Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home for the Holidays Blog Hop

November 13th - November 18th

Grand Prize Shopping Spree: $450+ Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Second Place Grand Prize: (1) E-Book from every participating Author

Be sure to leave a comment on the blog post with your email address to be entered to win the grand prize! Every stop you visit and comment at will get you another entry toward the grand prize! Be sure to visit ALL the stops listed below!

Be sure you leave a comment on this post too! 
Also, be sure to enter the rafflecopter to win our own giveaway of special Smexy swag

Welcome to the Smexy Fab Four's stop in the Home for the Holidays Blog Hop. Hopefully by now you've gone by some of the other stops on the blog hop and have started gathering those fantastic recipes. Well, there are four of us here so you're in for a treat. 

* * * * * * * * * *

Personally, I'm Hispanic, so when I think of the holidays, I don't think of presents. Well, that's not true. I love to shop, so of course I think of presents. However, the first thing that I think of is food. Being Hispanic there was always food and lots of it. Enough to feed an army. So it was pretty hard for me to choose just one recipe to share today. So of course I asked my little guy. Who of course chose his favorite. It's a little unconventional for the olidays, but hey, that's what I get for asking an 8 yr old his opinion. 

Apple Dumplings:
6 Apples (Any kind other than Red Delicious. Peeled, halved and cored)
3 Tbsp Butter
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1 (9 in) pie crust
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 egg white

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Mix 3 Tbs. of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl. Spoon a portion of the mixture into each hollowed-out apple core.
3. For boxed pie crusts, unroll one of the dough sheets onto a floured work surface. Pulling on sides of dough to straighten rounded edges, roll it into an approximate 12-inch square, then cut the dough into four 6-inch squares; brush the perimeter of each square with egg white. Set an apple half on each square. Bring up the 4 corners of dough around the apple and pinch edges to seal. Place on a large (at least 18- by 12-inch) parchment-covered baking dish. Brush dumpling tops and sides with egg white; sprinkle with sugar. Repeat process with remaining apples and dough.
4. Bake dumplings until pastry sets and starts to turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is Cranberry sauce. A few years ago I learned how simple it is to make it. It also tastes better then canned.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
1  bag of cranberries
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
Place all items in a saucepan on medium heat.  Cranberries will start popping. When they are mostly chopped remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl. I use a potato masher to crush them. Just smash them until they are your desired consistency.  
Let cool and serve.

The Spell Family Gravy Recipe
1/2 cup butter (can use hard margarine) 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (more is better, I use freshly ground pepper) 
4 cups pan drippings (or see options below the recipe) 

1. Drain the pan drippings for the roasted turkey through a fine strainer. 
2. Let sit and then remove any fat from the top of the drippings. 
3. Add in chicken broth or water to make 4 cups if necessary. 
4. In a medium saucepan, melt margarine or butter. 
5. Add in lots of black pepper. 
6. Add in 1/2 cup flour plus 3 tablespoons; constantly whisk for about 3 minutes over low heat. 
7. Slowly add in the 4 cups turkey broth/drippings; whisk constantly over medium-low heat until bubbly and thickened (about 3 minutes). 
8. Use right away or keep warm over lowest heat setting, whisk again before serving. 


Hope you enjoy our contributions to the Home for the Holidays Blog Hop and don't forget to stop by the other blogs participating for more chances to enter the grand prize giveaway. As for at our blog, fill out the rafflecopter to win one of these beautiful Smexy keyclips by Stone Soup Designs

