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Posts Tagged With: chocolate

Random 5 Friday ~ Christmas treats, traditions and “41”

It’s Friday and you know what that means ~ it’s time for my Random 5 Friday!  Ready?  Let’s go!

1 )  Christmas Treats: Made my first round of Christmas treats last weekend.  Background:  I bake & make Christmas treats in “rounds” to give Hubbs his “due” ~ it’s a strategy that seems to work because he gets his fill and if I make enough “rounds,” I end up with some treats left to share with others.  Case in point:  just the other night, he exclaimed, “No more fudge till Christmas!” (( Like I’m-a-gonna do this all again on Christmas Eve?  … um No!))   But I ran into a quandary I hadn’t foreseen.  See, we gave away our larger freezer a few years back so I don’t have an easy storage spot.   I put on my thinking cap and …. Bingo! Problem solved:

Chocolate covered peanuts hidden in the crisper ~ He’ll never look there!  (( Shhh don’t tell ))

2 )  Holiday traditions:  When we moved to Hubb’s home state of Michigan 18 years ago it was his idea to throw a Christmas party and bring the extended family together.  His eyes would mist over recalling the big family gatherings of his childhood.  So, we started a small family party in our home that soon grew to a hall; we continued to host it annually for a dozen years or so; others in the family took it on for a few years and now, younger cousins have the lead.   Regardless who hosts or plans, the workload to do it, during the busiest time of the year, is never  insignificant.  There are menus to plan, details to organize, a hall to book, decorations to buy or recycle, addresses to update, invitations to share and more.  Just like in life, there’s always someone quick to point out what was missed or what wasn’t done. (Those same ones typically contribute nothing).  Regardless of the snark, the tradition continues and the family comes together.  Dishes are made involving 4 important Holiday food groups:  cheese, chocolate, BBQ sauce and cool-whip.  Little kid cousins get re-acquainted and run around together, red-faced and sweaty in their Christmas outfits,  elders tell stories and for a while everyone slows down and lingers in the moment.   And that’s what it’s all about, Charlie Brown!

Christmas time is here! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 ) Community: Stopped at my local (tiny) grocery store last night and, in the baking aisle, shared a conversation with Ray, the older stock boy man.  Maybe it’s because I’m not from here and still long for a sense of community, I always make time to chat with him.  I know he walks his dog in the mornings, before work, that he lost his wife years ago and alternates between tears and smiles when he speaks of her, and that his daughter makes him cookies all year-long.   This is my small neighborhood store, not a big box chain.  They don’t stock everything and yes, you pay a little more sometimes.  But I like that bath soap isn’t 2 miles from the butter.  And I love that the checkout clerks know me and I know them.  In line to pay, I let a lady with a just a few items go ahead of me. She thanked me then  commented, “I really like this store, it’s so calm here.”  I smiled and I got it.     And it hit me right then that perhaps my little community has manifested itself right before my very eyes.

“Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don’t need a lot of money to be happy–in fact, the opposite.”
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth

4 )  Family Photos:   When our boys were little, it was easy to seat one on our laps and stand the other next to us for a family portrait.   But now that everyone is older and there’s far more of us, family pictures are harder to come by.  I enjoy the perfectly posed portraits on friends’ Facebook pages — the coordinating plaid, hair bows and Holly,  littlest ones in Santa hats, bow ties, Christmas dresses, black patent leather shoes and white stockings.  Somehow I know if we tried this today, we’d end up with something like this:

Truth!

5) Passing of a Giant – Like many of you, I watched the coverage of President George H.W. Bush’s funeral with rapt and tearful attention. It was stately. Poignant. Emotional.  Respectful. Moving.  Epic.  So many moments, such long, long days for the family.  So many tributes to his character, life and legacy.  This picture though …

Together again

Your turn:

  • Do you also hide holiday treats?
  • Are there any Christmas traditions you’d like to share with us?
  • Where do you get a sense of community from?
  • Does your family take annual holiday photos?
  • And .. did you watch?
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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Seasons, Snarky, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

on Sunday drives, friendship and Chocolate

Three and a half years ago I  signed up for a women’s workshop across the state.   Intuitively I was hoping for a positive experience and,  looking back , I still am reaping the benefits.

Yes! Google.images.com

A two-hour drive there and back gave me time to prepare – and – time to reflect on all I’d learned.

I remember my nervous stomach lurching as I entered the Inn.  Soon my worries fell away as the facilitator wrapped me in a warm embrace.  Before long I was chatting with others and shyly stepping forward to share experiences.

One woman spoke to what we’ve all endured ~ the cattiness of other women.. and her fears about attending: would we be any different?  Could we be trusted?   She spoke of her losses and her triumphs and how those experiences had prepared her to be exactly where she was right now … and we found ourselves nodding in agreement. Church was in session and I was in the front pew!

