Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip...

Tonight is movie night at my daughter and granddaughter and my daughters friend come over on Saturday nights for a here is how it goes, I provide the snacks and beverages and they pick the movie, I know, sounds a little lopsided to me too......Let me tell you, I have now seen some movies I wouldn't ordinarily have watched....One paranormal film, one batman and tonight's pick is about a deadly virus that is out of control and killing people all over the world, oh my.....So here we go, back to the dip, I picked this recipe to make...I knew this would be a big hit, with this gang o' mine...It is great with crisp apples! I am sure it would be good with pretzels or crackers...hmmm... chocolate graham crackers...well you decide what you would like it with....

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip...
½ cups Butter
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 block (8 Oz. Block) Cream Cheese, Softened
½ cups Powdered Sugar
¾ cups Chocolate Chips

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool, and whisk in vanilla.

Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar for 60 seconds. With mixer on low speed, add in brown sugar and butter mixture. Mix until combined. Then fold in chocolate chips. Serve nilla wafers, graham crackers, or fruit.

just a few simple might already have these in your kitchen...

beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar...

melt the butter with the brown sugar....

after it melts, whisk it for a minute and then add the vanilla...and cool...

it should be dark and a thick syrup...

add the Carmel mixture to the cream cheese mix....

beat for a minute and ...

then fold in the chocolate chips and it is finished!

This is so good....and if my youngest daughter is listening....yes, if you must, you can just eat it with a spoon!

Cheers to Happy  !!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine's Day thought

Cute picture, huh?

Valentine's Day evokes so many emotions. For someone heading down the trail as a single woman, at 63 years of age, I suppose I should be panic stricken beyond description. Ha! Not so. And it isn't because I have become so jaded that a happy marriage is unimaginable. Nope, I look forward to whatever future adventures are on the horizon. (No I do not have a drip dry wedding dress in the wings I am happy to be a single sister along with Trina and Debbie).

That being cleared up, because I am sure you were wondering about what I think. I want to talk about the inspiring people I see everywhere.  But first... a little song to inspire all of us.
Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday made this song popular.  It speaks to the romantic in our hearts.  


I'm gonna love you
Like nobody's loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain
And deep as a river
Come rain or come shine
I guess when you met me
It was just one of those things
But don' t ever bet me
Cause I'm gonna be true
If you let me
You're gonna love me
Like nobody's loved me
Come rain or come shine
Happy together, unhappy together
And won't it be fine
Days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in, or we're out of the money
But I'm with you always
I'm with you rain or shine
I'm gonna love you
Like nobody's loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain
Deep as a river
Come rain or come shine
I guess when you met me
It was just one of those things
But don't ever bet me
Cause I'm gonna be true
If you let me
You're gonna love me
Like nobody's loved me
Come rain or come shine
Happy together, unhappy together
And won't it be fine
Days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in, or we're out of the money
But I'll love you always

I hope you sang along while you read this.  It really is the ultimate torch song.  In my opinion anyway.

I drew inspiration to share this from people I know personally, family members, and customers where I work that exude such love and happiness for one another.
When I was thinking about writing this little snippet it seemed like it would be important to interview everyone and then report my findings. Well that sounds so scientific that it took all of the fun out of it.

Rounding up the usual suspects (we love that term around here).
My Mother and Father
My dear friends Marianne and Rob.
Aunt Mary and Uncle Leon
My friend Darrell and his late wife.
Mr. and Mrs. B
Terry and Sandy
Mark and Mary
Paul and Melanie
Bill and Glenna
Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Jim

There are many more, I could probably go on forever if I think about it.
You get the picture....

I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the respect given to one another – always.
I love that all of them lean in to hear the other speak.
And the attention they pay to one another.
The light in their eyes when their eyes meet.
The give and take of energy – that might seem like a strange observation. However, there is a dance or a tennis match or something. I can't really describe it – I know it when I see it though.
Oh and the laughter, being each others best audience.

Those are just a few things I see that are so wonderful. We all need to be connected to someone we love. To be heard and validated. It is heartening to see these sweet relationships and to be a witness to their happiness.

We used to know the coolest guy, he was a wordsmith, a cowboy poet. We were his groupies at the cowboy gatherings in Idaho. One of his wonderful poems really speaks to the love that is shared between these people.


To see the sun break through
on a rainy day.,
and smell the fragrance of new mown hay.

To reach and touch
a loved ones cheek,
To hear “ I love you” when they speak.

When tears of joy
run down your face,
And your soul responds to the sweet salt taste.
Billy Ramsey  1993

Happy Valentine's Day to all of us...
Especially you.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Raw Dark Chocolate...

At Christmas this last year I tasted the best Chocolate I have ever was made by my niece Shawna, she had brought some for my Mothers' gift and I got to have a little melts in your mouth. It is creamy and rich and oh so delicious...and after much begging, I got Shawna to agree to share her recipe with us, just in time for Valentines let me introduce you.

This is the amazing and beautiful Shawna, daughter London and husband Laughton. Shawna is thoroughly enjoying motherhood and is embracing all the wonder it brings...she is a wonderful cook! She leans toward all the healthy options for her family...I wrote about Shawna giving birth almost 2 years ago titled Grandmothers ...she is the daughter of my brother. I hope you all love Shawna as much as I do!

These velvety, dark chocolates are always in the freezer at our house to satisfy my insatiable chocolate sweet tooth. This recipe is so quick and easy and almost guilt free with the amazing benefits of coconut oil and cacao.

Raw Dark Chocolate:
½ cup Organic Cacao Powder (Purchased from Marlene’s or wholefoods)
½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
½ cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
½ cup chopped nuts of your choice, dried berries, coconut flakes or cacao nibs (optional)

Just a few simple ingredients...

add all the ingredients to the blender.....

If you don’t have a blender then mix liquid ingredients together in a bowl. Add cacao powder into liquid ingredients and mix until chocolate is smooth

Pour mixture into molds or spread on a plate lined with parchment paper.  Stir in nuts, berries or coconut.  You can also sprinkle those on top after you pour chocolate into molds

Place in the freezer to harden

Remove from freezer and Enjoy !!

Thank you Shawna! I can hardly wait to make these...They taste like a truffle with a fraction of the work!

Cheers to Happy  !!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Orange and Fennel Salad...

This salad is so wonderful and light...tastes just like spring!!! Can't wait for spring....there are so many wonderful variety's of oranges right some and try some of the different ones...what fun!!!

Orange Fennel Salad

2 oranges, peeled and sliced
1/2 fennel bulb thinly sliced
1/2 of a red onion thinly sliced
put all in a bowl....

juice of one orange
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
stir together and toss with the salad, best if let to marinate for an hour before eating......put on a bed of lettuce...and serve...

slice fennel and add to bowl...

I used heirloom oranges, they are very juicy, but any orange will work just fine...

peel the easy way with the knife...

slice orange thinly and add to the fennel...add the thinly sliced onion...then...

juice an orange.....pour in seperate bowl...

add the vinegar and olive oil.....

mix together and add the salt and pepper and pour over the salad.....after letting to set for an hour...

place cut lettuce on a plate and add the salad...spoon on some of the extra dressing...the flavor is extraordinary!!!
Cheers to Happy  !!