Friday, December 2, 2016

Peppermint Bark

Yesterday was December 1st, and it felt like the official start of the holiday season.  I visited the mall and the classy and elegant Christmas decorations were displayed.  Santa was in his special chair, awaiting the children to tell him what they want for Christmas.   Upon returning home, I decorated with my mini trees, one on the mantle and one in my dining room.  I put up the stockings, and hung my wreath.  And finally, I made Peppermint Bark. 

Go buy some candy canes, because Peppermint Bark is a can't miss treat to make at Christmas.  I'd always wanted to make it and yesterday I did.  Chocolate, white chocolate, and peppermint are kind of a win-win taste combination.  And if you're like me, you're craving peppermint all the time now that the holidays are here.  Plus it was pretty simple and only has five ingredients.  You just use the microwave to melt your chocolate.  So I say, get to work and make some, too! 

Peppermint Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup high-quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup high-quality white chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
  • 12 peppermint candies, crushed

  • Directions:


    Lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan Line it with waxed paper; set aside.


    Place the semi-sweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in a medium glass bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, ladle down the sides and continue microwaving at 50% until melted, about 3 minutes. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract.
    Pour the melted chocolate on the prepared pan. Spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until completely hardened, about 1 hour.


    Place the white chocolate and remaining 1 teaspoon canola oil in the same medium glass bowl. Microwave exactly the same way you did the semi-sweet chocolate. Making sure not to over microwave. Make sure to stir and ladle down the sides every minute.
    Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.
    Pour the white chocolate directly over the semisweet chocolate layer; spread evenly.


    Sprinkle the crushed candy over the top and gently press in.


    Refrigerate until completely hardened. Remove from pan and break into small pieces.


    I found the recipe here at Mykitchencraze.com

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016

    Seven Holiday Dessert Recipes To Get You Inspired

    Tomorrow is the last day of November so that means the Holiday Season has begun.  Time for joy and time for cheer.  And time to figure out what to bake.  Below are seven of my favorite holiday goodies I've made over the last few years.  So here are some ideas to get you started with your holiday baking.  Plus, you don't even have to use the oven for most of these! They are all pretty simple recipes that won't take all afternoon to make.  That gives you more time to hang out with family and friends, wrap gift, shop, you get the hint....
    These Cake Batter Truffles hit the spot at Christmastime.  They are sweet and festive looking, too.  Don't forget to share!

    Get your candy canes ready and melt some chocolate because there's pretzels to dip!  These Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Candy Cane Pieces are a Christmas treat you've gotta make!

    Melt some more chocolate because these Chocolate Dipped Clementines with Sea Salt are a light and fresh holiday treat!

    Chocolate Walnut Fudge has always been one of my favorite goodies to make at Christmas.  They are pretty simple to make and they last several weeks in the fridge.  They are also perfect for sharing and bringing to holiday gatherings.  The sea salt is a tasty addition to the chocolate and walnuts. 

    Homemade Ice Cream can be a wonderful and delicious thing to make, especially for Christmas with peppermint mix-ins.  I made this ice cream last year and I added Trader Joe's Peppermint Waffle Cookies.  See how I made it here.

    Peanut Brittle is a classic holiday goodie.  If you've never made it, its pretty easy and this recipe uses the microwave.  Peanut Brittle is always a nice addition to any cookie plate. 

    These Rolo Turtles are really easy to make and they're oh so good.  Make some and treat yourself or share with your friends.  They'll love them, too! 

    Sunday, November 27, 2016

    Lunch at Shelby's Bistro and Ice Creamery for Small Business Saturday

    If you're looking for a family friendly restaurant for lunch or dinner then check out Shelby's Bistro and Ice Creamery.  They opened this summer and are located in West Seattle, in the Junction.  Our family decided to go for lunch and it was also Small Business Saturday.   So they had a nice promotion going on which was buy two entrees and get a free appetizer.  The deal was too good to pass up so we all shared the Gorgonzola Ranch French Fries.  They were hot and crispy, with Gorgonzola, Ranch, and drizzled with a roasted chili oil.  I had the pepperoni, mushroom, and sausage pizza with my sons and my husband had the Smoked Brisket Panini.  Then for dessert, we shared the Oreo Delight sundae.  It had two scoops of cookies 'n cream ice cream, crushed Oreo, hot fudge, then topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry.  The space was large with bright lighting, booths of different sizes to choose from, and a long ice cream counter.  Shelby's has high quality food for even the pickiest pallets plus a good selection of ice cream with something for everyone.  They even have a sundae on the menu with twelve scoops of ice cream for large groups.  So if all that doesn't satisfy, I don't know what will!
    Shelby's Bistro and Ice Creamery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Monday, November 21, 2016

    Six Breakfast Ideas For Thankgiving Morning

    I'm excited for this Thursday because it's Thanksgiving!  A time to celebrate our family and friends and think about all we're thankful for.  And a time to eat!  Of course they'll be turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce.  And I can't wait.  But....there's also breakfast to think about. 

    Below, you'll find six ideas for your Thanksgiving breakfast or brunch.  In my family, we always have a nice breakfast with either muffins, French toast casserole, or cinnamon rolls to accompany some scrambled eggs or an omelet .  Then we watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on TV, a tradition I've never missed. 

    So here are six ideas with links to the recipes here on my blog that you can make, too. 
    These Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Icing are just the thing to satisfy.  See the recipe here.

    Caramel Apple Doughnut muffins are also a nice and delicious start to any Thanksgiving.  Go here to see the recipe.

    This recipe for Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Cake makes two, one to eat fresh on Thanksgiving morning and one to freeze. 

    Pumpkin Raisin Muffins are popular with the little ones because who doesn't love raisins and pumpkin?

    This recipe for French Toast Bake is a good one and not only tasty, but you can make ahead the night before.  Then in the morning, just pop in the oven and eat nice and warm for your breakfast. 

    These French Toast Muffins are a sweet treat for your Thanksgiving breakfast and they are sure to satisfy!  

    Friday, November 18, 2016

    A Visit To Sweet Iron Waffle Bar On Capital Hill

    We Seattle peeps have it good.   Because Sweet Iron just opened another location on Capitol Hill and this one has a mimosa bar.  Called Sweet Iron Waffle Bar, they have more seating and a bigger menu then their other one in downtown Seattle on Third Ave.   When I walked in, I noticed the bright and yellow hues and the high ceilings.  This Sweet Iron feels more like a restaurant then the quick, eat and go feel of the one downtown.  This would be the ideal place to have brunch on the weekend, sipping a mimosa and eating a Liege waffle topped with goat cheese.  The authentic Liege Waffles are made with a brioche style yeast dough and are topped with pearls of sugar and a caramelized top. Each waffle is made in front of you and they have a nice assortment of savory and sweet to satisfy every craving.  We tried three waffles, the Herbed Goat Cheese with Honey and Walnuts, the Roast Turkey Breast with Havari Cheese, and Raspberry Jam, and a sweet waffle with cookie butter.  We loved them all.  There were four of us eating, so it was a light lunch.  But it was fun to sample the waffles at the new location and the mimosas weren't bad either!