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Wednesday, October 11, 2017




Fall snack mixes to make and give.

We've just returned from visiting friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (No matter how many times I try to spell Albuquerque, I keep spelling it wrong!) We had an amazing whirlwind of a trip and we even spent some time at the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!  What a treat!  I couldn't believe all the gorgeous hot air balloons. The colors and sights were out of this world! I could've stayed the whole week just to watch them all! The beauty of the balloons was mesmerizing! Can you even believe these shots were taken from my phone!

Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!


We stayed in our friends' beautifully decorated Southwestern home. My friend LOVES to decorate for every season! Bins and bins of seasonal decor line their enormous RV garage. Their home was decked out in everything fall and autumn. Pumpkins, squash, gourds, hay bales, scarecrows, etc. etc. It was over the top! She even had fall leaf salt and pepper shakers and pumpkin shaped place mats!
One thing that my husband and I noticed was the snack mixes she had out while we were there. They were displayed in pumpkin shaped pottery and left out the entire week-end on the counter. Her mixes were simple combinations of spicy nuts
(everything is spicy in New Mexico) and candy corn. It was the perfect thing to leave out for guests. If someone needs a snack, it's there...and they don't even have to ask or snoop around the kitchen.
I should tell you that we were constantly eating amazing (spicy) delicious food all week-end, so we really didn't need the snack mixes, but nonetheless it got me thinking on how I can be a better hostess when guests stay with us.  And we just happen to have guests staying with us this week-end, so I'll be whipping up a few of these mixes.  Take a look.


I'll start with our family's favorite mix...It really is soooo good! I'd like to blame this mix for my tight fitting pants!
Everyone always asks for the recipe.

Autumn Treat Mix

Autumn Candy Treat



Let's go next to this mix that I'm trying tonight-- as soon as I run out and get the ingredients. AH goes crazy over cinnamon and sugar, so I know he'll die when I make this!
Caramel Churro Chex Mix


Caramel Churro Chex Mix Image


Do you like peanut butter, chocolate and popcorn together? I do! This mix has my name written all over it!


Monster Munch Halloween Party Mix


Just 5 minutes to whip up this sticky mix. It sticks together with corn syrup, butter and spices. Mmm!
5 Minute Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

5-Minute Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix - Two kinds of Chex, peanuts, pretzels, dried cranberries, and candy corn! Dangerously fast, super easy, and SO.CRAZY.GOOD!!



Check out the severed fingers in this one---creepy!
Tombstone Crunch Mix Halloween Recipe

Halloween Recipe for Tombstone Crunch Recipe



This mix is full of crunch and spice as well as sweet and salt.
Pumpkin Spice Mix

Pumpkin Spice Snack Mix perfect for fall!




Now, this mix scares me more than the severed finger one...I'd probably start eating and never stop!  It uses bacon fat popcorn?!  Is there really such a thing?  Oh my!
Sweet and Spicy Homemade Mix

sweet + savory homemade snack mix I howsweeteats.com



And of course I needed to add in a few healthy mix ideas!

5 Minute Fall Trail Mix (Paleo & Vegan)
Doesn't this look good?


Customizable Five-Minute Fall Trail Mix (Paleo, Vegan)


This one cooks in a Crockpot for 90 min.  Can you even imagine how good it smells?
Slow Cooker Paleo Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix

A pumpkin spice trail mix easy to make in slow cooker and a great Holiday gift! A paleo and vegan trail mix with dark chocolate, cranberries, nuts, spices!


And don't forget that you can always set up a 'Make Your Own Trail Mix Bar'.  All ingredients are laid out and everyone makes their own mix. We did this at my mother-in-law's party a few years back. It was a HUGE hit!  Take a look.
Hiking Party with make your own trail mix


Hiking Party- Trail Mix Bar-- Make your own!


Happy 'Mixing'!

 
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Friday, October 6, 2017



Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.


After the family and all our guests fell in love with our Apple Dipping Dessert Bar, click here if you missed that post.  I just had to make a 'to-go' kit!  I already had all the ingredients.
Fresh apples, a tub of caramel and little individual cups of toppings.
Mmmm!



Caramel Apple Dipping Kit to give.




--New neighbors just moved in down the street, this Caramel Apple Dippin' Kit was perfect to place on their doorstep.  I added a 'Welcome to the Neighborhood' tag and gave them a contact list of their new neighbors.
Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.

These kits don't have to be in a basket...why not package them up in a gift bag and hand deliver?

