Another treat we made for Christmas was Oreo balls decorated like snowmen. This could fun all winter long or even for a Frozen party.
We took a whole package of Oreos and ran them through the food processor. Then we added the crumbs and two softened blocks of cream cheese. We then made this mixture into balls and left them in the refrigerator all day. We used Ghiardelli melting chocolates to coat them. Before the white chocolate set I placed a mini Oreo on each to serve as a hat. Once they hardened I decorated with small tubes of frosting.
They were a hit and apparently not too cute to eat, because we only had a handful left.
Back at Thanksgiving, my mother-in-law told me about these cupcakes she’d seen on Pinterest. She said they looked like snowglobes and were entirely edible. We’d made gelatin bubbles for my son’s birthday so I already knew how to make the globes. I thought these would make great desserts for our Christmas Eve gathering.
We started the process, two days before. I had one of my daughters make the globe part. She’s a master with gelatin, so the process went really smoothly. I bought jelly candy lollipops for the inside of the snowglobe. Christmas Eve morning, I made the cupcakes. Later in the day we decorated and assembled the cupcakes.
They were almost too cute to eat!
I always like to give my kids teachers some kind of gift at Christmas to let them know how much we appreciate their time and effort with our children. This year the Wednesday night choir and mission teachers got Bath and Bodyworks hand sanitizers and small chocolate candy bars. My children will be handing out homemade Sugar Scrubs to their Sunday school teachers tomorrow.
We make these in small Mason jars. It’s simple but I love it!
All Natural Sugar Body Scrub
1/4 cup sugar
melted organic coconut oil
4 drops of essential oil of choice (we used grapefruit)
I put the sugar in the jars, pour in the oil and the essential oil. Stir and add more oil to get the perfect consistency. It should be soft enough to apply without losing a lot in the transfer from jar to body. You have to play around with it until it seems right to you.
We are crafting, creating, baking, and wildly cleaning around here!
I do not like the cold. I’m not the biggest fan of bugs or wildlife (i.e. opossums and raccoons). Despite these facts since my children and their father along with their cousins and their fathers enjoy camping out, I gladly play along. Our backyard is wooded and provides a great place to camp. You have all the convenience and goodness of indoor plumbing while still feeling like you roughed it (a little). So, every year or so we plan a night of camping.
When your s’more catches fire
A few weeks ago, we had our family campout. We roasted hot dogs. We made s’mores. (Try making s’mores with Town House crackers instead of the graham. I’ve heard it’s life changing). We let the children shoot paintballs. We talked and laughed and had a great time. When it was super late, I went inside with the baby and we enjoyed the great indoors while all the rest enjoyed the other.
Baby Boy making “fire”
One of my favorite parts of our tradition is making breakfast for everyone the next morning. I love this little campout tradition and hope they all want to do it for a long time.
Food for the masses
This is one of my go-to recipes. I love that it can all be thrown into my Dutch oven and slow cooked most of the day.
It is low carb and delicious!
Hot and Spicy Ranch Chicken
2 to 3 lbs. chicken breasts
1 container Philadelphia jalapeño cream cheese
1 packet of dry ranch seasoning
1/2 cup full fat, no carb, ranch dressing
Put in all on the Dutch oven. Bake at 200 degrees until done (about 4 hours). Shred and add 2 cups of pepper jack or haberno pepper cheese.
Stir until melted and well combined.
Here’s a quick little recipe that is pretty fast to throw together. I offer the kiddos low carb ketchup and shredded lettuce to eat with it.
2 to 3 lbs. ground beef or turkey (I use turkey)
1/4 cup of dill relish
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp. black pepper
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded cheese
1 or 2 cups of cheese for the top.
Brown meat in a skillet. Drain. Put meat into a bowl and add mustard, mayo, pepper, relish, eggs, cheese. Mix well. Transfer to a greased casserole dish. Put the other cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until set.
