Dear Santa, I'd like to quit Christmas this year. Let's be honest. You get all the credit. I do all the work, and this year it seems quasi impossible to make it as dreamy as days of yore. I know, it is the most wonderful time of the year " unless, you can't keep up […]

Dear Santa,

I'd like to quit Christmas this year. Let's be honest. You get all the credit. I do all the work, and this year it seems quasi impossible to make it as dreamy as days of yore. I know, it is the most wonderful time of the year " unless, you can't keep up with the to-do list of shopping, tree trimming, house decorating (inside and out), baking, cooking and wellthe list continues. Now excuse me for not being reverent, but if this is feeling merry, how much longer can it last? I think it is time to take a stand. If I do nothing for Christmas well then I might just have some time for me.

I am not a Grinch by any means, I enjoy gift giving and spending time indulging in all those caloric amazing food delicacies and visiting with family and friends. I just need to dial-it back a little. I need to keep it simple. You may have noticed that I haven't even had time to blog let alone cook. Baking, well that is salvation much like working out, to take the lid off of my stress. Yes, like you, I've been busy. Probably no more or less busy, but it does seem like every time I speak with my 'consigliari' (close confidants) everyone is feeling exactly the same. This year has been a blur, and the pace has been frantic. Having 'no time' is suddenly the new normal (like it or not) and well, that is a bit daunting.

I'd be lying if I didn't confess that I miss blogging about my cooking and recipe development. I do miss it. I miss it a lot. It's just that I am trying to keep my sanity and sometimes, something has to give.

When I first started this blog it was a way to help promote my first cookbook. What I quickly discovered is that it was also a forum for finding my voice and reaching a new community. I love being part of another world beyond my 'real world' tech geek side. And to have the chance to have grown-up and explored my writing over these past nine years is something I am immensely proud of. No, I am absolutely not walking away, but I am trying to find a cadence that I can manage. I'd love it to be once a week, like it was for so many years, but I am not going to set it in stonemy goal will be to blog as often as possible. Blogging has also given me some wonderful friendships and opportunities. It's made me a part of another community that I covet.

While I may not be the poster child for hashtag 'blessed' I am grateful for all those who meet me here, in this space. I am wishing everyone a happy holiday season and look forward to keeping up with you in the New Year. For now, I can share this simple recipe, which is one that I discovered more than 20 years ago. This recipe marks my first foray into dark chocolate and the start of this chocolate varietal love affair.

The Dark-ish Pistachio Bark recipe is easy to a fault, meaning you can easily make (over produce) this recipe and loose all sense of balance and moderation. Yet its redemption is that the dark chocolate, which is not only delicious, has healthy antioxidants too. This dark brown palate is beautifully studded with bright green pistachios giving the candy a festive pop of color, a nice crunch and contrast to the smooth textured chocolate, and provides some healthy fats to keep you going during this hectic time of year. Great for gift giving or even for a quick energy boost; and while it is only 2 ingredients, take liberties and add sea salt or goji berries or almonds. It is a blank canvas " and is certainly a recipe that can help time-crunched Santa Slay Christmas.

Dark-ish Chocolate Pistachio Bark

Makes 40 pieces

Ingredients

1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup pistachio nuts, shelled and toasted

Directions

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aide. After the nuts have been shelled and toasted, take 1/4 of the nuts and rough chop. Combine in same bowl as other nuts.

Microwave the chocolate in a bowl on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until completely melted. Alternatively, create a double boiler by filling a small pot with about 2-3 inches of water, and bring to a boil. Then, place glass bowl on top of the small pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't actually touch the water. Add the chocolate to the glass bowl. Stir the chocolate slowly until melted; the texture to be smooth and easy to pour. Add in 1/3 of the notes and mix until well coated.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet, and carefully spread the chocolate into an even layer that's about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. Break into uneven bite-size pieces. Serve and enjoy!