Mona’s, December 2020 Food for Thought!

My Christmas tree is a Palm. In the Spring I put it out on my deck.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving although it was probably small.  I had one friend over and it was the easiest meal I’ve ever served.  King crab legs and frozen mashed potatoes.  My friend Jean brought her stuffin muffins (in last months blog) and frozen éclair’s from the grocery freezer.  What a wonderful meal .  Also, we had a couple of cocktails.

King crab legs, mashed potatoes and “stuffin muffins”!

Now for December Christmas cookies.  I know we all are diet conscious but Christmas is here and remember the children are not on diets.

I will share two scrumptious cookie recipes from my first cookbook, “To Mom With Love”.

The first one is my Great Grandmother, Mrs. Marie Cain’s Recipe.


1 egg
1 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 C butter
1-1/2 C flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add beaten egg. Add flour, mix well. Let stand in refrigerator until mixture is easy to handle, roll very thin. Cut into holiday shapes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool and decorate

Next recipe is a favorite for many!

Mexican Wedding Cookies – Yum!


1 C softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c confectioners sugar
2 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 C finely chopped pecans

Cream butter and add vanilla. Stir to a light and fluffy texture. Add sugar to the cream mixture.

Mix flour and salt, and add creamed mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Blend well. Form into 24 balls and flatten out lightly.

While cookies are warm, NOT hot, roll lightly in powder sugar and let cool on wire rack.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Here is a recipe from my second cookbook, “To Dad With Love”

Oh how my Finnish father loved this recipe. My Mother always made this on Christmas Eve.


Sponge cake (buy one)
2/3 C medium sherry
1 large pkg. (5-1/2 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
2-1/2 C milk
1 C light cream
1 qt. fresh or frozen whole strawberries, sliced or raspberries
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. whipping cream
1 Tbsp Confectioners sugar
1/3 tsp. sherry flavor

Cut cake into small pieces (about 36). Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sherry, let stand 15 minutes.

Prepare pudding according to package directions, using milk and light cream. Let stand 5 minutes. Arrange a layer of cake pieces in bottom of 2-1/2 or 3 quart serving bowl. Top with 1/3 of the sliced strawberries. Spread about 1-1/3 cup pudding over strawberries. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the almonds. Make two more complete layers.

Refrigerate two hours or until thoroughly chilled. Whip up the cream, sugar and sherry flavor and use to garnish along with strawberries or raspberries.

Oh how my Finnish father loved this recipe. My Mother always made this on Christmas Eve.

Serves 12

Here’s a little fun for you to check out!

Iron Range cookbook author Mona Abel joins Heidi and John on the Thursday Morning Show to talk about her new cookbook “Let’s Party”.  Mona tells us about her love for making and eating pasties, when to enjoy cocktail hour, she shares some new recipes and old favorites and most importantly answers the question of gravy or no gravy with pasties.
91.7 KAXE/90.5 KBXE Morning Show Strong Women

We all need to stay positive and keep our minds free from malice and hostile thoughts. Keep calm and peaceful and we will get through this together.

My favorite date in December is the 21st… the days start getting longer.  Bravo! Please stay safe and healthy and have a great Christmas season. Don’t forget to give to others that are less fortunate. 

Don’t forget to purchase my cookbook for your Christmas gifts. Only $29.50 which includes tax and shipping!

Please share one of your favorite recipes with us! Please leave a brief message below in the comments area. I would love to hear from you.

So until next month, keep healthy and happy and keep smiling – through your masks!

Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer

Mona’s, November 2020 Food for Thought!

Hi there my friends and welcome to November.  Hopefully you are still keeping sane and positive.  

I had a very large birthday on October 25th….. Whoa, where did the time go!? 

It’s November in the Northland and you know what that means… deer hunting. What goes with deer hunting at the shack? Of course, PASTIES! Due to Covid 19, the churches aren’t making them. I have tasted Fraboni’s pasties with rutabaga and it was very good.

This month I am featuring:
Pasty makers Emma Cummings, a first grader who is going to go places. Along with my nephew Aaron Meittunen’s boys Jayden and Johnny with wife Mindy.

Featured Recipes:
My Grandmother and Mother’s Pasty Recipe
Jean Jaranson’s, Stuffin’ Muffins
and a Brie Cranberry Appetizer for Thanksgiving

My Grandmother and Mother’s English Pasty Recipe

4 Cup flour
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 lb. lard

Cut lard into flour and salt until size of peas. Blend in approximately 1 Cup cold water or until slightly sticky. Then use flour to roll it. Roll into approximately 6 circles (the size of a dinner plate). Put filling on one side of dough.

Filling for each pasty, layer in this order:
1/2 C cubed potatoes, uncooked
1/3 C to 1/2 C cubed round steak, uncooked
1/3 C chopped onion
1/4 C rutabaga, grated
1 tsp butter on top, salt and pepper (or diced pork)

Dampen edge and fold one side over filling. Press down carefully. Crimp or flute edges to seal tightly. Bake 1/2 hour at 425 degrees and 1/2 hour at 400 degrees until brown. Makes approximately 6 pasties.

Note: my mother decided above ingredients should all be the same amount.

Double pastry recipe for approximately 13 pasties. This will use 3 pounds of round steak, 6 potatoes, one medium rutabaga and 3 medium to large onions.

If baking them from frozen and unbaked: Bake at 425 degrees for 1/2 hour, then at 375 degrees for another 1/2 hour.

I can feel the heartburn coming on, but so worth it!

Ready for Thanksgiving? Here’s a quick and easy stuffing recipe!

Stuffin Muffins provided by, Jean Jaranson
Heat oven to 375 degrees

  1. Fry up ground sausage set aside
  2. Sautee’ celery and onion
  3. 2 boxes Stove Top stuffing in a box
  4. add celery and onion
  5. add sausage – toss to mix
  6. add 4 Tbsp melted butter – toss
  7. moisten with 2 C. water – toss
  8. add 2 slightly beaten eggs – stir
  9. pack into greased muffin tins
    Bake about 25 minutes – YUM!

Brie Cranberry Appetizer


All Purpose flour, for dusting the dough and cutting board
1 (8 oz) tube crescent dough
1 (8 oz) wheel of brie cheese
1 C whole berry cranberry sauce (not jellied)
Fresh rosemary sprigs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Spread a little flour out onto your counter. Then roll out crescent roll dough and pinch seams together. Cut crescent roll dough into 24 equal-sized squares. Place squares into muffin tin slots.
  2. Cut brie into small pieces and place inside the crescent dough squares. Top with a generous spoonful of cranberry sauce, and a generous spoonful of cranberry sauce, and a little sprig of rosemary.
  3. Bake until the crescent dough is light golden brown( about 15 minutes). Then serve warm.

I’m feeling so blessed and thankful for so many real friends and family. Keep safe and healthy. don’t forget to purchase my cookbook for your Christmas gifts. Only $29.50 which includes tax and shipping!

Please share one of your favorites with us below in the comments area. I would love to hear from you.

So until next month, keep healthy and happy and keep smiling – through your masks!

Mona Meittunen Abel
Recipe Diva / Former Go-Go Dancer