Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Recipe Week (Wednesday)~ Featuring Author Martha Ramirez

This week I am posting recipes I've received from individuals in the publishing world (authors, editors, etc). I will post one or more recipes a day. In case you missed my original blog post requesting recipes, please click HERE to read.

Next featured recipe is from author Martha Ramirez.

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Author Martha Ramirez
and her "Chocolate Rum Balls"
-courtesy of

Martha Ramirez has written stories, poetry, and drawn since childhood. Her first children's book entitled The Fabulous Adventures of Fred the Frog was created and inspired by the curiosity and fascination her toddler has with books. In addition to writing, Martha is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), YALITCHAT.ORG, the Muse Conference Board, CataNetwork Writers, and American Author's Association. Her articles have appeared in various places including the Hot Moms Club and For Her Information (FHI) magazine.

She looks forward to expanding her career and is hard at work on her next young adult novel. She currently resides in Northern California where she enjoys gardening and kickboxing (not simultaneously). Visit her Website at:

Martha's Holiday Recipe
"Chocolate Rum Balls"

"Chocolate Rum Balls"
(Stock photo)

  • 3 1/4 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup rum


  1. In a large bowl, stir together the crushed vanilla wafers, 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, cocoa, and nuts. Blend in corn syrup and rum.
  2. Shape into 1 inch balls, and roll in additional confectioners' sugar. Store in an airtight container for several days to develop the flavor. Roll again in confectioners' sugar before serving.               


Holiday Recipe Week (Wednesday)~ Featuring Author Sue Santore

This week I am posting recipes I've received from individuals in the publishing world (authors, editors, etc). I will post one or more recipes a day. In case you missed my original blog post requesting recipes, please click HERE to read.

The next featured recipes are from independent author, Sue Santore. Wow, Sue gave me recipes for the entire Christmas meal!! Thanks Sue! :-)

God Bless!
T Denise Clary

Author Sue Santore
and her "Toasted Butter Pecan Cake"
"Broccoli Salad"
"Fruit Salad"
"Twice Baked Potatoes"
"Refrigerator Rolls"
"Brine Soaked Roast Turkey"

I’m a writer, but I’m many other things too. I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother. I’m also a reader. I enjoy making quilts and playing my mountain dulcimer. I like to cook and I do like to eat! I live in the great state of Maine with my husband. I have been a factory worker, a waitress, a librarian, and a teacher. My biggest job was being a mother and I have three grown children. Now I am a grandmother, and I am enjoying that role immensely. I have published A Singular Gift, a magical realism fantasy suitable for all ages. A Singular Gift is available as an e-book for 2.99 on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. You can follow me on Twitter at this LINK  and visit my blog About Books, Writing, and More.

Sue's Holiday Recipes
"Toasted Butter Pecan Cake"

"Toasted Butter Pecan Cake"
(Stock photo)

2 cups chopped pecans
1 & 1/4 butter
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk

Toast the pecans in 1/4 cup butter at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not let them burn. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt. Using your mixer, cream 1 cup butter; gradually add sugar, creaming well. Blend in eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to the butter mixture. Blend well. Stir in vanilla and 1 & 1/3 cup pecans. Turn into three 8 or 9 inch round layer cake pans, greased and floured. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool about two minutes then turn out of the pan and cool completely.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

Cream 1/4 cup butter. Add 1 pound sifted powdered sugar, i teaspoon vanilla, and 4-6 tablespoons cream until the icing is of spreading consistency. Stir in remaining pecans. Frost between layers and on top. Then frost sides.

It may frost better if you leave out the pecans and press them into the icing after the cake is frosted.

"Broccoli Salad"
"Broccoli Salad"
(Stock photo)
5 cups raw broccoli, well chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, partially cooked (not soft)
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon

Mix all the above together in a large bowl.

Make the dressing:
Mix together:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Combine the dressing with the veggies, stir together. Chill before serving. Will keep several days in the fridge.

"Fruit Salad"
"Fruit Salad"
(Stock photo)

1 pound can apricots, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
sour cream and mayonnaise

Chop apricots, mix with pineapple, oranges, coconut, marshmallows, sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Mix with equal part of mayonnaise and sour cream. Add 1/4 cup of each and stir in. If not moist enough, try a couple more tablespoons of both sour cream and mayonnaise. Let this set in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The coconut and marshmallows will absorb some of the moisture. If too dry when ready to serve, add more sour cream and mayonnaise.
"Twice Baked Potatoes"
"Twice Baked Potatoes"
(Stock photo)

Take one medium to large baking potato for each person. Wash the outside of the potatoes well. Dry them with a paper towel. Pour some olive oil (or other cooking oil) into your fingers and rub the oil all over each potato. Depending on how many potatoes, you're rubbing, you may need to replenish the oil on your hands several times. As you oil the potatoes, place them on a cookie sheet or large baking pan. Take a fork and prick the potatoes a few times. Bake at 350F for one hour or longer. (The potatoes should give when you push on them with your finger.)

