I'm a little late in getting ready for Christmas this year. This is the first time I've worked full time while also writing, so time is scarce. I love making (not baking - making) snacks, though, so I spent all morning (and part of last night) whipping some things together and getting the house a little more decorated.
I started with haystacks. It disturbed me slightly to see how badly the butterscotch chips melted. They didn't really melt into liquid - more of a giant, butterscotch blob. Ew. I added some milk help thin it out, then dropped in a bit of coconut oil to make sure they set. They aren't pretty, but Matt like's 'em.
This morning I started the Chex Mix marathon. I love making different kinds of Chex Mix! On the stove you see Cheesy Ranch and Original mix. Off to the side, I was preppy the Snickerdoodle mix. I prefer the oven to using crock pots (and pretty much avoid the microwave as much as possible). Seriously though, it's winter and it's Michigan. There's nothing wrong with keeping the oven on for a few hours.
After the savory, it was time for the sweet: Snickerdoodle, Muddy Buddies (not pictured), and Candy Corn Corn. Last year I made Cinnamon Popcorn - melted Red Hot candies over popcorn. This year I couldn't find any more Red Hots, but I dug up a bag of Candy Corn. Really, it's this easy: melt 1 stick of butter and 1 bag of candy corn. Pour over popped pop corn (I'm not sure how much that is - it' filled the roasting pan). It's kind of tasty. I'm giving some to my Candy Corn Connoisseur friend for official judging.
I still had a lot of Chex left, so I made my favorite: Taco Check Mix. This year I added Hot & Spicy Cheez-its ... yum.
While I worked in the kitchen, Matt decorated the living room. For his birthday this year, he received a brand new advent calendar - by Lego. So far we have a bench with a coffee, a fire, Christmas tree, presents, fisherman, snowball catapult, police man, thief, and jail.
Matt also put some ornaments on the tree. It's been up and lit since Thanksgiving weekend, but it took a while before we got around to decorating it. This year we inherited many of my parents' organized ornament boxes, so he just grabbed two and started hanging - the tree is blue and crystal this year.
With one exception - the 2011 Van Buren Christmas Ornament.