Tag Archives: Raleigh NC Entertaining Tips

12 Days of Christmas: Lauren’s Goat Cheese & Honey Stuffed Fig Muffins

While on summer vacation this year, Lauren made these goat cheese and honey stuffed fig muffins. YUMMY! They were an immediate hit with her husband.These muffins can be a great addition to any holiday brunch or appitizer spread. We hope you enjoy them.

Goat Cheese & Honey Fig Muffins

Goat Cheese & Honey Stuffed Fig Muffins

3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used half wheat/white)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped dried figs
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine goat cheese, honey, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and and lemon juice until thoroughly mixed.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, then add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in buttermilk.

Add wet ingredients to dry. Don’t over mix. Fold in figs.

Fill each muffin tin halfway. Top with a teaspoon of the goat cheese mixture. Add more batter on top. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.


(Recipe: From EatingWell & Picture: HowSweetEats Blog)

12 Days of Christmas: Brittany’s Sausage Bites

martha stewart wreath image

The past few weeks, these Sausage Bites have been a quick & easy go-to when agreeing to make a savory appetizer for holiday parties. People even believed I was from the South when these arrived! For the perfect soundtrack while waiting for these to cook- some classic tunes for you:

Alabama’s Christmas in Dixie

The Jackson Five’s I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Elvis’ Blue Christmas

Bon Appetite!


  • 1 pound spicy ground pork sausage
  • 2 cups biscuit baking mix (you may also try Virgina’s Best Biscuit mix)
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine sausage, biscuit baking mix and cheese.  Mix well.  If it looks a little dry add a tbsp of water to the mix.  It also helps to have sausage at room temperature.

Form into walnut size balls and place on baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the center is done.

You may also prepare these and freeze them before baking.  Thaw and bake as recommended.  You may also add garlic powder/onion powder to taste to the dry mix. 


image: Martha Stewart

12 Days of Christmas: Hilaire’s Ginger Cookies

The coolest part about sharing all these holiday recipes with you is that behind all these recipes there are memories, family traditions and a sense of coming together. People come together when they share food. This is our hope this holiday, that you take the time to share the love with friends and family. So without further ado, here is the ginger cookie recipe.

I first made these ginger cookies last year and they were a big hit with my family. We had so much fun and we even created a mess in the kitchen. I think we even had flour all over ourselves by the end of the night; so grab your loved ones to help you make these delicious treats! Be creative you can even use Christmas cookie cutters or put some crystallized sugar on top, they give the cookies a nice shimmer.

ginger cookies food network


3/4 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling

1 large egg

1/4 cup molasses

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and molasses and beat until completely incorporated. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and add to the mixture. Stir until combined. Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in sugar. Place 1/2-inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

(Picture and Recipe from Paula Deen the Food Network)

12 Days of Christmas: Judy’s Holiday Brunch Casserole

Judy’s holiday brunch casserole, also popularly known as egg casserole, has been a family tradition for over 20 years. Usually Judy serves this casserole dish on Christmas morning; however, you can fix it anytime of the year. 




1 lb of Turkey sausage

6 slices of bread

Butter (enough to spread on either side of the 6 slices of bread)

6 eggs

2 cups of milk

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Pam Cooking Spray



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan brown the sausage over the stove. Once the sausage is brown set aside. Take 6 slices of bread and butter each side. With a knife cut the bread into tiny squares and set aside. In a small mixing bowl beat 6 eggs and add 2 cups of milk. Stir together. Prepare your 9×13 glass casserole dish by spraying PAM on it to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Now you are ready to mix all your ingredients into the casserole dish. First place the tiny bread squares into the casserole dish, then add the egg/milk mixture, the sausage and layer the cheese on top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Judy recommends serving the casserole with either a danish and/or fresh fruit.


Come back tomorrow, Hilaire shares her homemade Ginger cookies.

12 Days of Christmas: Laurie’s Cranberry Chipotle Chutney Over Brie

Today, Laurie shares this simple and yummy recipe, “Cranberry Chipotle Chutney Over Brie.” For Laurie this is a holiday favorite, she serves this dish whenever she gathers with friends and family.  

Cranberries and Brie

Cranberry Chipotle Chutney over Brie



1 16oz can WHOLE berry cranberry sauce

2 Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (if you like spicy use more peppers out of can. (I use the whole can)

¾ cup dried cranberries

1 red apple peeled, cored and diced

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 lb round brie (scrape off the outer layer)


Crackers, baguette slices, ginger snaps or pita chips


Combine cranberry sauce, chipotle peppers, dried cranberries, apples, sugars, vinegars & spice in saucepan, over medium heat. When mixture begins to bubble, lower heat to simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Put brie in casserole dish, pour chutney over top and bake @ 350 for 20 – 30 minutes, until brie is soft, but not melted.


Come back tomorrow, Judy will share her Christmas brunch casserole. Yummy!

For the previous staff recipes click here.

12 Days of Christmas: Molly’s Blue Cheese Chips Recipe

Need a dish for the men this holiday? You have come to the right place. Molly has found these delicious Blue Cheese Chips from the Junior League of Raleigh Cookbook. They are a hit! If you are pressed for time, the walnuts, fresh thyme and rosemary are optional. Molly even recommends throwing some bacon onto the dish too, it adds a nice flavor to the chips.

Junior League of Raleigh Cookbook


4 Ounces blue cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons tub-style cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 (5-ounce) package crinkle-cut potato chips (tested with kettle-cooked)

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons bottled balsamic glaze



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the blue cheese, cream cheese and cream in a bowl and mix until smooth. Spread the potato chips on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet, making two layers if necessary. Dollop the cheese mixture over the chips and sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake for 5 minutes. Slide the chips onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with thyme and rosemary and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Note: Do not substitute balsamic vinegar for the balsamic glaze. You can make your own glaze by mixing 3 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar in a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Cook on the stove top or in the microwave until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Serves 8 to 10.

Enjoy ! Monday we will have Laurie’s Cranberry Chipotle Chutney over Brie. Yummy.


(image: Amazon)

12 Days of Christmas: Rob’s Rum Cake Recipe

Entertaining over the holidays? Look to the staff at Design Lines for some of our family’s favorite holiday recipes. Today, Rob is sharing this delicious rum cake.

rum cake



The rich yet airy cake is complemented by a rich combination of butter, sugar, and rum drizzled over the top.  The cake soaks it up like a sponge and it’s delicious.  Make it the night before and let it sit overnight for best results.  It’s a very easy recipe, but tastes like a million bucks!



1 cup chopped walnuts

1 (18.25 ounce) package butter recipe cake mix

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup dark rum

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup water

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup dark rum


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sprinkle chopped nuts evenly over the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum. Blend well. Pour batter over chopped nuts in the pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes in the pan. While letting cake sit, make glaze and pour about 1/2 of glaze into cake pan around cooling cake and let absorb 10 more min, then turn cake out onto serving plate. Brush or pour remaining glaze over top and sides of cake. Allow cake to absorb glaze and repeat until all glaze is used.

To make the glaze: in a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup rum.

Come back tomorrow for Molly’s Blue Cheese Chips! Need even more ideas? Check out last year’s 12 days of Christmas!


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