.Here is one my Favorite Christmas Recipes!
I love these cookies as they are so colorful and festive. You do not have to make them just at Christmas. My sister had a dessert reception for her wedding, and I bought the purple melting chocolates and made a ton of these for that occasion.
They are rather simple to make–2 main ingredients with whatever color of chocolates you would want for the outside! That’s it! They can be a little time consuming as you have to cover each ball with chocolate; but if you use these like I do where you give just a few to each person along with other cookies, they go a long way!
- 1 package 20 ounces chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies (I used Aldi's which were only 15.5 ounces. I still used one 8-ounce package of cream cheese with it.)
- 1 package 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 15 ounces white candy coating
- 12 ounces chocolate candy or whatever colors you wish
- Sugar sprinkles
Place the cookies in a blender or food processor and process until finely crushed.
Beat cream cheese and crushed cookies until blended.
Roll into 3/4" balls.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Melt chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring until smooth or melt it in the microwave at 50%, stirring every minute. (Melt one color at a time.)
Dip the balls in the chocolate, and place the covered balls on waxed paper until the chocolate is hardened.
Drizzle a different color over the hardened chocolate or sprinkle colored sugar on the oreo balls while the chocolate is still wet.
Store in the refrigerator. (I actually freeze mine.)
I made 63 with Aldi's cookies. Amount will depend on how big/small you make your cookies.
For Christmas presents for teachers, I put these oreo balls in a coffee mug that I get at a garage sale, slip in a gift card that I redeemed with my Discover cashback that I saved up all year, and include an ornament the kids make! Even if you can’t afford a gift card, the mug and oreo balls are a hit with my kids’ teachers every year!
Still want more? Head to our Fantabulous Christmas Favorites Pinterest Board!
Our church holds an annual fun fair after the morning church service usually the first Sunday in November. Here are just a few pictures from the fun fair fun!
The highlight for me was that Zan from Flourishing at Home and I were able to take a picture together before we left to put our kids down for a nap. Aren’t her kids adorable!
Let the games begin!
Every year, I make pumpkin bread in the fall.
It’s just something that has to be made at this time of year! So yesterday, I finally made it! I love this recipe as it makes a lot of bread! I make mini-loaves for the girls’ teachers, and this recipe makes enough for all of the teachers, plus some for us! I made 5 mini-loaves and one skimpy 8″ x 4″ pan.
The recipe is very easy to make!
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 2 2/3 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 can 15 ounces pumpkin
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 1/3 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts optional
- 2/3 cup raisins optional
Heat oven to 350º.
Grease 2--9" x 5" or 3--8" x 4" pans. (Or 4 mini-loaf pans--mine were 5.75" x 3")
Cream shortening and sugar.
Stir in eggs, pumpkin, and water.
Blend in flour, soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves.
Stir in nuts and raisins.
Pour into pans.
Bake about 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For my small pans, it was about 40 minutes until the toothpick could come out clean.
My three oldest children are in a Christian school, and they come home talking about going on field trips.
They need mom to sign a form so that they are allowed to go . . .
they need a sack lunch with a disposable water bottle. . .
they are going to have so much fun!!!
After hearing all this talk, Joshua decided that he wanted to go on a field trip too. So this past Friday, Dave and I took just him and Kiley to our local pumpkin farm. We haven’t been there since I was pregnant with Joshua, so he and Kiley had never gone. Poor Kristi can’t remember being to the pumpkin farm as she was just 1 1/2, but we have pictures to prove that she was there!
It was perfect timing as this month was National Field Trip Month, and I had said I would do a few posts for a blog hop on field trips. This is my third post that I have done for the blog hop.
The pumpkin farm we went to (Goebberts) has made the place bigger and better since the last time I went 4 or 5 years ago . . . and made the prices steeper. I was glad we only had 2 children with us, one of which was still free for many activities. However, it was a lot of fun, and I am glad I took the younger kids at least one time to experience the farm.
I drew the line at buying a pumpkin from there, though. We looked at the pumpkins, took pictures with the pumpkins, and then went to Aldis with the whole family that night to get big pumpkins for $3.49 each instead of the $6-$12 the pumpkin farm was charging. (Prices are not exact, I saw prices from afar and quickly decided we were going to Aldis later that day.)
Here are some of the fun things we did. Be prepared for tons of pictures!
