Cooking, Holidays

I’m dreaming of a warm Christmas

Conch shells in Key West

Oh, the weather outside in the Yadkin Valley region is lovely. And I hope it stays this way until summer. I’ve been hearing a lot of people say they can’t get in to the Christmas spirit because it’s not been cold enough. Well, bah humbug I say to that. People in Florida still celebrate the season, don’t they? And I bet they get right on into the spirit while still in their shorts and sipping on a rum runner.

As I may have mentioned, I can’t stand cold weather. Yes, snow is pretty. Yes, a lot of holiday music is all about a “White Christmas” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and all of that. I get it. And, honestly, I don’t mind a pretty snow once in a while if it comes on a day I don’t have to worry about driving in it.

I’m very much still pining for my wonderful days in Key West on my honeymoon earlier this year though and so this weather suits me just fine.

I’m perfectly in the holiday spirit of the season, even if it is 70 degrees. Last week Dad and I made two of our traditional holiday treats. We made homemade Chex mix and peanut butter crackers dipped in white chocolate.

I even watched the movie “White Christmas” while we were cooking. My favorite scene actually is when they are still in Florida and going to see the Haynes sisters perform. Of course, the “Sisters” number is classic with those gorgeous blue fans, but I also love the number “The Best Things Happen While Your Dancing.”

So, if the warm temperatures are keeping you from getting in the holiday mood, I suggest watching a good Christmas movie and baking some holiday treats to help get you in the spirit.

An easy and delicious treat to make is putting peanut butter between two Ritz crackers and then dipping it in white chocolate. The combination of salty and sweet is just divine. We make these every year.

We also love homemade Chex mix. It’s easy to make as well. The Chex cereal box likely has the recipe on it this time of year, but here is my version.

Kitsey’s Crispix Mix

• 1 box Crispix cereal
• 1 package colored goldfish snack crackers
• 1 package garlic bagel chips, crushed
• 1 can cocktail peanuts
• 3/4 of a large bag of Rold Gold pretzels (I like a lot of pretzels, but adjust to the amount you prefer. I use the stick shaped or the heart-shaped if I can find them.
• 1 stick butter, melted
• 2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
• 1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
• 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. onion powder

Combine all snack items into a large pan. Add Worcestershire and seasonings to melted butter and stir to combine. Slowly drizzle butter and seasoning mix over the cereal mix and stir gently with a large spoon or spatula to coat mixture well. I typically sprinkle a little additional Worcestershire and seasonings on mine at this point because I like it seasoned really well. Bake in a 250-degree oven for a total of one hour, every 15 minutes shake or stir mix to continue distributing the seasoning mix.

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