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New Years 2018 Let’s start off the Year with a BANG!

Now that Christmas is over, we all need a rest from the stresses that follow along with celebrating the holiday.  So, that brings me to an interesting holiday that popped up on my radar this week. January 3rd is Festival of Sleep Day. The origins of this national holiday are unknown but I am guessing after Christmas and New Years everyone was looking for a break or better yet extra sleep. This holiday is supposed to encourage people to catch up on sleep after the rush of the holidays.

Sleep is one of the most important and most common human activity. It allows our bodies to rest, heal, develop and can help memory processing and prevention. Lack of this or not getting a good night’s rest can have multiple effects on the body and mind which can hinder performance, decision-making, and positive thinking.

The best way to celebrate this fantastic holiday is to get your pj’s on, crawl into bed and…yes you guessed it….sleep! They say you should wash your bedding every other week to help promote good sleep. If your sheets need some good old washing, start by putting fresh linens on your bed. Fluff up those pillows, and maybe even add a few more for some extra comfort.

 

 

RECIPES

Mexican Pinwheels

Ingredients

  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz can diced green chilies, drained
  • 4 oz can chopped black olives, drained
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 8 (10in.) flour tortillas

Instructions

Mix all filling ingredients together, except tortillas. Divide filling and spread evenly over tortillas; roll up tortillas.

Roll each tortilla up in plastic wrap, twisting the ends. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Unwrap; cut into slices. Lay pinwheels flat on glass serving plate.

Sweet n Salty Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Sauce

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Add a wire rack on top if possible.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add oil. When hot, stir in garlic and onions: cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

Add honey and soy sauce. Stir together the broth and cornstarch. Pour into pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Pat chicken so it is dry. Place onto rack and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.

Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Coat chicken with some sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Flip one more time and coat the other side of the chicken. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until chicken reaches 160F and juices run clean.

Serve chicken with rice and steamed veggies if desired (and do not forget to pour on any extra sauce that is remaining!)

 

Mini Cheese Ball Bites

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (about 3 ounces) blue cheese crumbles
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans
  • Pretzel sticks

Instructions

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, blue cheese, and dried cranberries until smooth. Dampen hands to prevent sticking and form cream cheese mixture into approximately 24 tablespoon-sized balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or until firm.

In the meantime, toast the pecans by spreading out on a sheet pan and baking in a preheated 350°F oven until lightly toasted and fragrant, for 7 to 10 minutes. Allow pecans to cool and finely chop them.

Roll chilled cheese balls in chopped pecans, pressing nuts so that they adhere. Keep cheese balls refrigerated until ready to serve. Just before serving, skewer each cheese ball with a pretzel stick.

**You can make the cheese balls ahead of time, but don’t insert the pretzels until just before serving or they will become soggy.

Turtle Pretzel Bites

Ingredients

  • small unsalted pretzel twists
  • Rolos candies, unwrapped
  • pecan halves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350º. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Place pretzel twists in a single layer on parchment paper. Unwrap Rolos candies and place a candy on top of each pretzel. Carefully place the cookie sheet in the oven.

When the Rolos have just barely softened (check often, it doesn’t take long! Maybe 2-3 minutes) carefully pull cookie sheet out of the oven. Press a pecan half on top of each softened candy.

Let pretzels sit on the cookie sheet until completely cooled (or stick it in the fridge to harden some) and then peel the pretzels off the parchment paper. Great to put in gift bags for friends or family or great to eat as a quick treat. Enjoy!!

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