manufactured home values

Archive for the ‘Fun Stuff’ Category

Holiday Pretzel Treats

Share

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes (plus 10 minutes cooling time)

Salty pretzels combine with sweet chocolate for these fun treats that make a yummy gift few can resist. (In fact, you may want to make some extras for yourself!)

Holiday Pretzel Treats

What you’ll need

  • Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
  • Hershey’s Kiss or Hershey’s Hug
  • M&M’s candy

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 170° F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss or Hershey’s Hug.
  2. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M’s candy into the center of each Kiss.
  3. Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes. Place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bags and tie on colorful ribbons.

 

Share

Christmas Appetizers – Finger Foods

Share

Christmas Appetizers - Finger Foods

Cucumber cups - Christmas Finger Food  

 

Cucumber Cups - These peeled cucumber cups, with their holiday color scheme, look wonderfully festive, plus they’re a snap to make.

Click here for recipe

Sesame Crisps - Christmas Finger Foods  

 

Sesame Crisps – These crunchy toasted-nut-flavored cookies pack up without crumbling.

Click here for recipe

2-sweet-and-savory-spiced-nuts-christmas-recipe-photo-420-FF1200GFTKTA02-150x150 Christmas Appetizers - Finger Foods  

 

Sweat-and-Savory Spiced Nuts – These delicious nuts, simply wrapped, make for a welcome gift during the holiday season.

Click here for recipe

Chipotle-dusted pecans  

 

Chipotle-Dusted Pecans – Place them on your dining room table for guests to enjoy during holiday parties, pot lucks and get-togethers.

Click here for recipe

Candy Cane Yogurt Dip  

 

Candy Cane Yogurt Dip – Perfect for serving at a party or just a fun afternoon snack with your kids.

Click here for recipe

Share

Sweat-and-Savory Spiced Nuts

Share

These delicious nuts, simply wrapped, make for a welcome gift during the holiday season. The hardest part? Keeping the kids from eating the fruits (and nuts!) of their labors before they reach their intended destination.

2-sweet-and-savory-spiced-nuts-christmas-recipe-photo-420-FF1200GFTKTA02 Sweat-and-Savory Spiced Nuts

What you’ll need

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • SPICE MIX:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven (or toaster oven) to 350°. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast them for 6 minutes or until they are fragrant and their color deepens slightly.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, stir together the spice mix.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the glaze ingredients and bring them to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Stir in the toasted nuts and continue to stir until all the nuts are shiny and the liquid is gone, about 1 to 2 minutes. Move the glazed nuts to a mixing bowl, sprinkle on the spice mix, and toss them well to coat. Spread the coated nuts on a cookie sheet and return them to the oven for another 4 minutes; check regularly to make sure they don’t burn. Remove and let cool. Makes 2 cups.
  4. WRAPPING IT UP: We placed our pecans in a ceramic bowl that we then wrapped in clear cellophane (the sturdy material used to cover fruit baskets; we bought ours at a craft store). We used a 20-inch-wide sheet about a yard long. Place the bowl in the center, bring the corners up to the top, and tie the bundle with a wire-edge craft ribbon. To make tying the bow easier, first secure the corners with a twist tie. Trim the excess cellophane at the top with scissors. Other packaging options: decorative tins and lined cardboard boxes. Avoid placing the nuts in plastic bags, as the coating rubs off.

 

Share

Sesame Crisps

Share

These crunchy toasted-nut-flavored cookies pack up without crumbling. Send a dozen to a distant relative or bring a batch along on your holiday house visits.

Sesame Crisps - Christmas Finger Foods

What you’ll need

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 350º F. Toast the sesame seeds on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning. Set the seeds aside to cool thoroughly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, mixing until thoroughly combined. Fold in 1/3 cup of the sesame seeds.
  3. Shape the dough into 3/4-inch balls and roll them in the remaining sesame seeds to coat the surface of each one. Place the balls on two greased cookie sheets, leaving at least 1 inch between them, and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer them to a wire rack. Makes about 5 dozen.

 

Share

Cucumber Cups

Share

These peeled cucumber cups, with their holiday color scheme, look wonderfully festive, plus they’re a snap to make. The rounds provide the perfect base for all manner of tasty fillings. Flavored hummus works well, as do other savory dips.

Cucumber cups - Christmas Finger Food

What you’ll need

  • 6 medium cucumbers
  • 1 (8-ounce) container red pepper hummus
  • 1(8-ounce) container lemon hummus
  • Chopped chives for garnish

How to make it

  1. Create decorative stripes on the sides of the cucumbers using a vegetable peeler (for wide stripes) or a citrus zester (for thin stripes). We did a combo of the two, as shown above.
  2. Cut the cucumbers crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out the seeds to form a well, about 1/3 inch deep, in each slice. (A great job for kids!)
  3. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of the red pepper hummus into the wells of half of the cucumber cups, mounding it slightly. (For a fancier look, use a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe in the filling.) Repeat the process with the lemon hummus and the remaining cups.
  4. Sprinkle all with chopped chives. Serves 20 (makes about 64 cups).

 

Share

Chipotle-Dusted Pecans

Share

Homemade spiced nuts are holiday treat welcomed by everyone.  I make these every year and place them on my dining room table for guests to enjoy during holiday parties, pot lucks and get-togethers.  The spicy chipotle twist usually surprises their taste buds but come back to devour some more every single time.  Make a batch for your holiday gatherings and I guarantee these tasty nuts will disappear immediately from the serving bowl.

by Ericka Sanchez

Chipotle-dusted pecans

What you’ll need

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound pecan halves, unsalted
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine honey, butter, chile powder, salt.  Stir, mixing all ingredients.
  3. Place pecan halves in a separate large bowl and add honey mixture.  Toss to combine.
  4. Brush cookie sheet with olive oil. Spread pecans evenly on pan.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer nuts to a separate parchment lined baking sheet to cool.

