Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Two nights ago I started craving some peanut butter cups.  The last time I made them was a year ago.  It was high time that I made them again.

So yesterday I made peanut butter cups.  They were so delicious!  I am including my not-very-exact recipe here for you.  Note that NONE of the measurements are exact.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

For the peanut butter filling:
3/4 c. peanut butter
1/4 tsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. honey
splash of vanilla

For the chocolate:
3+ c. of chocolate chips

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.

Mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, honey, and vanilla, adding the sugar and honey a little at a time and tasting occasionally (you don’t want it to be too sweet).

Melt the chocolate.  Put about a tablespoon of chocolate in each cup.  Swirl the pan to even the chocolate out.

Take about a tablespoon or slightly less of peanut butter and form it into a sort of a flat disk-the peanut butter may be gooey, so this may not quite be possible.  Place in the middle of the chocolate.  Spoon remaining chocolate over peanut butter (about 3 tablespoons each).  Swirl pan to even the chocolate out.  If desired, use a spoon to add a decorative swirl to the top of each one.

Refrigerate until hard.  Be careful when you take your first bite – they are quite hard!  Enjoy!

 

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The peanut butter filling

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Melted chocolate

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First layer of chocolate

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Peanut butter

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Ready to go in the fridge

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My helper after licking the chocolate spoon

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Ready to eat

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Chocolaty, peanut-buttery goodness

Plattar

Yesterday morning my dad made plattar, or Swedish pancakes, for breakfast.  Swedish pancakes are somewhat similar to crepes.  They are a thin pancake that is traditionally filled with lingonberry jam, although we fill them with all kinds of jelly and fruit.  We used to make them fairly often, but recently we have forgotten them.  This recipe came from my family, as we are part Swedish.

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Mom’s pancake, filled with peaches

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Making more

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Jelly

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I picked this jelly for my second pancake

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All rolled up

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Yum!

The “I Don’t Know” Restaurant

Today I went to I Don’t Know, a restaurant not too far from here.  In fact, it is located just in our family room.  My sister is the owner, chef, and waitress all wrapped into one.  They serve soup (any kind), pizza, hardboiled eggs, strawberries (plain or chocolate dipped), and breakfast.  It was quite good.  I and the other customers only had a minor food fight (just throwing strawberries and a cup across the room), which caused the waitress to threaten to send a few people to “yale” (jail).  No one was quite bad enough to merit the trip, though.  I think I may be back for breakfast tomorrow.

And the name?  Well, I asked the waitress, and she told me that it was just I Don’ Know.

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My soup (I don’t know what kind it was – never asked) and hardboiled eggs

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The kitchen – note the black-rimmed paper in the background.  It is Meiling’s iPad.  It is actually an add that Dad got in the mail, but since Meiling likes iPads and it looks like an iPad, she got to keep it.  Oh, and the eggplant sticking out of the couch is her cutting board.

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My fellow customers

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The waitress, who kept giving me odd looks

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What did I tell you?

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Giving Meiling a kiss before they left – Meiling protested

Men’s Advance

Things have been a bit quite around here, I know.  The reason for the calm is this past weekend was our church’s Men’s Advance.  I was helping in the kitchen this year, making the food for all the conference goers.

For me, the Advance started on Thursday, when we went shopping for all the food for the Advance.  It was my first year helping with the shopping, and it was tiring, but very fun.  I spent most of the day with Melissa running around to various stores while everyone else did the Costco shopping.  We purchased so much food!

The Advance started at six o’clock with dinner.  The kitchen help arrived at the church around two o’clock.  In addition to making dinner, we also did some prep for the next day.  Between Friday and Saturday, we made dinner, breakfast, and lunch for 128 and dinner for 250.  That is about 640 plates.

Melissa, Sarah, Lydia, and I got to the church at 5:45 on Saturday morning.  We had to be there that early, since breakfast was at 7:30, and we needed to get everything started.

I had been put in charge of making the wraps for lunch, since I had tested the recipes.  Melissa helped me so much in figuring out how to set up the assembly line to make the wraps.  She also showed us how to wrap the wraps, since I didn’t know how. (Rather funny, I know.  I was in charge of the wraps, yet I didn’t know how to wrap them. :))

On Saturday night there was a concert and dinner for all the families of the men who came to the Advance.  This meal takes the most work, since there are more people to feed.

The concert was given by the Wintons.  The Wintons are a father and his two sons that play bluegrass/gospel music together.  They are quite good.

Even though it was exhausting, it was a wonderful weekend.  I enjoyed making some new friends, visiting with old friends, and working in the kitchen.  Next year will be fun!

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Friday – making the egg casseroles for Saturday morning

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The casseroles

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Lots of eggs

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Making the egg mixture for the casseroles

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Working

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Spaghetti sauce for Saturday’s dinner

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There are LOTS of dishes!

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Triple chocolate biscotti

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Saturday – leftover coffee from the day before, which Melissa made into delicious “iced” (cold) coffee/mochas.

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My “iced” mocha

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Lunch – Southwestern Chicken Wraps, arranged by Melissa

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The concert

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Sunday evening – We went to our pastor’s home to spend time with the Morecrafts.  Dr. Morecraft was one of the speakers at the conference.

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Hiding behind the camera

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Isn’t she just so cute?

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Smiling for the camera

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Drake

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Some very dear friends of ours who were in town.  It was so great to see you!

A Wintry Day

It snowed last night.  A lovely, sticky snow that stuck to everything.  It outlined all the trees in white, which looked so beautiful with the gray sky behind them.  Even though I was busy this morning, the snow didn’t melt before I had time to photograph it. 🙂

After I came inside, I made chocolate chip cookies. I used the America’s Test Kitchen recipe, which is just wonderful!  What a great thing to do on a snowy day.

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The snow stuck on this stick at intervals, looking somewhat like polka dots.

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I like the wooden fences. 🙂

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I went out to take pictures of this specifically.

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Isn’t it pretty?

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Doesn’t this remind you of a hedgehog or a porcupine?

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Making the cookies: lots of butter

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The sugar/egg/butter mixture – very yummy

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Fun With Portraits

Today my friend came over, and we went outside to take pictures.  Last time she was here, she asked me to take a few pictures of her, but we only took a few that we were happy with.  I had wanted to go outside, but it was already dark out.  I was glad that this time it was still light outside and we had enough time to take pictures.  It was a blast!

 

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Tell me what you think of the black and white

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A Saturday Trip

Today Mom and I went and did some shopping.  We had to go to Costco, but we also stopped at the library.  Well, when I go to the library, I like to go down the nonfiction isles and just select books that look interesting and make a big pile of the ones I want to check out.  I then try to walk around carrying the pile and not drop anything.  I found a few good books that I am looking forward to perusing.  One is titled Grow Your Own Drugs and it is about home remedies.  It has great photography, too.  I also checked out a few books on photography, and the one I got on photographing children has some lovely photos in it.

A while ago I found a thirty piece set of Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles transferware on Craig’s List.  I purchased it today and I am so excited.  Old Britain Castles is one of my favorite patterns.

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My dishes after I washed them

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The bowls – I didn’t have any soup bowls yet, so I am excited to have 8 now!

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Dessert plates

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Dinner plates

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I didn’t get this platter today, but my mama bought it for me in December and I never posted a picture of it.  The picture on it is of Loch Creran.

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The books I got at the library

Of Shrimp and Singed Hair

On Tuesday I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo for dinner.  When I had picked this recipe to be part of the meal plan this month, I only read the ingredient list and not the directions.  On Tuesday afternoon I sat down and read through the directions, and found out that I had to light the dish on fire.  After frying the shrimp, I had to add the brandy, then wave a lit match over the dish to ignite it, and shake it until the flames subsided.

Now this was something entirely new to me.

Mom had to run to the store while I was making dinner, and Dad was also running some errands, so she had me wait until one of them came home to start dinner.

They both arrived home around the same time, and I commenced with the cooking.   While the pan was heating, I brought my camera and set it within arm’s reach so I would be able to take a picture of the flaming shrimp.

When the time came to light the dish, I asked Mom to come and light it.

“I don’t want to do that,” she replied.

“Well, neither do I,” I said.

My brother immediately jumped in. “I’ll do it!”

He picked up the matches.  I added the brandy to the very hot pan, which caused a lot of steam.

“When do I do it?” he called.

“Now!” I called back.

“What do I light?” he asked, while striking the match and holding it over the pan.

Well, I never got to answer him, for as soon as that match got over the pan, the flames shot up all the way to the ceiling.  I didn’t do any shaking of the pan, for the flames got too close to my hand and the potholder, and I let go.  My dad quickly pulled my brother back from the fire.

This all transpired in about 5 seconds.  After that the fire went out.

No one was hurt, but my sweet brother did get his hair singed.  Well, never a dull moment.

In the heat of all the action, I didn’t get any photos of the flames. 😦

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Drake, after lighting my dish

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Singed hair

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Shrimp Fra Diavolo

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