Caramel Apple Dipping Kit

--We're dropping in on campus to visit a few college students next week and guess what I'm bringing them?  Yep, their own Apple Dippin' Kit.
--A friend of mine needed a 'pick-me-up' gift and this little kit was just the thing to take her mind off things.

--This could even work for a Christmas gift!

This is a perfect little gift for a neighbor, a teacher or a friend.  I'm a big fan of gifts that can be consumed and eaten.  No one needs junk lying around...especially teachers!

And I especially love 'handmade' gifts that are easy to create. 



Purchase supplies.
Assemble.
Print and tie on tags.
Package up and deliver.



Apple Dipping Kit tags


Here's what I used to make a family kit (for our new neighbors).
(Affiliate links included to help you locate products.)
Fresh apples
1 Caramel tub
-tape

-jute or twine
-condiment cups with lids
-red checked tissue paper or food liners
-brown cardstock

-printed tags (scroll down to print your own.)

Toppings:  (use whatever you like)
-mini chocolate chips
-mini mallow bits
-crushed graham crackers
-chopped nuts
-shredded coconut
-Heath Bar bits
-Crunch Bar bits



Condiment containers filled with toppings.

The plastic condiment containers found in the grocery store work perfectly for the toppings.


Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.

I small piece of tape holds the twine in place to tie on the tags.
Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.

I printed my tags on brown kraft paper.  (Basically a light brown cardstock found in any craft store.  White cardstock will work as well.)


To print your own tags, click here.



Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.

I made some individual Dippin' Kits as well. 
Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.

Instead of using whole apples and a big caramel tub, I used apples slices and individual caramel tubs.  I also used just a few toppings.



Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.


I packaged all the items up in a little berry basket found at Michaels.
Such a fun little gift to make and give.

To see our Apple Dessert Bar, click here.





Assemble an Apple Slice Dipping Bar!








   
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Look what's on the blog today!  It's the perfect dessert!
An Apple Dippin' Bar. 
Apple sliceson a stick, dipped into warm and gooey caramel or dark chocolate, then sprinkled with all kinds of goodness!!  Mmmm!

Our friends ooohed and ahhed over this!  It's the perfect party dessert.  Bonus: it can all be set up ahead of time, guests can choose what they like, serve themselves...and it's fun!

Assemble an Apple Slice Dipping Bar!

Confession:  This dessert idea is so yummy, my family has continued having this treat for 7 days straight!  After I initially set it up for company, we just HAD to leave it all set up for us.  It's that's good! Trust me.

Fresh apples for an Apple Bar.

The key?  Apple slices.  Not whole apples, but slices--on a stick. Apple slices means much more dipping and sprinkling and pure goodness in every bite!  I love that guests can create their apple slices exactly they way they want them.  Whether that's loaded, lightly sprinkled or even (gasp!) plain. Yes, this dessert works for anyone, even those who don't 'do' dessert. (We recently had a guest that is avoiding processed sugar...no worries, they had a plate of fresh apple slices and didn't feel left out.)

Here's how to create you own Apple Dippin' Bar. 
Dipping or Dippin' you decide...either way works!

Create your own Apple Dipping Bar.

First, find a space and make a sign.
Clear off a table, counter, console table, dresser, etc. This bar idea takes up a little bit of room, but it's worth it, I promise!

Make a sign. You'll need to tell people what's going on.  A simple chalkboard sign works great.  I decided not to write out the step-by-step directions, but you easily could.


DIY Apple Slice Dipping Bar

I chose to use the top of the dresser that we have in our dining room. I covered the top with some buffalo check fabric. I'm a big fan of red and black checked flannel!
I also crafted up a cute little banner using apple post-it notes, red cardstock circles, chalkboard clothespins and twine.
Fall decor for a dessert bar.

Other fun touches were using leaves, red votives, pinecones and whole apples to decorate the space.
Create a dipping bar with Little Warmers.  One for caramel, one for chocolate
I had two dipping choices for our apple bar.
Caramel and Dark Chocolate. 
(Another option would be a white chocolate. I only had two pots, so I stuck with two choices.)

To help you locate products I've included affiliate links.
I used this caramel and this chocolate, but any brand that melts easily could work.  (Yes, we buy an 11 pound brick of dark chocolate --it lasts us about a year.)
These Little Dipper Warmers work perfectly for this apple bar setup. You'll need to keep the dipping sauces warm, so make sure there is some heat source and an outlet nearby.  (These double crockpots with a warm setting work well,too.) 
I labeled each of the pots with these chalkboard tags and tied them on with twine. Do not put a paper tag on the pots--fire danger!



