Thursday, December 4, 2008

Counting down the days...

... till the Feast of St. Nicholas!

For the past year I have had a screensaver on my computer, counting down the days, hours, and minutes till this favorite feast day of ours! I can't believe that it is almost here again... It seems as though I just posted Happy Feast of St. Nicholas And What a Feast it Was!

Are you ready?? I'm not... But thankfully we have a couple more days to prepare! :)

We will definitley be making our Candy Cane Coffee Cake once again for breakfast, and I am hoping to make our Saint Nicholas Cocoa Mix as well!

A few years back the children and I made our Saint Nicholas Cocoa Mix to give as gifts to some of our friends. We packaged the mix in Mason jars with decorated lids. With red and white ribbon, we attached the directions, along with candy canes to be used to stir the cocoa mix. It was so much fun to make, delicious, and a perfect treat for the feast of St. Nicholas and/or for Christmas morning!

I think it would be adorable to make gift baskets with the Cocoa Mix. We could package up a jar of the mix, possibly a couple mugs, and a bunch of candy canes, and then...

...For a Christmas Gift Basket we could add a copy of The Legend of the Candy Cane or maybe the DVD instead, and then throw in some Candy Cane Kisses.

...OR, for a Saint Nicholas Gift Basket we could include one of the great picture books about St. Nicholas, or maybe the movie Nicholas, The Boy who became Santa, and then finish it off with a bunch of chocolate gold coins!

Anyhow, here is the recipe in case you'd like to try it out as well:

Saint Nicholas Cocoa Mix


8 cups powdered milk

1 (16-ounce) package instant cocoa
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
10-ounces powdered non-dairy creamer
8-ounces miniature marshmallows
6-ounces finely crushed peppermint candy


Combine powdered milk, cocoa, powdered sugar, creamer, marshmallows and peppermint candy; mix well. Store in an airtight container.


For each serving, mix 1/2 cup of mix with 1 cup boiling water; mix well with candy cane. ENJOY!!

Oh, and before I go... You can find tons of other ideas including fun crafts, recipes, and much more, over at The St. Nicholas Center. We have enjoyed many of their coloring pages and have made a few of their crafts in the past. In fact, we made one of the crafts during our Christmas in July!


O good holy Nicholas, you who brought joy to children, put in my heart the spirit of childhood about which the Gospel speaks. Teach me how to sow happiness around me. Amen. —Prayer to St. Nicholas


  1. Jessica, a visit to your blog is always such an exciting treat! I always look forward to seeing what fun new ideas you've posted. Your Feast of St. Nicholas sounds AMAZING...we never celebrated the occassion when I was growing up but in the past couple of years, my husband and I have been trying to celebrate it with our children. Now I'm wondering if I can pull together a last minute celebration as beautiful as yours in the next couple of days! :)

    And I just have to thank you, too, for posting about that incredible book source yesterday. What a great find! I had never heard of it but already there are sooo many titles at such bargain prices that I feel the need to revisit my Christmas shopping list! ;)

    Have a beautiful day! I pray you're doing well.

  2. Jessica, you did great on this post!! (of course you did)

    We also never celebrated it growing up, never even heard of St Nicholas except in the song. Now, of course we celebrate it with a child named after him!

    I love your links! You get everyone excited to celebrate each feast when they come here!!

    Many blessings Jessica!

    PS, how many cups of cocoa does that recipe make?

    And did you hear about the chocolate coins that were poison? Salmonilla sp? poison or something? It was around halloween time. We got Angel chocolates instead this year, just to be safe! (and Santa ones too)

  3. I have to say, I LOVE your blog! You remind me so much of myself (except that you are way more crafty!).

    Thanks for all the great ideas and links!


  4. So excited to celebrate St. Nicholas for the first time with my two little ones. Thank you for such great info! I am off to buy some last min shopping items to make the day extra special.

  5. Wow! Thanks for all the great ideas! We love St. Nicholas Day as well. I had better get working!

    Also -- LOVE the book site. But now I am spending to much money! Ahh!!
    Have a great day -- praying for you!