When they are done, take them out and set them to one side to cool a little. When they are cool enough so you don't burn yourself, take one potato at a time and cut off the top. With a spoon, scoop out as much of the potato as you can without breaking the skin of the shell. Put the potato contents into a bowl. For every four potatoes, use 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, 1 tablespoon milk, and 2 tablespoons sour cream. Mash the potato insides with the seasonings. Replace the potato mixture back into the shells. Mound them up and sprinkle grated cheese on top. If you are making them ahead, put the potatoes in the refrigerator or another cool place. (Don't freeze them.) About a half hour before serving time, put them in a 350 oven for another 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven up the last five minutes to brown them on top.

"Refrigerator Rolls"
"Refrigerator Rolls"
(Stock photo)

5 & 1/2 to 6 & 1/2 cups of flour
2 packages yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup butter
1 & 1/4 cups hot tap water

Combine 2 cups of the flour, dry yeast, sugar, and salt in a large mixer bowl. Stir to blend. Add the soft butter and pour the hot water over the batter. Beat this mixture at medium speed for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in 1 cup more flour. Beat at high speed for 1 minute. (If you are beating by hand, beat several minutes, until thick and elastic.) Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough, then tun the dough out onto a floured board or counter.

Knead 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle tiny amounts of additional flour as you knead to keep the dough from sticking to your hands.

For refrigerated dough, let it rest or 20 minutes, covered, on the board. Otherwise, place in a greased bowl, turn the dough over, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled.

Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Use two 8 or 9 inch square pans or one long baking pan. If using the square pans, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in each pan. Shape each half of the dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion with your hand to make a ball. Place the balls into the butter, then turn the buttered side up. Place close together in the pans. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, until needed. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before baking to warm up to room temperature.

Bake at 400F for 30 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from pans and serve hot.
"Brine Soaked Roast Turkey"
"Brine Soaked Roast Turkey"
(Stock photo)

Supplies Needed:
kitchen timer
turkey (11-14 pounds, thawed) (Thaw in the refrigerator 6 to 9 hours, depending of the size of the turkey.)
5 gallon bucket or large plastic tub
roaster with a rack
heavy string
1 & 1/2 cups kosher salt
2 medium onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 tablespoons melted butter

Make a brine by mixing 1 cup of kosher salt per gallon of water. You will need about 1 & 1/2 gallons of water. Place the turkey breast side down in the water. It is okay if part of the back is not submerged.

Refrigerate or keep in a cold place for 12 to 15 hours. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. (Dump the brine. You’re done with it.)

Adjust the oven rack to the lowest possible position and pre-heat to 400F. Place half of the coarsely chopped vegetables into the turkey cavity. Tie the legs and secure the wings with heavy string.

Place the rest of the vegetables in the bottom of the roaster with 1 cup of water. Set a V-shaped rack in the bottom of the roaster and put the turkey breast side down on the rack. Brush the back and sides of the turkey with the melted butter and bake for 45 minutes.

Take the turkey out of the oven and set it on top of the stove. Baste the turkey with the broth from the roaster. Then add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. With a folded paper towel in each hand, grasp the turkey and rotate it on its side so that a wing and leg are up. (Throw the paper towels away.) Baste the side of the turkey and return to the oven for 20 minutes.

Take it out again. Baste the turkey and add another 1/2 cup of water to the roaster. Using paper towels again, rotate it to the other side with the other leg and wing up. Baste the upturned side. Return the turkey to the oven for another 20 minutes.

Remove the turkey from the oven again, baste it and then rotate it so that the breast side is up. Bast again. Continue roasting for another 35 to 55 minutes longer or until a thermometer in the breast registers 106 to 165 degrees and in the leg registers about 170 degrees.

When done, place on a platter and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving. If making gravy from the drippings, do not add salt as the brine will be sufficient.

TIPS: Buy a bird 14 pounds or less. Two smaller birds are better for a crowd than one large bird. The smaller birds roast in 2 & 1/2 hours. The less time in the oven, the less time there is for the turkey to dry out.

Don’t stuff this turkey. If you want stuffing, cook it as a side dish.