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." 

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! 

DIY: Hot Chocolate Dipping Spoons

Hot Chocolate Dipping Spoons!
These are perfect as a last minute gift, Christmas dessert or just to enjoy around the fire with friends and family.

Step One:
Gather your materials-
-Spoons (these can be clear or any color you want depending on what you're going for--like red, green, white, etc.)
-Melting chocolate (color ones work nicely for display!)
-Caramel or butterscotch melting drops
-Marshmallows

Step Two:
Game plan. Figure out how many of each variety you want to do, what varieties you want to do, etc.

Step Three:
Melt and dip!

Step Four:
Cool in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to make sure the chocolate hardens.

Step Five:
Wrap with clear candy wrappers or serve!

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. 

DIY: Holiday Place Settings

Check out these super fun tutorials to create these cute place settings for your holiday party!

Snowman
(BHG)

Christmas Table
(aspoonfulofsugar)

Fingerpaint Snowglobe
(craftymorning)

For the Kids
(bobunny)

Burlap
(secondchancetodream)

Dear Santa
(celebrationsathome)

White Christmas
(howtobuildit)

Ornament
(creativehome.mohawkflooring)

Pinecone
(hgtv)

Holiday Hoedown Part 2: Themes and Decorations

Classic Holiday

Your good old fashioned holiday gathering with friends, family, food and fun. Keep it simple and sweet. Adorn the tree with lights and decorations, get some festive plates, put on a classic holiday playlist and enjoy each others' company until it's time to leave! 

Giant Holly
(odds&ends)

Snowman Place Setting
(eatwell101)

Paper Christmas Tree
(WonderHowTo)

Classic Christmas Decorating Ideas
(bhg)

21 Christmas Decorating Traditions Worth Keeping
(popsugar)

Plaid Party

Plaid and Flannel from fashion to decor to tablecloths! Bring a splash of country to your holiday party and theme it with plaid. Ask guests to wear their fanciest flannels and plaid attire and decorate your place with some snazzy stripes.

Plaid Tree
(southernliving)

A Plaid Country Christmas
(majorhofftakesawife)

Plaid Reindeer
(saltandpeppermoms)

Ugly Sweater

Dawn your ugliest, comfiest holiday sweater and bring your pals over for a few beers and a wonderful time! Host an ugliest sweater contest, or even gather around to make your own ugly  sweaters!

10 Tips for Throwing an Ugly Sweater Party
(prettymyparty)

50 Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas
(ohmy-creative)

Ornament Party

Run to Michael's Crafts or your local Dollar Tree and pick up supplies to make the ultimate Christmas ornaments! Invite your friends over for crafts and cheer, make festive memories and more!

23 Homemade Ornaments
(pioneersettler)

DIY Glitter Ornaments
(createandbabble)

25+ DIY Christmas Ornaments
(notedlist)

Winter Wonderland

Whether the weather outside is frightful or it's very much delightful, turn your place into a winter wonderland to cozy up with your friends! Splashes of white, fake snow and hot cocoa are perfect to make your house merry and bright for your Winter Wonderland gathering.

Homemade Hot Chocolate 3 Ways
(foodnetwork)

Cotton Ball Snow
(hostesswiththemostess)

Banister Sledding Penguins
(relaxdecor)

Snowman Door
(thecreativestamperspot)

10 Party Themes to Try This Season
(buzzfeed)

Holiday Movie Marathon Guide

(wjud)

Types of Marathons:

“All By Myself”

This marathon is done with me, myself and I. Watch classic movies that bring you the most joy during the holiday season or spice it up by watching things that are completely new. This marathon is done on a schedule that abides by your schedule—bang it all out in a day, or make a countdown out of it.
(nextavenue)

“Significant Other”

Enjoying a cozy holiday movie with the special guy or gal in your life is a pretty sweet way to spend a snowy day. Watch your favorite holiday RomComs and snuggle close by the fire with your SO.
(cocktailswithmom)

“Family Night”

Watch movies with the fam! Whether you have little tots of your own or you’re sitting down with the whole extended crew, pop in a few of classic family favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life or a Charlie Brown Christmas.
(thesun)

“Paling Around”

Gather a couple of your pals for a night of fun, film, food and wine!
(feedblitz)

Themes:

Consider a theme for the movies you wish to watch and create “wish lists.”

  • Family
  • Classics
  • Animated
  • Feel Good
  • RomCom
  • Nostalgia
  • Advent
  • Random

The 100 Best Christmas Movies of All Time
25 Best Christmas Movies
Top 20 Christmas Movies
Best Holiday/Christmas Movies on Netflix
Lists of Christmas Films
The 50 Best Christmas Movies
Christmas Movie Collection
20 Christmas Movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime and More
11 Holiday Movies You Can Stream on Netflix

Keep Cozy Checklist:

  • Blankets
    (lovetoknow)
  • Slippers
    (lovethispic)
  • Pillows
    (pintrest)
  • Air Mattress
    (wayfair)
  • Pajamas
    (pintrest)
  • Candles
    (hdwallpapersact)

Food and Drink:

Candy Canes
(hellawella)
Christmas Cookies
(vanessafahy)
Popcorn
(busybugs)
Hot Chocolate
(loveitisallweneed)
Eggnog
(pennlive)
21 Boozy Drinks to Keep You Warm This Winter
(thisisboise)

 

Holiday Hoedown Part 1: Food and Drink

It's the most wonderful time of year! Which means it's time for wonderful parties. Check out these super cool recipes for the best party appetizers, dishes, meals, desserts, drinks and more!

Appetizers and Snacks:

Snowflake Mix
(midwestliving)

Pepper Jack Cheese Dip
(chef-in-training)

Pita Trees
(topinspired)

Baked Bacon Cheese Onion Dip
(shewearsmanyhats)

Cheese Tree
(cabot)

Whipped Feta and Spinach Dip
(thebuddingtable)

Christmas Caprese Wreath Salad
(huffingtonpost) 

Cheddar Ranch Cheese Dip
(sohowsittaste)

Christmas Penguins
(emilybirt)

Holiday Appetizer Wreath
(keyingredient)

Buffalo Chicken Dip with Zucchini
(lifemadesweeter)

Fruit Tree
(ginger-and-garlic)

Spinach Artichoke Dip
(thekitchenpaper)

Cheese Reindeer
(cutefoodforkids)

Pigs in a Blanket Wreath
(freefunchristmas)

Snowman Hard Boiled Eggs
(roxyskitchen)

Snowman Cheeseball
(cutefoodforkids)

Santa Claus Crackers
(marthastewart)

Mini Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups
(tablespoon)

Grinch Kabobs
(nourishingminimalism)

Cinnamon Sugar Pecans
(fireflytales)

Pizza Stockings
(pillsbury)

Soft Pretzel Bites
(twopeasandtheirpod)

Pepperoni Caprese Bites
(authenticburbangourmet)

Cheddar Bay Biscuits
(damndelicious)

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites
(damndelicious)

 

Side Dishes:

Baked Potato Snowman
(annabelkarmel)

Creamed Spinach Gratin
(ezrapoundcake)

Mashed Potatoes
(southernliving)

Green Bean Casserole
(campbells)

Stove Top Spinach Balls
(kraft)

Garlic and Rosemary Skillet Bread
(yellowblissroad)

Corn and Bacon Casserole
(lilluna)

Broccoli Casserole
(kristineskitchenblog)

Roasted Vegetables with Rosemary and Garlic
(yellowblissroad)

Peeta's Stuffed Cheese Buns
(yammiesnoshery)

Cream Cheese and Parmesan Asparagus Bundles
(lilluna)

Brussel Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans
(rachelschultz)

Herb Stuffing
(thehungryhousewife)

Savory Butternut Squash Soup
(town-n-country-living)

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms
(lovefoodies)

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta
(peasandcrayons) 

Buttermilk Cornbread
(chefnextdoorblog)

Two-Potato Gratin
(simplysated)

Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon
(hunwhatsfordinner)

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Caluiflower
(reneskitchenadventures)

Italian Savory Pie
(plattertalk)

 

Dinner:

Baked Rigatoni with Beef
(williams-sonoma)

Meatballs
(bettycrocker)

Home-style Roast Beef Sandwiches with Gravy
(foodnetwork)

Prime Rib
(hubpages)

Old Fashioned Holiday Ham
(foodnetwork)

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken
(tablespoon)

Stuffed Pork Chops with Roasted Grapes
(foodiecrush)

Torsi's Turkey
(food52)

Shrimp Scampi
(damndelicious)

Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream
(bhg)

Tuscan Roast Pork
(food52)

Old Fashion Roast Turkey
(bettycrocker)

Salisbury Steak
(sixsistersstuff)

Pecan Glazed Brown Sugar Pork Loin
(rockerecipes)

Beef Tenderloin with Parmesan-Herb Stuffing
(bhg)

 

Dessert:

Gingerbread Cheesecake Dip
(foodfolksandfun)

Pie Pops
(celebrationsathomeblog)

FunFetti Christmas Cookies
(the36thavenue)

Candycane Marshmallow Dip
(laurenslatest)

Salted Caramel Nut Brittle
(completelydelicious)

Chocolate Chip Cheeseball(martysmusings)

Gingerbread Cheesecakes
(cookiemonstercooking)

Pretzel Wreaths
(pillsbury)

"Healthy" Buckeyes
(halfbakedharvest)

Chocolate Pomegranate Clusters
(lexieskitchen)

Cinnamon Baked Apple
(buzzfeed)

Eggnog Pudding
(anediblemosaic)

Rum Balls
(tasteofhome)

Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars
(lovegrowswild)

Gingerbread Cookies
(foodnetwork)

Candy Cane Kiss Brownies
(lovegrowswild)

Peppermint Bark
(sallysbakingaddiction)

White Chocolate Ginger Snaps
(cookingclassy)

Soft and Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
(thedomesticrebel)

Three Ingredient Buttery Shortbread Cookies
(chewoutloud)

Drinks:

Ginger Eggnog Fizz
(babble)

30+ Fun Holiday Cocktails
(afamilyfeast)

17 Boozy Ice Cream Treats You Can Make This Holiday
(buzzfeed)

Eggnog Latte
(babble)

23 Holiday Punches You Need to Make This Christmas
(buzzfeed)