Posts Tagged ‘ holidays ’

Peanut Butter Snowballs

or “How To Eat More Peanut Butter Than Can Possibly Be Good For You”

Did you ever read “Taste of Home” magazine?My mom used to get it when I was a kid. It has these little cut out recipe cards and a hidden toothpick in each issue.  A few years ago Dave’s aunt gifted us a subscription to it. What a blast from the past. My mom clipped a lot of those little recipe cards, and many of those recipes have become traditions in our family.

Exhibit A: Peanut Butter Snowballs. They make an appearance at least twice each holiday season. This picture that I lifted off the internet is the same picture that is on that little recipe card. Only I think the card has a little peanut butter on it too.

When I wanted this recipe yesterday, instead of calling Mom for the 8th time that morning, I googled it. “Peanut Butter Snowballs.” Sure enough, there it was, the second resutlt…at Taste of Home . com. The recipe looked exactly as I remembered it. But then I noticed one little detail at the bottom.

Peanut Butter Snowballs published in Taste of Home December/January 1995, p29

1995? Seriously? 15 years ago? That was before my big tall 14 year old brother was even born! That means he has been eating these peanut snowballs his whole life. He doesn’t even remember a time pre-snowball. Heck, I hardly do.

15 years of peanut butter snowballs. Way to go, Taste of Home.

So, here’s the recipe for you. And here’s to the next 15 years. Cheers.

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped

In a bowl, combine the sugar, peanut butter and butter. Shape into 1-in. balls and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl. Dip balls and place on waxed paper to harden. Yield: 2 dozen.

Laughably easy. I’ve been making these since I was 10 years old. I may have missed a few years in college, but my younger brothers picked up the slack. And while I made a batch for my little family here in Tennessee, this year my little sister made them at my parents house. Welcome to the club, Emma. You must be 10.



Happy 4th of July!

While these may not be red, white, or blue, they do say summer, don’t they? They do to me at least. These little babies grew all by themselves in my non-garden. I’m going to start watering more because the big one was bitter 😦 Does anyone know how to grow non-bitter cucumbers in this TN heat? The little tiny cuke was delicious with salt and pepper, and I can’t wait to make some slicers.

In other news, while waiting for Nick, Rachael, and Gavin to get here I’m sweeping the floors, slicing up watermelon, and making these gooey chocolate-y oatmeal-y bars.

Mmmmm, happy 4th of July indeed.

2009 – The year in review

January – New Year’s in Nashville with Ellis. Tutoring at Youth Encouragement                        Services. Dave makes a new little friend.

February – Camping. Feb 6. 32 degrees overnight. Cold, cold, COLD! Trip to                                  Chattanooga. Tutoring.

March – Camping again with Mom, Emma, Nate, and 2 dogs. Warmer. Tutoring.

April – Birthday parties. Baby showers. Haircuts. Trip to the North. Tutoring                         ends.

May – Trip to Boone, NC. Mountains. Country roads. Old friends. Dave’s parents               come down to visit.

June – Drive In Movies. Fireflies. Cookouts.

July – I turn 25. Ian and Evan come down for the 4th. Ellis and Kayla come down               for my birthday.

August – Dave turns 26 and starts a new position. A nephew is born. Trip to the                        North to meet him. Try to smuggle him back in my suitcase. Dave’s                              parents visit again. Food.

September – 5 year anniversary. Trip to the beach. Paint our bedroom. Dave gets                            his 1st cut on an album.

October – Start paying for internet like grown ups. Bonfires. Adoption                                            conference.

November – Host Thanksgiving. Ellis and Kayla visit. Join a new community                                  group at church.

December – Decide to adopt. 3 brothers and a sister come to visit. Dave does a                                police ride along. Christmas via Skype.  Trip to the North for late                                  holiday festivities. Happy New Year!


Just how much butter did I use during holiday cooking and baking?  More than can possibly be legal.

And you know what? I’m ok with that. And you know what else? It ain’t over yet.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies. 2 sticks.  Twice.  Running total=4 sticks

Butterhorn rolls. 1.5 sticks.  Thrice.  Running total=8.5 sticks

Gingerbread Men.  1 stick.  Running total=9.5 sticks

Chex Mix (Eaten too fast for a picture). 1 stick  Again, thrice. R.T=12.5 sticks

Ham casserole (leftover ham, potatoes, etc. baked in a pie). 1 stick. R.T=13.5

Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing. At least 2 sticks. R.T=15.5 sticks

Miscellaneous butter usage: frying eggs, spreading on rolls and toast, basting turkeys, buttering dishes. At least 2 sticks. Total=17.5 sticks.

