December 17, 2012

Holiday Cheer - Family Traditions and Mint Cookies

By Sarah Hoss

Thanks for having me here today Anna! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!

I am here to talk to you today about holiday traditions. I imagine we all have them. I have many in my family.   One tradition we have with the children is that when they go to sleep, we go and get out thumb dirty with soot from the fireplace and then put a thumb print on the children’s faces. Usually the cheek or forehead. See, Santa can’t put the presents out until he knows the children are a sleep so he goes and checks to make sure. When they wake up, the first thing they do is run to the bathroom to see if Santa had left his mark!

(If you don’t have a fireplace, you can use the exhaust from a muffler. I did that once and used the black soot from a burning candle jar.)

 Another tradition that I treasure a lot is getting together with the women in my family and we spend the day making cookies and candies. We play Christmas music, talk, and ….shhh….sample a little here and there as we go!

We make anything from buckeyes, sugar cookies, rock candy, peanut brittle, chocolate covered pretzels and mint cookies. Just to name a few.
The recipe I want to leave you with today is for the mint cookies. It will be the easiest recipe you will get here I imagine. Do you like the Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies? Now you can make them yourselves.

**You will need peppermint flavoring, Ritz crackers, and melting chocolate.

**Melt the chocolate and then add a few drops of the peppermint flavoring. We add about 2-3 but it is up to your taste on how strong you want it.

**Mix it up then dip the Ritz cracker in the chocolate and lay it on wax paper.

**THAT’S IT!  And it is as close to the real thing as you can get! 


When forgiveness heals the soul, love heals the heart. 

Flight nurse Tenlee Hawkins is used to making quick decisions, but one decision she made the Christmas day her mother died haunts her. Wrestling with the past, she spirals into depression—until the day she finds a man unconscious in her woods and saves his life.

When Sam awakens in the hospital with a concussion and no memory, Tenlee rescues him again. She takes him into her home and her life. But as Sam recovers and remembers who he is, he's torn. A guardian angel isn't supposed to fall in love.

As the promise of true love grows, Tenlee realizes that Sam has helped her much more than she ever helped him. But Sam is filled with guilt knowing he must soon leave. Will it take a Christmas miracle to find the life with Tenlee he’s always wanted?


Red and blue lights pulsed a beat all on their own, and even though the road was slick, people ran to and fro in a frantic pace to save a woman’s life.

A car sat mangled on the side of the road. The roof, having been cut, rested on the ground beside it. A few feet beyond, a woman lay motionless. She wasn’t breathing as the EMT’s worked desperately to save her life. Sam closed his eyes and said a silent prayer. But it was no use. If he was here for an assignment then the lady on the ground was not going to live. He said another prayer, hoping that there would be no pain and she would slip easily into his world.

The woman with the red hair sat on the ground near the deceased woman and cried, rocking back and forth.

“That is her mother.”

Malachi’s deep voice broke into his thoughts and Sam turned to acknowledge him.

“No, keep watching,” Malachi said.

The scene on the screen changed. Months passed, for now the trees were green and glorious in their summer splendor. A manicured lawn hugged a log cabin, nestled in the woods. Flowers sprung from pots here and there along the ground and deck. The place looked cozy. Scenes continued to change as did the weather. Snow decorated the landscape once again.

 Searching the scene for all of the details he could gather, Sam spotted her, just past the cabin, in the woods. She sat quietly on a swing hanging from a tree branch. The sadness etched in her features gripped Sam and tore at his emotions. He ached to go to her, to comfort her.


Sarah Hoss grew up believing she could try anything and if she set her mind to it, she would succeed. Sixteen years of dance lessons, Cheerleading, and school plays proved to her that her parent’s words rang true. Writing was no exception. Reading the Outlander series made her fall in love with time travels and the historical places books could take her. Always a child with a vivid imagination, she realized as an adult, she could put her imagination to good use and began writing. Marrying her very own hero, they live in Indiana in the town where she grew up. They have three beautiful children and one hyper dog. When Sarah isn’t writing, she enjoys gardening, camping, and watching her kids’ play sports.

Where to find Sarah-

Twitter- @SarahHoss1
  You can also find Sarah on LinkedIN, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
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Amy S. said...

I'll have to try that recipe. I love thin mint cookies. That's neat about the soot on the children's faces. Might have to do that too. In our family we do bake a lot of cookies and make candy. I usually help dip the buckeyes in chocolate.

Barbara Edwards said...

Gosh, that recipe sounds so easy. I have to try. And I love the excerpt. I'm putting it on my list to buy.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Sarah, thanks for that recipe. I think everyone loves thin mint cookies, don't you? Your book sounds intriguing also.

Paty Jager said...

Sarah, sounds like a great story and a yummy cookie. I love peppermint and chocolate. And the only time you can get that combo from a lot of the chocolate manufacturers is Christmas time. Needless to say, I gain weight this time of year!

Sarah Hoss said...

Thank you all for stopping by and I hope you all love the cookies!

Thank you Barbara for saying that! I hope you like it.

delphi mama said...

I love the traditions our family has! I'm also very proud and happy to call you my aunt! congrats on it all!

Jena Lang said...

Those are fun holiday traditions, Sarah. Thanks for posting your cookie recipe, and congrats on the release your debut book!


Sarah Hoss said...

Jena, Thank you for stopping by and I hope you like the cookies!

Brookney! Thank you for stopping by and for the sweet thing you said. I love you!

Tricia Sandifur said...

I love the idea about the soot thumbprint! Congratulations on your book Sarah, I'm sure it's just the first of many!!!

Sheri Sondgerath said...

Sarah,I can't wait. One tradition we have is at Easter. I cut a stencil of a paw print and leave a trail from the door to the carrots and easter eggs with flour. Love you and Merry Christmas.

Diana Graber said...

Sarah, I have tried that recipe before and I think it really does taste like the Girl Scout Cookie thin mints! I can't wait to download your book and read sounds awesome! Congratulations and I will be anticipating each new book you write! Like Brook says...I am very proud of you and feel privileged to call you my cousin!

Mary Preston said...

I had not heard of the sooty thumb print tradition before. That's just lovely.

I do enjoy working in the kitchen with my children over the Christmas period. We make all kinds of treats to eat.


j. barrett said...

love the story about the ashes for the kids cheeks!

i remember one tradition of old that i wish we all still did. we'd start at our house with pots and pans and spoons and then go to the next door neighbors-relatives, and start singing and banging on the pans til they let us in. we'd go in for drink, usually egg nog and get them and we'd travel to the next house and repeat. by the time we got to the end of our night we'd have over 30 in our group and it was all relatives.

happy holidays,

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

HI, Sarah! Thanks for blogging in my Holiday Cheer Event. Mint Cookies are my favorite Girl Scout cookie (I was a leader for 13 years, so handled a lot of them!). I will be making these. HEAVEN SENT sounds like a great story. I'll be getting it soon!

Sarah Hoss said...

Thank you to everyone who stopped by! I am glad you all enjoyed my Santa's thumbprint story. My kids still talk about it and will be a tradition they pass on.

I am appreciate my family for stopping in and supporting me. Thank you so much for that and I love you all.

Anonymous said...

Love mint cookies. This is one I will be making this weekend.

Your book sounds very good. Lost my mother back in 2002. She was a Christmas baby. Still have a hard time during the holidays, but I keep trudging on.

Deb T

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

What a cute tradition. I've never heard of that one.

I'll have to try your recipe.

kmnbooks at yahoo dot com

Karen Michelle Nutt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Hoss said...

Thanks ladies forf stopping by. I hope you love the recipe and the book!