 

Share

Candy Cane Yogurt Dip

Share

 

 

Candy Cane Yogurt Dip

 

Prep Time 10 minutes

If you love the flavor of candy cane this dip will be right up your alley! It’s perfect for serving at a party or just a fun afternoon snack with your kids.  It’s not overly sweet and pairs well with all sorts of fruits or crackers.

It’s also a great way to use up broken candy canes.

What you’ll need

  • 2 full-size candy canes (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt

How to make it

  1. In a food processor, grind the two candy canes until they are the size of small gravel (alternatively, place them in a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin). Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with hand beaters, beat the whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Whisk in the cream cheese and yogurt until smooth, then stir in the crushed candy canes. Pour into a serving bowl and top with additional crushed candy canes if desired.
  3. Serve with fruit, pretzels, graham crackers, or cookies.
Share

9 Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Ideas

Share

What do you do when the calendar reads “0 Days Until Christmas” and your shopping isn’t done? In the past, your options were limited to a gift basket of frozen burritos, ice scrapers and car fresheners from the local convenience store. These days, you can shop right up until your holiday dinner is served and still find the perfect things for everyone on your list – if you know where to look.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Tips

  1. Most convenience stores stock prepaid phone cards and iTunes, Visa and Google gift cards.
  2. If you’re traveling into or out of an airport, you could be picking up gifts there as well. Paradies, a chain of stores in airports across the country, carries a wide range of merchandise, including jewelry, books, travel accessories and apparel and is open 365 days a year. In most locations the chain operates a full-line Brooks Brothers store, which begins its semi-annual 50 percent off sale on Dec. 24. Time it right, and you could grab some deals.
  3. More than 1,000 Starbucks stores across the country will be open on Dec. 25, and for frantic gift seekers that’s very good news. Along with coffee, the shops have gourmet gift baskets, chocolates, mugs and their Verismo premium single cup coffee maker.
  4. Some health spas and yoga studios are open on holidays as well and sell gift certificates, athletic gear and yoga wear.
  5. Got foodies or movie fans on your list? Many restaurants and movie theaters are open, and almost all sell gift cards and movie passes.
  6. Most chain pharmacies including CVS and Walgreens– will have some stores open on Christmas Day. They stock gift cards for retail stores and national restaurants, along with watches, books, electronics, toys, cosmetics and, at this time of year, plenty of gift items.
  7. If a supermarket is open in your area, you’ve got it made. Most stock bestsellers, toys, kitchen gadgets and cookware, flowers, plants and seasonal gifts.
  8. Magazine or newspaper subscriptions are the gifts that keep on giving throughout the year. Grab one at your corner gas station or retail store checkout, wrap it up and give it to your favorite newshound. (Just remember to send in the subscription card.)
  9. Finally, remember, online stores are always open. Log on, pick out your gifts, print out pictures and wrap them up. If you have gifts sent directly to recipient’s homes, they won’t have to pay extra baggage fees to tote them home.
Share

Give a Personal Video Message from Santa

Share

Kids absolutely love this!   Make some Christmas magic and send a personalized video message from Santa to someone special.

Click here for the link

Personalized Message from Santa

Share

20 Things Fathers Should Tell Their Daughters

Share

Things daughters should know.

 

1) Pay attention to the way a man loves his mother. That is the way he will love you.

2) You can do anything a man can do, including organic chemistry, unclogging toilets and assembling IKEA furniture.

3) Older women wear makeup so THEY can look like YOU. Less is more. A lot less is a lot more.

4) People will judge you by the way you look. It isn’t fair, but it’s the way the world works. Keep that in mind as you pick your outfit in the morning.

5) Never let anyone do your thinking for you. There are far too many people with far too much invested in you believing what they believe.

6) Liberal arts grow your mind. Science and business keep you fed. You will need both.

7) Nothing is more attractive than intelligence.

8) Learn to drive a stick-shift.

9) Get comfortable with power tools.

10) You don’t have to enjoy them, but have a working knowledge of the rules for football and baseball.

11) Know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek, and the key players in both.

12) You don’t have to *DO* anything for someone to love you. The right person will cross a desert just for the chance to sit next to you at lunch.

13) Peer pressure is all about insecurity. Be confident in who you are and you’ll never have to “fit in”. People will come to you.

14) The fastest way to strain a relationship with a man is to bring up old drama. We can’t remember to hang up the bath towel. What makes you think we remember that stupid thing we did 6 months ago?

15) If a man genuinely loves you, he will let you set the boundaries. Don’t let anyone take something from you they can’t give back. You set the tone for the sexual relationship.

16) Feminie hygiene products — Where our daughters are concerned, we would be very happy sticking our fingers in our ears and saying “lalalalalalalala”. Please respect our need to pretend they, and the reason for them, do not exist. The same goes for lacy underthings.

17) You were flawless the day you were born. If you must go get that first tattoo, please consider inviting your daddy to come and get his first tattoo with you.

18) You are perfect the way you roll out of bed. Let’s be clear: all that crap you do to “get out the door” is for everyone else’s benefit.

19) Though he may be smiling on the outside, when you leave for college your father is falling apart on the inside. Don’t forget to call him that first night to tell him you love him.

20) Compare every single boy you ever meet to your daddy. Nobody will love you like he does.

Share