“Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes — Autumn Treats & Family Fun!”

When Little Red Bear and I aren’t debating whether Ichabod Crane’s ultimate fate was sealed by a broken heart or by a shattered pumpkin, we like to cook up seasonal Autumn treats and dishes while making holiday decorations and things on the side.

There were several favorites, but the recipes for Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins and Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghosts seemed to garner the most attention and comments in last week’s Happy Halloween Spooktacularly Good Recipes Special filled with Halloween goodies and treats. Take a look by tapping on the link if you missed it.

If you are new to our Sunday morning recipe sharing and missed the first Little Red Bear Recipes Post explaining what we are doing, simply tap on the link to check it out.

This week we found a few wonderful new Autumn recipes to pass along, together with a few more Halloween goodies to share! And, sharing some Halloween craft ideas for the little ones in the family, along with older children and adults, as well.

Caramel Apple Bread

A delightful fall quick bread recipe with Apples, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg, covered with a luscious caramel glaze.  Yes, please.

Caramel Apple Bread Recipe

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Dip

Staying with delightful Caramel Apple flavors, how about a Caramel Apple Dip easily made in the slow cooker?  Dip Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Crisps, and it’s a delightful party or football afternoon treat all thru the season. The recipe includes instructions on how to make your own tortilla crisps, as well.  Party on!

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Dip Recipe

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

When I read the title of this recipe, Little Red Bear picked up on the word ‘Crustless’ right away, being rather crust-challenged as we have discussed in prior weeks.  No crust with this one. A quick and easy mix, then bake.  Awesome!

Crustless Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Cheddar and Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Bacon

This amazing sounding soup, as pictured, is served as an appetizer in Pretzel Rolls, hollowed out with the tops removed.  Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and holiday season parties.  Make more, and it’s a delightful fall meal.

Cheddar and Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Bacon Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Easily made using refrigerated crescent rolls from the grocery store, these will both smell and taste delightful for both chilly morning breakfasts and for a special treat later in the day.

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels

The Ghost Pretzels were another popular treat shared last week, and then Little Red Bear came across these fun little Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels, and we both thought they would be perfect for not only Halloween in a couple weeks, but for Thanksgiving side treats, as well. Maybe place one beside a slice of pumpkin pie on the plate, or tuck one into each slice of pie as a decoration. Propped up against the pile of whipped cream on top, of course!

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels Recipe

Haunted Haystacks

And then we came across these fun and easy-to-make Haunted Haystacks for Halloween parties, made from butterscotch chips, peanut butter, marshmallows, and chow mein noodles. And don’t forget the candy eyeballs! Mixing different sized eyes makes them look like spooky fun for the kids.

Haunted Haystacks Recipe

Easy Cookie Candy Corn Bark

Candy Corn has always been one of my favorite Halloween treats.  Can you tell?  The Cookie Candy Corn Bark is so easy, simply putting down pieces of your favorite sandwich cookies, covering over with melted white chocolate, and then adding the various candy bits of your choice on top for a colorful Halloween goodies treat.

Easy Cookie Candy Corn Bark Recipe

Please remember, all of these recipes are added each week to our “Little Red Bear’s Hand-picked Recipes” board on Pinterest for you to access anytime and find those from previous weeks if you missed them.  I invite you to follow and check out my other Pinterest boards while there, including the Halloween Recipes & Ideas Board for many other great treats, craft, and decoration ideas.

Family Time is the Best Time!

On my Pinterest Halloween Board, you will find over 300 craft and activity ideas in addition to fun treats and goodies recipes.  Spending time together with family making holiday decorations is always time best spent.

Below are just a couple fun projects for the little ones, with much more on the Board for other family project ideas, from preschoolers on up thru adult craft ideas and door wreaths, most requiring only simple, readily-at-hand materials and supplies.

Here again is an informational link to the National Safety Council’s Halloween Safety Tips and Guidelines for children and motorists, alike.   Have a wonderful Halloween, keeping yourselves and the little ones safe this year. Remember — Scare Safe!

Cute and Easy Cotton Ball Ghost Craft for Preschoolers

Little guys should be able to just about make this whole project on their own after getting them started, and how proud they will be to display their own Halloween project for all to see.

Cute and Easy Cotton Ball Ghost Craft Project for Preschoolers

Spooky Leaf Ghosts for Halloween

Here is another fun project for little hands, painting fallen Autumn leaves white, and then adding their own ghostly features. These can be displayed in a number of ways around your home, even suspending on a string for a spooky ghost garland. Finding and selecting the leaves for this project will be fun all on its own.  If going to make a garland or suspend the leaves from a string, look for leaves with the stems intact for tying later. And be sure to make a wide variety of ghostly expressions — happy, sad, scary, angry. Imagination is the limit with these!

