Monday, November 29, 2010

Peppermint Oreo Truffles

I am so a slacker.  I have hardly cooked or baked lately as I have had a horrible cold and my taste buds have not been up to much of anything.  And I fear that will be little cooking and baking in the next month.  We will be moving in less than three weeks.  The time has come to use up as much as I can of what's in the kitchen.  Creative meals with whatever we have on hand, here we come!  Also, I am hoping to get some holiday baking done here the next week or so before all my baking supplies get packed up until who knows when.

The only thing I have 'baked' lately are these peppermint Oreo truffles.  I say 'baked' because there isn't really any baking involved, just crushing, mixing and melting.  So mix these babies up and enjoy a delicious holiday treat!

Peppermint Oreo Truffles
Source: adapted from
Printable Recipe Here

1 package peppermint Oreo cookies, divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
white or chocolate bark

Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziplock bag and crush into a fine consistency.  Reserve for later.
Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese.  Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.
Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.
Melt the chocolate as directed on the package and dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra chocolate, and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.  You can sprinkle the tops with the seven crushed cookies for decoration.  (It is helpful to refrigerate the balls for about fifteen minutes before you dip them to keep them from falling apart in the chocolate.)
Keep in refrigerator. 

Amy's Notes:
If you haven't tried peppermint Oreos, you should.  And while you can, stock up because you can only find them around the holidays.  They are perfect to fancy up these truffles into a holiday treat.  Of course, you can use regular Oreos too.  I used regular Oreos that I had on hand to sprinkle on top of the truffles, since the peppermint Oreos have red frosting and I didn't know how that would look.  Also, you can use as much or as little cream cheese as you want for these.  The original recipe calls for a whole 8 ounce package but I only used about 4 ounces.  I like mine more crunchy and less gooey, though the crunchy consistency takes a bit of mixing to get.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Old Fashioned Pan Rolls

When I was making pot roast the other day, I decided we had to have some bread to go with it.  Instead of buying bread from the store, I made some rolls to go with the pot roast.  And these were the perfect rolls to go with my mom's recipe of pot roast as the rolls are also my mom's recipe!

Old Fashioned Pan Rolls
Source: Carlista Barttels
Printable Recipe Here

1/2 cup butter or margarine, plus more for brushing
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast
5 3/4 cup flour, divided
1 egg

Heat butter and water to 120 degrees.  In separate bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast and 2 1/4 cups flour.  Combine with butter and water mixture.  Add egg.  Stir in 3 1/2 cups flour to make soft dough.  Turn dough onto floured surface and kneed until elastic (dough will be very sticky).  Shape into large ball and place in greased bowl.  Turn to coat all sides oil.  Cover with towel and rise in warm place until doubled.  Punch down.  Rise again.  Shape into 30 equal balls, or 15 larger balls.  Place in greased baking pan.  Rise until doubled.  Bake at 425 for 15 minutes.  If desired, lightly brush with melted butter when done.

Amy's Notes:
Remember when I said I don't read recipes all the way through before making them?  Well, I did it again.  You would think with all the times I've skimmed a recipe before making it that I would learn, but I guess not.  I completely skipped letting the rolls rise in the pans because I didn't read it until just now.  Thankfully, my rolls still turned out great!  My mom always made these in a large cake pan but I had to try them in muffin tins!  I just shortened the baking time to about 12 minutes and they were just as I remembered them.  I think next time I will make these as regular pan rolls and find out which way I like them best.  The one issue I had with these rolls was that they dough was sticky, they were very hard to handle.  I ended up having to add quite a bit of extra flour to be able to handle the dough. 

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pot Roast

Everyone has their own recipe for pot roast and this is mine.  Actually this one is my mom's but it's the recipe I always use when I make pot roast.  It's the perfect meal for this time of the year as it's getting cold outside.  I will warn you, most of these numbers are approximate as my mom's recipe has no measurements on it!  So feel free to add or take away whatever you need when you make this.  Enjoy!

Pot Roast
Source: Carlista Barttels
Printable Recipe Here

1-2 pound chuck or round roast
1 can beef broth (plus a little more)
1 can cream of mushrooms soup
2 onions
2 gloves garlic
8-10 carrots
6-7 potatoes
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Cut roast into small pieces.  In electric skillet, iron skillet, or dutch oven, brown meat with salt, pepper and a small amount of oil. 
Once meat is browned, add beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. 
Cover and cook on low heat if using an electric skillet or at about 250 degrees in the oven for 2 hours or until the veggies are cooked.  Add water or more broth to keep pieces from sticking to pan and to keep the veggies moist. 

Amy's Notes:
You can add whatever vegetables you want to use here or think would go well with pot roast.  And I think that chuck roast works the best with this recipes as it seems to be the moist tender when finished.  Also, you can adjust any of the measurements as needed since most of these measurements are approximations to begin with.

Veggies, broth, soup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper all ready to add.

I always end up adding too many veggies

And some rolls go perfectly!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gloppy Bread

Sorry for my lack of posting lately.  I hadn't cooked much since being back from Florida until a few days ago.  And I usually do my baking on my days off, since I don't have the energy on days when I work.  Then our nephew was born and on my next few days off, we had to spend the weekend meeting him!  So, still no baking.  Hopefully that comes in the next few days.  In the meantime, enjoy this adorable picture and the few other recipes I have to post in the next couple days.
(Source: Andy Rowe)

Gloppy Bread
Printable Recipe Here

1 loaf french bread
1 package Swiss cheese
1 small can of mushrooms, drained
3 tablespoons butter/margarine
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Johnny's seasoning salt (Lowry's or other seasoning salt works also)

Cut french bread diagonally--first one way, then the other.  Do not cut all the way through the bottom crust.  Fill the slits going on way with Swiss cheese and the slits the other with mushrooms.  Place in foil.
Melt the butter and add the mustard, poppy seeds, lemon juice and seasoning salt.  Pour over the top on the bread. 
Wrap with foil.  Back 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the cheese is melted.

Amy's Notes:
I love this bread.  It's a staple at my parents house.  Seeing as I don't make it across the county to my parents house very often these days, I decided it was time to make it myself.  And I am glad I did.  It was even better the next day.  Be warned, check your teeth for poppy seeds after eating!

Cut bread diagonally one way...

...and then the other way.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bakerella Book Signing!

I've mentioned my love of Bakerella before.  I was super excited when her book 'Cake Pops' came out several weeks ago and had been putting off buying it for no good reason.  Since her book came out, she has been on a book tour at different Williams-Sonoma stores around the country.  And one of the stops on her tour was to Nashville!  So, of course, I had to go, which meant I had to buy the book!

What I love about Bakerella, whose real name is Angie Dudley, is that she is just a normal person.  A few years ago, she took a cake decorating class to learn to make 'cute things' and she has been hooked ever since.  She is just another person who tries out her ideas out and documents them along the way on her blog.  Unlike most bloggers, hers was noticed by the people at the Martha Stewart show about a year ago and since then, cake pops have become a hit nationwide!  But for me, her blog is everything I want mine to be and more.  She has thousands of followers, receives hundreds of comments on each post, and has a beautiful, well-written blog.  Visit it at

For the book tour, she began with a short Q & A session to start with, which mostly covered things already in the book.  Unfortunately, my question, "What was your worst baking failure?" didn't get answered the way I had hoped.  But I suppose when you are promoting a book/idea, you don't want people knowing how you failing in making that thing which you are promoting.  Or maybe she just has never had anything go wrong when baking.

It was really fun to meets someone that has influenced my baking the past several months.  And I will continue to stock her blog, sign up for her giveaways, and hope to be her friend one day.

Demonstrating something cake pop related!

