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Monday, July 15, 2013

Christmas in July with Gooseberry Patch and a Blog Hop Giveaway

Welcome to population-we™'s Christmas in July edition. In our household growing up homemade crafts and recipes went hand-in-hand when it came to Christmas. Back in the day, my sister would snarl at me when I was wasting wrapping paper with my homemade gifts for everyone. Many Christmases later there is a twinkle in her eye when she unwraps a homemade Christmas gift; especially, from our nieces and nephews. Today, Pinterest offers a craft and recipe haven for this blogger. At a whims moment, I can check a board or pin something on Pinterest from my iPhone. However, before there was Pinterest...there was Gooseberry Patch. Gooseberry Patch is on Pinterest, too. Even with this technology; however, I still enjoy the old school ways like a tangent hardbound book full of decorating ideas, easy-to-make gift ideas and recipes. This is where I was first introduced to Gooseberry Patch.

Started by two next door neighbors (Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin) in Delaware, Ohio. The two country friends decided to start a mail order business more than 25 years ago. Gooseberry Patch is best known for their family-friendly catalogs, books and cookbooks. Today, Gooseberry Patch has made country friends from all over the world. I’m happy to report--I’ve been one for years! I was elated to get my 15th Christmas Book in the mail recently. Over the years, I’ve made several recipes and homemade gifts using my Gooseberry Patch Christmas Books. My favorite homemade food gift is in the book again this year. I’ve not only made Holiday Pretzel Rods for gifts but also for Husker football parties and New Year’s Eve bashes. Due to copyright, I can’t give Gooseberry Patch’s recipe in its entirety, so here’s my version.

population-we™ Tasty Chocolaty Pretzel Rods

  • 1 ½ cup or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter (preferably creamy)
  • Bag of large pretzel rods

On high for 1 ½ minutes microwave semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Mix in ½ cup of peanut butter. Dip pretzel rod halfway into melted chocolate and roll onto a topping mixture of choice (see suggestions below). To dry, put dipped rod on: a Silpat, parchment or wax paper.

Topping suggestions: chopped nuts, cookie crumbs, red hots, mini chocolate chips and sprinkles. Basically, pick anything you could find yourself putting on a sundae. So, the sky's the limit here!

Packaging ideas: Buy holiday baggies, place in mason jar or wrap in saran wrap and tie with a bow.

For readers with chocolate or peanut allergies; you can also replace the main ingredients with chocolate or vanilla almond bark. Almond bark does not contain almonds or any nuts at all. Microwave time will need to be increased. Microwave the almond bark for two minutes at a time until you can stir it into a velvety melted mixture.

Overall, this is a fun recipe to get the kiddos involved with; this way they can pick their very own toppings. Also, it is a fun idea instead of using a fondue pot. Next, night-in with friends--try this recipe--it really brings a group together.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Christmas in July treat! To celebrate even more population-we™ is participating in a Christmas in July Blog Hop. What is a Blog Hop? A place in the blogosphere where bloggers band together and offer readers (hoppers) an incentive to visit their blogs. Blog Hops can be very participatory in nature because hoppers are asked to leave comments. Bloggers get to introduce their site to new hoppers who also have the opportunity to enter a giveaway. This particular Christmas in July Blog Hop is set for Friday, July 19, through Monday, July 22. Stop by on one of those dates and leave a comment below. Tell us your favorite holiday memory, recipe or homemade gift to give or receive. Those population-we™ readers who participate will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card from QVC. Your name and email address must accompany your entry.
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population-we™ wishes all our family and friends a very happy Christmas in July!

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to leave a comment, 'Pin' or 'Like' it.


