Friday, July 13, 2012

Christmas in July--Friday Baking and Movies

Yup...Fridays are for baking and movies! Now I'm not necessarily saying you have to bake and watch movies only on Friday.  I'm not the Christmas activity police. ;O)  Fridays will just be where I share a great recipe for Christmas baking and also tell you about a Christmas movie/movies I like.  Then you'll have the entire weekend to bake and watch movies! On this particular Friday, I have a special treat for you.  Gina from Hott Books is sharing with us a Fruitcake recipe from none other than Debbie Macomber herself.  So to tie in with that, I'm going to share some of Debbie Macomber movies that I've enjoyed and they just happen to be on cable TV this weekend (or I'm sure you can rent them or maybe stream on Netflix).

Here goes...let's welcome Gina to the blog today!

For as long as I can remember the first thing I think of when someone mentions Christmas is... Fruitcake. Yes, I know, you just cringed, didn't you?

Well, you cringed because in your minds eye all you can think about is that dense cake that keeps for years, gets passed around the family as a gag gift, and has what is supposed to be fruit in but looks like a neon art gallery instead.

I thought the exact same thing... until I read Debbie Macomber's There's Something About Christmas and now, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be that way.

If you read her book, you'll be intrigued - like I was - with the way the three women identified with their own versions of fruitcake and you will need to try them out, as well.

I've made all three, but I'm going to share my absolute favorite with you... Sorry, I don't have any pictures but this cake just doesn't last long enough to get them. (Oh, and trust me... waiting a month makes it even more AWESOME!!)


  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2½ cups applesauce

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 Tbsp. soda powder

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp. cloves

  • 1 tsp. nutmeg

  • 2 tsps. cinnamon

  • 2 pounds candied fruit mix

  • 1 ½ cup chopped dates

  • 2 cups raisins

  • 2 cups walnuts, chopped

  • Brandy, optional

  • Cream sugar and butter. Add beaten eggs and applesauce. Mix flour, salt, soda, baking power and spices together and gradually add to other mixture . Mix well. Blend in candied fruit, dates, raisins and nuts. Mixture will be stiff. Bake in 325° oven in two loaf pans for one hour.

    Cool and remove fruitcake from pans. Wrap the cooled fruitcake in cheesecloth that has been soaked in brandy. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator for up to three months. Dribble additional brandy over the stored fruitcake periodically, if desired.


    Gina @ HottBooks


    Now for the movies! Debbie Macomber's books Mrs. Miracle and Call Me Mrs. Miracle were both made into films by the Hallmark Channel.  They are such wonderful, heartwarming movies, starring the incomparable Doris Roberts.

    Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle
    Losing a spouse is always hard, and for Seth Webster (James Van Der Beek), playing single dad to two rambunctious six-year-olds doesn’t make it any easier. With the holidays approaching, finding a housekeeper has proven to be near-impossible, until Mrs. Emily Merkle (Doris Roberts) shows up at the Websters’ door, ready to turn their lives around. No sooner has “Mrs. Miracle,” as Seth’s boys call her, straightened up the house, than Seth meets Reba Maxwell (Erin Karpluk), best friend to the Webster kids’ first-grade teacher. After just one date, Seth and Reba find they have a lot in common. Since the death of his music-loving wife, Seth has been unable to play a single chord on the piano, and, in the name of her career, Reba, once an avid actress, has avoided the theater. With a Christmas pageant to prepare for and a fresh romance on the horizon, Mrs. Miracle definitely has her work cut out for her and proves to be more than just a normal nanny.

    Airs this weekend on the Hallmark Channel
    Saturday, 6am ET/5am CT
    Sunday, 12am ET/ 11pm (Sat) CT

    No one celebrates the holidays like Emily Merkle (Doris Roberts) – or Mrs. Miracle as she is known by some – who is back to ensure that this Christmas is the most magical and meaningful of all. When Mrs. Miracle appears as a seasonal employee in the toy department at the financially troubled Finley’s Department Store, neither the store’s owners, nor the customers, have any idea of the events that are about to unfold. Just when it seemed Christmas might not come at all this year, Finley’s favorite employee proves they don’t call her Mrs. Miracle for nothing! Also starring Jewel Staite, Eric Johnson and Lauren Holly. 

    Airs this weekend on the Hallmark Channel
    Saturday, 8am ET/7am CT
    Sunday, 2am ET/ 1am CT

    You may want to set those DVRs (VCRs for those who still have them), as these times are pretty early/late.  Hallmark Channel is running a whole weekend of some of their best Christmas movies.  You can get the full schedule at my post HERE.

    I hope you enjoyed Friday Baking and Movies.  Be sure to join me next week!

    Always in spirit....


    1. Thanks for letting me visit today!!
      an't wait to see the movie!!

    2. Awww!! The fruitcake sounds yummy and I love the Mrs Miracle films!!!

    3. YUM! And I love Debbie's books and movies.

    4. I was so upset today because I had one my DVR's set to record all the movies on the Hallmark channel and there was a problem with the channel on our cable and it did not record any of them! We will see what happens tomorrow. Usually I have no problem with the High Def channels but Hallmark only has the Hallmark Movie Cahnnel in our area in High Def and not the regualr one which was airing the Christmas movies.....


      1. So sorry to hear that, Deb. I still use VCRs. They usually only screw up from human error or if the tape is bad (or the rare power outage). I haven't come out of the dark ages yet. ;O) I hope it works for you tomorrow. Looks like they're repeating most of what they played on Saturday.


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