Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hot Chocolate and Doggie Treats

Well, I finished all my Christmas shopping last night and really spoiled my little family, I think. Tobi and Bubba both got a little of everything they were interested in. Dolls, dress up, boxing gloves, Barbie car, walking dog, mini pillow pets, all that stuff. Livvy got some hands on activities and a baby doll with loads of accessories. My Brandon got a new reel, a lot of tools, a box of cordial cherries and a weight set. I was stuck on what to get Brandon really... he didn't want anything, of course. Though he's mentioned wanting to work out more in the past. I found a nice open faced reel for CHEAP at walmart, plus a few bass fishing baits (or whatever it is they're called). Some peppermints for the stockings and that was it. Then it occurred to me that I hadn't gotten anything for the other adults in my life.

So here's what I'm doing. I'm sure you've all seen the pins on pinterest about using sharpie to decorate mugs, plates, etc. If you haven't, here's the gist; basically you take a sharpie and draw whatever design you want on the outside of a ceramic type mug, plate, bowl, etc. You can buy these very cheaply at stores like the Dollar General, Family Dollar, Deals, and so on. Then you bake the dinnerware at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes and the design is permanent. Almost all of my family have odd nicknames for themselves that I'm not likely to find in a timely manner so I'll make some "World's Best..." mugs myself and gift them with some cookies. Here's the link to another blogger who has done the same project The Sweetest Occasion, if you like to compare more than one person's project like I do!

I am going to take the mugs a step further and look up a pretty font online to mock instead of just my (admittedly terrible) penmanship. We have World's Best Nanna, Pappy, Poppi, GiGi, and Gamma. OK, I couldn't resist making one for Brandon too...

Then the cookies, here's the recipe link via Georgie Bowers at  Soft Christmas Cookies if you'd like to include these with yours. Other options include adding a small packet of hot cocoa mix, either store bought or your own homemade mix, peppermint bark spoons, homemade truffles, shortbread, and the list goes on. Use your imagination.

My recipe for mock Starbucks hot chocolate always gets rave reviews, you should try it out as well- I promise everyone will love it!

Hot chocolate


1/4 C. water

2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder

2 TBS granulated sugar

1 1/2 C milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

whipped cream (for garnish)

  • Combine the water, cocoa, and sugar in a 16-oz microwave-safe pitcher, such as a 2-C glass measuring cup. Microwave for 30 sec. (on high). Stir the syrup around to make sure it's mixed well.
  • Add the milk to the syrup, mixing well, and microwave mix for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and whipped cream and serve

I also like to take the time to make homemade gourmet dog treats for everyone in the family. Well...for their dogs anyway. Almost everyone has a dog of some sort in our family and extended family and they all love these doggy treats!

Here's the recipe that I use for dog treats with my tweaks. The link (yup, allrecipes) will take you to the original.

Amazing Doggie Treats


2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff.
  • Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll.
  •  Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Or any shape you'd like. Petsmart sells doggie cookie cutters in different shapes as well. Some people use a fork to prick the middles like the dog treats you buy.
  • Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes. Baking time depends
Now here's where mine are really different- after mine cool I dip half the batch in white almond bark. Occasionally I'll divide that first half into half again and drizzle colored almond bark across the already dipped white- like red and green stripes for christmas or pink and blue for boys and girls. Take it easy on the food coloring though as it can sometimes hurt little doggie bellies. Do not use chocolate.

EDIT: I plan on finishing my mugs within the next few days so be sure to check back for pictures!!

1 comment:

  1. Gamma can attest to the hot chocolate recipe! Wonderful! We took a thermos of it to the Christmas parade to help keep warm! <3