Monthly Archives: February 2018

Red Hot Popcorn

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Here is a fun homemade treat to make your sweetie. Nothing says I love you like some fresh homemade cinnamon popcorn. This recipes reminds me of my grandma, she always had cinnamon candies on hand in a little glass dish growing up. The original recipe was adapted by a Taste of Home recipe, I modified the recipe since I did not have corn syrup.


  • 8 quarts of freshly popped popcorn
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 package (9 ounces) red-hot candies


Place the prepared popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. In a large saucepan, combine the butter, honey and candies; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Bring ingredients to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally. Pour the liquid over popcorn and toss to coat. Transfer to two parchment lined 1/2 sheet baking pans. Bake at 250° for 1 hour to hour & a half, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from pans and place on waxed paper to cool. Break apart; store in airtight containers or clear baggies. 

Yield: 8 quarts.


Growing up, I didn’t like peanut butter. Which if you know me now you would not even believe that statement. I was talking with a colleague at work and we were discussing a Ohio tradition of buckeye candies.

Since we both live in PA now, we found it ironic not too many people are aware of the candy buckeye tradition. Our conversation inspired me to make buckeyes with my mom and sister during our holiday baking extravaganza.

My mom and I looked high and low for a recipe that did not contact graham cracker crumbs which many recipes do especially when you are looking through old church cookbooks. Graham cracker crumbs are just a unnecessary filler, and quite honestly we didn’t have any on hand. We came across one that didn’t and added a few secret ingredients to the dough for a special touch.


1 stick of unsalted butter (1/2 cup)

1 cup of creamy peanut butter (jif)

1 lb of powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

1/4 of a bar paraffin wax

1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

5 oz of milk chocolate ( I used Daffins chocolate family local favorite)


Combine the first 4 ingredients and roll into small balls using a size 60 scoop. Place the prepared dough balls in a sealable container. Be sure not to stack the candies. Place in the freezer overnight (or longer); however at least overnight. You want the ball firm and nice and cold for when you dip them i the melted chocolate.

When you go to prep the buckeyes. Start to melt the chocolate and wax in a double boiler. Use a toothpick to dip the prepared peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate***. Place the freshly dipped buckeyes on wax paper and allow to cool completely before placing in a sealable container.

***Friendly tip when dipping with the toothpick, make sure to remove excess chocolate and once you remove the toothpick lightly apply pressure where the toothpick whole is present with a spatula or knife to remove the secret of how you dipped the chocolate. 

This Recipe yields 96 delicious buckeyes that melt in your mouth !

Buckeye Trail Mix

My mom, sister & I went to Amish County in Berlin, Ohio in late November for holiday shopping. The weekend getaway was a new tradition for Black Friday. During our ladies day weekend, I think we found more gifts for ourselves vs holiday shopping for others.

When we were shopping we ran across Buckeye Trail Mix. I thought what a clever idea.  My grandpa loves Ohio State Buckeyes. This blend for trail mix intrigued me. I reviewed the ingredients, and thought well I can make this at home for a Christmas present for him for half the price. Plus I love making homemade gifts. Win, win!

This recipe yields: 8 cups of Trail Mix


1 cup mini buckeyes (Trader Joe’s sells these)

1 cup roasted salted Peanuts

1 cup of roasted unsalted peanuts

2 1/4 cups craisins

2 1/4 cups roasted lightly salted sunflower seeds

1 cup roasted Peptia seeds


Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Use a spatula to mix and incorporate all the ingredients together thoroughly. Portion out the mix as you wish.

I like to place the mix in either snack size ziplocks or mason jars.

Festive Holiday Trail Mix

I came across this recipe by having leftover holiday baking chips during food prep for Chirstimas. I enjoy making gifts during the holiday. I found this one very colorful and fun for the festive season. You can make it and place the blend in 1/2 pint mason jars or place it in a bowl at your next holiday party.

Perfect gifts for the holiday! Nothing says I love you like a homemade edible gift during the holiday season.

Yields: 11 cups and fits perfectly in 1/2 pint mason jars


2 cups roasted sunflower seeds salted

2 cups craisins

1 1/3 cup dried blueberries

10 oz bag swirl morsels (red, green,white)**

1 cup roasted Petita pumpkin seeds salted

2 cups roasted salted Peanuts


Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss until well incorporated. Portion out in individual mason jars. 

**I found the decorative holiday baking chips at ALDI. 

Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix

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I love making gifts for the holidays, lately I have been on the kick of making trail mix. Trail mix is so versatile. This one is a new favorite, especially if you like pumpkin. I also incorporated some of my grandpa’s homegrown dehydrated apples for a new texture and natural sweetness.

This recipes yields 12 cups.



  • 10 oz bag of white chocolate baking chips
  • 2 cups of dehydrated apples slices
  • 1 cups of roasted lightly salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of roasted pepitas seeds
  • 2 cups of pumpkin flavored cheerios
  • 1 1/3 cup of cinnamon baking chips
  • 2 cups of craisins


Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and toss until well incorporated. Portion out in individual mason jars. I placed them in individual pint size jars. You could also portion out in individual snack size sealable bags.