2 Countdown to Christmas











French Toast

(with Banana or pineapple or sweet potato or pumpkin or carrot or butternut squash)

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons of desired puree from above list

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

4 slices whole-wheat bread

Nonstick cooking spray

2 teaspoons trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread

Pure maple syrup, confectioners’ sugar, or fresh fruit, for serving

Flaxseed meal (optional)

In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, puree, and cinnamon. Add the bread slices and turn them in the mixture to soak for 30 seconds to 1 minute (any longer and the bread will get soggy)

Coat a nonstick griddle or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high-heat. When the pan is hot, add the margarine. When the margarine sizzles, add the soaked bread slices (sprinkle with flaxseed if you like) and cook until golden brown on the outside, 2 or 3 minutes per side. Serve warm with syrup, confectioners’ sugar, or fruit.

Serves: 4

Coffee Cake

(With Butternut Squash)


Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread

1 1/4 cups lowfat (1%) buttermilk or nonfat (skim) milk

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butternut squash puree

1/2 cup mini-marshmallows


1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan or 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine until creamy. Beat in 1 cup of the buttermilk or milk, the sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix until completely incorporated.

Pour half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Spread the squash puree over the batter and sprinkle with marshmallows. Stir the remaining 1/4 cup milk into the rest of the batter and spread evenly over the squash filling.

Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on a rack before cutting into wedges or squares.

Serves: 10

Macaroni and Cheese

(With butternut squash or cauliflower)

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni

Nonstick cooking spray

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 cup nonfat (skim) milk

1/2 cup butternut squash or cauliflower puree

1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar Cheese (about 8 ounces)

4 ounces (almost 1/4 cup) reduced-fat or nonfat cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander.

While the macaroni is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a tick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 or 4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, Cheddar, cream cheese, and seasonings, and stir until the cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in the macaroni and serve warm.

Serves: 4

Chocolate Chip Cookies

(With Chickpeas)

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

3/4 cup trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread

2 large egg whites

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and margarine with a wooden spoon or on medium spreed until smooth. Beat in the egg whites and vanilla, then the chickpeas and chocolate chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed until a thick dough forms.

Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork to flatten. Bake until the cookies are golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes; do not overbake. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serves: 2 dozen

Christmas Movies

A Charlie Brown Christmas

best christmas movies - a charlie brown christmas

The Christmas Wish

Image result for christmas movies 90s

Arthur Christmas

Image result for christmas movie covers

The Holiday

Image result for christmas movie covers

Smoky Mountain Christmas

Image result for christmas movie smoky mountain christmas

Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas!

3 thoughts on “2 Countdown to Christmas

Add yours

  1. I love French toast. That Mac and cheese sounds delicious. What are the chickpea cookies like? I love the photos. Look at little Ruth! You look beautiful in the photos. It’s lovely to see you at different ages. 😊❤️

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