Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Day 9-a smorgasbord of Christmas activity

It is a soaking wet day here in Memphis! Last night the local weather man reported a 100% chance of rain, and now I can see the reason for his confidence. But even though it's terribly wet, we're trying not to let it dampen the fun. At the moment the power is out and the girls are sleeping, giving me the perfect time to give you a quick taste of what we've got cooking over here.

I braved the rain this morning for a trip to Target, and a quick stop at the dollar spot did not disappoint. Several days ago I mentioned an organization called Make a Child Smile that focused on having people send cards to sick children, and I found something perfect for just such an activity!

This little pack came with two cards, a sheet of Christmas stickers, several stick on decorations and some ribbon. It is exactly what I was looking for to write another card to a little girl that one of the readers let me know about. I don't know if all dollar spots carry similar items, but if you're looking for something like this, you can't beat it for price and Christmas cuteness.

While I was out, a friend and I began preparations for a party that we're planning to have for the Tennessee Baptist Children's home on Monday. It's something that I'm super excited about. This particular organization is just a few minutes from my house, but I have not known anything about it until we called to see if there was anything we could do to help out this Christmas. They suggested we throw a party for one of the cottages, so we checked to see if there was any interest among our friends and church groups with helping out, and we were thrilled with the overwhelming feedback we got back. This Sunday I told my class at church the needs for the party, and I was blown over by the generosity of people who wrote a check, offered to bake, or volunteered to come to the party and help out. It has been so wonderful to see how so many people have come together for this to help make it something really special. I am praying it will be! Anyway, more to come as the party gets closer, but suffice it to say, Target is a one-stop shop for party planning needs, so we took care of quite a bit of business today!

And finally, let me dedicate a little space to Christmas baking. I am no Emeril, but I do love to make some homemade Christmas candy. Yesterday my mom, mother-in-law, sister, Marianna, and I went at with full force. It didn't dawn on me until we were almost done that we were a little top heavy on the peanut butter items, but for peanut butter fans, I guess there's no such thing as too much. Here is a run down of what we made; Chocolate covered peanut butter balls, peanut butter blossoms, reindeer pretzel candies (mom thought they looked more Darth Vaderish than reindeer-esque), chocolate bark candy, peanut butter fudge, and chocolate crackles.

Yes, it is very possible we bit off more than we could (should have) chewed, but five hours later, I headed home loaded with goodies. Of everything we made, I've got to give one very high recommendation for the chocolate bark. In fact, I dare you to give me a recipe easier than this. You take one bag of chocolate morsels (milk, white, dark, semi-sweet, you name it!), and melt it in the microwave with two teaspoons of oil. Let it cool for five minutes and then add your favorite additive. For us, we added pretzels to the milk chocolate and mini m&ms to the white chocolate. Pour onto wax paper and cool in the fridge. Break up into "bark" chips and you're done! Those are the kind of Christmas candy recipes I'm talking about, and if you have any similar, please share. Also, I'm looking for something with coconut, so pass along ideas if you have them!

And this brings me back to the very wet day. I have mounds and mounds of candy sitting in my house, and today we were hoping to go and see some neighbors and give it away. I'm pretty much the pits when it comes to neighborly hospitality, so I thought this was finally going to give me a chance to get out there and visit with the wonderful people we live next to. But, Marianna and I did live on the wild side for a few seconds to dash out and bring a plate of goodies and a few verse books to the poor trash guys who have been out in this mess all day. I guess they probably needed it more than anyone, so it all worked out for the best.


cookfam said...

pine Bark: Preheat oven to 400
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil
Use 1 sleeve of Saltines Crackers and spread over the foil
2 sticks butter
1 c. light brown sugar
boil 3 min, stir w/ spatula Pour mixture over Saltines Bake 7 min
Sprinkle w/ Choc. Chips & allow to melt (can put in oven) Cool Break apart Hope you like it! :) Carmen Cook, GA

The O'Herns said...

I just wanted to let you know how you've inspied me with your Take Christmas Back!! Tonight, our family made Christmas cards and Christmas ornaments for the 3 featured children on Make A Child Smile!! Keep Christ in Christmas!! Love, Amy

Laurie in Ca. said...

These all look so yummy and I am definitely going to have to try the Bark!! We love our chocolate at this house. I just love seeing Marianna's little hands in the pictures. I love hands and feet the best. They are yummy to this grandma:) Love you and yours Angie, you know I do! And I just love your heart.


Anonymous said...

I would love to see the baby in some of these pictures!!! I know she is little, but her little handprint on these projects would be oh so sweet. I just feel like so many of the posts are about Marianna, and very few of them discuss Arienne, and she is just as much of your daughter as Marianna is. I know she is young- but these little babies impact all of our lives. My life included.

I love your idea of Taking Christmas Back- and have been following your blog since before Poppy's diagnosis, and I keep waiting to learn more and more about Adrienne. Just an observation.

Anonymous said...

I love chocolate bark candies! My favorite is peppermint bark - just melt the chocolate, mix in some crushed peppermint, and pour onto a cookie sheet to cool. That's it!

The Knick's said...

Hi!! I love oreo bark. Get the oreos that are green or red. Melt the bark (white chocolate), crush up oreos in it, and let it cool. Yum!!! Perfect colors for the holidays. Thanks for your recipies.

Jocelyn said...

I have been "stalking" your blog for quite awhile. I just wanted to let you know that I am SO thankful for Take Christmas Back. I work at an adult Partial Hospitalization Program in Texas where we work with mentally ill and chemically dependent adults. We have individuals dealing with depression to schizophrenia, dementia to brain injury. I visited the Make a Child Smile website after reading this post and thought this would be a perfect idea for our clients- to get them outside theirselves and give back this Christmas. We had enough clients and staff that every single child was "adopted" from the current kids. And it was SUCH an amazing project for our clients. The love and support and creativity that came out of each and every client blew all of us therapists away!! Sometimes our clients get so wrapped up in theirselves and cannot see the big picture of life and this was the perfect project for them. THANK YOU for getting word out about this amazing organization. For those who have little money (and little resources to give their time)- this is a perfect way to give and reach out. Thank you for "Take Back Christmas".. thank you for your sweet spirit.

Susan said...

Easy recipe with coconut...I got this at a cookie swap and they were delicious. I haven't made it yet, but the lady who brought them said it was super easy. I have bought the ingredients to try it.

Dirty Snowflakes
1 regular bag of coconut
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring
1 bag of chocolate chips

Mix first three ingredients and then stir in chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 9 to 11 minutes, browning the edges and top just a bit.