1. I can not believe that it is Christmas time…all of our festivities start on Christmas Eve. I cant wait to give all of the gifts that I have picked out and see everyones faces after they open them. I really think that is the best part!!! Seeing all of my family is going to be pretty great as well! NOw Friday hurry up 🙂
2. I am making chocolate bark this week as well. I made like 4-5 different kinds last year,
but this year I’m sticking with 2 of my favorites…
bittersweet chocolate+coconut+macadamia nut+dried mango+crystalized ginger
semi sweet chocolate+ smoked almonds+ dried figs+french sea salt
and then pack them up into pretty containers
if you want to make your own bark follow these instructions
step 1: line pan with foil
step 2: pick out your favorite ingredientsChocolate: need 1 pound (bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, or half bittersweet and half white (for swirled))Crunchy toppings: 1/2 cup chopped (almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, cashews, and or pine nuts)chewy toppings: 1/2 cup chopped (dried figs, dried apricots, dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried mangos, raisins, mini marshmallows, candied orange peel, crystallized gingerspices: totally optional (red pepper flakes, flaky sea salt, crushed cardamon seeds, toasted fennel seeds, crushed pink peppercorns, hazelnuts, peppermints, toffee, nut brittle, toasted coconut flakes, peanut butter chips, banana chips.
step 3: melt the chocolate*make sure all of your tools are dry. chop the chocolate into 1/2 in pieces with a knife. place all but 1 cup of chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. (for swirled bark, put all but 1/2 cup of each chocolate in 2 separate bowls)*microwave 30 seconds, then stir with rubber spatula. continue microwaving and stirring at 30 second intervals until melted, 3-5 min total. (for swirled barks, microwave each chocolate seperately for 15 second intervals)*immediately add the reserved chopped chocolate to the bowl or bowls; stir until melted and shiny. don’t worry if there are a small unmelted pieces
step 4: spread it outpour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet; using the rubber spatula to spread about 1/4 inch thick(for swirled bark, pour the 2 chocolates side by side on the baking sheet; use the spatula to swirl them together)
step 5: add your toppingspress your crunchy and chewy toppings into the chocolate, arranging them so each bite has a mix of flavors and textures. Sprinkle with spices, if using. Let the bark harden completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Break into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temp. for 1 to 2 weeks!
3. Andre’s team hit a bump in the road this past week and lost 2 games in a row. Their record is 5-2 now. They are playing in a tournament all this week so hopefully they will secure a few more wins!!!
4. I am one of those weird pregnant people that doesn’t like for people to touch my stomach. Maybe you are/were the same way… I never realized how many people think that it is completely acceptable to just reach their hand out to touch me…they might just pull back a numb one of these days…
People that I know, like my parents, close friends, and of course my husband, are not part of the group of people that would pull back a numb if they touched me 🙂
5. I have downloaded a few literary classics on my kindle and plan to reread them during the holiday break…like The Catcher and the Rye, Little Women, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre…I figured I would probably get so much more out of them now than when I read them in high school! Plus all the classics are free to download on the Kindle
6. We finally made it to the movies this past weekend. It has been months since we have gone which is unusual for us. We saw Hugo in 3D and it was great. It was set in Paris which made it even better. Great story and worth seeing in 3D in my opinion!!!! Now I cant wait for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games to come out!!! Those two are must sees for me!
7. Sweet holiday pups…they have been SO helpful wrapping presents this year. 😉
8. I am on the last season of Friday Night Lights. I can not believe that I am almost done with the series. I do not want it to end…I may even shed a tear when I watch the finale. This TV show has turned out to be one of my favorites of all time!
9. Have you ever poked a bunch of cloves into oranges…if not, then you probably should
You will thank me later! My whole house smells amazing now!
10. I will leave with a few more holiday pictures from around the house…
Christmas card display
one of my favorite ornaments
favorite ornaments from when I was a little one…my mom gave them to me this year!!!