Spooky Leaf Ghosts for Halloween Project  

Here is a link to other wonderful Halloween Nature Crafts to make up with the kids.

“There is little in life that could not benefit from a little Love, a little Time, and a Stick of Butter.”

Thanks as always for spending part of your day with us! We would be honored if you recommended our site and pages to friends and family.  Little Red Bear and I look forward to your visits here, and hope that in our own way we help to make your day special, too!

We’ll be back next Sunday morning with more of Red’s selected special recipes for Autumn, so be sure to subscribe in the top right column and follow along to be notified of every new post.

Wishing everyone a wonderful coming week, full of treats and craft making!  We do not remember days, we remember moments. Create some special moments with your family, and be the reason someone smiles this week! – Jim (and Red!)

“Family is the most important thing in the world.” – Princess Diana

Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times!

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Haddon Sundblom, Coca-Cola and Santa Claus

If you were to pause for a moment, close your eyes, and then conjure up the vision of Santa Claus in your mind — what would he look like?

Chances are he would be rather large, plump and portly in shape, dressed in a red outfit with white fur trim and a wide black belt, wearing boots, have a long white beard and of jolly disposition.  Am I close?

If so, thank the artist and illustrator Haddon Sundblom (‘Sund-bloom’). Haddon Sundblom is regarded as the Father of Modern Christmas by many, and was instrumental in defining the mental image of Santa Claus for my generation and for generations to come.


Haddon “Sunny” Sundblom (1899 – 1976) was a Michigan-born American illustrator and artist of Finnish and Swedish descent, best known for the images of Santa Claus which he created for The Coca-Cola Company.  Previously, Santa Claus had been portrayed in sundry ways, from a spooky-looking little elf to a tall thin man, and wearing anything from Bishop’s robes to animal skins. Coca-Cola sought a more realistic and symbolic image for Santa Claus.

Artist and Illustrator Haddon Sundblom (1899 - 1976)

Beginning to place advertisements in popular magazines, in 1931 Coca-Cola commissioned Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus — showing Santa himself, not a man dressed as Santa.

For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas”, or as more commonly known — “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Moore’s descriptions led Sundblom to create an image of a more warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human Santa Claus, using neighbor friend Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman, as his model. Children in the paintings were two little girls who were neighbors as well, although he decided to paint one as a boy to appeal to both girls and boys.

The first Coca-Cola advertisement with the new Sundblom Santa appeared in “The Saturday Evening Post” in 1931, along with “Ladies Home Journal”, “The New Yorker”, “National Geographic”, and others.


From 1931 to 1964, Sundblom’s creations for Coca-Cola had Santa Claus pictured as doing everything from delivering toys (and playing with them!), pausing to read letters, visiting with children who had waited up to meet him on Christmas Eve, raiding the refrigerators of several homes, warming his feet by the fire, and other activities — always with a bottle of Coke in hand or nearby. The Sundblom Santa became so popular that the images spread from print ads on to billboards, posters, calendars, plush dolls and more.

Haddon Sundblom created his final Santa image for Coca-Cola in 1964, incorporating the neighborhood florist’s grey poodle, painted black to stand out more in the image. The company continued to use the popular Santa image for several more decades. Various items bearing the Sundblom Santa image are popular collectibles to this day.


In 2001, Haddon Sundblom’s Santa Claus was creatively brought to life in a Coca-Cola ad video tribute, animated by the Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov.

So the next time you envision Santa Claus and maybe even have a simultaneous unexplained craving for a Coca-Cola, please give a wink and nod to the artist Haddon Sundblom.  He was instrumental in defining the image of Santa Claus for us all.

Wishing the very best of the holiday season to everyone!

If you have not yet checked out our Christmas Holiday Story featuring Little Red Bear, Cinnamon Charlie and their friends, “Pine Holler Christmas” is available now on Amazon!

Wonder how Haddon Sundblom might have drawn Little Red Bear? Thanks as always for visiting.    — Jim (and Red!)

Family Times — Together Times — The Best Times 


Check out the new Little Red Bear Adventure– “Pine Holler Christmas” on Amazon! Tap Here For A Free Preview!



Sunday Family Day — At the Pumpkin Patch!

Shhhh! . . . . .    Quietly . . . . .   Listen . . . . . .    Wait for it . . . . . .

Do you hear it?  The almost imperceptible sound of a straining vine under pressure.  A snapping and heavy rolling along the ground.  And . . . . the ever-so-soft sound of dried hay, tumbling to the ground off a wagon . . . . and wheels . . . . tractor wheels rumbling along a dirt road.  Could it be . . . .  a hay ride?  Dry, rustling leaves in the breeze.  And crows.  Do you hear the crows, caw-caw-cawing from a field along the stream bank?

Thill and excitement fill smiling faces of young adults enjoying a seasonal hay ride. A scene of wholesome outdoor entertainment for a group of well dressed group of four people. Action filled shot as man on left throws hay into the air to the others surprise.

