Wednesday, December 30, 2009

OrEo tRuFfLeS 4 nEw easy a husband can do it!

Dick made a delicious discovery at his work Christmas party this year: Oreo Truffles. He loved them so much he brought one home for me to try - I got myself a real keeper! He even loved them enough to make them for his whole family last time we went down for a visit, and then again for our Ugly Sweater Party. I just had to document it, because rare are the occasions when he 1-volunteers to make food, and 2-actually follows through by making it hahaha! Unless it's frozen burritos or a pizza (sorry babe, you know its true). Both times they were a huge hit! Some of our friends made us laugh when they called the truffles "Make-Outs." We were all confused, but then they explained by telling us that hugs and kisses are great, but what's even better than that? Making out! hahaha so there you go, Make-Out Truffles. They are super easy, and fabulously rich and delicious. Dick made the comment that you can really only eat about 3, but I'm pretty sure I had closer to 12! haha just kidding...kinda. They would be the perfect quick-fix to take to a party for New Year's. And a great way to go out with a bang before the new diet starts! tee hee.
Oreo Truffles
From Katie Russell

They might not look very pretty, but they are sure delicious!!!!

one 8 oz. brick of cream cheese, at room temp.
1 pkg. oreos, crushed
12 oz. white chocolate, melted
1. mix the cream cheese and oreo crumbs together - Dick used his hands, which is a lot easier.
2. form the "dough" into balls w/ about 2 Tbsp. for each ball.
3. dip the balls in the white chocolate and set on a tray lined with parchment paper.
4. Cool in fridge or freezer until ready to serve.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesdays With Dorie: Low & Lush Chocolate Cheesecake

The timing for this recipe was perfect! I knew we'd be visiting my in-laws for Dick's little bro Austin's missionary farewell (he's going on a 2-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), and that there would be lots of people coming to visit, so this could be just one of the goodies for them to munch on as they visited. The only problem is that this elephant has a knack for forgetting. I planned ahead, taking my ingredients with me, and I made the cheesecake the night before so that I wouldn't be in a rush and not let it chill for the needed amount of time (which I have been known to do on many an occasion. There wasn't enough room in the kitchen fridge, so I took it to the one in the garage. I think that was my problem - out of sight, out of mind. So, we went to church to listen to Austin give his awesome farewell talk, and to enjoy the incredible vocal stylings of him, Dick, and two friends. We came home, got things ready, and just relaxed...while the cheesecake continued to chill in the fridge in the garage. We sat around and visited for a long time, and even ate dinner. Dick and I packed up our things to go, and that's when it hit me. By this time, everyone was stuffed from dinner and snacking, so I cut one small piece, took a couple of bites - which I loved! - took some pictures, and then we headed home. I didn't know I could be so sad about a stupid cheesecake! I just looked forward to it for so long, and nobody even got to enjoy it. Well, maybe now they have. I left it with my in-laws, who I hope devoured every last crumb. If that's what I get for being "on the ball," I think I'll stick to my usual chaos from now on hahaha!

click HERE for recipe!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Butternut Squash Casserole

So, a little while ago I was reading one of my fave food blogs, Ezra Pound Cake, when I happened upon this little ditty. She does "Meatless Monday" each week, and this dish was meant especially for that. I've been trying some recipes along those same lines, with veggies as the headliner rather than just the opening act or sidekick, so I thought this one would be perfect...boy, was I right! I've made some things that I thought were ok, but wouldn't necessarily make again, but this one will be a Fall/Winter fave, for sure! It was definitely not one of those recipes where I was begging Dick to take the leftovers for lunch the next day so that I didn't have to - you know what I'm talking about, I know you do. Anyway, I highly recommend this one. If you love squash, spinach, cheese, and feeling utterly satisfied after a meal, this one will be one of your new faves, too.

I have no complaints whatsoever about this recipe, but the instructions are a bit long, so click HERE for the recipe & how-to.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nog, Nog...Who's there? Peppermint ice cream - Hot Chocolate!

