I know I’m being cliche here, but one of the best food combinations in the whole world is chocolate and peanut butter. In fact, I have been known to take a square or two of chocolate and dip into a jar of peanut butter. Lazy, I’ll admit it, but oh so good.
This recipe is almost as easy as that, but there are a few special ingredients that make it that much better. I made these to take over to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, you know, before all the diets started, and they were gone in seconds. They’re crunchy and sweet on the inside, and melty and smooth on the outside. A perfect combination of salty and sweet. I sprinkled some chopped peanuts on the top of some of them to add a little extra crunch.
You can make these balls all in one go, or separate it out over a few days. If you choose to make it in two days, you can make the dough on the first day, separating the dough into 2 large discs, covering it in plastic wrap, and placing in the fridge until you are ready to coat in chocolate. On the second day you can roll the discs into balls of any size (I like larger so I don’t have to roll 80) and dip into chocolate. Whatever you do, just give yourself a little bit of time, as the balls need to chill in the fridge before you dip them in the hot chocolate. Continue reading
We just got back from a week’s vacation visiting family in California. Like all good adventures, this one was filled with laughter, fun, and craziness. And when I say craziness, it pertains to just one thing–children. Ha! I had the brilliant idea of driving, which by map, should have taken about 10 hours, but in actuality, it took a little over 13. In my head, I thought of it idealistically, that driving would be good family fun and bonding, and let me just say, we certainly bonded! I already knew that little ones just cannot sit still for that long, but a long car ride just proved that point even further. (Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be. The kids were pretty good in spite of it all; it was me who had to remember they’re only 3 and 5.) The portable DVD player is what saved us.
One day we went into San Francisco. I love that city!
Eric and I had been there numerous times before, but it was fun walking through the city with the kids. They saw things I had never observed before! As we concluded the day, we went and had ice cream at Ghirardelli. Grace and I shared a double scoop cone, and Eric and Matthew shared one. Seems reasonable, right? Apparently, I had NO IDEA just how big a double scoop is. We could have shared one between the four of us!
We had such a wonderful time (despite the car ride) and were so grateful to extended family for hosting us. They cooked us yummy food and kept the kids entertained (which is no easy feat). So, thanks fam!
As a parting gift, my aunt sent me home with a bunch of Meyer lemons and limes from her yard. (My other aunt grows grapefruit, and I came home with about 20+ of those. Trying to think of good desserts to make with that fruit…) Continue reading
I can’t believe it’s fall already! Last Monday, we were having 90-degree weather, and now, it’s in the 70s. I’m not complaining though; 70s-80s is my kind of weather. All of my summer decorations are now gone, the garden is winding down, and soups all of a sudden sound really delicious. Yeah, fall is definitely here.
Two of my favorite things about fall are now occurring: the changing of the colors and fog. The first makes sense, I know. The Northwest has some beautiful, vibrant reds and yellows when fall hits, and I love to watch it slowly descend from green to those vibrant hues. The second seems a bit odd, but I look forward to it every September—fog. There’s just something about it that I can’t describe, but with the crisp air in the morning, it just gets me going. (We also live up on a hill, so when I enter the valley, I get to see it creeping around the fields and houses. That could partly be why too.)
In honor of fall, I made some cream cheese dip. They go really well with apples, but you could pair it with any fruit, really. I also decided to give them to some of my neighbors, as a welcome-to-fall gift. If you’d like to make them as fun gifts and treats for someone too, you’ll need to following: wide-mouth, small mason jars, cute cupcake wrappers, and ribbon. Continue reading
My junior year in college, my roommate and I thought it’d be fun to have a tea party. We made cute little sandwiches, where we cut them in small triangle wedges and trimmed the crust, had different fruit bars, and of course, a variety of teas. Our friends came over and we ate, laughed, and played games. One friend brought over this delicious lemon dessert, and when the get-together was over, I asked her for the recipe. Many years later, I pulled out the recipe and tried to make it. At the time I got the recipe, I really wished I had asked her exactly how she made it, because the recipe said mix such-and-such together and bake, then add this on top, etc. It never said what pan to put it in, or what temperature to have the oven (although it did say how long to bake it), or even how exactly to mix something–which is very important to any baker. I had to improvise much, and unfortunately, the dessert flopped miserable. Fast forward eight years, and I found the recipe, tucked away amongst other long-forgotten ones. I thought I’d give it another chance. However, this time, I went the internet to see if I could find something similar, and piece together the two.
It’s a good thing I gave the recipe another chance. Talk about one of the best chilled desserts I have ever tasted! There are four distinct layers, and it might seem like a lot of work, but really, it takes about 15 minutes (minus the cooling of the crust) to make. And it is one of the lightest tasting desserts too, so you can have lots of it. (Which is really a good thing, I think.) Continue reading
Each year in my Easter basket, my parents would put in these delicious peanut butter Easter eggs. There were only a few, and I desperately tried to make them last, but I always ate them first because they were my favorite. (Yeah, saving the best for last is over-rated.) I even tried to barter with my sisters so I could get more, but it never worked, because these eggs were their favorite too. My youngest sister, Noelle, was a pro at saving the best for last, because she would save these eggs far into the summer. She used them to get what she wanted from us–you know, trading amnesty or something like that. However, only my middle sister Robyn would trade with her, and it stopped one year when she noticed the chocolate started to turn grey. (My guess is that Noelle forgot about that one many years ago, and it was probably Halloween candy and not these eggs. She usually traded what she knew we would want, not what she liked.)
My grandmother is in from out-of-town, and last night, the whole family, (including my sister and brother-in-law), had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed time together. I made these peanut butter bars for dessert. Taking one bite of this rich, decadent dessert reminded me of those Easter eggs of long ago. The second best part about this dessert is that it is the easiest thing I have made. It was in the fridge hardening up in less than 30 minutes. And my mom, grandma, sister, and I had to snitch a bit an hour later. You know, to make sure it was good enough to share with the boys. Continue reading