Monday, December 24, 2007


Baking is not my forte. Casseroles, pastas, soups, and stir fries? Yes! But not baking and not doing sweets. My salty tooth is a whole lot bigger than my sweet one plus, as a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-peasant-skirt kinda gal, I prefer recipes that give me some leeway and don't require a lot of exact measurements. But Christmas and having a family that expects, no DEMANDS, certain traditional foods, I just have to get out of my cooking comfort zone and pull out the sugar, marshmallows, and butter.

To keep things less stressful, I keep what we make narrowed down to just the things that we absolutely MUST have. And in our case this year, that means the MacLellan Family secret recipe fruitcake, orange balls, and chocolate bark candy. We'll be relying on Grandmommy to round out the other family culinary traditional offerings.

We did the orange balls a couple of weeks ago as we had to have them for seasonal parties. I let the older kids, especially the 2 oldest girls, basically do almost all the prep. Of course, that means that the first attempt meant we had orange ball SOUP but a trip to the store to buy more vanilla wafers solved that problem.

We'll probably have to do the fruitcake on Christmas Day or even a day or two afterwards as I've still wrapped all the gifts and this fruitcake recipe is a time intensive one.

Our third Christmas sweet, chocolate bark candy, was done on Saturday. 6 year old LG was my main kitchen assistant though B, D, and P all joined in on the fun. And fun it was! Even for me!!! This is one Christmas goodie that I actually really don't mind at all as its just a stir it up sort of thing and I don't have to do any precise measurements. Must be one of the many reasons I love my engineer hubby so much...the whole "opposites attract" thing really applies in our case.

ANYWAY....I've done various things with chocolate bark in the past such as blueberries or rocky road....but this year's was a peppermint-marshmallow creation. So easy! Just melt the bark and stir in marshmallows and crushed up peppermints. This was the part my kids found so fun. They love the recipes that call or banging on stuff with my wooden mallet. After it was all poured out in a pan, we sprinkled it with more crushed peppermints and voila! Yummy, easy Christmasy chocolate.

I'd offer you some to sample, but between my family and the crowd at yesterday's church lunch, its absolutely all gone.

Must go and get all Christmasied up for my friend Rhonda's Christmas Eve Open House. Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas Eve filled with many sweet moments.

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