Gram’s Pumpkin Bread

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Yesterday we had our final Christmas party of the season. White Elephant, Just Dance 4, lots of food and fun times.

Our nephew got a Dublin Dr. Pepper as part of his gift, but he decided to drink it instead of making it a collectible.

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This is what we see at our feet the entire time we are hosting a party….

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and this….

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Twenty years ago (when I was only 8) my mom made me and my sister a cookbook of her Christmas recipes.

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This is one of the recipes….

1/2 cup Shortening
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Water
2 Eggs
1 cup Canned Pumpkin
1-2/3 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cloves
1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add water, eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients, add to pumpkin mixture.

Bake for 1 hour.

Servings: 12
Calories 255
Total Fat 9.5g
Total Carbohydrates 40.4g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 3.0g
Nutrition Grade C+

Today’s Leopard Find: Lux De Ville Lucky Me Kiss Lock Bag Faux Leopard with Rose Handbag Purse Retro Vintage

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

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This is the last of the holiday baking recipes. Thank goodness because I’m about ready to post salads, fruits and veggies. Still one more Christmas party to go though….

Today we took the girls to the mall to spend some of their Christmas money and gift cards. 5 hours of shopping. We went to Nordstroms, Justice, Lego, Best Buy, Target and Costco. Megan got her first pair of fancy jeans. She wasn’t happy about leaving them to get altered. Tomorrow is American Girl. :/

1-1/2 cups Sugar
2/3 cup (5 oz. can) Carnation Evaporated Milk
2 Tbs Butter
1/4 tsp Salt
2 cups Miniature Marshmallows
1-1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Line 8″ square baking pan with foil.

Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in marshmallows, chocolate, nuts and vanilla. Stir for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into baking pan; refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil.

Servings: 48
Calories 72
Total Fat 2.8g
Total Carbohydrates 11.5g
Protein 0.8g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Sperry Top-Sider Bluefish Boat Shoe Womens

Elf Shenanigans Part 3

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Well tomorrow is the day we say goodbye to the elves for a few months. At least I think it is…. The girls always have a hard time with them leaving and they leave notes begging and pleading for them to stay just a little bit longer. This one says please can you stay longer??

Here are a few or their latest escapades….

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This morning we found them riding the rooster in the kitchen and toilet paper streaming down the stairs. My camera was sitting next to them and we found numerous pictures of them rolling down the stairs in the toilet paper roll.

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They opened a brand new box of Trix and spelled out Feliz Navidad on the dining room table.

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They made miniature pancakes and a giant mess.

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They played miniature golf.

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They are in on the mustache trend.

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Hiding on the breakfast table.

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They were in the cookie jar.

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Drinking jelly beans.

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And zip-lining in the family room.

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Today’s Leopard Print Find: Fleece ML Animal Hat

Gingerbread Men Cookies

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The girls had fun decorating gingerbread men tonight. We had icing, sprinkles and marshmallows to decorate with. Looks like we will be doing this again on Christmas Eve.

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1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tbs Dark Corn Syrup
3 cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Salt

Combine butter and sugar together thoroughly. Mix in the egg. Add corn syrup and mix well.

Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Mix until just combined. Place in refrigerator for about an hour, or until chilled enough to roll and cut cookies.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough out between two pieces of wax paper and cut shapes with cookie cutter. Place on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes.

Servings: 24
Calories 163
Total Fat 8.0g
Total Carbohydrates 21.1g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Protein 1.9g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Gift Basket Coffee TEA Cookies Mug Towel Coaster Candy Candle Safari Gift

Bob’s Chocolate Fudge

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Yesterday we had another visitor…. He’s much bigger than he looks in the picture. I know the one in Montreal today was a hoax, but this thing would have no problem running off with Lily.

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This fudge was in the Christmas cookbook that my mom made for me years ago. It was a recipe that her boss used to make.

3/4 cup Evaporated Milk
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
12 large Marshmallows, or 156 small
Pinch of Salt
6 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Pecans, coarsely chopped

Lightly coat an 8″x8″ baking dish with butter.

In a medium sized pot, bring evaporated milk, sugar, butter, marshmallows and salt to boiling. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, stirring until melted.

Add vanilla and pecans.

Pour into baking dish.

Place in refrigerator for 2 hours if you want it to set faster.

Servings: 30

Calories 157

Total Fat 7.5g
Total Carbohydrates 22.3g
Dietary Fiber 0.5g
Protein 1.0g
Nutrition Grade F

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Birdkage Bowery Tea Towels, Set of 2

Granola

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Tonight we made granola gift jars. This stuff is addictive and really easy to make. Megan was in charge of decorating the jars. She used scrapbook paper to insert into the lid and tied ribbon around the outside of the lid. Taylor supervised while playing on the computer.

