Snack Like A Southerner: Hot Buttered Rum Cider

Hot Buttered Rum Cider
(joythebaker)

Ingredients:
3 cups spiced apple cider
1/2 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
2tbsp chilled unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark spiced rum
2tbsp fresh lemon juice
sliced apples and cinnamon sticks for garnish

Step One: "In a medium saucepan, combine cider, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes."

Step Two: "Uncover, return to medium heat, and add butter.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat, stir in bourbon and lemon juice.  Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves."

Step Three: "Add sliced apples before serving.  I like to serve the cider in mugs with cinnamon sticks for garnish." 

Holly Jolly Playlist To Get You To The Weekend

  1. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Little Big Town
  2. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms
  3. “Up On The Housetop” by Reba McEntire
  4. “Old Time Christmas” by Randy Travis
  5. “Winter Wonderland” by George Strait
  6. “Where Are You Christmas” by Faith Hill
  7. “The Christmas Song” by Trace Adkins
  8. “Merry Christmas From The Family” by Montgomery Gentry
  9. “Let It Be Christmas” by Alan Jackson
  10. “Gold And Green” by Sugarland

Snack Like A Southerner: Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark
(sallysbakingaddiction)

Ingredients:
12 ounces (339g) high quality white chocolate, broken into pieces and divided1
6 ounces (170g) high quality semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces1
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegetable, coconut, or canola oil
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
3 regular size candy canes, crushed

Step One: "Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch or 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Set aside." 

Step Two: "You can temper the chocolate or melt the chocolate without tempering. That is up to you. I melt the chocolate for this bark recipe. If tempering the chocolate, make sure the layers are never refrigerated. Allow them to set at room temperature. There are two ways you can melt the chocolate. You can use a double boiler over just barely simmering water or you can use the microwave. The double boiler is easier, but the microwave is a little more convenient for most people, so my directions are for a microwave. If you have a double boiler, you probably know how to use it! So, the KEY to melting chocolate in the microwave is to do it in small bursts and stir frequently. Chocolate overheats so fast, so easily. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of oil with 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Melt in 15 second increments, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula or spoon after each increment, until completely melted and smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl to avoid scorching. Once melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract."

Step Three: "Pour melted white chocolate into the prepared baking pan, spreading with an offset spatula into a thin smooth layer."

Step Four: "Place the baking pan in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set. If it sets completely, the bark layers could separate." 

Step Four: "Place the semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of oil into a small heatproof bowl (or the double boiler) and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Once melted, stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract."

Step Five: "Pour all of the semi-sweet chocolate over the white chocolate layer. Spread into a smooth layer. Place the baking pan back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or the freezer for about 8 minutes; or until almost completely set."

Step Six: "Place the remaining white chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a small heatproof bowl and microwave/stir in the same manner you did in step 2. Pour over the bark layers and spread into a smooth layer. (This layer will not have peppermint extract.)"

Step Seven: "Sprinkle with crushed candy canes-- to crush, I usually do it in a food processor or stick the candy canes in a sealed ziplock bag and roll with a rolling pin until crushed."

Step Eight: "Refrigerate the bark until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from the pan and peel off the foil or parchment. Break into pieces as large or as small as you want. Alternatively, you can cut squares. To do so, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10-15 minutes. Use a very sharp knife and cut."

Thanks, Sally's Baking Addiction! 

For the Fancy Redneck On Your Nice List 2016

The holidays are quickly approaching. That means lots go shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, and making phone calls to relatives that you forgot you had. It's still a spectacular time to be had by all. 

Here's a simple gift guide to help you this season to buy for the fancy redneck in your life!

Gift Cards

Purchasing a Gift Card for someone can often times be misunderstood as impersonal, but let's be honest, Gift Cards are awesome for both the giver and the receiver. Gift Cards allow for people to buy someone a gift they will actually like via proxy.

CA$H MONEY

Yeah, this one is super impersonal, but seriously, for the college student you know, he/she will rejoice at having some extra spending money.

 

Redneck Couture

Shameless plug, but Redneck Couture has quality apparel and jewelry for the fancy redneck in you. We have released three new Boot Bling designs this year, and we have twenty different tassel color options--perfect for special occasions, bridesmaids, or matching school colors.

Amazon

Seriously. This site has everything. Amazon comes equipped with really useful suggestions, recommendations and deals as well. If you know your friend works out a lot, get them a water bottle that can also be a wallet. Does your mom love the idea of making spaghetti out of a zucchini? Boom get her a Veggetti machine that can literally turn any vegetable into delicious "pasta."

Veggetti Pro
(amazon)

Kangaroo Bottle
(amazon)

Etsy

If you're looking for cute, quirky, and crafty items for someone special, Etsy is the place to check out.

