Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Stars of the Show

The other night, we went over to Xander's school for his annual Christmas concert. All the preschool classes are assigned a different Christmas song to sing together, and then they come together at the end for one big group number. We weren't sure how Evan would react to being in a big gym full of people, but we knew he would love the singing.

As it turned out, we shouldn't have been concerned about Evan being shy. As soon as we put him down on the floor of the gym, he took off! He started running all around the gym, and he was talking up a storm. He waved at people. He pointed at people. He whooped and yelled because he loved the fact that his voice carried well. And he loved the wide open space even more. I didn't even know he could run as fast as he could until that night, because he'd never had a space that huge to roam freely! It was adorable to watch, and he quickly became the center of attention among the crowds of people standing around him.

When it came time for Xander's class to sing "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," Xander's voice boomed louder than anyone else's. He was so exuberant that at first, he was singing louder and faster than anyone else. He slowed down though, and just sang his little heart out. At the end of the song, he had turned red from the exertion, and he literally blew out a huge breath, exhausted from his effort. We were very proud parents, because both of our boys had been stars that evening in their own ways.

There will undoubtedly be more Christmas recipes I will put up in the near future, but for now I wanted to post this one (see below). It's simple, it's yummy, and it looks so darn festive!

18 oz. white chocolate (use white chocolate chips, or white chocolate baking squares, chopped)
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free, with no problems)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract (you can also use 1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries (I used Craisins)
1 1/2 cups shelled, skinned pistachios (mine were roasted and lightly salted
Your choice of decorating candies (I used red and green jimmies)

1. In a medium saucepan, combine white chocolate, condensed milk, and both extracts. Turn heat to low and melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally.
2. Allow chocolate to combine with milk and extracts. When mixture is smooth, turn off the heat and add cranberries, then pistachios. Stir well to combine.
3. Pour mixture into a prepared 8-inch round or 8x8 inch square pan. (I prepared mine by lining a square pan with foil, then spraying the foil with Pam.) Press mixture evenly into pan, then decorate with your choice of sprinkles or candies.
4. Allow fudge to set in the refrigerator for several hours. Once firm, you can cut the fudge into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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