Friday, July 13, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Truffles

I was browsing Pinterest and found a very simple recipe for peanut butter balls made with chunky peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs then dipped in chocolate....all of these items which I happened to have on hand.

I decided to make them so the boys would have a yummy treat when they return home from camp today (and they are on their way as I type!).  The recipe called for 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs and 1 cup chunky peanut butter.  There wasn't enough peanut butter to bind it all together properly so I probably added at least another 1/2 cup.  I did taste the filling and it didn't seem sweet enough so I added about 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of honey.  It was still pretty loose and my next idea was to add cream cheese, but I wanted to get the truffles finished...I didn't want to wait for the cream cheese to soften at room temperature (I hate softening it in the microwave).

The filling was still a little loose, but it worked.  I formed all of the filling into bite-size balls (almost 40) then I dipped them in the melted dipping chocolate then sprinkled them with ground chocolate and chocolate chips.  I tasted one today and they taste just like a Reese's peanut butter cup!!  The boys (and even Ed) should love them!  They're not extremely attractive, but they are yummy!  I'm not posting a recipe below, because I'm not sure of the exact portions (and I'm just being lazy).


Collette :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quick & Yummy Pizzas

When everyone is home during the summer, we usually fend for ourselves for breakfast and lunch, but sometimes I like to throw together something fun for the kids...especially when they're walking around like zombies...."we have nothing to eat...we having nothing to eat....we have nothing to eat."  Of course we have nothing to eat.  The child's owner's manual mentioned NOTHING about boys eating their parents out of house and home!!  And I just remembered that zombies do not talk, so bad analogy on my part...sorry.  How do I know this?  My daughter got me hooked on this TV show called "The Walking Dead."  No other's just wrong, I know.

Ed and the boys are at church camp (we call it Junior Camp) this week...their fourth year together.  Ed is a counselor and loves far he has been the boys' counselor every year.  Ed likes to give out prizes to his campers to encourage them to learn Bible verses, so the kids and I went to the local Dollar Tree last week to purchase those prizes for him.  He's been extremely busy doing an awesome job supporting his family.  While we were at the dollar store, I picked up 2 packages of pizza crusts remembering that I had a jar of pizza sauce in the pantry.

So today, I decided to make me semi-homemade pizzas for lunch that turned out to be very quick and yummy.  I should apologize up front for not having any pictures of the final product.  I devoured them before I decided to post.  I did take a picture of the second set of unopened crusts so you can see which ones I'm talking about in case you decide to venture out looking for them. 

I placed the 2 crusts on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzled them with about a half tablespoon olive oil each.  I spread the olive oil around all over the crust (including the edges) with my pastry brush.  I don't usually keep fresh garlic around, because I'm too lazy to deal with it in the kitchen, but I keep minced garlic in the fridge.  I put about 1/2 teaspoon of the minced garlic on each crust and worked it around with the pastry brush so it was mixed in with the oil and spread out.  I put 3 to 4 tablespoons of the jarred pizza sauce on each crust and spread it around with the back of a spoon.  I sprinkled about 1/2 cup of the Italian blend shredded cheese (regular shredded mozzarella works, too) on each crust then topped that with pepperoni slices (pick your own toppings).  Then I sprinkled a little more of the cheese on top of the pepperoni.

I baked them in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 10 minutes and they turned out perfectly.  Again, sorry I don't have pics of the final product...if I make some for Lindsay later, I'll take pictures and update this post.  I'm not including the recipe below...I figure this is easy enough to follow along...hopefully.


Collette :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lemon Shortbread Truffles

The last few days I have literally spent hours purging my Pinterest pins, and I've only made it through my food section.  Why the purging?  I had pinned several duplicates, or pinned something on the wrong board, or some of the blogs were no longer in existence that contained the recipe for the original pin, etc, etc.  When I started, I had over 300 pins on my Sweets board...I finally finished with around 150.  Anyway, this was motivation for me to start working on some of the recipes I have pinned.

I made the Lemon Shortbread Truffles today.  The recipe calls for lemon curd, so instead of having Ed attempt to find it at the grocery store (since he shopped for me), I decided to make my own.  It turned out great!  I did run into a small glitch, though.  The lemon curd recipe and the truffles both call for lemon zest.  I KNOW KNOW KNOW I own a lemon zester, but I could not find it anywhere!!  I haven't used it in a long time, so there is no telling which drawer the boys put it when they were putting up the dishes.  I would have asked them, but can you see me trying to describe a lemon zester to two 11-year old boys?  Plus, they were still asleep while I was working on them.

So, how did I manage without a zester?  I first tried the part of the cheese grater that looks like a zester, but the peel just stuck in the teeth.  Then I used a potato peeler to peel off chunks of the lemon peel and I used a very sharp knife to chop the peel into tiny pieces.  I WILL own a zester before I take something else on like this.  In fact, I want to get one of those long ones they use on the Food Network shows.  I will be making a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond or Williams Sonoma very soon.  I also discovered I'm missing my melon baller and I really could have used one of those today as well.

How did the truffles turn out?  I haven't had one yet, but the boys LOVED them!!  I realize I should have taken a picture of them on a colorful plate, but I'm fresh out of colorful dishes right now.


