A Holly, Jolly Christmas …

“It’s the best time of the year!” 

This Christmas season we had an enchanting, never to be forgotten time when the “the fates allowed” … and our whole family spent a week together in Branson, Missouri. 

We went to Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas” the first day of our vacation and we were “dazzled” with over 6.5 million lights, walk-through tunnels, a 5 story special-effect Christmas tree, and the most stunning Christmas lights and displays we’ve ever seen!

Christmas tunnel.jpgThe entire amusement park was “bejeweled”and the trees were wound and draped in lights.
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We drank Christmas wassail and hot chocolate and wandered the pathways strewn with lights and Christmas decorations …

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Watched Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Christmas Parade.

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Saw Santa and Mrs. Claus in a Christmas sleigh loaded with toys.

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And PaPa and Grandma even rode some of the amusement rides and roller coaster’s with both our children and grandchildren! (:

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 Each day of our week was filled with memories … Christmas movies, shopping, a visit and pictures with Santa Claus … bowling, go-carts, lazer tag, bumper cars, and wall climbing … and a magical evening aboard Branson’s Scenic Railroad on The Polar Express, complete with book reading, elves hopping on the train between stops, sugar cookies and cups of hot chocolate, and at last … a visit from Santa!  He surprised us when he suddenly appeared in our train car with a “Ho, ho, ho!  Our grandchildren were spell bound and he spent some time with each child, solemnly telling them when he handed each their shiny, silver, bell  … “that they would always here it ring, as long as they believed.”

Fun Mountain collage

“Christmas memories of happy years gone by/They come back to me and keep me warm inside/Oh they mean so much to me/Those Christmas memories make me cry.” ~ “Christmas Memories” by Alabama

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 And now … a simple treat that looks like it came straight from the North Pole!  Chocolate covered marshmallow pop with a peppermint handle and lots of sprinkles … perfect for dunking and melting into mugs of hot cocoa while waiting for the New Year to arrive! 

closeup mmallows

So simple and fun to “assemble.”

Ingredients needed:

    • Large marshmallows (I used Campfire Giant Roasters)
    • Milk chocolate Almond Bark
    • Peppermint sticks and/or peppermint and chocolate peppermint sticks
    • Assorted sprinkles
    • Cellophane bags with ties
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Directions:

  1. Cover kitchen counter or cookie sheet with wax paper or foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Melt chocolate according to directions on package
  3. Insert a peppermint stick into center of each marshmallow
  4. Dip marshmallow into melted chocolate and swirl to cover bottom half of marshmallow with melted chocolate
  5. Sprinkle nonpareils on the chocolate before it hardens
  6. After chocolate has hardened, place marshmallow pops into cellophane bags, or place unwrapped marshmallow pops on a tray or candy dish to serve with cocoa.

“Have a holly, jolly Christmas

And in case you didn’t hear

Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas”

This year”

Burl Ives

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Bunny Tablescape and Easter Desserts … Carrot-patch Cupcakes & Cottontail Spice Cookies

“Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!”

Today was a glorious Easter and celebration of Resurrection Day!  Our day was spent rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection and also reflecting on the gift of everlasting life that Jesus has given to all that believe that He is God’s Son.

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(Our front yard and neighbor’s yard with beautiful Azalea Majestic and Flowering Dogwood)

 Before this day is over, I wanted to share this sweet bunny tablescape with you.  It all began with this soft brown table runner with white fuzzy bunny’s from TJ Maxx.

bunny runner

I was thrilled when I saw how well the bunny runner matched the embroidered napkins I had already ordered, made by Mud Pie.  The napkins were “almost” too cute to use, edged with white pom-poms and the word “HAPPY” sewn on each napkin!

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  I slipped each napkin into little grapevine wreaths that I made into napkin rings.  They seemed like the perfect pairing since they are trimmed in green ivy and blossoms … which every bunny loves!

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White serving pieces, also from Mud Pie add to the whimsy and “hoppy” theme of the table.

back view

White Porcelain dishes edged with swags of pink rosebuds are piled into a favorite bunny crate and are ready to be placed at each setting.

napkins

Silver Cutlery looks elegant even casually “bunched” into a matching flower vase and are ready to be passed around the table.

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Time for desserts! … chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting are sprinkled with ground graham cracker crumbs dyed with Wilton Green paste dye to look like grass.  A foil wrapped carrot, with the foil removed from the tip of the carrot is inserted into the chocolate frosting to look like Mr. McGregor’s carrot patch!

cupcakes.jpgInstructions for dying Graham Cracker Crumbs

  1. To blend the paste dye into the graham cracker crumbs, add dye to a small amount of water and stir water to blend
  2.  Pour the tinted water into a ziploc bag filled with graham cracker crumbs
  3. Knead the bag until the color spreads throughout the crumbs, adding more dye as needed.
  4. After crumbs are the desired color, spread crumbs on rimmed cookie sheet and place in 275 degree oven until moisture is removed, 10 – 15 minutes.
  5. Remove crumbs from oven and let cool before sprinkling on cupcakes

cake platter

Speaking of Mr. McGregor’s carrot patch … Here’s a sweet little Peter Rabbit vignette I have displayed in my Music Room.  These Wedgewood dishes are made in England and were just the right size for our daughter’s little hands and tea parties!  Each dish is painted with Beatrix Potter’s charming pictures and inscribed with the words from her book “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”  This is also a little teaser to one of my next blog’s all about … “Spring Vignette’s!” (;

Peter Rabbit

 

Back to the desserts!  Cottontail Spice cookies are “Cake Mix” Cookies and they are delicious and so easy to make!

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Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. To any cake mix (I used a Spice Cake mix) just add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup of oil
  3. Mix ingredients together and scoop cookie dough onto a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper
  4. Bake approximately 9 minutes
  5. Remove from oven and cool for 1 minute before placing cookies on wax paper to finish cooling.
  6. Top with choice of frosting, using a decorator bag and tip.

 

Every bunny welcome!  

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Hope your Easter was filled with blessings and “sweet” endings!

From my cottage to your’s ~  Trenda

 

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Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake.com