Saturday, December 8, 2018

Cookies & Chocolates

For the last few years our wonderful neighbors have invited us over to their house for their annual cookie extravaganza. This tradition was started many, many years ago when their boys were little & they've hosted it every year since, their boys are now in their 30s. 

These neighbors are amazing. They've welcomed us since day one and they love on our boys (and us) as if we are their own. Every holiday they have something special for the boys. Randomly they will buy the boys outdoor toys--like golf clubs. They look in on our house, shut our garage door when we leave it open. The boys will handled their trash cans when they are gone and retrieve packages from their doorsteps. They are always asking us or the boys what is going on and are even trying to make it to one of their basketball games. We know our time with them as neighbors is limited (let's face it, their retiring and their kids are having babies) so we are going to soak in as much of their love as we can until that moving truck backs into their driveway and then pulls away.


One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to bake. Each year around Christmastime I try and bake up a whole spread and the boys deliver treats to all our neighbors so when my dear friend Angela invited me to a chocolate party -- I was all in. Angela's MIL is like a superstar when it comes to anything baking so learning from her is a treat in and of itself. 

Two things I learned. Well, three. The Pampered Chef chopper that I own, I've been using it wrong this WHOLE TIME--it's not just a lid, you chop with it on! Two--add caramel to everything. EVERYTHING. And not just any caramel, Peter's Caramel--heavenly. Three--don't try and make 15 things from scratch like I have in the past, change the base up--pretzels, Bugels, Ritz Crackers--and then dip them ALL in chocolate. But first, caramel. So much easier and sooo delicious. My holiday gifting game to my neighbors just went to the next level.

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