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Mint Brownie Overnight Oats

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Hello, everyone!  December is well underway now, which means several things for me.  Firstly, it means that I constantly have a craving for sugar cookies.  Secondly, it means that I want to get a bunch of snowflake sprinkles and other cute baking accessories even thought I’m not sure if I’m ever going to use them.  And it also means that Christmas music is constantly stuck in my head.  That last one isn’t necessarily good.  Try going the whole afternoon with “Holly, Jolly Christmas” stuck in your head.  After hour three you make a pact with yourself never to watch Rudolph again.  😉

But of course there is also one very important thing we have to keep in mind druing this wonderful time we call December.  We have to remember that for this one glorious month of the year we can PEPPERMINT EVERYTHING!  Peppermint your cookies!  Peppermint your pudding!  Peppermint your tea!  Peppermint your mashed potatoes!

No, no.  Don’t do that last one.  I just got lost in the thrill of the moment.  That last one wouldn’t be good at all.  😀

Yes, grab that bottle of peppermint extract and throw caution to the wind.  We can enjoy peppermint with an unabashed joy that comes again maybe only around St. Patrick’s day…but that’s too far off to think about now.  We have to live in the now, right?  And the now means PEPPERMINT.

Now, I love a good peppermint dessert as much as the next person…unless of course the next person doesn’t like peppermint.  Then I just shrug my shoulders and wonder what the deal is.  🙂

But let’s be real.  How can we have peppermint in the morning and still display some semblance of normal eating habits?  I mean, I COULD have a peppermint cookie for breakfast, but usually that’s a slippery slope into pie for lunch and gummi  worms for supper.  Dark, dark lands, my friends.  😉

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There is always the chance that we could have some kind of peppermint donut for breakfast, but that might not be something we can get away with every day either.

So let’s go for it, shall we?  Let’s peppermint our oatmeal!

Because I am the number one oatmeal cheerleader.  Because this not only tastes like peppermint, it also tastes like a peppermint brownie!

Bliss for breakfast!  Now if I could only find a way to peppermint my supper.  Perhaps peppermint chocolate chip pancakes?  Because nothing is better than breakfast in the p.m.!

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(From a mint brownie overnight oats recipe found on Organize Yourself Skinny)

Mint Brownie Overnight Oats
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp chia
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients together and place in a jar or other small container overnight.

 

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Graham Cracker Toffee

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Hello all.  How’s everyone doing today?  It’s actually pretty nice here with the highs in the high thirties/low forties.  Of course that also means that there’s very little to no snow on the ground, which kind of bums me out.  There just better be enough to cover the ground come Christmas.  But since it’s only December 3rd I’ll try to keep my freaking out to a minimum.  There’s still time, right?

Here’s a question for you.  How early do you start your holiday baking?  Do you bake, bake, bake like mad the last few days before Christmas, or do you like to spread it out over December?

I’ve always liked to spread it out more.  That way I’m not so scatter-brained.  Otherwise I’ve been known to wander from the oven to the mixing bowl and end up WAY past the hard ball stage into “you’ve basically created a rock of sugar stage”.  🙂

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Is there a traditional Christmas treat that you like to eat, but you’ve never really made before?  Up here in Minnesota almond bark is KING.  Everyone knows a grandma who used to dunk little ball cookies in almond bark…or little haystacks.  But for some reason or another I never really messed with almond bark that much.  I was always too busy shoving divinity in my mouth, I guess.  😀

I’ve also never made peanut butter blossoms too often, and with some people it seems like a law to make them at least once before Christmas.  But I do LOVE to eat the ones that everyone else makes.  Mmm.  I could use one right now.

Well…there are no peanut butter blossoms today.  Instead, what I have for you is also something that seems to be wildly popular the last few years…toffee!  Now, I’ve seen recipes for this toffee or Christmas crack or whatever you want to call it made with graham crackers, saltines, or Ritz crackers.  All three appeal to me, but my never-ending desire for sweets drew me to the graham crackers right away.  😉

If you love fast treats for Christmas, this is definitely for you!

