Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer.... a song a recipes for two yummy reindeer treats!

A Holiday favorite whether in song or story, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It's also a story/song with a good lesson, Different doesn't mean bad.

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

You know Dasher, and Dancer, and
Prancer, and Vixen,
Comet, and Cupid, and
Donder and Blitzen
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose
and if you ever saw it
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
play in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history! 
I wondered and wondered what kind of "cooking" could I have the kids do with this song and Voila! I found my answer on Pinterest!  I love Pinterest!  I actually found quite a few cute recipes but I decided on just two of them. The first recipe is very simple and needs only 4 ingredients ~ Reindeer Paws and Noses are just too cute! The second recipe  for Reindeer Corn Cookie Bark is just too pretty and too tasty to leave out! I hope you enjoy making both and don't miss the Rudolph cartoon at the end of the blog! Happy Holidays!

Reindeer Paws and Noses


  • Mini Twist Pretzels
  • Rolos Candies
  • Chocolate Candy Coated Peanut Candies
  • Pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to warm.
  2. On a cookie sheet, place a single later of mini twist pretzels.
  3. Unwrap the Rolos and place one on top of each pretzel.
  4. Place into the oven until the Rolo is just melted (3-5minutes depending on the temperature of the oven)
  5. Remove from oven and immediately place a pecan for paws or a chocolate candy coated peanut candy onto the melted Rolo and gently press. Allow to set.
 this recipe was found at free fun christmas


Reindeer Corn Cookie Bark recipe found at YourHomeBasedMom .com

  • 14 whole Oreos, broken up. I used the holiday ones with the red filling but regular will work fine
  • 1 1/2 C pretzels, broken into pieces. I used the small stick pretzels
  • 1 lb. white chocolate, almond bark or melts found in the bulk food section
  • 1 C reindeer corn
  • red and green colored sprinkles

  • Cover a large cookie sheet with wax paper
  • Spread broken cookes, pretzels and about 3/4 C of the candy corn onto the waxed paper
  • Place white chocolate in a container and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes
  • Stir and then microwave for another 30 seconds until melted and smooth
  • White chocolate melts faster and burns easier than chocolate
  • Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookie mixture, spreading with spatula if needed to coat evenly
  • Sprinkle remaining candy corn and colored sprinkles over the chocolate while it is still wet
  • Do not let it harden
  • Place cookie tray into refrigerator until set and firm
  • Remove and gently break bark into small pieces
  • Store in air tight container

Friday, December 13, 2013

T'was the Night before Christmas aka A Visit from St Nicholas

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Sleeping Mouse

Stockings in the Fireplace

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,

The children were nestled

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

He sprang from the bed

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

what to my wondering eyes should appear

Flying Birds
Flying Birds
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

Flying Birds

Fig. 103
Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Reindeer sleigh on the roof

Reindeer sleigh on the roof

Blustering leaves
Blustering leaves
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

Blustering leaves
Blustering leaves
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

He looked like a peddler

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The beard of his chin was as white as the snow

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He had a broad face and a little round belly

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He filled all the stockings

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

up the chimney he rose

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

he drove out of sight

Little bear
end cover

 This version of  A Visit from St. Nicholas By Clement C. Moore With Pictures by
Jessie Willcox Smith was published in 1912 by Houghton Mifflin Company and can be found online at the gutenberg project

 Okay, raise your hand if you've always wondered, "What the heck is a Sugar Plum?" Oh please, as if I'm the only one! Well for all of you who will admit that you wondered, according to an article written in The Atlantic by Samira Kawash, a professor emerita at Rutgers University (she also blogs on candy history and opinion at 
" The truth of the matter is that the sugar plum is not a plum at all, nor does it contain any plum-like substance. The sugar plums of Christmas fantasy are in fact sugar, and any resemblance to plums is entirely superficial."
Well, Pooh!! But not to worry, apparently these days a sugar plum is basically considered to be a no bake treat made with dried fruit, honey, nuts and other yumminess and then rolled in sugar. Whoohoo! So, here's a lovely recipe I found online at the cupcake project. These are also the prettiest sugar plums ever!
a a no-bake dessert made with dried fruit (including prunes, dried plums), nuts, honey, and spices, and rolled in sugar.
a a no-bake dessert made with dried fruit (including prunes, dried plums), nuts, honey, and spices, and rolled in sugar.
picture from

Sparkly Sugar Plums for Christmas
Yield: About 50 teaspoon-sized sugar plums

  • 2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cut pitted dates, finely chopped
  • powdered sugar for rolling coating the balls
  • plum purple disco dust (I got mine from Layer Cake Shop - this is optional)
  1. Mix all ingredients except the sugar and disco dust together in a large bowl. Optionally, place the whole mixture in the food processor and process for a few seconds - this will help everything to stick together, especially if you aren't the best at finely chopping. (I'm raising my hand high on this one.)
  2. Form the mixture into teaspoon-sized balls.
  3. Roll the balls in powdered sugar and then roll in disco dust. 
  4. Note: If you let the balls sit overnight, the powdered sugar will absorb into the balls and will be less visible.
Recipe Found at the cupcake project

illustration from The Night Before Christmas by Rachel Isadora

The Last Christmas Tree...a poem and three fabulous Hot Chocolate Recipes!

I saw a truck of Christmas trees
And each one had a tale,
The driver stood them in a row
And put them up for sale. 
He strung some twinkly lights
And hung a sign up with a nail;
It said in red
He poured himself hot cocoa
In a steaming thermos cup,
And snowflakes started falling
As a family car pulled up. 

