You know people, I put a lot of thought into these titles….so, I hope you appreciate them.

I love cookbooks…I collect them. When I travel, I try and pick up a local cookbook if I can. It’s a reminder of where I’ve been, the food I’ve eaten and the people I was with.  They are also something I don’t feel translate well to a Kindle. That may change with the purchase (one day maybe) of an iPad, but I doubt it. I think cookbook pages need to be flipped through and used and they need to get stained.  For Christmas, my best friend got me this: http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Like-Rock-Star-Culinary/dp/0307886751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325273140&sr=8-1

I love Anne Burrell. She makes cooking like fun. She dresses in great colors and has awesome hair. How can you not love her? And it seems most people do. I grew to respect her a lot on The Next Iron Chef: Superstars because she did get nervous and worry about things, but she always put her heart on the plate and you can’t ask for more than that. She’s also great on “Worst Cooks in America” and it’s hard not to root for her team.

So, I am pretty excited about this book and will be trying recipes from it…and will post a review of the book itself soon.

Onto the holidays. I did a little more baking than usual. I hit sugar cookies, a chocolate chip cheesecake, raspberry squares, lemon souffle (or mousse if you’d rather either…which by the way, until I get a standmixer, I am not making this again. There is a HUGE amount of beating [heh] going on here) and the thing I was the most excited about; dark chocolate peppermint bark. I love bark. I love it because in general, I think I am the only one in the house that eats it, much like Peppermint stick ice cream. So, I used this recipe that my friend Christine posted from Bethenny Frankel. I love dark chocolate too so yay for this. I decided to try it. Here’s one thing that annoys me whenever I see one of Frankel’s recipes…she’s all about healthful eating and such, Skinnygirl…blah blah. Yeah, try and find nutritional info on her recipes on her site? Yeah…go ahead. I can’t find it…am I looking in the wrong place? I can’t even track her SkinnyGirl drinks because there’s no nutritional info. I gather it can’t be a lot…not the point. I don’t expect her to go all Hungry Girl and give us the points, but some info so I can figure it out would be nice. Bethenny, do a sister a solid and post some nutritional info every once in a blue moon.

Anyway…the bark is freaking delicious. Next year…I’m going to do it with white chocolate.  But, some photos of the process!

Crushing Candy Canes

It’s 10 candy canes in total…5 mixed in, 5 crushed on top…you can do them all at once or in 2 batches. However works best for yo

I melted some chocolate….I only had 10 ounces of dark chocolate chips, so I supplemented with 2 oz of semi-sweet morsels, because it’s what I had.

Before the melting

After the melting, but before the candy canes get mixed in

mixing in of the candy canes

It took me several minutes to figure this one out. It’s not on the stove and the bowl is floating in mid air?! Really?  I must be holding it in one and taking the snap with my phone with the other hand. It’s weird. But that’s multi-tasking for you.

And the finished product…trumpets sound!  Actually, they sound in my head whenever I finish something that turns out ok. I lead a very rich inner life.

Becoming Bark

FYI, this is totally a picture of the inside of my fridge.

Anyhoodles, it was a great deal of baking and with Christmas dinner to make…I’ve done practically NO cooking this week, save heating up some ham and potatoes and sauteeing some mushrooms.  I think next year, a smaller ham will do.   Of course, I am going to take the big ole  bone and make some split pea soup with it. Soon. Really. Soon.

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