Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twas The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

By Clement Clarke Moore

with some adaptations of events

that really did occur-FYI Bella is a yellow lab

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse:

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there:

While we were all nestled snug in our beds,

Bella had visions of treats dancing in her head;

I in my nightie and he in his sweats

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out in the living room there rose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear

But Bella making a BIG leap

for those stockings that had been hung with such care,

her hopes were high that the stockings had been filled.

Then away to the window she flew like a flash

Hoping for a glimpse of the jolly old elf.

But he had sprang to his sleigh and gave his team but a whistle

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

Then we heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,


St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra, Turkey. He was the original and true holiday gift giver. He lived in the 4th century on the Mediterranean coast. The Bishop of Myra was kind and good to children, unmarried maidens as well as the poor. He gave gifts to those in greatest need. The Dutch brought the legend of St. Nicholas to America under the name Sint Nicholas or Sinter Klaas. In 1823 the poem, " A Visit from St. Nicholas" better known as "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Moore gave a complete description of what we know today as a jolly old elf named as Santa Claus.

I am including two recipes that are fast and easy for your holiday entertaining.

Brie Cherry Cups

  • 1 sheet and ½ of another frozen puff pastry thawed
  • ½-3/4 cup cherry preserves
  • 1 Brie wedge ( 7 oz.) cut in ½ cubes
  • ½ cup crumbled almonds


  • Unfold pastry cut into 36 squares
  • Gently press squares into bottom of each 36 miniature muffin cups that have been sprayed with PAM
  • Bake 375 for 7 minutes. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle make a indentation in the center of each puff pastry bake about 6 minutes longer
  • With handle press each square down again to form an indentation in the center
  • In the center of each puff pastry place Brie cube
  • Spoon ½ rounded teaspoon of preserves on top of each Brie cube
  • Sprinkle nuts on top of cherry preserves
  • Bake 3-5 minutes till cheese melts and starts to bubble
  • Cool slightly on a wire rack-serve warm

Pesto Cheese Tarts


  • 2/3 cup chopped grape cherry tomatoes that have been drained on a paper towel
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 TB. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp. prepared Basil Pesto
  • 1 package frozen miniature phyllo tart shells (I used Athens brand) plus half of another box thaw out about 30 minutes


  • In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, cheeses and pesto
  • Arrange tart shells on ungreased cookie sheet
  • Spoon heaping teaspoons into tart shells
  • Top with chopped tomatoes
  • Bake 350 for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned
  • Cool slightly on a wire rack- serve warm

Wishing All of You A Happy Holiday


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