Loving Life after 50

Peanuts and Our Own Hallmark Holiday Tradition ( and maybe Gingerbread and White Chocolate Mousse)

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendHallmark #CollectiveBias
It’s Christmas time, the most wonderful time of the year… sounds trite maybe but it really is how I feel. I have been a Christmas fanatic all my life, the food, the gifts, the music, the happy smiles on everyone and let’s not forget the decorations and the Christmas Trees ( and yes plural because I may have more than one) 
My tree is in the living room and is what some may call a theme tree
Pink Christmas Tree

and then we have the family room and its well a Family Theme
a fun family tree with hallmark ornaments and M&m's
or maybe I could say a Hallmark Ornament Theme.

Hallmark ornaments

Christmas Decorations
in my home regardless of the room you are in you will find Christmas.
and
Lets not forget the Christmas Cards,  Christmas cards and snail mail really say Merry Christmas. There is just something about opening the mailbox and seeing envelopes holding cards, that shout happy holidays right? Kent and I have maintained the holiday tradition of mailing Christmas cards and in return we seem to get a lot of cards and for me they need to be displayed. 
Christmas cards and a fun display
I have always believed that Christmas Cards have the ability to not just say I am thinking about you but they tell a story of what that special person means to you, kind of like a Hallmark Greeting Card right, when you care enough to send the very best ( to quote a fav saying from my childhood) Hallmark Greeting Cards are the perfect way to show you care and they truly work well for any holiday, special occasion, or just because. For us, any day is the perfect day to send a Hallmark greeting card to someone you love. ( and we often act on that sentiment)  Kent and I have been known to stand in the Greeting Card aisle for hours reading the cards, chuckling, shedding a tear or just letting that smile spread across our face as we find the perfect card.
special messages in my Hallmark Greeting Cards
Cool fact for you, this year, 2015, Walmart and Hallmark have teamed up so the Ornament selection include 16 Walmart exclusives, resin figurines, Holiday Barbie, new deco figurines and more, so hello guess where I went, exclusives are exclusives and I thought I just might be able to find the perfect ornament to match the perfect Hallmark Card. ( and I did).  
( the Ornaments are not in the same area as the cards, I suggest you head to Seasonal or Christmas Decor at your local Walmart to check out their selection of Ornaments)
Walmart Hallmark Display
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Peanuts so I found two amazing Hallmark cards at Walmart and the Lionel card just screamed out please find the matching ornament, so Nicolas should have a pleasant surprise right? ( still hunting for Lucy, she seems very popular and thus very elusive to find but I have not yet given up)
  Hallmark Greeting Cards and Hallmark Ornaments Peanuts

and then hello Chewbacca, this has been Kent’s pet name ( no pun intended) for Ryan for years so this Hallmark Card just jumped into my cart. ( but I could not find the matching Ornament at my Walmart but I did find a caddyshack one that was perfect for Kent, he use to dance like the groundhog so finding the Groundhog in a Hallmark Ornament, well the perfect addition to his tree)
 Hallmark Greeting Cards and Hallmark Ornaments starwars and peanuts

 for me the holidays include sitting at the kitchen table with a drink in hand and a snack at the ready as we write special messages in each card.
wrinting in my  Hallmark Greeting Cards

and snack at the ready means a special snack that screams Christmas, that special treat that I may not have everyday, this is not a chocolate bar moment folks this is a decadent holiday memory moment so,
Gingerbread Cookie Cups and white chocolate mousse and caramel

I usually purchase a premade gingerbread cookie dough and place a small amount in each section of the mini muffin tray. Using my thumb I created a little nest in each. You can make your own gingerbread of course but for me purchasing the premade dough gave us extra time to spend together.
Gingerbread Cookie Cups
The caramel filling, well easy peasy I had dulce de leche on hand so why make my own caramel right??? There are many options available, from creating your own caramel filling to purchasing premade but again for the holidays  I like expediting the process so there is more time to enjoy the yumminess.( and write my messages in my cards)
Gingerbread Cookie Cups  and caramel

The topping is white chocolate mousse, and this step I found best to make my own, and the only caution I throw out to you is when it says carefully fold in, truly take your time with this step and do not over mix.
Ingredients
  • 1 pint whipping cream (divided)
  • 12 oz white chocolate
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pan, heat ½ cup of whipping cream until simmering.
  2. Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  3. Pour simmering cream over top of the chocolate and mix until smooth and evenly melted. Set aside to cool.
  4. Pour the remaining pint (about 1½ cups) into a stand mixer.
  5. Whisk on high until soft peaks begin to form.
  6. Carefully fold the cooled white chocolate mixture into the whipping cream.
( be very careful with this step, fold in CAREFULLY, my first batch was ruined because I did not follow this and basically added the melted chocolate and still used the mixer, that would be a NO NO)
Place into the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. white chocolate mousse
Once ready, I use a cake decorating utensil to add the mousse topping, thus creating a decorative topping, cuz its all about the pretty around here.
You can also drizzle caramel on top and add chocolate sprinkles ( or even coloured sprinkles), the sky is the limit, try experimenting to make this recipe yours.  
Gingerbread Cookie Cups and white chocolate mousse and caramel

Gingerbread Cookie Cups and white chocolate mousse and caramelI also found it fun to take the extra mousse and fill little shooter glasses for those who may want a simpler treat 
white chocolate mousse
so excuse me the cards are calling my name ( or maybe that is the gingerbread and mousse, not sure, but something is calling me back to the table to finish writing the cards ( actually its probably Kent, tired of sitting by himself right).
There are more great holiday card ideas if you like trying new thingsplus head over and  tell me which ornament you’re most looking forward to this season. and please don’t forget to leave a comment I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions!
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