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8 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup Almonds, sliced
1/2 cup Pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds, shelled and toasted
1/2 cup Sweetened Coconut, shredded
3/4 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Honey
1 cup Brown Sugar, packed firmly
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread coconut on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes until browned.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Put canola oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium sized pot and heat until melted, stirring constantly. Do not over cook.

In very large bowl mix oats, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds and coconut.  Stir in sugar mixture.

Pour mix into 9″x13″ baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

This will fill about 6 pint sized mason jars.

Servings: 24
Calories 182
Total Fat 10.9g
Total Carbohydrates 19.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.0g
Protein 3.0g
Nutrition Grade C+

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Sterling Industries Leopard Jar

Martha Washington Candy

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This past weekend we went back to Merry Main Street’s Christmas in the Square. So did the rest of Frisco. The lines for the sleds, bounce houses and carriage rides were at least an hour long and we didn’t have a lot of time. So we just walked around and looked at the beautiful lights that are synced to the music. But if you wanted to wait, these are some of the things you could have seen & done…

* Watched Santa’s parachute arrival
* Lighting of the City of Frisco Christmas tree
* Kid’s Holiday Store
* Spring Creek Model Railroad Club train display
* Live reindeer
* Santa’s Workshop
* Holiday treats
* Snowflake light show
* Horse-drawn carriage rides
* Entertainment on three stages provided by Frisco Elementary Schools
* And Much More!

IMG_6152And we ran into Emma…

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My mom made these every year when I was growing up. It was a recipe that had been passed down to her. I googled it just to see if other people called it the same thing and it sure looks like this candy was quite popular back in the day. A lot of the recipes had coconut in it. I think I’ll stick with the non-coconut version.

14 oz can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 lb Bag of Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
1 stick Butter, softened
3 cups Pecans, chopped fine
12 oz Package of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cake Paraffin Wax

Mix Eagle Brand milk, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and butter together. Stir in pecans. Form mixture into 1″ balls.

Melt chocolate chips and paraffin in top of a double boiler.

Dip balls one at a time into chocolate mixture and place on wax paper.

Makes about 72 pieces
Calories 131
Total Fat 6.2g
Total Carbohydrates 19.0g
Dietary Fiber 0.6g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Betsey Johnson Crystal Leopard Heart and Black Bow Drop Earrings

Elf Shenanigans – Part 2

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The elves have been busy the last week. They took a marshmallow bubble bath in the American Girl dog tub.

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We found them riding Wilbur the pig.

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They drew silly faces on Johnny’s picture.

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They went fishing with a candy cane and caught a sparkly glitter goldfish.

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And they wrote on our Christmas foot plate…. Cookies for Santa Early Merly and Crystal. They are gonna have to wait on the cookies until I have time to make it to the store.

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Mugzie brand 16-Ounce Travel Mug with Insulated Wetsuit Cover – Snow Leopard

How to Save Your Elf

It was a rough night tonight. Taylor accidentally touched Early Merly. (that’s what they get for hiding in the garland on the stair railing) He was barely hanging on, so I used a candy cane to put him back into place. She was devastated. I told her that it would be okay, but she didn’t believe me. I tried googling to see if there was anything we could do and came up with nothing. So I called the North Pole. They said that since it was an accident, a little extra magic dust should fix him. So I donated $20 and bought Early Merly extra magic dust for tonight. Thank you to Santa for fixing our elf and not letting a little girl’s birthday be ruined tomorrow!

Today’s Leopard Print Find:  Toms Womens Classics Silver Snow Leopard

Elf Shenanigans

Our Elves on the Shelf finally came back last week. They have been busy so I thought I would share. We got Early Merly when the girls were 3. Last year he brought his girlfriend with him. They named her Crystal. They are busy little elves and so are the girls. Every night they exchange notes. The girls have made them so many clothes, they now have to travel with a little suitcase. And now that Taylor has a sewing machine, they may need a real suitcase. Last night they added a jacket and a cape to their wardrobe.

In the last week the elves made them peppermint marshmallows (pic above), they made a Christmas tree out of the dogs bones…

They raided their underwear drawer and threw them on the Christmas tree…(Taylor wasn’t a fan of this one – she wanted them down immediately before someone saw, because soooo many people walk through our living room on a Wednesday morning)

They threw laundry all over the kitchen…

Here are a couple of my favorites from last year…They decorated their bedroom…

and they made snow angels in sugar on the kitchen counter…

The girls put a lot of time and thought into their letters. Here is one that they left for the elves last year…

It’s one of their favorite parts of Christmas time (and usually they write notes begging them to stay longer – one year they stayed through Easter)

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Animal Print Santa Hat