We are merely days away from Christmas and the energy level around my house is beginning to peak! Recently, I attended my children’s Holiday Concert at school and it was marvelous! There is something so sweet and precious when seeing children perform. I left the concert really feeling the Spirit of Christmas. Something happens to us around Christmas. Even with the hustle and bustle of the season, there is a spirit of love, joy and peace in the air. I recognize that we all have our moments of impatience and even frustration as we maneuver the grocery aisles, shopping malls and parking lots. For some, there is sadness from missing loved ones who live far away or those who have passed away. When we peel back all of the layers of the season though, we find love.
We celebrate this day because of the love that reached down from Heaven so many years ago. It is because of love that we plan celebrations that have us gathering around a table. It is because of love we shop for special gifts to give. It is because of love that we share willingly of our time and resources to those who are financially or emotionally struggling. We are all on this little journey of life together and at Christmastime especially, there is a beautiful sense of community and caring in the air.
It has been an absolute honour to be able to share with you through my writing. I look forward to our little chats! I usually have a cup of tea while I’m writing and imagine myself having a conversation with a friend. It is with this in mind that I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
As a little gift, I wanted to share with you a recipe for one of my family’s most favourite holiday treats. It is simple and really easy to put together. Since it is only made with two ingredients, it can be made up in a jiffy too. Boxed Christmas chocolates are filled with all kinds of artificial flavours, hydrogenated oils and tonnes of sugar. We like to keep it simple and skip all those extra ingredients that just aren’t necessary to have in a tasty treat.
This article first appeared in the Elmira Independent on Friday, December 19, 2014
Chocolate Nut Bark
- 1 cup dark or milk chocolate wafers
- 2 cups almonds or pecans
- Cover a cookie tray with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate on medium-low heat. You can use a double boiler, however I've found a regular small sauce pan works really well as long as I watch it closely. Once the chocolate has completely melted, add in the nuts and mix well. Pour the mixture on to the parchment paper and spread evenly. It will look like a bit of a blob shape and won't fill the whole tray. Pop it in the freezer for an hour or so. Once the nut bark has hardened, break into bite size pieces. Share & enjoy!
- Optional: This makes the bark even better, but isn't a deal breaker for the final product.Set the oven to 250°F. Dry roast the nuts on a cookie sheet for about 20-30 minutes being careful not to burn. Stir gently every 10 minutes. A perfect way to know if they are done is to sample a few along the way. Almonds typically take longer than pecans to dry roast. This will give your bark an added crunch.