Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peppermint Bark & Ponytails

Baby, it's cold outside! It was 14 degrees last night! That's really cold for Texas! This is what it looks like out our front door.

In our little area in Texas, it rarely snows. But when it does, the whole town shuts down. Thursday night we got sleet followed by about 3 inches of snow. I'm sure anyone not from the south is rolling their eyes. We just aren't equipped for this type of weather y'all. Everyone went shopping on Thursday before it hit like Armageddon was coming. The city has literally shut down. There was no school Friday and church has been cancelled tomorrow. The mail didn't run yesterday or today. Texas drivers, for the most part, are unprepared for these kinds of conditions so frankly I'm glad everything is shut down. It's been nice having Collin at home. The boys have been playing wii together and Kyla Brooke and I are sharing a cold -- wasn't it so sweet of her to share with me?! :) I have been living vicariously through friends posting photos of their kids out in the snow. With KB sick and Cayden on the verge of getting sick (he's fighting it off), we haven't taken the kids out in the winter wonderland.

The snow is pretty and nice...for about half a day. And then cabin fever sets in. It hasn't been as bad as it could be for us with half of our brood under the weather (pun intended!) but's there. I've done some online Christmas shopping, done the laundry, wrapped some Christmas presents, napped, caught up on our TV shows (just watched the last two weeks of The Walking Dead...all I can say is "seriously?!"), and worked on some craft projects. And today, I attempted this sweet little ponytail on my angel baby. The poor child is hair challenged and is just finally getting enough hair for me to put it in a baby ponytail at the age of 2. And OH. MY. WORD. She looked precious. And too grown up. Her hair is curly so it was falling out in random spots around her face but honestly, it just added to the cuteness. She kept twirling her neck around trying to show her daddy and her brother. She was proud. And frankly I was too. I could eat this girl up with a spoon. How I adore her!

I've had to rearrange lots of our fun December activities, largely in part to this weekend's weather. We were supposed to go to a Christmas Tree Farm today and then to our local tree lighting and fireworks display. Obviously that couldn't happen so we made peppermint bark and read The Legend of the Candy Cane instead! I loooove peppermint bark and since Kelly is doing favorite holiday recipes over on her blog I thought I would link up and share how I do peppermint bark. It's one of my favorite holiday treats!

Peppermint Bark

24 oz semisweet chocolate chips
24 oz white chocolate chips
Dash of peppermint extract
1-1 1/2 Box of Candy canes (12-18)

Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with Pam. Pour in semisweet choc chips, spread them out evenly, and melt the chocolate chips in a 250 degree oven for a few minutes. Spread them around with a spatula until smooth. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes. Once the chocolate is in the fridge, spread the unwrapped candy canes on a cookie sheet. Cover them well with a dish towel and then grab a hammer and break them up. You want them pretty fine. Cayden loves this part! Be sure not to let your preschooler hammer your finger...ahem. Next, melt the white chocolate chips. If you have a double-broiler then I'm jealous and you can use that. If you don't have one like me, a metal bowl over a boiling saucepan of water works just as well. Or a microwave. Whatever floats your boat. Just make sure it gets good and melted. Add the candy cane dust to the mixture (saving the bigger pieces for later) along with the peppermint extract (taste it and adjust accordingly. I think I usually add about 3/4 teaspoon-ish) and stir it up good. Pour the warm mixture over the chocolate and then add the larger candy cane bits to the top, pushing them down into the mixture slightly. Let it harden in the fridge and enjoy! I usually pull it out of the fridge and let it sit about 20 minutes before trying to cut it or before serving - don't want anyone to chip a tooth! ;) I store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Yum!