Money Soap
(etsy)

Tip:

Buzzfeed and Pinterest are great aggregators for Gift Lists. They have categories and lists for every single person on your list. Don't be afraid to give them a scroll.

Tip:

KEEP IT SIMPLE. More often than not, simple and useful gifts are pretty spectacular ones. If you feel that you don't know someone enough, or that someone has everything, you can probably just do something simple.

Tip:

Timing is everything. Shop on weekdays. This way stores aren't as zany and crowded. If you find yourself shopping on the weekend, go really early in the morning.

Tip:

I'm a really big Dollar Tree supporter. Go there. You can find everything you need to wrap this year: really cute wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, gift tags, tissue paper, tape, scissors, etc.

Tip:

BUDGET! Come up with a "Nice List" of people that you plan on buying for this year. Then, come up with a budget. How much can you afford to spend on gifts this year? Then divide it up amongst the people on your list.

 

Tip:

Buy cards! If you aren't doing gifts this year, and even if you are, get cards for the special people in your life. Everyone likes a card, and it will make them feel like you were thinking of them.

Tip:

Free shipping is the best kind of shipping. Shop at websites like Redneck Couture, Mod Cloth, Amazon, Apple and even Target. Some websites require minimum purchase amounts to qualify for free shipping (like Apple), but more often than not, you're already going to be spending that minimum anyway. Also, stores like Walmart and Target allow for you to pick the items up in stores--so you don't have to pay for shipping.

Tip:

Organize your gifts. I'm the type of person that keeps her life in Excel sheets. Be organized when it comes to your shopping, because it will keep you on budget and on time. Make sure you know how much you're spending, where you're spending it, and what/who you are spending it on.

Tip:

Keep every receipt. Again, I do this for everything in general, but for the holidays I keep an envelope of receipts from my holiday shopping. This allows you to figure out when and where you bought stuff, and makes returns simpler. 

Tip:

Get gift receipts and put them in the boxes. This is especially true if you purchase clothing for someone.

Tip:

If the person has never mentioned it, he/she probably doesn't want it or need it.

Tip:

Make gifts! Don't spend more money on DIY projects than you would on the actual purchased item, but sometimes it's fun to make a gift with a personal touch. Pinterest has an endless amount of ideas.

Holly Jolly Playlist To Get You To the Weekend

  1. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by Reba McEntire
  2. “Rocking Around The Christmas Tree” by LeeAnn Rimes
  3. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Carrie Underwood
  4. “Christmas In Dixie” by Alabama
  5. “Silent Night” by Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire
  6. “Dear Santa” by Tim McGraw
  7. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Lady Antebellum
  8. “The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong
  9. “Santa I’m Right Here” by Toby Keith
  10. “A Christmas Letter” by Keith Whitley

Snack Like a Southerner: Cheese Tree

(cabotcheese)

Ingredients:
-5 8oz bars sharp cheddar, provolone, mozzarella, etc. (You could replace one of the blocks of cheese with some pepperoni or salami)
-Fresh thyme sprigs
-Grape cherry tomatoes or olives
-1 mushroom

Step One:
Cut cheese/meat into cubes or slices.

Step Two:
On a large platter or cutting board, arrange cheese/meat, tomatoes and thyme into tree.

Step Three:
Peel mushroom and cut into a star pattern. Place on at the top of the tree. 

Playlist to Get You to the Weekend

1. "Santa I'm Right Here" by Toby Keith

2. "The Christmas Shoes" by Newsong

3. "Up on the Housetop" by Reba McEntire

4. "O Come All Ye Faithful" by Anne Murray

5. "Candy Cane Christmas" by Darius Rucker

6. "The Christmas Guest" by Johnny Cash

7. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Joe Nichols

8. "Please Come Home for Christmas" by Gary Allan

9. "Winter Wonderland" by Brooks and Dunn

10. "Til Santa's Gone (Milk and Cookies)" by Clink Black

Country Christmas!

Here's your guide for the ultimate country music Christmas!

