Happy New Year!
Sorry I've been neglecting my blog through the Christmas festivities. I've really missed sharing all of the fun memories that have been made and recipes that we love! So here I go trying to rewind and catch you up, my Friends!!!
I wanted to start off by sharing a new recipe I just made on New Years Eve!
How can you improve upon that famously delicious, snow dusted treat of puppy chow? Well, I have a different version for you that I believe many will think is just as good, if not better! Nutella puppy chow! I wish I thought of this confection myself, but I didn't. I saw it on Pinterest and a couple of other food blogs that I love.
I did tweak it a bit. I used Nutella and chocolate chips for the base and kept the hazelnuts chopped instead of grinding them, for I like an extra crunch! Also, I wanted to add a splash of vanilla extract because we're huge vanilla fans. It only adds an undertone of warmth. I revised the recipe on here to be like the one I used, and it is sooo good!
I have it in a large tin I kept out from Christmas, so that we can nosh on it anytime we want a little sweet! What a perfect frosted snack to start off the new year! Now, all we need is some real snow! (Come on, 60 degrees in January? Eww.) I'm sure it'll some soon enough, but until then I'm going to be here in my cozy, snowman decorated home!
Nutella Puppy Chow
1 12 oz. box wheat/corn/rice cereal like Chex or Crispix
3/4 c. butter
1 1/4 c. Nutella
1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. chopped hazelnuts, toasted
4 c. powdered sugar (may want more or less, to taste)
In a 350 degree oven, roast hazelnuts until fragrant, about 7-8 minutes
Here you can grind up hazelnuts finely if you want (I chose to keep them chopped)
Put cereal in a large bowl and set aside
In a pan over med-low heat, melt chocolate chips and butter, stirring constantly
When all is melted, remove from heat and stir in Nutella and vanilla until all is mixed in
Add hazelnuts and stir well
Pour over cereal
I used my hands to stir. I think it's easier than a spoon, but be sure and not burn yourself! The consistency will be very thick and take a few minutes to incorporate altogether. Takes time, but it well worth it!
Dump the mixture into a large paper bag or a gallon sized storage bag and pour in the powdered sugar, starting with a little at a time. Add more sugar until it's coated enough for you. I like it to be amost white myself....very frosty looking!
This will keep for a week if stored well sealed.
Enjoy. Every. Clumpy. Morsel!
In our home, Christmas is truly about the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ! I cannot thank God enough for sending His Son down to earth to literally DIE for our sins (all my sins) and redeem us!!! Jesus is risen and I can't wait to see Him in my Heavenly home one day with my baby girl and other loved ones!
That's really what "Merry Christmas" is all about!
I have to show you the dessert table at my parents house. Mom had all of these incredible desserts! Well, I made the Christmas tree linzer cookies.
There was fresh coconut cake, fudge, pecan pie, Mom's famous chocolate peanut butter balls and chocolate cupcakes!
(Not seen) Also, wassail and creamy boiled custard.
(Mind you, this is a dinner for just 6!)
There was so much goodness going around in our tummies!
Mom's table was set beautifully. It was an elegant candlelit dinner, complete with a little nutcracker for everyone!
The big Christmas tree at my parents. Stuffed with oodles of memories. And candy canes. And lights!!
"Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go!"
It was a beautiful Christmas Eve! I had to take a picture of the wispy, paint brushed clouds floating in the crisp winter sky!
Grandmother always sets an incredibly elegant table! It's always candlelit and sparkly. I love going over there for dinner on Christmas Eve!
This next one is on Christmas morning after we've opened all of our gifts at my parents. We've already showered and changed here.
Christmas morning starts off waking up to my parents singing "We wish you a merry Christmas" outside the door (instead of an alarm. No joke. This is a long-standing tradition)! Then enjoying a homemade peppermint mocha--thanks to my sweet mom!--wearing our new Christmas pj's (of course!) and an exciting couple of hours of opening each present one by one!
I still LOVE waking up to Christmas morning! I have to say it's my favorite day of the year!
I am such a kid.
We've just arrived at my In-Love's house. Mr. Cozy is tackling the gifts to take inside!
I'm a happy girl!
I have to rewind a few more days, and share with you just a few of the highlights of my family's Smoky Mountain Christmas vacation! It was a dream vacation for all of us to get together and stay in a cabin in the mountains right before Christmas! I can't thank my parents enough for this trip!!! It's one we'll never forget...one of the best!!!
We very much enjoyed our huge, yet incredibly cozy cabin!
One night required a Christmas movie and some peppermint hot cocoa!
Complete in a cute snowman mug!!
Day of shopping at my favorite, The Village. Here I am with my mom and sister! We're so excited!
My favorite coffee place in a little nook at The Village. I felt as though I was in a quaint corner somewhere in Bavaria! Or in a little gingerbread town. :) Either way, it's my kind of place!
The beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
I love this one!
My happy parents on our little hiking adventure! I love them!
It was so beautiful and serene there by the creek.
Look at this amazing fireplace at Flapjacks! We ate a big breakfast here one morning.
The Village that I loved to shop at.
Drinking snicker doodle coffee at my favorite place!
Well, that was just a very tiny glimpse of what fun we had! It was a trip for the decades, and a Christmas we'll never forget!