A Collection of my favorite Handmade Gift Ideas #gifts #homemade #handmade #holiday #christmas #gifting #gift

Do you prefer to make your gifts for family and friends? Are you still looking for something unique to give someone on your holiday list? If so, this post is for you. It’s brimming with ideas for handmade gifts from Inspired by Charm.

Handmade Gift Ideas pin

I’ve gathered more than 25 handmade gift ideas. They range from decor to food and drink to what I call feel-good items. Although these handmade gifts are perfect for Christmas, many of them would be appropriate and appreciated at any time of the year.

What are the best DIYs to give?

I love to receive anything handmade, but some of the best DIY gifts include:

  • Something with function like a candle, bath bomb, sugar scrub, etc.
  • Something delicious like hot cocoa mix, pancake mix, cookies, candy, etc.
  • Something beautiful like a wreath, tote bags, seasonal decor, etc.
  • Something artistic like painting, sculpture, serve ware, etc.

Hopefully that got your creative brain working a bit. Below are a few of my favorite ideas. Each included a full tutorial on how to make them. Just click on through the the post and get crafting!

Handmade gifts to decorate the home

1. Cookie cutter wreath

I made this DIY wreath several years ago and still love it today. I probably wouldn’t be considered a minimalist, but I adore the simplicity of this wreath. You can customize it for any season or event by using different colored ribbons and different cookie cutters.

This is a handmade gift you will enjoy designing, crafting, and giving!

cookie cutter wreath

2. Wood bead garland

Garlands are a wonderful finishing touch when decorating for the winter holidays or any special occasion. This wood garland is easy to paint and put together with a sturdy string or leather cord. I love it so much that I’ve made several versions. What bead shapes and paint colors will you use?

DIY Oversized Wood Bead Garland on a mantel

3. Colorful wood trees

I’m crazy about these trees, and I predict the people who receive this handmade gift from you will be as well. Paint the trees various shades of green or whatever colors will complement the recipient’s décor. These would look gorgeous on a mantel or shelf or nestled among miniature houses and ribbon in a table centerpiece.

DIY Colorful Wood Christmas Tree Decorations on a white shelf

4. Vintage-inspired Christmas gift bags

Looking for a unique way to give a holiday gift? Let me help! I’m teaching you how to make these festive Christmas gift bags. Made with vintage holiday graphics, these are a beautiful way to wrap up small gifts, or they could be used as decor.

These gift bags are so easy to make! I’ve even shared a free download of the vintage graphics!

Vintage-Inspired Christmas Gift Bags used as Christmas decor

5. DIY embroidery hoop Christmas ornaments

Use old plaid shirts and embroidery hoops to craft these DIY Christmas ornaments. This is an easy and budget-friendly craft with stunning results.

I used some of my old shirts (along with thrift store finds) to craft these ornaments. However, you could use a piece of clothing or fabric from a family member that may have passed away to make this gift extra special.

Embellish these any way you’d like. Use them as a gift topper or gift card holder. Get creative!

DIY Embroidery Hoop Christmas Ornaments on pine with lights and felt garland.

6. Clay Christmas ornaments

I absolutely adore how well these clay ornaments turn out. They look so smooth and professional, and I’m sure most people won’t be able to tell it’s even handmade. The trick is to use oven-baked clay and stamp-style cookie cutters.

They’re super festive, and it’s simple to make a ton to gift in batches or to accompany larger gifts.

diy clay christmas ornament hanging on a tree

7. Paper star garland

This paper star garland is a perfect option for those who want a budget-friendly gift. It’s unique and slightly rustic, made out of old books and shiny gold paper. It would look good in all kinds of decor and can be used to decorate a tree, garland, mantle, and more.

DIY Paper Star Garland on tree

Ideas for edible handmade gifts

8. Homemade pancake mix

This has been my go-to pancake mix for years, but I only recently got around to posting it on the blog. For a practical and pretty gift, mix up the dry ingredients and put a jar of the mix in a basket along with my homemade pancakes recipe, a bottle of pure maple syrup, and a whisk.

For holiday appeal, add a bright bow, a couple of candy canes, and a cheery tea towel or two.

stack of pancakes on plate made from homemade pancake mix

9. Hot cocoa mix

It’s that time of year…for handmade gifts and hand and heart-warming drinks. Why not combine the two by tucking a container of this homemade hot cocoa mix in a gift box with a fun Christmas mug, peppermint candies, and marshmallows?

The mix is so easy to make, and there are even white chocolate and spiced chocolate versions to try.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix in a jar

10. DIY bottle brush drink stirrers

Want something to include with your hot cocoa mix? Why not make some festive holiday drink stirrers? Add the perfect festive touch to any holiday beverage with these bottle brush tree stirrers. You only need a few supplies and a little time to craft these unique and whimsical drink accessories.

DIY Bottle Brush Drink Stirrers with tree tops

11. Red pepper jelly

Did you know that you can make classic red pepper jelly rather than buy it at the store? It’s quite simple to do, plus you decide on the level of heat. I should warn you, though, you will probably get requests for this handmade gift every year. It’s that good!

Red Pepper Jelly as a handmade gifts idea

12. Holiday cookie tray

Like many folks, you probably bake a lot during the holidays. Share some of the goodness (and calories!) with family and friends by putting together trays of favorite cookies and confections.

Here are a few of mine: Cream Wafer Cookies, Three-Ingredient Fudge, and Sweater Weather Sugar Cookies. (Lots more cookie recipes are linked in this post.)

Peppermint Kiss Christmas Cookies on a tray

13. Apple pie moonshine

This handmade gift is as dangerous as it is delicious! Made from 190-proof grain alcohol, apple cider, apple juice, and seasonal spices, this drink is best enjoyed in moderation. To reinforce this, you might present a small bottle of it with a couple of cute shot glasses and a friendly reminder about drinking responsibly.

handmade gifts of Homemade Apple Pie Moonshine in a mason jar

More inspiring handmade gifts

14. Cookie/gift card bags

These gift bags are an alternative to the pricey ones that are commercially available. Don’t worry, no sewing is required. Just iron the free printable transfer on ready-made cotton bags that can be purchased online.

The bags are also a clever way to package other handmade gifts or even gift cards.

DIY Christmas Cookies Bags under a tree

15. Clear glass ornament gift

I like to make these for stocking stuffers or as accompaniments to year-end cash presents for the wonderful people whose services I rely on. I fill clear glass ornaments with something I think each person will like.

Examples: sprinkles for baking, bath salts, loose-leaf tea, lottery tickets, hot cocoa mix with mini marshmallows, or colorful small candies.

clear glass ornament filled with hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows

16. Terrarium

A terrarium is a beautiful handmade gift that allows you to bring the natural world inside. Once you choose a glass jar and gather the supplies, it won’t take long to set up the terrarium. Your family and friends will love tending their little indoor gardens. A green thumb is optional.

terrarium as a handmade gift idea

17. DIY beeswax candles

This is a handmade gift that can be completed in an evening. Even though candle-making sounds difficult, it’s not. For me, the most challenging part is selecting the vessel and ensuring I have all the necessary supplies. As for the scents, I went with lavender and sandalwood.

Handmade Beeswax Candle gifts for Christmas

18. Bath bombs

Yes, you can make bath bombs. Stay with traditional holiday colors, or go with the recipient’s favorite hues. The fragrance is also up to you. I prefer essential oils that relax and re-energize.

You might pair several bath bombs with a couple of the DIY beeswax candles for an extra special handmade gift.

DIY Bath Bombs

19. Decorative taper candles

These decorative taper candles are quite easy to make for those hesitant to DIY, but they turn out beautifully. What I like about them is that you can customize them any way you like, making them match different colors, holidays, celebrations, and unique tastes and personalities.

Pair them up in twos and tie them together with some decorative twine for a pretty gift.

lit taper candles on a table

20. Homemade fire starters

These homemade fire starters are an ideal handmade gift idea for those with a fireplace or woodburning stove or the seasoned camper on your list. Topped off with foraged botanicals and natural elements, they look so stunning you almost don’t want to burn them!

homemade fire starters in a wood bowl.

21. Clay cactus garden

If you have a plant lover on your Christmas list, they will love receiving this clay cactus garden. Oven-baked clay is quite simple to use, and you can create all kinds of different succulents, cacti, plants, and flowers that are unique to the person you’re making them for.

handmade clay cactus sculptures as a gifts

Handmade candy gifts

Give the gift of candy. I have three delicious candy recipes that, when put together (or even on their own), would make a delicious and beautiful gift idea. I will link to them below. Try one or all three for a tasty gift idea.

22. Crock pot candy

Made with chocolate and roasted peanuts, this crockpot candy is a super simple recipe to make for a last-minute Christmas gift. You can toss everything into a crockpot and then let the appliance do its magic. Serve them in some festive baking cups, and they’re ready to gift.

Easy Crock-Pot Candy Recipe

23. Salted turtle candies

This homemade take on the classic contains all the core ingredients: pecans, caramel, and chocolate. Turtles are one of those Christmas candies perfect for gifting because, pretty well, everyone adores the treat. Wrap these up in some cello bags and ribbon, and they’ll be a beautiful gift.

four Salted Turtle Candies on a plate.

24. Pistachio cranberry white chocolate candy

This pistachio white chocolate treat only requires four ingredients that you can quickly run to the store and get. Like the crockpot candy, you can add white chocolate, dried cranberries, and pistachios together and serve them in some baking cups for easy gifting.

Pistachio Cranberry White Chocolate Candy on a plate.

Printable Gift Tags

Now that you have your gift idea in mind, don’t forget to add some beautiful wrapping! Keep the personalization going with these FREE printable gift tags.

25. Christmas gift tags

These North Pole Express Delivery Service tags are so much fun. They are another free download from IBC and are available in blue and red. Seeing one on a package from you is sure to bring a smile to your dear one’s face!

north pole express delivery service gift tag

26. Plaid gift tags

I’ve been mad about plaid wrapping paper for a while now, and it is my pleasure to offer free printables such as these on Inspired by Charm. As one of the gift tags says, “Plaid Tidings of Joy” (from me to you). Which of your handmade gifts will you top with a plaid tag?

plaid Chritmas gift tags

27. Abstract art gift tags

Add a unique and festive touch to your gift wrapping with these abstract holiday gift tags. Not only are they fun and easy to make, but they add a personal, homemade touch to any gift. Get the kids involved and have fun creating with paints, markers, crayons, and more!

Abstract Holiday Gift Tags

28. Christmas bottle hang tags

If you’re giving someone wine or spirits this season, may I suggest adding one of these clever and festive tags? The printable can be downloaded from IBC for free. As with all of my tags, I recommend printing on cardstock.

Christmas Bottle Hang Tags on liquor bottles

That’s a wrap on these handmade gifts!

I hope these ideas for handmade gifts inspire you to make life a little merrier for others at Christmas and throughout the year. And don’t worry, there will be more. I will continue to add my handmade gift ideas to this list as I create them.

Happy DIYing and giving!

Love these handmade gifts and want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Do you prefer to make your gifts for family and friends? Are you still looking for something unique to give someone on your holiday list? If so, this post is for you. It’s brimming with ideas for handmade gifts from Inspired by Charm. I’ve gathered more than 25 handmade gift ideas. They range from decor […]




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DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Transform air dry clay, paint, and glitter into these festive DIY clay mushroom ornaments. Mushrooms have become a popular Christmas tree ornament. Now you can make your own to trim your tree in a unique and personal way. 

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Mushroom Ornaments for Christmas

You might know that I have a thing for mushrooms at Christmas. I’ve decorated my tree with them, I’ve turned them into cookies, and next week I’ll be making meringue mushrooms to decorate a yule log. 

In this post, I’m teaching you how to make your own mushroom ornaments from clay. This might be my new favorite DIY

collection of mushroom ornaments on a table.
DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

I’m using these ornaments on my living room Christmas tree along with my DIY paper chain that I made from leftover wallpaper and my DIY rustic anise wreaths. I’ll be sharing the full tree soon. Stay tuned!

Why I love this project:

I have been wanting to make these mushrooms for a couple of years. Since I’m focusing on a handmade holiday this Christmas, I knew this was the time to get to work and make it happen. I’m loving the results. Here’s why: 

  • These mushroom ornaments are easy to make. 
  • Their imperfect look makes this a project that anyone can tackle.
  • You can customize the color, shape, and size to match your decor. 
  • They add a touch of whimsy, sparkle, and color to your holiday decor. 
  • They double as a sweet gift idea or present topper.

While mushroom ornaments are quite trendy at the moment, they have been used in Christmas decorating for quite some time. 

Looking for more handmade Christmas decor? Try these:

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

What is the Meaning of a Mushroom Ornament? 

Mushroom ornaments mean good fortune or good luck. Finding a mushroom in the woods is always a special thing (just like finding a dollar bill somewhere).

Not only are mushrooms fun and whimsical, but hanging a mushroom ornament on your Christmas tree shows honor to nature and hope for a good future in the new year. 

handmade mushroom ornaments on a table.
DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Why Mushrooms at Christmas?

Well, not only are some mushrooms found at the base of pine trees but it’s said that mushrooms are a favorite food of reindeer. 

I bet you didn’t expect to get a history lesson with today’s DIY! You learn something new every day. 

Ready to make some mushroom ornaments for your Christmas tree? Let me walk you through the materials and tutorial. 

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.
DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Materials

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • air dry clay – I used THIS clay from Das. It’s very easy to work with.
  • small eye hooks – You can find the ones I used HERE. I opted for gold, but you can use whatever color you’d like. 
  • circle cookie cutters – You might not need THESE, but I found them helpful in getting a nice circular shape.
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks – Any will do. I used THIS hot glue gun and THESE hot glue sticks.
  • acrylic paint – You can use whatever colors you’d like. I went for shades of green, blue, and teal to match my tree.
  • tacky glue – Aleene’s is the best!
  • German glass glitter – The sparkle of German glass glitter is unbeatable and my personal favorite. I used THIS and THIS
  • clear glitter – I love the frosted sparkle look THIS glitter added. It’s clear, so you can see your paint color through it. 
  • fake snow – A bit of fake snow adds texture and frostiness. I used THIS.
  • ornament hooks – THESE are my personal favorite. I use them to hang all of my ornaments. 

With that, we are ready to start crafting! 

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

How to Make Mushroom Ornaments:

Below, I’m going to give you a detailed process of how I made these ornaments along with some of my tips and tricks. I’ve also provided a more condensed version of the procedure as a printable card at the end of this post. 

  1. Begin by gathering mushroom inspiration. You can use my mushroom ornaments as a reference, google pictures of mushrooms and/or mushroom ornaments, or just use your imagination. Find the shapes you like best.
  2. Use your hands to mold the clay into mushroom caps and stems. 

    Cap: Form the shape organically or use a circle cookie cutter to get a round shape. I found it helpful to roll some clay into a ball first and then form the cap from the ball.  When forming, be sure to leave a large indent (like a real mushroom) on the underside of the cap. The caps can be rounded, pointy, flat, big, small, rough, or smooth. 

    Stem: Use both of your hands to roll a piece of clay into a snake shape. From there make the shape a bit more organic and stemlike. Stems that are a bit thicker at the bottom look great, but your stems can get narrow too. Keep them a bit imperfect to look more natural. Recreate your favorite shapes from the reference(s) you’re using.
making diy clay mushroom ornaments.
making diy clay mushroom ornaments.
  1. When forming your shapes, you can use a bit of water to smooth out your clay as you work. 
  2. Once finished, place an eye hook into the top center of your cap.
  3. Set your shaped pieces on a piece of wax or parchment paper and allow them to dry completely. For thicker pieces, this can take a few days. 
making diy clay mushroom ornaments.
  1. Once fully dry, use hot glue to attach the stem to the cap. 
  2. Paint your clay mushroom. 
making diy clay mushroom ornaments.
making diy clay mushroom ornaments.
  1. I used a color palette of blue, green, white, and brown. For a more natural look, I recommend mixing your colors together a bit. I didn’t use any color directly out of the bottle. I added a bit of brown to all of my colors, a bit of green to the blue, a bit of blue to the green, etc. This will also help to make your mushrooms work together as a set. Add layers of colors and keep it a bit imperfect for a natural look. 
  2. Allow to dry. 
  3. Use tacky glue to add fake snow and glitter to your mushroom caps. Again, do this in layers. Keep it imperfect and a bit messy. 
glitter and German glass glitter.
  1. I also addedd a bit of snow and some glitter near the base of the stem. Once it was added, I went back in and applied a bit more brown paint to make it look like a mix of snow and dirt. 
  2. Allow the glue to dry completely. 
  3. Use an ornament hook to hang the mushroom on your tree. 

And that’s it! 

You’ve now added a bit of personality, cheer, and good fortune to your Christmas tree. How fun is that!? 

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Final Tip: 

In a way, these mushroom ornaments are like mini artworks. I did my best to try and explain my process and I hope that it is helpful. 

With that being said, I encourage you to try your own method(s) until you create something you love. (Don’t worry if you fail at it once or twice.) It took me several attempts to end up with my ornaments. Remember to have fun with it! That’s what a handmade holiday is all about! 

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.
DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Happy Christmas Crafting! 

I hope you’ll give these mushroom ornaments a try. If you have any questions about my process or instructions, please let me know in the comments section below. I’ll do my best to answer and clarify. 

Happy sculpting! 

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornament on a Christmas tree.

Enjoy this Christmas DIY? Want More?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornaments for Christmas on a tree.

DIY Clay Mushroom Ornaments

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Skill: Handmade Gift, Home Decor Craft
Craft Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Transform air dry clay, paint, and glitter into these festive DIY clay mushroom ornaments. Mushrooms have become a popular Christmas tree ornament. Now you can make your own to trim your tree in a unique and personal way.

Instructions

  • Use your hands to mold the clay into mushroom caps and stems.
  • Cap: Form the shape organically or use a circle cookie cutter to get a round shape. When forming, be sure to leave an indent on the underside of the cap.
  • Once finished, place an eye hook into the top center of your cap.
  • Stem: Use both of your hands to roll a piece of clay into a snake shape. From there make the shape a bit more organic and stemlike.
  • Use water to smooth out your clay as you work.
  • Set your shaped pieces on a piece of wax or parchment paper and allow them to dry completely. For thicker pieces, this can take a few days.
  • Once fully dry, use hot glue to attach the stem to the cap.
  • Paint your clay mushroom. I recommend a color for the cap and white and brown for the stem.
  • Allow to dry.
  • Use tacky glue to add fake snow and glitter to your mushroom caps and at the base of the stem. Keep it imperfect and a bit messy.
  • Allow the glue to dry completely.
  • Use an ornament hook to hang the mushroom on your tree.

Notes

This printable project card will act as a very basic guide for the project. I highly recommend reading the blog post where I have written many tips and tricks to bring your mushroom ornaments to life.

Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

Transform air dry clay, paint, and glitter into these festive DIY clay mushroom ornaments. Mushrooms have become a popular Christmas tree ornament. Now you can make your own to trim your tree in a unique and personal way.  Mushroom Ornaments for Christmas You might know that I have a thing for mushrooms at Christmas. I’ve […]




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seafood lasagna on plate with bread.

Layers of noodles, rich creamy sauce, cheese, scallops, shrimp, and white fish make up this flavor-packed Seafood Lasagna. This dish feels like a celebration. It will quickly become a new family favorite! 

seafood lasagna on a plate with bread.

My Favorite Seafood Lasagna:

Let’s make seafood lasagna! I got this recipe from my dad’s wife who has been making it for years. It’s a family favorite that we typically have around Christmastime. I thought I would share the recipe with you in hopes that it might become a favorite with your family too. 

Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of seafood dishes. I do love shellfish and some sushi but you’d never catch me cooking or ordering fish. With that being said, this seafood lasagna is one of my favorite things and I could probably eat the whole pan. Coming from a non-seafood lover, that speaks volumes. 

seafood lasagna in casserole pan.
seafood lasagna on plate with bread and wine.

Why I Love this Recipe: 

There are many reasons to love this recipe. 

  • It feels like a celebration. For some reason, this seafood lasagna always seems special and fancy to me. Maybe it’s because my family enjoys it around the holidays every year. 
  • The flavor is outstanding. This dish is layered with rich and decadent flavors. 
  • It’s customizable. Use whatever seafood you like best! 

The only negatives about this recipe are that it can be a bit pricey, so keep that in mind before you plan to make it. Also, this recipe takes a bit of time and a little skill as you’re making a béchamel sauce. If this sauce is new to you, give yourself some extra time and plan to prepare it when you don’t have any added pressure. 

seafood lasagna on plate with bread.

Sound good? Before we get into the recipe, I also wanted to mention that I’m delighted to be back with my Tastes of the Season blogger friends. This is our final recipe for the 2022 season. (You can catch up HERE if you missed any.) To wrap up our season, we’re all sharing a family-favorite recipe. I will link to all the other bloggers at the end of this post. Be sure to check them out. 

What Kind of Seafood Goes into Seafood Lasagna?

For this recipe I use the following seafood:

  • scallops
  • shrimp
  • flounder

As I mentioned above, I’m not the biggest seafood fan, so if I was making this just for me, I would remove the flounder and stick with just scallops and shrimp. 

Feel free to make this seafood lasagna your own. Here are some other fish you could use in this dish:

  • lobster
  • crab
  • salmon
  • cod
  • clams
  • tilapia
seafood lasagna in casserole pan.
seafood lasagna on plate with bread.

How to Make Seafood Lasagna:

I’m going to give you a quick rundown of how to make this seafood lasagna. For the full recipe and ingredient list, please refer to the printable recipe card at the end of this post. 

  1. Begin by preparing your béchamel sauce.
  2. Precook your seafood with butter, onion, and garlic.
  3. Create a sauce with the cooking juices, sliced mushrooms, your prepared béchamel sauce, tomatoes, cream, red pepper flakes, and spices.
sauce for seafood lasagna in pan.
layering seafood lasagna in casserole dish.
  1. Layer the seafood, lasagna noodles, sauce, and cheeses in a buttered 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Serve and enjoy! 

seafood lasagna on plate with bread and fork.

Recipe Tips:

You can assemble the lasagna in advance and bake it at a later time; just cover it with foil and refrigerate. You will need to increase the baking time (about 10-15 additional minutes) if you’re baking it straight out of the refrigerator. 

Depending on the size of your shrimp and scallops, I recommend cutting them into bite-sized pieces if necessary. 

What to serve with this recipe:

Here are a few recipes that would compliment this seafood lasagna wonderfully.

seafood lasagna on plate with bread and wine.

Get Into the Kitchen!

And that’s a wrap on this amazing Seafood Lasagna. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as we do. 

Enjoy!

seafood lasagna on plate with bread.

Season of Home Family Favorites:

Want more favorite holiday dishes? Be sure to check out what my blogger friends have prepared below. 

