Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Wishes and Recipe for Giving

Growing up in South Florida meant the "Winter Wonderland" at Christmas time was sand going between your toes while you walked barefoot on the beach. The closest we got to chestnuts roasting on an open fire was the crackle and pop the LP made as our treasured Nat King Cole Christmas album played the tune on our record player. My dad is a huge Nat fan and has collected his albums for years. In fact, I often wondered if that was why his album was the only holiday music we owned growing up-nobody could out do Nat King Cole.  

My dad was also a singer himself. For several years, my father was asked to be a part of a Living Christmas Tree production in St. Petersburg, Florida. When I was around 8 or so, I was asked to be a part of the production. My role was to just sit still on my dad's lap as he sang the old favorite that I had heard every year-The Christmas Song better known as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. The night of the performance I was so nervous that my mom kept having to take me to the ladies room. I was afraid I was going to miss my stage debut due to a nervous bladder!

Alas, my time had come to go on stage. I remember getting up onto my dad's lap and nervously looking out into the audience when I realized I couldn't even see them. The lights on stage were so bright that all I could see was their bright beams . So, I just looked at my dad as he sang my favorite Christmas song to me and I forgot all about the audience. I have to say his rendition that night of The Christmas Song was the best I had ever heard-even Nat King Cole couldn't out sing my dad!

My South Florida upbringing didn't allow me to experiment with recipes for roasting chestnuts on an open fire, but here is my Microwave Chocolate Truffle Recipe instead. Some of my readers have emailed me that it has become their "new favorite" Holiday Recipe-so good and so easy. I think the best gifts are those from the heart that you make. It is such a great gift for this time of year! 

Easy Microwave Chocolate Truffles
from Tea with a Twist - All About Chocolate Tea Party

½ cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoon butter cut into chunks
2 Tablespoon sugar 
1 Tablespoon vanilla
10 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (60%) I like Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips* (If not using chip, break up chocolate into small pieces)
½ teaspoon salt

Cocoa Mixture
Mix 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa and 1/3 cup powder sugar together. For a saltier taste add 1/8 teaspoon fine salt.

Microwave cream, butter and sugar in 2 quart microwavable glass bowl on high for 1 ½ minutes. Stir well; heat an additional 1 minute longer or until mixture comes to full boil. Stir in vanilla and chocolate into cream mixture until chocolate is completely melted. Add salt and blend. Chill until firm enough to shape into balls about 3 hours. Shape into 1-inch balls. If desired roll truffles in Cocoa Mixture. Another option is to roll in finely ground nuts and salt. Store covered in refrigerator. Makes about 2 dozen.

Happy Christmas, Sipping, and Giving, Lisa


  1. Dearest Lisa,

    What a lovely memory of your Dad singing for you. That must have wrapped you up, totally in LOVE. Good thing you couldn't see the audience... at least for a child's worrying.
    The recipe sounds real easy and yes, there is nothing better than to give a gift made of 'labor of love'...

    Enjoy your special time of year and wishing you a Merry Christmas!

    Mariette's Back to Basics

  2. Aunt Lisa, Hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years! I can't wait to try these Chocolate Truffles!

    And you Taiwan trip looked amazing! What a great experience! I learned so much reading about your travels!

  3. What wonderful childhood Christmas memories. The truffle recipe sounds great. My only previous experience with microwave candy was pralines that we ended up having to eat with a spoon.

    I received your latest book for Christmas and am really enjoying it. I've mentioned it on my blog to alert all my tea loving friends.

  4. Thanks for all the kind posts. I did make these truffles again for Christmas gifts. They would make a wonderful Valentines gift as well!