Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Cups

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel

Bittersweet chocolate surrounds delicious gooey caramel with a touch of salt in this homemade candy recipe. This is a healthier treat without the use of refined sugars, and the use of dark, antioxidant rich chocolate! It is a perfect treat this time of year. Plus, if you don’t eat it all yourself, it can be easily boxed up for a lovely sweet gift this Christmas.

It’s no secret that I love chocolate or that I have a fondness for chocolate when paired with salted caramel. Last year I shared a Salted Caramel Mocha Fauxccino at The Nourishing Gourmet. Recently I have enjoyed a cup of steaming salted caramel mocha.

You can find the recipe for these tasty treats at The Nourishing Gourmet!


Instant Dairy-Free Hot Cocoa Mix

Instant Dairy-free Hot Cocoa Mix-

Instant hot cocoa mix is a life saver. What can I say? I my traditional hot cocoa recipe and all the variations but sometimes you just need a nice mix on hand.

A real foodie using an instant mix? Yup. :) I don’t like using powdered milk because of the negative health benefits but when you use powdered coconut milk that’s a whole other story to save for a post next year. I used to LOVE instant hot cocoa, it was our Friday day night treat in the winter growing up. It came on every camping trip and was a staple on youth group missions trips where I would add two bags to every small styrofoam cups.

Now I can’t stand the stuff. It tastes so weak and fake. 

Let’s say I’ve progressed a bit LOT! I came up with a dairy-free mix last year but you have to add it to milk. (It’s still AMAZING to have on hand I might add…) what I really wanted was a mix that could be added to hot water and you were good to go.

This mix is easy to whip up for a simple gift. Pour the mix in a glass jar, tie a ribbon around it and you have an awesome gift! If you want you can add a fun spoon and a note on how to use it. Personally I think how strong you like your cocoa is different for each individual so I just hand them a jar and tell them to mix in as much as the want until it tastes right. ;) I think 2 1/2 teaspoons is perfect but that’s just me…

Note: I use Wilderness Family’s powdered coconut milk. There is a very slight amount of casein in the mix. I have hard of other people finding 100% dairy-free powdered coconut milk on Amazon which s why I labeled the post as such. 

Other Hot Cocoa Drinks:

Dairy Free Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
  • 2 parts cocoa powder
  • 2 parts powdered coconut milk
  • 1 part coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar)
  1. Add the cocoa powder, powdered coconut milk and sugar to a jar, screwing the lid on tightly.
  2. Shake until mixed.
  3. Add 1 to 3 TBS of mix to a cup of hot water. Mix until smooth.

What is your favourite type of hot cocoa?

Real Food Homemade Snack Mix

Homemade Snack Mix-

It’s crunchy, salty and bursting with flavor. This snack mix AKA real food “Chex-mix” is the prefect snack for holiday parties and simple gifts this time of year.

Chex-mix equals love to me. It filled every Christmas memory until I was nine years old. My maternal grandma always had a batch of it waiting for me when we would walk through their door during our yearly Christmas visit. Sadly she passed away when I was 10. I carry the tradition on myself now, with my own real food twist. It is a simple way to honor her memory and share that love with others.

I was never a fan of the wheat chex so, I didn’t even bother making adding them; making this party-mix an easy gluten-free option if you use gluten free mini pretzels. You can buy organic “Chex like cereal” but that’s not in my budget right now. In view of the holidays I decided that regular old Chex were fine for a special treat.

This makes a wonderful gift when you place it in mason jars and thigh a ribbon around the rim!

Real Food Homemade Snack Mix
  • 18 cups of chex cereal ( I used corn and rice)
  • 4 cups gluten-free pretzels
  • 2 cups soaked and crispy peanuts
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 4 TBS worchestire sauce (or 2 TBS apple cider vinegar and 2 TBS tamari or soy sauce)
  • 3 tsp seasoning salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
  2. Mix the cereal, pretzels and peanuts together in a large bowl.
  3. Melt the butter over low heat.
  4. While the butter is melting mix together the seasoning salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
  5. Pour the melted butter into the spice mixture. Add the worchestire sauce and stir together until there is no clumps.
  6. Pour the sauce mixture over your cereal and stir gently with your hands or a spoon until all the pieces are covered.
  7. Spread the wet party mix over your baking sheets.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a month.


Saturday Bargains

saturday bargains 1


Welcome back to Saturday Bargains! Sarah and I thought it was a good idea to take last week off with people feeling a bit “dealed out” with Black Friday, Small Busines Saturday and Cyber Monday. We’re back and ready to share with you some awesome finds today.

Why not take a few minutes and make yourself a nice cup of coffee or a hot cocoa and settle in for a bit. If you decide to buy through these links we are very grateful since not only do you get some great deals but we also earn a tiny percentage off of each sale costing you no extra money! Have a wonderful and blessed weekend!



Wanting try out microfiber cleaning cloths? Now if a good time, this set has 36 cloths for $24.84, that’s 38% off. You could even split the pack with a friend or two. I have a few cloths similar to these that I really enjoy using.

How fun is this travel cup? Today it is $7.12,  88% off! I know some friends that would get a kick out of this!

Traveling this Christmas and have kids sharing a listening device or maybe you’re wanting to watch a movie with some one on your laptop, this little gadget make it possible for $10.50, 47% off!

This book  looks like an awesome way to have some interesting conversations with your kids! It is $10.88.

Looking for a devotion to for the rest of this Advent and Christmas season? This one is only$2.99 on Kindle.

The Berenstian Bears are always a fun read! The stories always teach an important lesson in a creative way. I love that this story teaches the joy of giving. It’s just $0.99 on Kindle!

Little Critter is a another fun read for little ones! This darling book is $3.99.

This sweet story has Santa telling the story of Jesus birth. It is $5.49, 45% off right now!

Nourishing Traditions was the first book that help many real foodies step into eating nourishing foods. This new book, Nourishing Broth teaches you all about how to make broth, how it heals the gut and delicious recipes using multiple types of broth. Is is 27% off right now for $16.80.

This micoplane is on my wish list this Christmas. It is prefect  grating chocolate, zesting citrus and grating spices like nutmeg. Right now it’s $12.32, 38% off! It’s great gift for any real foodie!

This knife set that Sarah found literally has me drooling. These colorful KitchenAid knives are $28.38, normally $112.00. I have a similar set from Costco that I use all the time!

Are you looking for buying some Grass Feed Beef? For the next two days you can get a steak sampler for $99, that’s 63% off! Any one want to gift this to your favourite real food bloggers? ;)

Speaking of real food, are you struggling to learn how to keep your budget down while feeding your family real food? Earlier this year we wrote an ebook, The Frugal Secrets of Real Foodies with Modern Alternative Mama, Smithspirations and Simply Smiles. We teach you how to shop, how to use your scraps, make basics from starch and so much more!

frugal secrets of real foodies


Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark-
The moment the calender turns to December thoughts of chocolate and peppermint dance through my head. There are few flavors that I enjoy more than this combo. It’s evident by the peppermint hot cocoa, mocha and fudge that I make year round. I use the Christmas season as an excuse to make even more chocolate peppermint treats!

Simple, homemade gifts and treats are a wonderful way to show some you care this time of year. Modern Alternative Mama is all about them this year. This dark chocolate peppermint bark along with other great recipes to come are part of her 10 Days of Christmas!

Be sure to come back here over the next couple weeks for our 12 Days of Christmas Treats and Gifts!