December ideas:

Holiday Drink Mix (good to give for presents!)
1 large box (4 lbs) powdered milk (non-fat dry milk)
1 large jar (35.3 oz) Coffeemate or other dry creamer
1 bag (2 lbs) powdered sugar
1 large container (30 ozs) of NesQuick

Add as many teaspoons as you want to a mug of hot water for kids and mix.  Jodi likes to add this to her coffee!

Christmas Eve Egg Nog Punch
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1/2 gallon of egg nog
vanilla ice cream (enough to make the drink creamy, but thinner than a milk shake)
cinnamon

Blend the first three ingredients.  Pour into a glass and sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top!

Quick Pecan Pralines
1 lb. box light brown sugar
1 sm. can condensed milk or 3/4 c.
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. pecan halves

Cook over low heat. Heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves, continue cooking over medium heat to soft stage, stirring constantly – cool slightly. Beat until it begins to thicken. Drop rapidly in teaspoons on foil.

Ritz Cracker Candy
1 to 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup peanut butter chips/white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and arrange the crackers on it in a single layer. Melt butter and brown sugar together in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. After it’s melted, increase heat to medium-high and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour this mixture over the cracker layer.
Bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven. Sprinkle crackers with chocolate chips and place back in the oven for 3 minutes (the oven will be turned off but still warm). Spread the melted chocolate over crackers and top with pecans and remaining chips. Allow to cool completely and break apart to serve.

Barbecue Little Smokies
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 (16 ounce) packages little wieners

Stir together barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and wieners in the bowl of a slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 2 hours, or until ready to serve.

Sweet and Tangy Little Smokies
1 lb cocktail smokies sausages
6 ozs grape jelly
6 ozs mustard

Put all ingredients in crock pot.  Stir all ingredients together as jelly starts to melt.  Simmer for 1 hour.  Serve warm.

Magic Reindeer Food
Quick Oats
Cheerios (could use the Frosted ones!)
Red and Green Sprinkles

Mix equal parts of oats and cheerios and then add in some red and green sprinkles! You can really add whatever you like, but make sure it’s edible for the reindeer and any other animals that will be scurrying around.  This is also a cute idea to give to your kid’s friends!

MSJ’s Holiday Mix
1 can of cocktail peanuts
1 big bag of plain M&M’s
1 big bag of peanut M&M’s
1 large box of raisins
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate morsels

Mix even amounts of all ingredients in large bowl.  Enjoy!

Haystacks
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 pinch salt

In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, milk and butter to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Stir in oats, coconut, nuts and salt.  Drop quickly from teaspoon on wax paper. Let cool.

Oreo Balls
1 package of regular Oreos
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
Melting chocolate

Put the Oreos in a gallon size bag and crush.  Then add to a food processor and break up the block of cream cheese and put on top of Oreos.  Pulse until well mixed.  Then form into balls and refrigerate while you melt the chocolate.  Then spoon or dip the balls into the chocolate and refrigerate again.  Then enjoy!

Murphy’s Grandmother’s Cheese Straws
1 cup butter
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 2/3 cup flour
dash red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients together well.  Roll thin and cut into narrow strips.  Bake at 275 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen.

Rolo Pretzel Delights 
Rolo candies, unwrapped
Mini round pretzels
Peanut M&Ms
pecan halves

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Arrange pretzels in a row across the top of parchment paper. Place a rolo on the top of each pretzel.  Place in the oven and watch closely for 5 minutes or less.  DO NOT melt them.  Only soften them. Remove from the oven and immediately place (gently press) an M&M on the top of half of the softened rolos.  Place (gently press) a pecan half on the top of the rest of the softened rolos. Let them set to completely cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Note:  There are no amounts on the ingredients, because you can make as many as you like.

This recipe is from Cooking with K.

Jodi’s Christmas Bark
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips (or whatever kind of melting chocolate you want)
Broken up pretzel pieces
Broken up snickers bars
Red and Green M&M’s

Melt and stir the chocolate……and pour on a cookie sheet WITH wax paper…..(important to NOT forget the wax paper)
Spread the chocolate out as flat as you can get it. While it’s still soft, sprinkle the pretzels, snickers and m&m’s….evenly.
Place it in the refrigerator and let it set for at least 30 minutes. An hour will be perfect!! Break it up and put in gift bags or on a platter to serve. Yum!!!

