Saturday, January 6, 2018

Los Reyes Magos

Melchor, Baltazar, and Gaspar came last night and left their gifts for the kids. They each got pajamas, flip flops and another special gift. Lucia was enthralled with her book, Eloise Wilkin Stories, A Little Gold Book Collection. She really loves her book, Prayers for Children, which has some of the stories with board book pages, so I knew she would love to look at this "big girl" book. It was a beautiful and relaxing day. We enjoyed playing Bird Bingo all together. If you are looking for a really nice game, I am very impressed with this one. Beautiful illustrations and quality printing. I just ordered Flower Families by the same illustrator. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

La Víspera de Reyes

This is the first year we've joined Puerto Rico in really celebrating Los Reyes Magos. Tonight on La Víspera de Reyes, the eve, I encouraged the kids to set out grass and water for the camels. That might help the Magi stop by our house. Juliana jumped into the role and found some lemongrass. She set it all up by herself. Ben enjoyed himself all day by creating some beautiful artwork. He made the Three Kings out of coconut wood, from a coconut tree that fell in the hurricane. Lucia especially likes them!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Peppermint Bark

Celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas is rather relaxing for me. Advent is all about waiting. Anticipating. Preparing. And finally it comes, Christmas day. After a flurry of activity the waiting has come to an end. Now this Mama can relax. I'm done with the lists and making those special presents. Now I have twelve days of Christmas, ending at the Epiphany, or as it is celebrated here in Puerto Rico, Three Kings Day. I can now do some Christmasy things that I've been thinking about. I have a pile of fabric on my sewing table I want to dive into. There are some holiday recipes that still need to be made and enjoyed. Peppermint Bark was one of those things today. 

I started making Peppermint Bark in 2010 when I came across the recipe from Bon Appétit on the Orangette blog. Every year I look up this recipe and wonder if it is still available. Blogs come and go. And with them their recipes. I thought I should post it here for safe keeping.

Peppermint Bark, Bon Appétit
17 ounces white chocolate (make sure it is real, should say cocoa butter), finely chopped
30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (about 6 ounces)
7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened), chopped
6 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. I always seem to have to add a splash of cream to get it to smooth out as it melts.
  • At the same time, chop the bittersweet chocolate (I love Trader Joe's PoundPlus bars). Melt in a sauce pan with the cream and peppermint extract.
  • Crush the peppermint candies (or buy them crushed already from Marshalls)
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  • Pour 2/3 cup of the white chocolate on the foil and smooth out. An offset icing spatula really helps. If you want really smooth results, put some wax paper on top of the white chocolate and roll with a rolling pin or water bottle. Sprinkle half the peppermint candies on the chocolate. Put the pan in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Take out the pan and spread the dark chocolate onto the white chocolate. Put in the fridge again for 15 minutes.
  • Now spread the last layer of the white chocolate on and sprinkle with the remaining candies.
  • Cool and then cut in squares. We have to keep ours in the fridge here, but you may be able to store your's in a container on the counter. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


This little girl of mine is growing up so quickly. Juliana has been waiting and waiting for her birthday. All the children have their birthday in December, making it so hard for her to understand why she has to wait until the end of the month for her celebration. The countdown happened. Every day she would look at me in the morning and say, Mommy, only three more days, right? Life seems so very slow as a child. When does it speed up? How did we get to six so quickly? It seems just a few years ago that she was just born. The day before her birthday, she and Ben went out on an errand and came back with this beautiful piñata. Oh, Papa knows the fun in this. The kids loved it! 

Six trips around the sun. And may there be many more.
We love you so much, Juliana. 

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Eve

We had a great time last night celebrating New Year's Eve. Some friends brought along beer for all the time zones. It was a bit hard to find a good variety here in Puerto Rico, but I think they did a great job. We lined it up on the map, then dove in!

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