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Happy Tuesday and welcome to our hop. This week’s challenge comes from the fabulous J.J. Devine:

What is your favorite holiday cookie recipe?

Okay, this is one of my best kept secrets, so don’t tell anyone. Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix. Well, not just the mix. But it is the perfect base for so many variations. And, I am not the only one who’s figured this out, since the packages are sold out as soon as they land on the shelves this time of year.

I make chocolate caramel turtles by spreading melted caramel over the finished cookies and then dipping them in chocolate.

I make lemon cookies by icing the finished cookies with lemon curd.

And I add pistachios and cranberries to the batter before baking. So good.

And there are so many other options. Just use your imagination. And so much easier than gathering all the ingredients and baking from scratch.

I love shortcuts like this since I once had a breakfast catering service and had to constantly come up with new ideas. And I didn’t have the luxury of time. And it still counts as homemade, doesn’t it?

Have a delicious holiday!

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Now, let’s hop over to the wonderful C.L. Marcolini and see her favorite recipe.

http://clmarcolini.weebly.com/blog

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Thanks for coming to our hop and welcome. This week’s challenge comes from the remarkable Jenna Da Sie:

Write a review or a critique about your favorite show on TV right now.

It makes sense that I would be a fan of “Outlander” since romance is everything. But, this show surpassed my expectations. From the incredibly perfect casting of Sam Heughan as Jamie and Caitriona Balfe as Claire, to the writing, this show has it all. The actors seem born to play these characters and their chemistry is so real, it’s palpable.

Many times a show or movie that is an adaptation leaves much to be desired. But this one manages to capture the essence and magic of the books and bring them totally to life.

Even knowing the story, I am engrossed in every episode. And isn’t that what makes for great television?

Oh, and speaking of time travel….look what was just released!!!!!

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Now, let’s hop over to the incredible CL Marcolini and see what show has caught her attention.

http://clmarcolini.weebly.com/blog

 

 

 

 

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This week’s challenge comes from the wonderful CL Marcolini:

The holiday season is upon us! What do you do to get into the holiday spirit?

Let’s face it…Hallmark movies do it! They are full of the magic of the season, the promise of true, everlasting love and the glory of Christmas. And watching them, I can’t help but get in the mood.

But there is something else. Every year, I “adopt” a family or some children and get them presents. Because, Christmas movies aside, this is a holiday for everyone. Buying gifts for people who wouldn’t otherwise get anything is the true magic of Christmas for me.

I think sometimes we all get so caught up in the season, we actually forget what it’s about. For me, it’s recognizing my blessings and sharing. It’s about giving something to others. Spreading love and gifts. That is the true spirit of Christmas.

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Now let’s hop over to the incredible CL Marcolini and see what gets her in the spirit….

http://clmarcolini.weebly.com/blog

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Thanksgiving is only two days away and this week’s challenge comes from the fantastic CL Marcolini:

It’s just not Thanksgiving if there’s no _____ on the table. Share the recipe and a memory about dinners with family.

Here’s one dish that always makes me think of Thanksgiving….

Special Cranberry Sauce. (Or drunken cranberry sauce).

1 – 3 oz package of strawberry or raspberry Jello

1 cup boiling water

1 cup dry sherry (instead of cold water)

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

1 small can pineapple chunks, drained

½ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)

Mix the boiling water with the Jello in a large bowl and stir until dissolved. Then add the sherry and stir well. Fold in the cranberry sauce, the pineapple and the nuts. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours or until set.

 

I never had a traditional family Thanksgiving, so I don’t really have memories to share. But I am always grateful for my blessings.

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And now let’s hop over to the wonderful C.L. Marcolini and get her favorite recipe and memory…

http://clmarcolini.weebly.com/blog

 

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Welcome to our weekly hop! This week, I asked the question:

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?

Without a doubt, I have to say Jamaica. It’s the tropics. I love the sun and the sand and when it rains, it’s just enough to cool off the day. I love the accent. Listening to the locals’ speak is lyrical. Just their voices remind me I’m far from home and in a place where I can relax.

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But, most of all…it’s the people themselves. They are so kind and welcoming and it seems they are always smiling. Everything is ‘irie” which means ‘all right’ or ‘no problem’.  The local attitude reminds me to take life easier, appreciate simple things, like seashells and wood carvings and the warmth that is everywhere. Or the thrill of climbing a waterfall or just basking in the sunshine.

When life gets complicated or difficult, which is does, I can close my eyes and picture myself back there. And life gets better.

TDDancer_eBook_HiResEmmaDance_ebook_HIRES_jesterdance_ebook_proof5DanceTime_ebook_PROOF6                                                                                                                                  Coming Soon!

Let’s hop over and check out the wonderful Brenda Margriet’s favorite spot.

http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

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Hello and welcome to the hop. This week’s challenge comes from the fantastic J.J. Devine:

What is your favorite fall activity?

When the trees change colors, I like nothing better than to get on my bike or jump in the car and ride around looking at the incredible colors of fall. All the shades of red, oranges and yellows are amazing. How do they do that? It’s as if nature puts on a fashion show to let us know that summer had officially ended and the trees have dressed up to prepare for a new season.

Too soon, the leaves drop from their branches and the bare limbs remind us that they are resting until a new show comes after the weight of winter. We just have to be patient.

I love bringing out the teapot for an afternoon break (with cookies, of course) and pulling out my warm sweaters and wearing socks. I love snuggling under the comforter at night and sitting in front of a roaring fire. I love Halloween.

But my favorite is watching the trees show off their glory.

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Let’s hop over and see what the marvelous Brenda Margriet likes best….

http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog

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Welcome to our Halloween hop. The challenge this week comes from the amazing Jenna Da Sie.

Do you dress up for Halloween, and if so, what are you planning this year? What did (or will) you do to celebrate? Or, tell us a favorite Halloween story from years gone by.

I just love Halloween. I always have. Some years I’ve put on a costume, some I just waited for the adorable children to show up. And there have been some great parties.

I think we all like to be scared a little bit. Some more than others. And Halloween seems a pretty safe way to listen to ghost stories and tales of monsters and still be able to giggle.

One Halloween night, it was very cold. A group of us went outside and sat around a fire. We toasted marshmallows and made s’mores and then one of the boys decided it was time to tell a favorite tale. It goes like this….

A couple were ‘making out’ in a car in a lover’s lane one night. There was some rustling noise outside. They ignored it. It came again. And again. Finally, the boy decided to investigate. He got out of the car and the girl heard a little more commotion, then nothing. She called out to her boyfriend, but he didn’t answer. She called out again. She shivered with the cold and the creeping fear.

Then, the dripping started. On top of the car. Drip. Drip. Drip. Finally, she couldn’t stand it another minute. She threw open the car door and stepped out. When she turned to look back at the car…his body was strung upside down from a tree branch above it and the dripping was from his headless corpse.

Happy Halloween……..

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Let’s hop over and check out the incredible A.S. Fenichel and her Halloween…

http://asfenichel.com/blog