Merry Christmas! (And a Quick Recipe)

Christmas KatnissI know that many of you are rushing to finish your last minute holiday preparations, but I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas this year.

And if you’re needing a quick homemade gift or just a dessert for the family, here it is:

Quick Pecan and Marshmallow Holiday Bark

If you have mini-marshmallows, then you’re ahead of the game! Otherwise, cut a bunch into pieces. Mix the cut marshmallows in with chopped pecans (or any other type of nut you have on hand) to prevent the marshmallows from sticking to each other. Then melt chocolate and mix with coconut oil just to make the chocolate last a bit longer. Combine that chocolate-y goodness in with the marshmallows and pecans and spread into a greased pan. Cut when firm and eat!

I will be having a quiet day at home this year, but I hope that you enjoy your holiday.

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Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds

slowcookercinnamonalmondsAfter a disastrous candy-making attempt before Christmas last year, I decided to do a “dry run” for my various holiday recipes in October. My father taught me to “prepare, prepare, prepare,” and I can assure you that having a batch of goodies fail the night before a family get-together can be a very bad thing. One extra bonus of trying the recipe this early is that my family can enjoy the recipe now and look forward to it again in December.

I therefore made a batch of Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds yesterday. I was a little worried about making this recipe in my crockpot as it always seems to run a bit hot. Despite my diligent stirring every twenty minutes, just as the recipe directed, there were still some areas that seemed a bit over done. Generally they came out just fine, though, and made the house smell wonderful.

Once I took them out of the oven, my husband walked in the kitchen and asked, “So do I get some?” When I replied, “Of course,” he grabbed a handful and eagerly chomped down. With a satisfied sigh, he then took a bowl and scooped up a bunch more. From his reaction, I would say that this recipe was definitely a success.

One tip for making this recipe frugal is purchasing the nuts in bulk. Buying nuts at the grocery store can be an expensive venture, making even homemade Christmas gifts not worth the effort. I buy my nuts from Bulk Foods, an online store. In order for this to be worth it, you will need to make a large purchase so that you can take advantage of the low shipping. However, we have never had any problems with the products from this store and have found that making twice yearly orders is quite worth the effort. We get our food at a lower cost from this company than anywhere locally.

So what will you be making for Christmas? Please share so that I can get more ideas!

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Will You Be Celebrating Halloween?

Will You Be Celebrating Halloween?

As October is upon us, many have begun planning their Halloween celebrations. Some, though, do not observe the holiday for various reasons.

I’m curious as to how many of us will be celebrating Halloween this year. Also, if you want to share anything else about the holiday–whether ideas, concerns, recipes, whatever–then that would be most appreciated.

I’d love to hear from you!