Tastes of the Season Family Favorites

Delicious Spiced Nuts by Ella Claire & Co. | Candied Sweet Potatoes by Zevy Joy | The Best Christmas Jello Salad by Handmade Farmhouse

Tastes of the Season Family Favorites

Seafood Lasagna by Inspired by Charm | Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Baked Lasagne by French Country Cottage

Enjoy this recipe and want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Seafood Lasagna

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: lasagna, scallops, seafood, shrimp
Servings: 12
Prep Time 13 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 3 mins
Layers of noodles, rich creamy sauce, cheese, scallops, shrimp, and white fish make up this flavor-packed Seafood Lasagna. This dish feels like a celebration. It will quickly become a new family favorite!

Ingredients

Béchamel Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Lasagna:
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove - minced
  • 3/4 lb boneless flounder fillets - cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound raw shrimp* - peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound scallops*
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup crushed canned tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 9 lasagna noodles - cooked according to package directions
  • 1 cup grated swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese.

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing your béchamel sauce.
  • Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt. Then, while stirring with a whisk, add in the flour. Whisk until blended. Slowly add the milk while whisking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and stir until thick and smooth: about five to seven minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in the onions and garlic and cook for about one minute. Then, add in the shrimp, scallops, and flounder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • When the shrimp begins to turn pink, add the wine. Cook just until the wine comes to a boil, then turn off the heat.
  • Transfer the seafood to a bowl using a slotted spoon leaving any liquid in the skillet.
  • Bring the leftover liquid to a simmer, then add in the sliced mushrooms and cook for about five minutes.
  • Add in the béchamel sauce and stir to combine.
  • Add tomatoes, then simmer for about five to six minutes.
  • Add in the cream, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  • Finally, to the sauce, pour in any liquid that may have accumulated in the bowl of your reserved seafood. Stir to combine and then remove from the heat.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Spoon a layer of sauce over the bottom, then add about one-third of the seafood mixture. Cover with more sauce, then layer with three cooked lasagna strips.
  • Add another layer of seafood, then top with a thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle with one-fourth cup swiss cheese and one-fourth cup parmesan cheese. Cover with three more lasagna noodles.
  • Scatter the remaining seafood on top, then add another light layer of sauce. Cover with the remaining three lasagna noodles. Then spoon the remaining sauce over the top.
  • Sprinkle the top with the remaining swiss and parmesan cheeses.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Notes

*If you’re shrimp and scallops are large, cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Once fully assembled, you can refrigerate the seafood lasagna until you’re ready to bake it. If refrigerated, you will need to adjust the baking time by an additional 10-15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 24gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 513mgPotassium: 479mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 739IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 234mgIron: 1mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

Layers of noodles, rich creamy sauce, cheese, scallops, shrimp, and white fish make up this flavor-packed Seafood Lasagna. This dish feels like a celebration. It will quickly become a new family favorite!  My Favorite Seafood Lasagna: Let’s make seafood lasagna! I got this recipe from my dad’s wife who has been making it for years. […]




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Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktails in glasses.

We’re using rye whiskey to craft a Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail. Flavored with cranberry, lemon, and maple syrup, this is a delicious and beautiful cocktail to celebrate the season. 

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in rocks glasses.

Holiday Cocktail Time! 

I thought it was time for a new holiday cocktail recipe! In this post, I’m adding this Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail to my assortment of merriment. If you’re curious about my holiday cocktail assortment and/or looking for more unique Christmas cocktail recipes, I’m on it. I have all of my favorites listed HERE. Enjoy! 

I love this holiday cocktail because it’s all of my favorite things: sweet, balanced, fruity, and really easy to sip. Ingredients like cranberry juice, citrus, and maple syrup make this a great cocktail for fall, winter, and holiday entertaining. For instance, it would be lovely for Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving. In the end, it works for any season or celebration. 

Want more cranberry-inspired cocktail recipes? Try these:

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in a rocks glass.

What’s the Difference Between Rye Whiskey and Bourbon?

You might know I’m a bourbon fan (check out my favorite bourbon drink recipes HERE), but I wanted to try something different this time around, so I used rye whiskey in this cranberry rye holiday cocktail. 

Are you wondering what the difference is between rye whiskey and bourbon? 

Rye whiskey is mostly made from rye grain. This applies to American rye whiskey which must be made of at least 51% rye mash or Canadian whiskey. Consequently, rye whiskey is typically spicier and more aggressive in flavor than bourbon. 

Bourbon is a specific type of American whiskey which must be made of at least 51% corn and aged in oak barrels. All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon is typically more sweet and mellow (which is why I think I like it so much). There are flavor notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel in it.

You learn something new every day, right? 

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in a rocks glass.

Your lesson for today is complete. Let’s move on to making this Cranberry Rye Cocktail.

Ingredients:

Time to gather up the ingredients for this tasty libation! 

  • rye whiskey – Use your favorite. Bourbon would also work here.
  • fresh lemon juice – Always go with freshly squeezed.
  • cranberry juice– One hundred percent juice or cranberry juice cocktail work interchangeably here. The cranberry juice cocktail will add a touch more sweetness.
  • pure maple syrup – I like a little sweetness with my whiskey drinks. Feel free to adjust the amount to your liking. (The best maple syrup if from Finding Home Farms.)
  • Angostura bitters – Bitters always seem to balance out the flavors. You can use traditional or orange here.
  • seltzer water / club soda – This is totally optional. I tried the drink with and without and I liked it both ways.
  • fresh cranberries and/or orange wedge – Every drink needs a garnish. Cranberries and/or an orange wedge are great options here.
Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in rocks glasses.

Recipe Instructions:

This recipe is pretty simple; even so, I’ll walk you through the steps here. There is a printable recipe card with a full ingredient list and instructions at the end of this post. 

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the rye whiskey, lemon juice, cranberry juice, maple syrup, and a dash of bitters. 
  3. Shake vigorously. 
  4. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. 
pouring Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail into glass with ice.
  1. Top with seltzer. (Optional) 
  2. Garnish with fresh cranberries and/or an orange wedge.

(You can find the gold cocktail picks I used HERE.)

Serve, sip, and enjoy! 

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in a glass.

Cheers! 

And there you have it! Another recipe to add to your holiday cocktail-making list. 

I hope you’ll give this Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail recipe a try! May it keep you warm this holiday and winter season.

Enjoy! 

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in rocks glasses.

Love this recipe and want more?

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Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail in rocks glasses.

Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, holiday, whiskey
Servings: 1
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
We’re using rye whiskey to craft a Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail. Flavored with cranberry, lemon, and maple syrup, this is a delicious and beautiful cocktail to celebrate the season.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces rye whiskey
  • .75 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • splash of seltzer - optional
  • fresh cranberries and/or orange wedge to garnish

Instructions

  • In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add the rye whiskey, lemon juice, cranberry juice, maple syrup, and a dash of bitters.
  • Shake vigorously.
  • Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
  • Top with seltzer.
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries and/or an orange wedge.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 149kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 2mgPotassium: 71mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 20IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.2mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

We’re using rye whiskey to craft a Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail. Flavored with cranberry, lemon, and maple syrup, this is a delicious and beautiful cocktail to celebrate the season.  Holiday Cocktail Time!  I thought it was time for a new holiday cocktail recipe! In this post, I’m adding this Cranberry Rye Holiday Cocktail to my […]




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four Salted Turtle Candies on a plate.

Homemade chocolate turtle candy is simple to make, and it tastes just like the real thing. Make this Christmas classic at home with this easy recipe! They’re perfect for entertaining or gifting.

Salted Turtle Candy pinterest image

Classic Christmas cookies

You know I like mixing things up here on IBC, but I’m a big fan of the classics when it comes to Christmas cookies. Last year I shared my absolute favorite recipe for cream wafer cookies. As I may have told you, if they were the only cookies I had for the holidays, I’d probably be okay with that.

Even though I like the classics, I still enjoy getting creative and try to make a few new Christmas Cookie recipes every year. And while these salted chocolate turtles technically aren’t cookies, they’re one of my “something news” for this year.

Salted Turtle Candy on a white plate

Traditional chocolate turtles

If you’ve never had a chocolate turtle, then you don’t know what you’re missing! Turtles are a combination of pecans and caramel dipped in chocolate. When you buy them, they are shaped like a small turtle.

These treats are very popular around Christmas and have become a go-to quick gift and stocking stuffer. It’s one of those treats where it’s easy to buy a box and gobble it down all to yourself before you get the chance to gift it.

Want more homemade candy to gift?

easy Salted Turtle Candies recipe

Homemade chocolate turtle candy

While these homemade turtle candies aren’t in the traditional shape of a turtle, they taste just as good!

What I love about this recipe is that you get all the flavors of turtle candy without all the work. Sprinkled with a little flaked salt, the flavor combination is on point.

You can easily make these as a treat for yourself, to serve at a party, or to wrap up and gift as a homemade gift.

caramels and pecans on tray for turtle candy
melted caramel over pecans for turtle candy

Turtle candy ingredients

Here’s all you need to make your own turtle candy at home.

  • Pecans: For this recipe, you’ll need pecan halves. This is what traditional turtles are made of, and they make the candy nice and soft compared to other nuts.
  • Wrapped Caramels: This recipe is super easy because you can use pre-wrapped caramels. I opted to use the standard square candy caramels for this chocolate turtles recipe. However, if I made these again, I would use the Lancaster soft caramels* because I prefer a softer caramel.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: I prefer the sweetness level of semi-sweet chocolate. However, you can easily use milk chocolate or dark chocolate if you prefer.
  • Vegetable Shortening: I add shortening to my melted chocolate. It makes the chocolate smoother and easier to manage.
  • Sea Salt: Salted caramel is a delicious combination! But don’t worry, if salt on a cookie seems odd to your family, sprinkles work just as nicely and add a pop of color.

*The only thing to note here is that if you use the Lancaster caramels, you may need double the number since they are smaller.

a spoon of melted chocolate over pecans and caramel for turtle candy
Salted Turtle Candies with sprinkles

How to make turtle candy

Here’s a quick picture of how to make your turtle candy. For exact measurements and more detailed instructions, I’ve provided a recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put three pecan halves on the parchment paper in a Y-shape. Repeat until the whole cookie sheet is filled.
  3. Use your fingers to flatten a caramel over the center of the pecan Ys.
  4. Bake for around 5-6 minutes or until the caramel has just melted.
  5. Remove from the oven and let the caramels cool completely.
  6. While the pecans cool, place chocolate and vegetable shortening in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until the mixture is nice and melted.
  7. Dollop chocolate on top of each caramel. Let the chocolate stand for 2 minutes before sprinkling it with sea salt. Let cool completely before storing.
Salted Turtle Candies with colorful sprinkles
Salted Turtle Candies with colorful sprinkles

And that’s it. Homemade turtles don’t get much easier than that!

That’s a wrap on homemade turtle candy!

Not only are these delicious “cookies,” but they will add visual impact to your cookie tray. Mixing different shapes, sizes, flavors, and textures when presenting your cookies is always great.

I’d love to know what your favorite Christmas cookie is. What new cookie recipes have you tried that have become a yearly must-make for you?

easy homemade Salted Turtle Candy recipe

Want more Christmas desserts? You’ll love these:

Salted Turtle Candy with sprinkles

Enjoy this candy recipe and want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also join me on social media (InstagramTikTokFacebookPinterest, and Twitter) for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my work and adventures.

