Snowman cheese ball

Headed to a party this evening. And we are taking a snow man cheese ball.  We made one for a holiday party a few years back and of course did not write down the directions. I have a few food allergies so everything we end up making ends up different.  I usually look up several different types of recipes and than mash them together to get something both the husband and I will like.

The husband cooked the bacon yesterday. Today I am warming it up a bit in order to have as much grease drain off as possible. I crumbled about 5 full pieces once warmed up.  It has to be crispy but not burnt.

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The base of the ingredients is cream cheese, we used 2 8oz. packages. Cream cheese is kinda the glue and what helps give our little snow man his shape.  But you do need to let the cream cheese warm up a bit before building so that it mixes well. He will go back in the refrigerator to get chilly once built.

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I put in a bowl 3 cups of Mexican mix shredded cheese and 1 cup of the shredded mild cheddar cheese. Tossed them a bit to get them well mixed and then added my bacon crumbles to the mix and tossed that mix. Then comes the super messy part. I added my softened cream cheese.

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Wash your hands good, then wash them again and then get your hands in there.  You have got the blend it really well. Nothing works better than your hands and eyes.  And then you need to split up the mix and remember the head is just a bit smaller than the snowman butt.

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Yes you will see that my snowman isn’t really white. this is where your grated Parmesan (and Ramano) comes in. You will coat the outside of the head and butt with the grated cheese. this is your fluffy snow look. I used about 1/2 of a cup.  Press in into the cheese balls gently with your hands and this also helps to further shape your head and butt into nice round balls.

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We used pretzel sticks as our construction beams.  Because they are edible.  You should never put anything into a dish that is not edible such as toothpicks for structure stability, there might be smaller children who are helping themselves. Safety first!

I gently pushed the pretzel sticks into the base, didn’t want them to break, because if they break then you have to dig out pretzel sticks and that is not fun. One pretzel stick easily breaks, and two  does as well, but three you have more support, so if you trip while carrying your little snow man he is less likely to have his little head roll right off and onto the floor. then I gently push his had onto the three pretzel sticks, very careful not to snap the sticks. Then he goes into the refrigerator to chill a bit while I make his little outfit.

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Twizzler’s pull and peel! They have a bunch of different flavors and colors so you can go with which ever flavor is your favorite to eat, there will be left over Twizzlers. I used a total of one section. I pulled them a part in three sections, two strips I smashed together to make one long scarf.  The other section I chopped up into pieces to make gloves and a smile.

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I needed to get a small kitchen knife to scoop out where the smile was going because it wasn’t staying/ sticking very well because of the Parmesan on the outside. I also used this technique to put in the olive eyes. Pretzel bit for the nose and pretzels for the arms. The gloves were just a bit of a challenge because once you pull apart the Twizzlers they are finicky to get back together.  Just a touch of water and a bit of squishing and they stay in place enough for presentation.

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I do not have any fresh rosemary growing at our new house yet, that will be put in in the spring. But I do have lavender still green out side.  I snipped off two sprigs and washed it very well, and poked a few into the head because I don’t have a top hat for the little guy, so I made him a little girl.  Cute as a button!

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We have our party pack of crackers and a plastic knife for spreading and we are ready to party!

So an hour to thaw the cream cheese and an hour maybe to build. You probably will not be taking photos for each step and typing in between. So I am sure you can put your little snow man together quicker.  You night even want to use a carrot for a nose too.

Snowman/lady cheese ball was a total success! Yours will be too!

RickabaughReviews approves!

 

 

Winter wreath

The fall and winter holidays are coming up. Yes it is only November 9th. Christmas is slowly taking over all your favorite stores. The husband and I purchased a new home this year and we are trying very hard to keep costs down for a bit until we have the new house budget under our belts for a year. Our new house is bigger on the first floor and thus more space to decorate. It is very exciting because we love to decorate for the holidays. It can get very pricey. We did okay making a few of our own Halloween crafts ourselves. I did do a bit of spending before our small party.

