Tag Archives: christmas

Salted Coconut Almond Chocolate Bark

Every year during the holidays I always whip up a batch of homemade peppermint bark and bring it to our family Christmas Eve dinner.  While I still intend on making another batch of peppermint bark, I wanted to try something different.  Enter Salted Coconut Almond Chocolate Bark.

Salted Coconut Almond Chocolate Bark CloseInspiration first struck when I was browsing the aisles at Trader Joe’s and stumbled upon their roasted coconut chips.  I knew I wanted to do something with the coconut chips but I wasn’t sure what yet.

When I got home I found a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and some roasted almonds and salted coconut almond chocolate bark was born.  One of my all-time favorite chocolate bars is Theo’s Salted Almond, so I knew I wanted to recreate something similar.  The sea salt and chocolate combo is a game changer for sure.  Just trust me.

This is the perfect holiday treat to make for friends, co-workers, or even just for yourself.  It’s that good.

Salted Coconut Almond Chocolate BarkSalted Coconut Almond Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 bag Trader Joe’s toasted coconut

1/2 cup almonds

Sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Melt your chocolate chips either over the stove in a saucepan or in the microwave.

Melted Chocolate ChipsGently pour your melted chocolate mixture into a large bowl and add your coconut and almonds,   Mix until well blended.

Salted Coconut Almond Chocolate BarkPour your mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread evenly.  The mixture should fill most of the parchment paper.

Lightly sprinkle your bark with sea salt and place in the fridge to harden.  It should harden within 1-2 hours.

Salted Chocolate Bark CloseupBreak your bark into small pieces and enjoy!  This stores well in the freezer and makes a great mid-week treat.

How to Make a Beer Advent Calendar

Every year people flock to the store to pick up their annual advent calendar that is usually decorated in a cute holiday theme and filled with sub-par chocolates.  Instead of spending money on another cardboard calendar this year I decided to take it up a notch and learn how to make a beer advent calendar for the Englishman.  Not only is this calendar easy to make, it is also the perfect gift for the beer aficionado in your life.

Beer Advent Calendar Close UpThe important thing when making a beer advent calendar is to know your audience.  Do you want to make one with a bunch of cans of beer? (please say no), or how about a winter beer theme?  Or maybe a bunch of specialty beers from Belgium?  For the Englishman’s calendar I decided to go with a variety of different beers from around the world that I know the Englishman would love.

Once you have decided on your beers it’s time to go shopping.  For OC locals, I highly recommend Hi-Time Wine Cellars for all of your beer needs, but BevMo also has a decent selection as well.  Be sure to purchase 24 beers to ensure your calendar lasts the whole season!

Beer Advent Calendar BoxThe next step is procuring a box to house all your beers.  Some of the websites I looked at used cut up tubes for each beer, but since I was going with all bottles of different shapes and sizes, I needed a box.  Lucky for me the kind folks at Hi-Time had an extra box with 24 slots in it that was just waiting to be filled.

Beer Advent Calendar BoxFill your box with the beer and label them 1, 2, 3 and so on.  Then wrap your box and mark your wrapping paper with the number that corresponds with each beer bottle.  I wrapped the box and then cut out individual squares to cover each beer slot.

Now your calendar is ready to go!  Each morning open the number slot that corresponds with that day and enjoy your beer.  Since we have just started our beer advent calendar I won’t post all the beers, but here are some of the beers the Englishman has opened so far.  Once he has opened all the beers I’ll do a follow-up post with the big reveal.

Beer Advent Calendar PipPip wanted the beer for himself.  Too bad he’s too young to drink.

And that’s how to make a beer advent calendar!  Now maybe I need to make a wine one..

 

Two Days before Christmas

‘Twas two days before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even the cat on the couch.

Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 1.48.07 PMEveryone was nestled all cozy in bed, with visions of delicious peppermint bark dancing in their head(s).

Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 3.07.46 PMMe in my scarf and the Englishman in his hat, decided to head out for one final Christmas grocery lap.

While heading to the store the crowds began to gather, we knew we had to pop in to Starbucks to see see what was the matter.  And what should my wondering eyes should appear, but a red cup filled with Christmas joy and cheer.

Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 1.47.02 PMWhen we returned home it was time to call them by name: On chocolate, on vanilla on peppermint and parchment.  Now white chocolate, now candy cane, now water to boil and peppermint oil.  As I began to gather my ingredients and melt them by hand, the Englishman was making bread, oh what a great man!

He was covered in flour, from his head to his toes, and produced a batch of Christmas bread, warm cinnamon wafting in my nose.  It was time for me to finish creating my Christmas treat, so I too would have something to contribute to our feast!

With a twinkle in his eye and a twist of his head, he looked on enthusiastically as I continued with my holiday spread.  The chocolate chilled and ready to go, just add some crushed candy cane on top of it like snow.

We packaged our goods up and covered them in holiday wrapping, placed under the tree, where the cat was napping.  With a sigh and a smile, we exclaimed in delight – Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Screen Shot 2012-12-23 at 3.17.02 PM