Jac o' lyn Murphy

Monday, December 11, 2017

Goody, Goody... 5 fun things to do with Gumdrops

Gumdrops just make me happy.
They are bright, colorful and festive any time of year.
They are also one of the most versatile of all the goodies in candyland.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use them...

Yellow gumdrops with a sprig of rosemary make instantly festive pineapples.
Much more convenient than a trip to Hawaii!

Gnome matter how hard I try, 
I can not resist these legendary garden creatures...

A scoop of ice cream, sugar cone and strategically place gumdrops, 
turn an ordinary desert into a magical treat!
(I use Clover Sonoma Sweet Cream, 
not only is it the perfect color but I think it makes the perfect scoop.)

The word drop often has a negative connotation, 
"I dropped my phone", "She dropped the ball", etc.
But if you put the word after lemon or gum it makes everyone smile.
Why not combine the two into a happy hour crowd pleaser?

I shake together:
2 oz chilled vodka, 1/2 oz Triple Sec, 1 oz simple syrup and juice of half lemon
Garnish with floating slice of lemon and skewered yellow gum drops.
I make sure the gumdrops rest on top of the liquid,
 so the sugar from the candy dissolves into the cocktail!

Upgrade the gingerbread man's house to a sweet and colorful abode...

Nestle him in an acrylic house full of gumdrops 
and he'll have the most festive place on the block.

Lastly, gumdrops make the perfect wreath.

They are ideal for decorating cupcakes, cookies or simply on a plate...

Sweet holiday wishes!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Oh Christmas Cheese!

Cheese platters are a crowd pleaser, 
cheese platters are easy, 
cheese platters are delicious, 
cheese platters should never be boring!

I keep lots of cheese on hand during the holidays. 
It seems like someone is always stopping by 
or we need to bring something over to a friend's house.
Turning Christmas Cheese into Christmas Trees,
is my favorite way to make it Merry and Bright...

A flat wooden tree, topped with rosemary and battery operated led lights are all you need.
(I got the tree at Michael's last year, 
but you could also make a tree pattern out of the rosemary sprigs on a flat tray to lay the cheese on)
Once you deck the boughs...

add the cheese.
I decorated with Brie....

triple cream...

and manchego...

Rocking around the Christmas Tree, 
never tasted so good!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Snowflake topped Potato Soup

Thank you Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups for sponsoring this post. Stay warm with this winter with a cozy bowl of soup!

Winter in California is unlike anywhere else.
It's typically sunny and warm but as soon as the temperature dips into the low 70's, 
we instantly whip out our scarves, sweaters and mittens to brave the frigid air!
We constantly talk about how "cold" it is 
and my friends on the East Coast laugh at how silly we are.
No matter what temperate it is, I think it's always a great idea to warm up 
with a comforting bowl of snowflake topped potato soup. 

Lately, I have been cozying up with the amazing  Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups.
They have all the flavorful, slow-cooked taste of restaurant-quality soup 
and they are ready in just five minutes.
Each is filled with real, red potatoes and red potato skins
and deliver exceptional taste and texture with every spoonful.
The soups have so much flavor, it tastes like they've been cooking all day.
They are so great to have on hand for a quick but satisfying lunch or to have with dinner anytime.

On this 68 degree day, I garnished the Creamy Potato Soup with a cheesy snowflake.
As I watched it melt into the delicious soup, 
I imagined was in the middle of a snowstorm with each bite.
It is hearty, savory, soothing and so good.

I have never met a soup topper I didn't like, 
it just adds a touch of fun to the bowl.
My family loves it and 
 these snowflakes are so easy to make.

I used a dough cutter that also imprints a pattern,
 but a regular snowflake cookie cutter works great as well.
(available at most craft stores)

Place the cutter on a slice of very cold cheese and press down firmly but gently...
(I used provolone) 

and instantly there is a snowstorm!

It is the perfect novelty for our sunny winter weather...

or a real snow day!

Idahoan Steakhouse® Soups are available in four delicious flavor varieties: 
Loaded Potato, Creamy Potato, Cheddar Broccoli and Cheddar Potato.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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