I just finished putting Bennett down for a second time tonight. I got the bright idea that maybe it would help him sleep in past 5am if I just let him come downstairs with us to hang out a bit.....
At first he was all sleepy snuggly and rested on my chest for a good 15 minutes. Then it was like a little whirlwind had its way with our living room. He was seriously on fire, living it up, and making us laugh uncontrollably. Multiple times I looked at Kyle and said, I think I may have just made a really, really bad mistake.....
Only to have that sweet little head bounce towards me with his index finger completely shoved down his throat, then popping it out while making a "ssssshhhhh" noise (his version of shushing us).
He was loving it! The attention, the fact that he weaseled his way out of bed time. So we just tried to soak up the newly energized little boy, and follow his lead. Which turned into a lot of "cookie" sharing at.
He is turning into such an imaginative little guy. He likes to pretend and is starting to listen and follow direction quite well. His favorite thing to do is make cookies....he will stick his fake cookies in cupboards, baskets, bowls...whatever is at hand and acts like he bakes them, then he runs from person to person giving bites, takes fake bites himself, smacks his lips, and runs around the house saying "Mmm, mmm, mmm, Mmm".
With all the cookie baking going on, I started to feel guilty for my lack of cookie baking this year. I had planned on making some cookies to bring to our neighbors...because after all, isn't that the neighborly thing to do? Then I a hit with mastitis, the boys...well, they keep me hopping around the clock Christmas or not, the lack of sleep, the night terrors....and the list goes on.
All you moms that have 4 kids and manage to bake, decorate, and deliver cookies before Christmas are nothing short of amazing. Seriously, I don't know how you do it.
For the rest of us who can't quite get our act together, get hit with life and all it's finest, I have the perfect solution.
Never fails. Never disappoints. Always tastes good. And turns out can make the perfect last minute Christmas goodie.
Cole was more than eager to help me make it, and helped by asking for his own bowl to go and munch on while watching football with daddy. Win-win.
I actually realized i never posted these recipes after Cole's train party and I talked them up. So here they are, a little late, but right on time for the holidays. Your neighbors, friends, family...yourself will not be able to turn down these sweet kernels. They are rich, they are the reason my pants aren;t fitting quite right anymore, and they are impossible to turn down.
Peanut Butter Popcorn and White Chocolate Popcorn with a little Christmas bonus!
We will start with White Chocolate Popcorn. It seriously, could not be any easier. I always use my air popper, but use whatever method you prefer to make your popcorn, butter and salt it....or don't, I just like the combo of a little bit of salty, otherwise it gets pretty sweet.
White Chocolate PopcornIngredients:
1/4 cup popcorn kernels - popped (I ended up doing two batches (1/2 c kernels) so I had a lighter chocolate coating and it still tasted fine)
1 bag of premium white chocolate chips (I always try and use Guittards, the best in my opinion...or make sure to look for white chips that have cocoa butter in the ingredients....tends to melt and taste better).
1. Pop up your popcorn in a very large bowl. Butter and salt if you choose.
2. Melt white chocolate chips either in a double boiler over low heat (if you heat it over heat that is too hot you risk the chocolate seizing) or you can melt it in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals (that is the method I do, I have had too many bad experiences with the white chips on the stove).
3. Once chocolate is completely melted and a smooth consistency, drizzle over popcorn. Then quickly toss and stir to coat evenly.
4. Now comes for the holiday bonus, I tossed in some dark chocolate M&M's for kicks, and highly recommend it!
5. Eat, and eat and eat.....or be good and give them away as gifts.
And now for my personal favorite. This is like popcorn crack. I can eat this stuff until I am so sick to my stomach, but can't help and go in for another handful. It can be made two ways, the first you can eat it in its ooey gooey state (super messy, but super good!). Or you can bake it like you do caramel corn, and it has the consistency of caramel corn, is easier to eat, and I personally recommend doing this if you plan on giving it away. Plus if you bake it, it can be made several days ahead of time.
Peanut Butter Marshmallow Popcorn(Adapted from: All Recipes)
2 3.5 oz bags of microwave popcorn or 1/4-1/2 popcorn kernels popped up and sprinkled with butter and salt. (I always use an air popper for popcorn, it's healthier and better tasting in my own personal opinion).
1/2 cup butter or margarine (I always, always use real butter!)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (the original recipe calls for 1/4cup, but I like mine to actually taste like peanut butter.)
20 marshmallows with a few extra for good measure :)
Pour popcorn into a large bowl.
In a glass bowl, combine the margarine, brown sugar, and marshmallows. (NOT THE PEANUT BUTTER YET) Cook at 1 minute intervals in the microwave, stirring between each time, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the peanut butter now until well blended. Pour the melted mixture over the popcorn, and stir quickly to coat the corn before it cools.
Now you can stop here and eat it all gooey, or you can go to the next step.
Preheat oven to 250.
Spread popcorn on a lined and rimmed tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on how crunchy you would like it. Watch it carefully that it doesn't burn. my oven is particularly hot, so I don't bake it quite as long. The peanut butter coating may start to kind of bubble up a bit, that is fine and totally normal.
Let it cool (or not, I usually burn my finger and tongue as patience is not a strong virtue of mine). Then enjoy, try and eat just one handful....you won't be able to do it, I swear by that.
I hope this helps all you last-minuters. I just made mine yesterday and due to a bag conspiracy I have yet to package them up and hand them off...instead they are both getting consumed....by me.
Oh, and I have promised several people that I would post the recipe for the Hockey Puffs that I wrote about awhile ago. Turns out I DO have the recipe, and I would love to share one of our favorite Christmas traditions! :)
Until then, hope you all enjoy some wonderful family time, and get a chance to celebrate the reason for the Christmas season, Jesus!
Merry early Christmas!