Saturday, February 25, 2023

The actual Christmas candy list


 Yes, I mentioned some candy in my post about kitchen gifts, but not all that we made.  So, here goes with a list of candy we actually prepared for Christmas 2022.

Heavenly Delight is always at the top of our candy list.  Originally known as Double Decker Fudge , this is a layered chocolate-peanut butter fudge that is a huge favorite in our family.  It is in the center of the tray below.

Another big favorite with certain people  (and so it must go on our candy list every year) is Special Holiday Fudge, which is chocolate filled with nuts and raisins.  It tastes somewhat like an old-fashioned Chunky bar.   


Arlene's Easy Fudge is another favorite of ours.  I don't think I have a photo of it, but it's just a good, incredibly easy fudge that you make by just melting together a few ingredients.  It's possible that's what Sam is preparing in the photo below.

The  Chocolate-Dipped Orange Slices

have become a must for our family and friends.  I like to add them to a cookie tray for interest and color, but also because they are so delicious and festive tasting.

Of course we also did some candy making with four local grandkids.  You see my blog post and my note (miraculously located!) from 2021.

The Easy Salted Caramel Fudge from Something Swanky is just one step beyond Arlene's fudge, as it's the same simple type of recipe with baking chips and sweetened condensed milk.

The peppermint-drizzled oreos were simply purchased oreo-type cookies drizzled with white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed peppermints.

We didn't get to the other varieties of candy on my tentative list, but hope springs eternal for next year.  I used to make peanut butter balls nearly every Christmas.

And that was our Christmas candy making for this year ... although Mr. T continues to produce batches of Heavenly Delight as we proceed through the winter months!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

The actual Christmas kitchen gift list


So I really need to edge my way back into the Christmas kitchen and talk about kitchen gifts.  I think 2022 may have been one of those rare years when we gave every one of the kitchen gifts that were on our tentative list.  This list doesn't include candy, but it does include a few specific cookies that we gift to certain people every year.  

Sacher Torte Cookies go to one lady on our list; Eggnog Logs go to two others.  Chocolate Mint Crisps go to a male friend and also to a teenage boy.  You can do a search for any of these cookie recipes here on the blog, and they may even be in my post about what we do with all these cookies.

Christmas Granola is simply my old favorite Homemade Granola with dried cranberries and shelled pistachios stirred in at the end.  My son-in-law and several others get jars or canisters of it.  It always seems to go over well and makes a nice gift for a family.

My walking partner gets her very own loaf (or more than one, if the loaves are mini size) of Apricot Cake.  It's sort of a cross between a bread and a fruitcake.

Both Eggnog Logs and little Apricot Cakes are in this photo.

I enjoy wrapping the little loaves up in a pretty way for kitchen gifts:

This year I tried a new recipe for Caramel Cinnamon Chex Mix to use as a kitchen gift instead of the Cinnamon Pretzels I've made for years.  I was very pleased with how it turned out, and will be making it again next Christmas and for the foreseeable future.

And that's the kitchen gift report for 2022!

Monday, February 13, 2023

A little bit of new decor ... and something old


 Just a quick post to share a couple of my new-for-2022 Christmas decor items.  There is a fun story about that sweet metal sign above.  

One afternoon before Christmas, I spent a few hours at my daughter Carrie's home, crafting with her and her girls.  This is something we desperately wanted to find time for, and we managed to shoehorn it in.  I'm sure I wrote about it at the time, either here or on my Kitchen Table blog.  One of the things we did was to make the lovely yarn Christmas tree garlands below.

As I looked admiringly at Carrie's Christmas decor, I spied the adorable, very vintage-style metal sign hanging on a wall.  I immediately asked Carrie (who was out of sight in the kitchen) where she had found such a treasure.  "Wal-Mart!" she snickered, coming around the corner with a gray plastic bag in her hand.  "I knew you would love it, so I got one for you, too!"

What a wonderful early Christmas gift!  She is so incredibly thoughtful.  The photos are of the metal sign on my own wall.  I simply adore this sign.  It speaks to my heart and says so much of what I feel about my Christmas memories.  And the sign itself is a lovely memory of our afternoon together.

Another new sign has a much more prosaic source -- Dollar Tree.  This is in our front hallway hanging among all the Christmas cards.  Through the doorway you can glimpse our living room and photo wall.


Below you see the cropped photo giving a much closer look at the sweetness of this sign.  I really like that except for the "Christmas Trees" part, this is really more of a winter sign.  You can't tell, but in spite of its shabby look it has many touches of glitter.

And just one more thing to show you.  This is not new, but it's my first time displaying it: a vintage mint tin found at my childhood home.


I put this out for February with a nod to red Valentine sweetness, even though it isn't a Valentine item.  I tucked it in a corner of my hutch with non-vintage jadeite style sugar and creamer and a sparkly card from cousins, with a wintry scene.  If you can't read it (I know the photo is a bit blurry), the writing on the tin says "Snow Drop Mints."

Decorating for Christmas, then winter, just makes my heart glad.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

The actual 2022 Christmas cookie list

 January was certainly busy!  I didn't find a minute to get in here as I usually do to report on the actual holiday output of the Christmas kitchen.

At the top of the post, you see our tentative Christmas cookie list.  Of these my hubby baked:

Lemon Shortbread Thumbprints

Secret Spice Cookies

Chocolate Mint Crisps

Whipped Shortbread

Chocolate Spritz

Almond Raspberry Thumbprints

Eggnog Logs

Christmas Tree Spritz

Sacher Torte Cookies

Gingerbread Men

He made multiple batches of most of these.  He also baked several varieties of cookies not on the list:

Macaroon Kisses

Lemon Spritz

Peanut Blossoms

And I made a few cookie varieties  myself:

Chocolate No-Bakes

Chocolate Nutters

Chocolate Orange Cookies

Mint Chocolate Spritz Trees

(Hmmm ... I am sensing a theme in the cookies I chose to bake. 🤔)

And that's a wrap on this year's cookie baking.  I have no idea on total numbers, and no wish to know just how many pounds of butter were used.