Cheers, It's Christmas by Blake Shelton
(wiki)

Now That's What I Call Country Christmas! by Various Artists
(amazon)

Bluegrass & White Snow: A Mountain Christmas by Patty Loveless
(amazon)

Joy to the World by Faith Hill
(adoremusbooks)

On This Winter's Night by Lady Antebellum
(amazon)

Christmas With Nashville by the Nashville cast
(amazon)

Once Upon a Christmas by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
(dollyparton)

White Christmas by Martina McBride
(wiki)

Light of the Stable by Emmylou Harris
(amazon)

The Classic Christmas Album by Elvis Presely 
(amazon)

A Rocky Mountain Christmas by John Denver
(amazon)

Christmas Time Down South by the Charlie Daniels Band 
(amazon)

A Carolina Christmas by the Marshall Tucker Band
(amazon)

A Merry Little Christmas by Lady Antebellum
(amazon)

A Honky Tonk Christmas by Alan Jackson
(genius)

Christmas Strait To You by George Strait
(musictoday)

All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan by Kenny Chesney
(amazon)

The King's Gift by Trace Adkins
(amazon)

Christmas by Brad Paisley
(amazon)

Christmas in the Country by Various Artists
(amazon)

Country Christmas Eve
(oaksdiscography)

The Spirit of Christmas by Michael W. Smith and Friends
(amazon)

Christmas the Cowboy Way by Riders in the Sky
(amazon)

A Traditional Christmas by Joe Nichols
(allmusic)

The Season for Romance by Lee Ann Womack
(rhapsody)

Beyond the Season by Garth Brooks
(drew-fuller)

Stuff To Get the Fancy Redneck On Your Nice List

1. Redneck Couture

Okay, so here's some self promotion, but seriously...we are the fanciest of fancy redneck apparel. Get a pair or two of Boot Bling, some rad tanks and tees or a cozy cardigan to keep you warm this holiday season! Redneck Couture is a small business that is designed, made and shipped from the US. Shipping is always free and satisfaction is guaranteed!
 

2._____ of the Month Club

Gift cards are an excellent gift to give to the person who is super difficult to shop for, but a subscription to a month club is a gift that keeps on giving and allows someone the opportunity to try new things that you know he or she will enjoy! 

Search for the Perfect Month Club
(clubsgalore)

Craft Beer Club
(craftbeerclub)

Cheese of the Month Club
(amazingclubs)

Variety of the Month Club
(amazingclubs)

3. Concert Tickets

Give the gift of music and a rad time this holiday season and purchase tickets for the country music junkie in your life! Check out tour dates, purchase a couple of tickets and wrap them up with a CD from the artist.
Country Concerts 2016
Country Music Festivals 2016

(theodysseyonline)

4. DIY Gifts 

Create something cute, sweet, simple, fun, expensive, ridiculous or original! There are plenty of incredible DIY gifts to give this holiday season and are perfect for everyone on your list from significant others, family, friends, to neighbors and coworkers!
25 DIY Insanely Cute Projects That Will Fill You With Joy
28 DIY Candles That Will Help You Brave the Cold
DIY Homemade Gifts for Christmas
25 Favorite Neighbor Gift Ideas
Adult Hot Chocolate Kit
25 DIY Gifts You Can Make in Under an Hour
25 Gifts for Kids to Make This Christmas
50+ Inexpensive Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas

5. Cash

(gardendalefleamall.com)
Yes, it seems to be one of those "impersonal" gifts, but trust me anyone would be happy to open a big box of green this holiday season. 

6. Gift Cards

(pelicanweb) Okay, again this may seem impersonal, but at the same time it allows the grad to be in control of what he/she receives in the respect of what he/she needs. Gas? Clothes? School supplies? Groceries? Furniture? Try these fine places for gift cards!
Amazon
Staples
Pier 1
Amtrak
Walmart
Redneck Couture
Old Navy
Best Buy
Ulta
Gas Cards
Spotify
iTunes
FYE
Visa
Starbucks
Kohls
Bath and Body Works
Bed, Bath and BEYOND
hh Greg
AMC or Regal
Fandango
Target
Barnes & Noble
DSW
Marshall's
Home Goods
Dick's Sporting Goods
VistaPrint

7. Streaming Subscription

(tomsguide)
Binge watching TV shows may be a New Years' resolution, so give the gift of entertainment with a Netflix, Amazon or Hulu subscription.

8. Chargers

Keep the techy redneck happy with chargers! 
>Portable chargers for the car
(Buy It Here)
>Wireless charger
(Info Here)
>Case charger
(Buy It Here)

9. Shotglasses, Drinkware and Boozy Accessories

Funny Flasks
(spencers)
Check out our other gift guides here, here, here, here and here for more ideas and suggestions! Have a happy holiday!

Snack Like a Southerner: Snowflake Mix

(midwestliving)

Ingredients:
-3cups rice cereal (Chex)
-3cups corn cereal (Chex)
-1cup small pretzel twists or sticks
-1cup honey roasted peanuts
-2 12oz pkgs white baking pieces
-1 12oz pkgs mint flavored M&Ms

Step One:
In a large bowl combine cereal, pretzels, peanuts and M&Ms.

Step Two:
Melt white chocolate.

Step Three:
Pour melted chocolate over dry ingredients, coat. Dump contents of bowl onto a large piece of waxed paper.
Cool and break into pieces.