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Oreo Cake

Many know I love being in the kitchen and the kitchen is the most relaxing place for me to spend my free time.  I have made many a meals and spend countless hours cooking, but when it comes to baking, I usually don’t have the patients to do much of it.  When they say it really is a science, they mean it!

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However, when it comes to special occasions and special people.  I’lI drink an extra stiff drink   and ake a little extra time to do a little baking.  Thus I searched all over for the perfect dessert for my family

I knew I wanted something with a little chocolate, and also kept in mind the family loves cookies.  Thus I found this Oreo Cake recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. However, I omitted the Chocolate gnash because I figured the cake itself would be super rich already with out it.

I was a bit nervous going into it, I have NEVER made a cake from scratch, all Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker for me,  but figured I would try and if it didn’t work out I would turn it into a tri-fold dessert,

So I went to town and gathered everything I needed

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Bless my mother for letting me try this experiment in her kitchen.

So I mixed, added, beat, whisked, cussed, and prayed like heck the cakes would turn out.  I separated the batter between two 9” cake pans put them in the oven and cleaned up my mess.

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And to my surprise the cakes rose and turned out perfect!

*I baked and left them cool over night in the pans.  Note to all those who bake as much as I do….Take the cakes OUT of the pans after ten minutes off cooling to allow for the cake to slide right out.  I did not.  Thus when I went to take them out they were stuck and it took A LOT of patients, mommas magic cooking touch, and a lot of praying for them to finally get them to come out in one piece.

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I next set out to make the “Crème” filling

I mixed the block of crème cheese, sugar and chopped cookies and got the cakes ready

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Perfect amount and perfect frosting technique.  No tearing or cake in the frosting.

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I then I added a few more chopped cookies to the top and set it outside in the freezing garage to set over night

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It turned out PERFECT.  Wow.

The cake was soo moist and not overly chocolaty. (Mom and I ate all the crumbs that stuck to the bottom of the pan and what fell off the side of the cake.)  As the recipe below notes, the batter is super thin, and I was a bit worried it was going to turn out as two big pans of chocolate pudding.

And the crème filling was a little tangy from the crème cheese, but sweet from the sugar and the cookies.  So solid and on point.  I wish I would have seen the oreo cookies with different filling for Christmas, Halloween, ect, but was in a hurry and just grabbed the regular.

This cake could be used with ALL the holiday themed Oreo Cookies to make it even more festive.

Everyone loved it.  But since it was a two tired cake, it was pretty rich so there was like half left over.  However, lucky I am family with fellow sweet tooth’s and the rest found a home at my aunt and uncles house Winking smile

I’m not sure if I every want to eat a box cake again and in all honesty it was not a daunting task as I thought it would be.

Cookies & Cream Oreo Look-Alike Cake

Yield: 12 servings

For the Cake (Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake)
2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream
12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

4. To make the filling, with a stand or hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream on low until it starts to become frothy and thick. Gradually increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

5. In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended and smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in ¼ of the whipped cream to lighten the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream, and then the chopped Oreos.

6. Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate, spread the filling mixture on top, and top with the second cake layer.

7.  Let chill for atleast an hour for the filling to set!

Again the cake was so good and I will for sure make this again.  So if you are not a baker and are scared or don’t have the patients to bake, I highly recommend to atleast give it a shot, you may just surprise yourself.  And what the worst that can happen if you try to make this cake?  You end up with some amazing Chocolate Pudding and a heck of a Oreo crème filling to eat Winking smile

Question of the day?

What’s one food you are nervous to attempt to make for your family

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Super Bowl XLVI

Pride, Hard Work, and Dedication are the first words that come to mind when I think of the effort and execution in which Indianapolis and the Super Bowl Host Committee put forth last week.  Living downtown, in the heart of  the Super Bowl, we may have experienced first hand, one of the most well run parties the NFL has witnessed.   I knew the city would put on a good show, being that they seamlessly host the Big Ten Basketball Tournament for football and basketball, NCAA tournaments, and many other large events and conventions held throughout the year.  However, I had no idea it would be on this level.  The city began to prepare for the Super Bowl over four years ago when it was announced by the Super Bowl Host Committee Indy had won the bid, thus the last few days,  the city has a bit of hangover from the hype and festivities.  Moreover, as I look back on the week that was, is how well the city rallied behind each over to make this event one of the best.  Yes, perhaps we were spoiled by some amazing weather, and there were no major incidents to ruin the buzz of the week.  It should be noted the way this city and its residents handled the whole week, and it is a testament to what Indianapolis can really do when we put all our energy and resources together.

