Valentine’s Day Gift: PB and P Truffles

Valentine’s Day Gift: PB and P Truffles

Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together so well no matter what your relationship status is at the moment.  These tasty treats are perfect for gifting or snacking on yourself.  Warning they are hard to put down!  They are as easy as one, two, three to make, you’ll just need a little time.

PB&P Truffles

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup finely chopped salted pretzel sticks

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips- melted

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Mix the peanut butter and chopped pretzels together in a bowl, and then chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.  You want the peanut mixture to be firm.

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Using a spoon, scoop out enough of the mixture to make a nickel sized ball.  Use the palm of your hands to get it as round as possible.  You should get 18 to 20 balls.  Line them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, or as I used, a non stick matt.

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Chill the balls again in the freezer, this time for 1 hour.  About 10 or so minutes before your balls are ready, start melting your chocolate chips using a double boiler, keeping the water hot, but not boiling.  Then dip and coat the balls in the melted chocolate.  I am no artist when it comes to this, so I used small tongs to do the dipping and hoped for the best.

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Let the truffles set in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.  After that, what you do with them is your business.  Put them in a decorated candy box or bag & bow them and make someone’s day!IMAG3283

Shop Baltimore- Hampden

I was lucky enough to be having brunch with friends in the Baltimore neighborhood of Hampden at the Food Market on a freakishly warm day in December.  It made for perfect post brunch shopping.  Left to my on devices I tend to shop like I am on a military strike…move in quickly, find my target, and get out of there; so it was nice to have friends along with the sole purpose of meandering around.  It reminded me what a treasure the shopping in Hampden has become with its eclectic mix of stores.  There is truly something there for everyone: thrift shops, clothing boutiques, antique stores, holistic beauty aids, galleries, graphic novels, used books, kitsch Baltimore souvenirs, coffee shops, and great food (vegan options available).  I will highlight some of the great shops below, but this great video by Exit10 for the Hampden Village web page will  make you want to hop on your bike, catch the bus, or get in you car and head directly for an afternoon of Hamden.

Hunting Ground

Hunting Ground

Trohv

Trohv

Atomic Books- photo by Rachel Whang for Gallivant

Atomic Books- photo by Rachel Whang for Gallivant

Ma Petite Shoe

Ma Petite Shoe

Wine Source, Baltimore Sun Photo

Wine Source, Baltimore Sun Photo

Doubledutch Boutique, photo from Lanyapi

Doubledutch Boutique, photo from Lanyapi

Soft and Cozy Baby, photo from Baltimore You are Marvelous blog

Soft and Cozy Baby, photo from Baltimore You are Marvelous blog

Great Gift in Minutes

Feeling the pressure of being able to count the number of days until Christmas on one hand?  I feel ya.  Marishka shared that delicious bacon jam last week (secretly hoping she saved some for me!), and I have a little DIY gift up my sleeve as well which I found here.  This Chocolate Oatmeal Quick Bread is a great gift and it’s ready in minutes.  I know what you’re thinking…another food gift, really?  This is different, promise.  This won’t be added to the pile of sweets accumulated over the holiday season, because we’re simply putting all of the ingredients in one place (a bottle) so the recipient can make a quick treat when they inevitably need a break from the New Year’s health kick.

IMG_1167_copyThe order that the layers were placed in the bottle is as follows:

1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup walnuts.

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A link to print off the labels can be found here.

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Don’t forget to make an extra for yourself, and enjoy!

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Happy Holidays! xoxo

Spreading Cheer

With a handful of holiday parties and engagements fast approaching, I decided to make a little something to take along as a thank you.  Spotting a recipe in Martha Stewart Living for Bacon Jam, and already owning jelly sized mason jars, the plan took shape.  Luckily none of the gift receivers are vegetarians (I hope), so I bought the needed ingredients, doubling the recipe.  I think I was hoping there would be enough left over for me.  To add a personal touch I decided to cover the tops of the jars with a fabric that complimented the color of the jam.  Using the rim of a martini glass as a stencil, I cut out a circle larger then the jar lid, using pinking shears.

IMAG2970Then using a glue gun, I added glue around the top edge centered the lid on the cut out circle.  Add glue to the sides of the lid and then pull fabric against it, letting it gather in spots.  Fabric should cover bottom edge of lid.

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Add a label to the jar.  You can get as fancy as you want.  I happened to have blank stickers I got from the 1$ section in Target.

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Fill the jars when the jam is ready.

IMAG3031Finish it off with a ribbon

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There you have it, a cute, tasty, thoughtful gift, that your hosts can either share with guests or keep for themselves.