Rachel and Brian Dunn and Harper
Rachel and Brian Dunn and Harper
It's going to be an "extra special" Christmas in the home of Brian and Rachel Dunn!

Santa will make his first appearance to their home in the Stallo community now that their family includes four-month-old Harper.

"Christmas is my favorite holiday," Rachel said. "It has always been special for both our families but it is extra special this year because we have Harper."

Rachel loves to decorate their house, both inside and out, during the holidays.

What's more, she loves to bake cakes and cupcakes for friends and family who stop by.

Rachel and her family moved to Philadelphia from Lexington, N. C., when she was a young child.

She graduated from Neshoba Central High School and later earned an associate degree in nursing from East Central Community College.

She is presently employed as a nurse with Sta-Home Home Health.

Rachel loves her job so much that it doesn't seem like work.

Brian and his family moved to Philadelphia from New Orleans when he was a child.

After graduating from Neshoba Central, he earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration.

He works in the construction field.

In their leisure time, Rachel likes to read murder mysteries and science fiction.

An avid hunter, Brian likes to tinker with small engines and vehicles.

The two often team up in the kitchen when it comes to preparing meals.

"Our biggest arguments are over what we're having for supper," Rachel said, with a laugh. "We're always looking through cookbooks and newspapers for new recipes to try."

Brian mans the outside grill 12 months a year.

"Even in the winter, we grill our meats," Rachel said, noting that his specialties are chicken, pork chops and steaks.

Rachel likes to prepare such things as meat loaf and chicken and spaghetti.

Harper's favorite meal consists of oatmeal and fruit.

The Dunn family likes to dine out occasionally at their favorite Japanese restaurant.

For now, however, they are looking forward to spending Christmas with their families.

"We'll have Christmas Eve at Brian's grandmother's house," Rachel said. "We'll see what Santa brought Harper Christmas morning followed by breakfast with his parents and then lunch with my parents."

The Dunns wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Rachel has shared some of her favorite recipes included one for a chocolate wasted cake, a family favorite at Christmas.

Chocolate wasted cake

One devil's food boxed cake mix

Chocolate frosting

1/4 cup chocolate liqueur (optional)

1 bag chocolate morsels

Chocolate candies of choice, broken. (I use Kit Kat and Snickers)

1 c. Chocolate syrup

Prepare cake mix as directed in 2-9 inch pans. Cool completely. Place bottom layer on serving dish, drizzle liqueur onto cake, then ice. Repeat with second layer. Ice sides of cake as well. Press chocolate morsels into side of cake so that morsels stick in the icing. Press candy pieces into top of cake, fill in gaps with chocolate morsels. Top with chocolate syrup in grid pattern. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Hot French onion dip

1 small or 1/2 large sweet onion finely chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

8 ounces cream cheese

12 ounces grated Parmesan

Combine first three ingredients and most of cheese, reserving enough to cover the top of the dip. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned. Spoon excess oil from top. Serve hot with Ritz Flips that are pretzel on one side.

Buffalo chicken dip

1 large can chunk white meat chicken

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup Ranch dressing

1/2 cup buffalo sauce

8 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Combine all ingredients. Bake at 350 until bubbly. Serve with Tostitos scoops

Breakfast pie

1 roll breakfast sausage, cooked and drained

4 eggs, beaten

Salt and pepper to taste

8 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Pillsbury piecrust, baked as directed

Combine first 5 ingredients and pour into prepared piecrust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until egg is done/ Cook 8-10 minutes before serving.