Friday, December 21, 2007

Mint Oreo Truffles

Chocolate Therapy Challenge this month is truffles, and the first recipe to try for me is the easy oreo truffle. :) I first tried these about 2 months ago and mmmm...yummy...:) And simple! Well worth trying. (Visit Create Cakes for my friend's experience with truffles!)

Mint Oreo Truffles

8 oz cream cheese
1 package oreos
1 tsp mint extract
12 oz chocolate
1 tsp oil

Crush the oreos, use a food processor or just crush with a rolling pin when they are in a plastic bag. Beat the cream cheese until smooth with mixer, then mix in oreos until totally black, with no cream cheese showing. Refrigerate until firm and cold.

Shape into little balls, about a tablespoon of mix each, putting on cookie trays and then in the fridge to firm up and get cold again.

Melt the chocolate (semi-sweet chips or bars, dark chocolate bars, fancy candy chocolate, whatever is your favorite...even half chocolate/half andes bars if you want mint overload) in a double boiler, mix in the oil to make it a bit thinner and easier to use.

Have another tray with parchment paper ready, put a ball of filling in the chocolate, cover with melted chocolate, lift out with a fork, hit on edge to shake off some of the extra chocolate, place on parchment paper by scraping off fork with a small knife. Repeat with other balls, melting more chocolate if necessary (I used about 24 oz). Put back in the fridge to firm up and get cold.

If you want, melt a different colored chocolate and drizzle on the top for decoration.

Eat, share, enjoy!

(Note, I don't think you can put them in the freezer, cream cheese does NOT do well with the freezer, which is why you need a little bit of fridge space, or a cold garage or snow outside... :) )

I got 50 truffle balls, others have gotten more, it will depend on the size you make them, and how much of the filling you eat first!

(NOTE: Because of the cream cheese, these must be stored in the fridge too. But after they harden up, you can move them to a more compact storage than the trays...if they last that long.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Run Down

I still haven't posted my thanksgiving 2007 complete rundown...It was a great thanksgiving dinner! I did not get any great beautiful table shots b/c we served the food more buffet style, but I did get individual dish pics!

The turkeys were in a fight over who was better, the brined than fried turkey or the brined than roasted in the oven turkey...The winner on taste was the roasted turkey. The meat stayed much more moist and delicious. The fried turkey skin is awesome, but the meat was a bit more dried out. The look of the fried turkey is more beautiful maybe, but roasting just produced better tasting meat!

We had free range pastured turkey this year and you can really tell the difference. The legs were so much bigger! You can tell these turkeys ran around and had a good time. :P

In the shot of most of my guests eating, notice the guy in the back with the giant turkey leg! It was a great prize, the drumstick on these turkeys! Just like in medieval movies where they show large sticks o' meat.

In other dishes, we had the traditional mashed potatoes & gravy, our macaroni salad that I posted about before, traditional stuffing, orange rolls, dinner rolls, cranberry-orange relish, a butternut squash soup & the sweet potato casserole. In new adventure dishes, we had a wilted spinach salad with radishes & oranges and a warm vinaigrette, roasted green beans & carrots with a basalmic honey sauce.

For dessert there was pecan pie, fudge pecan pie, spiced pumpkin cheesecake and apple cranberry pie. I really love Thanksgiving! Writing about it makes me sentimental and hungry. Mmmm...pie... :) Here are a few pictures of foods to make you hungry too! :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Creamy Enchilada Casserole

Nava Atlas writes great cookbooks with great recipes. The Vegetarian Family Cookbook is wonderful. Simple, great tasting, kid-friendly...what's not to like? She also does a monthly newsletter from her website with scrumptious seasonal recipes. I checked it out again from the library and have been enjoying it! :)

Creamy Enchilada Casserole

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 16-oz can vegetarian refried beans
1/2 cup mild or medium hot bottled salsa or 4-z mild green chiles
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/4 cups milk, rice milk or soy milk
2 Tbsp white flour
1 1/2 cups grated monterey jack or other non-dairy white cheese

8-10 corn tortillas, cut in halves
1 scallion, thinly sliced
salsa for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Oil your 9x13 pan or 2 qt casserole

Heat oil in medium skillet, add onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and saute until onion os golden. Stir in remaining filling ingredients and cook unitl well heated thru.

Heat 1 cup of milk in small saucepan, dissolve flour in remaining milk .Whisk into saucepan, then sprinkle in 1 cup of cheese. bring to gentle simmer, stirring frequently, and cook until thickened.

Line pan with a single layer of tortillas, pour in filling and spread evenly over tortillas. Cover with remaining tortilla halves.

Pour cheese sauce evenly over tortillas, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Sprinkle scallions over the top. Bake 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Serve at once, pass around salsa for topping if desired.

N.B. I used flour tortillas, we don't like corn ones in our home, it worked fine. This recipe was delicious, and has possibilities for improvization too. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Chinese Noodle Bowl

Checking out the recipe book Beggars Banquets that I saw on another blog, I found this recipe that sounded fun. It took some interpretation on a few of the ingredients, but resulted in a successful delicious dinner for our family. My boys ate it up with relish and DH thought it was wonderful.

I used broccoli instead of cucumber because of family preference, the book suggests using whatever vegetables are cheapest/in season at the store. The hoisin sauce is the real flavor. :)

Chinese Noodle Bowl with Bean sprouts, carrots and peanuts

12 oz ground pork or diced firm tofu
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp light soy sauce or to taste, with extra for tossing noodles if desired
5-6 Tbsp hoisin sauce (or more, to taste)
2-2.5 oz water
4 oz bean sprouts
1 lb dried Chinese egg noodles (I used ramen type noodles)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil, to taste (optional)
3-4 Tbsp roasted peanuts
1 carrot, julienned
1 cucumber julienned
2-3 Tbsp coarse chopped fresh cilantro

Stir fry the pork or tofu w/garlic and ginger in the oil for 6-7 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in half the onions, the sugar, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce. Remove pan from heat and stir in water, then return to heat and warm on medium heat. Remove from heat, and add bean sprouts

Cook noodles in rapidly boiling salted water until just ender. Drain and toss with sesame oil then serve straight away, topping each portion with some of meat sauce, onions, peanuts, carrot and cucumber and cilantro. (Or mix it all up and then serve, which is what I did.)


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