Years ago when my youngest daughter was just a baby, I was experiencing extreme fatigue. I felt badly all the time. I talked to our family doctor about it thinking I might be anemic. He quickly responded that I had four children six years old and younger and I had good reason to be tired. I then went on to explain to him that this tiredness was more extreme and was nothing that I’d ever experienced before. I asked for a blood test. He said I didn’t need one.
Fast forward about three months, I was working out on an elliptical at the gym. I was pushing myself really hard and when I went to check my pulse it was about 48. I thought it was an error so I checked again and again. My heart rate was not in the normal range at all. I ignored it and just went on with my day. I was a little worried, but not scared YET.
The next day I woke up with chest pain. It was a weird kind of pain and it, along with the low pulse, freaked me out! I went to the doctor right away. I saw a nurse practitioner and at first she was hesitant to believe it was serious. She thought I was just having blood pressure drops as some people do when they get up too quickly and the pain didn’t seem to worry her at all. But this time I pushed. I had four little ones at home and I was scared of what was happening to me. She reluctantly hooked me up to the EKG and very soon after she left the room and I had doctors coming in telling me that something indeed was going on with my heart and that I needed to see the cardiologist very soon. Before I left, I insisted on a blood test. I told her to test my thyroid levels.
The very next day I got a call that I needed to go to the pharmacy and pick up my thyroid medication. A few days later, I had an appointment with the cardiologist. He said all my heart problems were due to hypothyroidism. When I finally found out what my numbers were I was shocked. The normal range for a person my age is 1-3. My TSH was 28.6. No wonder I felt terrible. It tooks months to get my level to where they needed to be. Today and everyday to come I will take a pill to keep my levels in check.
I tell this very long story just to let people out there know that sometimes you have to be your own advocate. You sometimes have to insist on the healthcare you believe you need. Trust your instincts and listen to your body. You know it better than anyone!
Last Monday night, I was cleaning my Dutch oven and I went to place it on the trivet on my cooktop. I missed and the edge of the oven hit the glass cooktop and shattered half of it. I was devastated. I hate making mistakes like that; and I always seem to make them around the holidays. So, here we are looking for a new stove. We are trying to decide between an electric or gas. The gas is more expensive upfront, but the cooking quality is supposed to be so much greater. I’ve only cooked with gas while we were on vacation. I enjoyed it, but am not entirely convinced it really is that much better. Also, we are trying to decide between just getting another cooktop to fit into the island or change the island to fit an entire range, which would give us another oven.
I’d love to hear y’all’s thoughts on it!
Photo credit: Sears: Kenmore Elite Downdraft
What do you all think?
Since it’s basically baking season, I thought I’d give you all a little cookie recipe. It has more of a hint of peanut butter than really tasting like a peanut butter cookie. It is a sugar free low carb cookie.
2 cups almond flour
2/3 cup peanut butter powder
1 cup Splenda
2/3 cup Torani sugar free brown sugar cinnamon syrup
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Salt
1 Tbl. Vanilla extract
1 stick of melted butter
1/2 bar of unsweetened chocolate melted
Mix all ingredients together. Put on a greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake about 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
I hope you enjoy these little treats!
Peppermint during Christmas time is practically required. I used to love candy canes and the peppermint bark that came around every Christmas. Now, that I’m low carb I make my own peppermint treats.
This could probably also be used as a fat bomb for those that do the keto diet, especially is you left off the chocolate.
Low Carb Peppermint Patties
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Splenda
2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 of a whole bar of unsweetened chocolate (no sugar at all)
2 Tbl. Spenda
1 tsp. vanilla
Start by adding the coconut oil, 1/4 cup Splenda, and the peppermint extract together in a bowl. Stir until it is as smooth as possible. Set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, put chocolate. Melt. Add to melted chocolate 2 Tbl. of Splenda and vanilla in a bowl.
In 3 to 4 cupcake liners, put the coconut mixture. Then place the chocolate mixture on top. (Mine got pretty thick so I rolled it between my hands and place the circle on top, but yours may be more pourable. Either way, the taste is not affected. ) Place in the refrigerator until solid and cold.