Here’s a real quick idea for a wee holiday gift that you can make in about 20 minutes. A few pieces wrapped in cellophane tied with ribbon, would make for a nice thoughtful gift wouldn’t it? I used to love baking cookies, cakes and other goodies to hand out as holiday gifts in Christmases past, but now I don’t seem to be as enthused about baking gifts. Perhaps that’s because I don’t trust myself with anything sweet lying around the house? Truth be told I’m a chocoholic, well who isn’t? But I try not to tempt myself except on special occasions, and with Christmas around the corner, I believe that special occasion is here. Don’t you agree?
When Christmas rolls around I always find myself reminiscing about the “good old days”. Growing up in Kenya, our Christmas celebrations were centered around Baby Jesus, exchanging sweets, Goan sweets to be precise (much like cookie exchanges in the USA), getting new dresses tailored for midnight mass, shiny new patent leather shoes, and a boatload of social events like parties, dances and visits to friends homes. Socialization took precedence over consumerism :). We probably got one gift, but for the most part, Santa’s route did not always bring him to Kenya. Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Blitzen and the other reindeer would never have endured the warm weather in Kenya around Christmas time :).
I guess that tradition still exists in our humble home. Before we downsized we always hosted a pretty big Christmas party for our friends – I’d say roughly 40 plus friends in attendance. We’d get dressed to the nines, organize games to introduce friends to one another, there was dancing, music and plenty of amazing food and drink. I’d start preparing weeks ahead and freeze most of the food. My husband was in charge of the music and cleaning. They were fun times. We still enjoy entertaining and having friends over, only on a much smaller scale. I guess having no family around us has prompted us to make our own fun. As I write this, I’m getting ready to host a Christmas luncheon tomorrow for a group of volunteers that I work with in the garden. It has got me in the spirit, and I’m loving it. These social gatherings definitely trump gift giving for us. We’re not completely against gift giving over the holidays, (perhaps to those less fortunate), but this is our way of staying out of the malls or ordering online. 🙂
Back to the present……..I thought of baking a few goodies for when our girls come home for Christmas. That’s my excuse anyway, and I’m sticking with it. This quick and easy bark is loaded with antioxidants and good fats, they do say dark chocolate is good for you right? Well in moderation I suppose, but I think you’ll find yourself reaching out for more than one piece at a time. It is a festive treat that you can indulge in without the guilt, and believe you me, I’ve sampled a few already 🙂 Here’s the quick and simple way to get it together.
Coarsely chop about 3 oz. dried cranberries, 5 oz. shelled pistachios and melt 7 oz. dark chocolate in the microwave. I used the Hershey dark chocolate. Mix it all together, line a jelly roll pan with foil and freeze for an hour. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Recipe source: Skinnytaste