Just when I was thinking that winter should surely be coming to an end here in the south, I was surprised when the chilly and rainy Sunday turned into a freezing winter storm through the night. I don't always keep up with the weather and news so I had no idea it was coming. Waking up to a thick (for the south that is :) blanket of snow was fun and especially exciting when the in-laws came over with their sleds!
(Jayden's first sled ride!)
Nothing like racing down a snow covered hill on a sled to make you feel like a kid again :) I forgot how much fun it is!
I really was having fun, lol!
The sun was bright to be looking up at a camera!
We had hot coffee and popcorn waiting for us when we came back in and later went out again to take a few more rides before the sun went down. I'm pretty sure we all will sleep a little better tonight.
But speaking of Coffee... I have been totally enjoying my new White Chocolate Stir-in! last year I have played around a little with a few recipes but hadn't gotten it quite right for my personal preference, this year though was a success!
So I'd like to share it with you! It's great to stir into hot coffee instead of creamer and mix it with any other Stir-in flavor that you like and top with a little whip cream or even blend it in with a frozen coffee, I'll add how I make my own at the bottom.
1\2 c. sugar
1\2 c. half n half
1 T. butter
1 c. mini marshmallows
(or 1\2 c. marshmallow cream)
2\3 c. Hershey's premium white chocolate chips
1\2 t. vanilla
1\8 t. rum extract
1\8 t. cinnamon (opt.)
pinch of nutmeg (opt.)
Place sugar, half n half, butter, marshmallows and white chocolate into a saucepan and melt together over med-heat. Once completely blended, remove from heat and add extracts and optional spices. Pour into a pint jar and cool. Store in fridge.
Now for my blended Coffee Frap!
This is very versatile, you can make it to suit yourself. I start with mixing 4 t. of instant coffee into 1\2 cup of cold water (you can also use strong brewed coffee that is chilled), set aside. Fill the blender to the 3 cup line with ice, pour in the coffee, 1 c. milk and 1\4 c. half n half. Add flavors desired (for white chocolate I add 4 T. of the stir-in recipe above if using it alone or 3 T. if adding a second flavor). Blend VERY well. Can top with whipped cream and a drizzle of coordinating stir-in. I know its still "winter" but I have had spring fever REALLY bad! and I just couldn't wait for summer to share this delicious concoction with you :)
High buns are in style right now and I personal LOVE it! The "look" that is... "hair donuts" aka "bun maker" have been on my "to get" list for a long time, then I saw the idea to make one out of a sock.....!? Hey, it works! :) I was pretty excited and now it's my go-to style for my daughter when I don't have a lot of time for hair or just to get it out of her face (she has SO.MUCH.BEAUTIFUL.HAIR!)
I just used a regular ladies mid-length sock
that I had left over from making Sock Snowmen.
Cut off the "toe" end...
Then start rolling from the top down,
fairly tight all the way to the end.
So then to make the bun, you'll need a comb, of course,
some bobby pins, 2 hair bands, and your bun maker.
Oh, that spray bottle in the photo is my "coconut spray".
1 T. coconut milk mixed with 1 T. warm water.
If you want something to help control little "fly aways", try this!
It's natural, non-sticky, super healthy for your hair
and will give your hair a clean soft shine (and tropical smell).
Just don't over spray or you may end up with a greasy look.
A little goes a long way!
So start off with a high pony tail,
then slide the bun maker over the hair band (smooth side up).
Let the hair fall evenly over the sock and gently comb the hair smooth
that is on top. I like to give the center a little spritz of coconut spray
so that the bun lays smooth.
Slip the second hair band over the bun...
Then you can french braid or twist the remaining hair
around the bun to hide the band, adding bobby pins as needed.
I know there are many out there who are not into Eggnog and I must say that I have never tried some from a store so I don't know where they are coming from on that, but for those who do drink it or would maybe like to try some, This is what I make...
2 c. milk
2 egg yolks
1\4 c. sugar
1\4 t. vanilla
1\8 t. rum extract
nutmeg for garnish
Place the 5 ingredients in the blender and puree for 1 minute or so till it's very well blended. Pour into serving glasses (this makes 4) and sprinkle with nutmeg.
