The Annual Cozy Giveaway IS HERE!

Merino-Wool-Cowl-Giveaway-Pine-Tree-GoodsIt is that time of year again!

That time of year when I give away something warm and cozy from one of my favorite ETSY shops, Pine Tree Goods! Once again, Hannah McKenzie, the artisan behind the handmade items, has outdone herself for this giveaway EXCLUSIVELY for Brittany’s Pantry readers! This has been such a successful event in the past, we paired up again to give all of YOU more FREE stuff! And of course, there will be two items which means there will be TWO WINNERS!! Keep the loot for yourself or gift it to someone you love! Either way, one of these beautiful accessories could show up in your mailbox.

Why do I host this giveaway every year? Because it is SO easy! Because I like to share what I love. And because I trust the quality and professionalism of this shop and have personally ordered (and currently wear!) several items! What better way to start off the holiday season than with free stuff? Right?!

This year, Hannah created a cowl made with 100% merino wool that is kettle dyed and ridiculously soft. And the colors?! Wow!
Merino-Wool-Cowl-Giveaway-Pine-Tree-GoodsMerino-Wool-Cowl-Giveaway-Pine-Tree-Goods Merino-Wool-Cowl-Giveaway-Pine-Tree-GoodsDo you see that little tag on the picture above? All handmade, quality Pine Tree Goods items come with a lightweight custom tag so you know that it has gone directly from the creators hands, right to yours.

The second item is a pair of the most luxurious mittens I have ever seen! Super warm and fleece lined, the yarn for these is a hand-spun merino blend created by a local spinner! They are size medium and will fit 99% of adult sized hands!
Handspun-Merino-Wool-Fleece-Lined-Giveaway-Pine-Tree-GoodsHandspun-Merino-Wool-Fleece-Lined-Giveaway-Pine-Tree-GoodsI love the subtle variation in the colors. NOTE: Camera not included in giveaway! 🙂

Ok. So now you have seen the fabulous stuff I am giving away. Here are the specifics and be sure to ENTER BELOW!

RULES: Entry options are below. Must be over 18 and a resident of the US to win and void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. Two winners will be chosen at random and contacted via email or private message, then announced on the blog. Prizes will be mailed directly from Pine Tree Goods in Minnesota to the winners address. In the event that a winner cannot be contacted or does not respond within two weeks, another winner will be randomly chosen. Contest runs through midnight on Friday, November 13 and winners will be chosen within 24 hours of the deadline. The owner of this blog was not compensated in any way and receives no items, monetary or otherwise in exchange for this event. I just like to share stuff that I love!

Good luck everyone and be sure to spread the word so that your friends and family can enter too! Don’t forget to check out Hannah’s ETSY shop to sneak in some early Christmas shopping. She does personalized and custom orders so be sure to contact her and see what she can do!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Classic Monkey Bread

This Classic Monkey Bread is a simple, easy, no-frills recipe that you will make again and again! {Brittany's Pantry}You may have already noticed that I don’t have a recipe on this blog for caramel rolls or cinnamon rolls. After several years of posting recipes, I decided to remedy that fact. Honey Buns are the closest I have come, and as good as they are, sometimes you just need a good, gooey, caramel laden treat.

These are those. Or this is them. Or that is thus. Caramel laden treats. Right here.
This Classic Monkey Bread is a simple, easy, no-frills recipe that you will make again and again! {Brittany's Pantry}I haven’t always been a baker of Monkey Bread. I didn’t grow up eating it, and had no idea of its existence until college. However, sometime in the last few years, after seeing various kinds plastered all over Pinterest, I figured I better find a master recipe to keep in my menu arsenal. Nothing fancy, nothing pumpkin spice or that trendy salted caramel, and no crazy amount of extra steps. Just a straight up, classic and easy recipe.

Ok fine. To be completely transparent with all of you, I am going to have a house full of guests at Christmas and I really wanted to get this dish down pat so that I can serve it with ease to a crowd.  Ulterior motives, yes, but it all leads to the same thing. Really good Monkey Bread.

