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Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

A few days before any family trip I turn into somewhat of a baking monster. Something inside my brain clicks over into crazy bakerlady mode and I make piles of food. Seriously – if the end of the world happens when I’m away somewhere camping, my family will survive for at least 3 months just with the food on hand. This weekend we’re hanging with some friends and today began the baking craziness. First on the docket, my peanut butter balls. Part rice crispy treat, part peanut butter cup, they are completely addictive! I mean really, does it get any better than peanut butter and chocolate?

Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1 cup peanut butter*
  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 C milk chocolate chips + 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 T shortening

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter and marshmallow creme; add cereal and stir until well coated. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until chips are melted; stir until smooth.
  2. Roll cereal mixture into 1-in. balls; dip in chocolate. Place on a waxed paper-lined pan. Refrigerate until set. I like to melt some peanut butter for a few seconds in a plastic ziploc baggie and drizzle it on top. Mmmmmmm.

*Reduced-fat or generic brands of peanut butter are not recommended for this recipe.

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You Can’t Handle the Truth!

I’ve realized recently that not everyone shares my “honesty is best” policy. The hardest relationships I have are the ones I’m not quite sure are exactly what they seem. Why is it some people seem unable to just be themselves?

Many relationships in my life are somewhat volatile. Not that we fight constantly, yell and scream or beat on each other, just that when something upsets either person – it’s going to be talked about. However inconvenient, wherever we are – whatever it is, “it” is going to be out there . Those conversations aren’t usually exactly pleasant, but they are necessary to preserve an ongoing healthy friendship. After the tears and hugs, I’m usually reassured by these altercations, they let me know that problems are being dealt with. They confirm that my friend (or family member often) is being forthcoming about the things that irk them about me. I don’t have the sense that there are things being left unsaid, or things being said to other people rather than to my face. I know it sounds a little strange, but I’m comforted by honesty – even when it’s not pretty. I would rather have 1 friend who is truthful (even when it hurts) than a dozen who passively placate me just to “keep the peace”. [Read more…]

Wanna get away?

To fully appreciate the hilarity of this story, you really had to be there. But – you can get an idea of it by watching the below video.

My hubby and I were over at my sister’s home getting ready for an evening of good food, friends, drinks and playing some Wii. Amy and I were about to head to the store to pick up some munchies, when Fred (my youngest sister’s boyfriend) started playing Wii-bowling. After his first roll, Amy realized he did not have the wrist strap attached – and demanded he put it on instantly. He laughed and made some comment about not needing it – but slipped it losely onto his wrist when he saw the look on Amy’s face. In her defense, she has a GORGEOUS flat-screen-plasma-high-def-top-of-the-line television that she spent loads of money on. Then spent a whole bunch of time and energy getting it mounted properly. She loves it. And so do I, because I can come over and watch The Biggest Loser with her…without any commercials – which I know isn’t actually because of the TV, but it’s still really cool.

Anyway – so as we’re arguing about the necessity of the wrist strap and it becomes very apparent that after Amy walks out the door, nobody will continue wearing theirs – Fred bowls again. He cocks his arm back and lets his Wii-ball fly…and with it, the controller goes flying across the room, slamming into the entertainment center. The gasps in the room were deafening as we all turned to look at the TV. I was sure there would be a spiderweb crack running across the formerly beautiful screen. Luckily for Fred, the controller hurtled into the Wii strip…just three inches from the television. The fact that the TV was intact made the situation instantly hilarious. It was quite honestly one of the most ironically funny things I’ve ever been privileged to see. The look of utter amazement on Fred’s face that such a thing could happen in the midst of a conversation about it was just fantastic. Amy’s look of vindication was priceless. We played Wii the rest of the night – and all of us made sure the wrist straps were on and tightened before every turn.

On Canadian road trips, Lizzy is always right

After a week stuck inside the house with the dreaded-lagumba-disease (the flu), a sometimes ornery two year old, and laundry multiplying by the day, I needed a break. My two younger sisters (Amy and Lizzy) had just the ticket – a day trip to Leavenworth. No – not the prison. The quaint Bavarian village nestled in a valley 2-ish hours away.

We attempted inviting the 4th of us sister’s along, but there was no answer to our repeated calls. Sadness. After waiting about an hour for a call back we decided to head to the grocery store for some much needed road trip sustenance and then hit the highway heading for the mountains. We’d been driving about 40 minutes when Amy decided to break out her amazing, oh so delicious looking strawberry fruit gels (looked like fancy gumdrops). She’d purchased them at the specialty fruit and nut section of the Safeway. Lizzy stated they were going to be horrific and disgusting and we were going to hate them. Nevertheless, I accepted one from Amy and then on the count of three we popped them in our mouths and started chewing. Ugh. I looked across at Amy and saw what I’m sure was a mirror of my own expression of utter revulsion. We both rolled down our windows and chucked the gooey masses out of our mouths – Lizzy laughing in the backseat the entire time. [Read more…]

Lent

So, it is the season of lent – the 40 days between “Fat Tuesday” and Easter. A time to reflect, pause and reset your priorities putting your relationship with God at the forefront. Many people give something up for lent. Chocolate, alcohol, beef etc. The thing you sacrifice for lent is supposed to enable you more time to pray, to spend with God and with family. My mom was raised Catholic – and I’ve been a Christian my whole life. I’ve never given anything up for lent. So this year, I decided to. [Read more…]

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