I am not a milk drinker at all but at Christmas I will have a little eggnog :) I like mine to be very cold so if it goes any length of time from making it till drinking it, set the pitcher into the fridge or freezer then stir it up again just before serving. Some like for their eggnog to be thicker and or richer so they add ice cream or replace some of the milk with half n half. The recipe above is perfect for my liking but can very easily be changed to fit what another's preference.
Hope you are enjoying the season... and keeping warm!
I know this is a re-post of this bread from last year but really, this bread with sauce is worth the re-posting! And it's been included in our family Christmas Treats for as long as I can remember...
6 T. butter, softened
2 c. sugar
4 c. flour
4 t. b.s.
1/2 t. salt
2 c. milk
1 bag fresh cranberries
With electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, b.s. and salt. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Fold in cranberries. Pour into 3 greased loaf pans and bake at 350* for 40-45 minutes or until done.
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. evaporated milk or cream
1 t. vanilla
In a saucepan, bring butter, sugar and milk to boil over medium heat. Remove from burner and stir in vanilla. Serve warm over sliced cranberry bread. Yumm!
These are definitely an all around Christmas favorite! My husband LOVES them and I get complements everywhere I bring them.
1 1\2 c. Butter Flavored Crisco
1 1\2 c. sugar
3 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
3 t. vanilla
2 1\2 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 t b.p.
1 bag shredded coconut
strawberry jam (I use freezer jam)
Using a hand mixer, cream the Crisco with sugar, egg YOLKS and vanilla. Layer flour, salt and baking powder over batter in order given then fluff salt and b.p. into flour. With a wooden spoon mix all together just until combined. Form dough into little balls, about 1 1\4 - 1 1\2 inched in diameter. With your clean hand mixer again beat the egg WHITES until frothy\foamy. Pour coconut into a bowl. Dip dough balls into egg whites then roll well in coconut. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and make an indent in the center. I find that a 1 teaspoon measurement works perfect to press the "bowl" side of the spoon down in to the cookie.
Fill with jam...
and bake at 375* for 10-12 minutes or until edges of coconut are a nice toasted color.
Now do not freak if your cookies come out not so perfectly round. I take my metal spatula to gently ease back in any areas that come out of the form. Allow cookies to cool only a minute or so on the pan then remove to cool completely.
Try experimenting with different flavors of jam to find what you like best.
Now, in case you were wondering, most of the 'treats' that I've posted were photos that I took last year. We don't actually have all those goodies laying around everywhere right now :) Thus is the case with this one today, which was actually taken back in 2009, the first time I made them. I'll try to zoom in...
I then add little eyes using a toothpick
and some melted white chocolate... aren't they cute!
This photo I had taken shows the process of how they come together:
I'd like to make them this year a little closer to Christmas, so maybe I'll update the photos then. All you need is:
Hershey's Chocolate Kisses (head)
Maraschino Cherries with stems (body and tail)
Almond Slices (ears)
A little White Dipping Chocolate (for the eyes)
First off, take the cherries out of the jar and lay out on some paper towel to dry. If they are too wet the chocolate won't stick as good. Then I like to pair up the almond slices for the ears that are approximately the same shape and size. Start melting the dipping chocolate as shown while unwrapping the chocolate kisses. Place a small amount of melted chocolate on the back of a Kiss and place on one pair of "ears". Continue with the rest of your amount (you can see what I mean on the left side of the photo). Lay out a piece of wax paper on a cookies sheet. Place a dab of chocolate on the wax paper about the size of a nickle or so, I do about 4 or so at a time, for the "base". Dip cherries into chocolate and lay on it's side on the back half of one of the "dabs" of chocolate, so that the tail is out the back. Add the head piece by sticking it too the "body". Continue with the rest. Set aside to allow chocolate to harden. Melt a small amount of white chocolate then using a toothpick, dip into chocolate and apply to your mouse to make the eyes.
These are super cute added to a plate of Christmas cookies to give away or as a special treat to bring to a party. Hope I was able to make sense of the process, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!