By Lydia Bolen


Give the gift of food


Got someone on your list who’s hard to buy for? Instead of scrolling through Amazon or wandering the aisles at Walmart, whip up one of these tasty treats pulled from MCL’s archives from Lydia. Maybe double the recipe and keep some for yourself!




  • 6 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) package chocolate
  • pudding mix (use regular, not instant)
  • 1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
  • 1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa
  • 2-4 cinnamon sticks (optional)


In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix, powdered creamer, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two 1-quart clear jars.

Seal, and decorate as desired.

Cinnamon sticks can be added to the top for stirrers.

This mixture can be stored in a dry area for up to 3 months.

Attach a tag with the following instructions: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.





  • 2 packages (16-ounce) white candy coating
  • 1 pound starlight peppermints or candy canes, crushed (Try mixing green candy canes to the red for a red and green appearance.)


Prepare the work surface by laying out wax paper or parchment paper across the counter, securing ends with tape to prevent curling.

Melt the candy coating in microwave (use plastic bowl) on medium or defrost setting.

Stir after each minute with spatula. Once completely melted and smooth, add the crushed peppermints to the melted candy coating, stirring well. Immediately pour onto wax paper and spread thin, using an offset spatula.

Allow it to harden about 45 minutes. Break into pieces and store in airtight containers. Will keep fresh up to one month.

Note: (I like to use Merckens White Chocolate Wafers, which can be found at local bakers’ supply stores.)





  • 1 pound Cheddar Cheese (I prefer the extra-sharp)
  • 1 pound American cheese
  • 6 ounces Cream Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • Coverings: paprika and chili powder blend, parsley flakes, or crushed nuts


Mix cheeses together and add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and crushed garlic. Chill this mixture until firm.

Shape mixture into several medium size balls.

Roll balls in equal parts of paprika and chili powder, dried parsley flakes, or crushed nuts.