Christmas Feed

White Christmas Sangria

I love sangria!  White or red.  It's the perfect cocktail for a crowd.  It involves WINE, fruit and other goodies and looks beautiful!  What's not to love?

This is a recipe for a White Christmas Sangria.  It is stunning and tastes great too.  I love the addition of the rosemary. 

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White Christmas Sangria

1 Granny smith apple

1 Braeburn apple

1 cup of fresh cranberries

1 large sprig of rosemary

1 bottle of Pinot Grigio

1/2 cup white grape juice

1/4 sugar

1 can club soda

In a large pitcher combine all of your ingredients.  Mix well and refrigerate at least an hour. 

 

Cheers!

Jo

 

Recipe from Jerry James Stone via Pinterest

 


Festive Touches in the Kitchen

As promised, here are a few photos of my kitchen with some Christmas décor!  I didn't do a whole lot of decorating in the kitchen.  It seems to have so much going on anyway.  Cooking, homework, artwork, etc.  I do wish I had put up a wreath on my hood.  Maybe next year!

You may remember the cardinals on our tree in the dining room.  I just love placing them all over the house at the holidays!  They give a vibrant pop of red and cheer.

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This three tier stand is so fun to change for the seasons.  I filled it with bottle brush trees and large red bells this year.  And of course our cardinal friends.

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One of my favorite parts of our kitchen is our butler's pantry.  I'm so glad I chose to go with it instead of a food pantry.  It is a great place to make coffee or cocktails.

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Can you tell I love bottle brush trees? 

I kept our breakfast nook super simple with just our Advent wreath.  Really you don't need anything else because it is a star on its own. 

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We really enjoy lighting the candles in the weeks leading up to Christmas!

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I hope you've enjoyed the little tour of our kitchen!  Do you decorate your kitchen space for holidays?

 

 

 


O Christmas Tree

The tree is up!  Don't you just love a real tree with colored lights?  Reminds me of my childhood.  Ours would probably be considered "vintage" these days.  No specific style, just full of ornaments from Christmases past.  A few from my childhood, handmade ones by the girls and some new mixed in. 

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The big question- white or colored lights?  I learned a from a friend to add a couple of strands of white lights to the colored and it takes it to another level! 

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A few of my favorites...

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This is our first year placing it in front of the fireplace.  I like it!

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Do you prefer a real or artificial tree?  Does yours have a theme? 

 

Happy trimming!

Jo

 

 


Perfect Imperfections

Wow, blogging sure has changed since 2009!  Truth is, my home has been decorated for Christmas for weeks.  I see all of these beautiful Holiday Home Tour blog posts and I am totally intimidated.  I have no experience in photography.  Do not have Photoshop.  Just an iPhone.  I've been taking photos over and over trying to get the right angle, right lighting, etc. obsessing over the details.  Do I hire someone to come take professional pics?  Do I invest in a complicated camera I have no idea how to use?  Photoshop? 

Then, it hit me this morning as my girls were setting up our dining room table for our "Breakfast Ball".  They were decked out in princess dresses using old valentine cards as place cards.  A meal of an apple, Hershey kisses and potato chips on paper plates---this is real and it is just as perfect!  Maybe there is someone out there who will appreciate the "Perfect Imperfections" like I do!  The accidental garbage can in the background.  The bulldog on the front porch. 

So while I'm still figuring all this out, I hope you enjoy a few imperfect photos of our home decorated for the holidays.

 

Front porch with bulldog

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The lovely Breakfast Ball

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More details in the dining room..  This pallet box is so easy to change for the seasons!

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Family room...Our stockings are hung...

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Kitchen coming soon!

 

 


Last Minute Gift Idea

Instead of running around buying last minute gifts, here is an easy, homemade gift idea.

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Mix

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Yield: Makes 16 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup  powdered sugar
  • 1  cup  plus 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2  cups  nondairy creamer
  • 20  peppermint candies, broken into pieces
  • mini  marshmallows

Preparation

In a one-quart wide-mouth jar, layer powdered sugar, then cocoa, packing each layer as tightly as possible. Wipe the inside of the jar with a paper towel to remove any excess cocoa before adding the next layer. Add nondairy creamer to jar, packing tightly. Add peppermint pieces. Fill any remaining space in top of jar with a layer of mini marshmallows; secure lid. Give with the following instructions: Empty jar into a large mixing bowl; blend well. Spoon mixture back into jar. To serve, add 3/4 cup boiling water to 1/4 cup cocoa mixture; stir to blend

I wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Talk to ya soon!

 

(photo from myrecipes.com) 


Christmas Party

This weekend we had our Christmas Potluck Party.  I kept decorations simple and went with a red and aqua snowflake theme and it looked great!  The colors were fun and really popped against each other.  I ended up using one of my manzanita branch centerpieces.  They are just so versatile, I couldn't resist.  Hope you enjoy the pics!

Dining Table/Centerpiece

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Plates from Hostess Jo

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Red and aqua snowflake napkin rings from Print Your Party.  These were a big hit.

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Red glitter snowflake ornaments.

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Peppermints made the perfect filler for the base.

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Drink Station
 

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Pretty AND tasty Champagne Punch-get the recipe here.

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Check out more photos on our Facebook page.  

Hope this inspires you to try different color combos for the holidays!  These colors would also be great for New Year's and winter themed parties.
 


Reindeer Cupcakes

Well its almost crunch time!  Are you finished with your shopping?  Parties all planned?  That's a no for me on both of those! 

Good news is you've still got time to collect a few more cute ideas and recipes for the holiday.  Here is a really cute one I found for you.

Reindeer Cupcakes

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1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® cake mix (any non-swirl flavor)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
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24 large pretzel twists
24 miniature marshmallows
24 red cinnamon candies
24

small red gumdrops


1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Make and cool cake as directed on box for 24 cupcakes.
2. Frost cupcakes with frosting. Sprinkle chocolate shot over tops of cupcakes.
3.

For each cupcake, cut pretzel twist in half; arrange on cupcake for reindeer antlers. Cut miniature marshmallow in half; arrange on cupcake for eyes. Center gumdrop below marshmallow halves for nose. Place red cinnamon candy below gumdrop for mouth. Store loosely covered.


(photo and recipe from Betty Crocker)


No-Bake Christmas Cookies

Wow your guests with these lovely cherry cookies this Christmas.  Their presentation says "fancy" but their recipe says "easy".

Easy 'Mallow Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 16  maraschino cherries with stems
  • 1/3  cup marshmallow creme
  • 1  tablespoon finely chopped maraschino cherries
  • 32  vanilla wafer cookies
  • 4  ounces vanilla-flavor candy coating

Directions

1. Place maraschino cherries with stems on paper towels; drain well. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together marshmallow creme and chopped maraschino cherries. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the maraschino cherry mixture on the bottom of one cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom side down. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies and maraschino cherry mixture.

2. In a small saucepan, heat and stir candy coating over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.

3. Dip cookies halfway into the melted candy coating. Return to baking sheet. Holding a cherry by the stem, dip bottom of cherry into the melted candy coating. Place cherry on top of candy-coated side of one cookie. Hold for several seconds or just until set. Repeat with remaining cherries and cookies. Let cookies stand until candy coating sets. Makes 16 sandwich cookies.

TO STORE: Place sandwich cookies in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


(photo and recipe from parents.com)