 1 c. flour 1/2 c. chopped nuts 8 oz. cream cheese 1 c. powdered sugar 1 package Cool Whip 3 c. milk 2 small packages instant pudding Layer 1: Melt oleo, add flour and nuts. Press into 9x13 pan and bake at 375 degrees for 15 min. Layer 2: Blend cream cheese & p. sugar, add 1 c. Cool Whip. Mix and spread over cooled Layer 1. Layer 3: Mix 2 pudding mixes with milk. Pour over 1 & 2. Chill until set. Layer 4: Spread remaining Cool Whip on top

Caramels

I only make these once a year because the cooking part takes so darned long. Still, they're wonderful little bits of heaven, and they cost a fraction of what you'll pay in a candy store. 2 c. sugar Dash salt 2 c. white corn syrup 1/2 stick butter 2 c. condensed milk 1 tsp. vanilla Boil sugar, salt and corn syrup to 245 degrees. Add butter & milk (don't let it stop boiling). Cook to 242 degrees, stirring constantly (this is the part that takes forever, but it you aren't careful it will scorch on the bottom and you'll have lumps of yukky stuff.) Add vanilla. Pour into 9-inch square pan and cool. Cut into squares and wrap in waxed paper.