one of my favorite christmas traditions is snuggling up with the kids, under the christmas blanket, with a fire roaring in the background, drinking hot chocolate floats & reading a few of my favorite christmas stories.
in preparation for many such fun-filled evenings i’ve been busy pulling together a list of my all-time favorite christmas reads & i thought i’d share.
maybe you’ll find a story or two that will become a new family favorite, or perhaps you’ll re-discover one you had forgotten about.
here’s a few books & stories i’m looking forward to sharing with my family this year. if i’ve missed any of your favorites, please share! i’m always on the lookout for something new.
my favorite christmas stories
* the tale of the three trees
* the polar express
* teach the children the true meaning of christmas
* how the grinch stole christmas
* why christmas trees aren’t perfect
* the night before christmas
* olive, the other reindeer
* the christmas orange
* the max lucado christmas collection
* christmas nails
* a special place for santa
* m&m christmas poem
* the christmas miracle of jonathan toomey
* the white envelope
* the giving tree
* santa’s prayer
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second star to the right, & straight on ’til morning.
the best part of any holiday is the food. growing up, & even now as an adult, ham is always the star of our easter meal. i thought i’d pass along one of our family’s favorite ham recipes, borrowed from our good friends art & peggy.
ham a la art & peggy
1 whole ham: wash, cut off fat & cut slices in the top.
cover the entire ham with mustard & bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
after baking, dump the grease.
then, mix the following ingredients together & pour over the ham:
2 cans of whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup to 1 cup of water
2-3 Tbsp. mustard
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
after you’ve poured the mixture on the ham, return it to the oven & bake at 350 degrees, until the ham is done (approximately 1-2 hours), basting every 15 minutes.
& although, ham may be the star, we all know no easter meal would be complete without loads of sides & desserts. our menu hasn’t been finalized, but here are some of the recipes i’m drooling over…
ham & asparagus quiche
honey yeast rolls
layered tortellini spinach salad
maple whipped sweet potatoes
sweet spinach salad
home cooked pole beans
& if you’re not in the mood for ham, this spring stuffed chicken sounds yummy!
1-2-3-4 lemon cake
grandma’s carrot cake
lemon freeze with raspberry sauce
so what are you hungry for this easter?
image via wikimedia
maybe you’re like me & you just realized today was april fool’s day. i guess i should publicly apologize to my boy’s here, for not being very “on the ball” these days. it’s okay though, that’s the great thing about april fool’s, most of the best tricks & pranks require very little to no planning. so if you are looking for a few quick & easy gags check out some of these:
martha stewart’s list of 13 pranks
family fun’s mega list of pranks
& my personal favorite prank ever
hope you get ‘em good!
image via martha stewart.
wondering what i did with all of these
filled them to the rim with bites of popcorn heaven…
candy coated, almond crunching, chocolate drizzled popcorn. yum!
a BIG thank you to lindsey
for the recipe! she even did a great pictorial how-to HERE
but for all of you watering at the mouth for the recipe, here you go:
popcorn heaven (as my boy’s called it)
1 stick of butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2-3 t vanilla
1 cup whole almonds
1 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
milk & white chocolate for melting
pop your popcorn. then, in a saucepan mix the butter, sugar, corn syrup & vanilla. cook on medium to high-ish heat until the mixture reaches 228-232 degrees F on your candy thermometer. in a BIG bowl, mix together the popcorn, candy mixture & nuts (be careful, it’s hot!) then, spread it out over a greased cookie sheet to let it harden. finally, top it all off with a generous drizzling of milk & white chocolate.
last year i posted instructions for one of my personal favorite valentine’s treats to make & give… this year we snapped a few photos while making them for gavin’s pre-school class, so i thought a little tutorial was in order.
step one: gather your supplies. you will need all the ingredients for your favorite rice krispie treat recipe (i always stick with the “basic” recipe which calls for 1/4 cup butter, 4 cups of marshmallows, & 5 cups of either regular or chocolate rice krispie cereal), aluminum foil, pam or other cooking spray, funnel, wax paper, a plastic baggie & your “strips of love”
step two: make the rice krispies. i always use the microwave… way faster & a bit easier, but that’s just me. microwave butter & marshmallows on high for 1 minutes in microwave-safe, very large mixing bowl. stir to combine. (it helps to spray the bowl with cooking spray or grease with oil beforehand so the marshmallows won’t stick.) microwave at high 1 minute longer. stir until smooth. add cereal. stir until well coated.
step three: spray your funnel with cooking spray & spray the outside of the plastic baggie (it’ll keep your hand from getting all sticky). using the plastic baggie as a glove press rice krispie mixture into the funnel & then place molded rise krispie kiss on waxed paper. you may need to shape them a little more to make them look like kisses. repeat until you have used all of your rice krispie mixture. (any sized funnel works… just depends on how big or small you want your kisses.)
step four: tear off a square of aluminum foil & spray a little cooking spray on it (to keep the rice krispie from sticking to the foil, or you can first wrap the “kiss” in saran wrap, your choice). place a “kiss” in the center of the foil & then wrap it up to look like a kiss.
step five: be sure to add your “strip of love”, & viola! you’ve got yourself some rice krispie kisses.
& if you want to get really fancy, you might want to think about dipping the “kiss” in some chocolate prior to the foil wrapping… just a thought.
you might also want to check out last year’s felt fortune cookies… they were yummy too.
still needing something special for your friends & neighbors? but, you don’t exactly want to break the bank & you need it asap? check out THIS post HERE. maybe you’ll find some inspiration.
image via elle’s studio.