Numerals, Zipline, and Super Bowl Village

I feel the reality of the event set in for most residents, when these Numerals were put up down on the circle two weeks the Super Bowl.

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The Roman Numerals on the South side of the circle at the heart of it all, stood 30-feet high and 82-feet wide, and weighs 96-ton, was for sure one of the biggest attractions. 

 

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However, the numerals were not to be outdone by perhaps the hottest Super Bowl attraction, the Zipline, which spanned Capitol street, and there is already talk of having it back for the Indy 500 Race at the end of May.  10,429 people flew down the zipline in Super Bowl Village, and at only 10 dollars a pop, it was a no brainer to hear that some families just came downtown JUST for the zipline.  The last weekend of the Super Bowl, people were lining up at 10PM the night before to try and get tickets and a spot in line.  The local news even found two girls who were standing in line and sold their tickets for $250.00 each to someone whom could not get a ticket. 

Even Jimmy Fallon was recorded on the zip line seen here.

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This was the sign at the end of zip line in front of St. John Catholic Church, where Fr. Rick Nagel did a great job of opening his doors to all the downtown visitors. 

Another success was the Super Bowl Village, which stretched down Georgia Street.  From Capital Street, where the Zipline was set up, all the way down to Bankers Life Field House where the Indiana Pacers play.

Some highlights of the Village, were Ice Carvings from the folks at the Food Network, Food Vendors, Free Live Music on three different stages, where the free Pepsi Stage getting most of the attention.  Whom had acts such as Brett Michaels, Darius Rucker, LMFAO along with a list of many many more,

However, the music stages were a chance for the community to really get into the local music scene, and take in many local music acts that included, Acoustic Empire, whom had some Indianapolis royalty show up for their Show.

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Mayor Gregg Ballard, stopped by give the local music scene some love.

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Super Bowl Village really turned into a week long party.

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As you can see, it got a bit crazy down there, but I am so glad I had the chance to experience the whole thing.

Along with Super Bowl Village, inside the Convention Center the NFL Experience was held, and ESPN Studios were set up down on the Pan Am Plaza, where they did live shows, Sport Center, and turned into the mecca for all sports fans.

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While it was nice to all the national media highlight the events I mentioned above, I want to get back to why the city really benefited from the Super Bowl.  There were so many events that were “off the beaten path” such as Taste of the NFL, where local Chef Gregg Hardisty, whom owns and run the hip new trendy restaurants Recess and Room Four, displayed his talent

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Souper Bowl

Another great event was the “Souper” Bowl Competition.  Where 8 of Indy’s top chef’s competed in a a soup competition, where all the proceeds were donated to Second Helpings, whom turn around and used prepared and perishable food, re-prepare it into nutritious meals, and distribute those meals to over 60 social services organizations that feed hungry people.  Second Helpings had recovered 40,000 pounds of food from Super Bowl-related events!

Souper Bowl 2012 Chefs:
Greg Hardesty, Recess/Room 4 and Taste of the NFL

Kevin Peters, Columbia Club

Roger Hawkins, Circle City Soups

DeWitt Jackson, Indianapolis Colts

Kathy Jones, Iozzo’s Garden of Italy

Sam Brown, Second Helpings

Luke Caenepeel, Pogue’s Run Grocer

Regina Mehallick, R Bistro

They also reached out to local artists to create hand made bowls that they auctioned off in silent auctions, and below are just a few the bowls that were up for bid. 

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This Bowl was given to the Top Chef of the competition, and this year Ms. Kathy  Jones, head chef at Iozzo’s Garden of Downtown Indy. 

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Also a few other highlights were a Bob&Tom and a Signed Larry Bird Bowl. 

City Market

It was such a great event and with great Chefs like Roger Hawkins from Circle City Soups located in the newly rejuvenated downtown City Market, helped give some press and drew some interest for the visitors into The Market.  With great vendors such as:

  • A Taste of Philly

www.indypretzel.com

  • Potato Chip Co.

www.amazingchips.com

  • Circle City Soups
    Soups & Salads
    Roger Hawkins
    317-956-2395

  • Circle City Sweets
    Pastries, Wedding Cakes, Special orders
    Cindy Hawkins
    317-632-3644

www.circlecitysweets.com

  • Fermenti Artisan
    We offer all local, artesian meats, cheeses, sandwiches and more. We are fermenters by trade who make our own sauerkrauts, kefir sodas, kombucha drinks and more!
    Josh Henson & Mark Cox
    317-493-1652

  • Market Street Produce
    Fruits, Vegetables, Breads & More!
    Emily Gillum
  • Natural Born Juicers
    100% Natural Fruit & Vegetable Juices and Smoothies
    Laura Mann-Beatus
    317-797-4254

www.naturalbornjuicers.com

  • Papa Roux

http://flash.paparouxindy.com/

  • Three Days In Paris

  • U-Relish Farms

And if you need to wet your whistle,

  • Tomlinson Tap Room, whom has an extensive list of Indiana Craft Beer ready to serve.
    Kristin Knapp, Manager
    317-423-2337

Along with the great list of vendors, it serves as the location of one of the best Winters Farmers Market in the state, every Saturday Morning. 

Even the city’s greatest Pastry Chef Cindy Hawkins of Circle City Sweets got a wonderful phone call to make Carson Daly’s girlfriend’s birthday cake.

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It was a great week had by all in the city, but if you take one thing from my ramblings, it is that I hope you appreciate and remember all the local delivery men and woman, the bus boys and girls, the servers, the chefs, the street sweepers, and the 13,000 volunteers whom really held this city together throughout the week of madness, and put in many sleepless nights, hours logged, and worked their tails off to make this city shine on a national stage.   Thus, if you were someone in the background who did you job, which will probably never go noticed.  Lift a glass this evening and here’s a big cheers to you, we could have not done it with out all of you, well done and thank you. 

Stars were out in the City

Before I go, this week wasn’t without a few celebrity sightings in town.   

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Angela and Deb from Indy WISH TV Channel 8 News.

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Adam Sandler Hitting up some Subway Downtown

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And Guy Fieri hung out with Erin Edds whom owns Hoosier Bloody Mary Maker, said close 18,400 Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary’s were consumed during the week in the Indianapolis area.  Yet again another amazing Indiana Business who rocked it out during the week that was. 

All and all it was a great week and a heck of a Super Bowl Game itself.  Yes, the New York Giants won the game, and big ups to them and the city of New York.  However, I would say the real winner last weekend was the City of Indianapolis and all of its local businesses and blue collar men and woman who made this show go off without a hitch.  Thanks to all the fans of both the New England Patriots and NY Giants for visiting our city and giving us nothing but praise.  I met many from both places and was nothing but impressed with each and every visitor I met. Nice work Indianapolis, and here’s to getting a bid for another Super Bowl in 4 years.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Valentine’s Day White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Yesterday I had the day off from work, from my job in the restaurant, so I though what better way to spend the day then to be in my own kitchen!

Britt jokingly mentioned this weekend that her co-workers asked I was going to bring them in food one day, so I decided that I would surprise them and make their day today.  I saw a bag of Valentine’s M&M’s this weekend and wanted to get everyone in the spirit of the Holiday and knew I would incorporate them into a cookie.

I knew I wanted the cookie to be “normal” cookie, while including chocolate and peanut butter (is there any better mates in life)

However, I take my Peanut Butter pretty serious and if you have yet to get into quality Peanut Butter I highly recommend looking up Peanut Butter and Co..  They are a New York based company but started out as a small shop in the city and have now grown into a Peanut Butter super power Winking smile

With 6 different peanut butters, I delayed trying them out because I have had “flavored” peanut butters in the past and they were not even worth opening the jar. This offering from Peanut Butter & Co is certainly worth opening the jar for. For an adult “gourmet” PB & J’s, try the White Chocolate Wonderful with  There is also a a cinnamon raisin flavor that is outstanding with apples or bananas. The price is higher than JIF or Skippy, but this peanut butter isn’t meant for spreading on celery sticks. I use the cinnamon raisin for outrageous cookies. They also offer varieties with honey, spicy (the BEST for Thai food), dark chocolate (amazing cookies & bars), maple (pancakes never had it so good), as well as plain and chunky peanut butter (for purists). Their website also offers jams/jellies, baking mixes, gear like bags and shirts, and the quintessential peanut butter partner – marshmallow fluff. If you have never had a fluffer-nutter, you are missing out on one of life’s guiltiest pleasures. And for a health “nut” like myself, the best part there is no additives or fillers in the nut butters.  They try to keep it all local and as healthy as possible.

