Apple Napkins

These napkins will add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings, and will go with the Apple Placemats we made a last week. These can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. The napkins can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

apple stencil

napkins, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: red and/or green

2 paint brush

  1. Wash and dry the napkins. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the apple onto the napkins.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size apple stencil per napkin, to create a apple tree, basket of apples, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the napkins with another autumn color paint, create a grouping of mini apples placed to the side of a tree, etc.
  • Use these napkins for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your apple crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon

Pumpkin Napkins

The napkins will add a decorative touch to any holiday table, as well as to every day settings, and will go with the Pumpkin Placemats we made a couple of weeks back. These can be made or decorated with minimal effort and time, and will add a certain charm to the decor. The napkins can be created with pre-made placemats, if desired, making it an even easier project.

Materials:

pumpkin stencil

napkins, premade or homemade (Choose an off white color.)

parchment paper

fabric paints: orange, and green or brown for the stem

2 paint brush

  1. Wash and dry the napkins. Iron if needed.
  2. Put paints on parchment paper squares.
  3. Use the stencil to paint the pumpkin onto the napkins.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Tips:

  • It is okay to use more than 1 size pumpkin stencil per napkin, to create a pumpkin patch, pumpkin grouping, or whatever you desire.
  • You could use different shades of the same color paints on the mats.
  • Get creative: Outline the napkins with another autumn color paint, create a grouping of mini pumpkins placed to the side of a tree, etc.
  • Use these napkins for every day table settings, or for holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.
  • These can also be used for Samhain.
  • Use cotton fabric.
  • This craft is easy for children to help with.

Share your pumpkin crafts with us in the comments.

Happy crafting!

Shannon

Homemade Honey Butter

Zowie and I like honey butter. We once made this for a Thanksgiving party we threw for the daycare when the children were young, though it can be used any day: Holiday, Sabbat or not.

The recipe can be halved for normal table use. For larger gatherings, this recipe serves well.

(Update 2017) I don’t usually eat butter, but this is a holiday favorite.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

1/2 cup honey

  1. Place the butter and the honey in a bowl.
  2. Mix with an electric hand mixer, and then place the mixture into a smaller bowl.
  3. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. Remix with a fork before serving.

Tips

  • Use real butter and raw honey for the best results.
  • Wait for sales to save money.
  • Store in a canning jar in the refrigerator.

Serving Suggestions

  • Spread on a warm Paleo biscuit.

Shannon

Our Favorite Cheesecake

This is a favorite at all holiday and sabbat celebrations in our home. Everyone loves it, even though it’s not your traditional cheesecake. Anyone can make it, even a child. It is quick and easy to make, and tastes so good.

This recipe is for two cakes, but you can halve everything for one if you don’t need that much. We always make two so that there is sure to be enough for everyone.

Ingredients:

2 packages of cream cheese

16 ounces of whipped topping

2/3 cup sugar

2 graham cracker crusts

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a large bowl with an electric mixer.
  2. Pour the filling between the two crusts, and smooth out to the edges.
  3. Place the crust pan covers over the ‘cakes’ and place them in the refrigerator for an hour, or until you need them.

Tips

  • To save money, I buy all store brand items for this recipe.
  • Sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the top of the cheesecake.
  • Add strawberry slices around the outer edge, and a whole strawberry in the center.
  • Place cherries around the outer edge, and a dollop of whipped topping in the center. Place another cherry into the center of the topping.
  • Purchase mini graham cracker crusts for making mini cheesecakes so that each person can have their own. Top these with cherries, strawberries or kiwi, and a dollop of whipped topping.

For the holidays:

  • The holiday cheesecakes I made (pictured) have five dollops of whipped cream, one at the center.
  • One cheesecake has peppermint Hershey’s kisses pushed into the dollops, and dark chocolate shavings covering the top.
  • The second cheesecake has Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate (half) squares pushed into the dollops, then a drizzling of chocolate syrup.

What toppings do you enjoy on your cheesecake?

There’s nothing healthy about these cheesecakes. They’re made only for special family occasions because people love them. They are not a typical dessert item for me. I do make allowances for special family recipes once in a while, when an occasion calls for it, even though I try very hard to eat healthy most of the rest of the time.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Serve Up a Healthier Yule or Christmas Meal on a Budget

The traditional Yule or Christmas meal served in many homes is not always the healthiest. Sure there are healthy aspects to meal. Turkey is healthy. Peas are healthy. But there are also a number of unhealthy items served at this time. For those who are looking for healthier choices this holiday season, these recipes will give you just that.

The healthiest foods are not processed. When processed foods are used, they should be served with fresh or preserved foods, preferably organic and from your own garden. This is not always possible, but do the best you can with what you have. Homemade is often healthier than store-bought. There are healthier dessert option than the sweet cream pies, and healthier bread options than the sweet quick breads. There are also better options than margarine. What you choose to serve will depend on your families’ likes and any special nutritional needs.

NOTE: To save the ultimate amount of money, grow your own produce. Use foods preserved from your own garden when cooking the meal, and cook what you can from scratch. If you are having a hard time gathering enough food for the holidays due to lack of funds, contact all the food cupboards in your area.

Fruit Salad Parfait

Cheap fruit choices from the store, such as bananas, kiwi and utility apples

Coconut yogurt, or coconut cream with a few drops of pure vanilla, almond, or peppermint extract

Mini chocolate chips

  1. Peel and dice or chop fruit.
  2. Layer the fruit and the yogurt or cream in a decorative sundae or other cups.
  3. The top layer will be of yogurt or cream.
  4. Sprinkle a few candies on top.

Vegetable Salad

Cheap vegetables, such as carrot, Romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumber, and tomatoes

Parsley

Chives

  1. Wash and chop the vegetables, placing them in a large bowl.
  2. Wash and chop the herbs and add them to the bowl of vegetables.
  3. Mix.

Cranberry Juice Mixers

Cranberry juice (Sadly, I don’t have luck finding 100 % cranberry juice, so I make allowances for a less healthy beverage.)

Apple Juice or grape juice, or both 🙂

  1. Mix the juices together.
  2. Add ice cubes.

And don’t forget these favorites:

Turkey

Roasted potatoes

Roasted sweet potato and squash

Butternut squash and carrot mash

This might not be a typical holiday meal, but you might find some new favorites. Give it a chance and let us know how it goes.

Shannon