Christmas will be different, we have 3 times the amount of decor filled tubs in the attic. And what hurts even less is when we purchased our Aunt and Uncles home they ended up giving us a bunch of Christmas decor and a huge box of lights that they didn’t want to take 8 hours south to the beach with them. But I am always looking for a good deal and always wanting to craft up a storm.

My husband and I like to window shop, we are both very craft oriented and get our ideas in stores, also its a great way to get in some steps of exercise. We saw a very beautiful Christmas wreath for over $50. But even with their 50% off sale it was still too much. And so shopping with my friend Donna paid off. We had a wreath form in the attic and I only needed a few things to make it look very similar.

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Wire Wreath Frame 16-Green

I used a 16 inch wide wreath form like the one above.
Pro crafting tip: when window shopping and you like something you see, take a photo of it with your smart phone. Photo to reference!

I am very allergic to pine trees so all fake all the time. Sad but everything can still look great.

We found the filler fake pine. It comes in a folded up length usually 9 foot. Which I have found to be perfect for wreathes.

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Christmas Decor – Christmas House Artificial Pine Garlands, 15 ft. (SET OF 2)

Right now the prices in craft stores are going up because of the holidays and people will pay the higher prices because they need it last minute.  The price on Amazon is super good definitely if you are making an extra large wreath or multiples.

Never Never Never pay full price for decor. Only purchase once shopping around to find the best price and using coupons. I also got a few sprays or picks.

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Close up photo for full appreciation of their cool winter feel.

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Just a little bit of sparkle, not too much. I also got two large white Poinsettias that have a nice clip on the back. These clips were 50% off but still the most expensive out of everything.

Here is a link to a very pretty red pick/spray that can be pulled apart, which can go great with many different styles of wreaths. Country, classic, or fun filled with kids and toys. Such as the following picks you might not even know exist.  You can put in some personal feeling picks to make it more your style instead of a simple white poinsettia.

Factory Direct Craft Package of 24 Glittery Red Artificial Berry Picks for Holiday Decorations or Floral Arranging

Factory Direct Craft Package of 36 Red and White Sparkling Candy Cane Picks for Holiday and Home Decor

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Close up of the clip.

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I only ended up using one of the Poinsettias in the end product. I also did not use all of the spray/picks once they were pulled apart.

Keep in mind: sometimes less is more.

First the husband and I pulled apart the purchased picks.

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They pull apart very easily, it is just a little bit of flower tape holding them together.  Sometimes they don’t come apart perfectly and I get one or two individual decor on a wire.  If you are doing a very large wreath then you may want to keep the picks as you purchase them, especially if the large wreath will be elevated where it may be difficult to see small fine details.

Next we attached the fake pine to the metal wreath form.  I have some thin craft wire that I got over six years ago and it works perfectly when putting together wreathes together.  If you don’t have craft wire, but everything else twist ties work great! You can leave the paper on them so you have a good hold on the wire, sometimes its slippy without the wire.

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I attach the garland around the outer edge first then the inner most edge next, if there is leftover I continue to attach it in the middle section. This allows me to fill in and fold over little branches to cover up holes as needed. It also allows me to move aside branches to secure my fancy decor so that it doesn’t fall off my wreath.

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As you can see I have twisted the base of the spray to the metal wreath form, then I take a branch or two and wrap it around the base of the spray in order to hold the spray of decor exactly where I want it to stay.

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If you want a very balanced look, do your math and place them evenly.  After I had the plain white in I filled in with the multi colored sprays.

Next is the ribbon which sometimes can be tricky.  I highly advise getting wired ribbon.  This means there is a small piece of ribbon on either side of the ribbon and you are able to mold it into a shape and it will keep that shape without too much support.

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Twist in the beginning and the end of the ribbon, wrap it loose so that you are able to move it around a bit if you have more to finish up your wreath.

I only put on one of my big flowers and it looks great. When placed right in the middle of the bottom or in the middle of the top are for those who need everything just so-so they can feel organized and calm.  The world is crazy out there, if this is you, Do it! It looks amazing!

My husband and I throw a little more caution to the wind and we put it near the bottom.

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Sweet and Simple!

Both of the Rickabaughs approve!