Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oreo Balls

Oreo Balls!   I first time I tried these I was at my friend Cheryl's home.  She is the mother of my beautiful Godson, Quinn.   When you taste one of these for the first time, you remember where you were.  I had never tasted something so rich and perfectly Oreo before in my life.  The Oreo taste is unmistakable, but the texture is dreamy, soft, and rich.  I asked her for the recipe, and she happily passed it on because she said she got the recipe from a friend of hers.

Yesterday, my sister-in-law, Becky, called looking for this recipe to take to my brother, Tony's, work Christmas party. These are a perfect treat to take to a party.  They are easy to make and always a big hit.  It touches some heart strings from most people's childhood -- Oreo cookies.  Because it is made out of this childhood cookie.  It is a bit nostalgic and a bit sinfully decadent; let's face it, most of us don't eat Oreos anymore --- most of us -- I am not saying all.  My home has Oreos; thank you husband for your little craving.  Baking isn't Becky's passion, but I know she will successfully make these Oreo balls. And I am sure they will make her a big hit at my brother's Christmas party.

Here is the recipe sister----

Oreo Balls

1 regular size package of oreos
1 package of cream cheese 12 oz (brick, not tub) softened (leave out on counter for awhile)
1 package of almond bark or 2 packages of white chocolate (I always use the almond bark)
a pinch of salt

Crush the Oreos by hand with a rolling pin in a sealed plastic bag or in a food processor. Completly mix cream cheese, crushed Oreos, and a bit of salt.  Cover bowl and place in refrigerator until firm.  Take mixture out of refrigerator and form into small bit sized balls about 1 inch in size. Place balls on wax paper on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator for about an hour. Melt almond bark by placing some (not all) in a glass bowl and putting in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Take bark out of microwave stir until melted and then add more bark and put back into the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until all bark has been added and is melted. Or you could use a double boiled; it is up to you.   Once bark is melted, use tooth picks to dip the Oreo balls in the white bark and then place them back on waxed paper and back into the refrigerator.  Once hardened, place balls in a sealed container.  Store in refrigerator.   Enjoy these rich little treats with the nostalgic taste !

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ilene Gail Delicious Coffee Cake

A couple of years ago, I was looking for a great coffee cake recipe, and I knew my girlfriend Ilene would have one.  Ilene didn't have a great recipe; she had a Delicious Coffee Cake recipe.  Years ago, Ilene's friend Gail made this coffee cake; Ilene and her family thought it was delicious.  Ilene has been making Gail's Delicious Coffee Cake ever since. So I guess the recipe that I am about to share is Ilene's Friend Gail's Delicious Coffee Cake --- for the sake of time, we are just going to call it .......
Ilene Gail Delicious Coffee Cake.

So often you hear the name of a recipe and it oversells itself.  The BEST cookie recipe, The YUMMIEST Chocolate cake, INCREDIBLE brownies.... you follow the recipe, and you look back at the recipe's name and think.... I am not sure about that.  Was that REALLY the BEST?  Anyway, the reason I am saying this is......this coffee coffee cake really is Delicious.

The changes I made to the recipe made it even more delicious for my family's tastes.  I added nuts and took away some icing.  But I will note where I made the changes because you may find the original recipe fits your family's taste or you may tweek it a bit in a different direction.

Either way, this coffee cake is easy to make  right before guests arrive.  It is delicious served warm; it is excellent served at room temperature. It gets the mmmmmmms and yummmmmies you love to hear as a host to any gathering.  It is a wonderful compliment to any breakfast or brunch.  I like to make it Thanksgiving morning and bring it warm to my parents' home.  It is one of those recipes that can easily become part of the fabric of any tradition.

A warm delicious thank you to Ilene for finding this treasure in her friend Gail's kitchen and passing this gem along to me.  It is interesting to think about how far a recipe can travel and for how many years.

And here is the Ilene Gail Delicious Coffee Cake

            Blend together until creamy
(1) stick butter
(1) cup sugar

(2) eggs
(1) tsp. vanilla
(1) cup sour cream

            Sift together the following and then add to the above wet ingredients
(2) cups flour
(1) tsp. baking soda
(1) tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt

Grease a jelly roll pan (this is a pan with small sides) and spread the above mixture.  Use two wet spoons to help you spread it ; it is a bit gooey so don't be surprised if it doesn't spread perfectly.  No worries -- it is homemade; it should look that way. 

(1) stick margarine
1/2 cup sugar

Then add
(1) cup flour and mix together with a fork until crumbly.

 Sprinkle mixture over the top of the first mixture.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes--check after 15 minutes.  As soon as you take the coffee cake out of the oven, toss some nuts (optional) on top and drizzle with icing.

a couple of handfuls of chopped pecans (optional -- my family likes nuts) 

(2) cups powder sugar (I used 1 cup - we like it a bit less sweet)
(1) tsp. vanilla
A little milk (I used water)

I put the coffee cake in the oven about 15 minutes before the guests arrive. 
                                     Trust me it is DELICIOUS!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Funny Story... My son locked his bedroom door

My son locked his bedroom door; luckily he was not in his room.  Or maybe I should say, at least he didn't lock his baby sister in the room alone.  When I grew up, my parents had the small key that unlocked the bedroom and bathroom doors sitting on the door frame to each room - smart right?  When we bought this home, I did notice that the previous owners didn't have that key.  But I have to admit I didn't think much about it until yesterday.

While I was cleaning upstairs and getting ready for the day, I went to go into my son's room and it was locked. I asked him about it, he say, "I don't want Zuzu (his sister) in my room."  My first thought was -- so  this is starting already.  And then it hit me, we don't have keys to the bedrooms.  I know what you are thinking, just use a paperclip.  I tried.  It didn't work.  My son still had his pajamas on. I just did all the laundry the day before.  The only outfit I had for him was yesterday's outfit that was dinner stained.  Of well, that was the best I could do.

My son knew I was upset.  I am always telling my kids that when you have a problem and you are frustrated --- that is not the time to cry and yell.  It is time to think -- use your brain and start figuring things out.  There is plenty of time to cry and it is ok to cry.  But when you need to problem solve, thinking is best done without tears.  I didn't think they were ever listening to me.  UNTIL......

Aidan turns to me and says, " I have been thinking..... I have an idea.  We can call the Army to blow up the door.  And then call Bob the Builder to fix it before Dada comes home from work."

Now that is thinking outside the box.  I didn't want to crush his thinking.  But I also didn't want him to think that your first idea is always the best idea.  I told him," you are thinking and that is an idea.  But we need to keep coming up with other ideas." 

In the end, I was able to use the paperclip trick.  But I guess that isn't the point of the story.  The point is.... the kids are listening.  It made me pause and think about what and how I say things.