New Year's Table

I love the look of mirrors when it comes to decorating for New Year's.  They add sparkle and shine and are easy to find.  Here is an example of an easy New Year's table scape using mirrors.

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To recreate this look purchase small mirrors or mirrored coasters.  Reuse your cylinder candle vases.  Fill with disco ball ornaments or any other sparkly ornaments you have.   Decorate the outside of the vases with more mirrored ornaments.  Scatter colored ornaments on the table on a pretty colored table cloth.  Voila!

(photo from bhg.com)


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
Chocolate shot
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)


Mocha Punch

This punch sounds so interesting to me.  What do you think?  I've never tried coffee in a punch!  Great idea for holiday parties.

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Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
10 min
Makes:
30 servings, 1/2 cup each
 
Ingredients
 
2 cups cold water
1 cup  MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee, any variety
1/2 gal. (8 cups) coffee, vanilla or chocolate ice cream, softened
1 qt.  (4 cups) milk
1 cup chocolate syrup
1 bottle  (28 fl. oz.) club soda, chilled

STIR water into coffee granules in punch bowl or 1-gal. serving bowl until coffee is dissolved.

ADD remaining ingredients; beat with wire whisk until well blended.

SERVE immediately.


(photo and recipe from kraftfoods.com)


Simple Centerpiece

I am still looking for centerpiece ideas for my Christmas Party.  I want something simple but eye catching.  I've definitely decided it will be something with ornaments.  They add a lot of glitz for not a lot of money.  You can find them in any shade of the rainbow and reuse them next year. 

I love the look of this tiered tray.  They used three different sized silver trays with glasses as pedestals held together with floral clay.  The metallic trays really reflect the shine and colors of the ornaments.

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I also love this idea.  The beads add a little extra to the arrangement. 

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Both of these would also work great for a New Year's Party!


(photos from bhg.com)
  


Candy Cane Cocktail

There are several recipes for Peppermint Martinis BUT have you ever seen one with strawberry vodka??  Surprise your guests this holiday season with this twist on the original.

Candy Cane Cocktail

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Ingredients

Makes one cocktail

  • 1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish
  • 2 ounces strawberry vodka
  • 4 dashes white creme de menthe
  • 2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass; serve immediately.
(photo and recipe from martha)