I’m a big fan of sweet-and-salty flavor combinations, so of course I love chocolate-covered pretzels! I like dipping them in white and dark or milk chocolate, then coating with a variety of holiday sprinkles or crushed candy canes. Since these are only half-dipped, they’re easy to handle and quick to make. They make a great snack or homemade gift for the holidays!Continue reading
If you like making homemade Christmas gifts, here’s a great idea I found at MyRecipes. Just about everyone loves hot cocoa, so you really can’t go wrong giving this! You can get jars like the one above at Wal-Mart, or you can use whatever kind of jars you like. This recipe makes enough to fill a 1-quart jar (12 servings; I upped the amount of the mini chocolate chips and crushed peppermint candy from the original recipe, since I had some extra room in my jar). If you want to use smaller jars, you can divide the mixture up equally between those. A ribbon tied around the neck of the jar makes this hot cocoa gift really festive, too. And you’ll need to add a tag that gives directions on how to make the cocoa (directions are included in the recipe below).
This is a rich, chocolatey cocoa mix that makes a great cup of hot cocoa! And it has a nice touch of peppermint, so it’s perfect for the holidays. If I have the time, I may just make my own hot cocoa mix from now on!
HOMEMADE PEPPERMINT HOT COCOA MIX adapted from MyRecipes.com
Makes about 12 servings, enough to fill a 1-quart (32-ounce) jar
- 1 cup powdered milk
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy or candy canes (I used 3/4 cup)
In a 1-quart jar, layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and last of all, the peppermint candy on top. Cover jar with lid, tie a pretty holiday ribbon around the neck of the jar if desired, and attach a homemade gift tag with cocoa-making instructions on the back.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BACK OF GIFT TAG: “Mix contents of jar in a large bowl. For each serving, place a slightly heaping 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix back in jar or another airtight container.”
NOTE: This mix will fill a 1-quart jar (about 12 servings, with each serving being a slightly heaping 1/3 cup), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant.
Are you making any homemade Christmas gifts this year?
Linked to Inspire Me Monday.
OREOs are always a treat, and these cookie ball truffles are a great way to enjoy them over the holidays! So now that the Christmas season is in full swing, I thought this would be the perfect time to make them. They’re easy to make and all you need are a few ingredients—OREO cookies, cream cheese, and chocolate—plus an extra ingredient I added! I decided I’d make these cookie balls a little extra chocolatey by adding in some mini chocolate chips (you need to use the mini chips—–the regular size would be much too big)! And I used both semi-sweet and white baking chocolate to coat them for a little variety. I topped these yummy treats with different kinds of Christmas sprinkles, coconut, and crushed candy canes. Chopped nuts would also be a great topping.Continue reading
I found some great ideas at Better Homes and Gardens for adding shimmer and shine to your holiday decorating with ornaments! If you want to add a special touch to your Christmas table or just make your living room a little more festive when guests arrive, there are lots of easy ways to do that! You’ll find 24 ideas in all at the site, and here are some of my favorites (all photos shown are from BHG.com)…
Make an ornament napkin ring using a wide and narrow ribbon…loosely tie a wide ribbon around a rolled napkin, slide a narrow ribbon through the wide knot (then pull the ends of the wide ribbon to tighten the knot), and thread small ornaments onto each end of the narrow ribbon, tying ornaments in place with knots. Even just using a wide satin ribbon by itself tied around the rolled napkin in a knot or bow would be pretty!
Or, just use one ornament, tied around a rolled napkin with shimmery ribbon…and tie the ends in a pretty bow!
A beautiful centerpiece can be created with ornaments and candles. Just arrange varying heights of pillar candles on a round tray and fill in with a variety of shimmery ornaments. To fill in the smaller spaces, you can even add some glitzy and inexpensive costume jewelry.
Another centerpiece idea…fill a large glass vase with shiny and shimmery ornaments of varying sizes. Any large glass vase will work!
Fill a vase with natural winter greenery and shiny ornaments. If you want your display to last longer, add some water to the lower third of the vase and keep the ornaments nearer to the top.
Using an ornament as a place card holder is a great idea, too! It also doubles as a special gift your guests can take home!
Make an ornament swag, tying ornaments onto a long piece of wide satin ribbon. I have a cabinet in my living room I could do this on!
These next few ideas were in another section of the BHG website and I loved these, too! Hang ornaments from a chandelier or light fixture with ornament hooks…such an easy idea, and so pretty!
Or fill a serving tray with ornaments…how easy is that?
Mix things up by displaying ornaments with fruit, nuts, berries, leaves, or other natural decorative items in a fancy footed bowl.
And here are a few other shimmery ideas that you can add ornaments to, if you like…
Add some bling to your decor with a glistening wreath…just use a hot glue gun to attach sparkling buttons to a thin 9″ wreath form and tie a silver bow at the top. Attach a small ornament or two to the bow for extra bling!
A mirror display or centerpiece using candles, greenery, and crystal or glass also adds a shimmery, glimmery touch to your table. Some ornaments added in would be pretty, too.
Do you have creative ways of your own for decorating with ornaments?
I mentioned a few posts ago that I had finally purchased some eggnog this season and was wanting to try some new egg nog recipes. And this is the first one I decided to try…Egg Nog Blondies. I really didn’t know what to expect…but after tasting them, I can tell you they are really yummy and moist, and even if you aren’t crazy about eggnog, the eggnog flavor is so subtle that I’m sure you would like these!Continue reading