THINKING OUTSIDE THE MAC&CHEESE BOX

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Perfect Christmas Presents

I was so surprised to see maple syrup in my present!!!

This Christmas I  was sooo excited to open all of my magnificent presents. There were a couple for my kitchen that i really enjoyed and even took me by surprise. I received a mini whisk and some maple syrup!! YAY ME!!!! I had been asking for some maple syrup for a while because, to be totally honest, I havent tried maple syrup before and thought it would be very yummy. I tried some of mine and it was positively delicious!

The mini whisk is also a fabulous gift. Perfect for mixing pancake batter, making the little chocolate-cake-in-a-mug, and much more! Also, the mini whisk is easy to use and portable. COOL HUH?


Me and my perfect whisk
 
I really do love the maple syrup!!!



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and your family the Best Christmas ever!
From The Bellabits Family

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On the 12th Day of Christmas...

We DECORATED our GINGERBREAD!!
Kneading, Rolling and Baking is Fun, but decorating might be even better!

Ninjabread baked off and ready to be frosted

Smooth Royal Icing

All the Trimming

Love Skittles

A WHOLE BOXFULL!!


"What a Rip-Off!!"

Must eat candy

We built our houses while watching "It's a Wonderful Life"  Great Movie!




...and the Ninjabread were fun too.




It is a WONDERFUL LIFE
I can't wait for Christmas Tomorrow Morning!!!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

On the 11th Day of Christmas...

We made GINGERBREAD!
It's become a holiday tradition that my Auntie C makes gingerbread structures with my brother Nick and I.  She is The Master of Gingerbread.  Unfortunately, she wasnt able to be with us this year, but , knowing my Mom is not such a master, she bought us some ready-made Pillsbury dough, along with Wilton
cookie cutters to cut out the parts of a house, as well as the Ninjabread Men Cutters.  SO COOL!  So today, we began the construction.

We're excited to try the Pillsbury Gingerbread Dough, because it makes it simpler to just buy it and roll it out and cut your shapes.  According to the directions, you roll out 1/2 roll at a time.  It smelled YUMMY!


Be sure to flour your rolling pin and work surface, or else, it STICKS!



We even added extra flour to the dough after finding our dough to be toooo sticky straight out of the tube (like the pic above).  After we added flour, the dough was much easier to work with...just add a bit at a time, knead it into the dough, and see if it's less sticky.

We were covered in flour by the time we were done baking them off, but
we had fun, and our house smells like a gingerbread house: sweet and spicy!
Cutting out the pieces of the house

Cool Ninja Dudes

Gingerbread Walls

NinjaBread Men!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On the 10th Day of Christmas

I got to make Goodies!!!
Actually, I've been making goodies all week long with my mom and brother. We made a whole lot of candy and cookies specially for our family, friends and teachers.

One new recipe we added to the list was Peppermint Bark.  It was soooo easy and comes out really cute if you use cookie cutters to shape it.

First, you melt about 3/4 of a bag of chocolate chips in a big ziplock baggie, using the microwave.  Snip a hole in one tip and pipe a layer of chocolate into your cookie cutters, which have been laid out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Once this step is done, pop them in the freezer until firm (about 10 min)
 
While the chocolate's in the freezer, crush about 5 candy canes. (I used my mom's meat tenderizing mallet), and set candy bits aside.

Crushed Candy Canes
  Now melt about 3/4 of a bag of white chocolate chips (or you can use a package of vanilla candy bark). Do this, again, using a Ziplock baggie and a microwave.

Take the chocolate out of the freezer and pipe your layer of white chocolate on top of the semisweet you already have piped.  Sprinke with the peppermint bits before the white chocolate sets, and pop in the freezer again for about 10 minutes.





After they come out of the freezer, they're ready to unmold.  You need to be careful not to break them.  It helps to pull the sides of the cookie cutters apart a bit, if they are flexible, then you can wiggle the bark out.



They came out SOOOO CUTE!!




Wrap them in cellophane bags, and they're a perfect Holiday Treat!  I need to mention that these cost over $20 less than the Peppermint Bark I saw earlier in one of my favorite gourmet shops.  Pretty nice.


PS.  Try to keep them somewhere cool enough that they dont melt before you give them away.

 Hope you love it.

On the 9th Day of Christmas

3 NinjaBread Cookie Cutters! 

Does this mean that instead of a Gingerbread House, this year, we will need to make a Ninjabread Dojo??

We will see.  


My Auntie Gave to Me (actually, she gave it to my brother)...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the 8th Day of Christmas...

After a long shopping day...


I took a break for a giant chocolate dipped palmier!   

I love getting these at my local artisan bakery.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On the 7th Day of Christmas

I couldn't believe my eyes!


Holy chocolate!!! We were grocery shopping today and we were shopping and we were near the cheese and there sat a HUMONGO gingerbread house! Only it wasn't a gingerbread house; it was a house made entirely of Hershey's chocolate bars. So I stood there aand was thinking No Way Someoone Could Have Done This!!! They did it though and I will never forget that giant chocolate house. Its like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- everything made of chocolate. GO HERSHEYS!!!



Sunday, December 18, 2011

On the 6th Day of Christmas...

Exactly ONE WEEK until Christmas!!!!  It's time to make some delicious edible gifts for the friends and fam.  Today, it was my famous VanillaBella Fudge, and Gluten-Free Fudge.  These have become special requests, and I suspect will be on the menu for many Christmases to come!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On the 5th Day of Christmas...

We found these holiday treats at our local grocery store:


Yes, look at all those Holiday Candies!  Reeses in gold green and red wrapping, Hersheys Kisses in Mint Truffle, Caramel Filled, and Cherry Cordial Creme.  Yummmmm.

Throw them in a special candy dish and watch them festively disappear!

Friday, December 16, 2011

On the 4th Day of Christmas...

We discovered this at Costco:

A Chocolate Yule Log!!!  These desserts are yummy, but take lots of work in the kitchen to make.  But at Costco, it can be yours for under 12 bucks!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

On the 3rd Day of Christmas...

We tried a new recipe for HOMEMADE Low-Fat Eggnog from Food Network Magazine:


simmering skim milk, orange zest, vanilla bean

After adding tempered eggs

Straining out the flavor bits
It was pretty yummy, and made the house smell heavenly!
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