Stay-at-home moms don't get Christmas parties. Especially stay-at-home moms married to a self-employed men. There is no reason to go shopping and buy a fancy dress and wickedly sexy shoes. There is no babysitter to find and pay a small ransom. There is no mediocre prime rib dinner and boring dance. There are no door prizes, cheezy centerpieces, and someone embarrassing themselves.
Okay, it isn't all bad. But a night off is nice. My girlfriend Tanya to the rescue (she is so good at that)! She invited a few of us over for treats, gossip, and Grey's Anatomy. We all brought more treats too. That way none of us was really cooking and all our little girls stayed home with Daddy (or were already asleep).
We had a fantastic time. What a treat to talk without interferences from little girls demanding our attention. We ate way too much sugar and talked about everything from Barbies, pajamas, colo-rectal surgery, vacations, bilingualism, waxing, and politics. There was no need to watch what we said, and no reason to watch how much sugar we ate. Oranges gave us some semblance of feeling healthy.
My contribution to the night was peppermint bark. Williams and Sonoma be damned, make it yourself. I am by no means a chocolate making expert, so anyone can do this. If you know how to temper chocolate (to make it solid again at room temperature and a little but shiny), great. I don't, but I try. Either way, it is ridiculously easy and highly addictive. Just keep it in the fridge and no one will know the difference.
4 candy canes
16 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate
10 drops peppermint extract
16 ounces white chocolate
1. Prepare a rimmed cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
2. With candy canes still their wrapper bash them lightly with the handle of a knife or a wooden spoon. Don't bash too hard or you will have candy cane dust everywhere. Unwrap them over a bowl.
3. Chop semi/dark chocolate coarsely. In a bowl set over a pot of simmering water melt chocolate slowly. Pull off the heat just before it is fully melted. Stir to finish melting. Let sit, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until it is still warm, but not hot. Stir in the peppermint extract. Pour and spread around prepared pan.
4. While the semi/dark chocolate is resting, coarsely chop the white chocolate and melt in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Pull off the heat just before it is fully melted. Stir to finish melting. Let sit, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes, until it is still warm, but not hot. Pour directly over the semi/dark chocolate.
5. Sprinkle the candy cane bits over it all.
6. Cool in the fridge until hard. Break into bite size pieces.