Collette :)

Lemon Shortbread Truffles

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 ounces white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup lemon curd
Zest of one large lemon
3/4 cup of shortbread cookie crumbs (I used Walker)
1 pound white candy coating (I used Wilton candy melts)

Lay a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet; set aside.  Place the softened cream cheese in a glass mixing bowl.  Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.  Add the melted white chocolate chips to the cream cheese; mix on low until smooth.  Stir in the cookie crumbs, lemon curd, and lemon zest.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or until firm enough to scoop.  Shape the mixture into small balls; set the balls on the wax paper-lined baking sheet.  Put the sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  Don't freeze them...they just need to firm enough to hold their shape when they're dipped in the white chocolate.  While waiting for the truffles to firm up, prepare the candy coating by melting it in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Once the coating is melted and the truffles are firm, dip each truffle in the candy coating and place it on the wax paper-lined baking sheet.  While the coating is still wet, the truffles can be decorated with additional cookie crumbs and/or slivers of lemon rind.  Repeat the process until all truffles are dipped in the candy coating.  Pop the tray in the refrigerator until the coating is set, about 10 minutes.  Store the truffles in airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Lemon Curd

3 eggs
1 cup white (granulated) sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (I used the juice and pulp from fresh lemons)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

In a heavy saucepan, beat eggs and sugar.  Stir in lemon juice, butter, and lemon peel.  Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reaches 160 degrees.  Cover and store in the fridge for up to one week.  Yield:  1-2/3 cups.

Print Lemon Shortbread Truffles Recipe

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fruit Pizza, Cucumber Pickles & Elvis Presley Cake

I realize this is an odd grouping, but I just wanted to write one post. 


In May my father-in-law married a very lovely lady named Lee.  Lee's birthday was on June 7, so I made her a fruit pizza.  I didn't eat any, but Jonathan said it was good.  I will attempt to post the recipe at the end, but I didn't write down exact amounts.  I basically just made this up as I went.  I added blackberry fruit spread to the crust before I added the cream cheese frosting.  I used blackberry, because my father-in-law loves blackberries and I knew he would be sharing this with Lee.  If I make this again, I will probably use strawberry or cherry preserves or maybe none at all.  I've also seen it made with a sugar cookie crust, but Lee doesn't like really sweet stuff, so I used the crust recipe from my lemon bars.


My in-laws occasionally give us cucumbers from their garden, so I decided to make some cucumber pickles.  Now, there is no canning or pickling process that I attempt when I make these.  I just chunk up the cucumber and some white or yellow onion (Ed bought me yellow onions, so those are what I used), place them in quart-size canning jars, add garlic powder, dried dill weed, dried rosemary, and dried thyme then just pour vinegar over them until the jar is full.  Place the lid on and pop the jars in the fridge.  I was raised to love sour or tart food, so I LOVE these!  We ate sour pickles instead of dill...I didn't really start eating dill pickles until I married Ed.  I'm sure you could add some sugar to take the edge off the sour, but I just eat them as is. 

Thinking of tart foods, I really miss sauerkraut.  When I was younger, and my mother had to stretch the grocery budget, we would have wieners and sauerkraut instead of sausage and sauerkraut.  Ed doesn't like sauerkraut so I've never made either for my family (though I would use sausage if I did make it).  And even though my kids will eat almost anything put in front of them, I doubt they will enjoy kraut.


This is my favorite cake!  I try not to push my food opinions on others, because everyone has different tastes, but this cake is AWESOME!!  I probably only make it about once a year, because it is so rich.  But I just love it, love it, love it!  Can you tell I love it??

Bon Appetit, folks!

Collette :)


2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
6 to 8 ounce jar preserves, jam or fruit spread (or you can just omit this)
16 ounce container cream cheese frosting (or you can make homemade)
Various fruit...I used fresh strawberries, fresh peaches, fresh kiwi, fresh blueberries, canned chunk pineapple, and canned mandarin oranges (see the picture for arrangement)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine flour, powdered sugar, and butter in a large mixing bowl.  Beat at low speed until crumbly.  Since I was taking the pizza to someone else, I purchased a round cake board and moved the crust from the pizza pan to the cake board, but it crumbled around some of the edges.  My suggestion would be to purchase an aluminum disposable round pizza pan and form the crust in that, pressing it to the edges.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Let the crust cool completely.  Spread the preserves, jam, or fruit spread on the crust.  Spread the frosting on top of the preserves.  I only used about 3/4 of the container of frosting.  I typically NEVER use canned frosting, but I was in a rush.  If you would like to use the real thing, use the cream cheese frosting recipe from the Elvis Presley cake omitting the pecans.  As I sit here thinking about it, leaving the pecans in might be a good idea.  I started with the strawberries on the outside, and worked my way in toward the middle.  Again, look at the picture to see how to build the fruit.

Print Fruit Pizza Recipe


1 to 2 large cucumbers, chopped into large pieces
1 small or 1/2 of 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped into chunks
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
white distilled vinegar

Add all ingredients to a quart-size canning jar.  Fill the jar with vinegar to the top.  Refrigerate.

Print Cucumber Pickles Recipe


1 package white cake mix (make sure you have oil or butter and eggs for the cake mix)
20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
2 cups white sugar
8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Prepare cake according to package instructions.  Bake in a greased 13x9-inch pan.  As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack.  Poke many holes in the top of the cake with a fork.  Let the cake cool.  Combine the pineapple with juice and 2 cups white sugar in a small saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil on high.  Reduce to a lower boil over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Spoon the pineapple over the cooled cake.  In a large glass mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese on low until smooth; add the vanilla and beat until well blended.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Stir in the pecans with a spoon until mixed well.  Spread the frosting over the cake.

Print Elvis Presley Cake Recipe