- Joshua and Kiley both had a pony ride. You could also buy tickets for a camel ride, but we limited them to one activity besides paying for the barnyard activities.
- After the pony rides, the kids were able to feed a giraffe. You had to walk up some stairs that led to a platform so that it would be easy for the giraffes to eat from your hands! Kiley was bolder than Joshua at feeding the giraffes. When they were done, they could slide down a big tube slide to get to the bottom.
- Right before we entered into one of the enclosures that held animals, there is a dinosaur that eats pumpkins! It was fun to watch!
- There were three big enclosures that held over 50 kinds of animals. Many were quite unique! All of the cages had a placard hanging on the outside that told the name of the animal, the native country it is from, and other key information. This would be great for homeschoolers to take pictures of the animal and the placard, and they could refer to the pictures later in their studies. The bear cub on the bottom was so cute! The grounds outside around the buildings had beautiful fall flowers!
- We then went and explored all the outdoor activities. There were many painted figures that were great photo ops!
- Kiley loved the corn crib. It was basically a big box with a ton of big corn kernels that the kids could actually get in and play. It was kind-of like a huge sandbox with corn in it. Talk about sensory play! Joshua liked to “swim” in it.
- The mock town had a mini-corn maze on the inside that was a perfect size for preschoolers. The kids had a blast trying to find Daddy in the corn maze.
- The big tunnels were fun for the kids to run and slide in.
- There were wood vehicles such as this train for the kids to play on. The huge pumpkins were also fun to sit on!
- Besides the placards outside every animal’s fence, there was this big display which was educational in that it showed how a pumpkin grew.
So there’s an overview of basically everything we did on our field trip to the pumpkin farm! Believe it or not, there was even more that we did not do like paying for a hayride, jumping on a jumping pillow, going through a bigger corn maze, and much more; but we had fun doing all that we did do!
I thought I would do something a little different for Wordless Wednesday. It will still be almost wordless. (It’s impossible for anything I do to be completely wordless). I will post a few pictures from different activities we did, and a video that goes with the activity. If you are short on time, then please enjoy the pictures!
We had a beautiful fall day on Saturday, and the kids had fun playing in the leaves.
My husband has never had any formal education in learning how to read notes or sing, yet he sang with the other pastors in our church this past Sunday night. He has a good voice and can sing what he hears, yet he has no idea what he’s supposed to be doing when he is told to sing bass! (which is what he was supposed to be singing :)) He did a good job! (He is the third from the left.)
I grew up in a traditional all-American household. My mom grew up on a farm and ate meat and potatoes–and whatever could be grown in a garden in the North. Now she can cook Italian, Mexican, and a lot of other foods, but hummus was never on the menu. My husband’s mother is Vietnamese, so even though she can cook great American food, their main staple was rice, meat, and vegetables.
I had never eaten hummus until a few years ago. In fact, I don’t remember hearing much about hummus until the last 5 years or so. A few years ago, I had a neighbor that told me that she really enjoyed to eat hummus, so I asked her for her recipe. I tried it out, and my husband and I really enjoyed it! (My kids, however, not so much.)
I thought the hummus would be great with pita chips, but I’m so cheap that I hate the price of pita chips unless there is an awesome sale going on. So I googled “recipe for pita chips”, and found a recipe on allrecipes that we really like.
Both recipes are very simple–not as simple as picking the items up at a store–but I like the homemade taste better, and I definitely like the price better! I’m no expert on hummus as this is the only variety I make, but if you like hummus, try it out and tell me what you think!
I’ll give you the recipes, with a few pictures and pointers below the recipes!
- 1 can chickpeas garbanzo beans, drained (15 ounces)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes I prefer lime juice for some reason.
- 2 garlic cloves crushed (optional)
- salt to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste I use only a very small pinch of pepper.
- One package of pita bread--I like the thin large pita bread. Look at pictures below.
- olive oil
- salt pepper, parmesan cheese, seasonings
Put all ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth (or the consistency you desire.) If it's too thick, you can add a little bit of water.
I take a cookie sheet with an edge and cover it with aluminum foil.
Put the pita bread on the cookie sheet.
Brush both sides of the pita with olive oil using a pastry brush. I am not skimpy with the oil.
Shake salt, garlic salt, seasoned salt, parmesan cheese, or any other seasoning on one side of the pita. If you do both sides it is too much. (Sea salt and pepper would also be good.)
Take kitchen scissors, and cut the pita into into wedges.
