Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kids' trees and holiday baking

So maybe I am the only mom in America who doesn't let their child decorate their Christmas tree. I have a strict, no kids' ornaments rule on our main family tree. I know to most that must sound really harsh. But when the hubs and I first got married, like most newlyweds, we had a whole lotta nada. I vowed that no matter what, someday, I would have the tree that I envisioned in my mind. So every year, I would buy a handful of ornaments that spoke to me that year...all red and/or gold.

For the last two years, my tree has been just like I envisioned. I haven't bought any new ornaments and I (or the children) haven't broken any either. I pretty much told the kids if they broke any of Mommy's ornaments I would throw away all their presents. It worked, but they might be pyschologically scarred...

Anyway, this year, the boys have collected a good amount of homemade ornaments, which I cherish by the way. They are finally old enough to decorate and maintain their own small trees. We had some cute patio trees that I purchased about 3 years ago when we moved into this house. They were gorgeous on our patio, but because of the slope and the wind, would never stay standing.

This year, they became Caleb and Jansen's trees. Each child pulled out all their handmade ornaments, and got to purchase one package of new ornaments of their choice. Surprise...they chose Monster Jam. :) They each took a tree into their rooms and started decorating however they saw fit. Caleb was excited that he got to have a tree just "so", just like Mommy's.

So here is Caleb's finished product...

Jansen's finished tree....(with all the ornaments in one big glob)

And as well, today I started some holiday baking. On the agenda was chocolate peanut butter fudge and white chocolate and brownie cookies....

Here are all the ingredients you need for this super easy, fool-proof, delish fudge.
Here is what it looks like in the fridge...
And here are the cookies...
Both of these are for my cousin, because she so awesomely and generously cleaned my house for me the other day. I just can't sweep, mop, and clean the bathrooms yet. What a blessing!!

In case you would like to make this is the recipe I use:

3 Minute Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

1 1/2 cups chocolate morsels

1/2 cup sweetened, condensed milk

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 tablespoon water

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on full power for 30 seconds, then remove and stir. Heat again for another 30 seconds, then stir again. Mixture should be smooth by this point, but you may need to microwave it 1-2 more times in 30 second increments depending on your microwave. You can also melt this mixture over a double boiler if you do not want to use a microwave.

When mixture is smooth, pour batter into a baking dish and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes or more. When ready to serve, cut into squares

Dear Lord, please don't let me eat all of it before it goes into the Christmas tin....

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