My Holiday Open House!!

11 Comments

Well it is almost Christmas and for Holidays everyone loves homemade sweet treats!!

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And for the last two weeks I had Holiday Open Houses in a few of our stores ๐Ÿ™‚

I made tons of sweet treats, shared my recipes and displayed those goodies in different ways as gifts, to give customers ideas on for Holiday gift giving.

I made fudge, bark, Christmas crack, Holiday muddy buddy mix, snowman soup among other things, I had over 20 recipes to share. ย It was lots of fun, I had Christmas music playing (under my table), I gave everyone lots of ideas for their Christmas gifts.

Check out some of the pictures

Getting started ๐Ÿ™‚

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Some baking dishes

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i have lots of things to fill ๐Ÿ™‚

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Recipes

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Recipes

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Recipes

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Tips on packaging ๐Ÿ™‚

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things are getting filled

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Chocolate covered popcorn

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christmas bark

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white chocolate bark

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Christmas fudge

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A hot cocoa kit, cocoa, marshmallows and peppermint stir sticks

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fun

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gathering it all together ๐Ÿ™‚

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some cute mason jar ideas

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Setting up at one of the stores

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its coming together

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display

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more of the display

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here is a close up

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Lot of stuff was found at the Dollar store and I made it look cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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This was it set up another store, I added the Candy Canes
and did the green fabric a little different ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love that I had the baking supply display behind me, people
were just asking what to get, I was filling up their carts ๐Ÿ™‚

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I hope all you have a Merry Christmas!!!!

 

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

10 Comments

Test Kitchen was back open last week and I had some Blueberries so I thought why not a Blueberry Upside-Down Cake ๐Ÿ™‚

Great for breakfast with your coffee or tea, maybe as an afternoon snack or after dinner, I hope you make it for your next baking adventure ๐Ÿ™‚

As I thought about the topping I thought I would cut the brown sugar with some honey, hence the name ๐Ÿ™‚ so this is my recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ingredients

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Spray your pan, draw out the bottom of the pan on parchment and cut it out

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Place parchment in pan and spray paper

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I fail to take a picture of the topping melting, but just melt butter, brown sugar and honey together
and pour in pan

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sprinkle blueberries over the topping in the pan

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Cream together the butter & sugar until fuffy
then add eggs, one at a time

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then add lemon juice and vanilla, then add flour and milk (read below)

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Fold in lemon zest

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pour on top of blueberries and bake

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let cool for about 10 minutes

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place platter on top of cake and flip upside down

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and there you have your Honey Blueberry Upside-down Cake
let cool completely

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slice and serve

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Topping

1 pint fresh blueberries (if using frozen use 2 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

Cake

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×2 round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), honey and brown sugar to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring frequently. ย Pour into baking pan; top with blueberries, set aside.

Whisk cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat sugar and stick (1/2 cup) butter in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy. ย Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. ย Beat in lemon juice and vanilla, at low speed beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. ย Fold in lemon zest then pour over top of the blueberries; smooth out evenly.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. ย Using a small knife, loosen ย cake from the side of pan, invert onto platter; remove parchment paper, cool completely.

This was super moist and honey delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!!!

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Key Lime Margarita Bars!!!

10 Comments

I just love Key Lime!!!

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Give me anything Key Lime…cake, cookies, Ice cream, yogurt, pie, candy, I think you get the picture ๐Ÿ™‚

So I thought I would make a little something for the “taste tasters” in ย out office ๐Ÿ™‚

I was going to do something with chocolate or Key Lime and the word in the office was Key Lime since it was the summer.

So by using the pretzels in the crust I thought, oh salt…lime…okay Margarita!!! ย Of course minus the Tequila ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But if you wanted to add tequila you could, what I would do is cut the lime juice in half adding the tequila as the other half (1/4 cup lime juice & 1/4 cup tequila). ย But then add the zest of 3-4 limes instead of one, this will bring out the lime flavor, but I guess if you love tequila you could add all tequila and then just more lime zest.

I think if I was going to use Tequila, I would make the batter with out the juice, mix together, then add some Tequila and taste it, so you don’t over power it with Tequila ๐Ÿ˜›

Ingredients

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Crush your pretzels, I did not crush them finely because I wanted to
make the texture like coarsely chopped nuts
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Add pretzels and sugar to a bowl

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add melted butter and mix together

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mixed

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Press mixture into a 9×13 sprayed pan and bake

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Meanwhile whisk eggs, milk, lime zest and juice together

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Baked crust, let cool about 15 minutes

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pour mixture over top of crust

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Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

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baked

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Slice add lime zest for a garnish

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Eat and enjoy

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Key Lime Margarita Bars

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crust

1 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

Mix all together in a bowl, then press into a 9×13 pan. ย Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes. ย Let cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make batter

2 can 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs, at room temp
1/2 cup Key Lime or lime juice (see note above if you want to add Tequila)
zest of 2 limes and extra for garnish

Whisk together in a medium bowl, then pour over top the baked crust, spread evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. ย Center will not jiggle and edges will be light brown.

