This year for Christmas, my husband and I packed up the dogs and luggage and hit the road at 5:00 a.m. Christmas Eve. Family and friends thought we were staying in D.C. for the holiday season until we shocked each and every one of them with our surprise visit. After holding a secret from family and friends for two months, we were finally able to complete the surprise of the year!
When we arrived at my parent's house, we crept through the garage, opened the door and let the dogs run wild throughout the house. After hearing what sounded like a herd of elephants in their house, my parents headed towards the front door only to find my husband and me standing there. Hugs, smiles and tears immediately ensued, followed by complete and utter shock.
We continued our surprise at Christmas Eve mass, a service my Mom's side of the family always attends. Jaws hit the floor when my extended family members laid eyes on us sitting in the church pew. On Christmas Day, we surprised my Dad's side of the family when we all met at the home of my aunt and uncle to celebrate the joyous holiday.
We stayed through the weekend and spent time with family and friends celebrating the holiday season. I even had a chance to celebrate my birthday with family and a few close friends which is something that I have not done in quite a few years. I was so thankful that they were able to stop by my parent's house to help me celebrate another amazing year.
There is nothing like being surrounded by the warmth and love of family during the holiday season. Each and every one of them made the trip worthwhile and we are so happy to have had the chance to spend Christmas with them.
Now that the holiday season has passed, you are probably asking yourself, "What am I going to do with all of these leftover candy canes?" Well, your worrying can stop here. I'm going to share with you tips and tricks on what to do with leftover candy canes, as well as reveal a super easy recipe for peppermint bark.
What to do with leftover candy canes:
- Use as a stir stick in hot cocoa, tea, coffee, cocktails or milkshakes
- Crush them lightly and sprinkle over ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, cookies or whipped cream on your beverage
- Make candy cane sugar and sweeten your hot cocoa, tea or coffee
- Add crushed candy canes to your favorite dessert recipes such as brownies, cakes, mousse, etc.
- 12-ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 pound white chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup peppermint candy, crushed
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Line a 9x13 pan with foil, letting it hang over the sides; spray with cooking spray.
- Pour chocolate chips in an even layer on the foil. Place in the oven for 5 minutes or until almost melted. Remove from the oven, smooth over with a spatula or knife. Place in refrigerator until cold or firm, about 20 minutes.
- Melt white chocolate chips and add extract; let cool slightly and pour over the brown chocolate layer. Work quickly to cover the brown chocolate layer.
- Sprinkle the crushed candy over the white chocolate layer.
- Chill until both layers are firm. Lift foil out of pan and shake off excess candy.
- Trim the edges and cut into 2-inch wide strips.
- Peel bark from foil and cut each strip as desired.
- Chill in covered container.