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Chocolate Turtle Candy

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: candies, candy, chocolate turtles, christmas, holiday, salted chocolate turtles
Servings: 25 pieces
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 6 mins
Total Time 26 mins
Learn how to make your own Chocolate Turtle Candy with this easy and delicious recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups pecan halves - 75 total halves
  • 25 wrapped caramels - unwrapped
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate - or milk chocolate or dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening - (Crisco)
  • Flake sea salt and / or sprinkles

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Then line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Place three pecan halves in a Y-shape on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Repeat with the remaining pecans.
  • Then, with your fingers, flatten each caramel and place one in the center of each pecan Bake for 5-6 minutes until the caramel is just melted. Remove from the oven and allow the caramels to cool on the pan.
  • In the meantime, add the chocolate and vegetable shortening to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is melted.
  • Spoon the chocolate on top of the caramel. Let the chocolate stand for about 2 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt flakes or sprinkles. Allow the chocolate to set completely. Pack and store in an airtight container.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 194kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 2gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 26mgPotassium: 139mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 17IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

Love this recipe and want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also join me on social media for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my work and adventures.

Connect with Michael! Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

 

Homemade chocolate turtle candy is simple to make, and it tastes just like the real thing. Make this Christmas classic at home with this easy recipe! They’re perfect for entertaining or gifting. Classic Christmas cookies You know I like mixing things up here on IBC, but I’m a big fan of the classics when it […]




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The Best Christmas Snacks

These simple yet festive Christmas snacks will make entertaining a little less stressful this year. You can easily make these delicious bites for your holiday party or dinner without adding too much to your hosting plate while still serving some fabulously festive food.

The Best Christmas Snacks

Simple yet festive Christmas snacks

I love hosting Christmas parties and get-togethers at Bayberry House. I’m always one for entertaining! But, while I love it, I won’t disagree that hosting can be a lot of work. Between decorating and cooking, a lot goes into creating the perfect event.

Snacks are also an integral part of any party. You need snacks regardless of party size or activities! Since I’m already juggling so much when I’m entertaining, I want my snacks to be as simple as possible while still being an experience for the tastebuds.

These Christmas snacks hit all the checkmarks in the festive and flavor departments. You’re sure to find something to serve the next time you have friends and family over!

What snacks can I bring to a Christmas Party?

If you are traveling to a Christmas party and bringing a snack to share, I have a few suggestions. Make sure you choose something that is easily transportable—this is not the time to make anything that’s fussy or complicated!

I’m a big fan of bringing delicious dips. They are easy to carry and always a hit. Plus, you can make them a few days ahead of time too! Here are my favorite easy, delicious dip recipes.

If you are looking for something a little different, the tortilla roll ups or pizza bread from above work great. The nuts and pretzels travel well too.

Sweet and Savory Christmas Snacks

Onto the snacks!

These snacks have a festive twist, whether in their taste or presentation. There is something perfect for every holiday party or dinner on this list.

1. White Chocolate Puff Corn

You only need three ingredients (and some sprinkles) to whip up this salty meets sweet White Chocolate Puff Corn. It’s a delicious and easy-to-make snack that’s perfect for Christmas entertaining and holiday gifting. If I had to describe it in two words: addictively delicious!

2. Tree Shaped Christmas Cheese Board

Having a spread of cheese, meats, and crackers is a must-have Christmas snack. Why no take it to the next level with a creative presentation.

This tree-shaped Christmas cheese board is an easy and festive appetizer recipe that will impress your guests and be the centerpiece of your holiday table. 

Christmas Cheese Board shared like a tree on a table.

3. Pepperoni Bread

If you ask me, pizza is a great treat any time of the year. While not traditionally a Christmas food, I think this pizza-inspired pepperoni bread fits right in for the cozy season!

At any of my family get-togethers, this is always one of the snacks served. Even better, it only requires a few ingredients and takes minimal time. It will be gone seconds after you put it down!

plate of sliced pepperoni stuffed pizza bread

4. Turkey Bacon Cranberry Roll-Ups

This roll-up takes two Christmas classics, turkey and cranberry, and spins them on its head into a yummy snack form. It’s packed full of flavor and is quite easy to make. It contains deli turkey, crisp bacon, tart cranberries, cream cheese, and green onions for a simple yet flavorful pinwheel.

You could even use leftover turkey to make these after the holidays are over!

turkey cranberry festive Christmas snacks roll ups

5. Cheese-Filled Pull-Apart Rolls

You can never go wrong with bread and cheese. It’s always sure to satisfy any guests or to enjoy as a Christmas snack for the family. It comes together quickly with thawed frozen bread dough and your favorite cheese. Dip it in some marina, and then you have a warm and delicious finger food!

For my recipe, I shaped my rolls into a tree to make them extra festive and special for the season.

herb dusted homemade pull apart bread recipe

6. Christmas Tree Cheese Ball

If you want a snack to wow the crowd, you must try this Christmas tree cheeseball. It’s the epitome of the festive season in edible form! The cheeseball is made of cream cheese, cheddar, green onions, and pimientos. Then, you can decorate it with edible ornaments like tomatoes, almonds, and peppers.

You can easily prepare this Christmas snack in advance, so all you have to do is bring it out and add some crackers for serving.

a cheeseball shaped and decorated like a Christmas tree for festive holiday snacks

7. Bourbon Balls

It’s no secret that I have a love for bourbon. Rather than enjoy the liquor in a cocktail, I made these bourbon balls. These balls are practically candy, made of crushed vanilla wafers, bourbon, pecans, butter, and sugar. Even better, they require no baking!

They’re so addicting you’ll want to pop them in your mouth before you can plate and serve them for entertaining.

homemade bourbon ball Christmas snacks

8. Seasoned and Roasted Cashews

When making Christmas snacks for a party or dinner, I want to make sure I have some easy snacking food that people can just grab while they socialize. These roasted cashews are perfect for just that! They have a hint of heat thanks to some cayenne pepper.

You can serve them alone, but I like to pair them with a cheeseboard (or perhaps the aforementioned Christmas tree cheeseball!).

roasted nuts in a bowl

9. Olive Holiday Wreath

If you haven’t noticed already, I love serving my food in a fun and festive shape. So when I wanted to make an easy appetizer with olives, I knew I could shape them into a beautiful wreath. Rosemary sprigs, cherry tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls complete the wreath. Add some seasoning, and you have a quick yet gorgeous Christmas snack to serve.

olives tomatoes and herbs shaped into a Christmas wreath form

10. Tortilla Roll-ups With Salsa

No matter the time of year, roll-ups make their way into my snack arsenal. Stacked into a Christmas tree shape, I make these roll-ups with spinach tortillas to make it all look extra jolly. On the inside, the mixture of peppers, olives, and chilis gives a nice pop of color.

Give the tree some ornaments and a star, then add a side of salsa for dipping for a delicious Christmas snack.

spinach tortilla roll ups stacked to look like a Christmas tree

Here’s another sweet Christmas snack for you! I have to stop myself from popping these cookie cups in my mouth while making them because they’re so small, adorable, and yummy.

Christmas baking can quickly become a stressful event, so I’m always trying to share simple yet beautiful and tasty cookie recipes for you. These cookie cups fit the bill perfectly.

red and green sprinkled sugar cookie cups

12. Cinnamon Pecans and Walnuts

Sweet cinnamon and roasted nuts are one of the most heavenly scents you can find around Christmas time. Luckily, they’re easy to make and even easier to devour. I eat them alone for snacking or as a nice topper for a cheese board or salad.

If you want to be extra clever, you can make these just before you have guests over. Your whole house will smell festive and inviting!

cinnamon coated nuts

13. Creamy 3-Ingredient Fudge

Yes, you read that right! This fudge recipe only requires a whopping three ingredients. It may be one of the easiest Christmas snacks you’ll ever find! And while it’s simple to make, this 3-ingredient fudge doesn’t lack flavor one bit. It’s so so creamy and filled with plenty of chocolate.

You can then dress it up with an easy decoration, as I did with these Christmas light bulbs designed for sugar cakes.

decorated chocolate squares from easy fudge recipe

14. Pistachio Cranberry White Chocolate Candy

I made a batch of these and literally ate the entire thing. These are that good and beyond easy to make.

You only need four ingredients to craft this delicious Pistachio Cranberry White Chocolate Candy. Crunchy, fruity, salty, and sweet, this combination of ingredients makes an irresistible candy that’s lovely for the holiday season as well as delicious any time of the year. 

close up of Pistachio Cranberry White Chocolate Candy on plate.

15. Spicy Ranch Pretzels

You can easily serve a bowl of these spicy ranch pretzels at a holiday gathering alongside some other tasty Christmas snacks. These pretzels are another quick and easy snack to make ahead of time.

I like to make a huge batch and then keep them handy for when I feel like snacking, or have unexpected visitors pop by. These are also great to bag up as an easy and inexpensive homemade gift!

spicy ranch Christmas snacks recipe

16. Red Pepper Jelly and Cream Cheese

In the many years of making jams and jellies, my favorite has always been my red pepper jelly. It’s an excellent sweet yet spicy jelly that tastes best (in my opinion) when paired with cheese. You can make some jelly ahead of time to be ready for snacking.

With the jelly, you then spread it over a block of cheese such as brie or cream cheese. Serve it with some crackers, and you’ll find yourself munching away.

red pepper jelly recipe for the holidays

17. Christmas Charcuterie Cups

Okay, this snack might take you a bit longer to assemble, but it’s totally worth it!

If you want to wow your guests this holiday season, then you need to make these Christmas Charcuterie Cups. A winner in both presentation and flavor, these are individual festive charcuterie boards served in a cup. It’s snack perfection!

jarcuterie for christmas in paper cups.

18. Cherry Walnut Snowball Cookies

Classic snowball cookies get a flavor upgrade with cherries and walnuts. These Cherry Walnut Snowball Cookies will make the perfect addition to your Christmas cookie platter and holiday dessert table.

Cherry Walnut Snowball Cookies on a plate.

19. Parmesan Truffle Popcorn

Looking to level up your snacking? Then you need to try this Parmesan Truffle Popcorn. It’s an easy and decadent way to elevate a classic snack into a gourmet treat!

Parmesan Truffle Popcorn in a bowl

20. Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix

Move over check mix, this might be my favorite savory snack mix. Shake up your snack mix game with this Parmesan Ranch Snack Mix. It’s made with sweet potato chips, cheese crackers, mixed nuts, and much more to create an irresistible combination of flavors. You won’t be able to stop at just one handful.

21. Marinated Mozzarella

As I mentioned above, cheese is a must-have snack. Why not make your cheese memorable by marinating it?

From boring to bold, mozzarella gets a flavor upgrade with fresh herbs and spices. This Marinated Mozzarella is easy to make and adds a flavorful touch to any appetizer spread, cheese board, or charcuterie.

Delicious Marinated Mozzarella Recipe #marinated #mozzarella #recipe #cheese #charcuterie #snack #herbs

What to serve with Christmas snacks:

Whether you’re hosting a party or are settling in for a cozy night of Christmas movies, you can’t forget to have a drink in hand! Here are some Christmas-themed cocktails you can serve alongside your snacks:

Want a non-alcohol based option? Serve up a batch of homemade hot cocoa of this festive Non-Alcoholic Sangria.

That’s a wrap on Christmas snacks!

These are some of my go-to Christmas snacks, and I promise they will satisfy all kinds of munchies you may have during the holiday season. They’re all easy and perfect for entertaining or simply for yourself to eat while you enjoy the festive spirit!

Enjoy these festive recipes? Want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also join me on social media (InstagramTikTokFacebookPinterest, and Twitter) for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my work and adventures.

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

These simple yet festive Christmas snacks will make entertaining a little less stressful this year. You can easily make these delicious bites for your holiday party or dinner without adding too much to your hosting plate while still serving some fabulously festive food. Simple yet festive Christmas snacks I love hosting Christmas parties and get-togethers […]




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tree shaped Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies on a plate,

Classic cut-out sugar cookies get a flavor boost when almonds are added to create frosted Almond Sugar Cookies. The flavor is familiar but elevated, comforting, and delicious. I decorated mine to look like Christmas trees, but feel free to make any cookie shape(s) you desire. 

