Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Easy Peasy Buckeye Candy

1 c. creamy peanut butter (can also use crunchy if you prefer)
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 c. flour

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Line cookie sheets with waxed paper, you'll need 2. Beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar and flour until blended. Form a ball using one rounded teaspoon of mixture, approximately 1" ball. Place on cookie sheets and refrigerate until firm (1 hour).

When balls are firm, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Spear balls with toothpick and dip into chocolate. Only cover 2/3 of ball so it looks like a real buckeye nut. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour or until chocolate is firm. Voila! Done! Now eat 'em up!

Stuffed Blueberry French Toast

I made this a few years ago & gave it to friends on Christmas Eve as their gift that year. Hope you like it, posted by request!

1 loaf (~20 oz) bread, I prefer to use Texas Toast (thicker than sandwich bread)
2- 8oz packages of Cream Cheese, cut into small pieces (cubes or chunks)
1 1/2 -2 cups Blueberries (depending on how berry you want it)
12 eggs
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
2 cups Milk
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
dash of Nutmeg

There are 2 ways to do this, you can either cut all the bread into cubes, or cut up half of it, and leave half the slices whole. The rest of the recipe is the same either way.

*Place whole bread slices (or half the cubed if you cut it all up) into the bottom of a buttered 13x9x2 pan. Scatter the cream cheese pieces over the bread. Then scatter the blueberries as evenly as you can over the cream cheese. Top with the remaining bread cubes.
*In a seperate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients & whisk well. Pour the mixture slowly & evenly over the bread.
*Cover & refrigerate overnight. Can be made the same day & refrigerated for 2 hours before cooking, but I find it comes out best when chilled overnight.

*When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover & bake for 30 minutes, then uncover & finish baking for another 30 minutes until golden brown. Center should be firm to the touch.
*This can be served as is, sprinkled with some powder sugar, or with your favorite syrup.

I like it with Blueberry sauce, here is the recipe for that:
In a saucepan on top of the stove, on medium heat, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Heat until this thickens. Then add 1 cup of blueberries, turn down & simmer for about 10 minutes until the berries burst. Take off heat, add 1tablespoon butter to berry sauce, stir well, & enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mystery Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Here is the complete recipe. Thanks for playing along. This is kind of an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, but because you ground the oats it is a completely different texture, I like them better this way!

2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) Butter, Softened
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
3/4 Cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
3 Cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 Cups chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup rolled Oats (Regular or quick )

*Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Either prepare 2 cookie sheets or cook in 2 batches. (if done in 2 batches, allow baking sheet to cool in between) For best results cover cookie sheet with parchment paper.
*Place oats in blender or food processor & process until finely ground. Then combine ground oats, flour, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
*In a seperate bowl, cream butter, sugars, vanilla, & lemon juice together using an electric mixer. Add eggs & beat until fluffy.
*Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture, stirring well until all ingredients are combined. Add the chocolate chips & nuts to the dough & mix well.
*Use 1/4 cup of dough per cookie, a regular size ice cream scoop leveled off works great. Place 2 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet(s).
*Bake in preheated oven until cookies are lightly brown, about 16-18 minutes. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool. Cookies can be stored in a sealed container to keep them soft & chewy.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bad Blogger, no donut!

I have been a bad blogger! I'm not sure why I have been avoiding putting my thoughts in print. I do know that I have been in a fog. I barely decorated or celebrated Halloween, skipped over Thanksgiving at our house completely, & have been procrastinating getting out the Christmas decorations & tree. I just signed & sent out some Christmas cards yesterday. I usually have them ready to mail the day after Thanksgiving!

I have not just been putting off my blog. I have been putting off life in general. I was just getting into a place of mental health & well being about Kierra's death when Randy & Deb both died.. on the same day.. just 2 hours apart. Add in my accident & a few other stresses & I just shut down, shut out everything that required my personal energy or attention. I have been taking care of the kids & the minimum functions of every day life, but that's about it.

Hunter & I left the day before Thanksgiving & went to my parent's in Tennessee. Then we went to the horse ranch in Georgia. Hunter stayed a few days, then he went home (via Terri, Thank You!). I had a couple days alone, then Bri came up for the weekend. Last Sunday, the 6th, I came home. It was a much needed break. In some ways it recharged me, but not like it used to, or maybe this time my battery was just too low for a full recharge. But it was good for me. Thanks to Brian, Bri, Greta & Terri (& her gang!) for helping with the kids & making it possible for me to go at all!

Coming home I find I am different. Things have been different for Brian & I, so that is yet another change. I think it is all a part of the same issue. Life has been torn apart for us & we are still trying to mend the tears. It is an ongoing process. Then add more losses that shred us emotionally all over again. It can't be helped, there is nothing anyone can do. It is just the way our lives are now.

I know there has to be another side to all this. We are working on making some changes that will help us deal with it all a little differently. We are okay, just a bit tattered & tired. This time of year is always hard, and this year even more so than the years before. My ability to absorb it all & forge ahead full force has diminished. I have to accept that I am not the person I was before. I have to accept that I cannot fix anything for anyone else when I have my own damages to deal with. When even seemingly simple tasks overwhelm me it is time for me to step back & reorganize & prioritize what I do & how I do it.

Change is not, & never has been, easy for me. I have an auto defense mechanism that rebels against it. There were times I have been conflicted with myself over a change that was out of my control. I am learning to curb that. Trying to anyway!

So I am keeping more to myself while I sort it all out. I am keeping more to my home & family to give us the time we need to heal, to find what works for us. I am keeping more to my heart & less to my journals. That part wasn't intentional & hasn't necessarily been a good thing. I need to share, I need to let it out. So here I am, once again, spilling myself onto the printed page. Sorry for my absence, & for not having much good or positive to share. It is what it is, but I am working on that, I promise!