Tag Archives: christmas

1 Dough, 4 Christmas Cookies

Save yourself some kitchen time this holiday season - this one dough recipe makes four different kinds of Christmas cookies! I love Christmas and the holiday season and all of the delicious and fun things that this time of year brings into my life. That being said, it's also a super busy time and I like to make sure that I'm using my time wisely. I'm making all kinds of slow cooker and one-pot meals this time of year so that I can spend more time baking cookies, celebrating with friends and family, sending out Christmas cards, and teaching my kids Continue Reading →


Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies

A dip in chocolate and some festive sprinkles turn year-round favorite peanut butter cookies into a delicious Christmas treat. I don't traditionally think of peanut butter cookies as Christmas cookies, but they are one of my all-time favorite cookies, so I thought it would be awesome to make Christmas peanut butter cookies! When you dip the cookies in a bit of melted chocolate and add a few festive sprinkles, you turn a year-round favorite into a tasty seasonal treat perfect for a party! And can we just talk about how perfect that chocolate and peanut butter combo is?! Few things are more Continue Reading →


Christmas Magic Cookie Bars

Christmas Magic Cookie Bars are simple holiday treats that you can probably make without needing a trip to the store. Watch out - they're addictive!  Confession: I have an outstanding "Mom Date" with a few of my girlfriends to watch Hallmark Christmas movies every Tuesday in December. We've watched Cookie Jar and another one with Candace Cameron Bure in it so far. I'm not sure how this informal mini-tradition started, but I'm so pleased it did. We planned it at a time when the bulk of our kids would be at school or preschool. So we all show up with our Continue Reading →


No-Bake Chocolate-Covered Fluffernutter Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate-Covered Fluffernutter Cookies are simple, delicious treats that can be made in just a few minutes!  There are few things more simple or more delicious than these amazing chocolate covered fluffernutter "cookies." These go by a few names - Ritz Cookies, Cracker Cookies, New Mom Cookies, Knarr Cookies, Ho-Ho's, and a handful of other family specific names. No matter what you call them, you are going to love making and eating these simple treats. These might be a no-brainer for some people, but I actually had never had these until a few years ago, when my sister-in-law made them one Continue Reading →


Soft Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies

These soft gingerbread cut-out cookies are sweet, soft, and lightly spiced. They will quickly become a family favorite for the holidays!  Welcome to Cookie Week 2017! I'm so excited to share with you all kind of Christmas cookie inspiration this week (and next!) because this is the most wonderful time of the year indeed. Whether you are attending a cookie exchange, taking treats to work/school/a party, giving goodie plates to neighbors, or just needing a weekend baking session with your people, I have you covered. These cookie recipes are some of my all-time favorites and I can't wait for you to try Continue Reading →


My favorite things GIVEAWAY!

It's my favorite post of the year - my 2016 favorite things giveaway! Enter now to win goodies worth over $500! GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you for entering! Few things are more exciting to me than getting this annual giveaway ready for you! I have done this for a few years and it's one of my favorite ways to say thank you to you my wonderful friends and blog readers. I started blogging as a job almost exactly 5 years ago and I had no idea where this journey would take me. I'm so grateful for all of the things I Continue Reading →


2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Food, Farm, Family

This holiday gift guide is all about food, farm, and family. They are all items that you'll truly love or find useful - no clutter here!  I love a good gift guide and I love making them for you to enjoy too! I don't have a big house and I do have a lot of people in it, so when I think about bringing things into my home, I want to truly love them or for them to serve a very useful purpose. I was thinking about what to share with you, and the main topics of my blog kept coming to mind: food, farm, Continue Reading →


4 Recipes for a Perfect Pie Crust

4 Recipes for Perfect Pie Crust

This is your ULTIMATE guide to making a perfect pie crust! It has 4 great recipes - traditional, whole wheat, graham cracker & chocolate cookie crusts. I'll be the first to admit that I used to be totally intimidated by pie crust. I felt like there were too many rules, too many recipes, and too many differing opinions on what makes one crust work and another one flop. Do you use shortening, butter, or lard? For how long do you chill it? I thought that if I didn't know exactly what I was doing, I'd ruin hours worth of work because pie crust was fussy and hard. Continue Reading →


Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Shortbread Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a must make. The cookie base is a tender, sweet, and buttery shortbread cookie and it's made fancy (and pretty) by the addition of a bit of jam to the center right before cooking. I love the cooked jam in the middle! Not only is it pretty, but it tastes amazing too. I love how the jam cooks down just a little while the cookie is baking and gets a little thicker and a little stickier. These are some of my all time favorite cookies and I'm excited to be sharing them with you today. I Continue Reading →


