Friday, December 9, 2011

14 More Days!!!

Only 14 more days until CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!  Can you believe it?  I sure can't!  
A few mornings ago, it was so nice to get up early and decorate our perfectly shaped Christmas tree with Dad before he left for work.  We were all so cozy and warm while we each took turns trying to fix the burned out lights in the long strand and then put our boxful of ornaments on the tree.  
I made almost a 1/2 gallon of hot cocoa mix, but it turned out to be absolutely awful!  I think that some of the ingredients that I used were 10 years old or something. . . I know, about time to go to the store, huh?  For our family night, we watched 'The Polar Express'!!!  One of our most favorite animated Christmas movies :)
{Picture from google}
Favorite quote: "I didn't do it! *Scratch* I didn't do it!  *Scratch* I didn't do it . . ."  
(If you've watched the movie, you'll know which part I'm talking about.)
I think that it would have been sooo neat to have watched The Polar Express in theaters 3D!  
Another of my favorite recipes is the homemade Reeses peanut butter candy.  
I guess you could say that I sort of made up the recipe :)

~Homemade Reese's Cups without the "cup"~
*1 ½ cups chocolate chips (dark chocolate tastes really good)
*2 tablespoons shortening (Butter works as well)
*½ (1 stick) cup butter
*½ cup peanut butter
*1 cup confectioner’s sugar
*2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (I completely ground them into powderJ)
*Sheets of wax paper
*A plastic bag
How to make them:
1) In a saucepan, combine chocolate chips and shortening (or butter)
2) Cook over low heat, stirring until melted and smooth (about 2-3 minutes)
3) Set aside until you are ready to use it
4) In a medium sized sauce pan, combine butter and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring until melted. (about 2 minutes)
5) Stir in confectioner’s sugar and graham cracker crumbs.
6) Let it cool for about 2-4 minutes, then spoon out a teaspoon’s worth (or however much peanut butter filling you want) onto the wax paper in little balls until the whole “concoction” is in little balls on to the wax paper.
{Picture from google}
7) Put the chocolate that you melted, into a plastic bag. Set the bag into a small straight sided bowl or large glass and roll the sides of the bag over the sides of the container to make filling easier. The container will support the bag while spooning the chocolate into it. Only fill the bag about 1/3 to 1/2 ways full and then use a twist tie to seal the bag closed tightly.
Use clean scissors to cut a small corner (about 1/8 inch) off the lower corner of the bag. Make a small cut first and try it out. It is always possible make the cut slightly larger if needed but it is very easy to make the hole too large. Just squeeze the bag to get the chocolate to flow out.
 {Picture from google}

8) Squeeze the chocolate onto the peanut butter balls. I made swirls and different designs on mine ;-)
9) Put the finished balls into the freezer for about an hour, and then…..Voil`a! You have Reece’s cup-like candies….with a homemade twist!

{Picture from google}

Psssssstttt . . . (I wouldn't go exactly by this picture, I would try to make it to where you completely cover the peanut butter ball with the chocolate.  Just a friendly suggestion :)
As you can probably tell, Christmas is a BIG thing for our family, and we try to make as much of the season as we can.  Another one of our favorite traditions is to go to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville NC to look at all of the gingerbread houses.  We still haven't done that yet, but it is sure to come up soon, and when it does, I'm sure there will be lots of pictures.  
I mean, who doesn't love the 'beautifulness' of gingerbread houses in the winter time????

Well goodnight, and sweet dreams to all of my friends in the Eastern Standard Time Zone ;)
Love, Hannah
--Remember who is the true reason for this wonderful season!!!

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