Jumble: a mixture of several unrelated things.

Synonyms: jumble, hotchpotch, medley, mass, assortment, mishmash, potpourri, mélange, mixture, miscellany, mixed bag.

Source: Encarta® World English Dictionary[North American Edition]*

A hodgepodge of Christmas and holiday ideas and recipes is what I have for you today. They are easy and mostly inexpensive.

Recipe For Holiday Scent.

I love the aromas of Christmas and winter holidays.  From the scent of a fresh cut fir tree, or the spicy scent of cloves and cinnamon, to the heady perfume of Frankincense and Myrrh in church, I love the smells of Christmas.

And few things say home for the holidays more than a house filled with these fragrances. This recipe will make your house smell divine, and, best of all, it doubles as a holiday punch as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ½ gallon apple cider

½ gallon pineapple juice

2 cups water

16 cloves

1 tablespoon cinnamon or two sticks

Dump all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.

Simmer 30 minutes.

At this point you can refrigerate in a no-aluminum container. Then, whenever you want your house to smell festive, simmer some in a pot without a cover on the stove.

Ho Ho Ho Ice Cream Balls

People always say Christmas is for children. So why not let them get involved with some of the preparation. The Featured Recipe today is a very simple and easy cookie recipe that children can make as well.

This is an easy and festive dessert using the shredded coconut you may have left over from your holiday baking, or from the Featured Recipe below. If you don’t bake, just buy a package.

Place about ½ cup of the coconut flakes on each of two plates. Add a few drops of red food coloring drops to one plate and a few drops of green food coloring to the other plate of flakes. Toss the flakes with a fork until coconut is tinted.

Quickly roll a scoop of ice cream, any flavor,  in the tinted coconut. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze until serving time.

You can do the same thing for Easter using yellow and green food coloring; or on the 4th of July using red, white, and blue.

Next up on the Hodgepodge agenda is:

 Holiday Toasts

This is a fun way to serve breakfast on Christmas morning or any time during the holiday season.

Make toast and butter it. Use a Christmas cookie cutter such as a tree or an angel and cut out the center of the piece of toast. Place the cut out toast over a fried egg and lean the cut out piece of toast on the toast with the egg, or place nearby.

Easy & Inexpensive Decorating Ideas

You can create an inexpensive table centerpiece by simply placing unused Christmas tree ornaments in a glass bowl. Or pine cones spray painted with some glitter on them. Add a snippet of greens from your tree, or tinsel in between some of the ornaments. You can also pile the ornaments around a pillar candle. 

You can also place a candle in a glass bowl and pour some fresh cranberries around it.

Or fill glass vases or bottles with water and add some holiday colored food coloring. Then add a tea light candle.

Don’t Forget to Relax & Rejuvenate

And don’t forget to take care of yourself. To help you relax and let go of stress take a warm bath with this wonderful home made Milk Bath Recipe:

½ cup powdered milk

1 tablespoon quality oil (vegetable, apricot kernel, jojoba, Grapeseed, or the like)

8 drops your favorite scented essential oil (vanilla, jasmine, chamomile)

Pour powdered milk and oil together directly under spigot of running water.

Mix with your hands.

Add essential oil just before stepping into the bath.

Relax. Enjoy. Rejuvenate!

Featured Recipe    Cherry Coconut Drops

This cookie recipe is about as easy as it gets. It is a Better Homes & Garden recipe I found in a magazine years ago.

This is what you will need:

7-ounce package (2 2/3 cups) flaked coconut

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup chopped red and/or green candied cherries

You will also need some shortening and flour.

Here is what you do:

Grease and flour a cookie sheet; set aside. As you can see when it comes to greasing and flouring a cookie sheet, Martha Stewart I am not. But except for you, no one else knows that. It’s our little secret. Right?

Plus, this skill level is consistent with someone who flunked scissor cutting in the 5th grade.

 In a medium mixing bowl combine coconut and cornstarch.

Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla ………  

…………..and stir until mixture is combined.

Stir in the chopped candied cherries.

NOTE: Since I am using both red and green cherries and want cookies with only one color or the other, I divided the mixture in half (or there about) and added red cherries to one half and the green cheeries to the other.

Drop by small rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake in a 325 degree  oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies.

NOTE: I got 21 cookies.

Bon Appetit!!!


7-ounces flaked coconut                             $1.22              

2 tablespoons cornstarch                            $0.10

½ cup sweetened condensed milk               $1.16

1 teaspoon vanilla                                      $0.30

½ cup chopped candied cherries                 $2.50

Total cost = $5.28
Cost per cookie = $0.25*

* Cost figured on the 21 cookies I actually got from the recipe.

Quote of the Day

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt

*Hodgepodge definition source:  Encarta® World English Dictionary[North American Edition] © & (P) 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

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