Hello to you in 2013! Just like that – a whole new year. How’d that happen exactly? What has the new year brought you so far? For me it’s ushered in a few extra kilos. Dang. I hopped on the scales the other day and had to exclaim “Hey where’d you come from, you cheeky monkeys?” Oh that’s right, from a bit of this –Peppermint bark

I know you probably can’t handle yet another festive recipe right now, so I have only this one to share and then it’s on to healthier things. I just can’t help myself but tell you about this peppermint bark because I’ve made it a couple of years running now so I think it might be a tradition. This year was so hot I had to wrap the little morsels up in individual baking paper and then box up. They looked so cute I was very impressed with myself.IMG_9652

Here is the recipe and in case you need to know metric amounts:

480 grams. white chocolate, such as Callebaut, finely chopped (dbl = 963g, triple=1,930g)

30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (dbl = 60, triple =90)

200 grams bittersweet chocolate, such as Ghirardelli 60%, finely chopped (dbl= 400g, triple = 600g)

6 Tbsp. heavy cream (dbl = 12 Tbsp, triple = 18 Tbsp)

¾ tsp. peppermint extract (dbl = 1.5 tsp, triple = 2 1/4 tsp)

I tripled the recipe (I know, let’s just say my in-laws are plentiful) and I used candy canes instead of peppermint sweets because I couldn’t find them late at night on Christmas Eve. Shockingly poor planner, me.

So that’s that one. Make it if you dare. Utterly addictive stuff.IMG_9659

And now for the healthy stuff. The extra kilos and the heralding of the new year encouraged me to finally make this sensational brownie I had read about on My New Roots and hadn’t made yet. It’s just dates and nuts and raw cacao and no monkey business (wheat, sugar etc). It’s raw and it’s amazing. I never thought I would pair those things in a sentence. I thought it might be okay, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it to be really really yummy.IMG_9468

My sister thinks it has a little too much cacao in it, but if you’re a dark chocolate freak like I am I think you will love it. I didn’t have medjool dates so soaked some regular ones for a little while until soft and then I mucked about with different nuts like trading the almonds for macadamias. Still yummy. I’m starting to think you might not be able to b*gger this one up too badly (Southern hemisphere speak for “botch it up”) even if you get a little crazy with the alternations. Make sure to get your hands mucky, squishing it down into the pan, of course.Mucky hands

Raw Brownie is going to feature pretty regularly in our house in 2013. I keep it in the freezer so it’s super cold and cut a square for my mandatory sweet fix with tea and / or writing. Speaking of 2013, I have to ask about resolutions. Did you make any? Are you opposed to making them? Design*Sponge had this great post of visual displays of resolutions from creative types. Some were quite inspiring. I loved “Be Here Now” and “Aid in the Flourishing of Others”. This follow-up post is a good ‘un if you’re still writing your goals.

I’ve started scribbling down a few resolution-y type thoughts on a notepad, ready to be crafted into a meaningful list. I’m not fussed about having a list bang-on New Year but I do like to make a few goals. I generally go for no more than five but I have quite a few changes I want to make this year. The one I thought you’d like the sound of is “Make space for creativity and inspiration”. I don’t mean physical space, I mean head space. 2012 was all about rushing around and cramming activities / chores / thoughts / feelings into tiny spaces; loaded up like kids on bunk beds. There was far too much multi-tasking and doing things half baked. It was harried. I was harried. This year I want to slow down and make some room. Lie in the bath without a book or a note pad. Stare out the window. Turn off the television. Stop doing two things at once. I think I need a few more empty pockets in my day and my life. Pockets to be filled with inspiration. Daydreams. Plots and characters. This hurrying and busy-ness has become a little habit forming and it needs to stop. Wish me luck…

How about you? What are your resolutions, if any? And what can you just not stop eating in 2013 (so far)?

HUGS, Hannah x