4 cups of blackberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp corn starch
**1 tbsp water if using fresh berries**
Combine blackberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir as sugar mixes with blackberry juice and melts, about 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl combine lemon juice and corn starch. Stir in the lemon mixture into the blackberries. Bring to a boil and allow to cook for another 2 minutes as the sauce thickens.
Christmas Coffee with Brandied Whipped Cream
1/4 cup chilled whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1 cup freshly ground coffee (preferably a mild roast such s Colombian)
5 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 cups water
Place ground coffee, cardamom, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in coffee filter. Using spoon, mix gently. Add water to coffee maker and brew according to manufacturer's instructions. Divide coffee among 8 cups. Garnish each with a dollop of whipped cream and serve immediately.
Denny’s Style French Toast
⅔ cup whole milk
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 slices thick bread (such as Texas toast)
3 tablespoons butter
Whisk together eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium/low heat. When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of butter. If butter smokes, your pan is too hot, turn down the heat. Drop each bread slice into the batter for about 30 seconds per side. Let some of the batter drip off then drop the bread into the buttered pan. Cook each battered bread slice for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Add more butter to the pan as needed to cook all the french toast. Serve three slices of french toast per plate. Dust each serving with a little powdered sugar.
Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies
1 (12 -16 ounce) packages bacon ( not thick sliced, thinner bacon works better, inexpensive is fine)
1 (16 ounce) packages lit'l smokies sausages
cinnamon sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Open the packages of bacon and cut the whole slab into thirds across the bacon pieces. I usually cut them straight out of the refrigerator while they're cold, then allow them to warm a bit before wrapping the Smokies - the bacon is more pliable when not very cold, and makes it easier to work with awkwardly-shaped pieces. To make assembly even easier, line up pieces of bacon on your cutting board or a clean counter. Wrap each Lit'l Smokie in a 1/3-cut piece of bacon, then secure with a toothpick. Lay wrapped Smokies on a sheet pan. Tilting the toothpick downward makes lining them up a bit easier. (If you are making a double or triple batch with a Costco-sized 3-pound package of Smokies, continue wrapping until you run of room on your sheet pan, and then - just to make the overall assembly easier - can continue wrapping until you run out of the Smokies and simply put them in a bowl until you can lay them out on another sheet pan later or when your first one is out of the oven. If you run out of bacon before Smokies, you can cut some strips of bacon lengthwise to make additional slices so that you'll have enough.). Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar on each Smokie - I simply sprinkle by hand. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes.