17 Birthday Candles
My daughter turned 17 this month and it’s one more year closer to independence, one more day closer to college and one more year closer to moving into a dorm. Every day brings me closer to the day where my “baby” won’t be within hugging distance. It seems that with every year comes remarkable changes that leaves me in awe.
College brochures arrive in the mail, scholarships , ACT tests, all signs of the future to come. Right now I’m just going to bask in the glow of the candles of my daughters burning light and enjoy the short time I have left and enjoy each day.
Week 4: Project 52
In honor of National Chocolate Day, National Candy Day, or Valentines day (hey you pick, I don’t need an excuse for chocolate) I’m presenting one of my favorite candy recipes. Chocolate covered cherries. They are a favorite and even people who say they don’t like chocolate covered cherries like these.
I normally make them at Christmas, but this year was a little busy and these take a little time. It’s not a mad almond bark dipping marathon with these delicacies. Enjoy, I don’t think mine will make it to Valentines Day
- 30 maraschino cherries (one jar)
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 pound chocolate confectioners’ coating (I use good chocolate almond bark)
- Drain cherries and set on paper towels to dry.
- In a medium bowl, combine butter and corn syrup until smooth. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and knead to form a dough. Chill to stiffen if necessary.
- Pinch off a teaspoon bit of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten in your palm
- Wrap each cherry in about 1 teaspoon of dough. Gather the excess sugar dough on the ends and pinch off. You want the thinnest layer of sugar paste around the cherry without any juice seeping through
- Place on waxed paper and place in the freezer to chill for one hour or until firm.
- Melt confectioners’ coating in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Dip each cherry in by its stem, and place on waxed paper lined sheets. Chill until completely set. Wrap in candy foil squares
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
- Best after 1 or 2 weeks when the sugar paste melts and merges with the cherry juice. (yeah, if they last that long!)
Don’t have the patience, or time, or ambition to try them yourself, then you can buy Chocolate Covered Cherries and no one will complain. a
Heavenly delight, a chocolate chocolate cupcake, yum! What’s better is I didn’t have to make these myself, my step daughter did for a friends birthday.
Easy Chocolate Trifle
Food, chocolate, rich chocolate covered in Cool Whip and Heath bars. Decadent and actually not as rich as it appears. Thanks to Pampered Chef I made this wonderful Easy Chocolate Trifle for my party and it was a hit. My kids fought over it and said I had to make it again.
You expect a recipe maybe? Ok, here it is
- 1 pan of brownies
- 1 qt (4 cups) cold milk
- 2 pkg (4 serving size each) Chocolate Instant Pudding & Pie Filing
- 1 tub (8 oz) Whipped Topping, thawed
- 4 pkg (1.4 oz each) Heath Bars
Bake brownies. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. ADD mild to dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. LAYER half each of the brownie cubes, pudding, whipped topping and crushed chocolate bars in large glass trifle bowl.
REPEAT all layers, Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
High school students graduate in Mid-May in Nebraska and graduation cakes start flying off the shelves. It’s different than a wedding, where the bride and groom will have a cake testing session before picking their baker. Most people go to Sams or their local grocery bakery and get a cake. My son and I had some amazing cake at a wedding we attended about a month ago. The baker was in attendance so I approached her there and we arranged for graduation.
I like supporting local businesses, and a fresh baked cake from Lynnn would be so much fresher and tastier than the cakes from Sam’s that receive frozen sheets by the gross and use prepackaged frosting. It didn’t really cost any more either. Thirty dollars for a half sheet.
Did I tell you that David graduates on his 18th birthday? He wanted a special birthday cake along with it and picked chocolate. Lynns double chocolate cake was to die for and many people asked who made the cakes. Total on both cakes $45.00, including delivery. Thanks Lynn
Birthday and Graduation Cakes
We didn’t have much cake left, all that remained was the picture corner and a small wedge of chocolate.
Most seniors at Elmwood-Murdock have their parties on the Saturday of graduation. The parties are pretty much the same, open house style with friends and family and lots of food. On graduation Saturday you can easily go to 9-10 parties, that’s if you’re fast. Halfway through the day you don’t want to look at another pice of cake. I honestly feel bad for those families who buy full sheet cakes only to have a couple of pieces eaten.
More on the festivities to come!
Favorite at the Graduation Party
Don’t these strawberries look delicious? Not even a word to describe how good they actually taste. Just like Christmas, I still dip everything in almond bark chocolate. Strawberries are in season now and just in time to have on the dessert table at my son’s graduation party.
I made about 60 chocolate covered strawberries and it wasn’t nearly enough, could have made three times that many considering how popular they were. Maybe next time. Mothers Day is always around graduation time don’t forget Mom on her special day. She would love some chocolate covered strawberries.
For the next week I will be highlighting pictures from my son’s high school graduation celebration from Elmwood-Murdock high school. I may be breaking the 365 Project “rules” but I’m making my own rules, and give myself the option to bend the rules.
The photos may not be from the correct days, or in order, but they will be from the week, and have been processed during this week with a post a day.
- Strawberry Salad (3QuartersToday.com)
- Strawberry Tuxedos (machita75recipes.wordpress.com)
- Strawberry love heart cup cake for mother’s day (cupcakepedia.wordpress.com)
- Strawberries Covered in Chocolate (stmsignificant.wordpress.com)
- Chocolate filled strawberries (superstevied.wordpress.com)
Day 112: Birthday Candles
I like birthdays and I LOVE chocolate cake. Here’s a quick picture of the chocolate cake I made for a friends 14th birthday and the ever lighting candles. They drove him crazy as he tried to blow them out. My kids hate them too.
Added benefit, this image is untouched by Photoshop other than resizing and sharpening.
Raspberry Brownie Delight
There is nothing better than church dinners. Especially the desserts! The day before Valentines Day, the combined youth groups of Trinity Lutheran Church and Immanuel Lutheran Church held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. I was lucky enough to find this chocolate brownie with whipped cream and fresh raspberries sitting on the table.
There is a commandment,”Do not covet..” Let’s say I had covetous eyes scoping out my dessert. It was as good as it looks. No, it was even better.
- Brownie Mix
- Whipped cream (Cool Whip)
- Fresh raspberries
Directions: Prepare brownie mix according to directions, bake on round pizza pan. When cool cut brownies in pizza style triangles. Just before serving top with whipped cream and raspberries.
So easy and yet so good.
Photoshop CS2 Notes: Added standard adjustment layers color, contrast, saturation, and a minor smart sharpen. Then I touched up and erased the stray whipped cream on the brownie that was distracting. Tried using the shadow and highlights tool to bring out the texture in the whipped cream, but it didn’t make too much of a difference.
Day 63: Hot Chocolate
There is nothing better than hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Ok, hot chocolate with Reddi-Whip, that makes it better. Tell you a little secret, I will often sneak a squirt of it right on my fingers, but I always get caught, last week by my son. All I could do was give him a guilty look and a smirk.
Anyhow, back to the hot chocolate. My kids like Ovaltine, and I normally have it in the cabinet. But, this year I was given two bags of instant milk. I thought, what in the world am I going to do with all this powdered milk? So I put it in the freezer until I could think of something. It didn’t take long. As Christmas approached and I was thinking of what I could make as gifts an idea came to me.
Hot Chocolate mix! Perfect. Not only did I have lots of powdered milk, but I had three tins of Herseys cocoa. Every Christmas I buy a new container for holiday baking, totally forgetting I had some from last year. Perfect! I looked on my favorite recipe site Allrecipes.com and found the recipe below. It was a hit in my gift bags.
- 10 cups powdered milk
- 1 3/4 cup powdered non-dairy creamer (you can use the flavored kind for a different twist)
- 4 3/4 cup powdered confectioners sugar
- 1 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder and creamer. Stir thoroughly.
For one serving place 1/3 cup cocoa mixture in a coffee cup or mug, add 3/4 cup boiling water (or milk for a richer taste). Stir to dissolve.
Although the recipe doesn’t call for it I would definitely sift the mixture. Almost all the ingredients have little itty bitty tiny chunks that don’t dissolve well and will sometimes give the final product “texture”.
Day 59: I love Mandarin Oranges
Yes, I love Mandarin Oranges. I would pick up a can at our local convenience store CD Express, in Elmwood, and eat them as a snack. Cheaper and healthier than chips don’t you think? The problem lately is the store no longer stocks them. But every time I stop in I walk down the aisle and look at the empty space where they used to be.
Before Christmas this past year we stopped in and and lamented the fact that I couldn’t get me Maradarin Orange fix. She said she would get me some for Christmas. I smiled and said “OK!”
Well, Christmas came this year I received about five cans, or about 7 lbs total. Not only did Jen put four small cans under the tree but I got a HUGE six pound bulk size can as a joke. Hey, have your laugh,…I’m eating Mandarin Oranges.
At first I thought I was going to have to find recipes to use them all, but no, better my daughter and I we will have them gone within the week.
But, if you ever find yourself looking for things to do with Mandarin Oranges here are a few hints.
Chocolate Dipped Mandarin Oranges With Sea Salt
Spinach Salad With Mandrin Oranges
Bittersweet Chocolate Tart With Mandarin Oranges
Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Mandarin Chicken Salad
Pork With Mandarin Oranges