DIY Chocolate and Sprinkle Covered Pretzels

Not-Very-Pretty-Pretzels

This was supposed to be an easy project. I’d seen camouflage chocolate pretzels online and I’ve made chocolate-covered pretzels before. Although the semi-sweet chips melted beautifully, the white chocolate chips didn’t melt–they just got stiff. In the past, the same thing happened when I tried to melt white chocolate disks. So frustrating. Mental note to self–don’t try to melt white chocolate again! I was about to scrap the project when I had a brainstorm. I put the chocolate-covered pretzels in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Then I rolled them in blue sprinkles. Voila! The pretzels weren’t pretty but, hon, they were sweet (and salty).

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Ingredients:

pretzel logs

chocolate chips

vegetable oil

sprinkles

wax or parchment paper

Prep:

Line baking dishes with wax or parchment paper so finished pretzels can dry. Pour sprinkles into a dish with sides.

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate chips over double boiler. Add vegetable oil to melting chips, approximately a teaspoon at a time as needed, to help make the chocolate creamy in consistency.
  2. Spoon melted chocolate pretzel logs.
  3. Let chocolate cool a minute or so, but while still warm roll pretzels in sprinkles or spoon the sprinkles on top of the chocolate. Rolling is more efficient, but the melted chocolate drips into the sprinkles and makes the sprinkles globby.
  4. Line pretzels on baking dish to dry.

After all the pretzels are decorated, refrigerate them until the chocolate has hardened. Store pretzels in an airtight container. I made these about a week ahead of time and kept them in the fridge until needed.

Related Post: https://wordpress.com/post/bmoreenergy.wordpress.com/7325

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Fireworks Are Now Legal In New Jersey, Sort Of

About a month ago, I came across a display like this at the grocery store.

Me: “Umm, are those fireworks? Aren’t they illegal in New Jersey?”

Grocer: “Not anymore. Governor Christie changed the law last year, so no more having to drive to Pennsylvania to buy fireworks.”

What’s the law? What’s allowed? Which fireworks do what?

The following is an excerpt from a humorous NJ.com article by Joe Atmonavage  with all the details.

Legal fireworks are so boring your neighbors won’t even call the cops

Last year, then-Gov. Chris Christie took a stand and signed a bill allowing anyone old enough to have a learner’s permit to twirl around with a sparkler if they so choose, taking New Jersey off the short list of states with blanket bans on fireworks. (Massachusetts now stands alone.)

Signed at the end of last June, the bill legalized “non-explosive, non-aerial” fireworks such as sparklers and party poppers. While shopping the selection of legal “fireworks” was overwhelmingly anti-climatic, setting them off was not as boring as “sparklers” and “party poppers” might sound.

We wanted to get a little bit of everything so we would be ready to show off to our friends and family on July Fourth just how cool New Jersey’s somewhat-new fireworks law is.

Choosing which fireworks to get is harder than it sounds. While you know that at the end of the day they practically all do the same thing (make sparks, create some noise, maybe change colors), the bright packaging with eye-catching images makes choosing a tad harder.

They had the classic pyro toys like sparklers (including neon ones!), snappers, smoke grenades, fountains, as well as small fireworks that don’t do all that much, like snakes in the grass, jumping jacks and something called a “gyro bloom.”

You can buy these in jumbo sets that can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can also buy them individually. We paid $66 for nearly 20 individual packages.

Wedding Week, Flowers, Family and Father’s Day

Pretty and Simple Centerpieces

My sister’s centerpieces were twine-tied mason jars filled with fairy lights and silk hydrangeas set on a glass tiles and surrounded by votives. These would be easy DIY centerpieces for a wedding, shower, engagement party, or even a backyard celebration–think gerber daisies or sunflowers.

Her bridal bouquet was made up of brightly colored flowers with the stems wrapped in satin ribbon.

The bride and groom, Ruth and Michael’s first dance.
Flowering cherry blossoms provide the perfect backdrop to my sister’s blended family.

And in honor of Father’s Day…

Me and Hubby.

Wedding Week–Bachelorette Party or Bridal Shower Games

Does every Bachelorette-ish dinner need games? Probably not, but why not?!

