Song Stuck on the Brain: Here With Us by Joy Williams. This is one of my new favorite Christmas songs, along with Aaron Shust's version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel which you can download for free from his website www.AaronShust.com. Go get it, it's awesome.
The Christmas count-down is well under way. Last night I met with my BFF from HS and exchanged gifts and hung out to catch up. I got all my cards mailed and this weekend starts the cookie baking. I've got four kinds in mind for the tray I'm bringing to work. Peppermint Kiss Sugar cookie drops, Brown Sugar Shortbread, S'mores cookie bars, and White Chocolate dipped Pistachio & dried Cranberry Biscotti. Yummm! I think Angel is going to bake with me. It's her S'mores recipe. Plus, I think she plans on making Mexican Wedding cake cookies.
Speaking of Holiday treats, my office mate brought in the cutest treats the other day. He made them with his wife. (I know. They're *cute* too. Sixteen years of marriage and they still act like newlyweds.) Anyway, they made chocolate cherry mice.
Here's the basic recipe. You need Marachino cherries with stems, Chocolate Sandwich cookies, melting chocolate for dipping, chocolate kisses unwrapped, sliced almonds, and a dark colored cake decorating gel in a tube.
1. Half the cookies so that all the cream filling is on one side. Set the cream filled sides out on a sheet of waxed paper. Put the empty halves away for future baking needs (like cookie crusts or ice cream topping.)
2. Melt chocolate according to directions. Dip a cherry into the chocolate and then let excess drip off before setting it sideways atop a cookie half. This becomes the bottom of your mouse and tail.
3. Take an unwrapped kiss and dip the bottom lightly in chocolate and set at an angle atop the cooled cherries. This forms the head and nose.
4. Take two almond slices and insert them behind the chocolate kiss head for ears.
5. Using your cake decorating gel, pipe on eyes and little feet.
6. Let cool and then arrange on a platter.
Adorable AND easy. Got to love that. It's a mouse even I want in my house. :)
On a quick side note, I finally finished reading Coldwater Revival by Nancy Jo Jenkins. (Note: This is not a reflection on her book, but a sign of how little reading time I've had lately.) I knew when I first started the book that I'd enjoy her writing style. Her use of words is amazing. She really paints pictures with them. But after finishing it last night, I almost feel speechless. How can I possibly convey how much I loved this book? It's one of those emotional rollercoaster rides that takes you from the lowest of life's valleys to the highest peaks of joy. It was romantic, inspiring, funny and even a little suspenseful. I hate to say too much about the plot, because I can't bear to give too much away.
It was just beautifully done. Good Job, Ms. Jenkins! If you want to read an interview done by Kevin Lucia, visit Book Shelf Reviews.