Friday, November 30, 2012

Lemon and Cream Cheese Truffles

So decadent and delicious...
So easy to make...
AND something that looks amazing as far as presentation!  
I found this recipe online, (here)
but didn't like the fact that it used Vanilla OREO's and so I decided to take my Snickerdoodle cookie recipe and add in Lemon Extract to replace the OREO's and I'm happy to report it turned out absolutely delicious!    
 I was in charge of the treats for our YW in Excellence and brought these...
WOW, these were such a hit
ESPECIALLY with the men that ate them
(they kept snitching them and kept asking 
if there were extras so they could have another one)
SO, if you want a yummy recipe that men would like,
this is definitely at the TOP of the list for that!

These would also be wonderful to put in cute white boxes and give for a gourmet  gift to family and friends, or, to add to a Christmas Goodie Plate.
 Lemon Cream Cheese Truffles  
(makes 40 Truffles) 
(Cookie recipe)   
Cream together:
½ cup butter
¾ cup white sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 capfuls of Lemon Extract
1 tsp. Cream of tarter
½ tsp. Soda
¼ tsp. Salt
1 egg
Then add:
1-3/4 cup flour (I use UNBLEACHED flour)
Mix and roll into balls and roll in sugar
Place on cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. (or until no longer doughy)  Let cool.

NOW to turn your cookies into Truffles:
Put cookies into a gallon Zip-loc bag and smash with a rolling pin until finely crushed.
Put in mixing bowl and add in:
(1) 8 oz. block of cream cheese
Zest from one lemon

Mix cookies, cream cheese and lemon zest together until well combined.
Roll into small 1 inch balls and put on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Put in freezer and let chill for one to two hours
Melt WHITE chocolate chips in double boiler 
One at a time, put cookie balls into melted white chocolate until coated and put on waxed paper to cool.  
(I took some of the white chocolate and added in some yellow food coloring and then drizzled this on the top to add some color).

After they're cool, put in small white baking cups and ENJOY a delicious, yummy treat! 
 Lemon + Cream Cheese + White Chocolate =

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Preserving and Canning Chicken

I love being prepared... 
I love having yummy things on hand to throw together a dinner or lunch for my family!  
I have always been scared to pressure can because of all of the horror stories I have heard from my mom about pressure canners blowing up!  
HOWEVER, I am here to tell you, it's so easy to pressure can AND there is never going to be anything blowing up, if you follow the directions.  
For the past 2 years, 
I have been buying chicken, salmon, ham and strawberries from Zaycon Foods and have loved how quality the meat and fruit is AND how yummy as well.  

However, while I love pulling frozen chicken breasts from the freezer, there are many days when I haven't planned ahead and it's dinner time and so many recipes that have chicken in them don't get made up because I don't have time to defrost the chicken.
 However, thanks to a pressure cooker, 
I now have dozens of pint jars on my shelf, for those quick and easy dinners and soups AND I love having jars of chicken to grab and make Chicken Salad Sandwiches for lunch, or to add to a pasta salad.  

Canned chicken is delicious and is truly a staple at our house!   
ALBEIT, while it is yummy, 
it definitely looks like a "Science Project" 
when you look at the jars, 
OR, as my kids call it...
SICKEN! (wink)
I have canned chicken fresh out of the box after I have purchased it,  
OR, I'll individually package the chicken and put it in my freezer and then after the busyness of the holidays are over and we are in the long, cold month of January, I'll pull out my pressure cooker and defrost some bags of chicken breasts and can a bunch of chicken up then.
SO easy...
you just take your HOT pint jars
fill with sliced chicken chunks leaving 1 inch of head room
add in 1/4 tsp salt
put on sterlized lids and rings
(you do NOT add any water to the jars!!)
Put jars in pressure canner
(follow directions on your pressure canner, for how many jars you can put in it, for what water to add to the pot and for how long to let pressure build before you start timing your canning).
After canner builds to 12 pounds of pressure
let it cook for 75 minutes for PINT jars.
(watching so it stays at a consistent 12 pounds of pressure)
Let pressure canner drop pressure and cool,
Open the canner and pull out the jars and 
you now have jars of yummyness to enjoy all throughout the year!  
Now you have one more skill in your life to be prepared AND knowing how to process and preserve your own foods is a great self-reliance skill, so you can take advantage of great sales on chicken when they come around!
Enjoy being thrifty and frugal!