  6. What a great post Jessica -- good stuff.

    Does that recipe use cocoa, as in baking cocoa, or prepared hot chocolate mix?

  7. Thank you for the cocoa recipe! The powdered milk was such an A-HA moment for me! Duh.

    Well think of you as we watch our CCC St. Nicholas video. :)

  8. Thank you everyone! I so enjoy hearing from you all! :) I've needed extra cheering up lately, so I really appreciate how sweet you all have been!

    ALSO, I'm so glad that some of you were able to find some great deals at Book Closeouts! I am also thrilled that I am going to have a nice little credit to spend in January too! THANKS!!! I added a link to them in my left side bar, in case you ever want to head back over! :)

    Jamie ~ I DID hear about that recall, and I have been torn. We have ALWAYS given the children gold coins, and now I wish I would have ordered the special St. Nicholas ones that Elizabeth Foss linked to in the past... Oh well! I'm still trying to decided what to do... I DO have a bag of Hot Cocoa Kisses as well as a bag of bell shaped candy, just in case I don't buy the coins. Hummmm.....

    As far as how many cups of cocoa it makes, I honestly can't remember! For some reason I think that we double the recipe, and had a TON! Looking at the measurements I am guessing that one batch makes between 30-40 cups of cocoa... Does that sound about right?

    Barbara ~ You can use any instant cocoa that requires you to add milk -- like Hershey's or Nesquik for example. I use a favorite of ours: Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa -- it comes in a 16 oz can. I am sure you could use reg. baking cocoa as well, but you would probably need to increase (probably double) the sugar.

    Thanks again for all the comments! God Bless!

  9. Hi Jessica,
    I never knew about the Feast of St. Nicholas either until I started homeschooling my kids! Funny how this seems to be lost on an entire generation! Anyways, love your idea for the Candy Cane Coffee Cake too. I have the Pampered Chef cookbook that this recipe is in. I don't have the Pantry Pizza Crust mix, so what is the hot roll mix? Is there a brand name for it? I would like to try to pull this off this year. Thanks! Angela

  10. P.S. Everyone:
    On the chocolate coins, the problem was with the ones manufactured in China. If you avoid those, you should be okay. I found some at Trader Joe's manufactured in Denmark. Also, check See's Candy and any small local candy shops near your home.

  11. You can find a hot roll mix in the baking section of the store. It is used to make a number of things from Cinnamon Rolls to Pizza Dough, I think. It is what I used last year. The one that I use is made by Pillsbury. You can see a picture of it here:

    I hope you enjoy it! :)

  12. Oh, and thanks for the tip! We don't have a Trader Joe's anywhere near us, but there is a See's Candy! I will have to swing by there! :)

  13. Jessica, your posts are always so full of good ideas and good cheer. Thank you so much for sharing, as always!!


  14. We enjoyed the book last year. Is it bad I'm too tired and busy to anything this year? :-) I did like how the kids learned the meaning of the candy cane, though...

  15. Souds so fun and YUMMY~ Your kids are gonna love it all!!! I cannot wait till my kiddos get home tonite to celebrate the Feast with them.

  16. Jen ~ No, there is nothing wrong with that! I didn't think we would be doing much this year, but my kids are so use to our traditions, since we have done the same thing every year, that I don't think I could have gotten out of it! :)

  17. hello jessica, my name is Lucia and I am also Roman Catholic. I am 31, mariied, and have 3 little ones. (ages 3, 2, and 1). I came across your blog last week and was deeply moved. So deep that I cried as I read it. My family, except for my mother, does not practice the faith and so my state of life is looked down upon. I stay at home with little ones and was considering to home school. When I read your blog, I really liked how you incorporate both our faith and education. I was wondering who you go through and is it Catholic? please keep in touch, you have so many great ideas! May the Lord bless you and your beautiful family.

  18. Love this. Thanks for sharing this over at F&F Live.



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