‘O Christmas Tree’ Pancakes You’ll Flip For

For both kids and the adults, Christmas morning is a culmination of all the anticipation of the holiday season, and all the preparations that got you to that moment, that makes everything feel magical. But in all the excitement of  the kids who’re waking up, parents running on fumes of sleep, spending time with family and opening gifts, you still need to eat. But, not everybody wants to cook. I still think Christmas morning breakfast should be as special as the day itself. In my case, it’s also got be quick to prepare or easy to make-ahead so I’m not stuck in the kitchen away from the rest of the family for half of the morning. This right here, fits the bill.

 O Christmas Tree! snack for the kids

Pancakes. Breakfast Sausage. Whipped Cream. M & M’s. What do all these things have in common? They all make up this fun food idea that kids will go ga-ga for.

This isn’t only for Christmas morning though. It’s also perfect for any day leading up to the big day. If you’re a morning person, you can easily have this on the table and enjoyed before the school bus arrives. If you’re anything like me and the mornings have you stuck at the cross roads between hectic and harried, no worries. This makes an awesome after school snack too. Options, I like options. 🙂

‘O Christmas Tree’ Pancakes You’ll Flip For

O Christmas Tree Pancakes

favorite pancake batter
green food coloring
M&M’s
whipped cream
sausage links

Directions

1. To make, heat a flat griddle until warm but not too hot. If you heat the pan too hot, the pancakes will brown too quickly and you will lose the color.
2. Cook pancakes, as many as desired. One regular sized pancake will make one Christmas tree.
3. Once the pancakes are cooked on both sides, cut them into quarters using a pancake cutter.
4. Layer the pancakes on a plate starting with the top and making three layers.
5. Cook the sausage links and add one, halved length-wise, for the trunk of the tree.
6. Arrange some M&Ms for the ornaments and add a whipped cream ‘star’ and you’re ready to serve.

Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

Are you like me? Are you filled with Christmas spirit all month long? Do you try to bring a Christmasy something into each day and/or meal for your family? Well, if you don’t I highly recommend it. If you do, you can probably vouch for how a little bit here or there, magically gets everyone in the Christmas mood. It’s like magic, and as a Mom, it’s a beautiful thing to behold. There’s no question we all love bread in th is family, and I try to have some sort of option (if it’s appropriate) with our dinners. Knowing I’m trying to slip a little holiday cheer into pretty much anything and everything right now, I figured why make dinner rolls or a plain loaf of bread, if I can put a pull-apart Christmas tree on the table?

 Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread 1

At the grocery store, I had seen a tree-shaped cake pan, and I thought it would be pretty cool for baking bread. Then I thought about it some more and figured that I could make a free-form tree shape instead. Making and then using cheese-filled dough balls, the sons and I created a Christmas tree shape with our loose interpretation of a star on top. We needed some green and used some dried parsley flakes for that, but if you’re feeling more traditional sprinkle some rosemary on top. Rosemary’s much more Christmas tree like in texture anyway. I figured at least a few of our seems would leak filling during baking, but wasn’t overly concerned. The sons decided that it worked perfectly because our tree had snow on it too!

Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

 Christmas Tree Pull Apart Bread

1 can (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust, or pizza dough
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tbsp dried parsley or fresh rosemary
1 cup warmed marinara sauce for dipping

Directions

1. Lay out, or roll out depending on if you’re using refrigerated pizza crust or actual dough, pizza dough onto a cutting board and stretch to a 10 x 15 inch size. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 28 equal squares. In a bowl, combine cream cheese and shredded cheese, stirring until evenly combined.
2. Add roughly one tablespoon of the cheese to each dough square. Seal the seems and then gently roll the dough in your hand to form a ball. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet in a Christmas tree shape as shown in the picture above. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 17 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
3. In a small pot, melt the butter and stir in the garlic powder. After removing the pull-apart bread from the oven, brush the top with butter and sprinkle with your herbs. Serve pull apart with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Snowman Milk Bottles

So remember when we started this whole 12 Days of Christmas thing? Remember my little pre-apology just in case life got in the way of a post or two coming your way? Well, it was bound to happen and it finally did. (Although we did have a solid six day run before that. Yes!)

Long story short: Son # 4’s allergies got the best of him. Zyrtec kicked his allergies butt and dried up excessive amounts of mucus. And backed them right up into his ear which culminated in an ER visit narrowly avoiding a burst ear drum. Now that we’re all back to normal, we’re ready to resume our regularly scheduled programming. And back to the Christmas craftiness we are. In 3 … 2 … 1 …

I’m about to show you something really cute.

Like really, really cute.

And it’s so simple! Just a few supplies, and you can have an adorable Winter milk jug ready for the kids, for guests, or even for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Snowman Milk Bottle

Also, it’s Christmas time, and that means it’s also (unofficially) cookie season. And you can’t have cookies without milk. It’s just one of the unwritten laws of dessert. So whether you’re throwing a Christmas party, hosting the family baking day, or just enjoying some much needed qt with your cuties, having milk on-hand is a must, and what better way to serve it than this?!