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies.

Let’s Make Almond Sugar Cookies:

Over the years I’ve shared many cut-out cookie recipes on the blog. We’ve covered gingerbread, orange almond, cotton candy frosted, ugly sweater, peppermint, and more! 

This holiday season I wanted to try a new dough flavor so I experimented with almonds. The result was delicious which makes me so excited to share these Christmas tree almond sugar cookies with you. 

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies.

If you want even more Christmas cookies, I have SO MANY here on Inspired by Charm for you to choose from. To make them easy to find, I put together an entire blog post with all my favorites. You can find that HERE

How to Frost Sugar Cookies:

I have a slight obsession with Christmas magazines. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been seeing a frosting technique where dots of frosting are added in a row onto a cookie. The dots get spread out and then another row of dots is added and the pattern repeats. I LOVE the look! 

I loved it so much that I had to give it a try. What do you think?

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies.

In my opinion, this method works especially well for things like Christmas trees because the spread-out little frosting dots look like the fluffy branches of a pine tree. Love that! 

I went pretty minimal with my Christmas tree cookie “decorations,” but I’m thinking it might be fun to add more colorful sprinkles to give the look of ornaments and lights. 

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies.

What are these almond sugar cookies made of?:

The base of these almond sugar cookies is pretty standard with the addition of toasted almonds and lemon zest. These two added ingredients really amp up the flavor. So, here’s what you’ll need:

Cookie Ingredients:

  • toasted slivered almonds
  • all-purpose flour
  • unsalted butter
  • sugar
  • egg
  • vanilla
  • kosher salt
  • lemon zest

I used my standard sugar cookie frosting recipe. It’s a combination of butter and shortening which I really love. To bring in the almond flavor from the cookies, I added a touch of almond extract to the frosting to marry the two beautifully. Here’s what you’ll need for the frosting: 

Frosting Ingredients:

  • vegetable shortening
  • unsalted butter
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • milk
  • food coloring

In addition to the standard baking equipment, you’ll need some piping bags and a round tip like THESE. I also used some green sprinkles and white sprinkles.

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies on a plate.

Recipe Instructions: 

I’m going to quickly walk you through the steps of making these Christmas tree almond sugar cookies. For a more detailed explanation along with a full ingredient list, please reference the printable recipe card below.

  1. In a food processor, pulse the toasted almond until finely ground. 
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
dry cookie ingredients in a bowl.
  1. Cream together the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest. 
  2. Add half of the dry ingredients. Begin mixing to incorporate. 
  3. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 
  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least three hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Roll out about half of the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness.
  7. Cut out the dough using a tree-shaped cookie cutter. 
cookie cutters and rolled out dough.
  1. Bake 8-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  2. Transfer the cookies to a cutting board or your countertop to cool completely.
  3. Repeat with remaining dough.
almond sugar cookie on a baking tray.
  1. Cream together the vegetable shortening and butter. 
  2. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time. 
  3. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract. 
  4. Add milk as needed for a smoother consistency. 
  5. Divide the frosting into smaller bowls and add gel food coloring to achieve the desired colors.
  6. Place the frosting in a piping bag with a round tip.
  7. To create this frosting design, pipe dots of frosting along the bottom of the tree. 
piping frosting on a tree shaped cookie.
frosting a tree shaped cookie.
  1. Using a butter knife, press into the dot near the middle. Press and pull to spread the dot up the cookie. 
  2. Repeat by piping another row of dots above the previous one and then spread the new row like before. 
piped frosting on a cookie.
  1. Continue until you reach the top of your tree.
  2. Add sprinkles to decorate.

Allow the frosting to set before packing and storing the cookies in an airtight container.

And that’s a wrap.

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies on a cooling rack.

As with any frosted sugar cookie, these do take time and patience. I really enjoy the process. In fact, I was making these very cookies with my mom and I told her I could frost cookies all day long. It doesn’t matter if I’m using traditional frosting like this or piped royal icing; I just love frosting cookies! 

I highly suggest you plan on making the cookies when you have ample time. There’s nothing worse or more stressful than trying to rush through the process. 

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies  on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Before you depart, let me answer a few questions you may have. 

Can you freeze these almond sugar cookies?

Yep! You certainly can. I froze my frosted ones and will defrost them when I need them for Christmas. Pack the cookies in a freezer-friendly airtight container. I packed one row, put them in the freezer for a bit, and then packed the next row. This will ensure my frosting doesn’t get smushed as I layer the cookies.

Can I use a different color of food coloring?
Of course! Make them whatever color you want. I personally recommend THIS gel food coloring. It works so well and THIS pack comes with every color you need. 

I’m nervous about the piping technique, can you help?
Practice! There’s always a cookie that gets too well done or loses a limb. Use that cookie to practice your technique. Repeat the process until you feel comfortable and confident. 

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies on a plate.

Happy Christmas Cookie Baking! 

If you’re looking for a new cut-out holiday cookie to try, I certainly hope you’ll consider these Frosted Almond Sugar Cookies. I know I can’t wait to add them to my holiday cookie tray. I bet it will be the same for you.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas! 

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies on a plate.

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

pine tree shaped frosted almond sugar cookies.

Pine Tree Almond Sugar Cookie

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: almond, christmas, frosting, holiday, sugar cookie
Servings: 36
Prep Time 3 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Frosting Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 13 mins
Classic cut-out sugar cookies get a flavor boost when almonds are added to create Almond Sugar Cookies. The flavor is familiar but elevated, comforting, and delicious. I decorated mine to look like Christmas trees, but feel free to make any cookie shape(s) you desire.

Ingredients

Cookies:
Frosting*:

Instructions

  • Begin by preparing the cookie dough. In a food processor, pulse the toasted almond until finely ground.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest.
  • Once combined, add half of the dry ingredients. Begin mixing to incorporate. Then add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least three hours or overnight.
  • After your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out about half of the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, depending on your preference. Cut out the dough using a tree-shaped cookie cutter.
  • Transfer each cut-out to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the first sign of browning appears on the surface of the cookies. Remove from the oven and transfer the cookies to a cutting board or your countertop to cool completely.
  • Repeat the process with the second half of the dough. Any dough scraps can be reformed into a ball and re-rolled.
  • While the cookies cool, prepare your frosting. With a mixer, cream together the vegetable shortening and butter. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract. Add milk as needed for a smoother consistency. Divide the frosting into smaller bowls and add gel food coloring to achieve the desired colors.
  • Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
  • To create the frosting design, pipe dots of frosting along the bottom of the tree. Using a butter knife, press into the dot near the middle. Press and pull to spread the dot up the cookie. Repeat by piping another row of dots above the previous one and then spread the new row like before. Continue until you reach the top of your tree. (Reference photos in the blog post for a better example of this technique.)
  • Allow the frosting to set before packing and storing the cookies in an airtight container.

Notes

*It is likely that you’ll have some extra frosting. For me, this isn’t a bad thing as there’s always a cookie that needs decorating. If you want to avoid any excess, you may want to cut this recipe in half.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 192kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 36mgPotassium: 30mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 197IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.5mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

Classic cut-out sugar cookies get a flavor boost when almonds are added to create frosted Almond Sugar Cookies. The flavor is familiar but elevated, comforting, and delicious. I decorated mine to look like Christmas trees, but feel free to make any cookie shape(s) you desire.  Let’s Make Almond Sugar Cookies: Over the years I’ve shared […]




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Poinsettia Pomegranate Martini #holiday #cocktail #martini #recipe #PomegranateMartini #Pomegranate #gin #Christmas

From making my own signature festive cocktail to setting the perfect mood, I’m here to share all my Christmas party ideas and tips to step up your entertaining. Make this year’s holiday party the one to remember with this perfectly jolly inspiration!

Christmas Party Ideas

I thought it might be helpful to share some unique and memorable Christmas party ideas and tips to help you create a welcoming and festive holiday home.

It’s no secret that the holidays are my favorite time of year. The second I hear the word fall, I’m already dreaming of what my Christmas tree will look like and shopping around for new inspiration.

miniature Christmas party tree decoration in a mixing bowl

One of my other loves of the season is entertaining. I’ll take any excuse to bring my friends and family together, have some drinks, and get all cozy and festive.

Over the years, I’ve mastered the art of Christmas parties. I have accumulated quite a few tips and ideas, and I wanted to share them with you for this year and beyond. Whether it’s a small get-together with close friends or a large open house for all, these Christmas party ideas will apply no matter how you celebrate the season.

hand holding christmas jarcuterie.

30 Christmas Party Ideas and Themes:

Looking for party ideas and themes for your next holiday gathering? Try one of these:

  1. Secret Santa Party
  2. Christmas Cookie Swap
  3. Christmas Pajama and Movie Party
  4. DIY Ornament Party
  5. Ugly Sweater Party
  6. Gift Wrapping Party
  7. Christmas Donut Party
  8. Christmas Cocktail Party
  9. Christmas Karaoke Party
  10. Hot Cocoa Party
  11. Christmas Charcuterie Party
  12. DIY Gift Tag Party
  13. Gingerbread Cookie / Gingerbread House Party
  14. Favorite Things Party
  15. Reindeer Games Party
  16. Christmas Breakfast / Brunch Party
  17. Handmade Holiday Party
  18. Paint and Sip Party
  19. Homemade Christmas Gift Party
  20. Murder Mystery Holiday Party
  21. High Tea Christmas Party
  22. Christmas Movie Marathon
  23. Ginch-mas Party
  24. Holiday Appetizer Party
  25. Christmas Card Party
  26. Brunch-mas Party
  27. Wreath Making Party
  28. Beers and Cheers Party
  29. Favorite Thing Christmas Party
  30. Christmas Lights Tour

That’s quite the list! I hope one, two, or more of those themes inspired an idea in you! There are so many I want to host.

Vintage Modern Christmas Table Decor

Unique and memorable Christmas party ideas

Alright, now that we have some party theme covered, let’s get into some of the finer details.

Let me walk you through some of my best tips and ideas for Christmas parties. I’ve added in a few photos from my current Christmas decor and a few photos from some Christmases past.

1. Create a signature cocktail or drink.

I think I include this tip on every entertaining list as it is one of my favorites. Recently, I also just created a new holiday cocktail (my amazing Poinsettia Pomegranate Martini), so it was fresh on my mind.

I like this idea because it’s a fun way to create something unique and memorable. As you know, I’ve created and shared dozens and dozens of unique and classic cocktail recipes here on Inspired by Charm.

My favorite thing is to take a classic recipe and make it unique just by changing out a few ingredients. If you’re looking for some more recipe ideas, I have an entire post dedicated to my best Christmas cocktail recipes – all in one place! It even includes a non-alcoholic sangria which everyone can enjoy. If you need a little inspiration that is a great place to start.

signature Christmas party cocktails on a kitchen island
poinsettia pomegranate martini

Another fun idea, once you have chosen your drink recipe, is to print out a few copies of the recipe for guests to take home with them. It’s a great way to share a little piece of your festivities with your guests. I have some FREE recipe card printables if you need them.

Not a fan of cocktails? Try a hot cocoa bar! You can go big or small. Here in my kitchen, I just use a small area to set up this beautiful and functional hot cocoa bar. And if you need one, here’s a homemade hot cocoa mix recipe that I love!

create a hot cocoa bar for fun Christmas party ideas
hot chocolate bar with jars full of cocoa and toppings

2. Plan your Christmas decor.

I’m very much a planner when it comes to my Christmas decorating. Before I’ve even brought out the Christmas décor, I already know what I’m going for that year.

In some regards, I have a theme every year that echoes throughout my house or individual room. This helps to create a coordinated and very styled look for my decorating. The result is always a highly aesthetic and ultra-festive display that looks amazing for a Christmas party and photos.

decorated foyer with christmas tree in the background.

I’ve recently shared all the information behind how I plan my Christmas home decor, so take a look at the post for some tips on getting your home ready for Christmas.

I know some people very much like to do the same thing every year, and that’s okay too! Even small touches like coordinated place settings, gift wrap, ornaments, appetizers, and gift tags can make the party more cohesive.

3. Incorporate vintage finds.

I don’t know about you, but I love getting wrapped up in the nostalgia and tradition of the holiday season. While I love antique shopping all year long, I especially love it for Christmas. I’ll take vintage plates, vintage glassware, and vintage decor over new any day.

If you love vintage Christmas like I do, I have an entire blog post dedicated to this topic. You can see all of my favorite vintage Christmas decor plus get tips and tricks for styling it. Find that post HERE.

Last year I set this fun table setting inspired by a set of glassware I picked up at one of my favorite antique stores.

Vintage Modern Christmas Table Decor ideas to dress up your home for the holidays! #diningroom #decor #tablesetting #tablescape #table #decorating #christmas #holiday #modern #vintage
Vintage Modern Christmas Table Decor ideas to dress up your home for the holidays! #diningroom #decor #tablesetting #tablescape #table #decorating #christmas #holiday #modern #vintage

Other vintage finds can influence your holiday entertaining adventures, too. Here are a few examples!

  1. Use vintage ornaments as place cards for your holiday table setting. You can write a guest’s name directly on the ball or add a festive gift tag to the ornament. (These vintage-inspired tags, which I shared as a free download last year, would be perfect.)
vintage gift tags for wrapping Christmas presents
  1. Pick up a vintage punch bowl set. I just scored this set on eBay. While this bowl and cups are traditionally for a classic Tom and Jerry cocktail, you could use them to serve any holiday punch.
tom and jerry vintage Christmas dishes
  1. Don’t have enough glassware? Shop local thrift stores for glasses. They are so inexpensive, and you can find some beautiful vintage designs.

I’ve found that guests are always intrigued by my vintage decorations too. I can’t tell you how many people have told me, “My mom had those growing up,” or “I remember having these as a kid.” I love moments like this.

For me, this is what the holidays are all about.

thrifted deer figurines on a mantle

4. Have a well-stocked pantry.

I recently shared a look into my butler’s pantry for Christmas. I think having a well-stocked cupboard or pantry during the holidays is important. When you’re ready to entertain or whip up your favorite holiday recipe, there’s nothing worse than realizing you’re missing a key element or ingredient.

open shelving in butler's pantry with wood and white dishes and Santa mugs

I’m a list maker, so I plan ahead with a big list of all my holiday essentials. I like to stock up in advance on longer-lasting items like flour, sugar, sprinkles, butter, etc.

I also stock up on things like soda, seltzer water, oranges, lemons, fresh herbs, cranberries, etc. Not only are these useful ingredients to have on hand when cooking for the holidays, but they also make great garnishes for your dishes or beverages.

It’s also helpful to plan your menus ahead. This way, you can make one trip to the grocery store instead of several.

I have the perfect list for you if you’re planning ahead and looking for some festive and tasty holiday appetizers: the ultimate Christmas appetizer recipes. I also recommend check out these gingerbread recipes. They are some of my holiday favorites.

Christmas Tree Cheese Ball

5. Make a custom music playlist.

I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty picky with my holiday music. When entertaining, music can really make or break the mood. Are you feeling classic Christmas with the crooning Michael Buble? Or do you want to go back to the 90s with Mariah Carey’s iconic Merry Christmas?

While there are so many music streaming platforms that have their own Christmas playlists, I always find myself skipping every other song. There’s a lot of not-so-great Christmas music out there!

My solution was to make my own Christmas music playlist that I know I can play at any party and get the festive mood perfectly right. I encourage you to make your own for your Christmas party, as it truly makes a difference in the ambiance. You can even use mine as a starting point for creating your own.

6. Make your own gifts.

Gifts mean so much more when they come from the heart. If gift-giving is a part of your Christmas party, encourage everyone to bring something they made themselves. This works well for secret Santa or white elephant gift exchanges!

Vintage-Inspired Christmas Gift Bags #craft #christmas #holiday #giftbags #gift #printable #transfer #giftideas #vintage #vintagechristmas

This way, every gift will have a special story behind it and avoid adding to the clutter that can be Christmas gifts. Plus, it’s often kinder on the wallet too! It minimizes the stress of the holidays, which always helps to make the Christmas party more enjoyable.

And just because it’s homemade doesn’t mean it has to be simple or unattractive. Here are some of my go-to handmade gift ideas you can get some inspiration from.

7. Remember you can do anything, but not everything.

Last but not least, and possibly the most important Christmas party idea I could share with you, is that you can’t do it all! Trust me; I’ve tried.

Because of the abundance of “perfectly” styled tables, charcuteries, bar carts, and homes on social media, it’s easy to feel like we must do it all, and we must do it perfectly. But, of course, this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Do what you can. Do what you love. Do what works for you. Do your best and forget the rest.

Often times these beautifully styled photos you see on social media and Pinterest are just that: beautifully styled photos. They are meant to delight and inspire rather than to be used as a means for comparison or to make you feel less than.

corner of a decorated home for Christmas

That’s a wrap on Christmas party tips & ideas!

And that’s a wrap, friends. I hope the things I shared here were helpful and encouraging. I also hope you enjoyed a little peek into my holiday home and are excited for more to come!

I have so much more to share this holiday season, so stay tuned for my holiday decor, seasonal recipes, and festive cheer.

The ultimate Christmas idea and recipe resource list:

Looking for more Christmas inspiration? This list is for you!

Love these festive ideas and want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also join me on social media (InstagramTikTokFacebookPinterest, and Twitter) for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my work and adventures.

Have you tried any of these ideas? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR picture with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using ideas from IBC.

looking through the door of a kitchen at Christmas party cocktails on a red tray sitting on a wood island

From making my own signature festive cocktail to setting the perfect mood, I’m here to share all my Christmas party ideas and tips to step up your entertaining. Make this year’s holiday party the one to remember with this perfectly jolly inspiration! I thought it might be helpful to share some unique and memorable Christmas […]




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Join the conversation.






Handmade Holiday Christmas Tree

Inspired by handmade ornaments, colorful lights, and hand-strung popcorn garland, my family room Christmas tree celebrates the holiday season with personality and fun! 

christmas tree with colored lights in living room.
presents under a christmas tree in red colors.

A Handmade Holiday

‘Tis the season for trimming the tree. As you might know, I typically design and decorate two (sometimes three) new trees every year. Coming up with new and unique motifs is a joy for me. (Check out some of my trees from Christmases past HERE.) 

With a focus on a handmade holiday this year, I sharpened my scissors and heated up my glue gun to craft something meaningful and special for this tree (and my second tree AND…. the rest of my holiday decor too). 

This post isn’t full of links for you to buy a whole new set of Christmas tree decorations. In fact, the only product link I’m sharing is to my actual Christmas tree which you can find HERE. This is one of my favorite artificial Christmas trees and I always get lots of questions about it.

This year I opted to use only ornaments that I already had and ornaments that I made with my own two hands.  While I have many great tree designs from Christmases past, I’m loving this one for it’s meaningful homemade touches.

close up of hot cocoa christmas tree ornament and popcorn garland.

The Same But Different

This phrase has come up a lot in my head the past several months as I planned for and implemented my Christmas decor. Recently, as I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts, I’ve wanted to embrace the decor that I have (instead of going out and spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a new decor) AND take time to focus on handmade. I’m happy to report that I’ve been doing just that and it has made all the difference. 

So, if you’ve been here before, this tree may look the same, but… it’s also a bit different. 

decorated foyer with christmas tree in the background.
popcorn garland strung on a decorated christmas tree.

This tree is unique from all of my other trees because it incorporates several handmade elements and uses those big vintage-inspired colored lights.

Yes. Yes. I know I’m way off in regards to all the trendy Christmas tree decor, but I honestly couldn’t be happier with the way this design came together. It’s a one-of-a-kind reflection of me and it’s my intentions coming to life. I stuck to my plan and made it happen! 

I’m going to show you more of my Christmas tree and walk you through some of my tips and ideas for making a tree uniquely you. 

Let’s get into it. 

close up of decorated Christmas tree.
decorated christmas tree with popcorn garland and red ornaments.

Christmas Tree Decoration Tips:

1. Start with Ribbon

If you’re new here, I want to mention that I always like to start my tree decorating with ribbon. You may have never done this before, but I highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful way to tie the tree together, it adds movement, and fills in the gaps.

If you’re curious about my method, you can check out this post HERE that discusses my tips and tricks for adding ribbon to a tree. This is a ribbon I’ve had in my collection for at least 8+ years. I can hardly believe that it finally got put on a tree! 

2. Pick a Color Scheme

I always like to start with some sort of theme. Typically color leads my way, but sometimes the theme will be inspired by a dress Adele wore or feelings of nostalgia. Since moving to this home, I’ve always done a red theme in this room (maybe someday I’ll break from this pattern), so I went with the red theme again but with a twist. 

christmas tree with colored lights in living room.
christmas tree with colored lights and ornaments.

3. Sprinkle in Your Personality

With anything I do or decorate, I always like to do things a bit differently and/or with an element of unexpectedness. (There’s way too much of the same thing everywhere these days.) While I’m typically a white lights person, I threw caution to the wind and opted for big vintage-inspired colored lights

As you may have noticed from my photos, the best part about this decision is that I actually have lighting options since I used a pre-lit tree and added colored lights to it. Now I have the option to do white, colored, or both. I find myself using the colored lights the most, but having both on is pretty spectacular too! 

christmas tree with red decorations and popcorn garland.
christmas tree with colored lights in living room.

In fact, I loved the colored lights so much that I even added them to my mantel garland to bring it all together. (My mantel is decorated similarly to how I did it last year with my collection of vintage Putz houses. You can see more of it HERE.) 

I also incorporated some of my favorite glass ornaments which include mini thermoses and red trucks. They make me smile.

glas red truck ornament.

4. Add Something Handmade 

As I mentioned above, I knew going into this tree design that I wanted my handmade elements to shine. I tend to like a heavily decorated tree, but I pulled back this year (though to some I’m sure this is still heavily decorated) to give a little space for the things that I made. I’ve found such joy in slowing down and making things this year that I really wanted those handmade elements to take center stage. Here’s what I made: 

diy clay christmas tree ornament on a tree.
  1. DIY Clay Cookie Cutter Ornaments – These were SO easy to make and really fun too. The results look so professional. I used oven bake clay in white. You could use any color that you like or even paint the ornaments! 
close up of embroidery hoop ornaments.

Find the tutorial HERE.

  1. Handmade Embroidery Hoop Ornaments I wanted this project to be budget-friendly, so I used old plaid shirts that no longer wear and a couple of thrifted finds to craft these fun embroidery hoop ornaments. They may be my favorite. You can make these extra special by making them with old baby clothes or something that belonged to a family member that has passed away. 

Find the tutorial HERE. 

popcorn garland hung on christmas tree.
  1. Hand-Strung Popcorn Garland – I had the idea to make a popcorn garland but almost didn’t do it because I thought it would be too difficult and tedious. Boy, was I wrong! This project was really easy and didn’t take nearly as long as I expected. Plus, it gave me an excuse to slow down and sit and watch a movie. 

In fact, I loved the results so much that I strung even more popcorn to use on my staircase banister garland. Highly recommend. 

Find the tutorial HERE. 

decorated foyer with christmas tree in the background.

Put all of those elements together and you have my Handmade Holiday Christmas Tree! 

I hope you love it as much as I do! 

christmas tree with colored lights in living room.
christmas presents under a christmas tree.

Time to Trim The Tree

And that’s a wrap on one of my Christmas trees. (I’ll be sharing the second one soon. I’m just finishing up a few details. Stay tuned.

I hope this post has given you a few ideas to try with your tree decorating OR the inspiration to break the “rules” and create a Christmas tree in your own unique way

As far as I’m concerned there’s no such thing as an ugly Christmas tree. I love them all. 

If you need a little more inspiration, I’ve got it! Check out this post HERE for 26+ of my unique Christmas designs that I’ve created over the past 12 years. 

Merry Christmas! 

christmas tree with red decorations and popcorn garland.
large pinecone in christmas tree.

Want more Christmas decorating ideas?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Inspired by handmade ornaments, colorful lights, and hand-strung popcorn garland, my family room Christmas tree celebrates the holiday season with personality and fun!  A Handmade Holiday ‘Tis the season for trimming the tree. As you might know, I typically design and decorate two (sometimes three) new trees every year. Coming up with new and unique […]




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White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

You only need three ingredients (and some sprinkles) to whip up this salty meets sweet White Chocolate Puff Corn. It’s a delicious and easy-to-make snack that’s perfect for Christmas entertaining and holiday gifting.

White Chocolate Puff Corn in a bowl.

Let’s Make White Chocolate Puff Corn

In the fall I made and shared a really delicious sweet and salty autumn snack mix. You all seemed to love it!  I was talking to my mom about this and explaining that I wanted to come up with something for Christmas. She quickly responded, “What about that white chocolate puff corn that Kathy makes?” (Kathy is a friend of hers.) 

I immediately knew what she was talking about because my dad’s wife makes the same thing and I literally can’t stop eating it when I’m at their house for Christmas. 

White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

The idea behind this recipe is beyond simple. Buttery puff corn gets coated in white chocolate. That’s it. Oh, and you can throw on some sprinkles if you want some added color. 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe: 

  • Addictively Delicious – You honestly can’t just have one bite. You’ll be going back for more and more. 
  • Incredibly Easy – All you need to do is stir. This recipe might take you about 10 minutes to make. 
  • Customizable – While I made mine for Christmas, you could make this any time of the year. All you have to do is change the color of the sprinkles to match the holiday or event you are celebrating!
close up of White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles.

Before we get into the recipe details, I want to mention that I’m once again joined by my Tastes of the Season blogger friends. We are all sharing a delicious holiday treat to help add a little sweetness to your Christmas festive. Check the end of the post for all the recipes!

With that being said, you still might be wondering … 

What is Puff Corn?

I like to think of puff corn as a cheese curl that meets popcorn. The flavor is more on the side of popcorn, but the texture is more like a puffy corn snack that almost melts in your mouth. Does that make sense? 

I’ve seen puff corn in various flavors including original, butter, cheddar, and white cheddar. 

The one you want for this recipe is the butter flavored. (You could do the original flavor, but it’s not nearly as good.) 

White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

Where to Buy Puff Corn?

I found mine at a local grocery store. I used Chester’s brand, but there are several companies that make puff corn. There’s even a Walmart Great Value version. 

You can find puff corn HERE on Amazon but it’s three times the price. I recommend trying to find it locally. 

White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

While you’re out shopping you can pick up the other ingredients you’ll need as well.

Ingredients:

Here’s what you’ll need to make this White Chocolate Puff Corn: 

  • puff corn – We already covered this above.
  • white baking chocolate – You want to make sure you use white chocolate with cocoa butter. Avoid white chocolate chips. I personally like THESE white chocolate baking wafers.
  • almond bark – This is a vanilla-flavored candy coating. I like the almond bark sold at Walmart or ALDI.
  • sprinkles – Totally optional, but highly recommended. Feel free to use whatever kind you like. I prefer these “jimmies” as they are softer and something like nonpareils.

With your ingredients on hand, you are ready to assemble.

White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

How to Make: 

I’ll walk you through the steps here. You can also find them in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. 

  1. Prepare your work surface by spreading out two pieces of waxed paper. 
  2. Add your puff corn to a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the almond bark and white chocolate.
  4. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted. 
  5. Pour the melted chocolate over the puff corn in two batches stirring in between. 
adding white chocolate to puff corn.
  1. Dump this mix onto your wax paper-lined surface spreading it into an even layer. 
  2. If desired, add sprinkles.
White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles  on wax paper.
  1. Allow the white chocolate to completely set, then pack and store in an airtight container. 

It’s honestly that easy. 

hand grabbing White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles.

I think the hardest part is waiting for the chocolate to set before you dive in face first. Ha! 

(And if you do dive in face first, I promise not to tell a soul. It’s our secret.) 

Start Snacking! 

And with that, I’ve now armed you with another delicious snack to help you celebrate the season.

Whether you serve this White Chocolate Puff Corn at your Christmas party or mix it up to give as handmade gifts, everyone is going to LOVE it … and you will too! 

Enjoy! 

White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

Tastes of the Seasons Christmas Treats:

Ready for more festive goodies? Be sure to visit my blogger friends below. Don’t their recipes look wonderful?  They are perfect for the holidays! I’m confident you’ll find more deliciousness to try.

Tastes of the Season Christmas Treats

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix by Ella Claire & Co. | Easy Butter Mints by Handmade Farmhouse | White Chocolate Puff Corn by Inspired by Charm 

Tastes of the Season Christmas Treats

Favorite Easy Christmas Cookies by French Country Cottage | Marshmallow Hot Cocoa Stirrer by Zevy Joy

Love this festive recipe and want more?

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

White Chocolate Puff Corn with sprinkles in a bowl.

White Chocolate Puff Corn

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, holiday, puff corn, puffcorn, snack, white chocolate
Servings: 10
Prep Time 10 mins
Setting Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
You only need three ingredients (and some sprinkles) to whip up this salty meets sweet White Chocolate Puff Corn. It’s a delicious and easy-to-make snack that’s perfect for Christmas entertaining and holiday gifting.

Ingredients

  • 6.5 ounces (2 bags total) puff corn - Chester's, butter flavor
  • 8 ounces almond bark
  • 10 ounces white chocolate
  • sprinkles - optional

Instructions

  • Prepare your work surface by spreading out two pieces of waxed paper.
  • Add your puff corn to a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl, add the almond bark and white chocolate. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the puff corn in two batches stirring in between. Continue stirring until the puff corn is completely coated.
  • Dump this mix onto your wax paper-lined surface spreading it into an even layer. If desired, add sprinkles.
  • Allow the white chocolate to completely set, then pack and store in an airtight container.

Notes

This recipe is extremely forgiving. If you want more white chocolate or almond bark, feel free to add it. If you want less, you can do that too. If you can’t find almond bark (usually available at Walmart or ALDI), then just use white chocolate.
When you’re purchasing white chocolate, look for some with cocoa butter. It melts so much nicer. I really like THESE white chocolate melting wafers and/or these white chocolate bars. Avoid white chocolate chips as they tend to seize up when melting.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 142mgFiber: 3gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 45IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 1mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

You only need three ingredients (and some sprinkles) to whip up this salty meets sweet White Chocolate Puff Corn. It’s a delicious and easy-to-make snack that’s perfect for Christmas entertaining and holiday gifting. Let’s Make White Chocolate Puff Corn In the fall I made and shared a really delicious sweet and salty autumn snack mix. […]




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Rustic Star Anise Christmas Wreath

All you need is some brown wire, star anise, and a couple of tools to craft this rustic star anise Christmas wreath. Use these wreaths to deck your halls, decorate a garland, or trim your tree. This is an easy DIY with beautiful results. 

star anise wreath on christmas garland

Rustic Christmas Wreath with Star Anise

I was inspired to make these little rustic Christmas wreaths as I saw something similar in a magazine a few years back. They’ve been on my mind ever since. With my focus being a handmade holiday this year, I knew this was the perfect time to put this wreath together. 

I originally thought I would just make one or two of these wreaths as decor, but I loved them so much that I decided to make more and use them as ornaments for my Christmas tree. Because they looked so good on my tree, I made even more wreaths to use on my mantel decor! They are such a fun natural touch that I suppose I just wanted to use these wreaths in every possible way. 

star anise wreath on christmas tree.
close up of mantel garland with diy paper chain and anise star wreath.

Where to Hang

Many of you LOVED how these looked on my mantel (which you can see HERE if you missed it), so I’m super excited to be able to bring you this really easy craft. And if you love crafting, you’ll also love the paper chain I made for my mantel decor. You’ll see it in this post. It’s made from leftover wallpaper! I love it! 

star anise wreath on christmas tree.

My Christmas tree still needs a few finishing touches so I haven’t shared that yet. (Stay tuned as it will be coming soon.) Nonetheless, I did include a few pictures of how these wreaths look on my tree. 

With that, let’s get into the tutorial.

I’ll walk you through the supply list first, including links to all the things I used, and then I’ll share the tutorial. 

anise wreath on garland.

Supplies:

Before we start making these rustic Christmas wreaths, let’s gather up some supplies. 

anise wreath making supplies.
  • brown wire – You can find the wire I used HERE. It’s easy to work with. 
  • wire cutters – Any will do. If you need a pair, try THESE.
  • star anise – I bought THIS big bag. No matter where you buy them, you’re going to get broken pieces. Maybe if you had a local spot to buy them, you might be able to pick the best bunch. 
  • hot glue gun – I recommend THIS one
  • hot glue sticks – I like THESE glue sticks
  • ribbon – All of the ribbons I used were from JOANN.

Ready to craft these star anise wreaths? Let’s get to it. 

anise wreath on cabinet knob.

How to Make this Rustic Christmas Wreath:

I’ll walk you through the full tutorial here including any tips and tricks. There is an abbreviated tutorial and supply list on a printable card at the end of this post. 

  1. Begin by forming your wire into a ring. The size of the ring can be whatever you’d like. Most of mine were four or eight inches in diameter. I did do some larger ones too. 
  2. Continue to wrap the wire (without cutting) in circles until you go around about three times. (For the large rings I did four.)  Keep the wire loose and natural. None of the rings should look exactly the same. 
  3. Use your wire cutters to cut the wire when you’re finished wrapping. 
  4. Take a minute to work with your wreath shape and adjust the rings until it looks pleasing to you. To get it to lay flat, set the wreath on your work surface and press down with your hand. 
  5. Next, select a few star anise. I tried to find whole ones, but use what you love. 
gluing star anise to wreath.
  1. Use your hot glue gun to glue the star anise to your wire wreath in a random pattern. There is no right or wrong here. I kept it very organic. I wanted it to look like Mother Nature could have made it herself. Glue some anise to your inner rings, and some to your outer rings; also, glue some close together, and some far apart. 
  2. Additionally, I like to make sure there is a star anise on either end of the wire. This will give a more finished look and help to hold the wreath together. 
  3. Hold the star anise in place until the glue begins to harden. 
  4. Once all of your star anise are in place, turn the wreath over and add a bit of glue to the back of any of the star anise that feel loose or not secure. 
star anise wreaths.
  1. Allow the glue to harden,and then add a piece of ribbon (if you’d like) to hang. 
  2. On my mantel garland, I opted for no ribbon but used ribbon to hang as ornaments on my tree. 

And with that your rustic star anise Christmas wreaths are complete! 

Aren’t they sweet? 

large diy anise wreath on mantel.
anise wreath hanging on copper pan.

As you can see, I had fun taking photos of these all around my house. I think this wreath would also make a beautiful topper for a gift. 

Project Variations: 

Here are some other things you may want to try:

  • Use a different colored wire like gold or copper.
  • Add additional elements like cinnamon sticks, bits of pine, small pinecones, etc.
  • Try different colors of ribbon or add a bow. 

Let this tutorial be a jumping-off point to create something YOU love!

star anise wreath on mantel garland.

Hang Your Wreath and Enjoy!

As always, I hope you enjoyed learning how to make this rustic star anise Christmas wreath. I had a blast making them and I hope you do too! These are a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to deck your halls in a handmade way! 

Happy crafting! 

star anise wreath on christmas tree.

Enjoy this festive project and want more? 

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Rustic Star Anise Christmas Wreath

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Home Decor Craft
Cuisine: American
Keyword: christmas, holiday, wreath
Servings: 1
All you need is some brown wire, star anise, and a couple of tools to craft this rustic star anise Christmas wreath. Use these wreaths to deck your halls, decorate a garland, or trim your tree. This is an easy DIY with beautiful results.

Instructions

  • Begin by forming your wire into a ring. The size of the ring can be whatever you’d like.
  • Continue to wrap the wire (without cutting) in circles until you go around about 3 times. Keep the wire loose and natural looking.
  • Use your wire cutters to cut the wire when you’re finished wrapping.
  • Take a minute to work with your wreath shape and adjust it until it looks pleasing to you.
  • Select a few star anise to add to your wreath.
  • Use your hot glue gun to glue the star anise to your wire wreath in a random design. Make sure to cover the two ends of your wire with star anise as well.
  • Hold the star anise in place until the glue begins to harden.
  • Once all of your star anise are in place, turn the wreath over and add a bit of glue to the back of any of the star anise that feel loose or not secure.
  • Allow the glue to harden, and then add a piece of ribbon (if you’d like) to hang.

Notes

The exact supplies I used are linked in the blog post.

Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

All you need is some brown wire, star anise, and a couple of tools to craft this rustic star anise Christmas wreath. Use these wreaths to deck your halls, decorate a garland, or trim your tree. This is an easy DIY with beautiful results.  Rustic Christmas Wreath with Star Anise I was inspired to make […]




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Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a platter.

Shaved Brussels sprouts are tossed with pomegranate seeds, pecans, pears, parmesan cheese, and a light dressing to create this Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad. This is a healthy, easy-to-make side that pairs beautifully with any holiday or winter meal. 

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a platter.

Winter Brussels Sprout Salad

I’m not sure I should call this a “winter” Brussels sprouts salad because it isn’t necessarily winter-specific. However, with the addition of pomegranate seeds, maple syrup, pears, and pecans it felt wintery to me. (Of course, feel free to make it any time of the year!) 

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a plate.

Over the past few seasons, I’ve been working to add more green salad recipes to the blog. It’s something I felt was lacking, so it feels good to make some progress. If you missed any of them, here are some of my latest salad additions:

I also have an entire post dedicated to my favorite salad recipes which include greens salads, pasta salads, and even dessert salads. You can find that post HERE

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a platter.

Since I’ve covered most of the seasons, I wanted to do something that was healthy and fresh as well as flavorful and hearty for the winter months. That led me to this Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it came together. The combination of flavors is so good!

You could serve this as a side dish to any meal or top it with your favorite protein and serve it as a main course. It will be a winner either way. 

If you still need more convincing to try this salad, know that before this recipe was published, my Mom made it for one of her friends and it was a big hit. 

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a platter.

Curious to give it a try? Let me walk you through the recipe. 

How to Make Brussels Sprouts Salad:

In addition to the steps that follow, I’ve provided a detailed ingredient list and instructions in the printable recipe card below.

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts to a large bowl. 
brussels spouts in a bowl.
  1. Drizzle with about ½ cup of the dressing and toss to combine. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add the pecans, pear slices, shaved parmesan, and pomegranate seeds. 
pomegranate seeds on Brussels sprouts.
  1. Toss to combine. 
  2. Drizzle with the remaining dressing before serving. 

And with that, your winter Brussels sprout salad is ready to be enjoyed! 

There’s freshness, crunch, fruit, and hints of sweetness and saltiness. It’s a winning combination. 

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a platter.
Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a plate.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can this be made in advance?

I wouldn’t recommend it. This salad is best served the day of. Though, you can slice the Brussels sprouts and gather up the rest of the ingredients in advance to save you some time when preparing it.

Should I buy whole or shaved Brussels sprouts?

You can buy pre-shaved Brussels sprouts. However, I find them to never be as good as freshly cut. While it does take extra time, I recommend buying whole and slicing them yourself.

If I don’t like one of the ingredients, can I make a substitution?

Of course! Unfortunately, I don’t have the capacity to try every possible variation of this recipe. If there’s something you don’t like or something you think might be “better”, then give it a try.

  • Use walnuts instead of pecans.
  • Try apples instead of pears.
  • Substitute goat cheese for the parmesan.
  • Add dried cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds.

You get the idea!

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on a platter.

Toss and enjoy!

I hope you are able to find an occasion to whip up this winter-inspired Brussels sprouts salad. Make it for the holidays, make it for a random weeknight dinner, or make it to serve at lunch with friends. 

No matter how, when, or where, I hope you enjoy it! 

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad on platter.

 Enjoy this winter salad and want more? 

Join the IBC Mailing List to get all of my recipes, projects, and ideas sent straight to your inbox! I hope you’ll also follow along on Instagram and TikTok for daily updates and behind-the-scenes looks at my process. There’s even more inspiration on Facebook and Pinterest

Have you tried this recipe? Follow me on Instagram, then share YOUR dish with #myIBC and tag @inspiredbycharm. It’s fun to see how folks are using recipes from IBC.

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad served on plates.

Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!

Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brussels sprouts, christmas, holiday, salad, shaved brussels sprouts
Servings: 8
Prep Time 10 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Shaved Brussels sprouts are tossed with pomegranate seeds, pecans, pears, parmesan cheese, and a light dressing to create this Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad. This is a healthy, easy-to-make side that pairs beautifully with any holiday or winter meal. 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs brussels sprouts - thinly shaved
  • 1 cup chopped pecans - toasted
  • 1 Anjou pear - thinly slice
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the shaved Brussels sprouts to a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with about ½ cup of the dressing and toss to combine. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the pecans, pear slices, shaved parmesan, and pomegranate seeds. Toss to combine.
  • Drizzle with the remaining dressing before serving.

Notes

This salad is best served the day of.
You can buy pre-shaved Brussels sprouts. However, I find them to never be as good as freshly cut. While it does take extra time, I recommend buying whole and slicing them yourself.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 6gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 727mgPotassium: 461mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 710IUVitamin C: 74mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 2mg
Made it? Share it!Tag @inspiredbycharm on Instagram and use the tag #myIBC so we can see what you’re cooking in the kitchen!

Shaved Brussels sprouts are tossed with pomegranate seeds, pecans, pears, parmesan cheese, and a light dressing to create this Winter Brussels Sprouts Salad. This is a healthy, easy-to-make side that pairs beautifully with any holiday or winter meal.  Winter Brussels Sprout Salad I’m not sure I should call this a “winter” Brussels sprouts salad because […]




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jarcuterie for christmas in paper cups.

If you want to wow your guests this holiday season with a spectacular appetizer, then you need to make these Christmas Charcuterie Cups. A winner in both presentation and flavor, these are individual festive charcuterie boards served in a cup.

jarcuterie for christmas in paper cup.

Charcuterie Cups for Christmas

This past spring I created and shared a blog post all about jarcuteries. You all loved it so much that I knew I had to do it again for Christmas (my favorite time of year)! 

While the general idea behind these handheld charcuterie boards is the same as before, I wanted to adapt them to the upcoming holidays. One thing I did was switch up my container. Instead of using a small mason jar, I’m using these fun paper cups. I also swapped out a few of the ingredients for more seasonal goodies. (I’ll share more about that below.) 

If you’re hosting a gathering for the holiday season, I highly recommend you give these Christmas charcuterie cups a try. I promise that you’ll get a “wow” or two from the crowd. 

jarcuteries for christmas in paper cups.

What’s a Charcuterie Cup?

Charcuterie Cups (also know as jarcuteries) are single-serving charcuteries assembled in small jars, glasses, or cups. They typically contain things like cured meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, berries, nuts, and crackers arranged in a pleasing way. 

hand holding christmas jarcuterie.
jarcuterie for christmas in paper cups.

Charcuterie cups are a beautiful gourmet appetizer idea that can be served at potlucks, celebrations, or even small get-togethers at home. They can be made with a variety of ingredients so you can customize them to suit your party and menu. 

I tailored mine to Christmas by adding in a few seasonal elements like sugared cranberries and cheese slices cut into festive shapes. I even found some mini gold forks that I just had to use. 

single serving jarcuterie styled for Christmas.

What to Put in Charcuterie cups:

You’ll most likely want to stick to things you’d find on a charcuterie or grazing board, but in the end, you could do whatever you’d like. Since it’s the holiday season, think about seasonal flavors such as cranberry, figs, citrus, etc. If you’re looking for a little more guidance, here are some of the things I included with some additional suggestions as well. 

  • Cheeses: Use what you love. I find harder cheeses a bit easier to manage, but you could certainly make anything work. I used cheddar, pepper jack, and mini mozzarella balls. I love the mini mozzarella balls on the fork. 

Want to make it extra festive? Use small cookie cutters like THESE to cut festive shapes from cheese slices. I used a star and a snowflake, but any holiday shape would work. 

  • Meats: Charcuterie literally translated means “the products of a fancy pork butcher,” so including cured meats is a must. Prosciutto, salami, pepperoni, soppressata, capicola, etc. are some of my favorites. I like to skewer these on a toothpick or decorative wood pick. 
  • Berries and Fruits: Berries and fruits add freshening sweetness. Try blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, apples, and/or pear slices. With these Christmas jarcuteries I added my sugared cranberries for the perfect festive touch. 
  • Veggies: I didn’t use any here, but sugar snap peas, carrots, radishes, etc. would be lovely. You can even use pickled vegetables like carrots, onions, gherkins, etc. 
  • Nuts: Pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc. 
  • Dried Fruit: Raisins, Craisins, figs, apricots, etc. 
  • Olives: Kalamata, stuffed olives, etc. (I recommend using pitted olives.) 
  • Crackers/Bread:  Tall and thin works best. I really love La Panzanella crackers. The tall thin crusty breadstick-style crackers work great too. 
  • Fresh Herbs (to garnish): A sprig of fresh herbs makes any dish look gourmet. Rosemary, thyme, or sage is perfect here. I especially like rosemary for Christmas. 
eight christmas jarcuterie on a plate.

Other Christmas Charcuterie cup Ideas:

If you’re looking to break the jarcuterie rules and really want to switch things up, try one of these unique ideas:

  • Christmas Cookie – Fill with a selection of homemade Christmas cookies
  • Christmas Breakfast – Fill with breakfast favorites like fruit, mini pancakes, bacon, etc.
  • Candy – Fill with your favorite holiday sweets and candies
  • Berries and Chocolates – Fill with fresh berries and assorted chocolates. 
single jarcuterie appetizer for christmas.

Picks and Vessels:

Here are some of my favorite toothpick and containers to make your Charcuterie cups shine!

Toothpicks:

Toothpicks are great for skewering items to give them height, thus allowing them to “spill” out of your jars. They also make things look fancier! There are so many beautiful toothpicks,