Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

I found this...ahem, on Pinterest. I'm kind of obsessed as I'm sure you've noticed. I found this recipe as a gift idea and after I pinned it, my friend told me she had made it and loved it. Of course that's all the encouragement I needed.

My family has now gone through 3 full batches, my friend demolished her jar and my son's teacher enjoyed it also. I highly recommend this as a last-minute neighbor/mailman/paper boy gift. OR just make some Christmas morning for your family.

The original recipe called for powdered milk and to stir themix into hot water but I really prefer milk so I skipped the powdered stuff and mix mine into hot milk. And then top it off with strong coffee and...well, sometimes whipped cream.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

adapted from my recipes

1 c. cocoa powder
1 c. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. miniature chocolate chips
1/2 c. crushed candy canes or peppermint discs

Layer ingredients in a jar and tie with a ribbon to gift to a friend. Or stir it all together in an air-tight container and keep on hand for personal use.

To serve--Stir 3 Tb. mix into 1 c. hot milk.

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Strawberry Jello Salad

This is a salad in the loosest sense of the word. I don't get it at all...but I do LOVE it! We actually eat this at holidays on a salad day with our dinner. I mean, that way we don't have to choose between this and pie.

My mom has made this on Thanksgiving and Christmas every year as long as I can remember. I truly don't know any other family that would call something with a pretzel/butter crust, cream cheese/whipped cream filling, and a jello top a "salad" but I'll take it. This would make a great summer dessert!

Make this, if you want to feel like a Midwestern.

Strawberry Jello Salad

2 ½ c. crushed pretzels (about 9 oz.)
¾ c. melted butter
3 tb. sugar

8 oz. cream cheese
½ c. sugar
1 tub Cool Whip, defrosted

6 oz pkg. strawberry jello
2 c. boiling water
10 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries, thawed.

Stir together crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a greased 9x13'' pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool crust completely. In another bowl cream together softened cream cheese and sugar with a mixer, then fold in the Cool Whip and carefully spread over the cooled crust. Put the pan into the fridge while preparing the last layer. Combine Jello, boiling water and strawberries. Let chill one hour until Jello mixture begins to set (this will prevent the Jello from leaking through to the crust). Pour over cream cheese mixture. Chill a few hours or until Jello is completely set.

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