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April 24, 2009

Peanut Butter Cups

Is there anything better than a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup? I thought for sure a homemade peanut butter cup would somehow be better than a store bought peanut butter cup. I guess I was wrong.

For Valentine's Day, my husband and I decided to make gifts for each other. I decided to make him Peanut Butter Cups from scratch. I was very excited about making them because I love to cook and I thought he would love them.

On Valentine's day I gave him the container of peanut butter cups. After we each tried one, I said to him, "aren't they good?" To my surprise, he said, "ahh, I don't like the peanut butter filling. It tastes funny." I then told him I thought they were delicious and if he didn't want them, I would eat them all. After that, I let him know I had to "hand paint" all of the chocolate in each paper cup, then add the filling and hand paint the top chocolate on! It didn't make him love the peanut butter cups any more, but I think they were good. Maybe not as good as Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, but comparable enough to share the recipe! 

Maybe before sharing the recipe I should admit I used Smooth, not Chunky Peanut Butter, I had smaller paper cups, which could explain why I had so much chocolate left, and I didn't have graham crackers so I substituted for Ritz crackers, possibly the reason why he didn't love them! 

Peanut Butter Cups

1 3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

60 (1 1/2-inch) paper candy liners, separated into 30 double-lined cups

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1 cup powdered sugar

2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

MICROWAVE morsels and vegetable shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 2 minutes; STIR. The morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted.

PLACE about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate in each candy cup; spread to about 1/8-inch thickness, almost to top of cup, with small pastry brush. Refrigerate.

COMBINE butter and peanut butter in medium, heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes or until melted. Stir in powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Cool for 5 minutes. Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon into each chocolate cup.

SPOON about 1/4 teaspoon melted chocolate on top of filling; spread to cover filling. Freeze for about 2 hours or until firm. Carefully peel off paper liners. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

Makes 30 candies




April 21, 2009

Benefit Golf Outing


My husband and I are hosting and organizing a benefit golf outing for a friend's son, Jax, who has Cerebral Palsy and we need your help!

The event is Saturday, May 9, 2009 at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Pinckney, Michigan. We're looking for teams of four to play in a golf scramble, hole sponsors and any monetary and prize donations. All monetary donations will go directly to Jax! 

Don't Golf? Join us for dinner! Just $25 per person.

We're excited about this event and hope you can help out! If you wish to download the registration form, you can do so here. If you would like to sponsor a hole or provide a donation, please leave a comment here with your email address and phone number. Don't worry, I have to approve all comments before they are published, so I won't allow your personal information to be listed. If you don't want to comment, you can email me: kstrohs@hotmail.com

You must register for golf and dinner prior to the event. The deadline is April 27, 2009. After that, contact me and we can probably work something out!

To read more about Jax, check out his website

April 17, 2009

A Nail Must Have

I used to chew my finger nails. All the way to the skin. In high school I tried to stop and the only way I could was to polish my finger nails. I polished my nails every night before bed. And every day at school, I would pick all of the polish off of my nails. But I didn't bite them! Eventually I quit biting and picking and was somewhat blessed with nice finger nails. Now people comment on how great my nails look and they are amazed they are real and that I do them myself!

Along the way, I tried several nail treatments and systems: I started with Mary Kay's multiple step system, used OPI's Nail Envy, Nail Tek products and finally settled on Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth base coat.

The directions say to use this product daily. I always have it on my bare finger nails. If I am wearing polish, it is my base coat. I rarely reapply to polished nails, but every few days I will re-apply to my bare nails. I swear by this product. And you can buy it almost anywhere! It's affordable and I think, one of the best on the market!



April 09, 2009

Prescription = Honesty

I am sure you have heard the saying, "Honesty is the best policy." Why are we often afraid to be honest?

One example that comes to mind is any sort of "product" party a woman gets invited to: jewelry, food, kitchen items, candles. These are your standard parties in which an independent consultant of a product line is invited into a woman's home, the woman invites all of her friends and hosts a party to sell these products to her friends and in return gets "free products" based on sales. Often times I hear people gripe about these parties. It's as if they have already been to them but feel obligated to go because they were invited, and once they get there, they feel obligated to buy something. Why can't a guest just be honest? Say, "No" if you don't want to attend or say, "no" to purchasing something. (Wow is this sounding like an anti-drug campaign? "Say, NO!" and "Just be honest!")

I think women are so trained to "be nice" that we are not honest because we think we know how the other person will react. If a guest is honest (in the above situation) and tells the host, "I don't want to come to your party," the host will often think the guest doesn't like her, doesn't like the products she is selling, or doesn't like the people she invited to the party. I see and hear it all the time and I will admit, I am guilty of doing it.

My confession is from my bachelorette party. My girlfriends and I went to a comedy club and dancing afterwards. It was basically a great girls night out, except I had to wear a tee shirt, tiara/veil and a light up Miss America type sash that said "Outta Control Bachelorette." There were some friends of mine that I would consider "local" that didn't come. (By local, I mean about an hour away). Immediately I started to draw my own conclusions as to why they would not be in attendance. For a while I was somewhat upset, I thought they were good friends of mine and I was disappointed they didn't want to come to my party. But in the end, I've learned to say, it is their loss, not mine. They are the ones that missed out on a great time!

And I am guilty of lying because I didn't want to go to a party but felt I couldn't be honest and say, "I don't want to come." Instead I made up some sort of excuse, such as we had plans, and didn't commit to going.

Why can't we just be truthful? I think it is harder to be truthful because sometimes the truth does hurt. But in the end it is much easier to tell a person, "No, I don't want to" than to make up a story and have to remember it.

So the moral of the story, just be honest, and if a person cannot handle the truth, that's not your problem, it is theirs.

April 02, 2009

Please Pull Ahead

Recently I have been splurging on cappuccinos from the drive thru. This craving only happens on my way to work in the morning and only happens when I am running late. I think it is because I don't want to go to work so I do anything I can do delay getting there. I've been driving my 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 since December. Which means I take it through the drive thru. The first few times I got the truck, the drive thru person could hear me perfectly when I gave her my order through the speaker. (I don't go through the drive thru very often.) But lately, on my cappuccino binges, I have to turn off my truck for the attendant to hear me! The truck is a diesel, so it is loud, but it is so annoying when I have to do this! It's usually most annoying when I turn the truck off and then have to wait for the noodle to turn it back on, with anxious customers behind me! If you are confused about the "noodle" read all about it here.

On my second or third trip to the drive thru, I wondered, why can't I just talk to a person when I order? it would be the same as pulling ahead to pay, except I could order AND pay at the SAME window! Genius! That way, I wouldn't have to turn off my truck and restart it while going though the drive thru! I think I'll write all the companies with drive thru windows a letter...