An “Easy” Gift Idea!By
Did you miss last week’s blog? I got a little lax and didn’t post. Sorry! My holiday posts may be a little sparse because we have an opportunity to share this season with both of our sons and their wives in Japan. Aaron and his wife Kiori are presenting Micro in Tokoshima. Jake and Elif will join us in celebrating a new kind of Christmas exploring Kiori’s Japanese culture. We will, for the first time, visit her family in Kagawa. It should be an exciting adventure.
The Japanese are very generous and kind people. I so admire their gentle ways. Her parents have always been so gracious with little tokens of appreciation. I have been pondering what I can bring to thank them for their hospitality. There are three things I plan to take: a set of small fused glass sushi plates adorned with a cherry blossom design (significance of the cherry blossom in Japan), a small jar of homemade Prickly Pear Jam and Toasted Quinoa, Chocolate Bark.
Here is the recipe for this super easy Chocolate Bark. What a great gift idea! Package the bark in a holiday wrap, attach an ornament (if you like) and share the recipe. This will be a favorite homemade gift! I started with the recipe published by a nutritionist Kate Scarlata, Chocolate Bark. I have made it so many times and tried several variations.
I use 1/2 cup extra dark chocolate chips and 1/2 cup, chopped, 70-80% dark chocolate bar. The darker the better for me! You can use all semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips as the recipe suggests. Flavoring is the next item to tinker with. The recipe calls for a dash of cayenne. It really does compliment the dark chocolate.
Other possible flavors I have tried are citrus or mint. Citrus can be added with a small amount of orange zest, Doterra Wild Orange Essential Oil or Pensey’s Orange Extract. Suggestions for a mint flavor are peppermint chocolate chips and food safe essential oils or extracts. Start with a small amount and flavor to taste.
On the left, the bark has pecans stirred into the chocolate mixture. On the right, the almonds were sprinkled on the top once the mixture was spread in the pan before it cooled. I like the appearance of the almonds on top but many of them fell off in the container once stored. Experiment with different types of nuts. Whatever you desire!
Here is the finished gift packaged Chocolate Bark with Toasted Quinoa adorned with a small fused glass Christmas ornament.
So we are off to Japan bearing gifts! Looking forward to sharing our experiences when we return.
Merry Christmas to all!