Christmas at Chez Mudd



Christmas at Chez Mudd

Thanks to Erastes for having me along for the holidays!

I’m Angelia Sparrow and I write a wide variety of books. Same-sex romance in every genre from contemporary to steampunk to SF, heterosexual romance, children’s religious books (under a pseudonym) and cookbooks. Yes, cookbooks.

So, let’s talk holiday cooking. That’s one of the most fun parts of the holiday season. You get to haul out all the old recipes, whether it’s grandma’s vintage cookie cutter collection or great-grandma’s latke recipe or the secret cheesecake recipe to wow your coven. We’re a mixed faith household here at Chez Mudd. The girls and I celebrate Yule as a religious holiday (being pagan) and Christmas as a family holiday (since Mudd himself is Christian).  The latkes came down the family line from a Jewish peddler that married in, and the January 6 Christmas is from my husband’s Greek great-grandfather. We party from about the end of October right through spring, since there are about seven birthdays sprinkled in.

But what happens when the oven dies?

That’s what we’re facing at Chez Mudd this year. My full sized oven died in August. I have a small, countertop oven, but it won’t fit even my basic muffin tin, let alone a half-sheet baking pan for a cake to take to the Yule Sabbat. No turkey for us. And we’ll have to buy two small pans of the Christmas Lasagna, instead of the big one.


And in a year when all we can afford to give as gifts is baked goods and handicrafts from the Stash, it feels doubly difficult.

So, for your holiday enjoyment, here are three of my favorite stove-top goodie recipes.

My grandmother made a lot of candy at Christmas. These are a couple of my favorites.

 Grandma Fantz’s Golden No-Bake Nuggets

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. corn syrup

1 c. peanut butter

3 1/2 c. corn flakes

Stir sugar and corn syrup over low heat until sugar dissolves. Add peanut butter. Stir until hot and well blended. Remove from heat. Stir in corn flakes. Blend until well coated, try not to crush. Cool slightly. Moisten hands, take portions size of egg and form balls. Or just drop from teaspoon onto wax paper.

Crisp Rice Balls

1 stick melted oleo

1 egg, well beaten

1 c. sugar

1 pkg. (8 oz) dates

Stir all together, bring to boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in 3 c. crispy rice cereal, 1 c. finely chopped nuts. Stir. Wet hands, roll into small balls, roll in flaked coconut. Chill. Makes 24.

This one makes a great gift. Make a few extra and stash them for unexpected gift situations.


Chocolate Pizza

12 oz. semisweet chips

1 lb white almond bark

2 c. miniature marshmallows

1 c. crisp rice cereal

1 c. peanuts

6 oz. red marischino cherries, halved

3 T. green cherries, quartered

1/3 c. coconut

1 t. oil

Microwave chips and 14 oz of almond bark in 2 qt. bowl until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in marshmallows, cereal and peanuts. Pour into greased 12″ pizza pan. Top with cherries. Sprinkle with coconut. Melt remaining almond bark with oil, stirring to make smooth. Drizzle over coconut. Chill until firm.


Angelia Sparrow is the author of seventy short stories and eleven novels, with her twelfth coming out in February 2013. Her work can be found at

Advent Calendar Giveaway!

All the recipes come from In Angel’s Kitchen, a cookbook soon to be released from Inkstained Succubus (– submissions welcome!). But you can win an early pdf copy here.

Just leave your comment and we will pick one of you randomly, and send it along. Happy holidays!

The BONUS BUMPER PRIZE QUESTION (don’t answer this – just save them up for Christmas Eve.)


at does the character of Frank Cross do for a living in “Scrooged”?

11 Responses

  1. I would be in a strait jacket if my oven went down at this time of year.I live to bake and give away. Have a wonderful peanut butter fudge recipe that only needs the stove top. Happy Holidays!

  2. No oven? How awful! I’d have to fall back on my mother’s rum balls, which are mostly graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, and corn syrup, apart from the rum and whatever decorative trimmings you roll them in. My mother is decidedly not a baker, but my teachers always seemed to appreciate a tin full.

    I just made latkes last night. I’m proud of my family’s recipe — my father worked out that if you squeeze all the liquid out of the potato puree, you don’t need to add flour to absorb it, which makes them heavy, or baking powder to lighten them, which makes them taste funny. Just potatoes, onion, eggs, and salt — and we eat them standing, gathered around the stove, so they’re at their best, crisp and hot.

    I hope that despite the oven troubles, you have a wonderful series of holidays.

  3. So sorry to hear about the dead oven. 😦 I hope you have a decent Christmas inspite of it.

    I’ll definitely give the recipes a go. Thanks.

  4. Those recipes look soooo yummy. Thank you for sharing. 😊 Hope the oven issue will soon be sorted. I’m off to bake now. Lol.

  5. I don’t know about a chocolate pizza, the name would turn me off but chocolate sounds heavenly by itself.

    • It’s more a pizza-looking chocolate bar than an actual pizza with chocolate. (although, those are pretty amazing too. Our local joint des dessert pizzas and I love the chocolate peanutbutter)

  6. Wow, good luck with the cooking! Mind you, I’ve just had a pre-Christmas meal with DIL in Texas. She and son wanted whole Christmas experience the English way – well the oven was big so no problem there but she only had one baking tray and one muffin tray. We had to be very inventive with foil!

  7. Appliances always fail at inopportune times, absolutely. I’ve been on an ice-cream kick lately…you could try a bombe or terrine (the Jeni’s cookbook has some good ones) if there’s room in your freezer.

  8. Best wishes for being able to get a new oven soon!

    Back in the mid-90s there was a big storm swept across North Wales on Christmas Eve – everyone had all their food etc. ready for cooking and suddenly most of the population were plunged into a week-long power cut! We were among the lucky ones – we only lost power for a couple of hours, but all my friends who’d gone to stay with relatives up on the coast had a very cold & memorable-for-the-wrong-reasons Christmas…

  9. Love the sound of those nuggets. we make something similar, but with chocolate. *licks lips*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: