Friday, December 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Balls

This is a recipe you often see at Christmas time, but I make an amendment this be an all year round treat :) Peanut butter balls are sweet and savory morsels of awesomeness! You maybe able to tell that I love chocolate and peanut butter by this point.
When searching for recipe variations online I noticed that most called for some portion of butter to be added to the recipe, I recommend not using dairy butter; simply using Peter Pan creamy peanut butter adds enough moisture. We opt not to use butter because the fat separates from the mixture and seeps out of any holes or sealed weak spots in the chocolate coating. Our family recipe is super simple and delicious.
Simple Peanut Butter Balls
Makes Approximatley 150+
There is not an exact recipe for our treats, but we start out with:
1 Jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter (28 oz. jar)
2 Pounds of Powdered Sugar (1 Bag or 2 Boxes)
2 Containers of Chocolate Candy Coating or Almond Bark
1/2 Bag White Chocolate Chips (Optional)
1. Empty the entire jar of peanut butter into a large glass bowl, the heavy weight of the bowl helps it stay in place when mixing ingredients. Begin melting chocolate in double boiler.
2. Start with three cups of powdered sugar, incorporate into the peanut butter. Gradually add one cup of peanut butter until the dough is no longer sticky and has a firm texture. You will have to mix with your hands near the end of the process, when adding more sugar simple knead it in by hand.
3. Roll mix into tablespoon sized balls, place on a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Place the full tray into the freezer until firm, approximately 15 minutes.
4. Remove a small portion of the frozen peanut butter spheres from the freezer, dip into melted chocolate, and place on wax paper to set up. Do not remove all the spheres at once because they may become too soft to dip into melted chocolate.
5. When all spheres have been dipped into chocolate and hardened you can decorate them with melted white chocolate. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, set microwave to 50% power for 1 minute at a time and mix each time. Pour melted chocolate into resealable baggie and cut a very small portion of one corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate over peanut butter balls for a decorative touch.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry CHRISTmas & a Milestone

For my fiftieth post I wanted to say Merry Christmas and thank you for following my posts!!! I hope to continue to add posts about food, gardening, nature, and to provide inspiration. God has truly blessed me this past year with a wonderful church family and continual love from above. I'm neither rich with money or goods, but through Christ ,who's birth is celebrated on Christmas day, I'm the richest in the world with a home in heaven and royal blood in my veins. My Christmas prayer for you is that you can say the same!

True Meaning of Christmas
Luke 2: 1-20
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Caroling & Chocolate Covered Chips

Tonight our church went caroling and warmed up drinking hot cocoa then cooled back down by going to Dairy Queen (quite a conundrum, huh?) Since I'm cold and it's late I'll post a simple little gem I've been saving from when we had some chocolate left in the double boiler: chocolate covered chips. You'll notice from reading my recipe posts I'm on a salty-sweet kick now, well since always :) If you plan on melting any chocolate, grab a couple chips and wax paper.

Chocolate Covered Chips:
1 Bag Chips (Munchos were used for testing)
1/2 Bar Almond Bark Chocolate
Wax Paper

1. Melt your chocolate down in a double boiler or microwave of medium for 30 seconds at a time watching the chocolate carefully and stirring each time.
2. Dip one side of chips into chocolate allowing the excess to drip off the chip. Place on waxed paper. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Simple enough!?!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Moose Track Pretzels

When you get on Pinterest there is usually one pin that everyone is pinning, currently it is Rolo Pretzel Turtles. When I saw this pin over and over I decided to mix it up slightly by using walnuts instead of pecans, which were used with the Rolos pictured below, and create Moose Track Pretzels. I am on a big salty sweet crave right now, so a mixture of chocolate/peanut butter/pretzel would satisfy such a craving.
Moose Track Pretzels:
Will make approx. 60 treats
1/4 Bag Square Pretzels (Snyder's of Hanover Butter Snap Pretzels)
1 Bag Resealable Reese's Mini Cups (the smallest cups their are) 
1 Cup Honey Roasted Peanuts
Baking Sheet
Parchment Paper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Spread pretzels onto baking sheet covered in parchment paper, trust me you'll need the parchment, and organize anyway you like. Discard any broken pretzels, well by eating them.
3. Place mini peanut butter in the center of pretzels.
4. Place treats into preheated oven for approximately 3-5 minutes. When making rolo treats do not place them on the same baking sheet since rolos take longer to melt.
5. When the peanut butter cups are slightly melted to the point of being soft, place peanuts onto of the chocolates and press inward to spread out the melted candy and cover the pretzel.
6. Allow to cool completely, then they are ready to enjoy or give away as Christmas treats.

