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DEAR MELBA: This White Chocolate Party Mix is good whether you're having a party or not.


•1 package M&Ms with nuts

•1/2 package butter snap pretzels

•5 cups Cheerios

•5 cups Corn Chex

•1 handful peanut halves or whole peanuts, approximately

•1 package white almond bark coating

Combine M&Ms, pretzels, Cheerios, Corn Chex and peanuts.

In microwave-safe dish, microwave almond bark coating on high for 1 minute. Stir and continue microwaving on high for 1 more minute. Remove and stir until coating is smooth. Pour over cereal mixture. Stir to combine. Spread on waxed paper and let cool 30 minutes. Break apart and store in airtight container. Can be frozen, if needed. Makes about 3 pounds.

— Ruth Thompson, Oklahoma City


DEAR MELBA: Try Cinnamon Apple Jelly, you'll like it.


•1 quart apple cider

•2/3 cup red hot candies

•1 package (3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin

•5 cups sugar

Sterilize eight (8 ounce) jars. In large pot, combine apple cider, red hot candies and fruit pectin. Cook over high heat , stirring often while bringing to a full rolling boil. Add sugar, all at once, and return to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. After mixture reaches boil, cook for exactly 1 minute.

Remove from heat and skim foam, if needed. Pour into prepared jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Using a damp paper towel, wipe any jelly from rim of jars and adjust caps. Turn jars over on towels and time for 5 minutes before turning upright to leave until cool and jelled.

If you have a bit more jelly than the jars will hold, save it in a small glass container to use when cooled.

— Donna Kaiser, Oklahoma City


DEAR MELBA: I'm giving away to any Christ-centered ministry 100 Ty Burden Bears attached to little quilts with this poem on the back: "I'm not a very fancy bear. I have no eyes to judge you, only ears to hear and arms to hug you. I brought my favorite blanket that I snuggle when I'm sad. My granny said, 'Life is like this patchwork quilt. Give God your broken pieces and He'll stitch your tears into smiles and bind with love.' Sometimes God seems far away, so I clutch my favorite blanket and trust and pray. I've been sent here on a mission from someone who really cares to hug and listen as you pray." "What a glorious LORD! He who daily BEARS our BURDENS." Psalms 68:19

I also have 50 vintage lace hankies/napkins with scriptures to give away. And I'm giving away 150 antique/vintage/new handmade quilts in exchange for checks written to the Christ-based charity of your choice. See www.BuckboardQuilts.com and email BuckboardQuilts@cox.net.

— Judy Howard, Oklahoma City

If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you’d like to share, e-mail mlovelace@oklahoman.com or write to Melba’s Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Please include your name and address.