I miss Dallas at Christmas

Yes, there are a few things I miss about Dallas. Especially at Christmas. Not that I don’t lovelovelove Fayetteville, because I do. But I miss Chester and his people, Harold and Gale, and other Munger Place friends too numerous to mention.

Chester and Annabelle

Chester and Annabelle. Best buddies.

 

Munger Place porch parties, impromptu get togethers and holiday parties are unique and special.

Especially at Christmas.

I missed my nephew march in his first ever Christmas parade. I’m all about a Christmas parade. Shout out to Zach!

Jasper Band, Plano, Tx

I don’t think Zach is in this picture, but he’s somewhere in this group. Jasper Band (Plano, Tx) is HUGE.

 

I miss Pei Wei. I do. And Scalini’s. And Tex-Mex in general. Tex-Mex is hard to come by in Fayetteville (or at least I haven’t found it yet).

I miss my rosemary plant. For the first time in at least twelve years, I had to buy rosemary at Thanksgiving. Craziness. I’ll be planting rosemary soon, but I’m not confident it will survive Northwest Arkansas winters.

missing dallas at christmas

Truly fun neighborhood. There’s even a hoola hoop in the picture.

 

I miss Northpark Mall. Although I’m not much of a shopper, I do miss Northpark.

Especially at Christmas.

Dallas, I’ll be visiting soon! But I do lovelovelove Fayetteville. Just so we’re clear.

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing:

I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Josh Groban

 

 

Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark

Cherry Garcia Chocolate BarkIf you love Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream as much as I do, you will go crazy over my Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark. Rich dark and creamy white chocolate, tart cherries and decadent Dove dark chocolate flakes—are you with me on this?

Chocolate covered cherries are a traditional Christmas candy in our home, which makes this the perfect addition to my Christmas dessert table. This is a holiday no-brainer. Sinful, addictive, and easy to make.

So now I ask, what would Jerry do?

He would eat this up.

And then he would play.

Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark

Ingredients

  • 12 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 10 oz white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped dried cherries
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 4 pieces Dove chocolate candies

Instructions

  1. With a sharp knife, cut Dove dark chocolate candies into slivers. Buy a bag of these little jewels, but you will only need 3-4 pieces. Pour the remainder in a candy bowl. Dark chocolate has health benefits you know...
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt dark chocolate chips on 50% power, stirring every 30-45 seconds. When the chocolate is melted, add almond extract and stir until smooth. (Almond extract mixed with dark chocolate has a distinct cherry flavor so don't skip or substitute this...)
  4. Spread melted dark chocolate onto parchment paper and smooth until the chocolate is approximately 1/4 inch thick. This is fun. Like making a mud pie.
  5. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to cool and set. When the dark chocolate layer has set (about thirty minutes), melt the white chocolate in a microwave bowl on 50% power. Stir every 30-45 seconds. White chocolate melts faster than dark chocolate so this will only take 2-3 minutes.
  6. Pour white chocolate over dark chocolate and smooth to a thin layer.
  7. While white chocolate is still hot, sprinkle Dove slivers and chopped cherries over the top, carefully pressing large pieces into the white chocolate. Work quickly before the white chocolate cools.
  8. Place bark into refrigerator to set.
  9. With a sharp knife, cut into pieces.
  10. Share with friends!
  11. Store Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark covered at room temperature.
http://www.gracegritsgarden.com/2014/12/cherry-garcia-chocolate-bark.html

 

Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark - How to Make

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Cherry Garcia Chocolate Bark Oh My!

Musical Pairing:

Grateful Dead – Sleigh Ride

Christmas Home Tour + Simple Decorating Tips

Christmas Home Tour and Simple Decorating Tips

Welcome and come on in! Since this is our first Christmas in Fayetteville, I thought I’d take you on a Christmas home tour and show you a few of my basic decorating tips. I’m keeping things simple this year (and not stressing over my lack of outside lighting). The only decorations I’ve pulled from storage tubs are those I absolutely adore which brings me to my first tip–decorate with items that fill your heart with Christmas spirit. Handmade items. Old things with history. Don’t let yourself be the oldest decoration in your house. Know what I mean?

When decorations feel right and easy, you’ll know.

Incorporate everyday items not specifically Christmas-related, like pottery and books. Work with what you have.

It doesn’t take much effort to place vintage ornaments in a bowl. I’m loving the look of turquoise McCoy pottery combined with red ornaments.

vintage ornaments/ art deco turquoise bowl

Here’s a mix of vintage and new-ish ornaments in a glass compote that normally holds a few marbles. (The marbles are underneath the ornaments. Easy decorating, I promise.)

vintage mixed with new

You probably already know about my collection of bottle brush trees. This year, I arranged my favorite trees on vintage serving platters and placed them throughout the house for simple Christmas touches in each room.

vintage bottle brush trees

bottle brush trees, ornaments, candle atop a flea market serving platter

Hang stars or other ornaments from branches and dried flower arrangements.

christmas home tour

Display old Christmas photos.

old christmas photos

My imperfect (yet perfect) Frasier fir is loaded with kid-made ornaments and family memories.

christmas home tour

Don’t forget your porches and outdoor space. My front door winter wreath isn’t holiday specific, so it will carry me into spring.

winter wreath

Frosty’s been with us for years.

Frosty on the front porch

Place inexpensive “permanent” trees in vintage flower pots to give them stability and a little extra oomph.

Simple Christmas Decorating

I would be remiss if I didn’t show off my favorite tree, the tree my parents bought the year I was born. We lived in Wilson, Arkansas on Washington Street. And guess what street I live on now? Yes, Washington Street. A fun factoid. At least I think so.

vintage silver tree

My final tip: buy one new (or old) decoration at your favorite after Christmas sale and pack it away for next year. I’ve amassed quite a collection of decorations this way.

That’s it for my Christmas home tour and simple decorating tips. Happy decorating! Happy Christmas!

Grace Grits and Gardening

Farm. Food. Garden. Life.

Musical Pairing:

It’s Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas, Johnny Mathis