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Yes, I'm one of those people…the ones who posted just one word in her Facebook status at the beginning of 2015. A word that would hopefully define the year
ahead. My word for this year is simply, simplify.
Since having kids, I've tried to be the mom who not only did
it all, but who also felt the need to take it all way over the top. But, one of
the loveliest things I've learned recently is that my kids are happy even when
I'm just showing up.
Last week, I poured my son a bowl of Cheerios and dug around
in the silverware drawer for his favorite spoon and placed it alongside his
bowl. He turned to me, with those big, bright eyes, and said, "You're the best
cereal maker ever, Mommy."
Cereal. Not pancakes made from scratch in the shape of a
dinosaur. Just plain Cheerios.
So, keeping my word of the year in mind as I approach all
things this year, I'm finding more time for playing. And laughing. And
breathing. Less time for stressing, over-doing and worrying.
In celebration of my declaration, I'm avoiding any Valentine's Day Pinterest
boards because I'm passing on the elaborate recipes that put me in the kitchen
for hours upon hours. I'm opting for a super simple (read: fail proof) Valentine's Day
treat that my kids can not only help with and appreciate, but also package up
and give to their best buddies.
Store bought cookies of your choice (We used Chips Ahoy,
Oreos, Nutter Butters and Mother's Tea cookies.)
Valentine's Day sprinkles
Young, adorable assistant(s)
Treat bags (optional)
Line a tray or baking sheet with parchment paper for cooling
your dipped cookies.
Chop the milk chocolate into small pieces and place in a small
microwave safe bowl.
Place the chocolate in the microwave and heat at 50%
power for 1 minute; remove the bowl and stir. If your mixture is nearly all
melted, don't return it to the microwave. Just stir for a few minutes, allowing
the melted chocolate to melt the remaining bits.
Return the bowl to the microwave and repeat, stirring every
15 seconds to prevent scorching.
Repeat steps 2-4 with the white chocolate, but heat for only
30 seconds at first and then for the 15-second intervals as you did with the
milk chocolate. (White chocolate scorches easily, so you'll want to melt it
slowly and carefully.)
Dip your cookies into the melted chocolate and allow
excess to drip off before transferring to the parchment paper.
While you continue dipping the remaining cookies, have
your assistants add the sprinkles to the cookies on the parchment paper before
the chocolate hardens.
Repeat the process until you've dipped and sprinkled all
of your cookies.
Once the chocolate hardens, transfer the cookies to an
airtight container or into individual bags for gifting.
We made cute gift bags by taking simple treat bags, folding
over the tops, punching two holes in the top and threading through some ribbon. (We found our bags on Amazon.)