Let cool completely on counter, then refrigerate till cold, over night if you can. ย You can garnish the top with lime zest or if you serve pieces individually you can add strips of lime zest on top of each piece.

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Golden Beet Chips!!!

10 Comments

Yum…Yum…YUMMY!!!

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You either like beets or you don’t there is no in between!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t like beets…well okay maybe if they are “Amish Wedding” Pickled Baby Beets…then yes I like those ๐Ÿ˜›

But that’s it on the “Red” ones…I do on the other hand like the “Golden” beets ๐Ÿ™‚

Golden beets are a little less sweet, more mellow and less earthy.

These chips were so easy to make and Delicious but you must keep an eye on them as they will burn very quickly!!
But I like those little burnt edges ๐Ÿ™‚

Golden Beets

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Peeled and sliced

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oil, salt, pepper and paprika

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Toss to coat them

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place on a baking sheet, you do not have to place on a baking rack
Keep checking them, they do burn easy…

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Golden Beet Chips

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Golden Beets
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika

Peel and slice your beets, use a mandolin if you have one.
Place in a medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
Toss to coat all the beet slices.

Arrange on a baking sheet in single layer, bake at 375 degrees, after 15 minutes you need to flip them, check that small rounds are not burning. ย Continue to bake until they are crispy, about 15 minutes more.

When I first made them I baked them at 400, I would go to 375 or even 350, flipping them at 15 minutes and continue to bake until crispy.

Let them cool and Enjoy.

Enjoy!! Them ๐Ÿ™‚

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Peanut Butter Cookies with What??

13 Comments

So I saw an add for one of those stores that carry the “odd” items and it had “Peanut Butter” but not just creamy or crunchy…but with “white chocolate”, “dark chocolate”, and “maple” and I was like what, I had never seen this or even hurt of this company.

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But I immediately thought I need to make something with these for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

Peanut Butter & Co – is based out of New York City, they have a shop that makes all kinds of sandwiches

This is from the website ย https://ilovepeanutbutter.com/

Lee Zalben is the founder and president of New York City’s world famous Peanut Butter & Co., and the man behind “gourmet peanut butter.” Lee grew up in Philadelphia eating a lot of peanut butter. And while an under-graduate student at Vassar College, he always won the fierce competitions he and his friends held for the wackiest but best-tasting peanut butter sandwich during late night study breaks. It was then where the idea of opening a peanut butter sandwich shop sprouted.

After college, Lee worked in advertising and publishing but he never forgot his dream of opening a peanut butter sandwich shop. While walking in Greenwich Village one day, he spotted a vacant storefront near NY University. Quitting his job the next day, the 26-year old entrepreneur-to-be started developing a business plan for his dream shop. On December 21, 1998, the vacant storefront became the Peanut Butter & Co. Sandwich Shop, offering not just various kinds of peanut butter sandwiches like The Elvis and Pregnant Lady but also peanut butter in newfangled flavors like Dark Chocolate Dreams and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl.

It was only a matter of time when people started clamoring to take the peanut butter home. Today, Peanut Butter & Co. is sold in ten delicious flavors in over 10,000 stores around the country and in Canada, the U.K., Japan, and Hong Kong. And the sandwich shop has turned into a pilgrimage site for many peanut butter lovers all over the world. Lee’s dream to open a peanut butter sandwich shop did not just become a reality, but he also created the market for specialty peanut butter.

I had never heard of this brand and they have 10 different kinds of peanut butter, not only the ones I mentioned above, but with honey, cinnamon and raisin, smooth, crunchy, old fashioned smooth, and crunchy and spicy called “the heat is on”.

The store that I found these in only had the smooth, crunchy, the 3 that I bought and the spicy one, which as I walked out the door and thought to myself, I should have bought that one…I think I’ll go back today and get “the heat is on” ๐Ÿ™‚

Any way I love peanut butter so I was thrilled to find these ๐Ÿ™‚

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The White Chocolate was sweet tasting, with tiny bits of white chocolate very interesting!!
Dark Chocolate was the same although dark in color like chocolate, it has tiny bits of dark chocolate!!

I have not tasted the maple yet but I can’t wait too and make something out it as well as the spicy one ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I will use the Maple and the Spicy in future blogs ๐Ÿ™‚

I wanted to do something quick so I just made cookies out of both of them, then I made a batch of swirl ๐Ÿ™‚

I gave some to my parents as part of their Anniversary gift, they are married 54 years today!!! ย So Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! ย I love you both very very much!!!

My Mom and Dad 54 years ago!

