I have been out travelling for work like crazy and I am so happy to be home now from now until mid-January when I leave again. After only three days at home in two weeks, I couldn’t wait to get back to West Virginia to settle in to enjoy the last two weeks before Christmas.
The first thing I had to do was put together my Food 52 Secret Food Swap Box. Food 52 is a unique hybrid of an online cooking community and a kitchen/houseware shop. You can connect with any member and see what they are cooking, and also purchase some of the most useful cooking tools around. I love it.
Each year the website puts together a secret food swap in December. All you have to do is donate $5 to No Kid Hungry, a non-profit whose mission is to end child hunger in America. Once you do that ans sign up for the swap you wait patiently until you get an e-mail telling you who your recipient is. This year I was lucky (unlucky?) enough to actually get the editor-in-chief of Food 52 as my recipient!
As I said earlier, I have been travelling quite a bit, so I had to buckle down on Sunday and finish her box so she would get it before she left town for the holidays. I was in Chicago last week, so I made sure I stopped at the Christkindlmarket in Chicago where I was in German candy heaven and picked up some German chocolate and a marzipan pig. Then I had a stop over in Cincinnati where I stopped at my favorite brunch spot, Taste of Belgium and scored some macaroons.
Each holiday swap box should have something in it that is homemade, so I included a container of Sue’s Chex Mix, which has been a huge hit around here lately. Can’t stop, won’t stop. I also made some of my famous Salty Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. I haven’t shared this one on the blog yet, but I plan to. It’s a solid winner, and my specialty.
Then I added a batch of Hello Dollies! These sweet, gooey bars are an easy addition to your holiday dessert table, as they look festive, taste amazing and best of all can be whipped up in no time.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup graham crackers, crushed (I put in my food processor)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded coconut
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
Here’s what you do to make these Hello Dollies:
1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter to form a thick mixture. Press in the bottom of a lightly greased 8X8 glass pan.
2. Layer the chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut evenly on top of the graham cracker mixture, making sure to add the coconut last (so it looks pretty!)
3. Pour the entire can of sweetened condensed milk over top. Put in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Wait for it to cool completely before you cut into squares. Voila! You are a dessert hero.
I’m going to try and check back in with the blog next week and review a beauty item I received in the mail- look out for that. Happy holidays!