Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve

I love Christmas . . . not just love, I mean L-O-V-E. I love the sights, the sounds, the smells. Most of all I love watching the excitment build in my 5 year old daughter. Right now, she's quite literally bouncing OFF the walls! She's totally stoked about Christmas.

It's been a crafty Christmas around here. We've stamped and painted tiles for Christmas coasters and trivets. We've made gifts for friends - hot spiced tea mix, spiced pecans, and simmering potpourri. Here are a few of my favorite recipes from the season.

Hot Spiced Tea Mix
1 (18 oz) jar Tang Instant Breakfast Drink mix
2 (3 oz) packages lemonade mix
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup instant tea
2 1/2 cups sugar, optional (I omit the sugar because the Tang and lemonade both have sugar)
Mix all together and store in an airtight container. Measure 2 tbsp mix into mug and add hot water.

Spiced Pecans
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Stir together all ingredients; spread into a lightly greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring mixture once. Store in an airtight container.

Christmas Simmering Scent
3 4" cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/2 lemon
1/2 orange
1 quart water
Combine all ingredients in a tea kettle, sauce pan or slow cooker. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Check water level often and add more when necessary. Can be stored in the refridgerator and reused.

I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!

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