Sundays with Friends: My friend Jen and her Peanut Butter Balls…

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022Do you remember my good friend, Jen? She last wrote for us about Wild Turkey Stew, and this time she’s bringing us a very near and dear to her heart recipe for her Mama’s Peanut Butter Balls. I meant to get this to you before Christmas, but we all know how busy the Holidays can become. However, you have to forgive me….I AM bringing you one of the most delightful recipes I have EVER put in my mouth. From my friend that understands the importance of loving her mother and hanging onto handwritten recipes, all the way to your kitchen, please welcome back Jen!

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I love Christmastime and one reason why is because I love making my mom’s peanut butter balls. My 020mother passed away over eight years ago from cancer. We used to make Peanut Butter Balls together every year before Christmas. When my mother became sick she didn’t have the strength to make Peanut Butter Balls with me. I had to make them on my own. She passed away in October 2006, and that Christmas I went to her house. I made the Peanut Butter Balls like I usually did, except that year she wasn’t present to help; however, I felt her spirit there with me.

I try to make my Peanut Butter Balls every year because it was me and Mom’s Christmas tradition. I didn’t make them last year because I was trying to eat healthier and knew if I made them I would about eat all of them. I promised Jennifer that I would make them this year and write for her Sunday’s with Friends. I hope that you can take this recipe, make your own Christmas tradition, and enjoy it like I do.

Oh and by the way I still have the handwritten recipe that my mother wrote.

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  • 2 cups of Graham Cracker crumbs
  • 1 lb of powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter melted
  • 1 cup of chopped nuts
  • 4 oz of flaked coconut
  • 12 oz jar of crunchy peanut butter
  • 12 oz or more of chocolate candy wafers

Mix first 6 ingredients in order given. Form into balls, which may need to be chilled for a while. Melt chocolate wafers in a double boiler and dip balls into melted chocolate. Place dipped balls onto wax paper until hardened. You can put them in the fridge or keep them on the counter. But, let them sit out on the counter for a bit before eating if you’re storing them in the fridge.

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Lions and Trees on plates, Oh My!

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For many of you that know me or have been following my blog, you know how important my family is to me. Today was an extremely warming day. Not just that it was above 90 degrees here in the humid South, but because I spent half the day with my most wonderful Grandma.

Every year, our church has Vacation Bible School. Each night of bible school, a different woman of the church prepares the snacks for the children. Monday was pizza, Tuesday was weenie biscuits, and tonight…yes, tonight…was Maw-Maw’s. *smiles*

About a month ago, Maw-Maw and I decided this would be a fun project to work together on. Now, granted, she may have been a little skeptical about working with a perfectionist…who can sometimes be difficult…she still agreed graciously. *wink* We came up with a cute idea after I saw a photograph online of food fun ideas, and we ran with it.

The day started at 1pm today with my arrival at her house. First thing was first, had to slice the apples and put them in Orange Juice (Maw-Maw found that this keeps them from turning…and it DID!). I’ll admit it…this would not have been an easy task were it not for my Williams-Sonoma apple corer/slicer/thingymabobber. Could not, would NOT, have done it without it. 20 apples later, it was time to cut the bread. We had 50 “heads” to cut out, and luckily Mom had lent us her Fondant cutters. To make things easier, Maw-Maw thought of freezing the loaf bread. With the freezing, it allowed the bread to cut through with the cutter and not just smush around the edges of the cutter. Ingenious, that woman is. Now you see where I get it. *wink*

After that, we began to assemble the “heads” into Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. For the “non-PB” people (the crazy people), we made Ham and Cheese sandwiches. Being a good Southerner is all about pleasing everyone. Unfortunately…. *smiles*

We finally wrapped up prepping around 3:30, and we had just enough time for a little sit-down break. Shew, she worked me today!

The neighbor girls that Maw-Maw takes to VBS arrived around 4:15 at her house, and off we went. When we got to the church, the girls were great! They helped with everything we asked them to do, and we couldn’t have asked for any better. It was the kind of help that gives me hope that the generation below me isn’t all bad.

The plates were set out, and an abundance of adults and kids were commenting on how great everything looked. They ate, we cleaned up, and then we watched them do some of their activities.

Even 20 years later, you still remember the activities from VBS. The same women that were there when I participated in it, were still there this week doing it. Maybe a little grayer, more love-lines, but who cared? They did it with just as much love tonight, as they always did when I was young. It reminded me of a simpler time, when all I needed to know how to do was move my hands in various motions to match the words that I was singing. It was just pure bliss seeing the little kids do that tonight. Made me smile. *smile*

I caught up with an old friend as well while there, loaded up the car, and sat around with Maw-Maw until the kids were done. The girls hopped in her car, and we all went back to our respective homes. It was a day complete.

So that’s the schedule of the day. There was much more about the day that made it warm. Today was a good day for Maw-Maw and I to spend time together. Today is the 16th anniversary of the death of Paw-Paw. He was such an important part of our life, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. Dealing with someone’s death never gets easier, we just learn to move forward with their memory. That’s why it is so incredibly important not to take for granted the days we have with our family members and loved ones. We all know how life turns out, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make it beautiful for others while we’re here. So that they too will have warm memories of us for years to come, as I have of my Paw-Paw.

