Sunday, December 4, 2011

Everything Homemade…

We accomplished two big tasks this weekend…..putting up the church’s Christmas tree and getting our family picture taken!  It’s been awhile since we’ve had a picture taken of the entire family.  My little Cailyn is usually escaping the picture or facing the wrong direction, but today I couldn’t have been more pleased with how well she behaved and I can’t wait to see the final product.  Maybe I’ll actually send out Christmas cards this year…just maybe!!

DSCN2077 I snapped this quick pic just before we walked out the door!  My precious babies!

DSCN2041It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas at church!

Speaking of feeling like Christmas,  I think I may have found a new replacement for dear ol’ pumpkin.  Well, at least for December anyway, I’ve fallen in love with “peppermint and chocolate.”  They are equally delicious in my book, but get them together and you have something more than delicious.  My pantry is now well stocked with peppermint extract and dark chocolate infused with peppermint oil.  Oh the fun I’m going to have in the kitchen!

First up…

DSCN2069 Chocolate Peppermint “Luna” Bars

(Inspired by Katie @ Chocolate Covered Katie)


1 1/2 cups Erewhon brown rice cereal

1 1/2 cups Erewhon cocoa brown rice cereal

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup + 2Tbsp almond butter

1/2 cup agave

2 Tbsp protein powder

melted chocolate (I used a dark chocolate-peppermint bar – you can use regular chocolate chips)


In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the cereals and protein powder.

In a medium saucepan, mix the almond butter, extract, and salt. Melt over low heat, then pour over the cereal and powder.  Stir very well, making sure to coat all of the cereal.

Line an 8x8 inch pan with wax paper and spread the cereal mixture evenly into the pan.  Place another sheet of wax paper on top of the mixture, then press down firmly.

Spread the melted chocolate on top and freeze for at least a half an hour before slicing.

 DSCN2070 Oh.My.Goodness.  These are out of this world good!

As part of our “countdown to Christmas” we’ve been working on a family project each week.  Since the nights have been getting chilly lately,  we decided this week’s project should include making and delivering hot cocoa mix to our neighbors.  Each jar was well received and it was a great opportunity to teach our little princesses about the importance of giving and loving our neighbors!

DSCN2088 Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Yields 2 cups (about 8 servings)


2 cups organic cane sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla powder

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup powdered milk

pinch of salt


In a small mixing bowl, mix together the sugar and vanilla powder.  Transfer 1/2 cup of the vanilla sugar to a large bowl (save the remaining sugar for another use or to make another batch of cocoa).  Add powdered milk, cocoa and salt to the bowl with the sugar and mix well. 

You can store the cocoa mixture in an airtight container or put in small mason jars for gift giving.

Making the hot cocoa:

Put 1/4 cup of the mix and 1 cup of boiling water into a mug and stir well.

**For a burst of flavor, try steeping a bag of peppermint or almond tea in the mug along with the hot cocoa.

DSCN2082 I apologize for the bad photos, but I forgot to take pictures after we finished making the jars and ended up taking them in the evening.  Night photos don’t work well for food pics!

Stay tuned for more “chocolate-peppermint” recipes!  Here’s a sneak peak…

DSCN2046May you have a blessed week!



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