Okay it’s crunch time. I went to Target for all of 20 minutes today and it was a Hot Mess. I already finished my christmas shopping but still felt that I was missing a few things. I know that there are some procrastinators out there that are going to run around doing their Christmas shopping tomorrow and many of you are still trying to figure out what dish to bring to your family or friend event. It’s okay, I’ve got you covered. Here is a hodgepodge of last minute ideas.
I ran across these beautiful coloring books at so many different stores this season. They are great for children of all ages from 1-101. There have been studies that have shown that coloring books help to relieve stress too. I gave these to a friends children as well as donated these to an elderly care facility. I wish that I had picked up one for myself too.
Cookie, Cocoa, Brownie Mix in a Mason Jar
These days you can pretty much put anything in a Mason Jar and someone will say “that’s SO cute!” And really it is stinking cute. Here is a mix that you can throw together as a last minute gift. Don’t forget to add the directions on a cute tag too!
Ingredients for Jar (yields 20 cookies)
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup & leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Sprinkles
- 3/4 cup M&Ms
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat Oven to 350F
- In a bowl mix 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 egg & 1/2 tsp vanilla until smooth.
- Into a separate bowl empty contents of your mason jar and mix thoroughly, breaking up any lumps.
- Add both bowls together and mix until completely combined.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
For the TV fan
Is your friend or loved one still grieving a tv that ended…cough, cough, Mad Men? I loved this series and I came across this book on Amazon and it is amazing! Find a book that takes an in-depth look at a loved tv series. If you feel extra nice pair it with a great cup for hot cocoa and mix.
For the New Mom
Teething necklaces! I am obsessed with this teething necklace that I picked up at a big box store. It is saving my life and most of all keeping me sane! This is a great gift for mom and baby. Nordstrom’s and Amazon carry a variety of different styles and shapes that are all BPA free and so easy to wear.
Appetizers and Recipes to bring to the Party
Michelle’s Polish Meatballs (or Swedish)
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 3 tbsp of butter
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 cup of light cream
- 1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely snipped parsley
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- Dash ground nutmeg
- Dash ground ginger
- Dash Pepper
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20 you need the fat Michelle says!)
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 2 tablespoons of Wondra (or flour)
- 1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
Cook onion in 1 tablespoon of the butter till tender. In a mixing bowl combine egg and cream; stir in cooked onion, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and pepper. Add ground beef or meats; mix well. Chill mixture. Shape chilled meat mixture into 3/4- to 1-inch balls.
Brown meatballs, half at a time, in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter; remove from skillet. Stir flour, bouillon granules, and coffee crystals into pan drippings; add 1 3/4 cups water. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Add meatballs. Cover; simmer about 30 minutes, basting meatballs occasionally. Makes about 60 meatballs.
Peppermint Chocolate Cake
- 1 chocolate cake recipe
- Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup of softened butter
- 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- pinch of salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half
- 1/2 cup of chopped peppermint bark, for garnish.
- Prepare chocolate cake as instructed. Allow to cool completely. As cake is cooling, prepare peppermint buttercream frosting.
- Peppermint Buttercream Frosting
- Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on a medium setting and cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
- Add confectioner’s sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.
- Add peppermint extract and a pinch of salt and combine until well-incorporated.
- Add milk, heavy cream or half-and-half until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency. For a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.
- Frost cake and sprinkle chopped peppermint bark on top of cake as garnishment (optional).
Merry Christmas to you and your family!