Daily Tidbits

"Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and what we’d like to do next year." ~Author Unknown

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chocolate Crinkles

Printable Recipe

1 cup sugar
2 T. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Mix together sugar, butter, vanilla and chocolate. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. (I never let it go much more than an hour.)

Roll dough into small balls, roll those balls in powdered sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes at 350. 

Holly's Notes:
I'm not sure where I found this original recipe. It might be Betty Crocker, but the recipe on their website is different, so I don't know. But, it's divine. The original recipe stated to bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched. I bake mine for 10 minutes. In my oven, that makes them chewy and gooey on the inside, but crisp on the outside. Just the way we like them. Almost like a truffle.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend Reflections 11/22

Looking outside....it's sunny, but not too cold. Currently it's  about 40 degrees, which seems downright balmy compared to the week we've had. The sun is shining. It rained last night, which has made everything slushy, but also has finally melted some of the hard-packed slippery ice still on the roads.

Listening...to the boys playing games.

Loving...that my boys have the next week off school for Thanksgiving break. 

Thinking...that the Doctor and I may just go for a drive this afternoon and spend some time together.

In my kitchen...a cup of hot chocolate and probably some kind of soup for dinner. It's just that kind of weather!

Wearing...red penguin pajamas and a red turtleneck with fuzzy black socks.

Needing...to write up a couple of book reviews.

Reading...At Bluebonnet Lake: A Novel (Texas Crossroads) by Amanda Cabot 

Today...some laundry and household chores.

Hoping...that the warmer weather continues long enough to melt all the snow and ice on the roads. 

Planning...for Thanksgiving. We're having a big family dinner at my mom's. I think I'm making Dutch Apple Pie and Broccoli Salad, and I will probably do the Stuffing as well.

Gratitude...for a warm home, food on my table and a wonderful family. I am blessed.

From my world...my cup of hot chocolate. This is bliss on a cold day!

What about you?  What are you reflecting on today?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

Printable Recipe

2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded (I actually used about 6)
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup vinegar
5 cups sugar
1/2 6 ounce package (1 foil pouch) liquid fruit pectin
5 small fresh hot red peppers (optional), such as serrano or pequin

In a medium saucepan combine jalapeno peppers, cranberry juice cocktail, and vinegar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove all of the liquid. Measure 2 cups liquid. Discard pulp. 

In a large pot, combine the 2 cups strained liquid and the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in the pectin and, if desired, hot peppers. Return to a full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Quickly skim off foam with a metal spoon. 

Immediately ladle jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. If using, divide the 5 hot red peppers among the 5 jars. Wipe jar rims and adjust lids. Process jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boil). Remove jars from canner, cool on wire racks. Jelly may require 2 to 3 days to set. 

Makes about 5-6 half-pints.

Holly's Note:
I found the original recipe at Better Homes and Gardens. The first year I made it, I used habaneros instead of jalapenos. I left most of the seeds in and it was hot. Damn hot. But, my uncle loves spicy, so he enjoyed it. This year, we used jalapenos and it wasn't quite as hot. The cranberry juice gives it a lovely pink color. 

This year I had so many extra jalapenos that I added a whole pepper to each jar of jelly.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Weekend Reflections 11/15

Looking outside....it's sunny, but cold. Currently it's 10 degrees and there is 8 inches of snow outside. My fireplace is going. We had our first major snow storm this week. Friday was a snow day from school.

Listening...to the boys playing Minecraft together.

Loving...the sunshine this morning.

Thinking...my mind never seems to stop sometimes.

In my kitchen...a cup of hot chocolate and I have no idea what to fix for dinner tonight.

Wearing...red penguin pajamas and a black turtleneck with fuzzy black socks.

Needing...to get the boys over to my mom's house to shovel her driveway.

Reading... The Garden Plot (Potting Shed Mystery Book 1) by Marty Wingate.

Today...we need to dig ourselves out. Between Thursday and Friday, we got 8 inches of snow.

Hoping...for some time to read. 

Planning...for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Gratitude...for traditions, both serious and silly. On the first snowfall, we always barbecue. This year The Boy barbequed burgers, standing in 4 inches of snow, with it falling around him. It's fun and something we look forward to doing.

From my world...

What about you?  What are you reflecting on today?