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Blog Stops

1. Krystal Shannan   |    2. Elyse Grant    |    3. Jennifer Kacey

4. Daryl Devore    |  5. Victoria Adams |   6. Jessica E. Subject

7. Liza O'Connor    |    8. Andrea Cooper    |    9. Regina Morris

10. N. L. Greene    |    11. Angela Rose    |    12. Jerrie Alexander

13. Harper A. Brooks    |    14. Lori King    |    15. K'Anne Meinel 

16. A. J. Williams   |   17. Tara Lain   |   18. Ginger Ring

19. Malia Mallory   |   20. Jennifer Lowery   |   21. T. F. Walsh

22. Heather Long   |   23. Sophia Renny   |   24. Susan Edwards

25. Anna Wells   |   26. Anne Lange   |   27. Catherine Wolffe

28. Ann Marie Oakes   |   29. Ella Sheridan   |  30. Amber Lea Easton

31. Tory Richards   |   32. Morgan K Wyatt   |   33. Dani Wade

34. Kim Headlee   |   35. Mary Wehr   |   36. Dariel Raye

37. Donna Steele   |   38. Nhys Glover   |   39. Renea Mason

40. Jennie Marsland   |    41. Kellie Kamryn   |   42. Jinni James

43. Carol A. Strickland   |   44. Krista Ames  |   45. Sandra Schwab

46. Justine Elvira   |   47. Suzan Tisdale   |   48. Zoe Dawson

49. Harlie Williams   |   50. Lynda K. Frazier   |   51.  Kathryn Edgar

52. Natalie Gibson (Satin Sheets Romance)   |   53. Dakota Trace

54. Draven St. James   |   55. Jodi Vaughn   |   56. Donna Augustine

57. Cait Jarrod   |   58. Tracy Lee   |   59. Laura Howard

60. A. L. Jambor   |   61. Lynn Richards   |   62. Hennessee Andrews

63. Christy Dilg   |   64. Angela Peach   |   65. Holly Roberts

66. Nikki Barrett   |   67. Alexandra Anthony   |   68. Tracy Lee

69. Paige Tyler   |   70. Lynn Lawler   |   71. Tabitha Short

72. Dawn Martinez   |   73. Madison Johns 

74. Mary Moriarty   75. M. J. Summers



  1. I'm a gravy & cranberry cheater but you ladies make it sound so easy I may not cheat this year :)

    1. I admit its a family tradition, but I made a deal with sheri my twin. She had to learn the thanksgiving recipes and I would learn all the Italian recipes my mom has lol. I couldnt do it myself if I tried lol

  2. My favorite thing to eat during holidays? My mom's Christmas Meringue cookies.

  3. My mom makes the most delicious sugar-free pies for me - raspberry cream pie and sugar-free cheesecake and others. I try to eat just a bit, but it never works. I always eat until I'm about to explode. michelle_willms(at)

  4. My Gran used to make the best Pavlova's now I found out my dad has the recipe and his are nearly as good.

  5. Turkey and mashed potatoes with homemade gravy..

  6. Mashed potatoes with gravy and stuffing.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  7. All of these recipes sound delicious! Thanks for being part of the blog hop.

  8. Love apple dumplings! Thanks for the giveaway chance!

    clintmar (at) grm (dot) net

  9. Wonderful group of recipes. I love all the holiday cookies. jonesjnd (at) yahoo (dot) com

  10. Love the recipes!!! thanks for the great giveaway! jasdarts (at) hotmail (dot) com

  11. Love all the recipes and I have added them to my collection. Thanks for the hop and giveaway.
    koala571 (at) msn (dot) com

  12. My favorite thing to eat is pumpkin rolls and chocolate covered mice!! Thank you for the awesome recipes and the giveaway!!

  13. Love Apple Dumplings..Thanks for Sharing.. grandmatinaof2(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  14. love the apple dumpling recipe im gonna try it thanks for the giveaway

  15. Thank you so much for all the awesome recipes! I'm definitely stealing these!

  16. Yum on the recipes! My favorite holiday food is the turkey and dressing!

  17. My favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving is the Glazed Ham. that & Pumpkin Rolls for desert. OMG my Holiday is complete with those Big Hugs & thanks for that gravy recipe. Adding it to all the others Im getting on this amazing hop.

    Missie Jones
    missie25524 (at) netzero (dot) com

  18. Oh I am kinda weird I love a lot of things but My favorite is mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple and pumpkin pie... i am going to have to try out those apple dumplins though they sound yummy my mom makes some pretty awesome ones.

  19. Pretty amazing giveaway. This would help a lot with Christmas this year. Thank you for this wonderful chance to win some amazing books. esseboo [@] yahoo [dot] com

    1. My favorite thing to eat during holidays is homemade mashed potatoes and pumpkin cookies.

  20. What fantastic recipes. My husband loves apple pie so I think I will try to make the apple dumplings for him:)

  21. Apple dumplings sound delicious.

  22. Cant wait to try these recipes

  23. My favorite thing to eat during the holidays? Oooh that's so hard, but I go nuts for anything pumpkin flavored. Pumpkin pie, bread, drinks, bars - you name it! Does that count?

    And thank you all for the wonderful recipes!! I'm gonna surprise my whole family with all the new things I'll be trying out! My husband in particular can't wait to try the gravy! :)

  24. What's wrong with Red Delicious Apples? Too hard?

    I wish I could actually cook...or read recipes, My meals would go so much better.

    1. The Red Delicious are too hard and would need to bake longer to get the right texture. But if you do that then the crust would be too hard. I learned that the hard way. lol

  25. My favor for this time of the year is my mint fudge!!!!

  26. Sounds so good, I can almost smell it! I love apple desserts!

  27. The apple dumpling looks so good... reminds me very much of the ones my mom makes. Home made is always better.

  28. I love pecan pie!
    Thanks for participating in the blog hop!

  29. I'm into sweet potato stuff lately-pies,scones, tarts... but I'm going to try your apple dumplings Iris!!

    Thanks for participating! glhince at gmail dot com

  30. My Favorite recipe in this collection will have to be the cranberry sauce, hands down. I love the stuff, canned or fresh lol Thanks for sharing and thanks for participating in the blog hop :)

  31. Thanks for the recipes, the giveaway, and for participating in the the blog hop! I'm definitely trying the apple dumplings. :D

    1. My favorite thing to eat at Thanksgiving is mashed potatoes and gravy! :)

  32. Lol I have lots of favorites. Pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce are just a couple of my favorites. Recipes sound yummy. Look forward to trying them. :-)

  33. oops forgot to leave my email address. Thanks for the giveaway.

    shellya121 at yahoo dot com

  34. Wonderful gifts. Great way to get new authors to read!

  35. This hop is making me hungry!! Looks amazing ladies!! great lay-out!!

  36. Wonderful hop! It's always fun doing these because you find some really great new authors.

    Oh boy, these dishes look wonderful and scrumptious! I'll try making the apple dumplings for breakfast soon. Thank you!