DIY Apple Slice Dipping Bar

I elevated my pots on rustic tiers that I've had forever.
Toppings were limited to 6 choices, since I only had 6 little dishes.  I found these little soy sauce dishes at Daiso Japan.
Chalkboard paper tags on toothpicks worked well to mark each topping choice.  I simply taped the toothpick onto the inside edge of each dish.
 Gather all kind of toppings for an Apple Dippin' Bar.

My toppings included:
-Mini chocolate chips
-Graham cracker crumbs
-Mini Mallow Bits
-Chopped nuts
-Shredded coconut
-Heath Bar Bits
Gather all kind of toppings for an Apple Dippin' Bar.
Gather all kind of toppings for an Apple Dippin' Bar.

Feel free to change up the toppings and do what you have and love.
One guest requested sea salt to sprinkle over the caramel!  Mmm!

Gather all kind of toppings for an Apple Dippin' Bar.


I have a set of these mini stainless spoons.  They get used all the time and they're perfect for this setup and the mini dishes.

Apple Dipping Bar

Slice the apples right before serving. I like to use this apple slicer/corer to help slice the apples quickly.
(I've read that apples placed in Sprite don't brown as fast, but I never like to have my apples taste like something different.)
Make a tiny little x on the end of the apple slice and insert the lollipop stick.

Apple Dipping Bar using Little Warmers from Crockpot.

Guests then dip their slices into the sauce of their choice.

Host an apple dipping bar.  Guests can make their own!

...and then start sprinkling to their heart's desire!  So many fun combinations to create. 
Buffalo checked paper plates add to the fun!  

Host an apple dipping bar.  Guests can make their own!

Well, what do you think?  Are you thinking an Apple Slice Dippin' Bar is in your near future?!
Yep, I thought so!

Click here to see the Caramel Apple Kit to give away.
Package up apples, caramel and toppings to give as gifts.
 





A few more apple posts for you to enjoy.




Apple Pun Thank You Gift
Need some apple puns?  Check this out!





Whip up these Mini Apple Pies with 4 ingredients!




   

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Autumn Candy Treat

Fall time is always a favorite around here!  The colors, the smells, wearing warm layers, walking in the leaves and dare I say pumpkin spice?  Just look what I found in the grocery store...

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios Mix


It was just what I needed to make a fun Autumn Treat Mix to give neighbors and friends!
Have you seen these Cheerios in your grocery stores?
Here's an affiliate link to order a box online. 

This candy coated treat mix is a favorite in our house.  But it comes with a warning!  Do not make alone. You need an accountability partner...someone to make sure this treat gets delivered.
As soon as you make this, bag it up immediately with the cute tag tied on and physically walk...no run! it over to your neighbor's home.  Failure to do this will result in excessive eating and having to make another batch!  You think I'm joking?  I don't joke.


Ingredients to make a Fall Treat Mix
OK, warning has been issued.  If you're ready to accept this mission, gather up a few more 'fall' sweets and you're ready. 
Here's what I used:
8 cups popped popcorn
2 cups Fritos corn chips
2 cups Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup fall M&M's
1/2 cup candy corn

Autumn Treat Mix

Mix together all these ingredients.


Candiquik melted


Melt one package of white Candiquik in the microwave.  This vanilla candy coating is the glue to all the ingredients...and the addictive formula that makes it impossible to stop eating!

Candiquik melted
 Can't find Candiquik in the stores?  Affiliate link- Click here

Fall Treat Mix with melted vanilla candy coating

Pour melted vanilla candy into the mixed ingredients.  Stir to coat evenly.  Let dry.



Autumn Fall Treat Mix Printable tags


Print out Autumn Treat Mix tags on cardstock.
Trim and hole punch. 


tags, cellophane bags, jute

After the white candy coating has dried--give it 3-4 minutes.
Fill cellophane bags with the mixture.
Use a small piece of jute to tie on the tags.

Fall Treat Mix with printable tags


Deliver to your friends and neighbors, NOW! 

Fall Treat Mix with Printable tags

Click here to download your own Autumn Treat Tags.


Need some more snack mixes to try?
Click here for 10 more!
Fall snack mixes to make and give.

Here's another version without the vanilla coating.
Have a Corny Halloween
Corny Halloween Mix


And another version.
Candy Coated Popcorn
Candy Coated Popcorn Mix


Happy FALL!

 
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