Usually on Thursday I post a recipe. Today I’m mixing it up and posting the directions to make these sweet Candy Cane Reindeer. They’re a perfect place card holder at a party, incorporate beautifully into the ribbon wrapping a package, or just hanging out as these guys are!
They are featured in “Dying for Holiday Tea,” one of the novellas in the anthology in Happy Homicides 1: Cozy Holiday Mysteries.
Candy Cane Reindeer
1 Candy Cane, wrapped
1 Brown pipe cleaner
2 eyes, size (or proportional to candy cane)
1 Pompom nose, brown or red
Glue (I use Tacky Glue)
Holding the candy cane, wrap the pipe cleaner around the curve and twist. Bend the long ends to make antlers.
Put a dab of glue on the front of the short end of the candy cane to make a nose. Put two smaller dabs of glue above the nose, for the eyes.
Lay the candy cane down until the glue dries.
This is one of the crafts included in the free bonus pdf file of recipes and crafts for Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries. My novella, “Dying for Holiday Tea,” is included in this anthology written by thirteen authors.
Cream Cheese and Olives is a long-time family favorite. My mother would make this to take on road trips, because she could make sandwiches while we were driving without making a mess.
My favorite way to eat it is on Triscuit crackers. I have put it on toasted English Muffins, eaten it on whatever cracker was handy, and made little rolled sandwiches with white bread. In the fast and easy department, it doesn’t get much easier than two ingredients.
It makes an appearance at our annual sausage party (where friends and family gather to make lots of Italian sausage). It shows up in “Dying for Holiday Tea” with the green olive and red pimento giving Christmas color to snowy cream cheese.
Cream Cheese and Olives
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
1 8 oz package of cream cheese (I use Philadelphia Neufchatel cheese)
1/3 C green olives with pimento
1 T liquid from olive jar
In a bowl, place the brick of cream cheese. If using full fat cream cheese, let it come to room temp before making this. If using 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, it is soft enough to use right from the frig, but I usually let it soften for a bit anyway.
Chop the olives as finely or as coarsely as you prefer. I prefer using a knife, but to get a finer chop, I’ll use my chopper. Use a fork to mash the cream cheese, add the liquid from the olives, and add the chopped olives. Mix to combine. Put in a container and refrigerate.
The flavors develop best when chilled for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Sometimes I don’t want to wait that long, and adding the olive liquid helps give the cream cheese olive flavor before chilling. If I’m taking it to a party, I’ll make it the night before.
My husband was skeptical about this combination, but now he enjoys it. The picture below is from last year’s Sausage Party (Cream Cheese and Olives in the foreground, Caramelized Onion Dip is behind it). I’ll post recipes from this year’s Sausage Party closer to the date (usually the Saturday before Christmas; this year’s date to be determined.)
Tomorrow is the pre-sale date for Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Holiday Mysteries! What’s it all about?
The description on Amazon, courtesy of Joanna Campbell Slan, says it best: “It’s a huge collection of heartwarming, brain-puzzling, and character-driven traditional mysteries that’ll keep you entertained for hours. (At 213,000 words, this is 627 pages of reading material!) Plus, you can email to get a FREE Bonus File with recipes and holiday craft ideas. Celebrate the holidays with stories by these thirteen bestselling and award-winning authors: Joanna Campbell Slan, Neil Plakcy, Lois Winston, Annie Adams, Jenna Bennett, Nancy Jill Thames, Sara Rosett, Camille Minichino, Nancy Warren, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Teresa Trent.”
Fans of Joanna Campbell Slan‘s Kiki Lowenstein and Cara Mia Delgatto will love the two stories in this anthology. Love dogs? Neil Plakcy‘s golden retriever Rochester makes an appearance and solves the crime in “Dog Forbid.” Joanna and Neil are long-time friends and fellow Mystery Writers of America-Florida Chapter members.
“Dying for Holiday Tea” is my story. Sisters Danielle, Chelsea, and Alexandra Powell rejoice when Alex finds their grandmother’s old recipe book—and plan to bake her gingerbread for their upcoming holiday tea. But someone else wants the recipes and is willing to kill for them. Can the Powell sisters cook up a way to catch a murderer?
Let me know if you love cozy mysteries, or prefer murder with a harder edge.
Today is Husband’s birthday!
We’re celebrating at the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa for two nights, enjoying a staycation. We sat on the balcony and watched the sunrise, and then walked down to The Lemon Tree for breakfast today (and plan to tomorrow). Later today we’ll go to an 11:00 movie, have a late lunch, and then relax at the pool bar with $5 Margaritas. We’ll have dinner at Cobalt with friends, and head back into real life tomorrow.
I’ve been proofreading Happy Homicides 1: Cozy Holiday Mysteries. It is an anthology written by twelve authors, and includes a link to get a bonus file of recipes and crafts. It goes on pre-sale September 15, and on sale October 15 – perfect for holiday gift giving. At only 99 cents, it’s a great price!
Below are birthday sunrise pictures from our balcony.