Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Life Readings & Cupcakes

I’ve been making these babies for years, ever since Adam’s first birthday when I first tried the recipe out. I have hardly done any alterations to the original recipe yet have been requested to make these for various occasions over and over. I even very good family friends of ours who would, without fail, have me make this every single time we had a potluck.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Life Readings & Cupcakes

What I like to play with though, is the crushed topping these beauties are rolled in. Every time I try something different; nuts, Reese’s pieces, candy canes, powdered sugar, cocoa, biscuits…. you get the idea.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Life Readings & Cupcakes

So when I was trying to come up with baked goodies to include in a gift basket for a friend, these were a no-brainer. They are yummy, look good, can be packed in an impressive display and are super easy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Life Readings & Cupcakes

Without further ado, my Chocolate Peanut Butter truffles:

Ingredients:

250gm dark chocolate chopped

250gm milk chocolate chopped

500gm creamy peanut butter jar

340gm sweetened condensed milk

Toppings of choice; coconut, powdered sugar, cocoa, crushed nuts, crushed Reese’s pieces, miniature chocolate chips, crushed candy canes, crushed cookies….

Directions:

1. Bring a saucepan half filled with water to a simmer. Place a stainless steel bowl over the simmering water.

2. Add the chocolate and peanut butter to the stainless steel bowl and stir occasionally until  both are fully melted.

3. Add the condensed milk and whisk together. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly

4. Spread the fudge evenly on a tray. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill and set.

5. Remove fudge from fridge. Take a spoonful and roll in your hands into a ball shape.

6. Roll the balls in the assorted toppings. Place in a candy foil cup.

7. Store in fridge or freezer covered until ready to serve

Enjoy!

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DIY Gifts: Baking Mixes in Jars

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I’m being a good girl and starting to upload all my back logged projects. Yesterday it was the Gingerbread Cookies in a Jar. So since I’m in the ‘jar’ing mood, I thought I’d carry it on by posting these DIY Foodie Gifts in a Jar.

As you all may or may not know, I was staying with a friend in Vancouver a few weeks ago. And since she was going to put up with me, my husband and my rowdy boys for a full week I had to find an exceptional hostess gift.

I could have gone and gotten her something for the house or a gift card, but I didn’t know what her house looked like (it was my first visit) and I wanted to show her in advance how much I appreciate the mess she would be dealing with by having us over.

So, I made two personalised food baskets full of random goodies and treats. I’ll share the full baskets with you later but for now I’ll start with four of the baking ‘mixes in jars’.

My friend is not a big baker but she has two girls and I know she likes the idea of doing baking activities with them. So I thought ready-packed baking mixes would be perfect for them. And subsequently I spent a week on the net and Pintrest trying to find the perfect recipes. I settled on the following:

Bakeralla’s Cowboy Cookies

Peppermint Stick Cocoa from My Recipes

Quick Bread in a Bottle from Sunset

– Gingerbread Cookies – my own recipe

I didn’t have time to create and print professional labels so I settled for the hand-written variety. But once I added ribbons and assorted decorations they turned out pretty great. They are also extremely easy to make, are quiet impressive and can be easily customised to a favourite recipe or ingredients.

Just keep in mind that a multi-ingredient recipe with a variety of colours and textures usually looks best.

And needless to say, my friend loved them.

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Lentil Soup – A Winter’s Dream

Last weekend was pretty chilly. Saturday was one of those days where Jo’s drool would freeze on his face. It’s a day that makes you think of a warm roaring fire and hot and steamy cocoa. But since I’m not a big fan of cocoa, I had to find something else to warm my frozen insides and popsicle fingers.

Enter the lentil soup. A complete meal all on ti’s own, packed with protein and vegetables, it has to a tendency to fill you up to the brim while you’re still craving more. I’m used to making it with vermicelli in Egypt. But I have a hard time finding it here, so feel free to omit.

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Lentil Soup

6 Servings

60 minutes Prep & Cooking Time

Ingredients:

2 tblsp of any vegetable oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

500 gm red lentils

2 tomatoes chopped

1 potato cut up into big chunks

1 sweet potato cut up into big chunks

2 carrots cut up into big chunks

2 stalks of celery cut into large pieces

5-6 cups of vegetable stock

1 cup vermicelli

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

Salt & pepper to taste

To Garnish

2 tblsp parsley chopped

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Directions

1. Wash the lentils in cold water and drain.

2. In a large saucepan sauté the onions, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, salt & pepper in 1 tblsp of oil until softened.

3. Add the vegetable stock, lentils and vegetables and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender.

4. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and sauté the vermicelli until it turns golden (be careful it burns quickly).

6. Add the pureed soup and heat until warm.

7. Garnich with parsley and a dollop of yogurt (or sour cream) and serve hot with pita chips.

8. Enjoy

 

Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken With Vegetables

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It’s the first official snow of the season! Today we got close to 2 centimeters and it’s a white white world. So what’s the perfect healthy dinner that warms you up without breaking the bank on calories? Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken with Vegetables of course!

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I took so many pictures making this dish. And such pretty pictures too. But unfortunately they were all deleted before I could post (read about it here). At least I have that one picture left over.

This has been my go-to dish for most potlucks and quick dinners. I love this dish for several reasons:

  1. It’s very healthy with all the vegetables and olive oil used. Even my kids will tolerate eating it. And the good news is you can use any and all the kinds of vegetables you prefer.
  2. It’s very warm and filling. Combined with rice you have a full meal; protein, vegetables and carbs.
  3. It’s sooo easy. Chop up those vegetables in a jiffy, put them in a roasting pan and off to the oven. The majority of time needed for this dish is the time needed in the oven for roasting.
  4. Who doesn’t love honey-mustard?
  5. And the last one; Did I mention it’s so pretty and colorful?

So without further ado;

Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken With Vegetables

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 60 minutes
  • Servings:6-7 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1k boneless chicken breasts (Or you can use chicken cutlets – just factor in a little extra time for roasting)
  • 4-6 medium potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 4-6 carrots
  • (Other vegetables as desired like broccoli, squash…)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 chicken stock cube (low-sodium/low fat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut up vegetables in big chunks and onion into rings. Arrange in a roasting pan/dish. Season with salt & pepper, add olive oil and toss vegetables until fully coated.
  2. Fill the pan with an inch of water and place chicken stock cube. Arrange garlic cloves among the vegetables. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and top everything with the herbs.
  3. Place in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. Meanwhile mix the honey and mustard together in a bowl.
  4. Remove dish from oven. Brush the honey mustard mixture on the chicken. Flip over and brush on the other side. Cover the dish with foil and return to the oven for another 30-45 minutes or until chicken and vegetables are tender. Broil on low for the last 5 minutes to give the chicken a golden color.
  5. Serve with rice and enjoy!