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Also with Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I put some in my Manager’s Valentine’s Day gift bag ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I don’t think she is going to share with the rest of her family. ย As she asked me, do I have to share and I replied with a big smile…NO!! ๐Ÿ˜›

Ingredients – I forgot to put the Baking Soda in the picture

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mix together

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stir until smooth – see the little bits of chocolate

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add flour mixture

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stir in flour mixture until combined

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Roll into balls then roll into the sugar

 

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place on baking sheet and bake

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done

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on the swirled ones I used a 1 oz. scoop

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put one of each together, roll, then pinch and twist, then roll again

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Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

1 cup Peanut Butter (you can use any flavor you want)
1 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda & salt, set aside
In a large bowl add eggs, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla, mix until smooth with a wooden spoon, then add flour mixture until fully combined.
Scoop and roll into a ball, take the remaining 1/4 cup sugar add to a bowl and roll dough balls in sugar, place on balls on baking sheet and bake. (you do not have to flatten)ย 

I use a ย 2 oz. scoop and baked them for about 12-13 minutes, if you make your balls small do not bake as long, check them around the 10 minute mark.

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These are chewy and moist in the middle ๐Ÿ™‚

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I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you find these Peanut Butters you must try!!

Apple Cake

8 Comments

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This recipe I first made because I was teaching a cooking class and I was using different beers and Redd’s Apple Ale had just came out.

Which if you never tried it, it really is a great light beer, its very refreshing, when I first tasted it my first thought was this beer would be fantastic on an extremely HOT!! day ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
It just gave me that refreshing feeling…I thought it was great, so I paired it with this Apple Cake.

(I was doubling the cake in these pictures, I used a 11×15 pan)

Ingredients (missing in photo, butter and brown sugar)

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Peel, core and slice apples

 

 

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add flour, cinnamon and baking powder, whisk together

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Add softened butter and brown sugar

 

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Cream together

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add eggs and vanilla

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when mixed

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add 3rd of flour, mix, then half applesauce, mix
another 3rd flour, mix, rest of the applesauce, mix
add rest of flour, mix

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fold in the flour on the sides

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spread mixture in sprayed baking dish

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layer you apples over top and bake

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Meanwhile in a sauce pan add cider, beer & brown sugar

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reduce down and let cool slightly

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Baked

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pour over cake using a pastry brush to spread around

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Then let cool down, then slice and serve

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Recipe – Apple Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups brown sugar, packed, divided
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 cup Redd’s Apple Ale

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, spray a 9 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. ย In a large bowl beat with a mixer butter and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar for 3 minutes. ย Add vanilla and eggs, beat until combined, reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of applesauce and beat until just combined, scrap the sides and fold in by hand.

Pour batter into pan and smooth out, arrange apple slices in rows on top, if you like more apples you certainly use more, and overlap them more closely.

Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 45 minutes to 1 hour. ย Set on wire rack to cool about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium sauce pan add cider, beer and remaining brown sugar cook over medium-high heat until reduced to about 1 cup and let cool slightly. ย With a pastry brush brush mixture all over the top of the cake, letting drip down the sides. ย Let cool, then serve.

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If you did not want to use beer you can just add more cider.

This cake is super most and the cider/beer reduction is so good, soaks right in ๐Ÿ™‚

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Enjoy!!!

Christmas 2013!!!

9 Comments

Merry Christmas everyone!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I hope today fines all of you full of Love and Joy!!! Its has been a busy season for me thus far, hoping to slow down in January ๐Ÿ™‚

Well I did some baking, I think most of my friends, family and co-workers got a little of something that I made.

Last night Christmas Eve we went to my cousins and there were I think 54 of us that is a lot of people and a lot of Presents!!!

Today I will be with my family, my Mommy and Daddy…yes I did just call them my “Mommy and Daddy” ๐Ÿ™‚
My two nephews and my nephews little girl!!

Enjoy your day and make it count to someone you love!!

Here are some pictures of some of the things I did make along with pictures of my Christmas Decorations!!

My indoor Decor

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Next year the garland will go away and I will be adding
blue/teal and purple ribbon ๐Ÿ™‚

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My Sous Chef ๐Ÿ™‚

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That picture of Santa is my bestie Danny ๐Ÿ™‚

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I love my new pink lights

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I made most of the ornaments on my tree ๐Ÿ™‚

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My New tree topper

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Outside Decor

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I did these pots new this year ๐Ÿ™‚

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that’s funny you can see my hammer off to the side ๐Ÿ˜›

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Made this myself

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Okay now for the Sweets ๐Ÿ™‚

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I never had luck making these Spritz Cookies
with the cookie press ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
But then my Mom pulled out this bag that I had got
from my Grandma’s house after she passed, I had totally
forgot about this

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This awesome Super Shooter cookie gun
Its Electric!!!ย 
I made all of this cookies from start to finish
in less than 2 hours… Yay!!!

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This was made in the 70’s

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This is Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

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White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

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Peppermint Toffee Crunch

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Brown Bread ๐Ÿ™‚

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And Gingerbread Bars with raisins

 

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Finally, I had seen these in a picture, never ate one, the person would never tell me what it was or what was in it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
Now I knew it was Chocolate and to me it looked like Corn Flakes.
Well I ask my New Friend Melanie from France and she came through and they are “Rose des Sables” ย pretty much Chocolate and Corn Flakes ๐Ÿ™‚

I used Special K cereal I wanted more of crunch ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you Melanie!!! Cheers my friend!!

 

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Thank you for taking the time to enjoy my blog!!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!!!