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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column:  Merry Christmas!!!

By Sherrie Norris

Whether we are ready or not, we are just hours away from Christmas Day. And how did it arrive so quickly? Many of us are still hustling and bustling in last-minute preparations, regardless of how soon we began the process. After all, we’ve had a year’s notice, right?

 I promised myself that I would  not be in the same whirlwind this year as in years past. But guess what? I am. There are still cookies to bake, deliveries to make — and we won’t spend too much time on all the things I meant to do. For the first time ever, I didn’t sit in front of a stack of Christmas cards, writing special notes to loved ones near and far — and trying to spread a little cheer. We’ve been blessed to have received a stack, and I offer a public apology that they were not reciprocated.

But, in my heart, I am thankful for this season and for the reason we celebrate. And as a Christian, unashamed, I honor the birth of Jesus Christ, however, sad that we have allowed so many distractions to take away our attention from what really matters.

It is my hope that someone might come to realize what it’s all about this year and see it all in a different light than what they’ve seen before.

In the meantime, I wish you Merry Christmas, peace, joy and love. And, of course, here’s to good food!

Cranberry-Pecan Muffins

1½ cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

1¼ cups sugar (divided)

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter or margarine

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped pecans

In a bowl, toss cranberries with ¼ cup sugar; set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine eggs and milk; stir into the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in pecans and cranberries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.

Christmas Breakfast Pizza

1 pound pork sausage

1 (8-oz.) package refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

6 eggs, beaten

½ cup milk

¾ tsp. dried whole oregano

1/8 tsp. pepper

Green and red pepper slices, optional

Cook sausage in a medium skillet until browned; drain. Set aside. Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles with elongated points toward center in a greased 12-inch pizza pan. Press bottom and side to form a crust; seat perforations. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes on lower oven rack. Crust will be puffy when removed from oven. Reduce temperature to 350. Spoon sausage over dough; sprinkle with cheeses. Combine eggs and next three ingredients; pour over sausage mixture. Bake at 350 on lower oven rack 30-355 minutes.

Holiday Morning Brew

Fresh brewed coffee

Whipped cream

Chocolate sprinkles

Sugar cubes


Pour coffee into a mug and stir in 2 sugar cubes and a dash of cinnamon. Top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

Festive Fruit Bowl

1 can mandarin orange sections, well drained

1 med. can crushed pineapple, well drained

3 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 cups Angel coconut

2 cups miniature marshmallows

½ cup milk

Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Chill for1 hour. Makes about 12 servings.

Sausage- Potato Casserole

1 pound pork sausage, fried and drained

4 medium potatoes, sliced uncooked

¼ cup flour

¼ tsp. salt

4 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1¼  cup milk

Layer potatoes, sausage, cheese, flour, salt, and milk in casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour. Uncover, bake 10-15 minutes more.