Family Holiday to Far North Queensland, part 1

You may remember in my last post, I made a tropical-inspired birthday card for my sister, as we were going to be celebrating her birthday in the tropics? Well, that’s what we did last week! And since I haven’t done much creative work lately, I thought I’d share some photos with you instead ūüôā

Along with my parents, and my sister and her family, we enjoyed 5 days of family holiday. We all arrived in Cairns, Far North Queensland, at various times last Sunday. We were the last to arrive, picked up our hire car from Europcar (no affiliation, just got a good price and the car served us well!) and drove the short distance from Cairns airport to The Holiday Inn (again, no affiliation, but they looked after us very well).

It was lovely to quickly catch up with everyone, and briefly plan our first day…

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Two tasty Christmas treats…for any time of year!

I was having a quick look through December’s photos, and found some that I meant to show you earlier. Whoops!

It’s always handy having something¬†you can make (with the children if necessary) quickly and easily at this time of year. Great as gifts or to take to a gathering, or just to share at home.

I found two¬†simple recipes that my son and I made that I am going to share with you – Christmas Cookie Bar, and Annabel’s Apricot Balls.

I found the Christmas Cookie Bar recipe here.

This recipe called for Christmas coloured sprinkles, M&Ms and Oreos, but we just went with the normal varieties.

Christmas delight 1.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Break the Oreos and pretzels up and put them on the tray, along with the M&Ms. Check the above link if you are after specific quantities, we just did a random mix. Don’t forget the very important step of taste-testing all the ingredients along the way!

Christmas delight 2.

Christmas delight 3.

Then we melted a bag of white chocolate melts. The melts went in one saucepan, which sat on top of another with a smallish amount of boiling water in it. Make sure the water in the bottom saucepan doesn’t touch the top one. This melts the chocolate gently so it doesn’t burn. Or you could do it in the microwave. I usually burn it in the microwave, so I’ve learnt to just do it stovetop way. If your child is doing this, you will of course be supervising them, won’t you ūüôā

Christmas delight 4.

Then it’s just a matter of carefully pouring the melted chocolate over your collection of biscuits, pretzels and M&Ms.

Christmas delight 5.

The original recipe said to¬†decorate the top with Christmas coloured sprinkles and extra M&Ms, but we didn’t bother. There’s more than enough going on under all that chocolate! Then you just leave it to set, before breaking it into pieces.

The next treat we made were Annabel’s Apricot Balls which you can find here on her blog The Bluebirds are Nesting.

The recipe is…
500g chopped apricots. Finely chopped is best.
1 can (440g) condensed milk.
1 cup fine desiccated coconut.
Extra coconut to roll in. The balls, not yourself.

Mix all together and roll into balls. You can choose how big you want them. Roll into extra coconut to coat them. Done!

I put the whole dried apricots in the blender and pulsed them until they were finer but still had texture. I didn’t blend them to a paste, but stopped when there were still some big bits of apricot in the mix. Then all you have to do is add the tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk and the coconut and mix.

Apricot balls 1.

¬†When well combined, roll a spoonful of the mixture in the extra coconut. Continue until you’ve used it all up.
Apricot balls 2.

Then all you have to do is some taste-testing, package them up into cellophane bags, or put them on a plate. However you display them, people are going to love them!
Tasty Christmas treats.

We will making these again, that’s for sure! What are your favourite, easy to make, tasty treats?

*Linking up with:

A Tray of Bliss, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout,¬†Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup,¬†Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays,Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best,¬†The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase,¬†Nifty Thrifty Things, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting with J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday,¬†Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire me Monday,¬†I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Merry About Town – Monday Funday,¬†Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, The Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday,¬†Lou Lou Girls, Table and Hearth – Think and Make Thursday,¬†To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, Crafty Wife – The Wednesday Roundup,¬†Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters,