Sugar Plums

photo 1 (1)

My 12 Days of Cookies sort of fell apart. Baking cookies every night and going to work is hard. Even without my trial (it got continued,) I just had a severe shortage of energy. I plan this weekend though to get all those cookies baked.

Anyway, before my energy died, I made these: sugar plums.

Buddy the Elf

As you may know, this month for Food ‘n Flix, I’m the host. I picked the movie Elf, to share my love of Christmas. Entries are due on the 29th of this month, so you still have time to participate!

I have two favorite Christmas movies: The Santa Clause and Elf. Elf is the story of Buddy the elf. Or rather, Buddy the human raised as an elf. Buddy leaves the North Pole to find his biological father. An elf is New York is quite the spectacle! Buddy has some trouble adjusting, as his father has a similar problem accepting his human-sized-elf-son. Buddy’s excitement to meet his father is not matched. His father is embarrassed by what appears to be a mentally unstable adult.

I can’t wait to see my dad! We’re going to go ice skating and eat sugar plums!

Now for a moment of honesty. I never knew what a sugar plum was. I heard this quote and I was like, “Okay, sugar plums, I’m on it.” I googled and expected to find sugary plums. I never knew that sugar plums were actually no-bake cookie balls filled with nuts and dried fruit. These went over really well in my house though. When I was making them I was visiting my mom. She really enjoys dried fruits, so this was perfect.

Just for a note too – the longer they sit in your fridge, the more delicious they taste because the flavors start to meld together. Expect more cookie posts coming soon, to a blog near you!

Sugar Plums
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup whole almonds
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp grated orange zest
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the almonds on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Once cool, chop finely.

2. Combine the honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Then add the apricots, dates, and almonds. Mix together well.

3. Pinch off rounded teaspoon size balls of the mixture and roll into balls. The mixture is very sticky, so keeping your hands wet will allow easier rolling. Roll the balls in powdered sugar. Place on a baking sheet with wax paper. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator. After an hour place in airtight containers. They can last for up to a month kept refrigerated.

* makes 3 dozen
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this recipe is being shared with Weekend Cooking

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Hawaiian Flavored Sausage

This is a recipe that I have handwritten in my recipe box. For being as flavorful of a dish as it is, it’s quick to make. The sausage I used probably weren’t the best choice, I had sausage with cheddar cheese in them, but I was making due with what I had. A plainer sausage is better suited for the dish – or even maybe an apple chicken sausage or something similar. The cheesey sausages weren’t bad, but it wouldn’t be a first choice.

Also, I used the Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar that I received in June’s Foodie Penpal Exchange. It was a nice touch!
I’m definitely going to continue foodie penpals to get more ingredients to line my kitchen shelves!

Hawaiian Flavored Sausage

 Ingredients
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tomatoes, chopped
4 links sausage of your choice
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp ¬†Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar from Trader Joe’s
1 cup apricot preserves
1 cup pineapple chunks

Directions

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet (or a wok, but I don’t have one.) Cook the onions, tomatoes, and sausage in the oil for about 10 minutes.

2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and apricot. Mix well.

3. Mix the apricot mixture into the cooking sausage. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce is thick and bubbly.

4. Add in pineapple chunks. Lower the heat and cook until the pineapple is cooked all the way through.

* serves 2
* shared with Mealtime Monday