Friday, December 15, 2023

The Holiday Marathon: Use Your Words

Peppermint Toffee Bars| recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dessert

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: my friend Diane and I picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases to submit to each other to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. Both posts will be unique as we each have our own set of words we're working with.

At the end of this post, you'll find the link to Diane's post, be sure to check it out, see what words I sent her and how she used them.

I'm using: drool ~ doodle ~ dodge ~ deem ~ dramatic

Holiday time is bittersweet. While most of you reading this are still up to your eyeballs in holiday cooking and baking and buying and decorating and preparations, I'm mostly done. I will make a turkey on Christmas for Hubs and College Boy and I, but the sides will mostly be leftovers from Thanksgiving. 

But only because I had everything else crammed into two hectic weeks. I ran that holiday marathon in record time. 

And I ran it sick. Although family is a time of sharing and caring, we could have done a lot less of the sharing part. Since what we were passing around was sicknesses of various sorts and kinds.

PurDude arrived late on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving and for me, it was on. The two weeks he was here I made all of his favorite meals, along with desserts and snacks. I made College Boy's birthday dinner, Thanksgiving. And, although Hanukkah started a few days after he went back to Boulder, we celebrated that too. I mean he couldn't be deprived of Crusted Prime Rib and Air Fryer Latkes.

We had Saturday night. After that, medical chaos. And although we were desperately trying to dodge each others' symptoms, we still managed to get all of our celebrations in. We Blessings take our holidays and family time seriously. We will not be denied.

The Holiday Marathon | pictured taken by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #blogging

As hectic as those 2 weeks are, I still try to extend it, dodge the lightening quick passage of the limited amount of time when I have PurDude home, when we're all here. Sick or well. 

But in the blink of an eye, his final full day here comes {{sob}}.

And on that last day, just in case I can bribe tempt him to stay just a little longer, I make another drool-worthy dessert.

Peppermint Toffee Bars| recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #dessert
Peppermint Toffee Bars

But, of course, he has obligations, work, and those ski mountains are open and calling his name. {{sigh}}

The Holiday Marathon | pictured taken by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #blogging

The Holiday Marathon | pictured taken by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #blogging

Not to sound overly dramatic, but when that travel day came, I kinda felt like an online meal service as I packed up 10 frozen dinners (leftovers of all of his favorites), 3 loaves of quick breads, snacks, and desserts for him to take back to Boulder.

Now, as I sit here, absentmindedly drawing in (and doodlling not nice words in the margins of) the trump coloring book College Boy bought me to make me laugh, I'm grateful that College Boy is local, that I can see him every day. And when my mind goes to Boulder, I deem that his eating those homemade meals is a virtual dinner together. 

Because that's all I get . . . for now. 

Well, that and some much needed rest.


Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
Here's the link to Diane's Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Peppermint Toffee Bars         

Printable Recipe

1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup flour
3 TBSP baking cocoa
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1 (9 oz) package Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 X 13 baking dish.
*Cream margarine, 1/2 stick butter, sugar, and egg yolk until smooth. Mix in the flour, baking cocoa, and salt until it forms a dough.
*Press into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
*Microwave corn syrup, remaining butter, brown sugar, and cream for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 1 minute more until hot and bubbly. Stir in the peppermint extract, then barely swirl in the mini chocolate chips. Pour into the crust and bake for 20 minutes.
*While the toffee layer is baking, unwrap the candies and and coarsely chop.
*Remove the baking dish from oven, but leave oven on. Sprinkle the chopped candy over the toffee layer and immediately return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes, until the kisses are melty.
*Gently swirl the melted kisses around the top of the bars, then allow to cool completely before slicing.


  1. I'm sorry your holida y was marred by illness but happy you got your celebrating in, anyway.

  2. Sorry you had to deal with sickness, but peppermint bark is always welcome and it's fortunate you or PurDude didn't have to call the visit short. There is a lot of sickness going around where I live right now. Tis the season, I suppose.

    1. There was no waay to call the visit short for him, he had an 8 hour drive to get home and would have to be well enough to do it. But I was glad he was here where I could take care of him and not 8 hours away and alone.

  3. I've never been skiing, I'm sure I would break at least a couple of bones if I tried. lol The bars sound good though.

    1. Skiing is so much fun, but it's definitely smart to start out with a few lessons.

  4. We missed seeing the out of town children over Thanksgiving, but thank goodness there's still one son close to the house that can represent.

  5. It's hard when they are so far away. Bigger Girl is in Seattle, and she's happy, that makes it a little easier.

    1. Yes, them being happy definitely makes it easier. PurDude checks in with me daily by text, and that helps too.

  6. Sickness can strike at the worst bloody time but at least you still managed to have some fun

    1. Yes, I tried really hard to appreciate all the time we had together, even if we weren't feeling at our best.

  7. We are all in the throes of various degrees of sickness. H has a dying cough.. I am hacking, M's is starting and D just complained of a tickle in his throat. Yippee..
    That peppermint bark looks great. Hoping to hit the slopes next month.


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