Rolos for walnut rolo treats.

What a waste of time unwrapping each candy when you can use unwrapped peanut butter cups!
Peanut butter cups are at the top, this is where I learned not to combine rolo with peanut butter cups.


Yummy! Enjoy!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dresser Revival: Part One: Beginning

You never know what you'll find on Craigslist: I found two dressers in dire condition just asking to be my new project. I purchased the pair from a nice couple and brought them home to see the real condition; it was amazing that I got them home intact one dresser tried to topple lose out of the bed of my truck. This was a moment where constant prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) is necessary to not damage your items/vehicle or someone else's car or cause them harm. This project is a completely new area for me since I had never used paint stripper, so with much research I landed with the idea of using Citristrip, it's supposed to be better on the respiratory system and environment. So here I am starting a project in December when it should wait until warmer weather, but I'm impatient.

You can see the paint peeling revealing a blue/black antiqued layer of paint, which we thought was the original layer, but the original layer was a polyurethane coating on pine wood. In one of the drawers we found a piece or paper glued inside and it dated the dressers to 1962: 50 years old!
We started the project by giving it a thorough once over looking for cracks and deciding how to fix the problems that had occurred over 50 years of use. Once the knobs, that were still attached, where removed it was time to apply the orange goo. (Note: the foam brushes above are not recommended for applying the paint stripper, it will dissolve the brush.)

After reading about the product I decided to give it a try; once again I will mention this is better for the environment, but probably wouldn't have the punch that chemical strippers contain. We gave our opinion of this product with the thought of a handicap: cold weather around 60 degrees Fahrenheit and humid.

The latex paint the previous owner applied easily peeled off with a little scrubbing.

Aren't they beautiful, the curves and design are artfully rustic.

A little damaged and quite frankly splitting in areas we will have these better than new. To intrigue you here are some samples of the color ideas floating in my head.
BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Hawaiian Cinder Interior/Exterior Paint
BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Vanilla Custard Interior/Exterior Paint

BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Forest Ridge Interior/Exterior Paint
BEHR Premium Plus Ultra Burnished Mahogany Interior/Exterior Paint

I would love feedback on colors or any other ideas for this project that I will conquer, just leave a comment below and be sure to follow the blog and receive updates on this topic and others including food, gardening, and inspirations.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

You see the commercial about how chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect pair: they're right! Chocolate adds a sweetness that nearly no one can turn down while peanut butter adds a toasty salty note, YUM! These cups make great Christmas gifts when bagged in cellophane bags and tied off with pretty ribbon.
Peanut Butter Cups
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter (Peter Pan: Creamy)
1 Stick Butter, Melted
1 1/2 Bars Chocolate Almond Bark
Candy, Sprinkles, or Edible Glitter (Optional)
1. Fill a double boiler with water until it reaches the bottom of the insert pot. If you don't have a double boiler set a glass bowl on top of a pot with boiling water barely reaching the bowl to prevent pressure from pushing the bowl up. Set the heat to high until it reaches a boil, reduce to low and allow to simmer.
2. Mix powdered sugar, peanut butter, and melted butter. Mix until combined adding powdered sugar if the mix is much too sticky, light stickiness is okay. Set bowl into fridge for a few minutes until it is completely chilled.
3. Using a mini muffin pan pour about 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate into each cup. Lightly shake pan to even out the chocolate, filling in spaces with extra chocolate. Allow chocolate to set up and harden.
4. Remove chilled peanut butter mixture from fridge. Roll teaspoon sized balls out with palms and place onto a baking sheet. When all the mix is rolled out place the baking sheet into the fridge to re harden, this prevents the butter from melting completely when the hot chocolate is poured over.
5. Place re-hardened peanut butter ball onto chocolate in the muffin pans. Cover with chocolate until completely covered and level. Gently shift the pan back and forth to level the chocolate topping.
6. Optional- sprinkle small candies or sprinkles on to the melted tops of the cups.
7. Insert finished muffin pans into fridge to set the chocolate quickly.
8. When cups are completely hardened invert pan onto a counter top lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.




If a portion is exposed use a toothpick dipped into chocolate and dab chocolate to reseal. 

“I am entering this Homemade Peanut Butter Cups in the Creative Holiday Recipe Contest hosted by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen and Cookies and Cups!“