    Thanks for the opportunity.

    Belinda G
    belgre at comcast dot net

  37. I am having so much fun collecting recipes...LOL
    My favorite thing to eat at holidays is the seafood gumbo that my mom makes every year.

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

  38. It's fun seeing what other 'must have' holiday recipes are. My family thinks it's not the holidays without a corn casserole my grandmother always made. Not turkey, pumpkin pie or hte other standards, but corn casserole! Those apple dumplings look delicious, and I may have to try them even without a special occasion.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  39. I guess I love the desserts, especially homemade cherry cheesecake. I'm sure it's because I'm a diabetic. I also love my macaroni salad and coleslaw. Their all easy to make. I'm sort of confused about the giveaway. This is the first one I've seen with a Rafflecopter and I see all the stops. Am I supposed to go to the author stops? I ask this because I'm desperate to win. I am in need of help with Christmas. My husband's job closed down and I can't work. I have signed up for disability but I still have a long ways to go. My family won't be eating a Christmas dinner, not like we normally would. I think I have a dear roast in the freezer that was given to us. I am going to fix it and hope it's still good. I don't have little kids. I know if I had small kids I could go to all kinds of places to get help. My daughter is 15 and I can't get sny help for Christmas because of her age. She wants a laptop. I went on Amazon and found a 10' Dell,windows 7, and it's priced at $130 and my son is 18 and in the Army. He's not my priority but it still would be nice to buy him something, even if it's a Walmart gift card to buy him food. I can't do anything right now and it's not going to be a good Christmas here.

  40. holy cow, those are some yummy sounding recipes. I swear, this hop is going to make me gain a few lbs!!
    And those key clips are so darn cute!!!

    My favorite holiday food is turkey. I don't really eat it any other time of year, so when Thanksgiving comes I definitely get my fill, and then I love cold turkey sandwiches after.

    Thanks so much!!
    liz at fictional candy dot com

  41. wow, we got not one but three fab recipes and they all look soooo good. thanks so much I will be sure to try each one!

    booklover1335 at gmail dot com

  42. All of these recipes sound delicious! :)
    Thanks for the amazing opportunity :)

  43. Those dumplings look amazing!!!

  44. Those dumplings look fantastic!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com (subscribed)
    GFC: BookAttict
    G+: Book Attict

  45. Love the recipes they all look so yummy! my favorite thing to eat is the turkey! For some reason I only cook a turkey around the holiday's ! Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  46. My favorite thing to eat during the holidays are rice krispie squares and hot apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Thanks for hosting the hop!

  47. Thanks for the blog hop.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  48. I can't wait to try these recipes!

  49. I'll have to try that gravy recipe. My son always tells me that mine is too bland. Lol.
    Maybe the apple dumplings as well. ;)
    Thank you for sharing!
    trb0917 at gmail dot com

  50. My favorite Thanksgiving food would have to be stuffed mushrooms. My mom or I make them stuffed with sausage and mozzarella cheese! Yummy!

  51. I love coconut cake and cheesecake brownies. Your recipes sound great and I can't wait to try them. Thanks for sharing the hop and your giveaway. Thanks for the amazing hop. Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season! evamillien at gmail dot com

  52. I'm all about the gravy! The right gravy makes the holiday!

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

  53. Stuffing and giblet gravy

  54. I love homemade cranberry sauce, but my daughter insist that the can ridges make it taste better.

    blueshedevil32 AT gmail DOT com

  55. Oh yum! Those recipes look delicious! Im especially drooling over those apple dumplings! My favorite thing is potato bake. Its a cheesy potato thingy. Its so good! Its the one thing i look forward to every year. Food wise, that is. lol This sounds so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Ill definitely be trying this recipe! Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving! shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

  56. Pumpkin pie!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  57. I am going to try that gravy!!! Thanks for the fun contest!

  58. My favorite holiday food is all the homemade desserts... especially the French silk pie, and candy cane cookies!

    Thank you for participating in this hop. :-)


  59. Great recipe's!! My favorite thing to eat is stuffing with gravy...I could probably eat it every day:) Thanks for the giveaways!!
    bangersis at msn dot com

  60. Wonderful gifts. Great way to get new authors to read!