Friday, December 31, 2010

goodbye 2010

This year has been, well a year.  It always seems to simple and trite at the end of the year to sum up what's happened and make goals for the new year to come.  But, it's human nature, I suppose and I am one of those list-makers, goal-setters kind of people.  So, I will look back and then forward, knowing that I don't really know what this year will bring any more than I knew how 2010 would shake out. 

Whatever your resolutions for the New Year, thank you for reading my blog-even when I am sporadic or post too many pictures of my dining room.  Thanks for your wonderful encouragment and delicious compliments on my cooking, baking and decorating.  I wish you all good things in 2011 and beyond and hope that you will keep stopping by to see what's going on in my corner of the world. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oreo Truffles Recipe and tips

I've had several people email and ask me for the recipe for the Oreo Truffles, and a lot of people visit that page on my blog, so I though I would just put all the information here for easy, holiday baking access.  The recipe is really so simple that it's almost not a recipe.  Also, some people refer to them as Oreo "balls" but I think truffles makes them sound tastier and maybe like they took longer to make than they actually do. 

The first time I made them I did so under the misguided theory that because I don't really like Oreos, I wouldn't be tempted to eat these little chocolate covered bits of goodness.  Rarely have I ever been quite so wrong.  These taste amazing-and have the richest texture and they are cute to top it all off. 

Here's how to make them:

1pkg Oreos crushed (don't use crumbs-actually crush the cookies)
1  8 oz pkg cream cheese
Chocolate for melting and covering the truffles

Mix the cream cheese into the crushed Oreos.  I generally use the smallest size Pampered Chef scoop and scoop out as many little round truffles as I can, shape them and stick them in the fridge to chill.  Don't rush to coat them in the chocolate because the colder they are when you start dipping, the easier the whole process will go. 

I use the Wilton brand candy melts for white and color and the Baker's semi-sweet for Chocolate.  The ones I really love to make (and eat) are the Golden Oreos covered in semi-sweet chocolate. 

Another tip, from one of my best friends, is when you are melting the chocolate, add a tablespoon of vegetable shortening to the chocolate-it make is smoother to dip and shinier when it's cooled off. 

These little sweeties are all dressed up for Christmast in their red ribbons.  You can add sprinkles, non-pareils, sparkling sugars, whatever you want to make them look festive and even more delicious than they already do!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Getting in the Christmas Spirit with Hooked on Houses

Well, I missed the first blog-link-party-extravaganza that Julia at my all time favorite blog, Hooked on Houses,  hosted.  In an attempt not to skip holidays, I don't put up any Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving, but that often means I am not finished (or satisfied with what I've done) until well into December.  The room that holds most of my Christmas goodies is the dining room because, well really, it's the most finished room in the house.  Here's a shot of my china cabinet with my small collection of dishes (all different)

Last year, I had that garland (which I got for cheap at Target from Smith and Hawken) on my dining room light, but this year, we added an advent wreath to the table and the combination of low hanging garland and tall taper advent candles seemed to be less than advisable.  Here's how the table and the light look:

I had big plans to get this runner all cute-d up for Christmas with felt snowflakes, but sadly, my idea didn't quite work out the way I planned.  For now, the felt runner is lonely without the boost of the white snowflakes, so we will see what happens.  My refurbished sideboard is making its first Christmas appearance and looks pretty spiffy draped in red and serving as home to my cute peppermint candy tree. 

Remember how icky that used to be?  I do-you can check out the before in this post
Of course, nothing in this house would be complete without a little bit of Lego fun, so here is a new addition to my decor, the Lego Advent Calendar. 

Let me tell you, this little piece of Danish ingenuity was well worth the price.  My first grader has been up and dressed for school in record time since his opening the Lego piece is contingent on being ready for school.  Brilliant, I tell you!

I am participating in Julia's Link Party-go see more by clicking on this button!


Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Oh Holy Night Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Welcome December

If you are like me, you may have missed November completely-it seems like I just turned the calendar to the month that contains Thanksgiving and now all of a sudden it's the one that holds Christmas!  EEEEK!!  We spent the first December weekend doing appropriately Christmas-y things like church, forcing our kids to stand out in the cold and have their once-a-year-so-you'd-better-smile-or-we-will-be-out-here-all-day pictures (better known as the Christmas card photo. 

This year, we revisited a place we had enjoyed several years (and one kid) ago for the taking of the photos-the PAGODA which is really cool looking and completely out of place in Eastern Pennsylvania.  It's also just cool and a little scary if you are afraid of heights or the combination of your adventurous 6 year old and 87 steps and a steep, rocky incline.  But, it is cool:

We also went to another favorite spot of mine, Glicks Greenhouses for their annual Poinsettia show, which the kids loved and I loved, too:

We hung the lights, watched The Santa Clause and baked cookies.  All in all a perfect Christmas weekend, but now it's back to reality December Monday, which includes more running around, laundry (doesn't every day?) and a bunch of stuff I would rather not do-but pretty soon it will be Christmas weekend again!  I have to get my dining room in order so I can show it off-the only problem with using the dining room for all our meals is that it generally looks like we eat all our meals there! 

Happy December Monday!