Christmas Goodies

Well, we are definitely in the swing of all things Christmas! Shopping, singing, concerts, events, tree trimming and baking!  Baking is one of my favourite activities, not only because I like sweets but I like how satisfying the end results usually are.  I baked some of our tried and true recipes this past weekend- family requests and personal favourites. I also tried a few new recipes with a couple that are more on the healthy side. I am going to share them with you here. 

First up is the classic peanut butter ball. What is better than peanut butter and chocolate together? For the last few years I’ve made them with natural peanut butter and nobody has mentioned they taste any different so it’s been nice to cut out some of the sugar in them! I also use the organic brown rice crispies from Nature’s Path to also cut out some of the simple sugars. There is still plenty of sweetness in them!

Peanut butter balls

Servings: 48
Author: Sheila

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice krispies
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp melted margarine

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients and put in fridge for 20 minutes. Make balls and dip in melted chocolate of choice.  I like the Chipits premium dark brand. 

Next is another peanut butter ball that blogger Serena of “the little farmer’s wife” blog from Ontario published just this season that I had to try with  only 4 ingredients. Are you ready? 1 cup natural peanut butter, 1/3 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup honey and 1 cup chocolate chips. If you have any allergy intolerance, you can find the Enjoy Life brand of chocolate chips to use instead.  Simply mix the first 3 ingredients, roll into balls and freeze for 15-20 mins. Melt chocolate and roll balls in chocolate and put back on cookie sheet.  This makes about 16 balls.  They are delicious!  

 This next recipe is one I’ve made for years. I can’t remember where I got the recipe but it’s a big hit for Rolo fans!

Rolo Cookies

Servings: 60
Author: Sheila

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 pkgs Rolos

Instructions

  • Beat sugars and butter, add vanilla and eggs. Stir in flour, cocoa and baking soda. Chill 1 hour. Shape ~ 1.5 tsp dough around individual rolo. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and chill 1 hour. Bake 7-10 min @ 375 degrees. Cool on pan a few minutes then put on cooling rack. 

 If we aren’t addicted to sugar yet, how about something called Christmas Crack?? I made this recipe from Farm Fresh Style a couple years ago when Lori posted it and my daughter continues to request it.  You can find her recipe on her blog highlighted above.

The prep stage
Waiting for the chips to melt..

 I think my second favourite combination is chocolate and coconut- anybody with me? I love Nick the Dutch Baker’s coconut and chocolate cookies and always grab one if someone is offering. I saw this recipe posted this year by another NB blogger “Older Mommy Still Yummy” who made a similar one to Nick’s. Of course I had to try them! Check out her website for the recipe!

This next recipe is also a new one. I had seen a few bloggers from Nova Scotia make this recipe found on Kelly Neil’s website and developed by Kathy Jollimore from the new PC® Insiders Collection™ for Holiday using their new PC Milk Chocolate with Toasted Coconut Bar. When I first read the ingredients you’ll see it calls for coconut chips– I thought it was a coconut flavoured baking chip but they are actually roasted coconut pieces! I substituted white chocolate chips but I would love to try them again with the proper ingredient this time, especially with my love of coconut!

 

This second to last recipe has been a favourite for years. It makes a great little gift wrapped up in some ribbon and pretty bag. People love it ! My friend recently called it her Christmas Crack. It is simply Almond Bark. The recipe is easy for this one : 1 cup toasted almonds, 6 oz white chocolate, 6 oz milk or dark chocolate ( I prefer dark).  You melt the chocolates in separate bowls- stir 1/2 cup almonds in each bowl. On a parchment line pan, scoop out mounds of each chocolate and place on pan spaced evenly apart, alternating the kinds of chocolate. Then take a knife and gently swirl the 2 kinds together and smooth gently until it is in a single flat layer. Chill in fridge 1-2 hours until firm . Then break into pieces. Easy, peasy but so rewarding and good!

