Monday, November 29, 2010

Buckeyes II

A couple years ago, Jessica and I made some buckeyes and we made a video.

With the other post about buckeyes it made me think of this.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

G-Pa's Buckeyes

Like I said in a different post, I grew up in Ohio.  We have buckeyes trees.  Buckeye trees are the state tree.  The state is called the Buckeye State.  But what exactly is a buckeye?

It's a worthless nut.

Yeah, worthless.

You can't eat it- it's poisonous.  You can make necklaces with it and wear them to the OSU Buckeyes' games.

However, in my family we make them as candy.

Not the nuts themselves.  It's a ball of peanut butter dipped in chocolate.

The man who makes these in my family is my grandpa.  Wayland Reid.  He's the cutest little old man ever.  He calls me "Shorty" despite the fact that I am a good 6 inches taller than him.

There he is in the midst of his five favorite girls- well, at least we say we're the favorites.

Despite the happiness of the picture, this was taken at my grandma's funeral this past February.  She and my grandpa were married for 62 years.

Love her.

Miss her.

I miss him too.  It's been since August and I already miss him.

Anyway, this is about candy Buckeyes.

The Peter Pan peanut butter is the most important part.  It's the peanut butter my grandpa uses and we have to use it.  I tried to use Jif one time and it didn't turn out the same.

Mix the peanut butter (remember it's Peter Pan), butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar.

It should be about the consistency of clay.

Grab about 2 tbsp of the peanut butter mix and roll into a ball.  You can either put them onto a non-stick pan or on a cookie sheet on wax paper.

Put a toothpick into each ball.  That way they will freeze with the toothpick and make it easier to dip in chocolate.

While the peanut butter balls are in the freezer melt the chocolate.

I used semi-sweet, but usually my grandpa uses the milk chocolate medallions and uses a double-boiler.  I couldn't find the chocolate and I don't have a double-boiler.  Did I fail?  No.  I don't think so.  However, my sister does not agree that the semi-sweet chocolate is as good.

I set up an assembly line- the peanut butter balls, chocolate, then a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to put them on to cool and dry.

Dip the peanut butter ball in the chocolate to coat with a small amount of the peanut butter showing at the top.

You can take the toothpicks out as you go.

Looking tasty.

It's taking me back to making these in the kitchen of my grandparents' small apartment in North Canton, Ohio.  Sweating because the heat is cranked up and the heat coming from the stove is immense.  But it being about 20 degrees outside.  My grandma in the next room, yelling at us about something (I'm not being mean, that's just what she did, how she was and we all loved her for it).

Put the Buckeyes in the freezer and let them cool enough to enjoy them.

And keep enjoying them for days.

Or just a couple of hours.

I dedicate this post to my grandpa (oh by the way, we call him G-Pa):



1 1/2 cups Peter Pan peanut butter

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups confectioner's sugar

12 oz semi-sweet or milk chocolate

Mix the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a large bowl.  Take about 2 tbsp worth of the peanut butter mix in your hand and roll into a ball.  Place the peanut butter balls on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet or on a non-stick pan.  Push a toothpick halfway down into the peanut butter balls.  Place them in the freezer.  While the peanut butter balls are freezing, melt the chocolate in a double-boiler or in the microwave.  If you melt it in the microwave, be sure to cook it only 30 seconds or 1 minute at a time, so the chocolate doesn't burn.  If in a double-boiler, be sure to mix it constantly so it doesn't burn.  When the chocolate it melted, get the peanut butter balls from the freezer-dip into the chocolate so a small amount of the peanut butter is showing at the top.  Place them on a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Remove the toothpicks.  Place them back in the freezer.  Then enjoy!



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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apple Pecan Cheesecake

Another dessert that I took to a friend's house.  Our whole family was asked over for dinner and I got asked to make dessert.

Apparently, my friends think I like to make dessert.

They are right.

Let's talk cheesecake.

Who doesn't like cheesecake?  I mean really.  If you're human you like cheesecake.


Break up some graham crackers and crush them up in a food processor.  Yes, ours is a mini one.

Put the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl and mix.

Press the crumbs into a pan to make the crust.

The tin foil is so it's easy to pull the whole cheesecake out for nice presentation- this doesn't work haha

Lots of cream cheese.

I like to use light cream cheese or reduced fat.

It gives me the illusion that it's better for me.

