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Pretzel Raspberry Christmas Jell-O

Pretzel Raspberry Christmas Jell-O

  • 1 ½ sticks Land O Lakes Butter
  • 2 ½ cups salted pretzel sticks or any salted hard pretzels. (Broken up)
  • 1 8 oz. package Philadelphia Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large package raspberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 10 oz. packages frozen raspberries (undrained and slightly thawed.)
  • 1 15 1/4 oz. can Dole crushed pineapple (undrained)
  1. Melt the butter and pour into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Break the pretzel sticks in half or into pieces and spread evenly over top the melted butter. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and cool.
  2. Cream together with an electric mixer cream cheese, cool whip and sugar. Carefully spread this mixture on top of the pretzels, covering to the edges. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  3. Bring the 2 cups water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Turn off the heat. Add the gelatin to the boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Place a dish towel in refrigerator and set the pan on top of it to let this mixture cool until syrupy. When cool and syrupy add the slightly thawed raspberries, crushed pineapple and stir. Pour this mixture over top the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours until firm or overnight.
  5. Cut and serve into desired pieces.

Notes: Everyone loves this Jell-O salad! It can be served as a dessert as well.

Italian Picnic At Home

Italian Picnic At Home

Have some fun with this meal! We love using our table top grill to make it extra special. If you don't have one yet, you need it! Click here to grab one for yourself.

This is how I was taught to entertain in Italy. We find a scenic place to sit and eat our food. This makes it the perfect thing to make for a quick and fun dinner or for a lunch with friends. And with two different choices for the picnic, it is easy to mix things up.

Try either of these at home and see how much fun your family will have! We love taking this meal into our family room. We gather around our coffee table and have the best conversations! In the winter, we love doing this around the fireplace. And in the summer, just take your grill outside. It is so much fun!

We have two different versions here, and both are incredible. We love using our table top grill, but will switch up the meats and cheeses from Picnic 1 from time to time.

The fresh garlic and the honey may seem a little strange. But just try it! The garlic adds so much flavor, but isn't overpowering. And then the honey! Oh the honey makes the whole meal! Just give it a try and let us know what you think.

And when you make this for your family, everyone will love it. You can't go wrong with warm French Baguettes, delicious meat, and your favorite cheese. Throw in some dark kalamata olives for a true Italian Picnic! Enjoy!

Italian Picnic At Home

Picnic 1:

  • Taleggio, Provolone, Parmesan Reggiano, or Romano Cheese
  • Hard Salami
  • Proscuitto (the sweet kind)
  • Kalamata Olives
  • French Baguettes

Picnic 2:

  • Table Top Grill
  • French Baguettes (slices 1/4 inch thick)
  • Fresh garlic clove (peeled)
  • Olive Oil
  • French Salt
  • Parmesan Reggiano cheese
  • Honey
  • Italian salami
  • Kalamata olives

Picnic 1:

  1. Choose one of these kinds of cheeses. The ones I have listed here are easy to find. You don't need to go to a fancy grocery store to find the other items. They are available all over also. Put the cheese and meat on the bread or eat them seperately along with the olives. It is a one-of-a-kind taste.

Picnic 2:

  1. Place grill on the table and all other ingredients arranged on a platter. Toast bread on the table top grill. Rub garlic clove over the toasted bread. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Place a piece of cheese on the bread and drizzle with honey. This is delicious and great fun.

