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November is the month that gets us started thinking seriously about the upcoming holiday season. With less than two weeks until Thanksgiving, we begin to realize that Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are just around the corner. It's a time when family and friends begin to gather around anything from a formal dining table to an informal buffet. For some of us it's a time we look forward to; to others it brings on terrible stress as we may take on more than we can chew (entertaining your spouse's family, a feisty mother-in-law, a business associate, or an unexpected guest).

But take heart! Relax!!!!! Breathe!!!!!!

You've still got time to plan ahead. Take stock, and be honest with yourself! If you prefer hosting intimate, informal get-togethers...then do it! But if you're the hostess with the "mostest" and you're good at formal, sit-down dinners...then go for that! Whatever you decide, keep in mind the spirit of the holiday--giving and sharing! Enlist the help of your significant other, your children and your friends. Have a game plan and delegate, delegate, DELEGATE!

Above all.....ENJOY!

Here's my strawberry spin on easy recipes you should consider preparing for the holidays:

Cranberry Strawberry Mold

This easy cranberry strawberry mold adds great color to the holiday table, and it's so easy to prepare.


1 large package strawberry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 can jellied cranberries, mashed
1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed
1 (#2) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped nuts


Dissolve jello with water. Add remaining ingredients.

Spray jello mold with a non-stick cooking spray.

Pour mixture into the mold and let set.

Tips for Unmolding your Jello Mold: Make sure that the jello is completely firm.
Use a small spatula dipped in warm water to loosen the jello. (Or you can moisten your fingertips and gently pull the jello from around the edge of the mold).
Dip mold in warm water for no more than 15 seconds.
Place moistened, chilled plate on top of mold. Turn upside down and shake gently until mold is released.

I've made no secret of my love for cheesecakes. Although I heartily agree that Pumpkin Pie is a MUST at Thanksgiving, I see dessert more as a smorgasbord of great choices. Add this recipe and you'll be on your way.

Strawberry Cheese Pie


1 9" graham cracker pie crust
8 ounces cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces frozen whipped topping
1 can strawberry pie filling


Beat softened cream cheese. Add sugar, sour cream, vanilla and topping. Spoon into crust. Chill at least 2 hours. Top with one can of strawberry pie filling (or the fruit of your choice). Chill again for at least 2 hours before serving.

HOLIDAY TIP!--If you are the hostess for this year's feast, here's an idea. Most likely your guests will compliment you on a superb meal and ask for the recipes. In advance, prepare a mini-recipe book containing this year's holiday recipes, and give it as a holiday gift to each of your guests. If others are contributing dishes to the meal, ask them for the recipe ahead of time and include it in the recipe booklet. It will make for a wonderful reminder of this year's Thanksgiving celebration.

If you're the guest and you need a gift, present the food item you are bringing in a new bowl, plate or serving dish. Add a small card to the dish and tell the host this is your gift to them.


That wraps it up for this edition of Susie's Strawberry Jammin' Ezine. I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. In the meantime, don't forget to log on to easy-strawberry-recipes.com , your one-stop source for all things strawberry.

"See" you next month!