Peanut Butter Balls

Disclaimer: despite the fact these are absolutely crave worthy, they'll kill you if you aren't careful!


4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups peanut butter
(recommend Adam's Natural Peanut Butter)
1 package chocolate chips
wax paper

(FYI: I halved the recipe and still filled up a cookie sheet and a half).

Combine confectioners' sugar, butter, and peanut butter in a bowl and mix together until smooth. Place in the refridgerator for a few minutes. This allows the dough to set a little, helping to make rolling into small balls much easier. Take out a cookie sheet and line with wax paper. Roll small balls, whatever size fits you best, and place on the wax paper. Once it's filled, put it in the freezer for about thirty minutes to an hour. Meanwhile, slowly melt your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl beginning with 1 minute, then alternate stirring and cooking every 12 seconds until the chocolate is liquified.  Pull out your balls, and dip the ball into the chocolate, knocking off any extra on the sides. Place your plan back in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve! 
 I froze the extras and put them in a ziploc bag. 


Chocolate Truffle Kisses

Happy Valentines Day! You'll find these delicious and easy chocolate truffles to be a favorite, not only amongst friends and family, but a melting taste you can't stop eating!


1 box Oreo Cookies
1 8oz Cream Cheese
1 pkg. Chocolate Bark


Crush the cookies in a blender or ziploc bag until fine and crummy. In a small bowl mix together cookie crumbs and softened cream cheese. Blend well. Form small balls and place on a waxed cookie sheet. Once all your balls are formed put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes. I find it's easier to mold this way so the dough doesn't stick to your fingers. Take out the cookie sheet and form each ball into a small kiss. Place back in the freezer until hard.
Meanwhile, prepare your chocolate. Place chocolate bark in small microwavable bowl for two minutes. Take it out a stir. Continue to cook in the microwave until creamy, stirring every 10-12 seconds. Do not let it overcook. 
Once your kisses are hard and chocolate is ready, take each kiss, place it on a spoon, and dip it in the chocolate, knocking off any extra. Place on the wax paper and put back in the freezer or refrigerator! Enjoy.


Honey Wheat Bread

Growing up it was my job to make bread every week. This wasn't for your average sized family with two to four children. I have 10 siblings and bread did not last us very long! I used a big silver bowl, my hands, and the largest bread pan I've ever seen to this day; a 12x4 three strap bread pan. You can imagine the amount of dough I had to work with! 
Now, nine years later, I'm back to making my own bread twice a week. And it's simple, just two small loafs. I tried a few and decided to stick with what I grew up doing, just minimized the recipe a bit and used Triticale Flour instead of whole wheat, giving it a healthy, lighter look.
There is nothing like walking into our small country home with the aroma of fresh bread right out of the oven. Hand me some butter and honey!

Honey Wheat Bread
makes two loaves

3 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup honey

Place in a measuring bowl or mixing bowl and let the yeast proof, or rise and bubble. 

Mix In:
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

and let it sit for a few minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups more of whole wheat flour and mix well. Let is sit for 15 minutes. The dough should be sticky and stretchy. After it rests, divide the dough in half and kneed with plenty of flour slowly forming into loaf. Put your dough into the prepared bread pans, lining with tin-foil or wax paper for easy release, and let it rise until the dough has risen slightly above the edge of the baking pans. 
Bake the bread @ 350° for 35 minutes.


Homemade Oreo Cookies

After giving in to the constant begging from my husband, I finally decided to whip up a batch of one of his favorite cookies. Call them what you may, Whoopie Pies, Oreo Cookies, Sandwich Cookies, they still taste the same and would make for a perfect Valentine's Day gift with pink frosting! Why didn't I think of that before? They taste wonderful! Here's the simple recipe. Enjoy!

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Cookie Ingredients
1-package devil's food cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil

Heat oven to 350°. Add oil and eggs to cake mix and blend together. Roll dough into balls. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet.

The rest is pretty explanitory! Spread and smash!

Cream Cheese Filling
1 stick butter
1 8oz package philly cream cheese
3-4 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(food coloring if desire)

Garden Pasta

I love budget meals! February was completely planning with weekly meals all fitting into our budget plan. It worked great and I found some wonderful recipes that incorporate healthy eating as well! This recipe was simple and delicious, taking less than an hour to put together. I had enough time to come home from work and have dinner on the table by 5:30 and the wonderful thing is half the ingredients were in storage from last years garden! Excellent & definitely a budget meal.

Garden Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. zucchini, diced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1 cup crushed tomatoes
Salt & Pepper

Heat a deep skillet or pot over medium heat. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and garlic and saute until garlic sizzles. Add zucchini, onion, carrot and bay leaves. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the zucchini is tender and onion are translucent. 
Remove from stove and add the stock. Stir up any good gunk from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato, salt and pepper, and parsley. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Done.