Last but not least is this healthy, paleo, vegan, and grain free gingerbread granola. I love a nice, richly spiced granola. When I saw this on Facebook recently I had to try it. It is not a traditional granola with oats, it is made entirely with nuts. It is from the website Paleo Running Momma. You can check it out here. It really is as good as it says and looks! Yummy in a yogurt parfait!

Lovely in a breakfast yogurt parfait!

That’s quite a round up of baking! I think that is all I will be making this year. We may run out of peanut butter balls so we may have to make another batch of those. There is so much inspiration out there for Christmas entertaining. I hope this inspires you. If you have a favourite recipe you would like to share, leave it in the comments! If you have any questions about them also ask in the comments of reach me on my Facebook page- The Road to Waterside. 

Thanks and happy baking!

My NB Christmas Tree

Good evening everyone! Since I saw Jenna from Pickle Planet Moncton and Ruth from Everything Unscripted sharing their NB themed Christmas trees a couple weeks ago I had to find out what it was all about. It turned out they were sharing for a “My NB Christmas Tree” contest that had been started by Jenna and another Jenna joined as well from There’s a Shoe for That to promote the contest. This looked like something right up my alley.  It didn’t take me too long to come up with a theme. What was more linked to New Brunswick than the iconic maple leaf as well as all the wonderful maple syrup and products we produce. 

I had a litte tree in my dining room I usually decorate so I thought it would be perfect for trying to decorate in a “Maple” theme.  I envisioned maple leaves painted in the new metallic colours that just got released this month from Fusion Mineral Paint. I found some artificial maple leaves that The Hospice Shoppe still had around in their back room and painted them them with all 3 colours- Rose Gold, Champagne Gold , and Vintage Gold. Thank you Front Porch Mercantile for letting me try out these new colours!

 

 

I then envisioned some maple implements and equipment. I thought who could I borrow some maple implements from ? I immediately thought of Briggs Maples who we had featured back in the Spring. Mr. Briggs didn’t really know what I was going to do with his equipment but he was kind enough to lend me some authentic maple sap buckets and tree spigots. 

I needed something else to hang on the tree to give some contrast and what would be more classic then maple sugar cookies? I found this recipe on Pinterest via BlessThisMess. The maple syrup I used is also from Briggs Maples that we bought back in the spring. We keep the 4 litre container in the freezer and pour some into a smaller container whenever we need more. It doesn’t freeze solid but keeps it fresher in the freezer. 

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Maple Sugar Cookies

Course: Dessert
Author: Bless This Mess

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.5 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.
    In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
    The dough should be a little bit stiffer than a traditional chocolate chip cookie dough recipe. You made need to add and up to an additional 1/4 cup of flour to achieve this. The dough should not be tacky to the touch. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
    Remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 4 pieces. Roll one piece out on a lightly floured surface until the dough is 1/4 of an inch thick. Cut the dough with cookie cutters and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown and the centers a set. Let the cookies cool on the pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
    Enjoy with a cold glass of milk and store any extras in an air-tight container.

 

I wanted a bit more colour and shimmer on the tree so thought about mini jars of maple syrup- I picked up some little containers at Dollarama and filled them carefully with maple syrup.

Lastly, we needed a garland!  I had a plain lighted burlap garland that was perfect for stencilling on some maple leaves with more Fusion Metallic Paint. The end result wasn’t what I expected but added a little shimmer anyway. The metallics didn’t show up as brightly on the dark burlap as I had hoped but it was fun to try anyway. You can see the 3 new colours in the containers below- from Left to Right is Rose Gold, Champagne Gold and Vintage Gold. 

Below are all the different elements in my tree:

 

And here’s my finished tree!

Well this was a fun project!  I may just leave it decorated this way for the season!

Christmas Crafting 2018

It’s December which means it’s my favourite month to decorate and make new items whether for the house or as gifts. It’s a form of relaxation and an outlet for me to be able express my creativity by making something beautiful with a little recycling , paint and ingenuity. I don’t consider myself naturally gifted but I do like to try my hand at making things.

