Sunday, December 29

Fire Crackers

I have fallen in love with these "fire crackers"! Last year my husband and I went to a bonfire, and one of the neighbors brought a mason jar full of crackers. She told me she "just mixed some vegetable oil with ranch dressing mix." Well, I decided to kick it up a notch. Here is how I make my fire crackers.

1 box of saltine crackers
1 cup of vegetable oil
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper

1. Whisk ranch mix, red pepper, garlic, onion, and chili powder into vegetable oil.

2. Place entire box of saltines into a large airtight container.

3. Pour dressing over crackers and seal container. 

4. Gently toss the dressing over the crackers & allow to sit overnight, tossing occasionally.

Tips: Make sure to grab the ranch dressing mix, and not the ranch "dip" mix.

I like to use the round saltines instead of the square ones. Play with both of them! While you're at it, try the "mini" saltines too. Maybe even oyster saltines! The possibilities are endless!

I store my crackers in a large mason jar. I bought mine at Runnings Farm and Fleet store, but they also carry them at craft stores like Hobby Lobby.

Enjoy! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 19

Hot Cocoa Mason Jar Gifts

I started feeling a little crafty this weekend and decided to make some cute little hot cocoa gifts to give out to our family and friends. These little guys are not only easy to make, but a very affordable gift to pass! Here is what I used.

16oz {pint sized} Mason jars with lids
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Granulated Sugar
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Mini Marshmallows
Ribbon {optional}

Begin by washing and drying each Mason jar. Then, fill each jar with 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. {I needed to use a mason jar funnel to avoid cocoa powder "poofing" all over the edge of the jar!} I shook the jar a bit to get the cocoa in one, flat layer before pouring 1/4 cup granulated sugar on top. After shaking the jar again to smooth the sugar out, I topped it with about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, and then finished it off with mini marshmallows. For the marshmallows, I actually overfilled the jar and pressed them down to ensure the jars were completely filled. I would say there was about 1/4 cup of mallows as well, but if we are being completely honest with each other here; I just handfulled both the chocolate chips and mallows. Probably 1 handful of chocolate chips to 2 handfuls of compressed marshmallows. Probably would have helped the recipes sake if I would have measured, huh? Oh well, we won't tell anyone else.

Decoration of the jars is completely up to you! That's right! Do whatever your creative little heart desires! I had planned to glitz it up with glitter glue, and bedazzle "Merry Christmas" across the jar ring, maybe even sprinkle them with fairy dust? But then life happened, and a simple red ribbon was the perfect touch. I had also planned to hand write the instructions on cute little notecards, but after writing 2 or 3 of them, I realized my hand writing is terrible & that idea was out the window. Instead, I printed them on computer paper and cut circles using the lid as a guide, and screwed it on between the lid and the ring. Crafty!

As for the instructions: Melt entire jar with 8 cups of milk on the stovetop over low heat until chocolate chips are smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

{Yes, that really does say 8 entire cups. Your eyes do not deceive you. I know it seems like an obnoxious amount of hot cocoa, but it's the perfect ratio of milk to cocoa. If you aren't looking to feed an army of chilly, winter guests, try using 8oz {half pint} Mason jars, and cut the recipe in half, using 1/4 cup of hot cocoa to 1/8 cup of sugar!}

Merry Christmas!