It’s nearly 2011, and by the time I write next week, “Grouchy Bear” will be in total hibernation, situated in his declined position in his recliner chair.

It’s nearly 2011, and by the time I write next week, “Grouchy Bear” will be in total hibernation, situated in his declined position in his recliner chair.

He had a great Christmas and got everything he wanted (including tons of illegal food). He received two pairs of new suspenders. His famous measuring tape pair bit the dust after holding up his britches for several years. I hope to find him another pair of those, but for now, he has two new pairs to get him by. He has to have suspenders because his behind has disappeared as his stomach has appeared and the combination does not allow his pants to stay up with a belt.

He also received  candy and sweets, which he thinks he has hidden. He believes he is sneaking goodies without my knowledge. Without his knowledge, the “stash” is disappearing much quicker than it would otherwise. Soon he will be back to his healthier food styles and his loud growl.

We did have some great foods during our holiday visits, and I am going to share a couple of things for you to try in the days ahead. The temperatures outside make good excuses to spend more time in the kitchen. Good food is always enjoyed by everyone.

One drink we really liked was served to us by our friend, Rita, and she was kind enough to allow me the ingredients list.



Maple coffee

2 cups of half and half (I switched to the fat-free half and half)

3/4 to 1 cup maple syrup (2/3 cup if you want to be much more on the healthy side)

3 cups strong brewed coffee

Cook half and half and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium until warm. Do not boil. Stir in coffee and continue heating until warm. Yield 6 cups. This is great with a dollop of whipped topping or plain if you prefer.

 

Leftover ham brunch

8 frozen potato patties

2 cups leftover ham, chopped into small pieces

1 1⁄4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

2 cups skim milk

1 can (10 3⁄4 ounces) low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

Egg substitute equal to 4 eggs (or 4 eggs if you wish)

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

Place potato patties into 13x9 inch baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Top with ham and 1 cup of the cheese. Combine milk, soup, egg substitute, mustard and pepper. Pour over cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Yield is 12 servings with one serving equaling 122 calories, 12 mg cholesterol (if egg substitute is used), 9 mg carbs, 5 mg fat.

Have a great New Year’s, and I will see you next week.