Welp guys, sorry I haven’t been posting Christmas cookies and treats like I’m supposed to be doing.

I’m the worst.

I wish I could be one of those bloggers who had hundreds of posts lined up and ready to be published. Nope, I have exactly none. I pretend it’s because I like to live in the moment and blog about what my heart wants me to. But let’s be real, I’m just a horrible procrastinator. Like I said, I am the worst.

So yeah, my husband came home a couple weeks ago. On Thanksgiving, actually. It’s quite a different experience this time around. Last time he returned from Afghanistan  – because of how the war was going and probably because it was his first deployment – things were just bad. Just really, really bad. 

This time, it’s been really easy. It kind of just seems like he’s been gone for a week instead of 9 months. Whereas last time, it took us about 7 months to get to a good place. It’s crazy different and I’m very grateful for it. 

But I’m finally here with a Christmas treat! I’ve been meaning to make Saltine Toffee for years and years but I always run out of time and energy – finally managed to get it done this year! And I added peanut butter because why not? And peanut butter M&Ms because… duh.

It’s delicious. And I hate Saltines with a fiery passion. But the sugar mixture and then the peanut butter and then the chocolate… it’s just sweet and salty and I love it. 

I do have more Christmas-y recipes coming. Hopefully.I’ve had several cookie fails lately so we’ll see. I’ve got a drink coming for sure. Don’t even worry about that.

Click for the full recipe

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If you do nothing else today, go to Starbucks, get a White Peppermint Mocha and then email me and tell me every single detail. 

I haven’t had a single red cup yet. Can you believe it? I’m currently avoiding Starbucks because I know I’ll get talked into gingerbread loaf or cranberry bliss bars or my favorite blueberry muffins. And you guys, DAYS from now my husband will be home. I can’t be stuffing my face with muffins. 

Guess what y’all! I got my car back! It was such a mess. But I got it back! 

You guys know I live on Fort Carson. So to get to my house you have to go through an ID check point. It’s really not a huge deal to get on post even if you’re not military. I mean, the ice cream man gets through, the UPS guys, I even saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile go through once. But for whatever reason the dealership shuttle guy couldn’t get through. Even though they had assured me days before that he could.

So the girl at the dealership was all, “I’ll just have my boyfriend pick you up.”

And now, looking back at it, I realize that she was just being super duper helpful and wanted to do whatever she could to get me my car. 

But at the time… 

At the time, I was convinced I was about the be kidnapped. Like, seriously convinced. Like, searching through my husband’s Army closet looking for something to put in my purse that could be used as a weapon.

Yeah, this is how my brain works. So I tweeted my BFF so someone would know what happened if I disappeared and then had a massive panic attack that I then convinced myself was a heart attack.

This went on all day.

I don’t even know what to do with myself. 

So they ended up sending the poor technician out to get me and all my children because by this time all of them were home. The poor guy got stuck in traffic for an hour then got stuck at the gate getting searched forever and then had to endure a 30 minute car ride of my children whisper-screaming at each other. I totally happy cried when he pulled my car around.

And then I sad cried when I paid the bill.

Anyway, back to white chocolate and peppermint! I made Chex Mix! Well, kind of. It’s really just Chex cereal covered in white chocolate and crushed peppermints. Super simple, my favorite winter flavor combination, AND it will hold you over while you wait for the White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles to show up in the grocery stores. 

 

Click for the full recipe

14

Okay guys, who’s been watching Once Upon a Time since the beginning?

I think I mentioned that I was obsessed with it and I watched all of season 1 within a day and a half or something ridiculous like that.

But now I’m stuck on season 2. Because Mulan’s there. And I had it in my brain that only classic fairy tale characters were allowed in Once Upon a Time and dangit, Mulan doesn’t belong there!

And Frankenstein. Frankenstein shouldn’t be there either!

What is happening.

Then I went to the IMDB page for the show, and I see what appears to be the Frozen girls? In really bad wigs? Stop, just stop.

Tell me, is it worth continuing? I’m just not into it like I was and it’s kind of depressing because I have the worst time finding new shows to watch.

Speaking of dressing up in bad wigs, Halloween is just over a week away and I cannot be more excited. Mostly because I gave up wine in an attempt to lose the 10 pounds of tacos and wine I’ve put on since July and I’m totally allowing myself some before/during/after trick-or-treating. Because kids. Kids everywhere. Kids ringing the doorbell. Eep.

If you’ve got a Halloween party coming up, I’ve got the perfect thing for you to make! Who doesn’t love a layer dip? Especially if it’s dressed up as a Jack-O-Lantern?!

Click for the full recipe

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One way I know that I am getting old is that I no longer like candy corn.

Like, it was only a couple years ago that I had one of my friends over to make those homemade butterfingers out of candy corn because our husbands said they didn’t like candy corn and we were all “WUT?! YOU DON’T LIKE CANDY CORN?!”

So obviously, we needed to trick them into eating (and enjoying) candy corn.

But now, bleh.

I even bought all those fun ones that came out this year. Pumpkin Spice, Caramel something-or-another, S’mores.

Nope. Hated all of them.

But I do love regular foods dressing up to look like candy corn. I made these cookies a few years ago and I absolutely had to make these Candy Corn Pudding Pops this year because I’m currently eating Fudgesicles like it’s my job and I figured these were kind of close to that.

Super simple – you use box pudding mixes and then you just layer them in popsicle molds and freeze overnight. These don’t taste like candy corn (if you can find candy corn pudding, go for it) but I used a cheesecake pudding for the white layer (white chocolate would also work) and then french vanilla with food coloring for the other two layers.

They turned out super cute and my kids were obsessed.

Click for the full recipe

24

How excited are you for 4th of July fireworks?!

The kids and I are headed down to Alabama for the 4th and I am so stoked! In Colorado, we’re always under a fire ban – we’re not even allowed to do sparklers! And then Fort Carson always schedules a big 4th of July fireworks show but it always gets postponed until September when fires are less of an issue. Colorado is a really weird place to live.

So every 4th of July, I buy the kids glow sticks and they run around the backyard like maniacs as soon as it gets dark.

But not this year! This year they’ll finally see fireworks!

I made some jello to celebrate! I know, jello on a food blog. I’m sorry.

But look! It’s red, white, and blue AND cut into cute little stars. If you’ve got a 4th picnic to go to, you should definitely consider making these. They’re so festive and really simple to make!

Red, White, and Blue Jello Stars

adapted from Our Best Bites

Ingredients

2 3-ounce packages red jello
2 3-ounce packages blue jello
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Instructions

  1. Spray 4 small square containers nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Bring 5+ cups of water to a boil. Combine 1 c. boiling water with 1 package of Jello, stirring until dissolved. Place the dissolved Jello in one of the prepared containers. Repeat with the remaining packages of Jello. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferable overnight.
  3. When the Jello has set, bring another 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil. While the water is heating, sprinkle 2 packets of unflavored gelatin over 1/2 c. of cold water. Allow to stand for about 4 minutes. When the water has come to a boil, pour 1 1/2 cup boiling water over the dissolved gelatin and stir to combine. Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully cut the colored Jello into cubes and gently toss to combine in the 9×13-inch pan. Pour the cooled milk mixture over the colored Jello. Press down any jello cubes that are sticking too far out of the white mixture.
  5. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill overnight. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to carefully cut stars out of the jello. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
http://fakeginger.com/2014/06/24/red-white-blue-jello-stars/

 

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