FN Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue Recipe

FN Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue Recipe

FN Authentic Swiss Cheese Fondue

  • 4 - 5 Fresh Garlic cloves, minced, 1 clove for rubbing the pot
  • 1 1/4 Cups dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio or a fine Swiss White Wine for Fondue) (I like to buy the Trader Joe’s Brand here in America)
  • 2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 1/2 Cups Emmental Cheese, shredded (Trader Joe Brand is great or order from Emmi, on line)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Gruyere Cheese, shredded (Same as Emmental)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp Kirsch liqueur
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper to taste, tiny amount
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste, but plenty
  • 1 French Baguette, day old or more preferred
  • 10 1-2-inch round potatoes, peeled or not. Yukon gold or Russet. Or any white potato will do.
  1. Prepare the bread and potatoes first. Cut the French Bread into 1 in. square cubes. Prepare the potatoes by bringing them to a boil with water 2 inches above the potatoes in a saucepan. Boil until a fork can easily spear them. Drain. Return to the pot, salt lightly with Fleur de Sel, and cover until ready to serve. Prepare the garlic, set aside. Prepare the lemon juice, set aside. Mix the Kirsch with the corn starch and set aside.

  2. Rub the pot with a whole piece of fresh garlic. Put the 1 ¼ cups Wine in the Pot on top of the stove

  3. Add the minced garlic and lemon juice.

  4. Heat this mixture carefully on medium high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. When the wine is warm enough, begin adding the shredded cheese using a figure eight motion.

  5. Turn up the heat if the cheese is not melting. (It is important to stir the cheese almost all the time while it is melting to prevent the cheese from burning on the bottom)

  6. When the cheese is melted, and starts to bubble a bit, add the Kirsch and Corn starch mixture and continue to stir for 2 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add plenty of fresh ground black pepper and cayenne to taste.

  7. If the cheese is to thick add a tiny bit more kirsch. If it is to thin whisk in a bit more cornstarch. For a perfect fondue it needs to be thick enough to cover the bread and stay on the bread. (At this point you can keep fondue warm for about 10 to 15 minutes before taking to the table (or serve right out of the Pot immediately if you are using the same Pot you cooked the Fondue in to serve in without any heat). Make sure everyone has a Fondue Fork.
  8. Light the Sterno. Set the finished fondue on top of the lite fondue holder. Continue to stir the fondue with wooden spoon as you eat it bubbling hot. Everyone just goes for the pot, dip and enjoy. A crust will form on the bottom of the pan which the real Swiss people say this is the best part of the Fondue.

Serve with these other suggestions:

Soup of choice

Green salad

Steamed Broccoli

Steamed carrots

Steamed cauliflower

Steamed green Beans

Fresh Mushrooms

Fresh Spinach

Fried Bacon



Cherry tomatoes

Pineapple tid-bits

Apple chunks

I also like to serve with meat such as my Louisiana Pork Loin Roast with gravy in Book 1. Savory or Rosemary Lamb Chops, Book 2. Easy White Wine Sunday Chicken, Book 2, or Crunchy Parmesan Baked Chicken, Book 1

(The must serves with the Fondue are the French Baguettes, and potatoes. This is the tradition in Switzerland.)

Serve with Sparkling Cider.


This is the real deal!! The Food Nanny

Food Nanny Favorite Cheeses for a Cheese Board 2018

Food Nanny Favorite Cheeses for a Cheese Board 2018
Parmesan Reggiano – Italy Taleggio-Italy Manchego- Spain Gouda -Holland Chevre- Goat Cheese- France Honey Goat Cheese- Trader Joes Comte- France Camembert Bri – France Boursin- France Guyere- Switzerland Emmentaler- Switzerand St. Agure – Blue Cheese -France Blue Cheese - Gold Creek Farms- Woodland Smoked White Cheddar – Gold Creek Farms- Woodland Parmesan and Romano- Gold Creek Farms- Woodland Serve Honey with Parmesan Reggiano Serve Jam or Chutney with the others. I love our Cranberry Jalapeno Freezer Jam in Book 2 . I also love Blackberry Buzz Jalapeno Preserves. I like to serve Red Grapes, Pears, or Honeycrisp Apples with the Cheese Favorite go to Crackers: Wheat Thins Triscuit Thin Crisps Raisin Rosemary Crisps -Trader Joe's Pistachio Pomegranate Crisps – Trader Joe's Fig and Olive Crisps -Trader Joe's

Food Nanny Aebleskivers

Food Nanny Aebleskivers

Food Nanny Aebleskivers

(A Danish Pancake) A Christmas Tradition in Denmark a perfect Danish Dessert at Christmas time or for Breakfast. This is Hygge at its’ best!!