3 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding (dairy and egg free)

My husband has been begging me to make rice pudding ever since the weather turned cold last month, and I finally made his wish come true. He and I have different dreams when it comes to rice pudding. I like mine warm and thick; he likes his cold and saucy. When it came to tasting this recipe though, we both agreed it was a keeper. 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding (dairy and egg free) is not only easy to make and has minimal ingredients, it's dairy free too. What's not to love? Let's chat about those three ingredients for a Continue Reading →


DIY Christmas Rag Wreath

I loved this project and I think my DIY Christmas Rag Wreath turned out really cute. I had this grand vision of all the ways I would style this wreath for my photos. I thought of it hanging on a pretty colored front door, gracing a vintage door handle, rocking it on a perfect mantel, and perched on the back of a dining room chair in a beautifully decorated kitchen. I started to take pictures and reality set in. I have an unpainted white door that's full of stains and finger prints (primer isn't known for great washability and the Continue Reading →


Simple Embroidered Ornaments

If you read the old blog very regularly you'll know that the embroidery bug has hit our house hard. I bought a bunch of embroidery stuff early in the year and we just keep at it! My kids are completely sold and I love it just as much as they do. We are by no means very skilled at it, but there's something so therapeutic about a little hand sewing. You know who got bit by the bug worst of all? My six-year-old son! He asks to embroider multiple times a week; it's probably the cutest thing ever. Today I'm sharing Continue Reading →


Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm (Homemade Pink Grapefruit Burt’s Bees!)

Homemade Beeswax Lip Balm is super simple to make when you get a the right ingredients and it's the perfect gift to make a bunch of and share with all of your friends. This project is part of Handmade Holiday that Cassie from Wholefully and I are working on this week, and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you. So far this week I've shared Simple DIY Beeswax Candles and Painted Sharpie Mugs (that won’t wash off!) and Cassie has made the prettiest No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf, Spicy Black Bean Soup in a Jar, and today she's sharing Continue Reading →


Simple DIY Beeswax Candles

Welcome to day two of Handmade Holiday 2015. Cassie from Wholefully and I are sharing simple handmade gifts all week long to get your crafty juices flowing! Today I'm sharing simple DIY Beeswax Candles and Cassie is sharing Spicy Black Bean Soup in a Jar. These pair nicely with yesterday's DIY No Sew Flannel Blanket Scarf and my Sharpie Mugs (that won't wash off!). It's been a lot of fun working with Cassie on this and her projects are just beautiful while still being simple. Beeswax candles are so much easier to make than you might have guessed. Not only are they Continue Reading →


Painted Sharpie Mugs (that won’t wash off!)

Handmade is so my jam, and I'm excited to bring you a whole week of simple handmade gift tutorials that you can that you can give this year! I'm starting the week off with Painted Sharpie Mugs (that won't wash off!). I've done tons of research and testing on this project and I'm confident I have the best tutorial out there! I thought I might take a little break this week from blogging because today will mark 30 straight days of blogging (!!!) and I've officially met my NaBloPoMo goal of writing/blogging every day in November. I can't believe I've made it! Continue Reading →


Homemade Graham Crackers 3 Ways: Original, Orange Dark Chocolate, and Pumpkin Spice

There are few things more delicious in life than simple buttery homemade graham crackers. I've been making homemade graham crackers for my kids for years and years, and they ask for them often. Homemade graham crackers are essentially a buttery crisp cookie that you can cut into just about any shape you like. I taught my daughter how to spell her name when she was tiny by making homemade graham crackers with her and cutting out the letters in her name from the dough. She still remembers this fun kitchen lesson all these years later. Today I'm working with Bob's Red Continue Reading →


Orange Cranberry Quick Bread

I've been really excited to share this Orange Cranberry Quick Bread recipe with you and today is the day. Of course I planned on sharing it much earlier in the day, but here it, almost 11pm and I'm just getting it done. I decided to write "A Day in My Life" kind of post after my friend Cassie did one this week. I spent the day documenting the whos and whats, and before I knew it the day was done! I can't wait to post it. I think it'll be fun for us both. Back to the orange cranberry quick bread Continue Reading →


13 Must-Make Fudge Recipes

Well Friends Christmas is here! I can't believe that we are saying that already. I have two of these collection posts for today and tomorrow to help with any last minute food ideas you might need. Today's post is all things fudge! I'm not a crazy fudge fan but I do love it this time of year. I definitely consider it a season candy and that makes it more fun. Some of the recipes are really unique. I grew up with chocolate and peanut butter fudge, so seeing some of these unique recipes makes me want to try them. I Continue Reading →


DIY Bath Salts and Sugar Scrubs (Great Homemade Gifts!)