Across from me sat Diane, a bubbly and energetic woman with very expressive hands – she patiently listened to everyone but when I asked her our table’s question: “what are you naturally good at” her eyes firmly met mine and she confidently said, “I’m very creative.”  When women speak their truth, have you ever noticed body language shifts and they lean into the answer? I l-o-v-e that.

Well, flash forward a few years and today, a work event scheduled for tomorrow means I need to travel across the state today – to the same general area where the workshop was held.

And who am I meeting for dinner?

Diane, my creative friend with the very expressive hands, who now runs a successful home decor business!  

We’ll hug and laugh and share our stories, updates and dreams and, for just a little while, we’ll savor being in the sacred space where friendship lives.  And it very well may be accompanied by some chocolate.

 “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”  Linda Grayson

What’s the last adventure you said YES to? 

Related:

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Quotes, Thoughts, Women, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vegorama Pizza

 ‘Tis the season again!  The Fall/Holiday potlucks have begun.  🙂

In a quest to eat a bit healthier, I made this dish recently.  For my office-mates.  You know, the team who rarely touch vegetables.

Yep, at our office we have four important food categories:  cheese, bbq sauce, cool whip and chocolate.

If a pot-luck dish doesn’t contain one of those four items (and lots of it), it’s out like a fat kid in dodge-ball.

photo from Allrecipes.com

photo from Allrecipes.com

Make no mistake, this shouldn’t be considered health food.  The base of crescent dough, cream cheese and sour cream is enough to slow a few arteries down.  But the crunchy fresh veggies on top counteract the richness of the base resulting in a creamy/crunchy and tasty appetizer.

Here’s how to make your very own Vegorama Pizza:

You’ll need:

  • 2 – 8 oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened (I used Jalapeno flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill (don’t skip this!)
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 package of dry ranch dressing mix  (I use 1/2)

Toppings

  • 1 green onion, chopped with greens
  • 3-4 radishes, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli (about 1 cup), chopped
  • Shredded cheese

Directions

  1. Remove crescent dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter while you pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Coat a large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Roll out the crescent roll and press it into the pan; you’ll want to “connect-the-dots” as in pieces so you end up with one solid piece of dough.  Pierce the dough with a fork and then let stand for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next, bake for 11 minutes; remove from oven and let cool 20 minutes.
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, dill, garlic and ranch dip mix.
  6. Spread this mixture all over the cooled crust.
  7. Top with onion, carrot, broccoli, radish, bell pepper and broccoli  and then sprinkle shredded cheese across the top.
  8. Cover and let chill about an hour.
  9. Once chilled, cut it into squares and serve.  (I made this the night before a pot-luck and simply cut into squares, layered with waxed paper, covered and served the next day.. Results?  Zip. Bang.  Gone!)

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”  ― Ernest Hemingway.

My little blog recently passed 130,000 beautiful readers.  Thank you for riding along with me!

Categories: Blogging, Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Game day Brownies

image from hersheys.com

It’s GAME DAY and after the cheesy, spicy goodness of dips, pizzas and such, a little sweetness is just what’s wanted.

I give you the one – the only – Heath Bar Brownies.

With a combination of crunchy toffee pieces and rich chocolate,  this sweet little delight offers the perfect ending to any party.

 Here’s what you’ll need to make Heath Bar Brownies:

  • 1 family size box of brownies (the size that makes a 9×13 pan worth). Any variety, I buy store brand because it’s cheaper!
  •  (most brownie mixes usually require you to have have eggs, vegetable oil and water on hand. If you’re out of vegetable oil you can substitute apple sauce. The brownies will be lighter in color and more “cakey” but they’ll still be good.)
  • 1 package of Heath Bar (or Skor) pieces.

 Directions:

  • Prepare the brownies as directed on the package and pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Next, spread the Heath Bar/Skor pieces over the top of the (unbaked) batter and press down lightly.  Cook as directed.  Cool about 1 hour; cut into squares and serve.

These travel great, freeze well but .. we’ve never had any left to freeze.   So unless I make then when no one is around there’s not a chance they’ll see the inside of my freezer.

  Enjoy and Happy Superbowl!

P.S. You don’t have to reserve these to 1 x a year.  Au contraire my friends; I’ve brought Heath Bar Brownies to baby showers, anniversary parties, tailgaters, picnics, funerals and girlfriends in need of a good friend, a good cry and some chocolate to lean on.  

 

Categories: Family, Food, Friendship, Holidays, Home, Life, Personal, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

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peace full home®—intentional living

making your home, your life and your world a place you love

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with people in my path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine, for your light has come...Isaiah 60

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

The View Out Here

A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

these days of mine

Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

Grace and Life

Looking for grace notes in life's journey...

When I Ride...

How life coaches me as I ride...

RICH RIPLEY

EMPLOYEES MUST WASH HANDS...