Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

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To mention my recent absence, or not to mention??  Truth is, blogging is not a business for me.  Just a fun hobby.  And as just about everyone in the entire world knows, there are seasons when hobbies cannot take a front seat.  Or even a back seat.  Or even a sidecar.

This, for me, has been one of those seasons.  Is she pregnant, AGAIN?!?!?  That will probably be the first question many of you will think to ask :).  The answer is, right now, no.  The Lord has seen it fit to keep me plenty busy with my current role of wife and mother to five.  I am content with that!

My husband’s business has kept our family extremely busy lately, and it seems that any time we have him to ourselves, I just don’t feel like sneaking away to blog.  I just want to enjoy our togetherness.

But, we are still eating.  So, at the very least, I can share with you what we have on the menu for this week!

Gluten-free was a short-lived experiment for us.  We just didn’t see any differences – good or bad.  Still very thankful that we do not need to be gluten-free.  I am still making a conscious effort to limit our wheat, though.  Mostly because I just don’t feel comfortable eating any food several times a day, every day of the week.


Chocolate Banana Smoothies




Granola bars

Honey Nut O’s from Trader Joe’s (my kids thought I deserved Mother of the Year for this one)


Baked Potatoes, steamed broccoli, cheese

Bean Bowls (refried beans with fixin’s), corn chips

Turkey Sandwiches, fresh veggies

Pancakes, sausage, maple icing

Leftovers x 3


Taco Joes (like sloppy joes, but taco-y and eaten with chips), shredded cheese, tomato, sour cream, corn chips

Roasted Potatoes and Sausage, green beans

Chicken Spaghetti, steamed peas, carrot sticks

Tuna, Spinach and Rice, oranges

Beef and Black Bean Stew, fruit

Pizza, fresh veggies

Church Pot Luck – breakfast theme this week . . . Still not sure about this one . . .

So, that’s the plan!  Are you in a busy season right now?  What are you doing to stay sane?

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I realize I mentioned already that some of my favorite holiday traditions involve food, and Chocolate Fondue for New Year’s Eve is no exception.  Forget the party hats and streamers – bring on the bath of warm chocolate!

Actually, I am really surprised that my kids haven’t started talking about it already.  Is it possible that they have forgotten?!

I don’t own a fancy fondue pot, or even an extremely outdated ugly one for that matter, but I do own a crock pot :).  Just combine the ingredients in a small crock pot (I use my 2 quart), and cook on low until everything is combined.  Just remember to stir occasionally.  Depending on the size of your batch, it will probably take 1-2 hours to be ready to devour.  If you don’t own a small crock pot either (or have the patience to wait for one to melt your chocolate), just place a glass mixing bowl over a pan filled with hot water on the stove top.  It acts like a double-boiler and melts the chocolate without scorching.

My Homemade Double Boiler

With many little ones participating in the magic of dipping, you’ll want to serve the chocolate with a ladle into individual bowls.  No need to share more than the fun :).

Chocolate Fondue

(I always double this recipe  – seriously, who wants to run out of chocolate?!)

from the kitchen of Stephanie O’Dea and her cookbook Make It Fast, Cook It Slow

1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semisweet, dark, milk, white – your choice)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Some Dipping Possibilities:

Apple slices, frozen (or fresh) banana slices, Christmas cookies :), pretzel sticks, marshmallows, strawberries, dried pineapple (or other dried fruit), Oreos, Nilla wafers, graham crackers, pound cake . . .

Can’t wait to ring in the New Year!


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This is a hands-down, far and away, off the charts favorite at our house.  I have a bigger problem with this stuff than I do with dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s.  And that is saying a lot.  There is a reason I only make this at Christmas time.

One of the best parts is how stinkin’ easy it is.  I have no clue where this recipe originated, but it certainly wasn’t with me!  The original recipe called for Saltine crackers and brown sugar – but these slightly healthier ingredients work just as well.

Ingredients for Cracker Toffee

Easy Cracker Toffee


2 sticks of butter (ignore the fact that there is only one in the photo :))

1 cup of Sucanat (or brown sugar)

1 sleeve of Social Snackers crackers from Trader Joe’s (or saltines)

1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, or 1 1/2 cups

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1 Super cute baby eating empty butter box (optional)

Optional Ingredient

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Line a 10 x 15 sheet pan with foil, and butter the foil.  (Tip: Use the wrappers from your sticks of butter)

3.  Melt butter and Sucanat in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  It takes a few minutes for the two to come together, so be patient.  I’ve put my pictures in there so you know what you are looking for:

Butter and Sucanat Starting to Melt

Butter and Sucanat Starting to Come Together

Butter and Sucanat Ready to Boil

4.  Once the caramel mixture is boiling, stop stirring and set the timer for 3 minutes.  Let it do its thing while you place 1 sleeve of crackers on the pan and chop the nuts if you are using them.

Boiling for 3 Minutes

Crackers on Buttered Foil

5.  After the 3 minutes is up, stir the caramel and pour it on top of the crackers.  Use an offset spatula (or a butter knife) to spread it around evenly and cover all the crackers.  Put it in the oven and bake for 5 minutes.

Fresh Out of the Oven

Sprinkle on the Chips

7.  Once the chips have melted, use your offset spatula to evenly spread the chocolate over the toffee.  Sprinkle on the chopped nuts, if you are using them, and gently press them into the chocolate.

8.  Place the pan in the refrigerator to harden.


9.  Once the chocolate has hardened (this will take several hours), break the toffee into pieces.  Try not to eat it all as you go.

I guarantee you will love this, and so will everyone you share it with – enjoy!

This recipe is shared with:

Sweet Tooth Friday with Alli-n-son

I’m Lovin’ It with Tidy Mom

Foodie Friday with Designs by Gollum

Sweets For a Saturday with Sweet As Sugar Cookies

Meatless Mondays with My Sweet and Savory

12 Days of Christmas Goodies with Mom’s Crazy Cooking

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