Back to the cookies, I wanted to make a cookie that was balanced between sweet, and also a bit healthier, while keeping a ton of flavor.  Thus, I looked at my options in the cabinets and choose to start the base of the cookie with this one out of my nut butter stash

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This may or may not be the best peanut butter I have ever eaten.  Again, this peanut butter is not your typical peanut butter and is far from the bland nut butters you ate as a kid.  Its on a level all its own.  The White Chocolate taste really comes though.  You first get the sweet from the chocolate taste, but its balanced very well by the saltiness from the peanuts.

I then knew I wanted to bump up the nutritional value of the cookies and choose to use half oats and half flour to make myself feel a little better about the amount of cookie dough I would end up eating while the cookies baked.  And this is the final group of items I needed to make perhaps one of the best cookies ever.

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Oatmeal White Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
*Preheat oven to 350F
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 Cup peanut butter (I used White Chocolate PB)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup Valentine’s m&m’s
1/2 cup of MILK chocolate Chips

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. (This should take 2-3 minutes.) Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the peanut butter m&m’s. Drop cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Your cookies should be large-about 2-3 tablespoons worth of dough.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. They may not look “done” when you take them out of the oven, but the edges should be lightly browned and just set and the cookies will be fluffy in the middle. They will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet after you remove them from the oven. Let cool nearly completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container or re-sealable bag.

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They turned out so well, and the addition of the Milk Chocolate chips, along with the peanut butter were perfect.  And the nuttiness from the oats, I feel they had so much flavor than an all flour based cookie.  Now…I will patiently await the finance’s return from work this evening to see if the co-workers thought the same thing.

Question of the day

Whats one food that reminds you of your childhood?

Mine for sure would be peanut butter.  I would eat a PB & J almost once a day, and still lived off that sandwich though college! 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas Part I

Hello! I hope everyone had the best Holiday yet.  For our family it was a bit bitter sweet.  This was the first year my sister was not with us for all the festivities.  Currently she is traveling Europe and is Spain, which you can read about her crazy life going continent to continent here.  However, I was lucky enough to get back home to my parents home the Friday before Christmas and had the whole week after Christmas off from work.

As many know, we have a family Christmas tradition of going to an early Christmas Mass on Christmas eve, coming home, having a feast, sitting down after a food coma,  opening a few small gifts, and then opening presents Christmas morning.
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Again, it felt a little different than years past so this year we changed it up and after eating and opening some stocking stuffers, which I made my pops snicker doodles and peanut brittle, we headed to a Christmas party with a few friends and family where we got to have a Skype Christmas Eve date with my Sister.  It was nice, but lets just say she had done her fair share of celebrating at the local pubs for the evening.

Christmas morning started with a 6 mile run and these which is usually a staple every Christmas morning

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Then we commenced to have another Skype call with Maria while we all opened presents from the Fat Jolly Man.

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As you can see we were pretty blessed this year.  And most of my gifts were already unwrapped by Chrismtas morning.  My parents got me a remote Car Starter and also a ipod hookup for my car as well.  I can not thank them enough!

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I baked Dad his favorite apple time and also this Hoodie to help become one of the “hip kids”.  Many of you know that My parents own their own Bicycle Shop, and he collects old vintage bikes.  Thus I say this Schwinn Stingray hoodie and figured it would be the perfect first hoodie.

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I also got my my some much needed Paula Deen Kitchen Knives, lotion, some Easley Mulled Wine.  Easley is located right down town Indy and make some of the best wine I have tasted.  I hate wine but I can even handle a glass of their Reggae Red and White wine.   Along with the wine I got both my parents each a Trevis Tumbler Glass.

