Friday, December 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)

Chocolate and peanut butter...need I say more? This recipe gets lumped in with my Christmas cookie recipes...perfect for holiday gatherings and gift-giving! Sooo yummy. This recipe will make about 3 dozen buckeyes.

1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners' sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar. The dough will look dry. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.               

Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes.  Remove toothpicks and put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Store in a air-tight container in the refrigerator until serving.

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is a quick and simple dinner that is a complete meal in itself (meat, starch & veggie)! This is one of our favorite stir-fry recipes and a staple in our house. I found this recipe on

3 Tbsp. cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup water plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 lb. boneless round steak or 1 lb. charcoal chuck steak , cut into thin 3-inch strips
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/3 cup soy sauce (we use low-sodium)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground ginger
Hot cooked rice

In a bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. cornstarch, 2 Tbsp. water and garlic powder until smooth. Add beef and toss.

In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 Tbsp. oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.

Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes.

Return beef to pan. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sausage and Apples

First of all, I apologize for the lack of recipes lately. The months of November and December have been extremely busy and I have been neglecting my blog :( In the next week, I hope to post several Christmas cookie recipes. This yummy recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks: 'Simply in Season' by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert, commissioned by the Mennonite Central Committee. I had the priviledge of meeting Mary Beth Lind at a workshop while I was attending Messiah College. This recipe - Sausage and Apples - is featured in the 'Winter' section of the cookbook. I served this over noodles and added a vegetable as a side. Enjoy!

4-6 links sausage, pierced in serveral places
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup apple jelly
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 medium onion, cut in slices
3 firm apples, cored & sliced in thick wedges
1 tsp. basil
pinch of pepper

In a large skillet lightly coated with oil, brown sausage on all sides over medium-high heat, turning often, 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Mix together the apple juice, apple jelly and mustard. Set aside.

Add onion to the same skillet used for the sausage. Place on medium heat and stir often until starting to brown. Add more oil if needed.

Add apples and stir until starting to brown. Then stir in juice mixture (from above).

Sprinkle the basil and pepper on top. Return sausages to pan, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until sausages are completely cooked through, about 10 minutes.