Christmas Traditions + Dessert Recipe

Decorating For the Holidays

With Christmas just weeks away, now is the perfect time to start decorating your home this holiday season. Make it a family event and play some Christmas tunes while decorating. Here’s a great Christmas playlist to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Looking at Christmas Lights

A classic tradition that the kids will love! Take a drive through the neighborhood, listening to Christmas classics and admiring all of the decorations and sparkling lights. (Plus this activity is social-distanced friendly!)

Read Christmas Classics

Stories like The Night Before Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Carol are all great classics to read on Christmas Eve, to bring the family even closer together.

Baking

Everyone can agree: food is part of what makes the holidays so special … and even more so with yummy homemade desserts. Bake some extra cookies for your neighbor, or send some to those you’re unable to be with the holiday season.

And we have an easy and sure-to-please recipe for you! Thanks to our friend, The Suburban Soapbox, you too can make these No Bake Peppermint Bark Cookies. (We recommend eating these with a bowl of our Homemade Brand Peppermint Stick ice cream.)

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ ounce package of Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melts or chopped good quality white chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1 9-ounce package of Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  • 8 candy canes crushed
Instructions:
  • Pour the white chocolate into a small microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals stirring after each cycle. Once chocolate is melted, stir in the peppermint extract.
  • Dip the top of the wafer cookies in the chocolate to coat and set on a wire rack. Sprinkle with the candy canes and allow the cookies to cool until the chocolate is set.
  • Enjoy with Homemade Brand Peppermint Stick ice cream.

Thanksgiving Traditions + Dessert Recipe

Everyone has some sort of tradition when it comes to the holidays – whether it’s a favorite dish made by a family member or playing football before the Thanksgiving meal. But we have some ideas for new Thanksgiving traditions for you to try with your family this year.

Create a festive doorway

Say hello to fall decor galore. Decorate your doorway with pumpkins, lanterns, and a festive wreath to really get into the holiday spirit, even if your usual fall activities are no longer happening.

Play games after the meal

After the notorious post-dinner nap, enjoy the night with some games to keep family and friends together. Games like Mexican Train and Uno will have your guests wanting to stay for hours.

Craft Creative Tablecloths

Start a new tradition by creating memorable tablecloths. Use butcher paper as the tablecloth and ask your family to write down what they are thankful for.

Virtual Games

While some of us may not be able to be with our loved ones in person this season, we can still celebrate the holidays with them through video chat. Whether it’s just chatting, a virtual game or a craft – video chat allows us to stay connected to those we can’t be with this holiday season.

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You can also try a new recipe – just because you love your family traditions, doesn’t mean you can’t make a few new ones! This Pecan Pie Bites recipe from @bakermama, for instance, is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser—and pairs perfectly with Homemade Brand French Vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients:

Toasted Pecans:

2 tablespoons butter

2 ½ pecans, chopped

Crust:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

½ cup brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

1½ cups brown sugar

¾ cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the chopped pecans and toast for about 10 minutes until golden brown, stirring frequently.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crusts. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add the flour and salt and beat until well combined. Take a few tablespoons of dough and press into and up the sides of each mini muffin cup.
  4. To make the filling, in a large bowl, stir together the brown sugar, light corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in the toasted pecans until well coated. Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into each crust, filling it ¾ full. Try not to overfill the crusts, as the filling will bubble over when they are baking.
  5. Bake the bites for about 15 minutes or until the crusts just start to brown. Remove from the oven and let set for about 5 minutes before scooping another tablespoon of filling onto each bite. Let bites cool in pan completely before serving.
  6. Add a couple of scoops of Homemade Brand French Vanilla to the side, for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert!

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Everything at Homemade is Just Peachy This Summer!

In the dog days of summer, it’s hard to find new ways to keep busy as well as staying cool. But we’ve found the perfect summer afternoon fun: an ice cream social! Not just any ice cream social, an Ice Cream Social featuring one of our seasonal faves, Peaches & Peaches! If you’ve ever wanted to host an ice cream social, our friend Shelbie Todd has some tips that will take your event to the top!

Shelbie is a local blogger in Cincinnati and has a knack for planning fabulous parties. Her sons’ kept raving about the ice cream social being, “the most fun day they’ve ever had”. Shelbie has all the pointers to take your ice cream social to the next level, check it out on her blog HERE.

We Scream for Special Olympics!

There are so many great things about summer, but our favorite is the Special Olympics Ohio happening June 28-30! In celebration of the Special Olympics, we’ve teamed up with Special Olympics Ohio to create a one-of-a-kind flavor, Go for the Gold Chocolate and Vanilla. To make this flavor even more delightful, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Ohio.

Special Olympics began in the early 1960s when Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a camp for people with intellectual disabilities. The first meet was held in Chicago in 1968. Shortly after, Ohio began a Special Olympics program called the Ohio Athletic Association, which later became known as Special Olympics Ohio in 1975.

Today, Special Olympics Inc. is the world’s largest provider of fitness training, education and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The main goal of the organization is to focus on real sports, real competition and real achievements. Special Olympics is a worldwide movement of more than 5 million athletes.

It’s only fitting that a great flavor features a tremendous person! Special Olympian Justin Glas will be featured on the packaging of Go for the Gold Chocolate and Vanilla. Justin has been involved in Special Olympics Ohio for more than 15 years and trains in Medina County. Justin excels in track & field along with cross country skiing. He loves all things Ohio, from The Ohio State Buckeyes to LeBron James.

We can’t wait to cheer on Justin and all the other athletes competing this June!