Homemade gifts are the best! A few years ago I made this fun sewing kit in a jar for teacher and friend gifts and this year I decided on bath salts and sugar scrubs! Bath salts and sugar scrubs are great for teachers because they are something they can use, it's not a plate full of sugar (everyone gets plenty of that), and it's not a knick-knack they'll have to dust (and probably have 10 of already). They are great for you because they are really simple to make and take much less time than making a batch of cookies. The key Continue Reading →


Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies

Old fashioned molasses cookies are the best. Soft, chewy, lightly spiced, and pretty. This recipe is a lot of fun to make, eat, and give. Not only are you getting a great old recipe from me today, but it's the 12th of December. That means 12 bloggers, 12 recipes, 12 ingredients or less! All of us have teamed up to make holiday party treats. The list looks amazing, and you can find everything from homemade mallows to shortbread cookies and mixed nuts to fudge recipes. Enjoy all of the other recipes at the end of the post and happy holiday baking Continue Reading →


Maple Sugar Cookies

Maple sugar cookies are easy and quick to whip up, and you don't even have to go to the store to pick up maple flavoring. These, my friends, use real maple syrup, which gives the cookies a light and pleasant maple flavor without being strong or overwhelming. The key here is to use pure maple syrup though... that corn syrup stuff is just not the same! So splurge a little and buy the good stuff and then treat yourself to the best french toast ever the next morning. Real maple syrup is the way to go. These sugar cookies are great Continue Reading →


Handmade for the Holidays – Bless this Mess the Shop

I've been working hard all year to make my Etsy shop into something I could be really excited about come the Holidays. Well friends, months of work are coming together and I'm super excited to show you everything I've been working on. I know you may not be ready for Holiday shopping just yet, but I wanted to make sure you know what I have to offer so that you could be planning for the coming months. I know I can't be the only one thinking of Christmas gifts already. First there are a few things that I need to tell Continue Reading →


Vanilla Melt Away Cookies

You all are the best. I received so many kind, supportive, and just down right great comments yesterday. Thanks! In celebration of the week almost being over and Husband coming home soon, I thought I'd post a cookie recipe. I made these little gems at Christmas time and never got the recipe up, but it's worth getting back to now. Have you ever had melt away cookies?! There are lots of variations (mint, chocolate, coffee...), but my very favorite are the deliciously simple vanilla cookies with vanilla icing. These cookies are a cross between a Mexican wedding cake cookie and shortbread in Continue Reading →


Eggnog Ice Cream

It's Christmas Eve Eve! And what does that mean? Running around like a crazy person trying to finish up projects, wrap gifts, baking, figuring out what appetizers to make for Christmas Eve, and about a million other things. I know I'm not alone either... I've seen your busy instagram and facebook up-dates! If you are in need of a ridiculously easy, tasty, and quick dessert then look no more, this easy eggnog ice cream will be sure to please. It literally has two ingredients and practically makes itself. Plus all that spice and creaminess from the eggnog makes for a delicious Continue Reading →


20 Recipes using Candy Canes

20 Amazing Candy Cane Recipes

I love December baking! I love baking in general and I love seasonal ingredients, so baking with candy canes in December is an absolute must. I stock up on 4 or 5 boxes as soon as they hit the shelves and then I go candy cane crazy (say that 5 times fast...). In honor of my love of candy canes I've rounded up a collection of 20 amazing candy cane recipes for you. I put about 10 of them on my list to make this weekend myself. They look AMAZING! Enjoy and happy baking! Peppermint Bark Brownies from Cafe Johnsonia Candy Cane Muddy Buddies Continue Reading →


White Chocolate Bottomed Ginger Cookies

It's December! How did December get there?! If you are like me you are getting into the full swing of the holiday season and all of its little perks. There are cookies to bake, gifts to hand-craft, and parties to attend and host. Those three things are some of my very favorite parts of the holidays. When I think about cookies, parties, and handmade gifts I often think of the delightful smells that go with those things. The spicy sweet ginger, the rustic cedar tree we always cut from the mountain, the warm cider from our own apples we pressed, popcorn to Continue Reading →


Hot Cocoa Gift Set

Christmas is in the air and I know I'm not the only one thinking about what to give all the people that I love. We just moved to the tiny town that my husband grew up in. Tiny town life means two things 1) we know and are friends with nearly everyone or 2) we are related to everyone else. My list for friends and neighbor gifts is huge this year so I've been pondering on the perfect thing to give that won't break the bank. That's where this adorable hot cocoa gift set comes in. All of the jars, cups, Continue Reading →