  1. Howdy everyone! Here's the official rules for the Christmas in July Blog Hop:

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! My favorite holiday treat is peanut butter balls! Sinfully caloric and delicious! My Christmas in July wish is for less stormy-rainy weather this summer. Kyla Patton- kamclauc AT gmail DOT com

  3. This is a really simple recipe.but it was amazing!

    1 bag of roll gold pretzels...not rods...regular
    1 bag of rolos
    i bag of pecan halves

    take one pretzel and place one rolo (unwrapped) on top of the pretzel. You can fit about 15 - 20 on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for 5 min. Take them out and press a pecan half on top of pretzel...Allow to cool.

    These are so yummy and easy to make!!


  4. I love getting homemade food gifts, especially fruitcakes, for Christmas gifts


  5. I actually use a recipe similar to this - to make Mexican wedding cookies every Christmas instead of sugar cookies. Easier to make and every body devours them. :) Thank you! heather1974 at gmail dot com

  6. I can't remember if I left my email. Sorry! heather1974 at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks for the hop!

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  8. My favorite Christmas memory is my Grandma's huge Christmas dinners with our whole family there

  9. i love to make christmas lap quilts and candles . i dont make many but they are fun to make a couple for special people

  10. I love crocheting snowflakes as Christmas gifts. They're easy to slip inside a Christmas card, and certain friends can tell by counting the snowflakes on their tree how long we've known each other or how many years we've been apart.
    Kimberly Comeau
    casey 4 4 6 at hot mail dot com

  11. My Christmas wish for July is for a remodel of my house.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. What a great post! Thank you for sharing!!

    My christmas wish would be to spend some time with family since we never get to anymore! LOL

    My fav recipe is oatmeal chocolate chip cookies since my dad and I always made them together each year!


  13. My favorite holiday memory is the preparation of food on Christmas eve with the desserts usually eaten at midnight.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  14. I love making wreaths with different themes to give to people :)
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    dixiedukegurl2 AT yahoo DOT com

  15. wish for tv
    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  16. Thanks for sharing the recipe - I love to make berry-cookies on Holidays ,also as a gift :)

  17. I always love making sugar cookies, chocolate peanut butter balls, and pumpkin rolls with my Mom during the holidays.Thanks for the giveaway!
    pinkbonanza{ AT }gmail{ DOT }com

  18. My favorite holiday memory is visiting London for Christmas. Thanks!



  19. Thanks for sharing your treat. My favorite Christmas treat was when I used to go to my grandma's house and she always had the best coconut cake in the world waiting for me. My July Christmas Wish is for Lots of books with hot sexy alpha males. Thanks for sharing the awesome giveaways. evamillien at gmail dot com

  20. Yum! My favorite holiday memory involves year my family decided to have a cookie bakeoff! We all met up at my grandmother's house and spent the day making all sorts of cookies.

    dancingcelt at gmail dot com

  21. My favorite holiday recipe is Orea Cookie Truffles! I make them every year and they are a huge hit. Thank you!


  22. It's not really Christmas unless I get to have my almost Mother-In-Law's Praline Pumpkin Pie. I may not have married her son, but she did gave me her top secret recipe. Shoot, if I'm going to be making this Christmas in July thing real, I need to go to the store.
    Kathryn Merkel

  23. We always make gift baskets for our extended families for Christmas. With such a big family it is so hard to buy for everyone. We make everything. I love it.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  24. My mother's divinity.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

  25. Hi! My parents, brother, cousin and i always do our own Christmas holiday thing. Instead of gifts, or dealing with family, we stay in, make a big dinner, eat tons of junk food and watch movies & play board games! I love it! Thank you for the fun hop and giveaway! :)

  26. Thanks to everyone who participated in our first-ever Blog Hop! The staffers at population-we™ loved reading about your favorite holiday recipes and memories, too. Congratulations to Kimberly Comeau who is the winner of the QVC gift card. Merry Christmas in July to you and yours!

  27. Thank you, Becky, and the staffers at Pop-we for the generous gift. I can't believe I won! I'm so thrilled to have won!

    Everyone there stay safe and cool this summer.

    1. You're so welcome & thanks again for participating in our Blog Hop!

  28. Thanks everyone for participating!