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“Over the river and thru the wood”…Time to get out the Christmas cookie cutters, decorations out of the attic and think about Christmas dinner.  Here to help you a little are a few of our favorite recipes.  Harvard Beets are slightly sweet and a pretty addition to your Christmas dinner.  

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Make your own….it works!   


1/3 cup boiling water

¾ cup granulated sugar

1  cup instant nonfat dry milk powder

¼ cup butter

½ tsp. vanilla


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse till thick and smooth, about 1 minute (time this!). Refrigerate. Will keep several weeks. This recipe makes a “tad” over 1 cup.  For more, double the recipe.

Instant Russian Tea Mix

Keep a little airtight jar of this in your kitchen to sip on during those cold wintery days….Double or triple the recipe and give as gifts (put mix in a plastic bag tied with a bread tie and a pretty ribbon) in a pretty Christmas mug.


 cups Instant tea with lemon and sugar

2 cups Pineapple/Orange Tang

1½ cups granulated sugar

½  tsp. ground cinnamon

½  tsp. ground cloves


This makes 4 cups of mix.  Use 4 heaping teaspoons in an average size 10-oz. mug. Use more of the mix if using a larger coffee mug.  Add boiling water and stir to dissolve.   

Write directions on a tag if giving as a gift: (Use 4 heaping teaspoons of mix in boiling water and stir to dissolve).


Note: I like to pulse this recipe in my food processor to be sure it’s adequately mixed.

Take a break by slowly sipping a cup of Instant Russian Tea Mix in a china cup and saucer instead of a coffee mug….It will taste different and better, I promise you!
If you like soft, chewy cookies, take them out of the oven a little before the end of the baking time, while the centers are still a little wet. They will finish baking on the hot cookie sheet and remain soft.

Always bake cookies in the center of your oven. And use a timer….if you’re like me, your memory isn’t too reliable and you could easily get distracted!

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December, 2012

Rocky Road Squares and Sweetened Condensed Milk will help with your cookie baking.  You will enjoy our Instant Russian Tea Mix all through the winter months or you can package it for gifts…great for shut-ins!

Harvard Beets

A nice side dish for your Christmas dinner. These were served at all “banquets” during the 1940’s. Adds a pretty red color to your menu!


2    15-oz. cans sliced beets, drain & reserve ½ cup of the juice

1/3  cup sugar

1/3 apple cider vinegar

3    tsp. cornstarch

½   cup beet liquid 

1    Tbsp. butter


Drain beets and reserve ½ cup of the juice. In medium saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and the reserved  beet juice, whisking together until smooth.  Add butter and cook, over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Add beets and cook just until heated through, stirring occasionally. 

Makes about 6 servings.

Rocky Road Squares

From our Granny’s Taste of Christmas cookbook.


12-oz. pkg. chocolate chips (2 cups)

2  Tbsp. butter

14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk

      (not evaporated)*

2 cups chopped pecans

10-oz. pkg. miniature marshmallows


Combine chocolate chips, butter and sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir until chips are melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Put pecans and marshmallows in a large bowl and pour the melted chocolate mixture over, stirring very carefully to coat.  You want to see fully formed marshmallows.  Spread evenly in a well-greased or waxed paper lined 9x13-inch pan. Chill 2 hours until firm. Cut into 24 squares (4 across & 6 down) and store covered, at room temperature. 


*Note: Out of sweetened condensed milk?   No problem, see next recipe.