The Ultimate American Girl Acessory Guide: Buy it, Make it, Love it

I can't believe that Christmas is almost here! If you are like me you are putting the finishing touches on the house, baking all kinds of treats, and buying the last of your gifts. This year I was lucky enough to snag an American Girl doll on a major sale. I paid less than $60 (including shipping!) for the doll, first book, and an extra set of clothes. I'm beyond excited to give such a wonderful gift to my six-year-old. She is going to be so excited on Christmas morning because she's been asking for a "big doll" for months Continue Reading →


White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies

Once in a while I come across a recipe that is simply perfect and I make that recipe over and over again. That is the case with these amazing White Chocolate Gingerbread Blondies. They were served at a church function by a lovely woman named Molly years ago. Everyone went nuts over them and so she handed out the recipe like a true friend. That recipe has graced my cookie plates and many holiday parties since. I'm not crazy over gingerbread but this is just the right mix of sweet, spiced, ginger, and chocolate to make an outstanding treat. Plus you Continue Reading →


Mint Dipped Double Chocolate Cookies

After getting a whopping 18 inches of snow this weekend it officially feels like Christmas. Snow makes everything so clean, bright, and well, just plain Christmas-like. I've gotten most of my shopping done for my family, minus the stocking stuffers, and now it's time for me to turn my attention to friends and neighbor gifts. I love, love, LOVE to make cookie/goodie plates every year and I love to get them out to friends as early as I can. I try to beat the cookie burn-out by being the first one to have my treats in their kitchens. I start planning, Continue Reading →


Candy Cane Meringue Cookies

Candy Cane Meringue Cookies 4

I'm so excited for today's post! I was asked to be part of an online cookie exchange with a group of some of my favorite blogging ladies. And you know what that means for you?! You get a bunch of great cookie recipes all in one place... keep reading, your goodie plates will thank you. Today Kristy from Sweet Treats and More is here sharing one of her favorite cookie recipes - candy cane meringue cookies. I had the honor of meeting Kristy last December at a real cookie exchange. She's very fun and kind in real life and her cookies are Continue Reading →


Minted + Julep

Great things are meant to be shared. That's what this post is... me telling you about something I think is great because I know you are going to love it too. Our family pictures were supposed to be taken today but we got rained out (and it's way too cold to take a three-week old baby out!). But that isn't stopping me from thinking about our Christmas cards! I adore sending snail-mail cards, especially at Christmas. Who doesn't love real mail? And I know my grandparents appreciate getting pictures of the grand-kids to hang on their fridge. Do you take the Continue Reading →


Cinnamon Roasted Almonds from Barbara Bakes

Hello all! While I’m enjoying the newest (and teeniest) member of our family, I have asked some of my very favorite blogging friends to share some of their absolute favorite posts with you. Thanks so much for reading and enjoy! Today's post comes from Barbara. She's a baking and kitchen genius who also happens to run, not one, but two blogs! I had the honor of meeting Barbara almost a year ago and I've considered her a friend ever since. She's just as sweet as her baking. I know you all are going to love her too!   I’m Barbara and you’ll Continue Reading →


Bake, Sew, Craft Along

Today I'm over at A Southern Fairy Tale sharing a super fun (and easy) hot cocoa gift set! Rachel along a few other ladies have teamed up to bring you thirty days of holiday baking, thirty days of holiday sewing, and thirty days of holiday crafting (link to the other ladies at the bottom of the post...). It's a really fun group of who are working with an even larger group of bloggers to share some of the cutest holiday inspiration on the web. I signed up to be part of the baking/food gift team and am so glad I did!   Here's Continue Reading →


Gooey Marshmallow Christmas Popcorn with Chocolate

One more popcorn recipe before Christmas OK?!  I know my love of popcorn is bordering on addiction, but I also know that I'm not the only one who is so fond of the stuff. Popcorn lovers unite! I grew up in a big family with tons of cousins close by. We would all descend on my grandma's house on Sunday afternoons to play and enjoy the delights of family time. In the winter grandma would stand over her stove with a stove-top popper that you turned by hand and then load metal cake pans full of hot popcorn that was a little greasy and a Continue Reading →


