The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Friday, December 12, 2014

Faithy's Holiday Favorites...

HOWDY friends...
Just popping in to share a few of my holiday favorites, and to wish each and every one of you a wonderfully blessed holiday season.

Our family Christmas involves LOTS of people, so buying gifts for everyone is a bit challenging, since we never seem to know exactly what folks want or need, AND because buying gifts for that many people can get pretty expensive.  The past few years, I've started making baked goods, jams & jellies for folks, and I really enjoy it.  Eventually I'm learning each person's favorites, and gearing towards those, but generally, most folks are willing to try new stuff too, and they appreciate the time spent on a homemade gift.

Anyway...not much time to post these days, but I thought I'd share some of my favorites.  I hope you'll give some of them a try, and report back to let me know what you thought.

1.  Faithy's Quick & Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle - My hubby & I have been making and sharing this recipe for more years than I can count.  Sooooo very easy, and ALWAYS a hit!

2.  Oatmeal Brittle - We tried this for the first time last year, and oh boy was it good!!  It's definitely on  our tried & true list now!

3.  Magic Mint Chocolate Bark - This is another one I've been making for quite a few years now.  It really doesn't get much easier than this, and it's very can change the mint-chocolate chips to any flavor of chips you like, and change the almonds to some other nut or topping of your choice.  (I often use regular, dark or white chocolate chips topped with crushed peppermint, but the original is still my personal favorite!)

4.  Apple Cider Caramels - These require a little extra effort (mostly in wrapping each one individually), but they are sooooooooo worth it!  I can't even describe how good these are!!

5.  Quick & Easy Cranberry-Orange Scones - These are definitely one of my "go-to" recipes anytime I have overnight guests.  Easy & delicious...AND if you really want to make things painless during the holidays, they can be made ahead and frozen, then baked whenever you're ready.  BIG THANKS to my awesome sister-in-law Brandy for sharing this recipe with me years ago!!

6.  Faithy's Poppin' Pepper Jelly - I started making this several years ago, and it's always a hit as well.  (A lot of the guys on my list really like this one!)  It's also very colorful and festive to serve over the holidays.

7.  Gig'em Red Velvet Cookies - I found this recipe in a mystery book by Joanne Fluke quite a while back, and it's a great cookie recipe to use ANY time of year!!

8.  Oatrageous Cookies - I found a bar cookie recipe in a magazine years ago, and adapted it to make large cookies (4" diameter or so) that can be individually wrapped and given as gifts or used as place markers at parties.  You can also make them regular sized if you want.  They're ALWAYS delicious!!

9.  Steph's Pecan Bars - I found these on another blog a while back, and they've definitely become a favorite!

10.  Faithy's Favorite Cranberry Orange Waffle Mix - This makes a beautiful mix that can be given as a gift.  I also like to keep some stored in my freezer for some yummy waffles without too much effort.

11.  Faithy's Favorite English Muffin Bread - This one is probably the recipe I've used most in my life!  It is so easy to make, and makes a great gift, along with some homemade jam or jelly (or even a nice store-bought one if you don't have time to make any).  It's also great to have on hand to serve guests.  If you've ever spent a night at my house, you've probably had some!  It's also a treasured recipe passed along to me from one of my very favorite relatives, so it brings her to mind every time we make it.

12.  Fruit & Nut Bars - If you like mincemeat (which I do), you'll LOVE these delicious bar cookies.  I just used the recipe straight off the mincemeat jar, but I'm sharing the link for the recipe on the None Such mincemeat website.  I may never make another mincemeat pie...but these are definitely on my holiday list!

13.  Chocolate Pretzel Rings - for some reason I don't have a picture of these, but I've been making them for my nephew for more years than I can count.  I've also made variations with different flavored chocolate "Kisses" or "Hugs", as well as one using "Rolo" candies & pecan halves in place of the "Kisses" & "M&M's".  SUPER easy and always appreciated.  The hardest part is unwrapping the individual candies.  (HINT:  If you can find the unwrapped Kisses or Rolos, use them...they'll save a lot of time, especially if you're making quite a few!)

14.  Potato Candy - I don't have a picture of these either, but this is a favorite recipe I learned from my German Dad as a kid.  I didn't have it typed up, so I'm linking you to a version I found online (just ignore the Irish part and think German, LOL!).  I've never actually measured my ingredients...just used one potato and enough powdered sugar to get my dough to the consistency I want.  Be warned though, it takes plenty of powdered sugar for even a small potato, and the potato will liquify as you start to add it.  You can use smooth peanut butter if you prefer, but I like the crunchy for more texture.

Anyway...I gotta go so I can actually get started on making some of this stuff!  LOL!  I hope you can find something new to try with your family this year.

May your Christmas be filled with love, laughter and the great blessing of family, and may we never forget the TRUE REASON behind all the celebrating...JESUS CHRIST our SAVIOR!!!