Christmas Treats

I’m too scared to step onto the scale, but if I were estimating, I’d guess I’ve gained 5 pounds this month. Of course, since I’m pregnant, I can chalk it up to my growing baby and not the countless pounds of fudge, peanut butter balls, chocolate chip cookies, cocoa and cheese I’ve eaten this month. What are your favorite holiday treats? Here are a few of mine: Grandma’s Peanut Butter Balls 1/2 cup butter 1 cup peanut butter 3-4 cups powdered sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1 bag high-quality milk chocolate chips red or green sparkling sugar Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar until mixture gets thick. Roll mixture into balls and set aside on a piece of wax paper. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler until smooth. Carefully dip peanut butter balls into the chocolate then sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Caramel Cocoa 1 cup milk 1 cup half-and-half 7 oz. caramel-filled chocolate squares (I used Ghirardelli) 1 cup whipping cream 2 tbsp caramel ice cream cocoa warm milk and half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Slowly add chocolate squares (broken into small pieces) and whisk until mixture us smooth. Meanwhile, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add caramel sauce. Top cocoa with caramel whip cream and...

Advent

Our small group at church has a tradition to join together every Sunday in December to celebrate Advent. It’s a wonderful time of fellowship and fun– one that has gotten more meaningful over the years as we’ve added more children to the mix. We keep it pretty simple– especially since we have seven kids under 5 in our group. We get together at 5 pm for a simple dinner (usually soup or something similar from the crock pot). Later, we light the advent wreath, sing songs (fortunately one of our member is a stellar guitar player) and read a few short verses from the bible. It’s short and sweet, but the kids (and adults!) love it and I love that this tradition brings meaning and gives our kids a weekly framework for the true meaning of the season. If you’re interested in doing Advent– with your family or with a group– there are hundreds of resources online to get you started. Click here to find the one that our group uses or google “Advent guide” to find one of your own. Question for you: Do you celebrate Advent?...
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