Sunday, December 14, 2014

Favorite Family Desserts, for Christmas and Other Occasions


Most of the year, Greg and I stick to a pretty healthy diet, but on special occasions such as Christmas Day, we indulge in desserts and other sweets.  It's just part of our tradition, as it is for most people around the holidays.

"Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie."
-Jim Davis

This year, we'll celebrate Christmas at my brother and sister-in-law's house.  So far, we've just been asked to bring dessert, so I've been trying to come up with something that would be easy to carry a long distance, and would also be easy to make.  (I love those five and six-ingredient cookbooks!   I'm always so busy, that those are usually all I have time to make, plus, I'm not a very patient person when it comes to cooking!)

One thing to fix that came to mind was the really delicious "Mississippi Mud Brownies" that Greg's cousin's wife, Peggy, had at a recent get-together.  I didn't get the recipe from her, but I looked for it online.  My favorite one that I found is using Duncan Hines brownie mix because it's faster than from scratch, and both Mama and I have always liked the quality of the Duncan Hines products.

Of course, I could take carrot cake for the Christmas meal, because another sister-in-law who really likes my carrot cake, requested that I bring it to another upcoming family gathering sometime in the winter next year.  It was a recipe that calls for cream cheese icing.  I got the recipe when I was a teenager from my Aunt Frances who was a home economics teacher.

"Seize the moment.  Remember all those women on the 'Titanic' who waved off the dessert cart."
-Erma Bombeck

My grandmother, Mema, (my father's mother) was a really good cook.  I most fondly remember her shortbread sugar cookies that she'd put in her cookie jar which was always overflowing with cookies, especially for us grandchildren.  I don't have her recipe for these, but I suspect that most of the recipe came for her creative imagination.  (She was a talented artist, as well.)  (My mother also credits her for teaching her how to cook.)

"Cookies are made of butter and love."
-Norwegian Proverb

A Real Treasure at Our House, Mema's Cookie Jar

A favorite dessert of our family, for any time of the year, is one of Mama's recipes that is featured in the "Tennessee Cook Book" which I mentioned on an earlier blog post.  (See the 11/9/14 blog post.)  It's a yummy peach cobbler.

I recently had a request for another of Mama's recipes, so here it is:

Peach Cobbler

3 cups sliced peaches
1 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp. butter
Dough for pie crust
Sugar (to sprinkle)

   In a bowl, combine peaches, applesauce, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice; layer in the bottom of a 10 x 8 glass baking dish.  Dot butter over the top.  Roll pie crust dough out to size of baking dish and arrange over top of peach mixture.  Brush the top of the crust with a small amount of  cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.


For those of you who are on special diets, of course, you can adjust the above recipe or any recipes I mentioned on this post according to your needs.  The Internet is full of recipes for any needs, and you can get cookbooks like the one I have, "Sweet and Sugarfree" by Karen Barkie (if it's still in print) that's "An All-Natural, Fruit-Sweetened Dessert Cookbook."

I'm still pondering what dessert to take for the Christmas Day celebration, but for now I'm enjoying looking through cookbooks, newspaper clippings, and hand-written recipes while trying to make my decision, because so many of these recipes from years past bring back some very fond memories.

For more pictures of food and other things, as well, check out our iStock photos:

Positive thought: "Sugar and spice make Christmas nice."
Thanks for visiting!  Until next Sunday, Becky

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