DIY THURSDAY: SWEET & TASTY MORSELS!

With a million errands to run, wrapping to finish, and a teeny tiny bit more shopping to do, I haven’t had the time to complete any large projects this week (as I’m sure many of you are in the same boat!). I did, however, cook up a couple quick and easy sweets, which I ALWAYS have time for…

Christmas Bark

Two-toned Peppermint Christmas Bark! Devilishly delicious.

Here’s what you need:

  • 12 oz. (1 packet) of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 12 oz. (1 packet) of white chocolate
  • approx. 2.5 oz. crumbled candy cane

First, I started off with a packet of semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate Ghirardelli morsels. After nibbling on quite a few…I melted the semi-sweet chocolate over medium low heat, stirring constantly until it was smooth and delicious. Once the chocolate was completely melted, I quickly took it off the heat a spread it on a wax papered cookie sheet:

Melted Chocolate

To release some of the bubbles and even out the chocolate a bit, I simply shook the cookie sheet back and forth a few times, and then placed it directly in the fridge for the chocolate to solidify.

Once the chocolate had hardened (about 30 minutes), I started on the white chocolate. Although, I’m quite certain I ate at least a quarter of the bag – try not to do the same (you need all the white chocolate you can get)! *It’s also important to know that white chocolate morsels do not melt the same as milk chocolate. For these morsels, you need to heat them over very lightly boiling water – they do NOT do well with direct heat (believe me, I know this from personal experience…)! Use a double boiler, or simply place a pot over boiling water.

Stir the white chocolate constantly and as the white chocolate begins to fully melt, begin stirring in about half of your crumbled candy cane. I used about 1.5 oz. but feel free to use as much or as little as you wish! As soon as the chocolate is deliciously melted, take it off the heat source and quickly spread it over the solidified semi-sweet layer – but don’t take too long as the first semi-sweet layer may soon begin to melt!

Once your second layer is spread, sprinkle the rest of your candy cane crumbles over the top and once again, put your cookie sheet in the fridge so the chocolate solidifies – about another 30 minutes.

And lastly, take your Christmas Bark out of the fridge and break into delicious bite size pieces. Perfect for a last minute holiday party or hostess gift!

Oh yes, on a side note and to take just a little more advantage of your melted chocolates, I also dipped in a few strawberries…

Sweet Morsels!

Enjoy and happy holiday!

PS…have an inspirational, encouraging, motivational, and positive story to share? Don’t forget to link up HERE!

 

DIY THURSDAY: GIVING THANKS.

With the holidays very quickly approaching, I thought it an excellent idea to offer an inspirational tutorial for a gift any “hostess with the mostest” would adore.

I strongly believe that one can never have too many bread boards. Seriously. Not only do they offer a multitude of serving opportunities, they are fabulous as home décor: to be hung, piled, filed, and everything in between. You can paint them in chalk board paint to serve as a menu board, you can convert them into trays, you can use them in floral and fruit arrangements – truly, the possibilities are endless!

pretty!French inspired

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So whenever I come across vintage breadboards on my picking adventures, I immediately snatch them up (and always on such a dime!). Of course, “vintage” tends to come with a bit of wear and tear so needless to say, a little TLC is necessary with these purchases…

First and foremost, you need to sand the suckers down! I started with my electrical sander on the flat surfaces and then hand sanded with 150-grit sandpaper along the edges and corners.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take “before” pictures prior to the sanding, but here are the boards post sanding:

Bread Boards Sanded

Once the boards were sanded to their original grain, I washed them with soap and hot water and let them fully dry before sanding again with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth down any raised grain. I then wiped each board down with a damp cloth to remove the dust and then began staining.

*Now, with bread boards it is important to use food-safe oils such as teak oil, danish oil, mineral oils, or designated butcher block oils that cure IN the wood rather than ON the wood. I chose a butcher block oil for the larger board and a danish oil in a medium walnut stain for the smaller board.

And when applying these oils, I like to use a small a small chip brush – you can purchase an entire pack for only a few dollars at your local hardware store – but this is merely a preference and a clean, soft cloth will work just as well.

Here are the boards with one coat of oil:

Bread Boards Stained

It is also important to note the drying time for any oil that you use as the boards ARE NOT food safe until the distillates are FULLY cured. This can take days or even weeks so please be sure to read the instructions fully and carefully!

Once the boards have cured, you’re done!

Bread Boards Complete

Simply wrap them as you see fit, slip in a card, and voila! The perfect hostess gift.

Bread Boards Bundled

For an additional challenge, or if you’re flea market search doesn’t pan out, you can also consider making your own!

Want to add a few cheeses to go along with the bread boards (because who doesn’t love cheese?!)? Be sure to refer to Joanna’s handy, dandy cheese guide and you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!