'Tis the season of holiday drinks and parties, my friends! So I am here to share with you a little of both. Dick and I hosted an Ugly Sweater/White Elephant Christmas party over the weekend, and it was a hit, if I do say so myself. My parents were kind enough to let us borrow their house for the night - we would have been sitting on each others' laps in our tiny basement apartment, which would have made it a completely different kind of party! haha There was lots of yummy food and plenty of delicious treats - one of which Dick actually made himself! I'm so proud of him, that he'll be the star of my next post. Anyway, my brother-in-law, Scott, won the trophy for the Ugliest Sweater, and we all walked away with wonderfully useless gifts. I'm thinking we'll make this an annual party because it was just that much fun!
On to the drinks! Egg nog is a tricky thing. It seems like people either love it or they hate it. I tend to love it, but to each her own. My fabulous mother-in-law has her own recipe for the drink, but it calls for no eggs, which is why it is so famously called "No-Egg Nog," or just "Nog." It is loved by traditional egg nog lovers and haters alike. I actually tested it on a self-proclaimed hater last night, and she poured herself a second glass! If that isn't enough proof for you, you'll just have to conduct your own experiment. It's super fast, easy, and delicious!
For the Ice Cream Hot Chocolate, I also have to give my mother-in-law credit. She introduced me to this divine treat earlier this year, and I've never looked back. You may be thinking, "ice cream in hot chocolate, what's the point?" I was in the same boat, but once you taste it, you'll just know. The point is the perfect treat on a cold winter's day! It can be done with any kind of ice cream and any kind of hot chocolate. To be festive, we really like peppermint ice cream with just plain old chocolate flavored hot chocolate, but have fun playing around with it!
THANK YOU to my brilliant drink-whiz mother-in-law, Liz!
No-Egg Nog a.k.a. Nog
From Liz Smith

1 package instant french vanilla pudding
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
5 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream, whipped
nutmeg for garnish
In a blender, combine all ingredients, except the nutmeg and whipped cream. Blend the mixture into the whipped cream and chill thoroughly. Shake/stir just prior to serving, and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Peppermint Ice Cream - Hot Chocolate
introduced to me by Liz Smith

Very hot water
hot chocolate mix, flavor may vary
ice cream, flavor may vary
Make your normal mug of hot chocolate, leaving a few inches at the top so it won't overflow when the ice cream is added. Add two big scoops of your ice cream to your hot chocolate. Enjoy!

Ugly Sweaters & BFF's...Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

tUeSdAyS w/ DoRiE: sAbLeS...sort of...

Ok, so this is my second official Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD) post, and I have to say that I looooove being in this awesome little cooking/blogging club! That being said, I'm pretty sure this will be my first and last time I'll ever bake Sables. They turned out alright, but definitely not as beautiful as Dorie's, or Barbara's from Bungalow Barbara (where you can find this recipe). So I was a tad disappointed. But don't think for a minute that's going to stop me from putting these on my Christmas goodie plates to friends, though hahaha! I'm also pairing them up with some Cocoa-Nana Bread from Dorie, which I will post tomorrow, which will totally make up for the ragamuffin appearance of these shortbread cookies...I hope!
p.s. Hope you like the Christmas music - I'm so sick of hearing the same old boring songs on the radio that I had to make my own playlist :)


Coming up:
Cocoa-Nana Bread & No-egg "Nog"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holly Jolly Pumpkin Bread w/ pecans, cranberries & white chocolate...HEAVEN

Well, my foodie friends, 'tis the season...finally! I have to say that although I've lived in the state with the "greatest snow on earth" my entire life, I've never been a fan of it outside of the week before Christmas until New Year's Day. But I have always and will always be a fan of the Christmas season! That being said, I have to post one last pumpkin recipe, and then I'll get going on my Christmas treats. But to be 500% honest with you, I'll definitely be making this all throug December to give as holiday goodies to friends & neighbors, cuz they're gonna LOOOOOVE it, just like you are! It's so good, in fact, that the loaf I gave to my Mom & sisters was half eaten before they even got home - that means they were breaking off pieces and eating with their hands in the car because they just couldn't wait until they got home to use a knife and plates. hahaha TRUE STORY!
Pumpkin Bread w/ Pecans, Cranberries & White Chocolate


1 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. pecans, chopped & toasted
Mix flours, baking soda, salt & spices in a bowl.
Mix the pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, oil & yogurt in another bowl.
Combine the wet & dry ingredients.
Stir in the chocolate chips, cranberries & pecans.
Pour the batter into a 9x5 inch loaf pan. (I used two 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 pans)
Bake in a 350 degree oven until toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 60-70 minutes.

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