Friday, November 26, 2010

Holiday Recipes for the Troops

Post-Thanksgiving Greetings! Catherine Mann here, with a slightly different twist on our November recipe exchange. For those of you who've read my backlist, you know that many of my books have military themes, no surprise as I'm married to my own Air Force flyboy hero.

In counting my Thanksgiving blessings this year, I'm especially thankful to have my husband home for the holiday weekend. As a military family, my husband and I have spent more than a few holidays, birthdays and anniversaries apart. In fact, my sister and niece are with us now since my brother-in-law is deployed. And my daughter's military boyfriend is overseas as well. We've spent a good deal of time and thought wedging treats and gifts to send to our loved ones far away. (My grandma, also a military spouse, used to pack all her gifts in bags of marshmallows or bags of real peanuts rather than the styrofoam kind!)

So for our November theme of holiday recipes, I would like to take the opportunity to share with you a website with info on "desert safe" recipes and other tips for mailing baked goods to a deployed soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

Here's my favorite "desert safe" recipes:
Butterscotch Scotchies
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 c butter-flavored vegetable shortening
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 T water
3 c quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 2/3 c butterscotch flavored morsels

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small mixer bowl. Beat shortening, sugar, eggs and orange peel in large mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and water. Stir in oats and morsels. Spread batter into prepared baking pan . Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

My endless thanks to all our men and women in uniform. I appreciate your sacrifice. Wishing you all a blessed holiday season!
I would love to hear your tips for mailing baked goods and other treats to family and friends, whether they be overseas or just a few states away....


  1. What a lovely picture, Catherine, and look at all those medals! We should all be thankful for men and women like your hubby who sacrifice of themselves to make sure we wake up in our comfortable beds every morning to freedom. I've never mailed food, so I don't have any tips but I would love to try your recipe. There have been some really yummy recipes posted here.

  2. That's an awesome idea. I don't have any recipes of my own, but I'll borrow yours! It sounds delicious.

  3. I so agree with you, Catherine, lovely picture of the two of you. My son said he just got his flight uniform and I ordered him (I outrank him) to send me a picture soonest. :)

  4. Good morning, Shana!! So glad you enjoyed the blog. :) Anita, thank you for the lovely compliment about the photo! Terry, congratulations to your son!!

  5. Love the post and the picture! Lovely couple there! My husband was in the service (Army and in Germany) when I met him (via real snail mail letters which I still have hidden away). So since Granny said the way to his heart was through his stomach I sent food ... I remember a date nut cake baked in an angel food type pan that he loved. Wrapped it well and packed it in popcorn. I'd hate to pay postage on something that heavy. LOL

  6. P.S. from Carolyn!
    I'd hate to pay postage on something that heavy these days! It was expensive 45 years ago back when an air mail stamp was eight cents!

  7. Carolyn, I hear ya on those heavy mailings! I looooooove flat rate boxes. We keep one on the counter and fill it little bit by little bit as we pick up items to mail... Baked goods go in at the very end. :)

  8. One of my blessings is that my military spouse is home this year. Three years ago it was a different story. I made good use of those flat rate boxes when my hubby was in Iraq. According to my husband, if somebody sent him something it got eaten, no matter what condition it was in when it arrived!

  9. Amanda, I hear ya.... it's always good to send extra, esprcially to share with those who aren't receiving goodies and letters from home....

  10. I've mailed Snickerdoodle cookies before, but prefer to deliver them in person. I'll tell you what doesn't mail well. Pumpkin bread. Yeah, it crumbles into pumpkin bread stuffing.

    I'm so glad you get to spend the holiday with your hubby. Hold him extra tight.

  11. I'll be trying this recipe for sure! What a great idea to send to troops overseas. I do a contest every summer for Military Families...I may have to find a way to include something like this.

  12. Hi Sara! So glad you enjoyed the blog and that it inspired some new ideas. :)

  13. Hi Catherine! I contributed to marshmello ops this year. Apparently they are light to carry, and the soldiers can toast them in their campfires.
    Oh, and I'm an AF brat, my dad retired as a Chief Master Seargent many years ago.