Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!!  May we remember today that it is not about the presents but about the gift that was given to us so many years ago.  In the beauty and peacefulness and yes, stress and chaos of the season may we look to Jesus who is the true reason for the season.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Homemade Chocolates

I got an early Christmas present of a chocolate mold.  I decided to make some homemade chocolates for Christmas with a combination of white and semi-sweet chocolate.  The chocolates were so easy to make and almost look professional!



Monday, December 22, 2014

Gingerbread Men & Reindeer Cookies

I was preparing cookies for an upcoming cookie exchange.  I decided to make gingerbread men and then saw on the internet that if you turn the gingerbread men upside down, you can make them into reindeers.  How cleaver!!





Here's the recipe I used for the gingerbread.  I found the recipe on the Taste of Home website:

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice


  • Directions

    1. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses, egg and water. Combine flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
    2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Reroll scraps.
    3. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired. Yield: about 2 dozen.

    Friday, December 19, 2014

    Secret Outlast Clear Gel Deodorant

    I received a Secret Clear Gel Deodorant in the ooh-la-la Lavender scent to test thanks to BzzAgent.

    I usually don't wear clear gel deodorants but hate the white marks that my usual white stick deodorant leaves on my dark clothing. I'm happy to report that this deodorant leaves no white marks because it is a clear gel with an invisible finish. 







    I received the lavender scent to test and it has a delicate floral scent that is not overpowering. I was impressed with the performance of this product. At the end of the day there was no smelly body odour and I could still smell the light lavender scent. That's impressive for all day deodorant wear! 

    I did notice that this gel takes a few seconds to dry after applying it but that's not a big issue. For all the benefits of this deodorant I can put up with a little longer drying time :) Overall, I was impressed with this product and it is a deodorant I would definitely recommend to others.

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Gingerbread Oreo Truffles

    My last post was about Oreo Truffles.  I decided to try a variation to that recipe and make Gingerbread Oreo truffles.  I think they turned out well although I found the white chocolate difficult to work with when dipping the truffles.  The chocolate didn't want to stay smooth and got a bit lumpy even though I kept it on the double boiler while dipping the truffles into it.  Maybe the chocolate got heated too much?





    Ingredients:
    1 bag of Gingerbread Oreo cookies (265g)
    1/3 of a 250g tub of cream cheese

    White chocolate wafers for melting

    Directions:
    1.  Half cookies and place in a food processor until crumb consistency.
    2.  Add the cream cheese and mix well in food processor.
    3.  Roll mixture into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
    4.  Place in freezer to firm up.
    5.  Melt chocolate wafers in a double boiler.
    6.  Dip oreo balls in melted chocolate.
    7.  Place in freezer to get firm.
    8.  Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate if desired.

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Oreo Truffles

    I came across a recipe for Oreo truffles and decided they looked easy enough to make so I gave them a try.




    Ingredients:
    1 bag of Oreo cookies (300g)
    1/2 of a 250g tub of chocolate cream cheese

    Semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions:
    1.  Half cookies and place in a food processor until crumb consistency.
    2.  Add the cream cheese and mix well in food processor.
    3.  Roll mixture into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
    4.  Place in freezer to firm up.
    5.  Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler (I also add a bit of vegetable shortening).
    6.  Dip oreo balls in melted chocolate.
    7.  Place in freezer to get firm.
    8.  Drizzle with melted white chocolate if desired.

    I would like to try a variation of this recipe with the special edition Gingerbread Oreos and plain cream cheese.  I would then coat these truffles in white chocolate.  They would be a very festive flavour!

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    Peanut Butter Cup Bars

    If you love Reese's Peanut Butter Cups you will love this recipe.  It requires no baking and can be done in the microwave.




    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
    1 3/4 cups icing sugar
    1 cup smooth peanut butter
    3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

    Topping:
    1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
    1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
    1 tbsp. peanut butter (optional)

    Directions:
    1.  Line an 8" x 8" pan with foil.
    2.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
    3.  Remove from microwave and add icing sugar; stir until smooth.
    4.  Stir in peanut butter and graham cracker crumbs.
    5.  Spread mixture in pan.
    6.  For topping:
         i) Combine butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter if desired in microwave safe bowl.
        ii)  Microwave for about 30 second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval.
       iii)  Pour chocolate over squares and refrigerate until set.