Alex was busy with Matt and the presents were all dispersed, so I had no real plans with the boys this weekend. While reading a new magazine on saturday, I came across directions for simple but creamy chocolate truffles. I decided to make some and since Becky is fond of truffles I wrangled her into them as well. The catch was I had to help her with my special pasta recipe. Bonus. It was tastey too.
I prepared the ganache and rolled it into balls and Danny and Ricky helped roll them into the toppings. We had sweetened coconut, cocoa powder, and crushed hazelnuts. We greedily sampled them and realized it heps to tap off excess cocoa powder, otherwise you inhale it and start sputtering. Ricky as my biggest helper, even if he didn't like dark chocolate. His loss, they were tasty. I left half with her and packaged up a sampler for Alex before they disappeared.
This morning we decided to make caramels with the leftover cream, corn syrup, and vanilla. I had sugar and butter. Danny helped stir while I warmed up some leftover pasta. Charles helped deliver the sweets by running them up to the doors. I hope everyone enjoys them. I did cheat and ladled out some when it was at a soft ball stage for caramel sauce for icecream.  am saving that for something special. Still we had about 60 caramels, fourty were given away. The rest we ate.
 
I did the bulk of my Christmas shopping last night. I am not a big Christmas gifter. I buy practical gifts and never wait for Christmas morning. Am I robbing them of that special moment? I don't know, I have never cared much for the sit down present opening. They open one gift and before they can fully appreciate it, it is tossed aside forgotten so they can open another.

I still want that moment though. That is where the food comes in. I remember way back when I  was a SAHM I would plan holiday meals for weeks. I don't have the time for that now, but I still enjoy throwing something together. I am not sure what I will make for the family party or Christmas with the kids yet. I did make a lovely lamb stew for after shopping. I used my new french/dutch oven. It was so easy and so good, like a celebration all on its own.

Lamb stew

1lb lamb stew meat*
1 onion chopped*
couple handfulls of carrots and potatoes* cut up
1 box of beef broth
~1 c red wine, I used a semi-sweet leftover from Thanksgiving
1 clove garlic crushed
herb de provence
splash of oil
dusting of flour to coat meat
salt to taste

*local products purchased at MooRoo in Waterloo

I coated the lamb with the flour and seared it with the garlic in oil. I removed the meat and added the vegetable to the pot to bring out the sugars. After about five minutes I added the broth and wine, scraping the bottom to deglase and bring  the flavors into the broth. I then added back in the meat and the seasonings before placing into a preheated oven set at 450. I let it cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. 

I served it with cottage bread* and butter*. I was half into my second bowl before I  could stop to get a picture.