Snowman Milk Bottles

milk bottles, I happen to own a set, but Starbucks Frappuccino bottles would work perfectly too
felt, I used red but any color would work
black buttons
straws
glue gun

Directions

1. Cut a strip of felt. Snip the ends of the strip of felt to resemble a scarf.
2. Tie the strip of felt around the neck of the bottle. Arrange the ends so they both lay flat. If needed apply some glue to the bottom strip and press the top down onto it to secure.
3. Glue two black buttons onto the midsection of the glass.
4. Fill with milk, insert a straw, and you’re ready to impress!

Grinch Cookies

“The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be his head wasn’t screwed on just right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with your family, your friends, anyone at all really, but be careful! Don’t let the never-ending holiday cheer overwhelm you and turn you into a Grinch! Just remember how the story goes …

 Grinch Cookies

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Sparkling Cranberries

Don’t dismiss cranberries because of their tough outer shell & tart reputation. A simple syrup bath and a roll in some sugar will give you sparkling cranberries. These candied cranberries are magical. They’re a delicious treat all by themselves, as a garnish for festive drinks, and even as part of your charcutterie spread.

sugared cranberries and rosemary shown on a bed of white sugar

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Candy Cane Fruit & Cream Cheese Danish

Candy canes are very famous holiday treats that everyone loves. Well, most everyone. I’ve never been a big fan, but they’re like a holiday staple or something. Like the rock hard, year old candy in Grandma’s Christmas candy dish, or the fruit cake. That being said, I couldn’t resist the idea of a candy cane-inspired breakfast danish for Christmas morning last year.

Totally easy to throw together too, so I didn’t have to miss a single moment, or capturing one, that morning. It was so good, that nobody minded finishing it for lunch either. It was the perfect thing to sit back with, well that and a strong cup of coffee, to finally relax and just enjoy the sons’ joy last year. This is definitely going to be a repeat item this year.

 Candy Cane Fruit & Cream Cheese Danish

Candy Cane Fruit & Cream Cheese Danish

Candy Cane Fruit & Cream Cheese Danish 2

2 cans of crescent rolls
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 can cherry or strawberry pie filing

For Glaze (optional)

Powdered sugar
milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. Set two roll sections aside for candy cane stripes. Lay out remaining crescent roll sections in the shape of a candy cane making sure to overlap the edges slightly. Use a knife to cut out your candy cane shape. Mix together your cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread on top of your candy candy shape.
2. Spoon pie filling on top of cream cheese filling.
3. Using the remaining two roll sections, cut off long strips and lay them out on top of your filling to create a candy cane look. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.

Glaze:
Mix together ingredients alternating between powdered sugar and milk until desired consistency is obtained.

Drizzle over baked candy cane and enjoy!

Apple Walnut Bread

On the healthier side, this hearty apple walnut bread works for breakfast or dessert. With no added oils, butter, or white sugar- the sweet taste of the apples & the natural texture of the soft bread and nuts shines through. Fall or Winter, when apples are in season this sweet, simple bread is a must-make recipe! 

slices of fresh apple walnut bread shown on a white background

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Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce

A thick sauce, somewhere in between jam & jelly, this Cabernet Cranberry and Blueberry Sauce is a delicious addition to your holiday meals. Keep any extras on hand to slather on bread or toast for a simple breakfast or snack that’s bursting with fresh sweet berry flavor and a hint of wine.

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Candy Corn Layered Drinks

By this time, I’m pretty sure everybody (well, everybody on Pinterest at least) have seen the 4th of July layered drink recipes floating around the interweb. They’re fun, they’re easy, and the little guys and gals, think you’re a bad-a**, magic wielding Mama when you whip em out at your backyard barbecue. This year, we thought Halloween might want in on a little bit of the action. The drinks couldn’t be any simpler to make and the whole thing revolves around the simplest of scientific terms: density. The more sugar in a liquid, the ‘denser’ it is. By halving the sugar content of layers two and three, we created pretty little (educational) layers. The sons know by now, even if it’s fun, if there’s an opening for any kind of teachable moment, I’m all over it.

Back to the drink though…

Candy corn is a Halloween staple, and though some people love it or hate it, I think everyone can and will enjoy these layered candy corn drinks. The sons got a tickle out of them, especially the younger two. It was also pretty neat to watch the discover each different flavor. Festive and fun? That’s my kind of party.

Aaaand, speaking of parties, layered drinks can be so fun for parties, and there’s no doubt in my mind that these would be perfect for any Halloween party! Serving a crowd? Don’t have time to make multiple individual servings? Follow the same recipe, but make it in a punch jar instead of a glass.

The layers are easily seen up close and personal, but if you really want them to stand out, especially the white top layer, use less yellow and more white.

Candy Corn Layered Drinks

 Candy Corn Layered Drinks

recipe originally from High Heels & Grills

Ice
1/3 part Crush (store brands work as long as the sugar content is just as high) orange soda
1/3 part yellow Gatorade
1/3 part zero calorie lemonade Vitamin Water

Directions

1. Fill your cup/pitcher/whatever you are using up to the very top with ice.
2. Pour the orange soda in first until you’ve filled about 1/3 of your glass.
3. Next, slowly pour the Gatorade directly on top of the ice and let it trickle down on top of the orange soda until it fills 2/3 of your glass*.
4. Finally, slowly pour the lemonade on top of the ice and let it trickle down on top of the Gatorade.

*Do not stir the liquids or this won’t work.