FUN Foods

Long winter nights when the blizzard winds blew and the whirling snow piled up by the foot outside our house and nothing could warm like a good cup of hot chocolate foaming with marshmallows on top and a cookie or two for dipping brings back pleasant memories – and it still works, except seen the snow pile up by the foot in a long time Maybe this year!

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So when you need a little thaw from the inside out, or if you’re just looking for a way to keep the kids occupied – call everyone to the kitchen to try these fun winter treats.

Crispy Rice Snowman:

3 Tbs. butter or margarine
4 cups mini-marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups Rice Krispies
Canned frosting of choice

Melt butter or margarine over low heat in a large saucepan or in the microwave in a large bowl. Add vanilla and marshmallows. If microwaving, return to microwave for brief intervals (30 seconds) until marshmallows are melted, stirring between each interval. If using regular stove, remove from heat once marshmallows are melted to prevent scorching. Add cereal and stir well until coated. Line a large cookie sheet with wax paper. As soon as the mixture is cool enough to touch, rub a little margarine or butter on your hands and form the cereal mixture into balls. Work quickly so cereal mixture stays warm.

You will need 2 balls for each snowman. Use about 1 cup of the mixture for the body and ¾ cup for the head balls. Set your larger ball on the wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place the small ball on top of the larger ball. If necessary, use a dab of frosting to help the 2 balls stick together.

Now you are ready to decorate! Use a dab of frosting to stick items to the snowmen. Here are a few ideas to give him his own personality:

Raisins (eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, etc.)
Red Hots (eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, etc.)
M and M’s (eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, etc.)
Chocolate Chips (eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, etc.)
Tiny Jelly Beans (eyes, nose, mouth, buttons, etc.)
Large Gum Drops (hat)
Pretzel Sticks (Arms)

Let the snowmen set for a few hours and enjoy!

Sugar Coated Pecans:

1 egg white
1 Tbs. cold water
1 lb. pecans
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. butter

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Separate the egg white into a large bowl. In the bowl, beat the egg white and water until medium peaks form, about four minutes. Stir in pecans until thoroughly coated. In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add sugar mixture to pecans and mix well. Spread coated pecans on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Bake the pecans for one hour, making sure to stir every 15 minutes to separate pecans. Remove the treats from the oven and let them cool. Store sugared pecans in a tightly covered container.

Old-Fashioned Snow Cream:

1 cup of milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
Clean Snow, newly fallen

When ready to make your snow cream, run outside with a bowl and scoop up 4 - 5 cups of fresh, clean snow with a large kitchen spoon or dip it with a cup. Don’t pack the snow! Bring it in the house and set it in the freezer until you need it.

Mix together the milk, vanilla, and the sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Slowly add the snow to your mixture, stirring constantly, until it is as thick as ice cream! Eat up!

(For a “cool” variation, kids can add a drop of their favorite food coloring into their mixture.)

Simple Hot Mulled Cider:

½ gallon apple cider
3-5 sticks of cinnamon (or 2-3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon)
2 Tbsp. whole cloves (or 2 tsp. ground cloves)
1 tsp. nutmeg

Pour cider into a large saucepan and heat. When simmering, add spices and cover for a about thirty minutes. Pour into mugs and enjoy!

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