Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Easy peppermint bark recipe! And half-eaten Trader Joes haul.

Peppermint bark is my favorite sweet treat to partake of during Christmas time...and home made is the best. It's also a great gift that is just about universally appreciated, if you're looking to avoid spending a ton of money. Here is a pic of the batch I made....
I referenced a recipe I found originally on Pinterest, but made a few changes to make it a bit more minimal effort than it was already....and it turned out excellent.

Ingredients:
  • 12 oz Bakers White Bar Chocolate
  • 6 oz Bakers Semi Sweet Bar Chocolate
  • crushed peppermint candy or candy canes
  • coconut oil
Steps:
  1. Lay parchment paper flat on bottom and sides of a square dish (8x8 or 9x9)
  2. Melt half of the white chocolate with a small spoonful of coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second intervals until it stirs nicely.
  3. Pour onto a sheet into the dish lined with parchment paper. Stick in the freezer for 15 minutes to harden.
  4. Melt the semi sweet chocolate (all 6 oz) the same way, with a small spoonful of coconut oil. Stir it up. 
  5. Pour it on top of white chocolate sheet, spread it out evenly. Stick back in freezer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Do the same process for the last bit of white chocolate, but this time, after pouring the top layer, sprinkle LOTS of crushed peppermint candy. It's up to your taste, ultimately.
  7. Freeze the entire thing for another 15 minutes or so. Then break it into peices, or cut into squares. If you want to cut it, you'll need to let it soften a bit at room temperature.
  8. Store it in the fridge if you can...but it should be okay at room temp for a few days (you just don't want it to get too soft).

Also....I went to Trader Joes recently for a small little round of specialty items. I remain fascinated by Trader Joes. It's pricey, so I don't do regular grocery shopping there. However, it's great to go for snack foods, coffee/tea/wine/cheese, and other random things like personal care products.

Sorry, but some of these items were already partially consumed of at the time of photograph....
 1. Harvest bagels with cranberries and seeds. The best part about these is that you don't need a schmear to make them exciting. They can stand alone, which is my favorite kind of bagel.
2. Cold pressed green juice (half-drunken). Probably the best green juice I've had, honestly. But, I am still not a huge fan of it....I will continue to attempt to force myself onto this trend.
3. Chocolate peanut butter granola bars. I'll probably take these to work and keep them in a desk drawer.
4. Matcha green tea latte. Matcha green tea is one of my favorites, and apparently this has a bit of a latte effect contained within....looking forward to trying it.
5. String cheese. My kids had a couple of these prior to my photographing it. They approve.
6. Lemon poppy seed muffins. YUM. Trader Joes kills it in the bakery. In a good way.
7. French bar soap - Oatmeal/ginger/almond exfoliant. I got this one because it was the cheapest bar soap they had, and I'm almost out of mine in the shower. It smells calming.

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