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  1. Marshmallow Peppermint Pretzel Bark

    December 10, 2014 by Victoria

    Cormac and I made a super easy edible gift for some of our playgroup friends on Monday. It took all of 5 minutes, and when I say Cormac helped, I mean that to mean that he stood on a chair next to me eating pretzels and occasionally throwing one onto the bark. The bark is made up of 16oz of bittersweet chocolate and 16oz of semisweet chocolate melted together over a double boiler.

    IMG_0219I’m going to hope for your sake that your stove is cleaner than mine. I’m not a neat cook by any stretch of the imagination, which Brent likes to frequently mention. While the chocolate melts, (stir it occasionally), line a 12×15″ jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

    Once all is melted, just dump the chocolate out and slightly spread with a spatula (and try to keep your toddler’s fingers out of it!). Toppings can be whatever you want, but I really like the combination of pretzels, marshmallows, and crushed candy canes. We used 8oz of chopped marshmallows (I recommend mini ones to avoid chopping but I needed them to be vegan and I only found big vegan ones at Whole Foods), 8oz of mini pretzels, and 8 candy canes, crushed.

    IMG_0221Then just sprinkle everything onto the chocolate. I also added a sprinkle of 1/4-1/2tsp of sea salt flakes just because I love salt and chocolate. I just let everything set for a couple hours on the counter until it was hardened, and then it was time to dig in.

    IMG_0225I roughly chopped the bark into large chunks. No need to be neat about it. And then stick it in some cute little treat bags and make everyone’s day.

    IMG_0228Perfect. Easy. Delicious. I’m glad I gave most of it away. This is even easier than making Christmas cookies, but it looks nice and it takes only 5 minutes to make a huge batch of it. I kind of want to make another batch and go even crazier with the toppings, like maybe with some kettle cooked potato chips. That would be amazing, right?

  2. A Weekend With Pete

    December 8, 2014 by Victoria

    I need to start this post off with a ridiculous parenting story. Since the summer, whenever we have asked Cormac, “What’s your name?” he has answered “Peen” or “Pee.” Brent and I were so confused. We just could not figure out how in the world he got Peen from Cormac. It made no sense. And he can say Car and Mom, so it seemed like he should be able to say something that sounds like “Cormac” relatively easily, but nope. Well Brent finally figured it out. There is a series of books about a dog named Larry and his owner/kid, Pete. We found “Larry Gets Lost in Seattle” when I was pregnant with Cormac and we bought it thinking it would be cute since Cormac has a dog named Larry. We’ve gotten him one or two more over the past year because he seems to really like them. Well, Brent just realized that Cormac seems to think the books are about him and Larry, and therefore, he calls himself “Pete” (Pee). So ridiculous.

    IMG_0156And as my friend Tessa pointed out, Pete looks a lot like a cartoony version of Cormac.

    Okay, so that explains the title. We can move on now. But seriously, Brent and I laughed for hours about that. Saturday morning we woke up and did not have much in the house in the way of breakfast foods, so we made our way to Eltana for bagels and the crossword. (Cormac can eat an alarmingly amount of bagels and cream cheese. The minute we pulled into the parking garage, he recognized where we were and started saying “Bagel? Bagel?”)


    And the day was a bit drizzly but fairly mild, so we decided to head downtown to see the big Christmas tree and maybe grab lunch. Our first stop was the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton. This is one of those events that’s nice to stop in for if you’re in the area, but I wouldn’t make a special trip for it. Unless you’re particularly fascinated by gingerbread engineering or something.


    They’re pretty impressive, but especially for kids, there’s only so long you can look at big gingerbread houses, you know? Then we walked over to Westlake Center and made a stop to Oooo and Ahhhh at the big tree. Cormac was duly impressed.

    IMG_0160And then things got even more exciting. We grabbed a ride on the monorail. Seriously, we had to wait like 8 whole minutes for the next train and Cormac was freaking out. “Choooooo choooooo!” Patience is obviously not a toddler’s forte.

    IMG_0163But he loved it once we were on. It was clearly one of the highlights in his life, even though the whole ride is 5 minutes long. We got off at Seattle Center and I told Brent we should head into the Armory to check out the Winterfest Village and model train.


    Oh my gosh. This place was made for a train-obsessed toddler. He was enthralled.


    Cormac really could have probably spent most of the day there. The whole thing is totally free and fun. And it was packed with families with young children.


    We did finally manage to drag him away for another trip on the monorail back to Westlake Center. By this point we were all getting pretty hungry, so we had to grab lunch before I fainted. For real. Our usual favorite Belltown spot, Local360, was packed and we were in no mood to wait, so we went up the block to their sister restaurant, Bell + Whete. Um, this place is not the same or as good as Local360. Just putting that out there.

    Cormac got the fruit and yoghurt plate. It had an “H” in the yoghurt so you know it’s fancy.

    IMG_0194He was a big fan. He sat there and methodically ate every piece of fruit and then every spoonful of the yogurt.

    I had the Croque Monsieur.

    IMG_0199The sandwich was pretty good. Nothing I need to have again or anything, but good. But why, seriously WHY, do places serve these giant, fat, limp fries? Is there anyone who prefers this style of fry over a thin, crisp one? Seriously. I’m asking.

    Brent got the burger and his overall feeling was that he was annoyed he paid $15 for a burger.


    That’s pretty much how he feels about most things in life though. Overall, it was kind of meh, and we’ll probably not go again. But it did have a huge list of European and European-style beers on draft, so there’s that.

    Once we made it back home, we pretty much all crashed.

    Sunday we actually made breakfast at home. It was a team effort. I made biscuits, and Brent made gravy.


    Guys, I have maintained for a long time, since before we were married, that I do not like biscuits & gravy. Well, I can’t tell if it’s pregnancy (probably), or just changing taste buds, but the whole thing has kind of grown on me. This is the second time in two months we’ve had it.


    After such a heavy breakfast, I dragged the boys outside for a little walk by the lake.


    And then we spent the rest of the day at home, watching football, cooking, and cleaning.


    (Cormac really gets a kick out of our matching Seahawks jerseys.) I made a couple loaves of bread for breakfast toast and lunches.


    I also made some rootbeer pulled pork, based on the Pioneer Woman’s Dr. Pepper Pork, which we had as simple tacos for dinner with leftovers for Brent to take for lunches this week.


    And then I went to bed at 7:30pm. Seriously I cannot get enough sleep these days. But all in all a really great weekend with my two favorite guys. Which is nice, because I work the next two weekends. I’ll be back later with an edible gift project Cormac and I worked on this morning!