Saturday, December 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Bark

Hello Friends,

It is almost Christmas and I am ready except for a little baking. Christmas is my favorite day. We have family and friends over and I will be cooking a fresh 30 pound turkey. The day starts early and gets a little crazy during the gift exchange. I love watching the kids of all ages hunt for the "pickle" hidden in the tree. The other night I hosted a Ladies party and it was interesting watching some determined ladies on their knees looking for the pickle.

                                    Hope your Christmas is great  and try to eat healthy.

But Christmas only comes once a year so it is ok to eat some yummies such as Peanut Butter Bark.
This is a copycat recipe for Williams-Sonoma's popular white and dark chocolate peppermint bark. Very festive!  Sorry but the picture would not copy. I am using my new computer and still learning.

This recipe is a variation on that theme, and a nice change of pace. It's delicious and beautiful, as you can see above. However, you can also be creative in your presentation, and use cookie cutters or molds to create different shapes. Imagine the oohs and ahs of all your lucky recipients!

Since this is a beginner recipe, your kids can get involved in your holiday baking too. Preparation time is only 15 minutes!


• 2 packages (4 oz. each) Hershey's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar, broken into pieces
• 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
• 1 tablespoon shortening
• 1/2 cup roasted peanuts or toasted almonds, coarsely chopped


1. Cover cookie sheet or tray with wax paper.

2. Place chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.

3. Immediately place peanut butter chips and shortening in second microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; stir in peanuts.

4. Alternately spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray; swirl with knife for marbled effect. Gently tap tray on countertop to even out thickness of mixture. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in cool, dry place. About 1 pound candy.

* To toast almonds: Heat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in thin layer in shallow baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown; cool.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Adams Fruit Market.
The Plant Lady ~ Linda

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

10 Ways To Think Outside The Gift Box

Hello everyone,

Hope you are enjoying this Christmas season as much as I am.  I love looking at all the lights each night, listening to holiday music and sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree.

I am hosting a Ladies party tomorrow evening so I spent today cleaning. Here is a picture of my tree. I think it is the prettiest one yet.

 It started out to be just red and white but the grandson likes green so I had to put green bulbs on it too.
 I ordered the last of the presents today but haven't wrapped any yet. I find they are easier to hid unwrapped.

 If you need some ideas on what to give others I found these 10 ways to think outside the proverbial gift box.

  1. Give a handmade gift. Think crafts, cooking, art or bath scrubs. If you don’t have the time or talent yourself, shop local craft fairs for unique handmade gifts.
  2. Give a service you can do yourself. Consider babysitting, car washing or yard work. Get creative with a cute little coupon you design and print yourself.
  3. Gift services at a locally owned business. Perhaps a car tune-up, house cleaning or salon visit. Who wouldn’t love that!
  4. Gift a class together. Art, fitness, and hobby classes are great choices. You’ll give the gift of knowledge as well as quality time!
  5. Gift a membership. Consider local non-profits, museums, gyms or charity groups. 
  6. Donate in someone’s name. Determine their favorite charity, fundraiser, or cause. I’ve had family donate an animal to a family in a third world country in the past instead of buying me a gift and felt so good about it!
  7. Gift a meal at a locally owned restaurant. A delicious dining experience is topped only by knowing the dollars stay in your community.
  8. Buy gifts from a locally owned business. Local shops have some of the cutest gift ideas. Being able to converse directly with the owner is always a bonus.
  9. Buy used from thrift shops, antique shops, flea markets or used music and book stores. I can’t tell you how many wonderful gifts I’ve both bought and received from these stores over the years. The price is right as is the eco-friendly stature, but perhaps the best part is the treasure hunt!
  10. Buy fair trade and eco-friendly made gifts. Seek out items that are sustainably produced, recycled or upcycled. Alternatively, help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability by purchasing their fairly traded products.                                                             by The Soulicious Life
Hope this gives you ideas to finish your lists and enjoy time with family.

Merry Christmas to all,
The Plant Lady ~ Linda