  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 7 tbsp Melted butter (Land o Lakes)
  • 1 1/2 Cups plus 1 ½ Tablespoons White all-purpose Kamut flour or regular flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp French Gray Salt or Fleur de Sel
  • 1 1/4 tbsp Vanilla Sugar (buy at World Market) or substitute ½ teaspoon vanilla with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cups Buttermilk
  1. Separate the egg whites and yolks in separate medium size bowls.

  2. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites and 1 Tablespoon sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

  3. Melt the 7 Tablespoons butter and let cool a minute.

  4. In another medium size bowl with the same hand mixer on low speed, mix in the egg yolks, flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla sugar. Gradually add in the buttermilk until the batter is combined. Stir in the melted butter. With a wooden spoon gently stir in the beaten egg whites.

  5. Heat a Aebleskiver pan on top of the stove over low to medium heat to the point butter will sizzle slightly when poured into the holes. If the pan is smoking it is way too hot!! Pour batter into the holes about ¾ the way to the top. In about 2 ½ minutes using wooden chop sticks, or kabob skewers, or knitting needles turn the pancakes 90 degrees. At this point you may fill with any filling you like such as Jams, apple pieces, chocolate chips, etc….. then turn again and turn a few times until light brown and cooked in the middle.

  6. Place on serving platter or in little ramekins for serving. Top with your favorite Jam such as Raspberry, Strawberry, Elderberry, Lingonberry and serve warm.


Sunday Traditions My daughter-in-law Shana loves this dish—as do the rest of us. Jared requests it. It’s fun to fix and to serve. I love all the combinations of the different flavors, especially the crunchy noodles with all the toppings.


  • 1 cup uncooked calrose rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound grilled or broiled boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • Coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (5-ounce) ready-to-eat chow mein noodles
  • 2 celery ribs (diced)
  • 1/2 cup slivered or chopped raw almonds
  • 1 (20-ounce) pineapple tidbits (drained)
  • 2 (11-ounce) mandarin oranges, drained, or fresh orange segments
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 (6-ounce) jar maraschino cherries (drained)
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. 1. Cook the rice according to package directions, adding the 1/4 teaspoon salt to the boiling water. Keep warm.

  2. 2. Meanwhile, grill or broil the chicken breasts, 6 to 8 minutes per side until no longer pink. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut into bite-size pieces. Keep warm.

  3. 3. Place the noodles, celery, almonds, pineapple, oranges, coconut, and cherries in individual serving bowls.

  4. 4. To make the sauce, mix the soup, sour cream and milk in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally over medium heat until heated through. Transfer to a bowl.

  5. 5. Set up as a buffet or pass the ingredients for everyone to make their “sundaes” on dinner plates or in large bowls. Start with the a bed of chow mein noodles and add rice, chicken, celery, pineapple, oranges, coconut, and almonds. Drizzle sauce over all and top with a cherry!

Note: Calrose rice is available in
the Asian foods section of many
supermarkets, or you may substitute
any short- to medium-grain rice.


Plan Ahead: Prepare the potatoes ahead of time. Reheat.


Olive oil

  • 1 fryer chicken ( cut up; or use)
  • 2 breasts with bone-in (cut in half, and 4 thighs)
  • 1½ cups fresh pearl onions (peeled; or frozen already peeled)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 liter red wine or pomegranate juice
  • 3 - 4 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano. ( (Can tie altogether to make an herb bouquet or “bouquet garni,” in French.))
  • 3 cups white mushrooms cleaned, cut in half

Mashed potatoes with corn:

  • 2 medium to large Russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen corn
  • Coarse salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  1. 1. In a large fry pan over high heat brown the chicken in olive oil on both sides until golden brown. Salt and pepper lightly

  2. 2. Brown onions in a small sauce pan in olive oil on high heat stirring often to prevent burning them. They should be nice and brown.