Add sugar and vanilla.

And some sour cream...I know kind of weird

Throw in the eggs.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust.

Peel and chop up three apples.

I used Granny Smith that we picked at a local orchard.

I like the tart apples for baking.

Add sugar, cinnamon, and pecans to the apples and give a good mix.

This makes the cheesecake that much better.

Sprinkle the apple pecan mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

Then put it in the oven and die while you have to smell the delicious cinnamon and apple.

It was a hit at the dinner.

We're all still eating it because it made a lot.

I bought some tea cups at an estate sale and had to use the plate for my staged picture.

You can find the original recipe here.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

S'more Brownies from Joy the Baker

A friend of mine was having a Chili Party and asked me to make a dessert.  I decided on these delish brownies.

Again, I fail and forgot to take a picture of the finished product.

Mix the dry ingredients.

The best part- butter and chocolate.

I don't have a double-boiler so I have to put a bowl over a pan with a little bit of water boiling.

Smooth melted chocolaty buttery goodness.

Mix together eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla.

Slowly add in the chocolate so the warm chocolate doesn't cook the eggs.

Then add in the dry ingredients.

Mmmm...brownie batter.

Fold in the crushed up graham crackers.

Pour the batter into the greased baking pan.

Add the marshmallows (first you take the that movie).  You can either use mini marshmallows or cut large ones in half like I should have done.

Pop them in the oven.

When they're done the marshmallows get nice and brown and it looks kind of like s'mores...hence the name.

You can find Joy's recipe here.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vegan Reese's Cup Brownies

Again, something for my boss.

David: Are bringing brownies?

Me: (thinking- brownies? did I say I'd bring brownies?) Brownies?

David: Oh, I'm just hungry that's all.

Me (thinking): Ooh, brownies.  Ok, I'll make brownies.

Since David's a vegan I decided on vegan brownies of course.  Then I wanted to add some peanut butter because we had natural peanut butter in the pantry that no one was eating.

And yes, I got too excited about eating them and didn't snap a pic of them after they were finished.

I jotted down the recipe from the site I got it from.

I'm big on using one bowl to make stuff.  First thing, toss all the dry ingredients into your bowl and give them a good whisk.

The key to making something vegan is not using eggs, of course.  Add the shortening, water, and vanilla to the dry ingredients.

After a good mix, it's lookin' pretty tasty.

And since there are no eggs I can eat it raw :)

Spread half of the batter in the bottom of the brownie pan.

Time for the peanut butter center.

Mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar.

Spread the peanut butter mixture over the brownie batter.

Add the rest of the brownie batter and spread it to cover the peanut butter.

So, then pop them in the oven.

I took them to David as soon as they were out of the oven and...he forgot them.

I brought them back the next day and he ate them all.  He sent me a text: BROWNIES!  He was hooked.

Vegan Reese's Cup Brownies

Adapted from:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup water

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix in shortening, water, and vanilla with an electric mixer.  Pour half of the batter in the bottom of a brownie pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar.  Then spread over the brownie batter in the pan.  Then add the rest of the brownie batter.

Bake for 35 minutes.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Comfort Food

Jessica, my sister, and I went to an orchard called Apple Annie's in Wilcox, AZ.  And in the little shop where they sell various food and such, they sell food from Amish Country.

I grew up in Ohio and very close to Amish Country, so the food from there is like being home.  So, of course, we had to buy some noodles from the store that were made in Amish Country, Ohio.  They also sell swiss cheese from Amish Country too.

Last night, I made the best Amish comfort food.  It's chicken with noodles over mashed potatoes.

I boiled the chicken then cut it up in small pieces.  Peel and cut up the potatoes and put them in a large pot of water.  Then boil the noodles in half water and half chicken broth.  When the potatoes are done mash them up with butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste.

Put a pile of mashed potatoes in a bowl then spoon the chicken and noddle mixture over the potatoes.  Make sure you put some broth in with it.

This is Chad's bowl with a bunch of pepper on it.

And you have to mix it all together :)  It's the best like that.

I love comfort food.

I have to say the best comfort food is my mom's pot roast, though.  It's amazing!

Love my mama.

She's the best.

This meal makes me miss Ohio.  Yeah, I said it.  I miss Ohio.

If you ever go to Ohio, you have to go to Amish Country and try some of their yummy food.

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