Entertaining – Holidays 2017-2018

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Folded Tree napkin

LED Tea Light Paper Christmas Trees, Folded Tree Napkin, Nutella Brownie,
Sock Snowman Hand Warmer & Decoration


Mary Canovas

Christmastime has come so quickly for many of us this year. We barely have finished Thanksgiving and we are just a few days away from that magical holiday.  I still have´t decorated the house, which for me is a big production, but this year I almost have all of the presents (thanks to Amazon).  Now all that´s left is the wrapping and preparing the cookies, desserts and menus for all of the holidays: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year´s Eve, New Year’s Day and when it seems as though you´re finally done – Noche de Reyes and Día de Reyes.  One of the best things about Spain is how long these holidays last!  All the way to Reyes which also makes for double the gifts (if you’re lucky) and double the fun for all the little ones.   

I have included 3 crafts and 1 recipe which are, as always, economical and very easy to make. I hope you enjoy making and preparing them in the few days we have left before Christmas.


As the holiday season begins, we would like to wish you all  

The Merriest and Happiest of Christmases!!
The Best New Year Ever &
A Very Happy Hanukkah!!




This must be the easiest folded Christmas napkin ever! But so elegant, I´m sure everyone will want to know just how you made it.  The best part is you don´t have to choose between fabric and paper napkins.  This tutorial works with both but make sure your paper napkins are double layer not the single kind.  Red or green seem to be the best colors for the season but depending on your decorations, any color will be lovely.  You can also make a small bow with ribbon or glitter pipe cleaners and place it on top.   

Materials: Double layer paper napkin or fabric napkin  

How To: See and follow video


Easy, Gluten, Butter Free
 – 8 min.

This may just be the best dense fudgey brownie I´ve ever made.  The taste is scrumptious. It´s a snap to make. On top of everything no gluten or butter and it basically contains Nutella and absolutely no chocolate!   The secret to its unique flavor is, of course, Nutella,  but the real secret is it´s made with ground almonds and hazelnuts instead of flour. If you love Nutella and nuts you will literally go nuts for this recipe (sorry for the pun)! Incredibly, it is perhaps one of the easiest and quickest brownies to make.


  • 1 and 1/4 cups – 375 gr. Nutella or Nocilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup – 75 gr. Ground almonds or ground hazelnuts or mixture of the two. We have mixed half and half.
  • 1/3 cup – 70 gr. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional – Nutella, chocolate frosting or ganache for frosting
  • Optional – crushed nuts or hazelnuts to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF – 180ºC.
  • Line an 8” – 20 cm. square mold with baking paper.
  • Lightly spray the paper with cooking spray or brush on a light coating of butter. Beat eggs, sugar and salt together until the eggs are pale.
  • Heat Nutella one minute (in 20 second intervals and stirring in-between) in the microwave or in a Bain Marie.
  • Beat the Nutella and the ground nut or nut meal into the egg mix, making sure it is well mixed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared mold and bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350ºF – 180ºC.
  • Let cool before serving.
  • Optional: Sprinkle with icing sugar or frost with ganache or Nutella frosting and decorate with crushed or a whole hazelnut on top.
  • Cut into squares to serve.


–  15 min.

You may have seen tutorials with sock snowmen. They make great gifts and are a lovely winter and holiday decoration.  The problem is that most of the tutorials use pins or buttons to make the  noses and eyes. These are all dangerous if a child of any age gets their hands on them.  Our snowmen or snowladies are painted with non toxic paints – watercolors and acrylic.  We use thread to bind them instead of elastic bands and they are filled with round white rice which is also why they can be heated in your microwave and used as a convenient hand-warmer.

They are very easy and economical to make, so you can create lots of them as presents or to decorate your own home or office.  Since you can make them any size, try making an entire family with mom and dad and kiddies too.  The whole family together make a great holiday centerpiece.  


  • Short child white sock
  • thread, scissors
  • Round white rice
  • Fabric for scarf
  • Watercolor and/or acrylic paints and brush
  • Strands of colored wool


How To: Follow video for easy directions

  • Cut off sock above the heel.
  • Fill sock with round white rice
  • Divide the head from the body and tie with thread at neck.
  • Tie with thread at top of head and cut off excess sock.
  • Paint eyes and nose
  • Cut remaining top of the sock in straight line – that´s the hat.
  • You can leave it white or paint with watercolor and very little water let dry,
  • Cut a few strands of colored wool and place inside the top
  • Tie the bottom part leaving a little sock and visible wool strips – see video
  • Pull on and adjust the hat onto the head
  • Tie scarf around the neck
  • Manipulate rice with hands until you are satisfied with style and width of snowman
  • If you want to use it as hand-warmer, microwave snowman 2 minutes
  • Heat will last about 1/2 hour



These Paper LED Tea Light Christmas Trees are so easy, fast and economical that you will want to make many of them to use in centerpieces or to brighten up any corner, bedside table, office or to decorate a festive meeting. You can also make them in different colors and sizes. Since they use LED tea lights, you don´t have to worry about candle safety.  These little trees are great decorations with or without the tea lights turned on. You can also decorate them with a little glitter at the tips – at Christmas, everything should sparkle and glitter.


  •  Sheet of paper A4 , construction paper – any color
  • Scissors
  • Optional: Decorate with glitter and white glue

How To:   See and Follow video

  • Cut a sheet of regular or construction paper.  Regular sheet will give you an 8” or 20 cm. square. Ours is 9.5 “or 24 cm. You can make them any size or color.
  • Make a triangle by folding opposite ends
  • Repeat twice over the following folds
  • Cut a straight line off the base
  • Secure all edges by pressing
  • On the side with folds make 6 cuts at an uptwards angle. These are the branches.
  • On the other side cut 5 little triangles, taking care not to reach the branch cuts, and remove the paper inside cuts.
  • Open the triangle and press the edges so that the branches are out and the diamonds are in.
  • With your fingers, bend each branch – watch video for how to.
  • You can also decorate the branches with white glue and glitter.
  • Place on a LED tea light inside in the center.  Enjoy.