Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Pretzel, A Kiss, A M&M and More....

Well, another day spent in the kitchen and out running errands as we get ready to leave in the morning for Minneapolis to celebrate Christmas with my family. We start at 8:00 am with breakfast and go until well after supper. It is always a great day!! I made a few extra snacks to have around while we are there. One thing I made is a pan of the caramel Rice Krispie treats and I am SO PROUD to say that I did not even sample them!!! This may not seem like a big thing to you, but trust me, it is!!

I made a batch of these: If you have never made them, they are so easy and taste great. A perfect treat to do make with young kids! You need:
1 bag of Holiday Ring Pretzels (I use Old Dutch)
1 bag of Hershey Kisses
1 bag of M&M's

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place pretzels on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Place Hershey kiss inside each pretzel. Place in oven for 3-4 minutes... until chocolate is soft. Remove and press one M&M into chocolate. Place in fridge until hardened. You can vary this with all the fun Kisses and Hugs that are available now!!

We got the popcorn and cranberries strung as we watched "It's A Wonderful Life". What a great movie. I always get a little teary eyed at the end when all of George's friends show up to help. Reminds me of all the wonderful friends and family that I have been blessed with as well!! (Not that they've ever given me $8000.00.......)

Now the tree is complete!! Doesn't the popcorn and cranberries add?? We have strung popcorn and cranberries every year since we got married. It has been fun over the years to see the kids' strings get longer and longer. (When they were little, I would tie all of theirs together for the top layer!!!) This year Kirstin was the fastest and longest.... It is the bottom string.
No small feat!!! (She is quite proud!!)

Sumo was on hand to help with any stray popcorn kernels that might need to be eaten.
(If only he had opposable thumbs, he could actually help us string it as well!!!)

I think I may have accidently started a new tradition on popcorn/cranberry night. Under intense pressure, I caved and made a batch of homemade caramel rolls. (Didn't even start them until 7:00 tonight!!) These are made with the Swedish Tea Ring recipe, except for, instead of making the ring, you roll up the dough and slice them into 12 rolls. For the caramel you need 1/3 cup butter; 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 TBSP white Karo syrup . Melt butter in microwave. Stir in the brown sugar and Karo syrup. Heat in microwave another minute or so until nice and creamy. Place in greased 9x13 pan and put rolls on top. (I like to use a glass pan so I can keep a close eye on how done they are) Let rise and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (Watch closely... you want them to be quite brown so they aren't doughy!!) Flip onto jelly roll pan or cutting board. Best warm.....

Well, off to finish packing. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

Until Next Time.....


meg said...

Thanks for the pretzel idea..I have been looking for fun things to do with my three year old. He will love it!
Enjoy your celebrations. I DO know you will be eating well:)
Love the picture of your dog with popcorn garland!

Deborah said...

Not good to be salivating so early in the morning over sweets!

Your goodies look scrumptuous!

Bonnie D. said...

My friend makes the pretzels every year with pretzels that are a teardrop shape. She calls them reindeer ears and does them with both white and traditional chocolate. Yummy!

Shelley said...

Oh my have got the BEST recipes!!! That pretzel one I should try to find those kind of pretzels and make them for the kids in my Sunday school class...course there is never more than 4 or 5 of them, so extra's would be for me LOL! Though I'd probably be more than willing to share ;o)

Sumo looks so cute! I bet he enjoyed the extra popcorn he could find!

The tree looks great! Love the popcorn & cranberry strings. I helped my friend do some popcorn ones a couple years ago...that is harder than it seems - trying not to crack the popcorn pieces in half! Was fun though.

hakucho said...

I love the hersey kiss pretzel youngest would absolutely love them!! I may try to make them...they look easy enough.
Your tree is beautiful with the popcorn and cranberries. It looks like a old fashioned tree! Do you put the tree outside after you take it down and let the birds have a new year feast? I have always wanted to do that!
As always thanks for your recipes and have a safe trip and a wonderful Christmas with your family!

Happy knitting :)

Allison said...

I want to come to your house for Christmas! Everything looks so yummy!

AR said...

Our dog would have scarfed that popcorn right up. I love those pretzel candies, we made a bunch last year, I almost forgot those this time. Thanks for the reminder!!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!!