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And then got them each one of these for the glasses, sine they both use them as coffee mugs as well.  I will say Trevis Tumblers are perhaps some of the nicest glasses I have used.  They keep your beverage Super cold and also hot liquid hot.  They do not sweat or leave water rings on your table, and are dish water safe! Our cabinet is now full of them.  You can have them customized with writing if you would like and they will soon let customers customize the picture that is on you cup.  They come in various sizes 8,10,12, 16, and 24 oz. and have aton of accessories to go with them including the handles and lids! Perfect gifts for any occasions.

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Along with the Mugs Brittni and I got my parents an IU calendar.  Thanks to Britt looking all over Indianapolis for it.  They were sold out everywhere.  After their wins over number the 1 AND 2 ranked teams in the county I guess they were the hot ticket item this year.  On a side note, all the calendar stores had tons of Purdue Calendars Winking smile  Go Hoosiers.

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The last gift I gave my mom, I feel meant the most.  Many years we can’t remember what we even gave each other, which I guess has to deal with our obsession with materialistic things on Christmas, but this year I wanted to get something that they would remember.  So I had this frame made with my great grandmothers picture, surrounded by one of HER rosaries which my grandmother gave mom mother, aunts, and uncles.  Mom and the rest of the family loved it and I feel it’s a great way to honor such a great woman. Since I made my great grandmothers sugar cookies on a local TV show seen here, I figured I should not frame one of her famous sugar cookies so this was the next best thing!

Needless to say it was a great Christmas and loved all the family time and amazing food, as well as the time off work.  Even though we did not have snow ON Christmas, the day after Christmas we did get to wake up to this

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Hope you all were lucky enough to have as good as Christmas I we did!

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas Week

Hello! Hope everyone’s holidays are gearing up! My Christmas week got a very solid start.  I went back to my mom and dad’s house this weekend for my Dad’s side Christmas party with his family on Sunday.  It was so laid back, little kids opening presents, TONS of amazing food.  It really got us all in the mood for what I hope will be an amazing week leading up to Christmas.  However, the way my family celebrates Christmas is to cook, bake and eat.  So to keep with tradition that just what I did all weekend at home.

Two glorious desserts were on the menu for the Christmas party.  They both included two of my all time loves.  Chocolate Christmas candy, and Sugary kid Cereal. 

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The first dessert I tackled is a play of an all time classic Candy, which I only get to enjoy during the holidays.  I’m not sure if it’s a midwest thing or not but one of my families favorite Christmas desserts is the Buckeye.  Peanut Butter covered in chocolate?  You can not really go wrong with that combo. 

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However with my passion for the kitchen I wanted to put my own spin on this dessert and made these “Buckeye Bars” from Gooseberry Patch

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 Buckeye Brownies, from Almost Homemade cookbook, submit by Heather Prentice

19-1/2 oz. pkg. brownie mix
2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. plus 6 T. butter, softened and divided
8-oz. jar creamy peanut butter
6-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Prepare and bake brownie mix in a greased 13″x9″ baking pan according to package directions. Let cool. Mix powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter and peanut butter. Mix well and spread over cooled brownies. Chill for one hour. Melt together chocolate chips and remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Spread over brownies. Let cool; cut into squares. Makes 2 to 3 dozen, depending on how big your sweet tooth is Winking smile 

They were VERY good and tasted like a buckeye for sure.  However, next time I may add a thinner layer of chocolate to the top.  With a fat layer of brownie on top, and thick layer of chocolate gnash on top made it awful rich. 

 

The second recipe I knocked out was a hit as well.  Let me preface by saying.  As a child I long for each morning to wake up and indulge in one three bowls of huge sugary cereal. 

This was my sister and I back in the day

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My favorite cereal to mow down in the morning was this stuff.  I think we went through two boxes a week….

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Thus, what Christmas party is not complete with a snack mix and found this one from Betty Crocker.  However, it calls for Chex Mix and Coco Puffs.  While I love chocolate. Coco puffs do not make me jump up and down, and the Chex cereal, well its just a bit plain.  So.  I knew I had the rest of the ingredients cover but needed two cereals to replace the Coco puffs and Chex.  So when I saw the recipe that combined WHITE chocolate and cereal I knew we had a winner!

I ran to the store to the Cereal aisle to see what I have been missing in the world of sugary cereal lately.  I want to say….WHERE have I been.  I found these two amazing cereals yesterday!