Searching for activities that felt getting-remarried-appopriate and age-appropriate took some doing.  “How Well Do You Know the Bride?” and “How Well Do You Know Your Fiancé?” were the winners. Here’s how they work:

“How Well Do You Know the Bride?”

Each guest picks a question out of a bag and answers it. The bride-to-be confirms or corrects the answer. Fun!

  1. What is (the bride’s) birthday?
  2. What color are her eyes?
  3. What is her shoe size?
  4. What is (the bride’s) middle name?
  5. Who is her favorite author?
  6. What is (the bride’s) favorite food?
  7. Where did she go to elementary school?
  8. Where did she go to college?
  9. What is the name of her college boyfriend?
  10. Who is her celebrity crush?
  11. Where did (the bride) and (groom) meet?
  12. Where are they going on their honeymoon?
  13. What song will they rock out to at their wedding?
  14. Where is (the bride’s) dream vacation?

“How Well Do You Know Your Fiancé?” 

Before the dinner, the groom-to-be answers the list of questions. At the party, the bride-to-be has to guess her fiancé’s answers. Funny!

  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. Do you have any unusual birthmarks?
  3. Where did the two of you have your first kiss?
  4. Who steals the covers?
  5. What is your favorite breakfast food?
  6. Who said, “I love you” first?
  7. Are you a beer or wine guy?
  8. Do you have a pet name for (the bride)?
  9. Who has better dance moves?
  10. Where would you love to travel?
  11. What is your ideal date?
  12. What do you do that annoys (the bride) most?
  13. What does (the bride) do that annoys you the most?
  14. What is one item that you own that (the bride) can’t stand?
  15. What is one item that (the bride) owns that you can’t stand?
  16. What does (the bride) think is your most endearing quality?
  17. What do you think is (the bride’s) most endearing quality?

The funniest questions were 12-17. My sister mostly guessed her fiancé’s answers correctly. I’ll take that as a good sign!

Wedding Week–DIY Chocolate Favors

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DIY Chocolate Favors

Hon, you know I love a theme! My sister recently got re-married and I was in charge of the bachelorette-ish dinner. A pretty pocketbook was featured on the invitation, so when I found candy molds with pocketbooks and pumps, I was sold. There are endless molds to choose from making these DIY favors easy to adapt to different themes and occasions. Need a fun kids activity? Kid can measure, time, pour, pop the candy out of the molds and, of course, eat the chocolates. Yum!

Supplies:

  • candy molds
  • melting chocolates (I used a combination of milk, dark and white chocolate.)
  • cookie tray
  • wax or parchment paper
  • microwaveable bowls, spoons and spatula
  • favor bags and ribbon

Steps:

  1. Set up: Place candy molds on baking trays. Top another tray or cutting board with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Melt 2 cups of chocolate melties in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave for another 10-12 seconds or until chocolate is smooth. Stir. If more than  2 cups of chocolate are being melted, microwave for 15 seconds. (note: Some chocolate melties melt better than others. It’s better to microwave for less time, stir, microwave again, etc. if you’re not sure. If the chocolate passes the melting stage and gets “crumbly,” it can’t be re-melted and becomes unusable.)
  3. Pour melted chocolate into candy molds.
  4. Place baking tray with candy molds in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  5. Pop frozen chocolate shapes onto wax/parchment lined tray. Let it come to room temperature before handling.
  6. Fill bags and tie with ribbon.

Source: Check out Sweet n Fancy Emporium where you can find endless choice of mold, cookie cutter, melties, sprinkles and frostings.

Spring Bouquets

Who doesn’t love a bouquet?

We were at an event where every table had a different bouquet and, of course, I had to absorb the colors and combinations. The two arrangements below are nestled in DIY Woodsy Centerpieces. Bendable twigs, vines and branches are wrapped around glass vases. The branches-wrapped-vases sit on thick slabs of wood. Simple. Woodsy. Pretty.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

New Year, New Look

Me and Lucy, not really a lap dog!

I’ve been thinking about introducing a new look to Bmore Energy and finally decided 2018 was a great time to change things up. This year,  I want to be as bold and brave as the color of the year, Ultra Violet!

A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.  Pantone.