Bake at 400° for 4-5 minutes or until lightly brown. They bake quickly, so watch closely!
Do you like hummus and pita chips? What’s your favorite flavor of hummus?
Misty from Denverista and I are GETTING READY!!
We are GETTING SET!
“For what?” You ask!
FOR THE BESTEST LINKY PARTY EVER!!
I have never told my readers how much I love Pinterest, but I do love it! I try not to stay on there too long; but I have planned most of the birthday parties I have ever done using Pinterest. I have found most of my crafts on Pinterest. Oh, yes, I love Pinterest.
So when my favorite linky party announced this last week that they were quitting, I was sad. So sad that when I announced I was sad to a blogging group I am in, Misty said she would work with me and help me get a BIGGER and BETTER Pinterest Link-up party going.
And she did more than help–she has worked tirelessly to get the buttons and design ready for this party. I am so thankful for her!
So on Monday, 7:00 a.m. Central Time, be ready to
GO!! GO!! GO!!
BLOGGERS BRAGS PINTEREST PARTY!!
That’s right! You can freely brag about up to 3 of any of your crafts, recipes, diy, whatever you want!
Not only that, but you will get your links pinned at least 3 times! (You will pin the 2 posts before your link, and we will pin all the links to our Bloggers Brags board!)
Not only that, but if your link gets clicked on the most, you will be featured and have the optional opportunity of being a co-host the next week which would gain you more followers!!
Oh, yes, this is not the normal linky where you link up your post and never see anything again. We want this linky to benefit everyone who takes the time to link up.
You see, I’m a blogger too! I’ve done these link-ups! I don’t make any money from blogging–just like most of you don’t either. I understand you have limited time and resources. So we get it–if you are going to take your precious time to come link up, we want to make it worth your time.
So, please, please, please, COME LINK UP WITH US ON MONDAY, and make this the best Pinterest Party Link-Up Ever!
We always have fun watching our kids eat something that surprises them (usually unpleasantly). At my mom’s birthday party, Kiley was emphatic that she wanted “that.” (Pointing at the squash.) So I gave her some, and her face was so funny! It was one of those moments you almost had to be there. She kept running her tongue over her teeth trying to get the squash off!
My sister was here visiting from her home in South Africa this summer, and she buys up presents for our kids in advance. She ran across a garage sale with a whole mess of porcelain dolls called Bride of the Year or something like that. So they were brides from different time periods. Each of the girls got one of them, and she was able to watch them open the presents via skype! Gotta love modern technology!
A picture of the girls with their dolls!
Last Friday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday as a family. That means that we prepare what my mom’s requests for her birthday dinner. She requested a recipe that my sister had found last year on the internet:
Pumpkin Cheesecake Monkey Bread
Thankfully, since my sister had printed out the recipe, I was able to find out that Pillsbury was the original source of the recipe. It was a recipe that our whole family loved, young and old!
It’s not that different to prepare than traditional monkey bread. Since we went to see my niece play volleyball which then caused us to be in a rush to get dinner ready, all three of us (my mom, sister, and I) were working together to get this recipe ready for the oven. I was cutting biscuits; my mom was shaking them up in the sugar mixture; and my sister was preparing the sauce to pour over the monkey bread. I made the recipe all by myself this past Sunday, and it was not hard to do by myself; it just takes a little bit more time.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 4 cans of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits 7.5 ounce cans--I used Aldi's.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix
- 1 package 3 ounces cream cheese
Heat oven to 350°.
Spray Bundt pan with cooking spray.
In a large food-storage plastic bag, mix granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
Separate each can of dough into 10 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into quarters, adding biscuit pieces to bag and shaking as you go. (The second time I did it, I just dumped all the pieces into the bag at one time, and shook it thoroughly.) When pieces are coated, arrange in pan. If you have an leftover sugar, dump on top of the biscuit pieces.
In a 1 quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, pumpkin, and cream cheese over medium heat, stirring occasionally until butter is melted. Beat mixture with whisk until mostly smooth. (There may be some tiny pieces of cream cheese, but that's okay).
Pour mixture over biscuit pieces in pan.
Place pan on cookie sheet to catch any spills.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 2 minutes. Place a plate upside down over the pan, and invert both pieces together so that the monkey bread comes out of the pan onto the plate.
Cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Store in the refrigerator. (I did not store in the refrigerator.)