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Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Season
Given the sudden drop off in posting here, I'm assuming that most of you are at least as busy as I am. The expectations of the season always seem to take over no matter how hard we try to simplify. When it reaches midnight and one is still dipping peanut butter balls in chocolate the whole sanity thing comes into question. So I wish everyone blessings in the busyness and pose some fun and easy topics for discussion.

What are you making for Christmas? Share those recipes for those dozens and dozens of cookies you are creating. Share the memories of the food. Share your mishaps and funny stories (click here for my chocolate crap adventure from last year...). I wish I could sit down with all of you over spiced wine and appetizers and chat, but we'll have to settle for a virtual EW holiday party. So let's be foodal and get to know each other better over food.

And as a reminder - the book discussion for God's Politics by Jim Wallis starts on Friday. Even if you haven't finished it yet, you are welcome to join the conversation.

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posted by Julie at 8:57 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


17 Comments:


  • At 12/13/2006 10:19:00 AM, Anonymous Drive-Thru Society

    Peanut butter balls in chocolate? Where do I find that recipe? I am serious where can I find that recipe. Penut butter and chocolate is the Kingdom at Hand as far as I am concerned. As long as I penut butter chocolate balls and the baby Jesus, it will be a good Christmas after all.

     
  • At 12/13/2006 11:08:00 AM, Blogger Doxallo

    We used to do a version of PB balls and choc -- similar to this, but we didn't use the pretzels:
    Peanut Butter Pretzel Candies

    Makes 2 to 2 1/2 dozen candies. Natalie Haughton, the food editor of the Los Angeles Daily News, came up with this a couple of years ago to imitate a commercial candy she had seen on the Food Network. It's a simple candy to fill out a cookie tray.

    1 cup chunky peanut butter

    3 tablespoons butter

    1 cup powdered sugar

    3/4 to 1 cup crushed thin pretzel sticks

    1 cup (or a 6-ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips

    2 teaspoons vegetable oil

    COMBINE peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power for 30 to 40 seconds, or until butter melts. (This took a little longer in our microwave.) Stir with a fork until well-blended. Stir in powdered sugar until well-mixed, then stir in pretzels.

    SHAPE into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter. Place on a jelly roll pan lined with wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Cover with foil or plastic wrap if refrigerating longer.)

    COMBINE chocolate and oil in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on 50% power for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted.

    DIP balls, one at a time, into chocolate and turn to coat. Drain off excess and place on wax paper. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight plastic container in refrigerator.

     
  • At 12/13/2006 11:12:00 AM, Blogger Doxallo

    ETA: we use toothpicks inserted in balls prior to refrigerating them. They are a great treat and really you can add so many things to them. :)

    Our favorite now is chinese clusters -- you take a bag of choc chips, a bag of butterscotch chips, melt them together....then mix in peanuts (lightly salsted) and chow mein noodles (sometimes we add raisins) and then drop by spoonfulls onto wax paper, refrigerate until firm, then you can put them in tins until you are ready to enjoy. Store in a cool place. :)

    Enjoy !

    And happy holidays to all! I've been lurking but not posting much -- just very busy and some issues with my dd and just haven't had time to post much.

    Been following the posada too - thats been fun. :) Thanks to all who are participating!

     
  • At 12/13/2006 01:38:00 PM, Blogger lydia

    I've been baking chocolate chip cookies - not very "christmas-y," I know, but they're my favourite ;)

    1 1/3 cups margerine
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    4 eggs
    2 teaspoon baking soda
    2 teaspoons salt
    4 teaspoons vanilla
    4 1/2 cups flour
    1 package chocolate chips

    mix the first 4 ingredients together until fluffy
    add the next 3 and mix well
    add the flour one cup at a time, while mixing
    stir in the choc chips

    bake at 350 for 6-7 minutes.

    Makes....6 dozen (medium-sized) cookies, maybe? I honestly can't remember. :O

     
  • At 12/13/2006 01:47:00 PM, Blogger Michele L

    Wishing a wonderful holiday season to all. I also have dropped a little, hoping to jump in with the next book in Jan. I already bought it.
    I am going to have a baking and Christmas movie day with my kids and a good friend this Saturday. I am looking forward to it. I have been so busy, that I am not even sure what I am making yet. I printed the few here, Thanks! I have a feeling I will be in the grocery store tomorrow at 10pm. Seeing as I am not sure when else I will have time...oh well, it's peaceful at that time, right?

     
  • At 12/13/2006 06:08:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    My cookies this year, I have a peanut butter theme going -

    Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)(similar to doxallo's recipe)

    1 18oz jar peanut butter
    1 stick butter
    1 lb. confectioners sugar
    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1 12 oz pkg chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate)
    1 square paraffin wax (optional)

    Mix first four item together by hand. Chill a short time to make firmer. Roll into 1" balls.

    Melt chocolate chips and paraffin in a double boiler. Dip balls into chocolate with a toothpick, leaving one small area uncovered to look like a Buckeye. Drop onto wax paper to set up. Refrigerate.

    Chewy Peanut Butter Blossoms
    About 48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates
    1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
    3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
    2 cups all-purpose biscuit baking mix
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    About 1/4 cup sugar

    Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces.