Family Fun on a Hayride (via GatlinburgLodgingGuide.com)

And do you smell it?  It’s very faint in the breeze . . . . the unmistakable scent of apple cider being poured into a glass.  And, oh!  Did you hear that?  And again?  The undeniable giggles and squeals of children playing and having fun.


Happy Autumn!  Getting full swing into the beautiful autumn season now, with only eight days to Halloween.  Time to round up the family and head to the Pumpkin Patch!

It’s a beautiful autumn day to track down that perfect pumpkin for the front porch and partake in that grand old tradition of carving a pumpkin with the kids.  Carefully opening the top, scooping out the seeds (be sure to roast them and let none go to waste!), coming up with a design and carefully carving an eye-popping Jack O’Lantern for Halloween to summon the little Trick-or-Treaters next week.


But first, a visit to the Pumpkin Farm is in order to locate the ideal pumpkin.  Rows and rows of pumpkins patiently awaiting your arrival, each hoping to be the one selected for the ride home.  Tractors bumping along dirt roads and thru the fields, pulling wagon-loads of laughing children and families on hay rides.  Face painting.  Refreshing apple cider.  Delicious apple butter and more for sale.  Corn mazes and hay castles to crawl thru and climb.  Good times!  Fun times with the family!

Make this Sunday a family day and head out to the local pumpkin patch for a healthy  day of fresh air, exercise and delightful family fun, good times and memories.

Creating Memories at the Pumpkin Patch (via WoodTV.com)

Creating Memories at the Pumpkin Patch (via WoodTV.com)

Wishing everyone a beautiful, Sunday Family Day!  —  Jim (and Red!)

The Smith Family, by Sarah Whitwell Photography (SarahWhitwellPhotography.com}

The Smith Family, by Sarah Whitwell Photography (SarahWhitwellPhotography.com}

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.

Sunday Family Day — Putting “Family” Back Into Sundays!

Things tend to change over time.  Oftentimes for the better.  Sometimes not.

Sundays were family days a while ago.  Back in the days before over-hyped sporting events and media distractions began to dominate the scene and steal away quality time.  Sundays were spent relaxing from the weekly routine, the hustle and bustle, from the work grind and stress.  Reconnecting.  Spending time together. Going for Sunday afternoon drives thru the countryside.  Looking forward all day to Sunday dinner. Sundays were for staying in touch, returning to our center and to what is truly important — Family.

This is the first in a series of weekly Sunday posts dedicated to returning Sundays to Family Days.  Spending quality time with loved ones.  Each of us only gets so much time in our life and no one knows how much.  We can choose to invest the time given to us wisely, into what is most important to us and to the future of our children, or to fritter it away in frivolous pursuits which yield nothing but empty minutes passed and a longing for something more substantial  and connecting in our lives.  So many feel disconnected today.  Be and stay connected — with your family.


It is easier to withstand the storms of life, not being blown over by the random winds of misfortune, when we are grounded, anchored and held secure by family and loving roots.  Sundays are made for grounding and staying connected.  Our society, with so many challenges confronting families today, ranging from rampant drug use to negative social media influences and divisiveness, perhaps now more than ever, needs to rekindle that spirit of family togetherness and bonding.

The autumn season, with its refreshing and crisp air, is a perfect time to get the family together for a picnic.  Take a trip to the park and kick around a soccer ball.  Launch a Frisbee thru the air.  Play hide and seek.  Or even spread a blanket on the ground in the backyard and just have a fun time together tossing leaves about and grilling up some hot dogs or marshmallows.  If inclement weather, take that same blanket and make a tent in the family room. Spend the time together, and have Fun!  Experience, share and enjoy the Peace, Joy, and Love. They aren’t just words on a page.  Give them true life in your family, making lasting loving memories while forming the connections which strengthen and hold us together.

(Image Credit: Tori Watson Photography, The Haggards Family)

(Image Credit: Tori Watson Photography, The Haggards Family, blog.tori-watson.com)

Family time.  Together time.  Fun time.  Quality time.  The best time!  To be in our children’s memories tomorrow, we must be in their lives today.


Thank You for stopping by to visit!  I hope you enjoy this new Sunday feature, and follow along each week as we work together to bring Family back into Sundays.  Spread the word to family, friends and neighbors.   What does your family do to stay connected?  Please feel free to share in the comments!  We are all in this together, after all.

Happy Sunday!  Happy Family Day!  Wishing everyone a beautiful autumn and family Sunday — together!  – – – Jim   (and Red!)

(Image via CanberraYourFuture.com)

(Image via CanberraYourFuture.com)

Old-fashioned, Family-friendly Stories and Fun for All Ages and Fitness Levels!
About an Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends.