I love family traditions. They are something to look forward to, something that has special meaning for the people who participate in them and they provide amazing memories to relive over and over again. Christmas time is the time of year that my family embarks on many family traditions. From the annual tree cutting/decorating to St Nicholas Day to getting our picture taken with Santa at the mall, family traditions go hand-in-hand with the holidays.
One holiday family tradition that I’m struggling to maintain is Christmas baking. My first Christmas in my very own house, I spent hours in the kitchen. I would create my mom’s traditional thumb print cookie, try new recipes the friends have shared and participated in at least two cookie exchanges a year. I loved it! Each spare minute would be spent mixing, baking, and decorating my latest cookie creation. Then I would wrap them in decorative boxes and move on to the next holiday treat. This continued year after year. I love the predictability of knowing what I was going to make and the reactions of glee that I would get from friends and family. Having kids didn’t interrupt this tradition. Instead, I included them! They would help me bake and decorate the simple cookies and then when they went to bed, I would continue baking the more delicate ones! It was a lot of fun!
This tradition continued until I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Not wanting to give up this family tradition, I began swapping gluten free flour in some of my regular recipes. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten they didn’t turn out. Sometimes they would be hard as a rock and it felt like swallowing a brick instead of a delicious cookie. Other times, they would be light and fluffy, but crumble at the touch. After attending my first cookie exchange as a gluten free eater, I realized I was out of my element. Nothing I got I could eat, and even my husband complained that the taste of my cookies wasn’t the same as regular flour. Don’t get me wrong! All gluten free baking isn’t bad! I have many recipes that I love, the problem is it has dampened my love for Christmas baking.
This year, my DH was on the hunt for a new holiday dessert that our whole family (gluten free and non!) would enjoy! He was searching the internet and came up with this delicious recipe!
- 6 Cups of Chex cereal
- 1 bag of caramels (approx 25)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- 1/4 Cup White chocolate melts
- 1 Candy cane, crushed
- Melt caramels, milk and butter in the microwave uncovered on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir after each minute.
- When smooth, pour mixture over cereal and gently stir until evenly coated.
- Place the entire mixture into the microwave and cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring after each minute. Remove when the mixture begins to brown.
- Spread on waxed paper and place in fridge for 10 mins to cool.
- While the cereal mixture is cooling, melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 minuted.
- Drizzle over cooled cereal mix.
- Add crushed candy cane pieces.
- Refrigerate until set, serve and enjoy!
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The holiday season is all about balance. Family traditions like family baking are a lot of fun and certainly delicious, but it is also important to remember to take your vitamins for those times you may not be eating the healthiest foods. A great vitamin to try is Adult Essentials Gummies and IronKid Gummies. Both are a delicious vitamins created to provide you with the right amount of daily vitamins and supplements when your diet may be lacking. Made with the highest quality ingredients (no sugar coating, no artificial flavours) and guaranteed gluten, dairy and nut free, you know you are in good hands. In the winter months, when we are busy enjoying traditional family traditions and the sun doesn’t shine as much, its also to remember to include extra Vitamin D into our diets to keep us happy and healthy to enjoy the festivities.
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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Science Nutritionals blogger program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.