Friday, December 31, 2010

{Recipe} Homemade Andes Mints

When I saw Ashlee's instructions for making  homemade Andes mints, I thought it would make a great holiday treat to make and give out.  I have been on a chocolate mint kick lately, seen here and here.
We only needed a few ingredients. I couldn't find high quality candy melts so I just used Wilton's brand that I found at my local Michael's.  I used two bags of dark chocolate and one bag of the green (vanilla). 

I had to find peppermint oil, not extract.  The flavoring has to be oil based so it mixes with the chocolate  candy melts.  I also bought some almond oil and luckily I had an unused dropper on hand for measuring it out.  A jelly roll pan and wax paper are all you need.

Start by melting each layer of candy melts in their own oven safe bowl.  Turn the oven to warm and leave them in there for 20 minutes.  Take out the first layer and turn off the oven, leaving the other layers in the oven to keep warm. This is a great way to melt chocolate!
This was a neat trick!  Use a little melted chocolate in each corner to hold the wax paper in place.

Add your flavoring now. We added about 7 drops of peppermint oil to the first layer and stir it in.

Quickly spread the melted chocolate over the wax paper in the pan.

Bang the pan around the smooth out the chocolate.

When the chocolate turns from shiny to matte, it's time for the next layer.

We repeated the steps with the green layer. 

See how the brown is mixing in with the green, it wasn't quite ready for the next layer. This was our first attempt. It really didn't make much difference in the finished product.

With the last layer we added some almond oil.

Stopping for a taste test!

No green peaking through!

Letting it set up until it turns matte is important before you cut into squares.
The moment of truth when we started cutting it with a sharp knife. We could see the layers!! 

Cut into squares and store in an air tight container.
Makes a lot and we think it tastes better than real Andes mints!
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Photo Inspiration Board

One of my photography class assigments was to create a photo inspiration board.  I used Flickr to gather some of my favorite photographs. To create the mosaic I used  If you've never tried it, it's fun!!  These are the kind of photographs I want to take.

Sources listed below.

Pretty amazing, right?

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

{Recipe} Chocolate Peppermint Trifle

This was our Christmas dinner dessert. I looked at a few recipes and then crafted one of my own.  The chocolate peppermint craze continues!
Here are the ingredients I used.
First I made a double batch of Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownies and added a few drops of peppermint oil to the batter before baking.  Cool, cut and set aside (try not to eat them all).  You can do this a few days before assembling the trifle.
On Christmas eve we put the trifle together. First I whipped up some White Chocolate Mousse.

I used Dr. Oetker brand and made a double batch of it.

Added in some mini white chocolate chips for a little texture.  Put in the fridge to set.

When you're ready to assemble get all of your ingredients together.

The silver bowl contains freshly whipped cream.
Start by crumbling some brownies in the bowl

Add a layer of mousse.

Then some crushed peppermints (candy canes) and some mini semi sweet and white chocolate chips.

Followed by a layer of whipped cream.

Repeat the layers.

Sprinkle more crushed peppermints on top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the trifle bowl up on its pedestal. 
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

1. Family

Christmas morning pj shot on the steps.

2. Motion Blur

Festival of the Lion King (in Disney last month)

3. Pretty Package

Teacher gifts this year.

4. Glow

It was so hard to pick a glow shot but my white tree won out.

5. Sparkle

Simple and sparkly

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Our Christmas 2010

The breakfast table set by my (younger) daughter

Using the Christmas china and Good Will chargers.

the tree on Christmas morning

Now where to begin?

cozy jammies!

some of the messy aftermath...

Christmas dinner table for the adults

The centerpiece I put together using my (older) daughter's hand made angel, a crystal wreath wrapped in battery operated lights, some fresh greens, ornaments and flame less tea lights.

Hope you're still enjoying all of the festivities!

We still have presents to distribute and friend and family to visit with!

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend!

We're getting snow today!

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