Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dresses For All Your Holiday Parties

Holiday Party Dresses

I love a classic Little Black Dress because it can be worn so many ways.  Here, it's dressed up for the holidays with red shoes, a red and gold jeweled necklace, and red and gold stackable rings.  For more holiday dresses, click here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

No Bake Chocolate Mint Bars

Betty Crocker

There's something about chocolate and mint that always makes me think of Christmas.  I can be eating a Peppermint Patty from my kids' Halloween haul, and I start imagining twinkling lights and warm mugs of hot chocolate.  I made this recipe for No Bake Chocolate Mint Bars from Betty Crocker for our annual Christmas party last year, and they were a huge hit.  

I used plain semisweet chocolate chips and added 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract during steps 1 and 3.  I couldn't find chocolate wafer cookie crumbs at my store, so I bought chocolate wafer cookies and make my own crumbs.  The trick is to get the crumbs really fine, so I'd suggest putting them into a food processor until they're almost a fine powder.

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter
1 bag (10 oz) mint-flavored semisweet chocolate chips (1 2/3 cups)
2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 drop green food color
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter 
1.  Lightly grease 9-inch square pan with shortening or cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in cookie crumbs until well mixed; press evenly in pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 10 minutes.
2Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat 1/4 cup butter, the milk, peppermint extract, vanilla and food color with electric mixer on medium speed until well mixed. On low speed, gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth.

3Spread peppermint mixture evenly over crumb mixture. In 1-quart saucepan, melt remaining chocolate chips and 1/3 cup butter over low heat, stirring constantly; spread evenly over peppermint mixture. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, 10 to 15 minutes. For bars, cut into 5 rows by 5 rows.