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(From a graham cracker toffee recipe on Two Peas and their Pod)

Graham Cracker Toffee
 
Ingredients
  • 15 full graham cracker sheets
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ cups chocolate chips
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a lipped baking pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place graham crackers in a single layer on the pan and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan mix together the butter and brown sugar on medium heat until melted.
  5. Simmer for 4 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  6. Pour the caramel onto the graham crackers and bake for 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Wait a few minutes for the chips to get soft, then spread them evenly across the graham crackers with a plastic spatula.
  8. Sprinkle with nuts and allow to sit for a few hours until set up.

 

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Cinnamon Ice Cream Affogato

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Hello everyone!  How is everyone’s week going so far?  Stressed? Chill?  Feeling a bit of ennui?  Angry that you didn’t get the cyber Monday deals you were hoping for?  Worry not!  Let’s all just take a deep breath and think happy thoughts: Christmas cookies, mini versions of barnyard animals, the joy of popping bubble wrap. 😉

For anyone who celebrates Christmas, do you have your tree up yet?  I still have to get mine.  I always like to do the fresh tree thang.  Nothing like walking in from outside and smelling that lovely pine smell.  I might actually cut my own tree down this year, people, not just buy a pre-cut one.  Can you imagine?  I mean…ME.  Cutting down a tree.

If you hear the sound of intense laughter in the distance it’ll probably be me tangling with a Scotch pine. 😄🎄

I’m also making a few Christmas ornaments this year.  I know, I know.  Me and crafts again.  I’m just a glutton for punishment aren’t I?  😉 I usually try to make a few every year.  One is a bulb ornament with quotes from A Christmas Carol inside, and the other is a paper mache top hat tree topper with old timey Christmas card images modge podged over it.  Wish me luck.

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If they both come out very abstract and non-representational I can just say it was an art experiment, right?  🙂

On to the dessert I’ll probably need after crafting and probably a tiny bit of swearing: a delicious affogato!  And this one really speaks to me because it’s made with cinnamon ice cream.  Of course you can use whatever ice cream your heart desires, but you know about my love for cinnamon.

This is a dessert that takes about five minutes to put together and always makes people smile, especially if they’re devoted coffee fans.  So there’s never an excuse not to have dessert, right?  😉

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Cinnamon Ice Cream Affogato
 
Ingredients
  • 1-2 small scoops of cinnamon ice cream
  • 1-2 shots of espresso
  • Dusting of cocoa powder, optional
Instructions
  1. Scoop ice cream into glass.
  2. Pour espresso over top.
  3. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

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Hot Cocoa For One

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Hey all! I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with joy and mashed potatoes.  Although, to be fair, joy and mashed potatoes are kind of the same thing, aren’t they?  🙂

Well, now that Thanksgiving is behind us it’s time to go full throttle on Christmas.  Looking outside the window yesterday I saw two different cars go by with Christmas trees.  If that doesn’t make you festive and ready to put on some Christmas tunes, I don’t know what will.

And what could be better to have while you’re trimming your Christmas tree than a nice mug of hot cocoa?  I know my last post was also hot chocolate, but darn it, I can’t help myself.  It’s just too good.  😉

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And this hot cocoa is totally different than the last one.  This is hot cocoa for one.  When you think of it hot chocolate for one is a perfect idea because if people are picky and want their own special add-ins, they can make it just the way they want it.  And nobody gets stuck with something they don’t like.  And then you also don’t have to roll your eyes at the really picky person who doesn’t want what everyone else wants.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s just like getting pizza delivered.  I hate when you’re with a group of people and you’re going to have a pizza delivered.  I’m always the person who says I’m fine with everything because if I really don’t like something I’ll pick it off or just deal with it.  But there are always a few people who NEVER want what the rest of the group wants.  The green pepper hater, perhaps…or the one who will ONLY eat Canadian bacon.

So feel free to be as picky as you want in this particular instance.  Because this is YOUR mug of hot cocoa.  This is YOUR mug of happy.  But just remember not to be this way when you’re ordering pizza with a crowd, because yes, we are all silently judging you.  🙂

Happy snacking!

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(From a hot cocoa recipe for one on Epicurious)

Hot Chocolate For One
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar, depending on taste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk, half and half, cream, or your favorite milk alternative
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix the cocoa, sugar, salt, and 2 tbsp milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until everything is dissolved and combined.
  2. When everything is mixed, add in remaining milk and stir.
  3. Continue to cook until cocoa is hot.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

 

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