17.5  sticks of butter. A little over 4 boxes.

The butter industry loves me. And I love them. And we love each other.

More lights, cookies, and gingerbread

Excess lights

Excess cookies

Excess gingerbread

Yep, it’s Christmas!

A Tale of Two Elves


It’s no secret that I was ready to adopt before Dave was. But that’s how things go around here: I like to jump right in, Dave likes to consider the options.  We make a good team like that. Balance….or something.

When I would get discouraged that we would never adopt, never have kids, etc. etc., Dave would always tell me to have hope. And I hated it. I wanted to wallow in my misery.

It’s also no secret that I like to go JoAnn Fabrics. I need my yarn fix as much as anyone else. But there was 1 thing at JoAnn’s that drove me crazy. A snowflake ornament. A snowflake ornament engraved with one word. Hope.

We buy a new ornament each year, and that dang Hope ornament would jump out at me every time I tried to pick our 2009 ornament. I put off buying an ornament for much longer than I would have liked, because I just couldn’t find “the one.”

Finally, during yet another trip to JoAnn’s, and yet another 5 minutes of my eye being drawn back to, you guessed it, the Hope ornament, I muttered “Fine. You win.” I bought the dumb ornament and hung it on the tree without even telling Dave.

Guess what Dave told me the next day.

“Let’s adopt. Let’s do it. I want to.”

I love my Hope ornament.

Christmas and Adoption

Nothing like a major holiday to take your mind off one of the biggest decisions of your life. It’s really hard not to obsess over the adoption right now. We are at a standstill til January, but it’s still hard not to think about calling the doctor to get physicals, getting birth certificates, and the biggest question of all – will we check the box for “boy” or “either?”

Man, that’s a tough one. We have always said the we wanted to have a boy first, but it kind of seems like cheating to just sign up for one. Shouldn’t we leave it up to God? But on the other hand, when else in life do you get to choose something this major? It’s like a freebie! But, wouldn’t it be fun to be surprised when the referral comes? Or will we be disappointed if it’s not a boy?  Maybe we should just go ahead and select “boy.”

You see how this goes? I annoy even myself with all this logic.

So….Christmas!!  What a great distraction. I’ve been spending way more time than I usually do at the mall, Target, and more of the mall, then a little more Target. It’s good to keep busy, and I’ve found some awesome gifts! I only have 1 “Plan B” gift that may need an upgrade, but other than that, Christmas is done. I’ve even volunteered to do shopping for my parents; picking up things here and there for my younger siblings.

I’m a regular Christmas saint, huh?

Now, on to wrapping presents! I wonder how long I can make that last…..

Christmas Cookies

Decorating Christmas Cookies.  Sounds so sweet, right? So festive and cheery.

More like so much work. So much mess.

Yesterday we made Dave’s favorite sugar cookies – his mom’s (awwww). Her secret ingredient? Cream cheese.

Mmmm, just look at the butter, cream cheese, and sugar all whipped together.

So here’s the not so secret recipe.

  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. butter, softened
  • 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk (reserve white)
  • 2 ¼ C. flour

In large bowl, combine sugar, butter, cream cheese, salt almond extract, vanilla and egg yok, blend well.  Lightly spoon flour into measuring  cup; level off.  Stir in flour until well blended.  Chill dough 2 hours. Bake cookies at 375 for 7-10 minutes.

Clean up the mess you made while making the dough, and then after waiting 2 hours, make another, ever bigger, mess!

I guess some of the final products were cute, but they just get eaten so fast!

Merry Christmas, I guess.  Anyone want to come over and clean my kitchen?

How to make Egg Nog

If you are grossed out by raw eggs (shame on you) then this recipe might not be for you.

Raw eggs are good, people! Especially if the come from a local farmer. I have absolutely no qualms with eating raw eggs from a trusted local source. Raw eggs that have been shipped in from West Virginia and sat on a grocery shelf for a few weeks….those make me cringe a little. I might still use them, but I would definitely cringe.

On to the recipe. It’s hard to find an Egg Nog recipe that doesn’t require slooooowly cooking 12,000 yolks. So here’s my raw egg nog invention.

Use 1 Egg per cup of Milk.  Then add to taste: a little sugar, some vanilla, a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Here’s what that looked like for me.

  • Beat 4 eggs til creamy
  • Slowly add 4 cups of milk. Beat some more
  • Add 1/4 cup Sugar
  • Add 2 tsp. Vanilla, 2 dashes of cinnamon, 1 dash of Nutmeg
  • Beat again.

That’s it! Egg Nog. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Eww, lemons and egg nog. Sorry.