A mom, a dad, and one small boy
Who looked no more than three
Jumped out and started searching
For the perfect Christmas tree. 
The boy marched up and down the rows,
His nose high in the air;
"It smells like Christmas, mom!
It smells like Christmas everywhere!" 
"Let's get the biggest tree we can!
A tree that's ten miles high!
A tree to go right through our roof!
A tree to touch the sky!" 
"A tree SO big "That Santa Claus
Will stop and stare and say,
'Now, THAT'S the finest Christmas tree
I've seen this Christmas Day!'" 
It seemed they looked at every tree
At least three million times;
Dad shook them, pinched them,
turned them 'round 
To find the perfect pine. 
"I've found it, mom!
The Christmas tree I like the best of all!
It's got a little bare spot,
But we'll turn that to the wall!"
"We'll put great-grandma's angel
On top the highest bough!
Oh, can we buy it?
Please, mom, PLEASE?!
Oh, can we buy it NOW?" 
"How 'bout some nice hot cocoa?"
Asked the man who owned the lot.
He twisted off the thermos top,
"Now, THIS will hit the spot!" 
He poured the steaming chocolate
In three tiny paper cups.
They toasted, "Here's to Christmas!"
And they drank the cocoa up. 
"Is this your choice?" The tree man asked,
"This pine's the best one here!"
The boy seemed sad--- "My daddy says
"The price is just too dear." 
"Then, Merry Christmas!" Said the man,
who wrapped the tree in twine,
"It's yours for just one promise.
You must keep at Christmas time!" 
"On Christmas Eve at bedtime
As you fold your hands to pray,
Promise in your heart
To keep the joy of Christmas Day!" 
"Now hurry home! This freezy wind
Is turning your cheeks pink!
And ask your dad
To trim that trunk
and give that tree a drink!" 
And so it went on
All that blustery eve
As the tree man gave
Tree upon tree upon tree 

To every last person
Who came to the lot-
Who toasted with cocoa
In small paper cups, 
Who promised the promise
Of joy in their hearts---
And singing out carols,
Drove off in the dark. 
And when it was over
One tree stood alone;
But no one was left there
To give it a home. 
The tree man put on his
Red parka and hood
And dragged the last Christmas tree
Out to the woods.
He left the pine right by a stream
In the cold, 
So the wood's homeless creatures
Could make it their home. 
He smiled as he brushed off
Some snow from his beard,
When out of the thicket
A reindeer appeared.
He scratched that huge reindeer
On top his huge head---
"It looks like we've
Started up Christmas again!" 
"There are miles more to travel,
And much more to do!
Let's go home, my friend,
And get started anew 
He looked to the sky
And heard jingle bells sound-
And then, In a twinkling,
That tree man was gone! 

 I'm sure that after reading this wonderful poem, all you are craving a steaming cup of hot chocolate! Me, too! So here are two three fabulous recipes with variations. The first is making hot chocolate the good old fashioned way and the second recipe is for those of us with a little less patience! And the third is a wonderful spin on making hot chocolate. Hot chocolate truffles that you can drop in a cup of hot milk and Voila, Hot Chocolate! Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate ~ recipe and picture from The Pioneer Woman


  • 2 cups Milk
  • 2 cups Half-and-half
  • 1 cup Good Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (optional)
  • VARIATIONS: Orange Rind, Orange Syrup, Cinnamon Sticks, Raspberry Syrup, Abuelita Chocolate, Mint Extract, Peppermint Patties, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Shavings

Preparation Instructions

To make the basic hot chocolate, combine milk with half-and-half in a small saucepan.
Warm over medium-low heat, then stir in chocolate chips.
Stir until melted (though there will still be lovely particles of chocolate throughout.)
If it’s too chocolatey for you, splash in a little more milk.
If it’s not quite sweet enough for you, add 1 teaspoon sugar.
Serve in mugs with whipped cream.

Orange Hot Chocolate: Add 4 slices of orange rind as you warm the milk mixture. Add a splash of orange syrup if you have it, but it isn’t necessary.
Raspberry Hot Chocolate: Add 3 tablespoons raspberry syrup to the hot chocolate. Drop a couple of raspberries into each cup.
Mint Hot Chocolate: Drop 1 to 2 miniature peppermint patties into each mug before adding hot chocolate. Stir to melt.
Mexican Hot Chocolate: Substitute 2 discs of Abuelita chocolate for the chocolate chips. Simmer cinnamon sticks in the saucepan with the hot chocolate. Add 1 cinnamon stick to each mug before serving.
Garnish any and all variations with whipped cream or chocolate shavings.

 recipe found at the pioneer woman

DIY Instant Hot Cocoa Mix ~ Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
5 1/2 cups dry mix

2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. 
In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water. 
Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. 
Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. 
This also works great with warm milk.

Hot Chocolate Truffles

Yield: 15 truffles
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
cocoa powder, crushed candy canes, mini chocolate chips for rolling 
1. Place all ingredients in a pot and melt together on low heat until smooth. Stir constantly.
2. Let cool in the fridge until stiff enough to scoop.
3. Make small scoops, about 2 Tablespoons each. And place them in the freezer for and hour.
4. Remove scoops, roll into balls.
5. Roll in your choice of decoration. Crushed candy cane, cocoa, cinnamon, mini marshmallows. (If you try the mini marshmallows, you really have to push the marshmallows into the chocolate balls.)
6. Wrap each ball in suran wrap and keep chilled until ready to use.
7. When ready, drop chocolate balls into 1 ½ cups of hot milk and stir!