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Archive for December, 2010

Happy New Year!

Today is New Year’s Eve and many people around the world have already celebrated the change to 2011.  Do you have any big party plans to ring in the new year?  We don’t and I am just fine with that.  

The Christmas decorations came down yesterday and that means today is all about house-cleaning and reorganizing.  Except, that there is a little basketball game going on in the Bluegrass today that I am going to watch.  It’s the University of Kentucky Wildcats versus the University of Louisville Cardinals!  Woo hoo!  Go Big Blue!!!!  Go Cats!!!  I guess you can tell who I root for, huh?

Anyway, C & I want to wish everyone a very happy new year and we hope 2011 is the greatest yet!

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White Christmas

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Merry Christmas

C & I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!  May you be blessed beyond measure in the coming year!

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Spotlight

Yesterday was ingredient spotlight day at Eat At Home Cooks.  This week the focus is on nuts, which is great because sometimes I feel like a really big nut!!  Wink, wink!! 

Anyway, enjoy all of the delicious looking recipes over there.

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Peanut Butter Fudge

This is the second post of my Christmas fudge recipes and it focuses on peanut butter fudge.  Yum!  I am usually a chocoholic, but sometimes I prefer peanut butter fudge to the chocolate.  This is a really simple recipe and has a wonderful buttery flavor.  I found this on www.foodnetwork.com and it is an Alton Brown recipe.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that he is my favorite Food Network chef to watch.  His show, Good Eats, breaks down the recipes and he teaches the viewer about the scientific properties of the ingredients and how they react with each other.  It is very interesting! 

I digress, though.  Back to the fudge!  The only change I would make to this is to use a little less powdered sugar.  The taste was awesome, but the texture was crumbly instead of creamy. 

1 cup butter

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 lb powdered sugar

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Line a 8 or 9 inch baking pan with foil.  Spray with non-stick spray.  Put the butter and peanut butter into a large microwave safe bowl.  Microwave this combo for 2 minutes on high.  Stir to combine and microwave for another 2 minutes on high.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture with a wooden spoon.

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Pour into the prepared pan and smooth.  Place a piece of waxed paper on the surface of the fudge and refrigerate until cool.  Cut into 48 pieces and store in an airtight container for up to one week, if it lasts that long.

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Menu Plan Monday

It’s Christmas week, folks, and that means I will be spending lots and lots of time in the kitchen.  Shew!  I am tired already…but it will all be worth it when we sit down with family and enjoy the fruits of my and others labors.  After this week, I think I may be ready for a little kitchen downtime.  I love to cook, but it’s time for a few days rest after the Christmas hustle and bustle.  New Year’s weekend is looking like a good time to enjoy the fruits of other people’s (namely restaurants) labors. 

This week is jammed packed with candy, dessert, main and side dishes.  Here is what I have planned:

Monday: pizza night (might be a late work night, so I decided to keep it simple)

Tuesday: ham slices & roasted potatoes-I will probably also make hamburger stew for my dad and in-laws for Wednesday night.

Wednesday: Sausage bake & fruit

Thursday: take out of some sort-I start my holiday weekend that day and will spend it making candy for Christmas Eve.

Friday: Peanut brittle (recipe coming soon), divinity (recipe coming soon), chocolate pecan fudge, peanut butter fudge, sweet potato casserole (recipe coming soon), butter roasted potatoes (recipe coming soon), Faux Red Lobster cheesy biscuits (recipe coming soon)

Saturday: Salisbury steak, butter roasted potatoes, Cole slaw, Faux Red Lobster biscuits, Oreo pie

I also want to show off a couple of things that I did this weekend.  I made candy gift bags for my co-workers and a few other workers at the judicial center.

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I also made an Italian Cream cake for C’s big family Christmas party which was held yesterday.

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I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and gets everything that their heart desires!!

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Easy Chocolate Pecan Fudge

It is Christmas season and that means celebrating Jesus Christ’s birthday around here with food and family.  I love all of the homemade candy that gets made around the holiday, especially fudge.  For some reason, I have never found a recipe that ended with a batch of smooth, creamy, rich fudge.  Mine has always either been gritty or does not set up and I have fudge soup. 

I was searching the internet a little while ago and found this recipe for easy chocolate fudge.  Yeah, right!  I’ll just see about that.  I even made it more of a challenge by making it on a rainy day.  Did you know that the higher the humidity, the more difficult it is for candy to harden?  Try making divinity on a rainy day and see what I mean.  Well, on second thought, don’t.  You will just be wasting your ingredients; just take my word for it instead.  I learned the hard way!  By the way, I found this recipe at www.verybestbaking.com.  The only change I made was to use pecans instead of walnuts.

This recipe lived up to its names.  It is easy and turned out great!

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chopped & toasted pecans

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Line a 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with foil and set aside.  Combine chocolate chips & milk in a heavy saucepan.  Warm over low to low-medium heat, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and nuts and vanilla.

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Spread evenly into the foil-lined pan.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.  Lift the fudge out of the pan and peel off the foil.  Cut into 48 pieces and enjoy!  Come back next week for a great peanut butter fudge recipe!

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Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Scharffen Berger.

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