I tried several (Oofdah! Recipe testing for this was tough!) and made adjustments as I went based on personal taste and preference. For example, most recipes call for canned biscuits as the bread in here, but the texture of actual bread dough is SO much better and much less salty. It is just as simple to use, but less expensive, and you get a better quality to your food. So in the end, I just kind of went with the basics and kept it simple. Turns out that is what makes this the best.
This Classic Monkey Bread is a simple, easy, no-frills recipe that you will make again and again! {Brittany's Pantry}Fresh out of the oven and ready to be turned out! Careful! Its hot!
This Classic Monkey Bread is a simple, easy, no-frills recipe that you will make again and again! {Brittany's Pantry}Classic Monkey Bread

2 lbs (loaves) frozen bread dough, thawed
1 c granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
1/2 c brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a bundt pan and combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut each bread dough loaf into 16 pieces and toss the pieces in the cinnamon and sugar. Shake off the excess and place them evenly in the bundt pan. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, warm the butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 c of the leftover cinnamon/sugar mixture. Heat over medium heat until it JUST comes to a boil. Immediately remove and carefully pour evenly over the bread dough pieces. Bake for 30 minutes until risen and evenly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully invert onto a deep plate or platter to catch the extra caramel! Let cool a bit and enjoy!

Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark

This Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark is a healthier take on spooky treats! {Brittany's Pantry}Zombies are not my jam.

When it comes to holidays, Halloween and all things spooky and ghoulish are my least favorite to celebrate. I have never really been into the decorations and the costumes and mannequins with fake blood. Its entertaining, but you won’t find me hosting a costume party or visiting a haunted house anytime soon. Go ahead and call me a party pooper, but you know those people you see that are really into Halloween? Well I am just…not. Please tell me I am not alone in this…

That said, if it involves food, you can count me in as an avid supporter!  🙂  My kids are obvious fans of any event that gets them closer to candy and like most households at this time of year, we have a huge glass pumpkin filled with festive colored, individually wrapped sweet treats on our entry table. We live in the middle of nowhere and thus, will receive no trick or treaters, but the bowl of candy sits like a sugared little sentry, hospitable and ready for visitors.

This Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark is a healthier take on spooky treats! {Brittany's Pantry}This year, as part of a never-ending effort to be just a smidgen healthier than we were the day before, I decided to make family treats that were a bit less junkfood laden, yet festive enough to satisfy the most ardent of Halloween enthusiasts. I was going for a green and orange theme, so pistachios would be an awesome substitute for the pepitas (pumpkin seeds) in this recipe. The dried fruit and nuts can be found at Nuts.com and the site even has a special page for healthy snacks! You can find that by clicking here, and while you are browsing, jot down ideas for your own family!

As for my own kids, they were thrilled to see the candied eyeballs staring up at them from their chocolate. One piece is a nice little treat and SO much better for them than, say, a fun-sized candy bar. This plate is also fun to set out for guests this time of year. It screams Halloween! No fake blood required. 🙂
This Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark is a healthier take on spooky treats! {Brittany's Pantry}This Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark is a healthier take on spooky treats! {Brittany's Pantry}This Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark is a healthier take on spooky treats! {Brittany's Pantry}Fruit & Nut Halloween Bark
This keeps for a week, in the fridge, in an airtight container. That is, if you can keep your hands off! I even tucked one piece each in my kids lunches as a special treat!

1 bag, good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or chopped pistachios
whole almonds, roughly chopped
dried apricots, chopped
dried mango, chopped
candy eyes

In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until JUST MELTED! Don’t overheat! Meanwhile, place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. When chocolate is melted, pour in the middle of the sheet pan and spread gently and slowly to a rectangle about the size of an 8X11 sheet of paper. This makes the chocolate thin enough that it won’t be too sweet, but thick enough not to fall apart! Sprinkle with however much of the dried fruit and nuts you prefer. Its totally a matter of taste. Place a few candied eyes around the chocolate! Chill, uncovered in the fridge until firm. Because the chocolate is good, and without the stabilizers that cheaper chocolate can have in them, it will melt if handled too much! Cut with a sharp knife into irregular shapes and keep it stored in the fridge to prevent meltdown disasters! Enjoy!