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Cranberry Pecan White Chocolate Fudge

Confession time: I’m horrible at candy making. 

I’ve tried making fudge time after time after time, and most of those times, it turns out to be a goopy mess or burnt. 

But this fudge? 

Cranberry Pecan Fudge

It. Turned. Out. Perfectly!

I was so shocked. 

It’s not too bad in the taste department, either.

Alright, alright, it’s downright delicious. 

Cranberry Pecan White Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 cups of white chocolate
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons of whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, chopped

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 pan with aluminum foil. Spray with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Add white chocolate to a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, salt, orange zest, and heavy cream over medium high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Allow it to cook for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Working quickly, pour the mixture into the mixing with the white chocolate.
  5. Beat on medium speed until the chocolate is melted and is completely smooth (about 1 - 2 minutes).
  6. Fold in the pecans and cranberry sauce.
  7. Pour into the pre-lined pan. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours or until fudge has hardened.
  8. Then, cut into squares and enjoy.

Notes

Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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Multiple Christmas Tree Disorder

That’s right. I’m just going to go on ahead and put this out there:

I suffer from. . . .  

Multiple Christmas Tree Disorder

Multiple Christmas Tree Disorder.

You read that right. I’m so embarrassed :/ It’s just not normal!

It started out innocently enough when I was a teen and decided that I wanted my own tree in my own bedroom. A little 48 inch tree from the dollar store with an angel on top, but I loved it. 

Then, I started decorating a couple of family members’ trees every year. . . . Which was fun, but it just made it worse.

Fast forward 15-ish years and the madness has descended upon us. . . . A tree in nearly every room. And the sad thing?

That’s not all of them. These are only the ones that I put out this year.  Oh, it is true madness worthy of entry into any psych manual.

Decide for yourself. . . .

There’s the Little Bathroom Tree:

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 The Flower Tree:

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 The Kitchen Tree:

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 The Hot Mama Tree, which is a black with pink, gold, and leopard print ornaments. . . . truly Hot Mama-ish:

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One guess whose bedroom it’s in. . . . My grandmother’s, and surprisingly she loves her tree.

The Turquoise Tree:

IMG_2858The Dogs’ Tree:

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Which is also the tree in my bedroom. But the dogs love it. Oldest weimaraner Hunter lays on the bed and gazes at it. And Sophie? Well, she sneaks at least one ornament off of it every single night and sleeps with it. I kid you not. So far, none have been chewed up, broken, or met their demise in any other way. 

And the Great Room Tree:

IMG_2914Any more ornaments and we’ll need a bigger tree. In fact, I think we may already be there. 

But it’s my favorite. Mostly because of just that reason – it’s packed to the brim with all of the keepsake ornaments.

Some were bought because they had special meaning that year:

IMG_2667Like the year that I wrote a high seas novel. . . . and quit just a few chapters short of the ending. 

Some are from many years ago:

IMG_2677It’s probably at least 30 years old and Santa’s car is missing two wheels, but it’s one of my favorites and I always try to find the perfect spot for it.

Some were picked out by my little cousins as their special ornaments for that year:

IMG_2673Some were handmade by loved ones:

IMG_2682And a few are from this year:

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 That’s my Christmas trees. . . . . For this year. 

There are always those after Christmas sales to look forward to, and who knows what will be added to the collection for next year. Oh, the horror.

Tune in next year for the continuing story. 

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Sweet & Spicy Cranberry Meatballs

These meatballs are always a major hit, and are usually completely devoured the same day. No leftovers with these babies!

Cranberry Meatballs

With good reason, cause they’re delicious. And did I mention, easy?
I’m not usually a big meatball fan (of eating them or making them), but even I can handle this. 

Now, I should mention that this recipes says it will yield 40 meatballs, but that’s more of an at least statement. At least 40 meatballs. Because there were 40 when I counted as I was putting them into the sauce. . . . We had each already sampled at least one by then. Yes, they were that good. 

Sweet & Spicy Cranberry Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 40

Ingredients

  • Meatballs:
  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, chopped dried cranberries, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  3. Shape into balls about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in size. Should make at least 40 meatballs.
  4. Place meatballs on a rack that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil in a shallow baking pan.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until centers are no longer pink.
  6. Remove from oven and place on a paper towel to drain.
  7. Sauce:
  8. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, cranberry sauce, hot sauce, orange zest, water, salt, and pepper.
  9. Cook on medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the jelly from the cranberry sauce has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
  10. Add meatballs to sauce, stirring gently to make sure each one is covered with it. Once the meatballs are heated through, enjoy.
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DIY Glitter Pine Cones

*This post contains affiliate links.

Yesterday, I posted about making scented pine cones. So, today it’s time to get all sparkly and make glitter pine cones. 

I love these things, but I’m part magpie that way. Or maybe I’ve just watched too many episodes of Gypsy Sisters and have developed an appreciation for all things glittery and blinged out. 

No matter, these colorful babies are everywhere.

They’re in bowls. . . .

DIY Glitter Pine Cones

 

On plates. . . . 

IMG_2845

And in my bedroom.

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Supplies Needed:

Pine Cones

Glitter (in your preferred colors)

Spray Adhesive (such as Elmer’s Spray Adhesive)

Aluminum Foil (or Wax Paper)

Disposable Gloves

Ziploc Bags

First, gather together as many pine cones as you want. You can get them from craft stores, Walmart, Big Lots, dollar stores, or if you’re like and love anything free, from the yard. 

Which is exactly what I set out to do a few days ago, and after just a couple of minutes walking around our yard, I ended up with an armload plus some of project material. Which was great until I noticed a buzzing against my arm. Completely thinking that it had to be some gigantic stinging insect attached to said project material, I was on the verge of dumping every last carefully gathered pine cone when it dawned on me.

Not a bee. Not a wasp. Nor any other type of bug.

Nope. It was my Fitbit. One of those pesky little pine cones must’ve been bumping it as I walked.

Yeah, what can I say? It was a ditzy moment. But back to our glittery project. . . . 

If you picked your pine cones up outside, it’s a good idea to sanitize them by baking on a foil lined cookie sheet in a 200F degree preheated over for at least 30 minutes.

IMG_2779 Once, they’re cooled, take them outside cause this is the messy part and there will be glitter and glue everywhere. 

I placed mine on a piece of aluminum foil to protect the table I was working on, but you can use anything you have on hand. . . old newspaper, wax paper, cardboard, etc. 

Wearing gloves (because seriously, you’ll have glue and glitter all over your hands if you don’t), spray the pine cones one at a time with the adhesive. 

Then, place in a ziploc with the glitter of your choice. . . . 

I chose three different colors: gold, turquoise, and white.

IMG_2784

 

Once in the sealed ziploc bag, shake it. Shake it like a polaroid picture!

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Once each pine cone is sufficiently glitterized to your tastes, let them air dry on the aluminum foil and voila!

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