The Chocolate Lady

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Unraveling of Santa

Have you ever felt like things were falling apart at the seams, and as much as you tried to hold them together, they were slipping right through your fingers? That's kind of what's going on here.

Andrew, who is now in 5th grade, and a pretty bright kid (dont all moms think their kid is super smart??)....well, he is showing signs that maybe, just maybe, his faith in Santa is waning.

This, breaks. my. heart.

You might remember, this episode, from a few years ago: Trip to the North Pole

Well, I did all I could, and thankfully, we were able to bring things together and keep the magic alive. (It did involve me searching all day for the book Santa promised Andrew, but we found it, and all was well.)

All was well, until this year.....when an Elf named Benny came to visit.

Benny was sent by Santa, after my kids wrote a letter requesting him. He is an "Elf on the Shelf"...meaning, every day we find him somewhere new.

The other day, Benny, the sweet little thing, was found head first in MY bag of mint M&Ms. Christine noted at the end of the day, that Benny had eaten most of the bag (which was full when we first discovered him there), I let that go, and didnt hold it against the freeloading elf, that he had rudely eaten the Christmas candy I bought for myself (that is only made at Christmas time, so I look forward to it every year).... I let that go, figured I could just buy some more.....

But, something else about Benny has been harder to forgive. It's his clothes, or more specifically the GIANT tag on his clothes that says, "Made in Georgia"

Imagine my surprise, as we discovered Benny in my candy, when Andrew says, "Hey, why does he have a tag that says he was made in Georgia?"


off guard, I stuttered, "Uh...well, um, uh....."

I tried to think of something quick! "Santa buys that red material for his clothes. " I asserted matter of factly....with a 'yeah, that's it!' attitude! "Santa doesnt make the MATERIAL..he buys the red material for the elf clothes, and he obviously buys it from a material manufacturer in Georgia." duh!

Whew! I waited to see if that story would hold up....and Andrew sort of pondered it...I could almost see the wheels of his mind, bending, spinning, as he contemplated the possibility.

Inside, I was TICKED OFF!!

The whole purpose of things like this Elf, and train rides to the North Pole, are to ENHANCE the magic of Santa....Enhance, as in make it stronger and more magical.....not throw a bucket of cold water on it!

It's really annoying to buy into these special things, (and I do mean BUY...this elf thing seems to be making someone a mint!) only to find that they are counter-productive, and instead of making the magic more real, they are diminishing it.

I mean, they might as well just put a big sign in that "Elf on the Shelf" box that says, "Santa's not real" (gasp!) Why put a big jumbo tag, 1/3 the size of the elf, that glaringly states he was made in Georgia?? why?? didnt somebody along the assembly line think, "hey, might not be a good idea to put a "made in Georgia" tag on the elf we are marketing as REAL." ????? anyone? not even the person that sewed that huge tag ONTO the elf? Not even the person that put him in the box? GEESH!

It's very frustrating, and now, Ill have to go into overdrive, repair the lost Santa mojo that was brought about by the very thing that was meant to enhance it.

Wish my luck, or extra Santa magic!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

S'More Pops

I cant believe it's been since before Christmas since Ive posted. My kitchen is still in transition, actually our floors are gonna have to all be pulled up again, and replaced....(sigh) it has hampered my baking fun.

Some of you may have noticed that my latest craze is Marshmallow Pops! Cake pops are fun, but as a busy mom, I dont always have time to back the cake, add the frosting, roll the cake know, much easier to just pop a marshmallow on a stick, dont ya think?

My friend Gina told me about a new Marshmallow Pop idea...a S'More Pop. I signed up to bring a dessert to the Boy Scout's Blue and Gold party, and so since Boy Scouts love to camp, this S'More Pop seemed the perfect treat.

You start out with a large marshmallow, on a candy stick:

Then, in typical Boy Scout style, roast your marshmallow:

It's up to you how toasty you want to make them:

Place marshmallows on parchment paper, so that they can firm up. I was able to make these 50 in just minutes:

Graham crackers are easily crunched up:

Since these were for the Boy Scouts Blue and Gold party, I thought it would be fun to add some blue sprinkles. You can add any color to make them more festive, or just use the plain graham crackers:

Dip the marshmallow into TEMPERED chocolate:

Now, you'll remember from past posts, that tempering is the process that allows the chocolate to harden up. This pop will not be messy. The chocolate will be solid, making it easy to put these into cello bags or pass out without a mess.

I use my Rev 1 tempering unit, it's the size of a shoe box, and is quick and easy to use. If you are intersted in learning more about tempering, I have other videos and step-by-step pics in my archives. It's the most fun and creative dessert tool ever, I love it!!

Dip the pop into the graham crackers, covering all the chocolate:

This is not a frilly, girly-girl pop. It's got that masculine, "I live in the wilderness and eat S'mores" kind of look, but I promise, it's super delicious!

My favorite way to serve "pops" is in a basket or container, filled with floral foam, and then covered with plastic/foil and sometimes covered with other decorative filling. It makes them easy to transport and you can have fun with the presentation:

Im looking forward to making all kinds of marshmallow pops this Spring....bunnies, lambs, so much creative fun - and easy!! What are you going to be making??

If you dont already, "like" my facebook page; Kim's Chocolatier page on Facebook and feel free to post pics of your creative desserts.