Sweet Holiday Treats
This time of year, I love making Candy Cane Popcorn. I found this recipe a couple of years ago and I could have sworn I put something up here about it, but I haven’t been able to find it, so…
If you google it, you’ll find a ton of recipes. But this is one that I like, with a few differences.
CANDY CANE POPCORN <– that’s from All Recipes. They have you keep the popcorn in a bowl after you’ve mixed the white chocolate and the peppermint in.
I like spreading it out on a cookie sheet…and I confess I add a little smattering of sea salt to it. Oh, and I cook it on the stove in oil…no air popper at my house, so there you go. And you know what? It’s still JUST as tasty.
Decadent Hot Chocolate
Another thing I love this time of year is Decadent Hot Chocolate. I HAVE written about that here before, but I truly believe it’s a concoction worth sharing. So here’s that other post.
I had the best hot chocolate ever in February 2005. Hubby and I were in Paris for our anniversary, and we stumbled on this patisserie on the Isle de St. Louis on a chilly morning.
The scent of chocolate permeated the air. We didn’t even think of resisting its call. So, as we sipped our chocolate (to DIE for), hubby prowled around and found the recipe, hand-written, on a card by some chocolates. So he copied it.
One memorable morning, when Paris was a distant memory, he made me this Decadent Hot Chocolate, and I was pleased to remember, yet again, what a lucky girl I was to have married him.
The recipe is below…but be careful. You can tie people to your side with this hot chocolate. On no account (if you’re single) should you give out the recipe…
1 cup high quality 60% cacao chocolate (I use Ghiradelli – but regular choc chips are fine) 4 cups milk, 3 Tlb powdered baking cocoa (Again, I use Ghirardelli), 3 Tlb white sugar, 1 cup heavy whipping cream.
Put chocolate in a pan, and add just enough milk from your 4 cups to float the chips a bit. Heat until chocolate is melted through, stirring the entire time. Once melted, add the rest of the milk a little at a time, keeping the heat on medium (don’t boil!). Then add the powdered cocoa, one Tlb at a time, whisking it in. Do the same with the white sugar. Once that is incorporated, slowly add the 1 cup heavy whipping cream, stirring the entire time. Continue to stir until the chocolate is hot again. Then drink and be glad you are human!
IF you wish, in the spirit of the movie Chocolat, you may add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to spice things up.
Now you know!
When I realized what day it was, everything in me kind of jerked to a stop. Six years ago, I had surgery for an Acoustic Neuroma. 11 hours under anesthesia.
Two days after surgery.
You can read more about it in this post here. That’s the one year anniversary post.
Here’s the 3 Year Anniversary post.
To everyone who’s ever gone through something that had such a lasting effect on you, I understand.
Me? I am so very grateful to still be here. Sending love and hugs to you all.
Need a pick-me-up? Try Christmas Star, only .99! One reader called it “A sweet as hot chocolate, modern day fairy tale…”
Me at 50
I did the girl thing this morning, spritzing and moisturizing my face. As I did so, I remembered the dry and flaky skin on my mother’s face. Toward the end of her life, she was wheelchair bound by MS and didn’t get the skin regimen she used to give herself.
So, I remembered, and moisturized. And as I did, I looked at my face of 55, soon to be 56. I have bags under my eyes that have been there since birth; I have laugh lines around my eyes, also there since birth I believe, only now they show when I am not laughing. The rest of my face is smooth; maybe a forehead wrinkle or two, but nothing earth shattering. A bit of the jowl thing going, because of the weight gain, but still there’s nothing that breaks the illusion I hold that I am still in my forties, ha.
I wore makeup in my twenties; powder, eyeshadow, thick mascara. In my thirties and early forties, I went back and forth between full liquid foundation, powder and eye makeup, and just doing the eyes. When I turned fifty, it was as though I dropped the mask of makeup entirely, and was fine with it.
And to my surprise, no one cared.
March 2011, RT – 3 months after brain surgery, with Donna O’Brien – 51
I would like to figure out how to put makeup on this face; it’s not the same face as it was 30 years ago. If I treat it as theater makeup, I think it will be easier. That, after all, was the first makeup I’d learned to apply.
As I went about the rest of my early-morning, pre-breakfast, pre-work routine, the thoughts on aging and face/body image rumbled around my head. My body is definitely not the ballerina body I had; it has borne two children, run a marathon, and had two major surgeries plus a couple broken bones since then.
There is so much out there about women and body awareness/fat shaming/ageism. I find when I really think about it, that in this body of mine that is carrying probably 30 pounds more than I would like, I am more sexual and sensual, more loving, and happier than I have ever been, including back when I was 55 pounds lighter than I am now and dancing every day.
Almost as if with age (and the weight gain), my fear has lessened and my empathy has grown. My heart has grown, and I am more connected to people than I have ever been.
Over all, I have to say that this year of being 55 has been one of the best years of my life so far, in so many ways.
But maybe it’s time to wear mascara again.