**tip……don’t skimp on the pretzels! This stuff is very sweet, and the salty pretzels help even it out.

Ingredients you need for grinch punch recipe:

1 half gallon of lime sherbet
1 2-liter of sprite
1 gallon of Green Hawaiian fruit punch

November ideas:

Simple Holiday Drink
chilled champagne (or sparkling grape juice)
chillded cranberry juice
fresh cranberries (can freeze them to act like ice to keep the drink cold)

Mix the champagne in glasses and add a little bit of cranberry juice to each glass – just enough to color the drink pinkish.  Then drop 2-3 fresh cranberries in each cup.

Red Hot Apple Cider
1-2 quarts Apple Cider or Apple Juice
small pack of Red Hots (or no more than 1/4 of a cup)
slow cooker

In your slow cooker, pour the apple cider and a small pack of Red Hots.  Cook on low until the Red Hots melt a little.  It makes your house smell awesome and it’s a delicious drink!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ritz
Box of Peanut Butter Ritz crackers
melting chocolate

Melt the chocolate according to the package.  Carefully dip the peanut butter sandwiches in the chocolate and set on wax paper.  Put in refrigerator for an hour or two to harden.

Crock-Pot Christmas Crack
1 (16 oz) jar unsalted peanuts
1 (16 oz) jar salted peanuts
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (12 oz) bag milk chocolate chips
2 (10 oz) bags peanut butter chips
2 (1 lb) pkgs while almond bark or vanilla candy coating

Layer all ingredients in a large crock-pot, starting with the peanuts.  Turn the pot on low, cover with lid and cook for 2 hours.  Then remove lid and stir to combine.  Replace lid and cook for another 30 minutes.  Stir again and then spoon mixture onto wax paper.  Allow to harden for at least 1 hour.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
Bag of Pretzel Rods
Melting chocolate – milk, dark or white chocolate
festive sprinkles
food dye (you can dye the white chocolate and drizzle over chocolate dipped rods)

Melt the chocolate as instructed on the packaging.  Dip pretzel rod in chocolate and use a spoon to spread the chocolate about halfway up the rod. Twist the rod to let the excess chocolate drip off. Hold the rod over a piece of wax paper and shake sprinkles on all sides. Place the pretzel on another piece of wax paper to dry. Repeat until all chocolate or pretzels are gone. Let dry completely, about 24 hours.

Jodi’s Famous Pumpkin Bread
2 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and ground cloves into a separate bowl, then stir until combined (great job for the kids). Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth.
Grease two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans and dust them with flour. Evenly divide the batter between them. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pans by inverting them into a rack and tapping the bottoms. Slice and serve plain, buttered, or with cream cheese.

Toasted Pecans
6 cups shelled pecans
1 cup butter, melted
salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).  r the butter into a medium bowl, and mix in the pecans. Stir until the pecans are well coated.  Arrange coated pecans in a single layer on one or two medium baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake in the preheated oven approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool and store in covered containers.

Individual Sherbet Punch
Orange or Lime sherbet
Ginger Ale or Champagne
Pretty, clear glasses (like a wine glass)

Put scoops of sherbet in each glass and top with ginger ale or champagne!

Pecan Pie Bark
2 1/2 sticks butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 tsp vanilla
2 pkg (12 sheets) honey graham crackers
1/3 cup bourbon or amaretto (optional)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lay your graham crackers tightly across the area of a lightly greased 9×13 rimmed baking tray.  Trim any crackers to fit the sides of the pan if needed.  In a large saucepan, bring the butter, sugar and pecans to a full rolling boil over medium high heat. Once you get to that stage continue to boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Carefully (and evenly) pour boiled mixture over the entire plan of graham crackers, spreading pecans around evenly. Immediately pop graham crackers into the oven and bake for 8 minutes.  Allow graham cracker bark to cool completely before breaking into pieces and storing airtight.

Jodi’s knock-off Neiman Marcus dip
1/2 cup cup sliced almonds
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup mayo
Serve with heavy crackers or corn chips (it’s a thick dip!)

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread almonds on ungreased cookie sheet and toast in oven until browned approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  Fry bacon strips until crispy; allow to cool them crumble. Combine toasted almonds, crumbled bacon, cheese, green onions, and mayo in a medium-size bowl; stir until thoroughly combined.  Chill for 1 hour; serve with crackers.  This says it’s a dip, but you may want to use a pretty party knife to spread onto crackers!