Monday, December 15, 2014

Glimmer Lights Create Christmas Magic

 While out doing some last minute shopping I ran across a bit of Christmas magic!  Glimmer Strings.  Beautiful magical, battery-powered LED string lights.

Pier 1 sells both white and amber colored lights.

They make a somewhat ordinary lantern...

Extraordinary and...


May the magic of Christmas surround you and yours.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Amy's Cheese Ball


I promised to share a few of my recipes from the appetizers I served at the Baby It's Cold Outside baby shower last week.  Here is your first installment.

Amy and I have have been friends for several years now and I'm a much better person for knowing her!  She whips together parties, play groups and all types of other fun in just minutes.  Don't know how she does all that she does but I'm grateful to be along for the ride!

Amy is also the founder of  My Story Matters.  I attended a board meeting recently where she served a plate of goodness.  This fabulous cheeseball with crackers, fruit and other dipping type edibles.

Don't you just love this moose!  Reminds me of my nephew serving a mission in Canada.  Do they call them Canucks?

Back to the cheeseball...I served it with crackers and a Hickory Farms Beef log.  Instead of rolling the cheeseball in nuts we framed the ball with pomegranates.  
So fresh and festive.

Amy’s Cheese Ball

1-8 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp. mayo
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Chopped green onion
Diced ham

Mix and chill.  Roll in nuts or pomegranates (if desired).  Can make a double batch and take as needed for holiday parties.

 photo Kelliesign.jpg

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Cheer! Peanut Butter Swirl & Peppermint Bark-MMMmmm Monday

Are we having fun yet!  
SIMPLIFY has been a word that keeps running through my thoughts this year.  I've always disliked that word because it often becomes an excuse to do nothing.
I'm beginning to see-the-light!  

As I pulled out the Christmas boxes laden with all kinds of bulbs, bows and beautiful, sparkly fun I decided to make a decision right then and simplify.

What was most important in those boxes of Christmas fluff?  Well, there were a lot of important, meaningful, wonderful things that have created beautiful Christmas memories through the years.  I kept those items.

The other things...It was a nice feeling to donate those to a couple of  local charities.  

We've all heard the phrase, Less is More. 
That was the first gift of Christmas I gave myself this year.

In keeping with simplicity I wanted to share two recipes that have been around my holiday kitchen for many years.  

A fast holiday treat to give away or just to eat!

P-Nut Butter Swirl
2 large pkgs. of white chocolate chips-(Guittard or Girradelli)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 regular size Hershey bar

Melt vanilla chips on stove top or microwave.  Add peanut butter to melted mixture.  Pour onto greased (or parchments paper) 9X13 jelly roll pan.  Drizzle choc. bar across top of mixture in pan.  Run knife lengthwise then widthwise to score.  Refrigerate for 20 min.  Can be cut into bars/bite size pieces.

Peppermint Bark
2 large pkgs. white chocolate chips
candy canes
peppermint flavoring
red food coloring

Melt white chocolate on stove top or microwave oven.  Add ground up canes and peppermint flavoring (to taste) and pink tinge of food coloring.  Pour onto wax paper or cookie sheet.  Cool and Break into pieces.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Peppermint Chocolate Caramel Dipped Marshmallows

One of my favorite (and I have many) homemade treats during the holidays are these scrumptious dipped marshmallows.

They are not hard to make, just a bit of a process. 

Don't these look like toadstools!

The finished product looks festive and fabulous.  
Good enough to eat!

Serve them in little candy cups, on a sleigh!  Or packaged for neighbor gifts.

Prepare Caramel sauce and cool slightly.  Dip 3/4 of a large marshmallow into caramel sauce, being careful not to burn fingers and place on parchment paper until set.  

Melt in microwave 1 bag of Guittard milk chocolate chips.  (Guittard seems to be the best for dipping).  Once caramel marshmallow is “dry” dip 1/2 the marshmallow into melted choc. chips then place on parchment paper.  While still “wet” sprinkle a light smattering of crushed peppermint
on top. 

Makes about 20-25 marshmallows.

Caramel for Dipping
½ cup butter
½ cup & 2 Tsp. Brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
dash of salt
½ tsp. Vanilla

Melt butter in  sauce pan-add brown sugar, stir until dissolved.  Stir in corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk and salt.  Stir constantly on med. heat until a soft ball forms (15 – 20 min).  

When reaches soft ball stage (I use a candy thermometer) remove from heat, add vanilla.  Let cool slightly.  

Dip marshmallows, pretzel rods, cookies, etc.  Place in refrigerator until set.

 photo Kelliesign.jpg