A Yule Prayer

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Happy Hanukkah!

Oh goodness, I’ve fallen way behind with blogging and I do apologize, but sometimes life gets in the way.  Holidays, Illness, Busy Work schedules, Birthday parties, you know the normal life stuff.  I promise we will resume a somewhat more normal schedule in the near future.  In the mean time, I am a few days behind in wishing some  people a very happy Hanukkah!!!

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Holiday Eats

What do you do when you leave the card with your recipe at home that you would like to blog about today?  You pull it out of your memory. I stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago I can’t remember from where.  I wrote down all the ingredients, but that’s it.  I didn’t write down the directions, so I had to kind of wing it, so it’s fitting I left that little notecard with the recipe at home on the kitchen counter to carry on with the tradition.

Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

Spinach (4 boxes of frozen or two bags of fresh)
1 can of artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
2 Boxes of cream cheese
1 small can of water chestnuts (drained and chopped)
Mushrooms (optional, but a good way to sneak in extra veggies)
Red Bell Pepper (optional, but a good way to sneak in extra veggies)
1/2 onion
1 Stick Butter
Garlic (I use 3-4 cloves)
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
1/2-1 cup of Parmesan Cheese

Thaw butter and cream cheese (and spinach if you use frozen).

Finely Chop onion, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, spinach, mushrooms, red bell pepper and garlic.

Mix all ingredients well in a large mixing bowl, you want the cream cheese and butter to be well distributed throughout the mixture..  Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Pour all ingredients into a casserole dish and sprinkle parmesan on top.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

That folks is my secret recipe. . . too yummy not to share.

Happy Eating!

 

Holiday Eats

The holidays are rapidly approaching and since Thanksgiving is a food-centric holiday I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes this week to add to your Thanksgiving table.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

Last year I was looking for a cranberry sauce recipe that was real cranberries and I stumbled upon This post from the Lemon Bowl, an easy cranberry sauce recipe.

INGREDIENTS
12 oz bag fresh cranberries
½ cup orange juice
½ cup water
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ginger

INSTRUCTIONS
Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on Low heat for 3 hours.
Using a wooden spoon, gently mash the cranberries until desired consistency is reached.

This recipe was a big hit last year and I plan on keeping it around for years to come.

Alternatives to Candy for Halloween

As another holiday approaches that focuses on pumping our children full of sugary treats I challenge you to try to avoid the pitfall of feeding our children junk, and have something to offer kids who might not be allowed to have candy because of dietary restrictions, or allergies. . .

Have you heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project? No!  I hadn’t either. . .A mom in one of my online mom’s groups brought it to our attention. . . Food Allergy Research and Education’s Teal Pumpkin Project™ promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!

Here are some ideas for non-eatable treats you can hand out. .

Stickers
Washable Tattoo’s
PlayDough
Super Bouncy Balls
Bubbles
Glow sticks, necklaces or bracelets
Card Games/Mini card games (memory, old maid, uno, etc)
Mini-Comic books
Small Figurines (dinosaurs, animals, army men)
Halloween Rubber ducks
Mini Slinkies
Matchbox Cars
Mini squirt guns
Books/Mini Books (check out thrift stores and garage sales)
DIY crafts in a bag

And if you want some food ideas for party treats. . .here are some healthier alternatives to sugar treats that children will still find fun

Brothers All Natural Fruit Crisps
Veggie Chips
Granola Bars/Breakfast Bars/ Kind Bars
Fruit Leathers or Simply Balanced Fruit Snacks
Granola Energy Balls
(Check out Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bites from Amy’s Healthy Baking)
Mini Packs of Raisins, yogurt raisins or Cranberries

If you still want to hand out candy, GREAT!  Us parents are looking for some treats to eat when the kiddo’s are in bed. But, please consider also keeping some non-candy treats on hand for the kids who still want to go trick or treating but can’t eat the candy.

DIY Dinosaur Costume

Last year I made my little one his very first homemade costume and I hope to keep up the trend this year.  There are so many cute DIY costumes out there that it’s hard to choose.  My sewing machine and I do not always get along and I actually am better at hand sewing things so last year I picked a dinosaur costume to make.  I got a little inspiration off of Pinterest and kind of winged it from there.

I happened upon an army green, dinosaur colored hoodie at Goodwill and then also found some pants that matched.  I like working with felt, so I used felt (leftover from making a Christmas tree) for the spikes, tail, and a little bit of embellishment on the pants and hoodie.  I stuffed the spikes, tail and spots with cotton balls to give them some dimension.  The whole project cost less about $10 and a few hours of evening sewing.

I started by cutting Triangles for the spikes.  I cheated and folded the fabric over so I only had to sew two sides of the triangle back together after I stuffed it with cotton balls to give it a bit of dimension.  I then attached each spike to the hoodie sewing through the inside of the hoodie to the outside so you can see the stitches inside, but when the child is in the hoodie you can’t see them from the outside.

The Tail was two pieces sewn together.  A figured out how to make a cone shape and then sewed the spikes to the cone.  Both pieces are stuffed with cotton balls. I added a piece of fabric with some velcro for a belt.  I then sewed on some spots stuffed with cotton balls on his pants and hoodie to add a little extra color and voila, a little dinosaur.

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Now I have to figure out what to turn him into this year.  Time flies in the fall and before I know it Halloween will be upon us again!