Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

**UPDATE** I originally made these in 2008, back in my early stages of blogging.  There seems to be a renewed interest in them, and since it had been 3 years since I made them, I decided to make them again and have a new photo shoot.  You get new pretty pictures to look at, I get to eat these truffles again.  It’s a win/win situation.  My old pictures are still at the bottom, if you want to see how my photography has progressed in 3 years, lol.  🙂

I tried to come up with a creative/catchy title for this post. But I think simply the name says it all. Pumpkin. Cream Cheese. Truffles. Need I say more? We’re having a little Sweet Treat Potluck at work for Halloween, and needless to say I’ve went a little bit overboard with treats I want to make for it! I found this recipe the Whole Foods website, and I knew I already had ALL the ingredients, so I really couldn’t resist.

The mixture is really soft, and I highly suggest putting it in the fridge before for 30 minutes or so until you roll them into balls.  I used my smallest Pampered Chef cookie scoop to form uniform balls, and put them on a wax paper on a cookie sheet.  I knew the mixture was still pretty soft (especially once I’d rolled the last truffle), so I put the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour or so.  When it came time to dip them, I just cut the wax paper and only took out 5-6 balls at a time. This helped them stay cold & solid before dipping them in the hot almond bark.  These were a hit at the party, and a hit with The Boy, who doesn’t share my love of pumpkin everything!

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

Yield: Approximately 18, depending on how large or small you roll them.

**The original yield I had for these was 30, but I have revised that to 18, as you could get 30 (and I have in the past), but they would be rather small. Since the popularity of cake balls in the past few years that cake balls came onto the scene, people expect the size of these truffles to be larger and more similar to the size of a cake ball.

Ingredients:

½ cup white chocolate chunks or chips
2 cups white chocolate almond bark (I think I used around 4-5 cubes)
1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of fine salt
2 ounces cream cheese, softened

Directions:

Melt the 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-low heat or in the microwave for about 1 minutes. Stir often to keep the chocolate from burning. Transfer to a large bowl. Add gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, zest, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until just solid enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours.

Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper. Melt remaining 2 cups white chocolate almond bark and transfer to a small, deep bowl. Roll 1 heaping teaspoon of the pumpkin mixture into a ball in your hands, then drop into the chocolate. Working quickly, gently spoon chocolate over to coat. Using a small spoon or fork, lift the truffle out of the chocolate, shake off excess and transfer to prepared sheet tray. Dollop a bit of extra chocolate on any parts that remain exposed, then sprinkle a few gingersnap or graham cracker crumbs over the top, if you like.

Repeat process with remaining pumpkin mixture and chocolate, then chill truffles until chocolate is completely set, about 1 hour.

adapted from Whole Foods

Ah yes… the old point & shoot pictures.  😀


 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Code Blue: Oreo Truffles


Monday night the UNDEFEATED Tennessee Titans take on the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night football.  There’s been a lot of hype around town, and the slogan is “Code Blue”.  I decided to make these Oreo Truffles for The Boy to take into work for him & his coworkers to enjoy since they will be working while the game is on.  I’ve already graced my coworkers with Oreo Truffles, because I made them for a Super Bowl party earlier this year, and had lots of leftovers.  Don’t ask me why I associate football with Oreo Truffles, I have no idea.  They are fairly uncomplicated to make, just time consuming.  TB has already ate like three of them.

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Oreo Truffles

as seen on Bakerella, originally from Kraft Foods
Makes about 36 truffles.

Ingredients:

1 package oreo cookies (divided… use cookie including the cream center)
1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
white chocolate bark

Directions:

Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later.

Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.

Roll the mixture into 1" balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.

Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration.

Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!

Tip: I kept these in the freezer, and only brought out about 4 at a time to dip in the chocolate, so they would stay good & solid.



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chili a la Negra Modello


Since the weather has cooled down I’ve been meaning to make chili. I’ve made it before, but for some reason I’ve really been wanting to attempt the kind of chili made with beer. Someone brought it into work, at my old job (the one where I met The Boy), and it was unlike any other chili I’d ever had before. I used the trusty Food Blog Search and found a recipe on Confessions of an Apron Queen, that seemed tasty, and it didn’t include crazy ingredients I don’t have on hand.

I didn’t tweak it too much, I just used a can of Rotel with habaneros to try to make it hotter, as that’s how TB likes it; I added in some fresh chopped red tomato & green tomato because I had them on hand from my CSA share; and I used Negra Modello because I had read on Chowhound (I think) that it’s good in chili; and I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, because, that’s how I roll.

I made it, and then let it simmer for a couple hours. The longer it simmers the hotter it will get, and the better tasting! I had to drink this with milk, and I kept refilling my glass! My nose was definitely running by the time I finished. TB enjoyed TWO soup mugs of soup, and enjoyed his with a bottle of Negra Modello. If you’re looking for a different chili recipe, MAKE THIS! It was SO good, and colorful!

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Chili a la Negra Modello

Ingredients:

3-4 Bell Peppers (I used 2 green & 1 orange)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with habaneros (or any diced tomato with green chiles)
1 bottle Negra Modello (or any beer)
1 1/2 cups tomato/vegetable juice

Directions:

Chop onion & peppers. Combine ground turkey, garlic, peppers & onions in saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Saute until meat is cooked & vegetables are translucent.

Add in spices, tomatoes, beans, beer, & tomato juice, and simmer over low heat until you're ready to eat. You can also put this in a slow cooker. The long it cooks the hotter it gets. Serve with sour cream if you like!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Peasant Stew


Isn’t it nice to come home to the smell of dinner that’s done? Earlier this week I had made an appointment to give blood at the Red Cross. I try to give a couple times a year, just because I believe that if you are able to give, you should. And I’m able. Besides, it’s my “Little Debbie Day”. The days I give blood are the only times a year I allow myself to eat Little Debbie Snacks!

Anyways, back to the real food. Because I was giving blood after work I decided to do a slow cooker meal. I had gotten a GREAT deal on chicken leg quarters & thighs at Publix earlier in the week, so I browsed through my Cooking Light Slow Cooker recipe book, and I found this Peasant Stew recipe. This took a lil assistance from The Boy, because, I leave for work at 8:45am, and he doesn’t leave until around 1:30pm. So I did all the other prep work, & he skinned the chicken & browned it, then turned on the Crock-Pot. And sure enough when we got home, it smelled and tasted SO good! It was the perfect spiciness. I definitely will make this again!

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Peasant Stew

adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
1 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with jalapeño peppers and spices, undrained
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

Combine cumin, salt, and pepper; sprinkle over chicken.

Place chicken in an electric slow cooker; stir in onion, tomatoes, and chiles. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting for 3 hours. Stir in beans. Cover; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour.

Place 1 chicken thigh in each of 6 soup bowls; ladle 1 1/4 cups stew into each bowl.


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