Monday, 13 February 2012

Super easy Valentine's Day chocolate pretzel bites

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      Yesterday was a day that I've always wanted to have as a mom. Before having Mya, I'd always daydream about what it would be like to be a mother. I'd plan out ideas of what I wanted to do with my children, what experiences I wanted them to have and I'd think about the expectations that I'd have of myself once I became a mom. I always knew that I wanted to have children, and lots of them..(four, to be exact)--however, I still have to somehow try to convince Terry of that...and I always had an idea of what mothering meant to me from an early age. It's probably because I had such a great mom myself and I knew that I wanted to be that for my own children one day. So this weekend I got to experience with Mya what I deem as a necessity in one's childhood: baking.
     As a little girl, I still remember dragging a dining room chair into our kitchen, up to that tall counter, and standing on the seat so that I could reach the mixing bowl that my mom was holding. I got to stir, mix, measure and even crack the eggs into the cookie dough. I'd lick the spoon, with my nose pressed up against the glass on the oven as I watched the cookies slowly spread out and rise. To a kid, there's nothing like it. And I love how that smell of baking lingers throughout your house all day long.

        In anticipation of Valentine's Day, I thought it was only appropriate to use this occasion as a perfect excuse to get Mya to help me bake up some yummy treats. We made some delicious chocolate caramel cookies and some super easy pretzel bites. We started with the cookies, and I was surprised and thrilled that she was so interested in helping and watching each step of the process. I gave her an egg to hold (yes, anticipating that she would drop it or smash it..but she didn`t. She put the whole thing right into the bowl instead--knowing somehow that that`s exactly where it was supposed to go. One day she`ll get the whole cracking thing down pat).









 This picture melts my heart. She just stood there staring at those cookies..so patiently waiting for them to come out.


   
      I felt so productive that morning--all the cookies were baked before 8:30am and cookie testing was completed shortly after (the one good thing about never having the luxury of being able to sleep in anymore means that at least we get more hours in our day to get things done!). I would have liked to have continued on to making the pretzel bites, but Mya was so done being in the kitchen. We needed a change of scenery, so I saved those for the afternoon when she was sleeping.

      The pretzel bites are so easy, and so cute and fun. I thought I'd share how we made them so that others could whip them up for Valentine's Day. It`s like fake baking...you really can`t mess these up. Here is how we did it:

1) Buy a bag of Hershey Kisses, square or small twisted pretzels and Smarties.


2) Lay out all of the pretzels on a cookie sheet.

3) Place a kiss on top of each pretzel (I chose to use cookies n'cream Kisses so it`d be a nice colour contrast with the pink/red Smarties, but you can use any of your favourite kinds--just not caramel ones..you'll end up with a big caramel mess. Pic below to prove it).


4) Place in oven at 350 until the kisses begin to melt a bit (about 2-3mins).

5) Pull out of the oven and place a Smartie on top of each Kiss.


Let cool, and voila! You're done--easy as pie (and so cute and delicious!). I then just wrapped them up, tied a bow and put them in cute little boxes to give to my fellow kindie teachers for Valentine's Day.

HOWEVER...here is what happens when you use caramel Kisses (I learned this the hard way!). Big caramel disaster and the kisses don't melt properly. I had to literally scrape them off of the pan. On a positive note though, it just means Terry and I have to eat these ones!

      We put together a little Valentine's Day package for Mya's daycare ladies as well to thank them for taking such good care of her. Wrap anything up in a fancy box and all of a sudden your baking looks much more appealing. :) All of the boxes that I used were Martha Stewart and Wilton boxes (from Michaels craft store).


I love that holidays give me perfect excuses to do fun things like this.  It's these little moments, like baking with Mya, that I try to hold on to and cherish. Everyone will tell you that you need to treasure the times with your children, yet it's difficult to do when life is busy, stressful and crazy at times. But it's these little moments where I remind myself to actually live in the moment and breathe it all in. Really, it's these little wonderful moments that make life worth living...otherwise, what are we really doing each day?


What a lovely morning surprise--sparkly hearts!


     It's like Saturday morning when Terry and I looked out and saw the snow covered sidewalk and driveway. In a single night our world was covered in a blanket of thick snow. Usually my first instinct is to feel exhausted just looking at the snow that I'll have to shovel. But as we finished up our chocolate chip pancakes that morning, we got Mya all bundled up, I grabbed my camera and we had so much fun watching her stumble through the snow in her bulky snowsuit, looking like a walking marshmallow.
     

       Our dog tore up and down the driveway trying to catch all of the snow being thrown from our shovels and Mya watched intensely as we worked away at clearing a path on the sidewalk. Then the ride in the big blue shovel was the best of all. I laughed as I watched Terry run up and down the driveway pushing Mya as she was both stunned and giggling at the same time, probably not really understanding how she was actually moving.

     All of a sudden a normally mundane task turned into a fun little family activity. And what's even better is that on a break from the shovelling we grabbed our toboggan out of the shed and took Mya sledding down our little mini hill in our backyard. Oh, and Terry and I also took a few rides ourselves--just for kicks.





    

Terry showin' us how it's done...prepping for the speed of the huge hill.  

      When we came inside and stomped the snow off our boots, I said to Terry,  "These are the kinds of things that a childhood is made of". And his response to me was, "Yea, but we'll need to get hot chocolate with little marshmallows ready for her when we come inside next time". 
       This is why I married this man.
I hope you enjoy all the little moments in your life today!

2 comments:

  1. Hey Super Mom, This lovely coworker of yours would LOVE to assist you in EATING all of these pretzels - if you have any leftovers!! Jenny xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Erica you are the Queen of making pretty things… and your instructions are always perfect! Thanks for being so inspiring - and for suggesting beautiful things that don't cost a lot of money too!!! Great job!!

    ReplyDelete

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