Happy Friday, my blogging friends! What a busy week I’ve had and will have an even busier weekend! Tomorrow Kory has bowling in the morning and after that, I’m meeting two of my sisters and three nieces for a late lunch/early dinner and then we’re all heading to the Christmas Connection at the Cleveland IX Center. There are suppose to be 100’s of crafters there! I can’t wait!!
On Sunday, we’re shampooing our carpets so they’re nice and clean for the holidays. Plus, we’re going to pull out all of the Christmas decorations and go through them to make sure everything’s in working condition (especially the outside decor) and repair anything that needs fixed so it’s all ready to be put out on Thanksgiving day.
I have gone through a few boxes of my inside decorations and decided that I’m going to simplify my decor this year. I’m going to rid of a lot of my stuff. At first, I was going to let my sisters and nieces pick what they wanted, but my daughter said that her friend might be interested in whatever’s left over because she’s newly married and they don’t have many Christmas decorations. Brittney has been friends with this girl since middle school – they were even roommates all through college and I decided “to heck” with my siblings – they’re older and more established than Rachael – I’ll let Rachael have first dibs. I kind of chuckled last year when she was telling us how they didn’t have much to decorate their tree with so she was baking gingerbread boys and stringing popcorn and cranberries to hang on the tree along with white lights and tying on some red bows. I’m thinking, “sounds like the perfect tree to me!!”
There was a radio personality that used to be on a Cleveland radio station that used to talk about wonderful recipes on air and then you could go on the station’s website and print them out. One day, she was talking about these Oreo Truffles. She kept talking about how delicious they were, but the best thing about them was that they were so easy to make. Well, just hearing the word “Oreo” caught my attention!! I had to try them! These are VERY easy to make and absolutely delicious!! I hope you give them a try.
1 (12 oz.) pkg. premium white chocolate chips
1 (1 lb. 2 oz.) pkg. regular Oreo cookies
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cut into chunks
In a double boiler, over hot, not boiling water, melt the white chocolate chips.
Meanwhile, place Oreos and cream cheese in a food processor with a steel blade and process until it’s a thick paste, scraping sides a couple of times.
Roll into 1” balls and dip into melted chocolate. Let dry on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet and keep refrigerated. Makes about 50.
**If you want the melted chocolate a little thinner for easier dipping, stir in a little vegetable oil until it’s the right consistency. Also, for a festive look, sprinkle truffles with colored sugar or other small decorations right after you dip them. They can also be placed in small foil or paper bon-bon cups.
This next recipe comes from Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa. Once you try these marshmallows, you’ll never want to go back to the store bought ones again! These are SO good!! They’re also the perfect treat to top off your hot cocoa with! The only drawback is…you need a stand mixer. Also, pure vanilla extract gives it a much better flavor than imitation vanilla flavoring.
3 pkgs. unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. cold water
1 c. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. water
1 T. pure vanilla extract
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 c. cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the the syrup.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 c. water in a small pan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin.
Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes.
Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
With a sieve, generously dust a 9”x12” non-metal baking dish with confectioner’s sugar.
Pour the marshmallow mix into the pan, smooth the top and dust with more confectioner’s sugar.
Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.
Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them into squares.
Dust the cut sides with confectioner’s sugar.
* These are also delicious dipped in melted chocolate.
** A couple of years ago, I made these for my mom for Christmas. She loves coconut, so instead of using confectioner’s sugar, I used toasted coconut to dust the marshmallows with. They turned out fantastic!!
As always, if you’d like to see who else is participating in Colleen’s (And Baby Makes Five) Homemade Holiday recipe Swap click here:
As promised the other day, here’s a tutorial for making these snowman ornaments.
Styrofoam balls, whatever size you’d like
Paper Mache – white
Sculpey/Fimo modeling clay – terracotta
whole peppercorns or allspice
large ziploc baggy
bowl of water
covered work surface
foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam
First, make the nose by shaping a piece of the molding clay. Take a butter knife and make marks on the sides to look like a carrot. Break the toothpick in half and push one half into the nose. Bake according to the directions on the molding clay’s package.
To make the hanger, push a paper clip into the styrofoam ball.
Put the desired amount of paper mache into a large ziploc baggy. Following the directions on the packaging, add enough warm water to the mache until it’s the consistency of thick brownie batter.
This next step is kind of messy. Make sure you have paper towels handy and a bowl of water.
Work small amounts of paper mache onto styrofoam ball. Periodically, dip your fingers into the water to keep the mache from sticking to your hands. When the ball is completely covered, wet your fingers and smooth out all of the lumps. Take the nose and push into the ball. Push whole peppercorns into the mache for the mouth and, depending on the size of the styrofoam ball, use peppercorns or allspice for the eyes. The finished snowman above has peppercorns for eyes - the one below has allspice (they’re a little larger).
Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and bake in a 200 degree oven. For the first couple of hours, turn the snowman periodically to prevent it from sticking to the foil. Smooth out any flat ridges. Drying time varies – about 4 - 6 hours.
When snowman is dry, brush him with coffee to stain him. Place him back in the oven to dry – maybe 15 – 20 minutes. Repeat process until you reach the desired darkness.
If you want to make a shelf sitter, omit the paperclip and while the paper mache is still wet, push down slightly on the ball to flatten the bottom so he’ll sit flat. While drying, keep turning but don’t smooth out the ridge on the bottom.
The snowman pictured above on the foil pan is going to be a shelf sitter. He’s not completely done yet, so I’ll post a picture of him later.
Until Next Time. . . Kris