    Beat sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter in large bowl until smooth. Add baking mix and vanilla; blend well. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

    Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until very lightly browned (do not overbake). Remove from oven; immediately press chocolate piece in center of each ball. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completley. Store in tightly covered container. About 48 cookies.

     
  • At 12/13/2006 07:55:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    I made my first attempt at latkes tonight, at my daughter's request. My husband loved them, but my daughter ended up eating crackers & cheese for supper :)

    Source: Copyright © 1997 International Family Entertainment, Inc.

    * 4 baking potatoes
    * 2 peeled green apples
    * 1 yellow onion
    * 3 T. asiago cheese
    * 1 tsp. dried tarragon
    * 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    * Salt and pepper to taste
    * Olive oil for frying

    Boil the potatoes in their skin until they are just tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and cool. Remove skins and shred the potatoes on a box grater, along with the apples and onion. Place the potatoes, onion and apples in a large bowl. Mix in the cheese, tarragon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and form 3" round pancakes. Sauté the pancakes until golden on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes. Serve with smoked salmon and tomatillo-corn salsa.

     
  • At 12/13/2006 09:16:00 PM, Blogger Amy

    Yum, I love Christmas memories! Most of mine are tied to food. We always had homemade cream of potato soup and cracked wheat rolls for Christmas Eve and then homemade sticky-bottom cinnamon rolls Christmas morning. Now, since I've married into a Hispanic family, we've included tamales into the tradition. (My mother-in-law makes about 300 dozen to sell in the two weeks prior to Christmas).

    As far as Christmas sweets, my two favorites are listed below:

    Dream Bars – 9x13 pan

    ½ C soft butter or margarine
    ½ C light brown sugar, packed
    1 C all-purpose flour

    Mix with hands and then press into bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake at 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

    Filling:

    2 eggs
    1 C light brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    3 T flour
    ¼ tsp salt
    1 tsp baking powder
    3 ½ oz of flaked coconut
    1 C coarsely chopped walnuts

    Beat eggs until light. Gradually beat in sugar. Then add vanilla, flour, salt and baking powder and beat untili just combined. Stir in coconut and walnuts. Spread entire mixture over cooled crust. Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut with a sharp knife while still warm.


    Fudge – 8x8 pan

    In a large bowl, put 1 6 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips, one teaspoon of vanilla or ½ teaspoon mint extract, and one cube of margarine or butter (1/2 Cup).

    1 6 oz. can of canned milk
    2 C sugar
    10 large marshmallows (40 small marshmallows)

    Bring to a boil and boil for 6 minutes, stirring the whole time. Poor mixture over chocolate chip bowl and stir briskly until everything is melted.

    Line pan with wax paper and then butter the wax paper. Poor mixture over wax paper and place in freezer or refrigerator (depends on preference) and take out when ready to serve.

     
  • At 12/13/2006 09:18:00 PM, Blogger Sarah Notton

    Sorry, I haven't posted in, like, forever. But you caught my attention with food. :-) Here's my easiest, never-fail winter recipe. Very addictive, especially about 10 AM with a big mug of coffee.

    Snow Mix
    In a big bowl, mix together:
    - 6 cups Crispix cereal
    - 3 cups pretzels
    - 1 1/2 cups mixed nuts

    In a glass bowl, microwave until the chocolate melts (takes about 1 1/2 minute - check & stir a few times):
    - 2/3 package white chocolate candy coating (typically 8 or 9 squares)
    - 1 Tablespoon canola oil

    Pour the melted stuff over the cereal stuff. Stir til coated. Spread on waxed paper & let cool. Break apart & enjoy!

     
  • At 12/13/2006 10:16:00 PM, Blogger Nancy

    I've put on 10 pounds just reading these recipes!

     
  • At 12/14/2006 07:57:00 AM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    I have found that brownies and cakes can be made very nicely using safflower oil and a little vanilla yogurt in place of butter in most recipes. They still taste great and the fat content is a little lower and alot healthier!

     
  • At 12/14/2006 01:04:00 PM, Blogger Joy

    I am busy also. Just finished "To Kill a Mockingbird"... a book that I was supposed to read in high school and finally finished at 40 years old.

    I am into "God's Politics" and already have questions. I am not going to finish this by the 15th, but look forward to the discussion!!

     
  • At 12/14/2006 03:48:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    God's politics is a pretty thick book, don't worry about finishing, just read what you can, reflect, pray, and join the discussion!

     
  • At 12/14/2006 10:53:00 PM, Blogger Sally

    baking????

    thankfully my daughter has decided to take that on for me...

    I used to bake...no time anymore!

     
  • At 12/15/2006 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Doxallo

    So far I haven't actually BAKED anything this year...lol. I made batter though last week - choc chip, ginger spice, lemon, and hmmm, something else......oh well, I'll remember when I open the freezer! I'll also make Datenut pinwheels and the chinese candies and some peppermint cookies....and I think thats it.

     
  • At 12/16/2006 04:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    I make stuffing.

     
  • At 12/18/2006 11:02:00 PM, Blogger Cary

    For anyone who likes cooking, we have a blog dedicated to recipes. (recipes.blogsource.com) I highly suggest the stuffed French Toast and the Chicken Bruschetta Pasta. Yum!

     

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