Bakerella and I

Matt got suckered into taking a picture also

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Florida Vacation and Food

We just got back from Florida on Thursday with an overnight at my in-laws and drove back home yesterday, which means I have done very little grocery shopping and have not baked in almost two weeks.  Therefore, I will share some of the food we ate during our vacation.

Our first day in Orlando, we went to Universal's Islands of Adventure, mostly because we wanted to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  It was awesome! 


There are only a few food items that are truly Harry Potter sold at the Wizarding World.  First is Butterbeer.  Butterbeer is pretty much cream soda with butterscotch foam on top.  It's super sweet and it seems like people are split pretty evenly between those who think its delicious and those who think it's much too sweet to drink. 
Next, pumpkin juice.  And pumpkin juice was really tasty!  It's a combination of apricot, apple, and pumpkin juice with a few other ingredients.  Between my husband and I, it was gone within a few minutes.  Yum.

And the trip wouldn't be complete without a chocolate frog!  I only bought one though and am going to use it as a gift, so no ideas here as to the taste.  Now that I am back, I think maybe I should have bought one for myself!

The next day, we headed over to Kennedy Space Center to check out the visitors center.  We had/still have tickets to the launch of the shuttle, which has been postponed until the end of the month.  But because we had plans to see the launch that day, which didn't happen, we added on a few extras to the day.  We did an extended tour of KSC as well as lunch with an astronaut.  The lunch was really great.  There were about 100 people, lots of food, and a question and answer period with our astronaut.  His name was James Reilly and he has been on three shuttle missions--STS 89, 104 and 117.  It was really awesome to hear about his experiences and views on things.  Plus, the food was pretty good.  I was expecting a sack lunch and what we had was far from it.

If you ever get a chance to go to KSC, I would highly recommend the lunch with an astronaut.  And if that doesn't sound appealing to you, there are plenty of other awesome things at Kennedy to fill your time with. 

The next day, we headed over to Downtown Disney to browse through the shops.  And I found these:

I didn't buy any of Minnie's baking products, but that cupcake mix and those sprinkles were SO CUTE.  I had some serious restraint with all the cuteness.  And check out these rice crispy cakes:

So cute. 

The only thing we bought at Downtown Disney was from Ghirardelli.  And it was perfect timing because it started to pour right when we sat down under the umbrella to enjoy our goodies.  I got a white chocolate mocha and my husband got a chocolate milk shake.  Honestly, I wanted coffee AND a milkshake so I had my husband order the milkshake so I wouldn't look like a complete pig.  I hadn't had a Ghirardelli milkshake since I was in San Francisco when I was 15 or 16 and OH MY GOSH..... sooo good.  If you have never had one, Google your nearest Ghirardelli location and drive there right now.  Seriously.  It will change your life. 

The next day, we packed up our stuff and headed to Cocoa Beach for our last night in Florida.  We played in the ocean, (or I should say, I laid on the beach while my husband played in the ocean), swam in the pool, lounged in the hot tub, and ate some good food.  We went to Taco City for a late lunch.  I got chicken soft tacos and my husband got beef hard tacos, then we traded so we had one of each.  The tacos were excellent while the rice and beans weren't anything special.  What I loved about Cocoa Beach, besides everyone being super friendly, was how aware and involved they were with NASA news and the shuttle launches.  There were signs on businesses and churches that said things like 'Godspeed Discovery' or 'We love shuttle noise!  Go NASA'.  It was awesome to see people so aware when pretty much anyone outside of that general area of Florida was completely unaware that there was even going to be a shuttle launch. 

Look, even our table at Taco City had a picture of a shuttle launch on it!

Overall, our trip was super fun!  We had a blast at Universal, were thrilled to be at Kennedy Space Center, and enjoyed finding other adventures to go on while in Florida.  It was a pretty big bummer that the shuttle didn't actually launch, but I am hoping to either make it the launch at the end of the month or to the next, and last, launch in February.  In the meantime, it's time to get back into my kitchen!

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