Strawberry Christmas Tree Brownie Bites

This is a craft and recipe all in one! Enjoy the last recipe in Country Belle Chic’s Christmas in July series! 


Your favorite brownie recipe (Cut the recipe in half)
Cream Cheese Frosting
24 medium sized strawberries
Yellow fondant or star-shaped sprinkles
Small ball shaped candy decorations


  1. Bake your brownies in greased mini-muffin tins filled up 3/4 of the way. You’re going to have to shorten the baking time a bit, so just keep your eyes on them as they bake.
  2. As the brownies are cooling, mix your frosting with green food coloring.
  3. Once baked and cooled, secure the strawberries to the brownies with a dab of frosting
  4.  Put frosting in a piping bag fit with a small star tip, and cover the entire strawberry by starting at the top of the strawberry, applying a bit of pressure, and pulling away gently to a nice point.


Gingerbread Nativity Scene

It’s craft time! To go along with today’s theme for Christmas in July, this craft is fun for kids of all ages. So this year why don’t you change this up and make a gingerbread nativity, instead of a traditional gingerbread house! Have fun!


  • Gingerbread Cookie Sheets or Graham Crackers
  • Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting
  • Large Marshmallows
  • Small Marshmallows
  • Large Gumdrops Multicolored
  • Small Gumdrops Multicolored
  • Black Licorice
  • Mini Snickers Candy Bars
  • Mini Tootsie Roll Candies
  • Mini Candy Canes
  • Fruit Roll Ups
  • Toothpicks
  • Frosting Decorator Tip and Tube
  • Flaky Coconut
  • Yellow Food Coloring
  • Plastic Zip-lock Bag
  • Wax Paper


Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

½ cup Shortening or Butter 1 Tbls. Cold Water ½ cup cocoa powder 1 and ½ cups powdered sugar Using a hand mixer, mix together shortening and water, gradually add cocoa powder and powdered sugar, mixing with each addition until smooth.

To Tint Coconut Flakes:

Put 2 or 3 drops of yellow food coloring in a small zip lock bag. Put ½ tsp of water into the bag. Add 1 cup of flaked coconut. Seal the bag and shake the coconut around until it is evenly colored.

Use Graham Crackers or Make your own Gingerbread sheets:

If you decide to make your own gingerbread sheets, make them about ¼ inch thick or less. Cut the gingerbread into pieces that are the same size as graham crackers in order for your nativity to come out the same size as ours. Full graham cracker pieces measure: 5 inches long by 2 and ½ inches wide. Half graham cracker pieces measure: 2 and ½ inches long by 1 and ½ inches wide.

For the Decorations: 

Sheep: Use one large marshmallow for the body and 5 pieces of licorice that each measure about ½ inch long. Use a buttered knife to poke openings in the marshmallow for the legs. Hold each hole open with the knife while you push the piece of licorice in. Do the same for the head.

Horse or Donkey: Make the horse on wax paper so it will be easier to move when you are ready. Use a sturdy toothpick for the neck and head connection. Follow the picture directions to make the horse. It helps if the tootsie rolls are at room temperature when pushing the toothpick through. When finished, let the frosting dry or set before trying to move the horse.

Baby Jesus in Manger: Use one square of a graham cracker or a piece of gingerbread cut to measure 2 and ½ inches square. Cut the square into 4 smaller squares. Make sure you put a generous amount of frosting down the center of one square as shown because lots of frosting will help the other 2 squares to stay in their V shaped positions. To make the baby head, cut off the tip of an orange gumdrop and stick it to the top of the small marshmallow.

Nativity Figure: When you cut a small gumdrop in half for the arms, the inside will be sticky enough for them to stick to the body. After you finish assembling the person, use frosting to make hair and beards.

Shepherd: To make a head covering for shepherds, cut a 1 and ½ inch square piece of fruit roll-up. Cut one of the corners off, this will be the edge that surrounds the face of the shepherd. Put some dots of frosting on the head at the top, both sides and on the back. Put the fruit roll-up piece on immediately. Hold in place for a few minutes to secure. You may add dots of frosting on the arms to tack down the head covering there. Cut 1 inch off the bottom of the candy cane.

Stable: Lay wax paper on a cookie sheet or display platter. Follow the first three pictures to assemble the stable. Use plenty of frosting for glue. Let the left and right walls lean against the corners of the back piece for added support. Let the frosting set or dry. Lastly, take two whole graham crackers and stand them up against the back of the stable. Add some frosting as needed to help attach them to the back. Scatter coconut for straw.


Christmas in Heaven

Even though I was only introduced to this song a year ago, it has quickly become one of my favorites! Scotty McCreery’s version of Christmas in Heaven tells the story of someone wondering just what Christmas in Heaven is like.

The first time I heard this song I immediately thought of my Grandpa Jack, who passed away in 2008. As I listened to the lyrics, I wondered if he is singing with the angels Silent Night or kneeling with shepherds. This classic Christmas song gives me more peace and reassurance in knowing that my grandpa will be just fine when Christmas time rolls around again.

Video Credit:

Yonder…Southerners and Directions

Google Maps, Mapquest, GPS…these are all devices that give directions; however, in the South, there is one word to describe all types of directions…yonder.

“It’s over yonder.” We all know where yonder is. It’s past the church, around the corner at town square, and through the cotton field. Ok, ok, yonder is a different direction for everyone, but it helps a Southerner give directions to a distinct place.

No matter where your yonder is, all Southerners know one thing: yonder is anywhere below 39, 43…the Mason Dixon line.

A Southern Classic: Cheese Straws

Every Southern belle knows how to be prepared for unexpected company. We keep our sweet tea fresh and always have cheese straws on hand. Hope these Southern classics make their way onto your table for the next time you have unexpected company.

Cheese Straws:


3 10 oz. bricks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded cold then left at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash of garlic powder
Cooking spray
Special equipment: cookie press with a star tip


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Put the softened cheese and butter in the bowl and beat until the mixture has the consistency of whipped cream, about 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, sift 3 cups of the flour with the salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Add the remaining 1 cup unseasoned flour incrementally until the dough is somewhat stiff but still soft enough to be pushed through a cookie press; you may not need to add all the flour.
  4. Spray 4 cookie sheets with cooking spray. Put a portion of the dough into a cookie press fitted with the star tube and press the dough onto a cookie sheet in long strips that run the length of the pan. If you don’t have a cookie press, form the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten them with a fork. Repeat until the pan is full. Bake until straws are golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.
  5. With your hands or a sharp knife, break or cut the long strips into 3-inch lengths. Use a flat, thin spatula remove the cheese strips from the pan. Allow them to cool on a wire rack until completely cool.


Recipe Credit: