Wednesday, December 23, 2009

holiday makings

We are doing 'handmade only' gifts for Christmas in my family. So as part of the gift I made this super easy chocolate nut bark from my December issue of Real Simple, and also chocolate dipped candied orange peels. Real Simple's nut bark looks a lot prettier with the addition of pistachios, but I've learned from experience that if you have pistachios boxed with any other kind of nut, it all takes on the taste and smell of pistachios.

I used this version of the orange peel recipe from Use Real Butter. Unlike all the other recipes I looked at, this one says use the whole peel, which was so much easier. I was concerned with the bitterness of the pith, but it actually turned out fine. I cheated and used the Clementines I had on hand in abundance instead of regular thick-skinned oranges. They were so easy to peel that I didn't have to juice the oranges. We ate them instead. I used Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt to dip them in. Sounds gross, but is really good. I've always loved salty with sweet.

The girls had so much fun crafting with their Nana too (Michael's sweet mom). They made this gingerbread house together and also these adorable yarn snowmen.

And some pipe cleaner fun with my girls from Martha Stewart. I remember the instant love I had for these when I saw them in the December 2000 issue of Living. I ended up making a whole parade of pipe cleaner ornaments and decorations for all my family members that Christmas. The snowboarder ornament is for my brother-in-law, who I'm fairly certain does not read craft blogs, in honor of his trip to Breckenridge in January with my sister-in-law. The snowboarder is a variation of the Santa-On-Skis figure.

Three posts in three days! Another post tomorrow and that will cap off mmmcrafts 2009.


  1. Wow you are on a roll! I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!!!!

  2. Every year I say I'll make handmade gifts. Didn't quite manage it fully this year, so I'm enjoying seeing the beautiful presents you're creating. Love the pipe cleaner ornaments. We don't get Real Simple or Martha Stewart in our local bookstore (in New Zealand), but I'm tempted to look further afield and pay through the nose for their Christmas issues to see what's in there this year.

  3. What little cuties! The choc bark looks good enough to eat! (well duh, you can! lol)
    Here's to a very Merry Christmas! See you in 2010!

  4. I LOVE candied orange peel and that bark looks to die for! Real Simple magazine is definitely my favorite! Yes, I'd say I made it about 60% this year with handmade gifts - next year hoping for 100%. Merry Christmas to you - I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

  5. Everything looks so beautiful!! Happy Holidays from Malta :)

  6. these pipe cleaner people are super sweet. Love your birdie too!
    Happy 2010!

  7. Was looking for pipe cleaner ideas. Loved the skaters. Thanks for posting.


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