This weekend was filled with homemade goodness, traditions and a couple little surprises and play in between. Yes, this weekend was right up my alley. It started with D receiving a surprise Christmas gift from a lady who works at our neighborhood coffee shop. A little finger puppet penguin that was D’s constant companion this entire weekend. It made my heart swell to see her appreciate the small gesture so much. And to Terry at Starbucks…building loyalty through the children…well played!
Saturday night was our traditional Christmas lights tour through our community, topped off with some delicious homemade hot chocolate:
HOT COCOA MIX (courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)
1 cup sugar
6 oz unsweetened chocolate bar, chopped fine
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
5 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp kosher salt
Process all ingredients in food processor until ground to powder, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer to airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 months. For one serving of hot chocolate, heat 1 cup of whole, 2% or 1% low-fat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts to steam and bubbles appear around the edge. Add 1/4 cup of hot chocolate mix and continue to heat, whisking constantly, until simmering, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Pour hot chocolate into a mug and serve. We prefer a little more milk so it’s not as rich, and, of course, we add mini marshmallows.
On Sunday morning, we walked to our neighborhood park to play on the swings and kick the ball around on the field. D has pretty good aim and foot work so we’re hopeful she will want to try soccer one of these days. If nothing else, it could help her focus her competitive nature.
Sunday afternoon was spent making goodies for work and handmade cards for teachers. I love our time in the kitchen!
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place pretzels in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Place one Rolo candy on top of each pretzel and bake in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until Rolos are soft but not melted. Immediately press one pecan half down on the Rolo and pretzel and let cool completely. Simple, sweet and salty!
To top off our weekend, we walked to our own neighborhood Candy Cane Lane to check out the spectacle of lights on foot, and D received a couple sparklers from the neighbors to add to the festivities. A great weekend, indeed!