 

Pecan Peanut Butter Waffles

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I posted this to The Onyx Plate’s FB page last night, but just in case you are not following me on Facebook (which you need to *wink*), I wanted to make sure you were able to see it. In true Onyx Plate loving style…I ended up with heart shaped Pecan Peanut Butter Waffles topped with local strawberries and pecans. The strawberries were frozen from last year’s crop that Mom and I picked, and the pecans are from family friends.

You can see the post about picking Strawberries at Apples Farm here in Gibsonville, NC, by clicking here.

This wasn’t difficult at all to whip these up using a Waffle Mix. If you didn’t want to use a mix, you can use the most amazing Peanut Butter Pancake recipe by clicking here, and use that recipe to make your waffles.

On hand, as always, was my Lowe’s Foods brand Complete Pancake and Waffle Mix. This is one of the best tasting mixes that I have ever come across. Lowe’s Foods brand items really are good quality if you haven’t tried them yet. On to the recipe! *smiles*

Pecan Peanut Butter Waffles

  • Your favorite Waffle Mix (my mix called for 2 cups of mix if you want to gauge the portions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • crushed strawberries

Directions:

  1. Prepare the waffle mix as directed on box.
  2. Stir in 1/4 cup of the pecans and all of the peanut butter. To match the original consistency of the plain waffle mix, after adding the PB I added about a 1/4 cup more of water to thin it back out.
  3. Cook in the waffle maker, remove, and top with strawberries and pecans. Enjoy!

The Cookie Monster Strikes!

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Gosh, lately it seems I have been on a sugar kick. Maybe it’s just that I have been exploring the depths of the old cookbooks I have around my house.  Those tend to have a lot of sweets in them.  Rest assured that I have been sharing these items as much as possible with others so that I am not stuck consuming the calories alone. *smiles* I have goals people, and I am going to meet them! So on to the cookies…..*hehe*

You may have read about our dear family friend, Peggy, before with my post Little Tastes of Remembrance. If you haven’t read this post, I encourage you to take a moment and read it. Peggy was known as the “Cookie Lady” around town, and I am going to attempt a few of her cookie recipes. Although, I find the title “Cookie Monster” much more appealing and this is what my cookie posts will become know as.

There is one recipe that I have not quite mustered the confidence to attempt. These are the coveted Lace Cookies. There are so many stipulations to when and how to make them. It’s ridiculous. Oh, but it yields such a delightfully light cookie. Mmmmm…. Once I can accomplish those, I will feel ultra confident in my cookie abilities. Until then, I want YOU to try these super delicious cookies below! Enjoy!

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (say that three times fast)

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

    This is what "packed" means.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chunked semisweet chocolate (I used morsels)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.
  2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Stir in the corn syrup, water and vanilla.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir this into the peanut butter mixture.
  5. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

    Don't you just want to eat the batter??? I do, and I did!
  6. Drop by 1/4 cup fulls, 3 inches apart on parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until edges start to brown.
  8. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to a rack to cool completely.

I certainly couldn’t resist the urge to make a real “Cookie Monster”….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m not kidding….SO GOOD!

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As I have stated before, I LOVE Sunny Anderson’s recipes!  What do I love more than her recipes?  PEANUT BUTTER!  One morning a few months ago I wanted some pancakes.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t a box of mix in the pantry.  So sad.  Then I got online to research homemade pancakes and ran across this Peanut Butter Pancake recipe.  It was deliciously simple my friends.

Well, I made them again Sunday morning.  Just as good as the first time.  Although, this time, I ramped up the Peanut Butter content.  This redhead gets what she wants, and when she wants more PB, she gets it!  I luckily had enough leftovers for my breakfast at work Monday morning.  I took them and no one wanted to try them.  Now, I must say, I always have people wanting to try my food at lunch.  While heating the leftovers, I always grab 3 or 4 forks on the way back to the table for tasting.  It’s just how we do it.  We must remember this though, we all have some things that don’t quite sound good to us, but they are always worth the try.

Our household loves them and definitely thinks you should try making them on your own.  You can top them with anything you can think of.  The first time I heated some grape jelly on the stove and reduced it to a nice syrup texture.  Sunday morning I warmed some Sugar Free Polaner’s Raspberry Jam.  Monday morning, I topped them with fresh blueberries.  When I warmed them in the microwave at work, the blueberries popped open and made a nice topping.  In fact, I highly recommend the blueberries.  The recipe below includes Sunny’s topping recommendation (I preferred something easier).  Just get creative with it!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed to thin
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Blackberry Syrup, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat a griddle. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Slowly mix in egg, milk, peanut butter and oil until combined. Add a little extra milk if batter feels too thick. Let mixture sit 5 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoon butter on griddle and move around to coat entire griddle. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake on griddle to form 5-inch pancakes. The batter spreads as it cooks. Fill griddle without crowding pancakes. Flip when air pockets start to pop on the top and a quick peak on the underside reveals a golden pancake. Repeat with remaining butter and batter. Serve pancakes with Blackberry Syrup.

Blackberry Syrup:

  • 2 pints fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon, zested

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Lower heat to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up blackberries as they cook. Strain syrup to remove seeds and serve warm.

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