Homemade Oreos with a Candy Cane Cream Filling

I finished Christmas shopping last night! It's so hard to get done when I normally just pack the three kids to the store with me, and honestly, I don't really like shopping anyhow. I had to make a special trip after they were in bed, and the thing is, I forgot most of the stores in town close around 6 pm! My only choices for shopping were literally KMart, WalMart, and Dollar Tree. There's no mall and no Target within hours of me and all the locally-owned stores were closed. Some things I'm just not used to in small town living, and Continue Reading →


Cinnamon Caramel Corn

Popcorn! I love the stuff and eat it all of the time. I love making fancy batches of gourmet popcorn to give. This is a simple recipe that makes a non-sticky caramel corn that has cinnamon in it, and a drizzle of white chocolate really puts it over the top. I love the cinnamon because it just feels like winter and is the perfect addition to caramel corn. If you are feeling truly decadent add a few cups of  your favorite nut to the popped popcorn. I'm hitting the point in my holiday baking that is nearing burn-out. I still have so many people that I want Continue Reading →


Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

I've been "fancy" blogging for just over a year now and this is one of the very first recipe I ever put up on Bless This Mess. It's a great recipe that needs repeating and the pictures have improved a bit this year too. I hope you don't mind a repeater. You can't go wrong with a quick caramel over pretzels all covered in chocolate. I made this for my goodie plates and packages last year and I made it again this year, so definitely worth repeating in my book!   Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark   Print Continue Reading →


Lemon Filled Shortbread Cookies with White Chocolate and Lemon Sugar

Here are slacker cookies number two (you might also like some store bought cookies with chocolate and ginger from yesterday if you are in a slacker mood.) These were super good and I'm so glad I thought of them. Just start with a store-bought shortbread cookie, add some lemon cream filling, drizzle with some white chocolate and then sprinkle with lemon sugar. No baking needed. Adding a little to the already made cookie really makes them fancy. I do love fancy.These lasted very well and I actually sent a bunch of these out in the mail to loved ones and Continue Reading →


Dark Chocolate Dipped Cookies with Crystallized Ginger

Are you ready for something so easy it's practically cheating? Ok, here we go. What if I told you that you could spruce up store-bought cookies easily and no one would even notice they weren't completely homemade? Well you can. Sure, we all love beautiful hand-crafted from scratch cookies, but we don't always have time for that now do we? This is a perfectly tasty way to cheat but still fulfill your inner domestic goddess. I was in the cookie aisle the other day and noticed the top shelf was lined with all kinds of wonderfully foreign cookies. It popped into my mind that I Continue Reading →


Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

Is it too early to post about gift wrapping? Part of me says yes, and the other part of me wants to give you the heads-up on great ideas so that you can be thinking of what you like and then collecting the things you'll need. Sometimes I like a little time to ruminate on ideas before I need to put them into action. You too? The same day that I taught a class on four of my favorite cheese balls and how to make them to the ladies at church, I also taught a little class on Christmas gift wrapping Continue Reading →


Honey Bear Lane Day

I'm sharing these little gems over at Honey Bear Lane today. I'd take a look if I were you... Psst! Don't forget. I'm giving away a few little things that I love. You can enter until the end of the week. Enter at the bottom of the post on DIY Sewing Kits in a Jar. Roger. Roger. Over and out.


Double Dark Candy Cane Crunch Cookies

Can you believe it's already December?! It's such a fun month and the perfect way to start it off is with  these double dark candy can crunch cookies.  Chocolate and mint are such a natural and easy combination to work with this time of year, so this probably won't be the only recipe you see of the merriment this month. Husband doesn't like the combo. He always says "it's like eating a candy bar after you just brushed your teeth". So I rarely make it because I'll be the one eating it all. I just happened to need a batch of Continue Reading →


The post of gingerbread past…

I love to make gingerbread houses and have been doing it for years. I have a vivid memory of the fourth or fifth grade when a classmate's mom brought in two gigantic, immaculately decorated gingerbread houses. I was in childhood heaven. We were allowed to eat them the day before Christmas break, and I can still remember how vivid those gumballs were along the roof line.School wasn't the only place I remember gingerbread houses. My mom helped us kids make, bake, assemble, and then decorate a house almost every year that I can think of. I can remember one year my older sister made one Continue Reading →


Very Merry Cheese Ball Recipes

Cheese ball season is here! Are you as excited as I am?! A few weeks ago I did a cheese ball making demonstration for the ladies at church and it was a big hit. We got to eat all of the wares with lunch and I was in cheese ball heaven. My love of cheese balls came from my first job working at a deli in Columbus, Indiana. Two of the cheese ball recipes are actually from that deli and I've been making them for years. The other two are just as amazing (cue the bacon). I actually made mini cheese Continue Reading →