Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homemade Holiday Gifts From Your Kitchen

Nothing says "Holiday" like the sweet smell of baking coming from the kitchen! Wrap your baked goods in festive bags tied with cheerful ribbon and deliver them to your neighbors. It is such a nice way of spreading cheer.
This year I am making a very easy treat to share that is a little bit sweet and a little bit salty. Such a great combination!
What do you get when you combine Hershey Kisses, M&M's and pretzels? The easiest of treats... M&M Pretzel Kisses!

These are so easy to put together. The most time consuming part is unwrapping all those kisses! The are so many combinations you could use too. The ones pictured above are the peppermint kisses. The previous batch I made I used the milk chocolate kisses. Those you won't see because they were gobbled up before I could get a picture!

Other combinations you could use are the dark chocolate kisses with these:

Holy sticky, salty, sweet goodness!

Or you could take a short cut and place a Rolo in the pretzel.

I also did this with Hershey Hugs...the white and milk chocolate stripe. They remind me of zebra's. But you won't see those either. My college man-child came home yesterday!

You should make these pronto! It's a great, no fuss, last minute treat you can share with your neighbor's!

Printable Recipe

M&M Pretzel Kisses

1 pkg. round pretzels
1 pkg Hershey Kisses
1 pkg. M&M's

Pre-heat oven to 300 F.
Place pretzel rings on a parchment lined cookie sheet
Unwrap Hershey Kisses and place 1 unwrapped candy in each pretzel ring
Bake in oven for 3 minutes
Immediately after removing from oven put one M&M on each candy Kiss pressing slightly so melted Kiss touches sides of pretzel
Place in refrigerator until cool and candies are firm

That's it!

Fill a treat bag and tie with a festive ribbon for gift giving OR put in a container, leave them on the counter and watch them disappear!

Wishing you the happiest of holiday's!

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Honoring Angels...

Christmas Mantel Decorations

I showed you a sneak peek of my Christmas mantel decorations in my Holiday Home Tour 2012. I added the finishing touches last night and now it is ready for Santa! Hope you are too!

New this year are the glitter and script pointsetta flowers. The colors go so well with the amber, silver and gold mercury ornaments sprinkled among the garland. The pine cones add a natural touch and pick up the script writing in the flower. Love it when it all works out! Sepia tones are some of my favorite colors.

The deer is also something new this year. This glitter color I call champagne. It is a mixture of silver and gold adding a little holiday bling!

Champagne...good for the Holiday's!

I am raising my glass of Champagne wishing YOUR Holidays are Merry & Bright!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nature's Decoration

I have so enjoyed seeing all the beautiful homes decorated for the holidays but I was struck by the frosted beauty Mother Nature had left this morning when I looked out the window.

No one does it better!

Soon after taking these pics, look what showed up on my driveway!

You can't tell from this pic, but 8 (not so tiny) deer! Perhaps they were looking for a sleigh?

 Mother Nature outdid herself this morning!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to Set Up a Home Bar for The Holiday's

With most of the holiday decorating done, it's time to focus on entertaining. If you will be hosting family or having a casual gathering of neighbors at an open house, a little preparation will go a long way in keeping you cool as a cucumber.

Setting up a home bar is easy to do with all the right ingredients on hand.

Every home bar should have a variety of alcohol and soft drinks, along with the right tools, mixers and glassware. Below is a list for a great home bar.

Gin, Rum, Whiskey,  Scotch, Vodka, Tequila, orange flavored liqueur's such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
Cold Beer, Red and White Wine

Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice, Sour Mix, Club soda, Tonic Water, cola, diet cola, lemon-lime soda, ginger-ale

Bar Tools
Strainer, long handled mixing spoon, knife, small bar board for cutting lemons & limes, jigger, shaker, ice bucket, tongs, wine opener, bottle opener, trash can, cocktail napkins, towel

Old fashioned, high ball, margarita, martini, flute
If you're having a large crowd, a sleeve of 12 oz. clear plastic cups is fine

Ice - keep a cooler outside filled with additional ice to ensure you don't run out or keep an extra bag in your freezer
A bowl of sliced lemon's and lime's including a few twists of the peel

Set a small bowl of nuts or snack mix on the bar also for guests to grab along with their drink.

Here I have set up my home bar to make it easy for guests to help themselves. Some people are very specific about what they drink and how it's made. Letting my guests make their own drink accomplishes two things: a happy guest AND a happy host!

Put on some music, get your party shoes on and enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

Drink responsibly!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Decorations in my Home

Welcome friends!

Well, the boxes found their way up from the basement this weekend and the decorating began. Follow me! I'll give you a little holiday home tour....

The tree has favorite family ornaments that have been collected through the years. There are ornaments from our first Christmas together as a married couple as well as ornaments my children made in preschool and ornaments that have been given to us through the years. It is a special tree that holds so many memories  Perfectly at home in our family room!
Here are few close-ups.

Here is a sneak peek of the mantle.

These are vintage ornaments I bought at a barn sale two years ago. They are paper thin and very fragile but so perfectly aged.

I paired them with some mercury glass ornaments that I nestled in among the garland.

In the kitchen is a  little bar area I set up on the kitchen desk that doubles as a side board. Very handy when guests come over. They can pour themselves a little glass of bubbly!

My little rosemary tree smells heavenly and adds the perfect holiday touch to the bar.

Next is the table set for Christmas breakfast!

Don't forget to dress the chandelier!

The foyer got decked out as well. I added the garland and a small tree to the chest. The tree is a plain lit tree I can customize every year depending on the ornaments and of course my mood! Last year it was adorned with over-sized silver and red orbs. This year I opted for a monochromatic palette of gold. It picks up the gold edge in the ribbon on the garland.


Hope you enjoyed my holiday home tour.

Next stop will be the dining room, if I can get the motivation to keep going!

Thanks for stopping by!

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