Monday, February 11, 2013

What's in a Patty?

 When I was in grade school we had a day where we were to dress up as our favorite 'Peanuts' character to celebrate Charles Schulz's birthday.  I chose Peppermint Patty. (Bonus Fact: Patricia Reichardt is the actual name of the character)  I went decked out in black shorts, a dark green shirt, flip flops and my mom even used that fun hair stuff to spray my hair a great red color.  I mean, honestly, what's not to love about Peppermint Patty?

So you can only imagine that I was only to happy to celebrate National Peppermint Patty day today.  But I was a little stumped - what is a Peppermint Patty, really?  Obviously we weren't going to be munching on a cartoon character so I started digging into it.  It turns out that a Peppermint Patty can be two things, which of course you know around here means we need to celebrate them both just to cover all the bases.

The first is a drink made we hot chocolate and then some combination of creme de cacao, creme de menthe and peppermint schnapps depending on who you believe.  This recipe had me reliving my first official Alpha Chi date party with Grant as I remember a campfire, marshmallow cream from a 'smore being smeared on a jacket and sipping a delicious version of this beverage.  The kiddos got a 'virgin' recipe while Grant had the real deal with dinner.  Kudos to my Mom for bailing me out yesterday and supplying me with Creme de Menthe as I was having no luck finding it around here.  Thanks for helping us celebrate ;-)

The other is probably what most people think of a Peppermint Patty as - a chocolate candy covering a sugary peppermint center.  (Most common - York Peppermint Pattie) I made my own batch of these on Saturday and then have been chilling in the freezer since then.  I have to give mad props to a reviewer on who really helped me out on this one.  I wasn't crazy about the idea of dipping these bad boys as I tend to make quite a mess when dipping something in chocolate.  But when I was reading some of the reviews someone suggested making them in a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  So smart!  Not only was this way easier and less messy but my peppermint patties came out looking pretty sassy.

It's also Oatmeal Monday.  (This week makes me giggle - Oatmeal Monday, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday...)  And while I could have made a batch of yummy oatmeal cookies I am honestly about up to my eyeballs in sweets around here right now given that we had chocolate fondue, nutella, molasses bars and cream cheese brownies all in the past week so I wanted to try oatmeal in a savory recipe if I could find one.  I came across oatmeal pork chops with a sweet maple sauce and we gave it a go.  Huge hit here at dinner tonight.  I love pushing the boundaries just a little bit sometimes and finding something new to like.  I also made individual applesauce crisps for everyone for some bonus oatmeal :)

And while all this food celebrating is great, we had a couple other great highlights today.  First, Noah had a great time at his Valentine's party.  We went through his mailbox when he got home, and as he was pawing through the loot (more sweets!) he says "It sure is nice to have so many friends who like me so much they got me all this stuff."  The kid cracks me up.

After lunch we met up with Grant at Heritage Bakery in Livonia to make sure that everyone got to pick out their own paczki for tomorrow.  I am Polish and you just don't mess with getting crummy paczki from a grocery store when you have access to the authentic version.  (Though even paczki can't make me brave Hammtramck alone with the kiddos)  You'll have to check us out tomorrow to see the paczki and find out what everyone picked :)

We also had a special delivery today.  Thanks Grandpa Gary for the cool new books (which they're reading with Grant right now as I work to get the blog updated) and the chocolate bars.  You made two kiddos very happy this afternoon.

Alright, I'm off for the evening.  Check us out tomorrow as we're going to be celebrating my heritage with some paczki and Grant's with some Swedish pancakes.  Should be a great day!  Until then...

Going to get our paczki!

 Thanks Grandpa Gary!

 Oatmeal pork chops

 Applesauce crisp

 Peppermint Patty (the drink version)

 The inside of my homemade Peppermint Patty

 So much easier than dipping!

Think Kayla enjoyed hers?

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