  3. 3. Turn the heat down on the chicken and toss in one handful of flour (this is called “sash”), then toss in another handful of the flour….isn’t it fun?!!! This will thicken the drippings.

  4. 4. Add onions and one-liter wine or pomegranate juice to the chicken and let cook 1 min

  5. 5. Place individual sprigs of herbs or the garni, in the bottom of an oven proof pan and pour the chicken mixture and onions over top.

  6. 6. De-glaze the pan you fried the chicken in by adding in a little more juice until all the drippings and anything stuck to the pan are incorporated in the juice. Add this to the chicken in the pan.

  7. 7. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour and 15 min. at 350°

  8. 8. Quarter the potatoes and boil them with salt and pepper in enough water to cover until done. Mash with a fork, not a potato masher.

  9. 9. Heat the cream, butter and corn in a small saucepan on top of the stove and keep warm.

  10. 10. When 20 min. are left to finish cooking the chicken add the mushrooms. Cover and finish cooking.

  11. 11. When ready to serve, stir the cream mixture into the potatoes with a fork. Mix together with a little more salt and pepper and divide among four plates.

  12. 12. Spoon over the chicken mixture and serve. Bon Appetit!!!

Variations: May use all chicken breasts with bone-in or part breasts and


Sunday Traditions My daughter Katie makes this meal the best. We all look forward to these special sandwiches— a pleasant change from regular roast beef. You can make this recipe with a smaller roast, but use the full amount of sauce and roast for a shorter time.

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 3-pound boneless beef shoulder or chuck roast
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion (minced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 11/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 6-8 hamburger buns Butter ((optional))
  • 6-8 Swiss cheese slices ((optional))
  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

  2. 2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat and brown the meat well, turning often about 15 minutes. In a bowl combine the barbecue sauce, vinegar, broth, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Pour over the meat and bring to a boil. Cover tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the meat and shred it with a fork. Return the meat to the pot and keep warm.

  3. 3. Butter the hamburger buns, if desired, and broil them until they are barely brown around the edges. Place one slice of Swiss cheese, if using, on the bottom bun and place under the broiler just until the cheese has melted.

  4. 4. Fill the buns with the meat and serve.


Start this dish at least 4 hours ahead of time.


Monday Comfort Food This is one of our favorite meals. In the wintertime, there is nothing better. If you have never put dumplings in your stew, you must try it. I think you will end up loving this stew as much as we do. CAN DO AHEAD This stew may be cooked ahead of time. Refrigerate. Reheat stew and cook dumplings right before serving.

Beef Stew with Dumplings

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 11/2 pounds beef sirloin (cut into 11/2-inch cubes)
  • 6 cup hot water (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 carrots (peeled, quartered crosswise, then halved lengthwise)
  • 4 medium russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 15-ounce can corn (undrained)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  1. 1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Thoroughly brown the meat, turning often with a wooden spoon. The meat should almost stick to the pan but not be burned.

  2. 2. Pour 4 cups of the hot water into the pot. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, bay leaves, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and cloves. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep the ingredients from sticking. Remove the bay leaves.

  3. 3. Add the carrots, potatoes, corn, and the remaining 2 cups of hot water to the stew. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat, cover, and cook until the vegetables are almost done 20 to 30 minutes.

  4. 4. Meanwhile, make the dumplings: Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a glass measuring cup, combine the milk and oil and then add this all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

  5. 5. Make a paste of the 1/2 cup flour and the cold water in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Pour into the stew and stir with a wooden spoon to thicken the stew, about 2 minutes. If you like the stew with more liquid, add water to make the desired consistency.

  6. 6. Drop the dumpling dough by teaspoonfuls on top of the bubbling stew. (You’ll have about 14 dumplings.) Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are done. Serve immediately.

Variation: Omit the dumplings and cook the stew in a slow cooker on medium
heat 4 to 5 hours. Serve with hot rolls or corn bread.