At the first hint of chill in the air, my thoughts turn to Christmas. My mind and heart begin to fill with visions of sugar plums indeed. My weekly menu turns decidedly toward comfort food and I begin rummaging in my brain for homemade Christmas gift ideas for my loved ones. I begin hauling out first the autumn decorations and later the Christmas, decking my halls and every other available surface. I take delight in the season, the magic, wonder and glory of it all. This blog was born from that delight. Here you will find dinner ideas, crafts, decor, stories, memories, and music. Some ideas will be entirely mine, but I will also include anything cute I come across that I think you might like to see, credit given to the creator or source. Please leave me your ideas in the comments and any other feedback you'd like to give.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Peanut Butter Popcorn

This is a yummy, easy, recipe my Mom used to make sometimes. I make it pretty often. This is fantastic to throw together as a sweet gift, or to take along to a party. I threw some together just this morning when I remembered I was supposed to bring something to share to book club. So simple, and people always ask for the recipe. Luckily it's really easy to remember, so you'll be able to tell them on the spot.

Peanut Butter Popcorn

8 Cups popped popcorn, lightly salted.
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/2 C peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir in peanut butter and vanilla. When thoroughly mixed, pour over popcorn. Stir to coat all the popcorn. Now, you can form it into popcorn balls, or leave it crumbly. I like to add in some chocolate chips because, hey! everything is better with chocolate chips. (Have you noticed that every single recipe modification I do involves chocolate chips?) You can add anything you think might be tasty- craisins, coconut, raisins, and another one of my favorites, pretzel sticks. It's also yummy to make the recipe with crunchy peanut butter so you have peanuts in it. Or add almonds or some other favorite nut. Have fun, be creative.

I'm linking up to the Recipe Party at Remodelaholic!

Cedar Chandelier

I LOVE this cedar wreath chandelier from Martha Stewart.

So beautiful!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trouble in Christmas City

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Apparently there was some kind of emergency in our Christmas village yesterday. I came along and found this:

Bodies strewn around

Trees lying on their sides

The power out in the candy shop

And the swat team called in.

It's a Christmas tragedy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well, They're Done

Remember these cute teacher gift ideas?

Remember how I said I was going to make them? Well, I did. The result:

I added the twine around one because it was the first one that I put together and it was a bit sloppy. I added the twine to cover up the globs of hot glue. You see, I decided they would hold up better if I covered them with glass, but the glass, of course, doesn't fit in the frame with the crayons. So I wrapped ribbon around the sharp edges of the glass, then hot glued the glass on TOP of the frame.

Do you like the twine? I didn't do the others with it, since I didn't have to, but should I?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Recipe I Haven't Tried...Yet.

First, a little follow up on the stuffing recipe. I didn't like it. It was too sweet for my liking. I think it was the brown bread. Turns out, I much prefer a more savory stuffing. But I did think it was pretty looking and if you like that sweeter sort of thing, I think it would be really good. So whatever, try it if you want.

I found this recipe today in blogland. I found it through Be Different Act Normal, but it's from Baking Bites. I don't know about you, but I think this is a guaranteed hit.

Triple Chocolate Cookies and Cream Peppermint Bark

Triple Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream Peppermint Bark
8-oz dark chocolate, chopped
8-oz milk chocolate, chopped
8-oz white chocolate, chopped
2 cups crushed peppermint Oreo-type cookies
or 1 cup crushed peppermint candies

Very lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In a medium-sized, microwave safe bowl, melt dark chocolate. Heat in 45 second intervals in the microwave, stirring frequently, until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer with a spatula.
Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, or until firm.
Repeat with milk chocolate.
When milk chocolate is firm, repeat with white chocolate. Before refrigerating, sprinkle top with crushed peppermint Oreo cookies (Trader Joe’s Peppermint JoJos) or crushed peppermint candies.
Refrigerate until firm.
Bring to room temperature to serve. Slice with a sharp knife or break into chunks to serve.

Makes about 1.5-lbs of candy.

I'm very much looking forward to trying this one!