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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Get Crafty,, argumentative essay high school »

liz and kate cup presentsI know I’ve got a tough act to follow with peanut butter and honey from Louis and a 12- pack from Grant (Hey! Maybe that’s what we’ll leave out for Santa!)

Nevertheless I’m gonna give it my best and see if we can’t get those guys in a competitive spirit, urging them to come up with some more ideas in these final weeks leading to Christmas.

Let’s start with something the kids and I made this week – chocolate-covered pretzels and marshmallows. I suspect it’ll be the first of many batches.

Here are the ground rules:

Chocolate-coated Treats_Device Memory_home_user_pictures_IMG00233

1 package pretzel rods

1 package large marshmallows

Sprinkles of choice

2-12 oz. bags of chocolate chips or other melting chocolate (white, dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate – your pick. For those who want to use more than one type of chocolate, just remember to use separate bowls for melting. Duh.)

My natural inclination is to tell you to melt the chocolate, dip the pretzel or marshmallow and re-dip in sprinkles. But because it is almost the Christmas season, I decided to go with more details.

We melted our milk chocolate chips in the microwave for 60 seconds, stirred, then alternated with a 30-second cooking time and a good stir. Probably took about about 2 or 3 minutes total.

Our prep surface was a couple of baking sheets lined with parchment paper, preceded by three plates – one with pretzels, one with marshmallows which we chose to skewer onto candy sticks (available at any crafting store) and one with sprinkles.

This is definitely a great assembly-line project. I dipped the goods in chocolate, my daughter finished off with the sprinkles, my son ate. (Well, he tried to, anyway.)

The trick on coating seemed to come with the help of a spoon and a knife, because just “dipping” didn’t cut it. I used the spoon to apply the chocolate and the knife to score away excess (trust me – this is a biggie).

My daughter used a very light touch when pressing the pretzel into the sprinkles. A heavy hand means chocolate on the plate, which means all the sprinkles stick together…

To speed things up, we popped the filled baking sheets in the freezer for a few minutes to harden the chocolate.

It truly was a very simple and tasty little Christmas treat. Pretzel bags and ties are available at craft stores.

Next up is Jeannette’s:

Christmas Cranberry Wine

Jeannette says she found the recipe in the Christmas Thyme at Oak Hill Farm cookbook, written by Marge Clark, then modified it to her personal preferences:

3 cups cranberries, picked over and washed
2 cups sugar
3 – 750 ml bottles good dry white wine

Place clean cranberries in food processor and process only until coarsely chopped. Combine with sugar in large glass jar. Slowly add the wine and stir as you pour until sugar is completely dissolved. Store jar in fridge for at least 3 weeks to develop flavor. After 3 weeks, strain the wine through cheesecloth and discard cranberries. Strain again through a coffee filter into sterilized glass bottles. Cork and label. Keep bottles refrigerated!

This recipe sounds grand – just wish I’d had a glass when we were dipping pretzels!

Thanks, Jeannette, for sharing this special recipe!

As for the rest of you, stay tuned for the next installment, while we await directions on the perfect manly craft (Louis and Grant, you’ve been put on notice…).

Remember Christmas comes but once a year, so send us your recipes, crafts and other ways to personalize or craft your way through the holidays now!

liz pic-Liz

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