Family, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Fun Family Winter Activities

Don’t let winter get you down! Even if you live where the weather is frightful, there are plenty of delightful activities for you and your family to do. We compiled a list of some of our favorite ideas here, along with a few tips and useful products to help you get the most out of your experience!

Outdoor Activities with Snow

  • Build a snowman or a snow fort
  • Go sledding or snow tubing
  • Go skiing
  • Make snow angels
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Snow paint (see details below!)

How do you snow paint?

All you need is empty spray bottles, water and food coloring! Rinse out the bottles, fill them with water and add 20 drops of food coloring to each bottle. Start with 1 bottle each of red, blue and yellow. If you have more bottles, you can create more colors by combining them (just like in art class)!

  • 10 drops of red + 10 drops of blue = purple
  • 10 drops of red + 10 drops of yellow = orange
  • 10 drops of blue + 10 drops of yellow = green

Your kids will love spray painting snow men, snowballs or just drawing pictures on that big white snow canvas!

Outdoor Activities (No Snow Required)

  • Rent a cabin in the woods
  • Go on a self-guided holiday light tour
  • Collect pinecones and small evergreen branches to create a centerpiece
  • Take a hike through the woods
  • Blow bubbles and watch them freeze (below 32° F)
  • Set up an “ice gem” treasure hunt for the kids (see details below!)

What are “ice gems”?

Ice gems are simply ice cubes that have been made with food coloring. Fill an ice tray with water, add 2 or 3 drops of food coloring to each compartment and put it in the freezer. Use different colors to represent different types of gems (rubies, emeralds, sapphires, etc.).

Indoor Activities

  • Build a cozy blanket fort with lights
  • Set up an indoor scavenger hunt
  • Bake cookies
  • Make paper snowflakes
  • Make bird feeders (see below for details!)

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts, if desired

Steps

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat softened butter and sugars with electric mixer on medium speed or with spoon until fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Stir in flour mixture just until blended and dough is stiff. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  4. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light brown (center will be soft). Cool 2 minutes. Remove cookies and place on cooling rack for about 30 minutes.  

If you would like to add this recipe to your collection, download the Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe card.

This blot post was courtesy of Thirty One Gifts. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Thank you Baker by Nature for today’s recipe….

Prep: ook

Cool: ield: 2 dozen

 

Ingredients

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
  • 2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (don’t pack the flour into the measuring cup!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
  • 24 pecan halves, for decoration, optional

Instructions

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.

For the Brown Butter:

  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes – stirring almost constantly – until the butter has browned.
  2. Pour the brown butter into a heatproof bowl, being sure to scrape all of the “toasted” bits into the bowl as well.
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the butter is at room temperature. You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation. It should not be liquid at all.
  4. Once the butter is at room temperature, you’re ready to get baking!

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.
  4. Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.
  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt right when they come out of the oven. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Remember if you submit a recipe to me and I use it in my blog, YOU will receive a FREE gift from me….What is your favorite recipe during the holiday season?

Pack up those holiday cookies and take them with you as a hostess gift to your next party.  Thirty One’s Little Carry Alls are perfect for this…These novelty Littles Carry-All Caddys are also the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks, candy and seasonal home décor.  Lots of choices for everyone in the family.  You can even use these as a stocking stuffer instead of traditional stockings.

Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday – “No Bake” PB & Chocolate Chip Balls

Thank you Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen for this wonderful, quick and easy “No Bake” cookie!  I LOVE the fact they are Naturally gluten-free.In a medium sized mixing bowl add your oats, 5 Tbsp of peanut butter {save 2 Tbsp}, vanilla and salt. Set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring brown sugar, milk, and butter to a simmer for about 3-4 mins- whisking so it doesn’t burn.

Pour hot mixture over dry mixture and stir well. Then, add in the remaining 2 Tbsp of peanut butter. Stir well again.

Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour until cooled and firm.Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, mix with hands and shape into balls.

Serves:15-20
Prep time:10 mins      Cook time:4 mins        Total time:14 mins

Ingredients
4½ cups old fashioned oats (flute free)
7 Tbsp of Peanut butter {divided 5 and 2}
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
3 cups brown sugar
¾ cup milk
½ cup butter

Instructions
– In a medium sized bowl add oats, 5 Tbsp peanut butter, salt and vanilla. Set aside.
– In a medium sauce pan bring to a simmer your brown sugar, milk and butter. Let simmer for 3-4 mins-whisk every 30 seconds so the bottom doesn’t burn.
– Add hot mixture to your oat mixture. Stir well. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of peanut butter and stir well again.
– Place bowl in refrigerator for 1 hour to let cool and firm up.
– Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, mix with hands and roll into balls.

Janelle Nehrenz is a Christian, a Wife, a Stay at Home Mom of 3 young children and a proud- to- claim- it “Foodie”

Share your recipes with us, we love to try new things!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!