It’s that time of year again, when you want to curl up with some holiday reads to cheer you up and when you’re running to holiday parties left and right. Piper and I both know what it’s like to have busy holiday seasons, so we thought we’d share some of our favorite reads and quick dishes for you to make this holiday season.
Poppy is gearing up for a “white elephant” Christmas party tomorrow night, so she made one of her favorite appetizers that is always a hit at parties. Grape Jelly Meatballs. Now, you’re probably thinking it sounds nutso to add grape jelly to meatballs, but they’re awesome. And the best part, only 3 ingredients to toss in your slow cooker and you’re done!
A party is never really a party without some dip so Poppy also whipped up a batch of her favorite Crab Rangoon dip. If you like the deep fried version at Chinese restaurants, give this dip a try. Now, the recipe says for you to fry up your own wontons, Poppy serves it with a nice big bowl of crackers (pictured is wheat thins). She also adds some chopped scallions to her version just for kicks and giggles, but she likes the addition and hopes you will too.
While Poppy was whipping that up, Piper decided to do some sweet treats. Piper loves candy canes and peppermint, so when she found this recipe for Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow, she knew she had to try it out. It’s sweet, minty, and festive! The original recipe author even suggested giving it away as a gift, and Piper thinks that would be a cute idea. Just pop them in some Christmas themed bags or whatever you like and take them with you. Melting the chocolate was the longest part of this recipe, and that was a breeze. You can have this done in under 10 minutes, no problem.
And since Piper was on a peppermint kick, she decided to mix up some Peppermint White Hot Chocolate. This was another quick, easy recipe, which requires very few ingredients, but looks really cute and festive once prepared. Piper’s son and husband were big fans. And who doesn’t love hot chocolate–or at least something hot–when it’s cold and blustery outside?
Another thing Piper loves is curling up under a blanket with a holiday story. She gorges on all of the Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holiday offerings this time of year. Among the stories released this year, one of her faves was Raine O’Tierney’s Bowl Full of Cherries. Crowley is overweight and insecure about his size (and how many of us can relate to that?) and Averell is someone who’s great with coming up with ideas but awful at seeing them through. Together they make an adorable pair, and they help each other with finding and accepting themselves along the way.
Then there was Vixen’s Valor by Charlie Cochet. Piper and Poppy are both fans of Charlie’s “North Pole City Tales,” and this was the third offering in that series. Vixen’s always been more concerned with having fun and snagging himself a prince than his responsibilities as a Rein Dear. More than anything, he wants to best his best friend Rudy at something. When he realizes Vale, a lieutenant in the Toy Soldier Army, has a crush on him, he decides he’s going to seduce the lieutenant and marry into the royal Frost family, but unless he can see past his own selfish desires, he might just lose the best thing that ever happened to him.
A couple older holiday stories that Piper loves are Sock It to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker and The Trouble with Elves by Therese Woodson. Both are adorable and sweet and sure to put you in the holiday spirit! Check them out if you haven’t read them already.
What are your favorite holiday stories? Or if you don’t read them, what are your tried and true recipes during the holiday season? Piper and Poppy would love to hear about them!
If you celebrate this time of year, Happy Holidays! And if not, Happy December! ;) We’ll catch you next time.
~Piper & Poppy
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.
A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.