Saturday, July 19, 2008

Day 19

Today is extremely hot again. I just spend two hours and $248.76 at the grocery store, and I'm honestly not in the Christmas spirit too much! But, that's not an acceptable attitude for Christmas in July, so I'm going to post a few little goodies for you, and maybe I'll get cheerier!

By the way...we postponed our family breakfast, due to the heat and the high cost of EVERYTHING. We are going to combine breakfast with Jonah's birthday party next weekend...a little breakfast, a little swimming, a little Christmas, a little birthday cake...sounds good to me! This way, everyone only has to drive here once...and with gasoline at $3.89 a gallon (and I know that's a lot less than some folks are paying), we have to conserve where we can!

Today's Christmas pearls are from another one of the Gooseberry Patch Christmas books, #8 this time. I'm so looking forward to picking up the new #10 as soon as I can find it in paperback!

*For a reminder that Santa's on his way, wire a length of sleigh bells to a fresh greenery wreath...a jolly jingle every time the door opens. (If you have little kids or if my kids visit your house, you might not want to do this one!)

*What's more cozy than gathering 'round the fireplace for hot cocoa and a chat? Stencil pine trees and stars on a large, galvanized tub. Fill the tub with wood and set by the fire to save trips out into the blustery evening. (I do this with a flat basket...decorative and functional! I also have a galvanized bucket that I keep pine cones and fire starters in, tied up with a red bow and some cinnamon sticks peeking out!)

*Write the lyrics to a favorite Christmas carol on a solid color mug using glass paint and then tuck in a package of Marshmallow Cocoa Mix...a simple, one of a kind gift!

Marshmallow Cocoa Mix
25 oz. package powdered milk
1 1/2 c. powdered non-dairy creamer
3 c. hot cocoa mix
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. mini marshmallows

Combine all ingredients; equally divide into four, one-quart jars. Attach gift tag with instructions to each jar. Makes 4 jars.

Instructions: Combine 1/2 cup mix with one cup boiling water. Makes one serving.

And here's a recipe that just screams Christmas!

Chocolate Covered Cherries

16 oz. package powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 T. evaporated milk
2 t. vanilla extract
2 10 oz each jars maraschino cherries with or without stems, drained
12 oz. chocolate flavored candy coating
6 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Blend together sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Wrap each cherry in about 1 teaspoon sugar mixture. Arrange on waxed paper in a baking pan and chill overnight. Melt together the candy coating and chocolate chips in a double boiler. Stir until melted and blended. Use a candy dipper to dip cherries in chocolate, tapping off excess. Place on waxed paper to cool. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.

And, finally, a great recipe for a mix in a jar gift, or for serving guests!

Creamy Potato Soup Mix

3 1/2 c. instant mashed potato flakes
3 c. powdered milk
1/4 c. chicken bouillon granules
.09 oz. pkg. vegetable soup mix
2 T. dried parsley
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container until ready to give. Attach instructions. Makes about 6 3/4 cups soup mix.

Place one cup soup mix in 2 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Makes one serving.

I like this with oyster crackers, but plain old saltines are good with it, too! Served with a grilled cheese sandwich, it's a hearty, filling lunch on a cold, wintery day!!

Well! I'm feeling cheerier already!

What are YOU doing to get ready for Christmas in July?

Merry, Merry!

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About Me

I love to cook, decorate, entertain and plan the holidays. I'm wife to one handsome man and mom to three handsome boys, I love God, my family and my country. I'm the one at the small town parade waving the American flag!! Almost all the holidays are celebrated at our house, and we like it that way!!