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Wow.  Cinnabon may be may new favorite snack.  While it may be loaded with sugar.  It really does give you a sense that you are eating a cinnamon roll! And the Reese’s Puff are also loaded with sugar but the Peanut Butter puffs are amazing.  How is it that no one turned me one to these!

Thus I pick up both new cereals and set out to finish my mix! Let me say.  The recipe does not call for ALL of the cereals, but between mom, dad, and I eating sampling the cereal, both boxes were gone by the end of this process. 

 

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Throw all your candy, cereal, pretzels, nuts, ect into a big bowl and melt your WHITE Chocolate 

 

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Add you melted butter and chocolate to the bowl and stir until coated

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Then throw it all into a bag, add a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and then lay out flat on a sheet trey to cool, and then just put it all back into the bag to bring to the party! Easy as that.  I will say I went threw and ate the M&M’s and Cinnabons first.  Both desserts were hits and fairly easy! Great way to start off the week of Christmas.

Holiday Party Mix

4 cups Cinnabon® cereal
2 cups Reese Puff® cereal
2 cups thin pretzel sticks (2 1/4 inch)
1 cup candy-coated candies (Plain M&M’s)
1 cup dry-roasted peanuts
10 oz white chocolate baking bars or squares, chopped
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 In large bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, plain candies and peanuts; set aside.
  • 2 In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave white chocolate and butter uncovered on High about 1 minute, stirring once, until melted and chocolate can be stirred smooth. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
  • In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, toss half of the cereal mixture with 1/4 cup of the powdered sugar until evenly coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Repeat with remaining cereal mixture and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar.
  • Lay flat on sheet pan to dry and cool
  • Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Hope everyone Holidays are going very well! I know my family and I have been blessed this year already and its only due to get better!

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Christmas Ornaments

Christmas has many different meanings to all walks of life.  But as Linus reminds us the true meaning of Christmas.

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Christmas holds a special place to me. It means being with family, friends, and great food.  But also means using some superficial items to help get my family in the holiday spirit!  Decorating the tree each year was a HUGE night for my family when I was younger and to this day putting up our tree still means alot.

Every year since my sister and I have been kids, we ALWAYS opened Christmas presents on Christmas morning.  However, my family would ALWAYS go to a Christmas Church Service on Christmas eve, come home, change, eat a ton of snacks, and then gorge ourselves with a huge feast. We would each get to open ONE or two gifts/stocking stuffers.

As we got older we realized this “stocking stuffer” would include the same thing each year….a Christmas ornament.  At the time, we were kinda bummed since we knew what it was going to be, and just laughed as we opened it.  It was still fun and got us stoked for what was coming in the morning, but as kids, an ornament was far from a desired gift.  It was not until the last few years when I moved out of my parents house and started decorating our own tree with the ornaments my parents handed down to me, helped me realize why my parents gave us an ornaments as gifts each year.  Going though my box, and placing each one on the tree honesty brought some great memoires and I can NOT thank my parents enough for giving the as gifts, and allowing me to have and keep to this day.

If you noticed, we decorated our tree, last week.  And these are just some of the ornaments we put on our tree that really got us into the Christmas mood!

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Baseball is one of the greatest games created and reminds us we are all kids at heart

And the Rescuers Bernard and Sebastian ornaments were from McDonalds sold in a set, and can still remember my parents buying them for me and my sister without even asking!

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Go Hoosiers.  The IU stocking is the only one I felt we needed but Brittni disagreed.

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The Camouflage Snowman reminds me of the great time in the woods with my Pops, teaching me WAY more then hunting.

And what cooks home wouldn’t be complete without a gingerbread man making cookies!

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Family of the Year?  I think so Winking smile

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And last, and the one that means most, is one in which my family had made from the rose petals off my Grandfathers coffin and grave site….So many great warm memories of sitting in the living room talking about sports and life.

These are just a few of the most memorable ornaments and I have MANY more.  Christmas is not about gifts and decorations, but it still is great to use some of them to get you in the spirit and really gives me so many warm memories of Christmas time as a child.

Question of the Day

Do you or or family have one or two rituals that get them into the Holiday Spirit?  

Mine for sure is decorating the tree, and making Christmas cookies with my mother!

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Its Beginning To Look a lot Like Christmas

Its Beginning To Look a lot Like Christmas.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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