Quack Up Your Holidays!
Are you longing for the festive twinkling of holiday lights but yours are tangled and on the blink? Ready to wrap your Christmas gifts but can't remember where you hid them? Would you like to get your friends together for a holiday open house but don't know when you'd find the time or what you'd serve them? Relax. Or, as Jeanne Bice, founder of The Quacker Factory says, "Don't get your tinsel in a tangle!"
Jeanne Bice, known to millions of fans as "the Head Quack" of the clothing line, The Quacker Factory, and designer-crafter extraordinaire, is here to show you how to make your home fittingly festive without the fuss. With the home-spun charm that has made her one of QVC's most popular on-air guests, she will help you add sparkle to your season, whether you've been hosting holidays for years or don't know which end of the turkey is up.
If you're looking for appetizers that break the ice without breaking your back, are stuck on what to make for the holiday bake sale (again!), searching for the perfect gift while avoiding the mad rush at the mall, or just wanting to add more joy to your season, Jeanne has the advice and inspiration.
In addition to over a hundred family-favorite recipes, she shares simple Quacker-style decorating ideas along with complete menus for hosting themed parties, including a Crock-Pot Caroling Party, a Trim-a-Tree Party, a Cookie Exchange, and a Christmas Dinner Extraordinaire. From her never-fail no-lumps gravy and outrageous stuffing to original twists on old stand-bys like sweet potato casserole and corn cheese bake, you'll be ready to entertain with poise and pizzazz.
With charming artwork and stunning photography, this all-in-one guide gives you everything you need to create fabulous holiday gatherings and the magical memories that go with them.
About the Author
Jeanne Bice is the funny, warm and vivacious self-made success of the Quacker Factory. When she began selling her clothes on QVC in 1996, she barely had two pennies to rub together. When she made her TV debut, she sold out her entire inventory in minutes and has since become one of QVC's most popular guests. She has appeared on Good Morning America and ABC News, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and others. Having relocated from Wisconsin to south Florida, she is a living example that you truly can create a traditional white Christmas even if you're surrounded by palm trees and 80 degree weather.
Read an Excerpt
Don't Let the Turkeys Get You Down
No matter how hard you try and no matter how much stress you put on yourself and your dear family, Christmas is not always going to turn out perfectly. You can do every single thing I suggest in this book, plus a few old wives' tales, plus all of your girlfriends' suggestions, and it can still all "go to hell in a hand basket," as my grandpa used to say. Want proof?
One Christmas we were having our typical houseful of people over: The entire Bice family; our in-laws, the Grahams; our dear friend Lori and her daughter; plus anyone else we could think of.
That year, my son Tim and I had shows on QVC during Thanksgiving, so we didn't have the chance to host a traditional turkey dinner at the house like we usually did. So instead we decided we'd make all the Thanksgiving fixin's for Christmas, which called for only the best spread we could produce. We planned and planned and planned.
During the season I'd been watching QVC, as usual, and saw a large deep fryer. Well, you know I just had to have it. I'd heard that deep-frying a turkey was the best, and I was determined to give it a try. I ordered the fryer and within a few days it was at the doorstep. I called Lori and told her we needed to take it for a test-fry! We decided that she would be the turkey chef extraordinaire, the one in charge of figuring it all out.
The next day Lori arrived at the house with all the supplies and set about the big "turkey test." The turkey came out crisp and brown on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. I have to tell you . . . it was close to the best thing I've ever tasted. It always seemed to be that the turkey breast got a little dry by the time the dark meat was done, but not in the deep fryer. And, surprisingly, it wasn't the least bit greasy. Well, Lori's turkey was a huge success so we added it to our Thanksgiving-for-Christmas menu right on the spot.
Christmas Day dawned a bit gloomy, but we weren't worried about the deep fried turkey. What could possibly go wrong?
Lori and I had been cooking for days, and we had enough food to feed a small town. We were going to roast a turkey, make a big pot of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, a big batch of sausage stuffing, sweet potatoes, roast prime rib, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls and, of course, my famous coleslaw. The piece de resistance was going to be the deep-fried turkey with a huge helping of prayer that the bad weather held off.
Preparation was well under way, and it was only an hour and a half until dinner. Deep-frying a turkey takes about an hour, so it was time to get the oil heating. So far, so good . . . the weather was holding off and we knew we were going to make it! An hour before dinner, the turkey was in the oil, bubbling away like crazy. Wouldn't you know it, fifteen minutes later the sky opened up and rain came pelting down. As you know, water and hot oil don't mix, and after a few minutes of grease splattering everywhere and the gas fire going out, sweet Lori was mumbling something under her breath that would probably have made a sailor blush! We were in a pickle. What to do?
We moved the whole operation into the garage. Now I know this is frowned upon . . . fire hazard and all . . . but what choice did we have?
We had to save that turkey! After we moved everything, we lit the gas back up and got it going again. Unfortunately, the oil had cooled a lot, so it took awhile to get it back up to temperature. Meanwhile, the turkey was taking a grease-bath the entire time and, unbeknownst to us, the bird had continued to cook even though the oil had cooled.
Once the oil was going again, we refigured the cookiing time and decided it had another forty-five minutes, since that was how much time was left when the fire went out. Even though the entire dinner was being delayed to wait for the fried turkey, that was okay. . . . It would be well worth it when our guests tasted this holiday masterpiece.
Forty-five minutes later, Lori removed the turkey from the fryer and brought it in. Oh, it was beautiful . . . deep golden brown and crispy. The rest of the dinner had been laid out, and it was time to cut into this beautiful bird. With everyone standing around, Lori made a big production of sharpening the knife and preparing to cut. Well, you could have knocked us over with a turkey feather at this point! Instead of the light stream of juices we had expected, the first cut into the breast of the turkey produced a kind of "poof." A small cloud of what can only be described as turkey dust shot out of the cut, and the smell wafting out of the bird was less than wondrous.
Lori peeked inside the turkey skin, and all she saw were the charred remains of a once-proud turkey. She had made a slight miscalculation with the time and cooked it too long. At this point, the excitement had been building among the guests, and they were clamoring to see this amazing creation that Lori and I had endlessly bragged about. Needless to say, the laughter and ribbing Lori took for the rest of the day about the "Great Turkey Test" only added to the festiveness of the occasion.
Everyone was wonderful; we tossed the turkey in the garbage and dove into all the other food. We didn't get our fried turkey that year, but we did get a valuable lesson: It doesn't matter what the weather is like, or what's on your tableit's who you spend the holidays with that really matters! So let it all go. Enjoy your holidays no matter what happens. And remember, even chaotic times can create good memories. It's up to you to see your experiences as bad . . . or blessed. Enjoy.
©2006. Jeanne Bice. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Quacker Factory Christmas. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a up lifting short storys of life. The recipes and tips are so rewarding. There is something adaptable for everyones family. A joy to read, and wondeful cooking, and decorations as well as entertainment.
Jeanne writes an amusing book about Christmas's during her life, provides fun tips and ideas, and recipes for entertaining. A book I will definitely re-read and recipes I plan to use.
I'm sure this book will never win a prize for healthy eating but the recipes are great home-style holiday treats for entertaining and family gathering. I loved this book--just for the warm "homey" feeling it gave me. Of course I've seem Jeanne on QVC with her "quackers" so that motivated me to buy the book when I saw it. This would make a great gift for a "fan" or anyone needing a comforting book full of good food stories.