This year I picked up some items at Front Porch Mercantile like this burlap pillow cover and stencil.  I picked up a piece of pine at Kent and some Fusion Mineral Paint and got to painting. The stencil is from Funky Junk Interiors and it makes a buffalo check pattern!

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Riverside History

Nothing says more to me about the history of  of Albert County and especially Riverside- Albert than when you drive through its’ streets with the large trees casting long shadows and come upon a large 3 story building that seems out of place, set back off the road, and unique in its’ construction and design. The Riverside Consolidated School has had its challenges in past years but it continues to stand strong with the help of its community and the many children and parents who have gone through its doors. Mark took a few pictures this fall that look great with the changing leaves.

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Sussex destinations

Remember our trip to St. Martin’s and The Fundy Trail a few weeks ago?  Well you have to go through Sussex to get there so of course I had to check out a few places while we were there!  These 3 places are on the same block and beside one another on Main St. so you don’t have to go far to check them out. They are all working together in one way or another to support each other’s businesses. Read on!

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White Gold

Between getting ready for my son’s 19th birthday this past weekend and the holidays coming up all reminded me of some of the Christmas traditions we have carried on with our kids . These traditions include getting a live Christmas tree, putting out the Nativity set, going to Christmas Eve service at church,  reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve with family, opening 1 present on Christmas Eve, and eating breakfast before we open gifts on Christmas morning . The best tradition we love is making “White Gold” aka homemade ice cream!

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Down Memory Lane Part 2

The last time I shared some memories of the Fundy area we ended at my teenage years. When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a moment of feeling depressed because I was sad about all my activities ending and that I felt my life would be changing forever. The summer I graduated was when I met Mark and well, I was no longer depressed after that 🙂 .  A lot of our dates  were spent in Fundy park and the Fundy area.  I was even able to work as a lifeguard at the Fundy pool for a couple summers in university which was fine with us, more time in Fundy! The Fundy region is special to us because of the memories we’ve had at different times in our lives and this time was extra special.

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Blogging reflections

 

I attended my first blogging conference this past weekend called Blog Jam Atlantic. It was the 4th year for the event and I took the opportunity to go since it was in Moncton this year. Since I am new to blogging I figured the $100 wasn’t too much to find out more about the blogging community and if it is really something I want to continue. I was ready to quit last week after having technology challenges with Facebook and feeling very inadequate in the technology arena. Even though I have a husband in IT and very smart in all thinks tech related and I have a son doing a Computer Science degree I still feel overwhelmed at everything one can do with their blog. I do have a vision for how I want the blog to look and am looking at what opportunities I can do with it and the community in the future but getting there sometimes feels very daunting.

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The beautiful Fundy Trail and a dedication

Before we get to the beautiful Fundy Trail Parkway which we visited this past weekend, I want to dedicate this post to my dear Aunt Diane Page who we  lost this past week to cancer. We celebrated her life on Monday in Quispamsis where she and her family have lived since the early 70s. She was a lover of family and photos. One of the last times I saw her she was still trying to get on her tablet and show me her most recent photos of her family. Her family had her albums out to view during the visitation time. I came across a couple of her and my uncle on the suspension bridge and with their vehicle crossing the Big Salmon River back in the day when all there was was a rough dirt road to get there. She also had some of her grand kids down to St. Martin’s  this summer so I knew she liked getting down to this area. It’s an easy quick trip from Saint John to get there and enjoy the day by the sea and in another couple years it will be an even easier trip from Alma to access this beautiful area. Right now it takes about 45 minutes from Saint John or  1.5 hours from Moncton to get to St. Martin’s and the start of the Fundy Trail Parkway.

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Let’s go glamping!

Down the road past the Hopewell Rocks and along the beautiful drive on route 114 that follows the coast with views of Grindstone Island, you will come to some idyllic pastures with views of horses out on  the marsh or you may see some horses and riders out for a ride near the Sawmill Creek bridge as you come to the entrance of Broadleaf Farm Ranch. I love seeing what’s going on at the ranch every time we pass to go to the cottage.

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