Holiday Favorites, Snacking, Uncategorized

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

My Mom and I have a few things we “bake” each December. I say it in quotations because it’s not really baking. More like coating pre-made things in chocolate that we can then say we “made” or as Food Network’s Sandra Lee commonly says, “Semi-Homemade.”

Here’s one of our favorites, pretzels with a melted chocolate with a Vermont Nut-free skipper on top to smush all the chocolate into the pretzel. Once it cools, you have a very tasty little sweet and salty treat that’s easy to package up and gift, or travel with.

Chocolate is difficult this time of year since so much of it is just not made in a facility that’s safe. Here are the safe chocolates that we melt in the oven at 160* over Snyders Pretzels for 5 minutes before adding the skippers.

  1. Hersheys Hugs, Classic package, not holiday package
  2. Hersheys Kisses, Classic package, not holidays package
  3. Rolos, classic packaging

 

Snacking, Uncategorized

Allergy-Free Candy Canes

20161213_135032win_20161214_13_26_09_pro“I love candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.”  Buddy the Elf

If you follow me on Insta, you saw that yesterday I was making chocolate covered pretzels when I suddenly ran out of chocolate skippers to top each pretzel with. Some quick thinking led me to an entire unopened box of candy canes in our pantry. I did not know why they were sealed shut, or if they were even safe? Who knows – when I clean up after the holidays, things get crazy and I just start chucking stuff. So I decided to find out who the heck Bobs Candy’s Canes really is.

After some research, Bobs is owned by Farleys & Sathers Candy Co., which in 2012 was purchased by an even bigger conglomerate, Ferrera Candy Co. Ferrera owns:

  1. Black Forest Organic
  2. Trolli
  3. Brachs
  4. Now and Later
  5. Bobs
  6. Red Hots
  7. Lemon Heads
  8. Sathers
  9. Jujyfruits
  10. Atomic Fire Ball
  11. Jaw Breakers
  12. Chuckles
  13. Rainbow
  14. Super Bubble Gum
  15. Fruit Stripe
  16. Boston Baked Beans

A friendly customer service rep named Jamie called me back today to let me know that the candy canes are nut free. If the UPC code ends with the letters “BR” they are also made in an allergy free facility. How cool is that?! She also stated that if an allergen is present in the facility, it will be indicated on the label, everything will be on the label under ingredients! I’m glad I called because now I know what to look for on their labels and what candy they make.

Happy Wednesday!

 

Holiday Favorites, Uncategorized

Reindeer Food

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Once upon a time, I had two very young kids. Lets see, they were 1 and 3, and I was frantically preparing for the holidays. At this point in life, I was still thinking that I had to “do-it-all” – but I’m older now, by three years to be exact, and while I’m still learning, and things are still changing, I do know this:

Whatever I do not finish, you will never know about!  

The holidays put a lot of pressure on us to do certain things. Sometimes they are traditions that we feel we MUST do, other things are just nice gestures, of which I usually go over board on!

Three years ago, I didn’t have enough time to make ALLLLLL the millions of Holiday cookies that I had planned. So, Santa was coming (literally the next day) and we needed to put SOMETHING out by the fireplace for him and the reindeer to eat. Pantry items that came to mind: chex cereal, chocolate chips, sunbutter = presto! We have “Reindeer Food!” Us Moms can be so creative when we need to be.

Reindeer Food is a tradition in our home now – and it’s nice too – it lasts for WEEKS in tupperware or a zip top bag and the kids love it. Oh, and if you’re wondering, this is the same exact recipe for Puppy Chow! We just add some Chocolate Skippers in to make it festive for the reindeer, of course.

This year, we’re sharing Reindeer Food at my daughter’s school since it’s nut-free and easy to share.

Reindeer Food

Ingredients

  •  9 cups chex rice cereal
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips – Enjoy Life Brand, Target, top Shelf in baking aisle
  • 1/2 cup Sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups of powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In large bowl, measure cereal and set aside.
  2. In 1-quart double boiler, melt chocolate, sunbutter, and butter until smooth.
  3. Stir in vanilla
  4. Pour mixture over cereal
  5. If using a giant tupperware, combine, put lid on, and SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE with the powdered sugar until all is coated.
  6. Sprinkle in your favorite nut-free chocolate or candy to make it fun

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