Friday, February 29, 2008

Hobby-Letter Boxing

I just stumbled into this topic today because of what I found yesterday as I was surfing the net. Have any of you done this? As I have been reading more and more, which isn't much so far, I think it would be interesting. I would love to go find some in my area and even hide some. If any of you enjoy the hobby of letter boxing, please post and tell me if it would be a big no, no to buy a stamp to stamp in someones' book and even to leave in a placed letter box that I might tuck away some place. Would I need different ink pad colors when stamping someone's book or my book? This is so new to me, but has been around for so long. Post if you could share sites, your experiences, or helpful hints.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dip-Artichoke Cheese Dip

St. Patricks' Day will be here before we turn around. I thought I would start searching and putting together a collection of recipes for the occasion. This dip is different from the one I posted earlier. It sounds good and I will post it as I found it on the web. The person posting gave us some suggestions that I will include. The recipe makes 8-10 servings and the calories amount to 263.


1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated or shredded)
1 cup water-packed artichoke hearts (drained)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cream cheese (softened)
5 garlic cloves, minced
Preheat oven to 350
Throw all ingredients in blender
Blend until smooth
Pour into 8x8 glass baking dish
Bake 20 - 30 minutes or until bubbly but not brown
Serve with bite sized pieces of bread
Notes from the one that posted this recipe: She tried to make this using low-fat mayo, sour cream and cream cheese and it just didn't turn out the same. It was good, just not as good. Since she only makes this for an occassional treat she just goes all out with the full fat version. She usually serves this to her book club of 6 ladies and they gobble up the whole batch.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dessert-Chocolate-Covered Berry Truffles

Saw this Valentine's dessert in the newspaper this morning and wanted to post just in case someone wanted to give it a try.


Makes 40

1/4 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 & 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
3/4 cup cocoa powder

Place the cream in a small saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over medium heat. Remove the cream from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the brandy and blend well.

Use a fork to dip one berry at a time into the chocolate. Drain off excess and transfer the dipped berries to a baking sheet covered with wax paper. Chill the berries until firm, at least an hour. Place the cocoa in a bowl. Add the chocolate-covered berries, one at a time, and roll until covered with cocoa. Store in the refrigerator but bring to room temperature before serving. They should be eaten within two days.

Dessert-Strawberry Pie

Since Valentine's Day is tomorrow and someone suggested a section for food suited to serve on Valentine's Day, I saw this and thought it might be a good one to try. This strawberry pie sounds wonderful and would be a pretty dessert to serve February 14th.


1(9-inch) baked pie crust


2 cups milk
1 stick margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pint fresh strawberries

1 cup whipping cream
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For custard, heat milk with margarine or butter until melted. Combine 1 cup sugar with flour and add to margarine. Cook in heavy pan over low heat until thick, stirring constantly. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Cool thoroughly.

Wash, hull and drain berries. Place whole berries ( or cut in half if they are very large) on bottom of cooked crust. Save a few berries for garnish. Cover berries in pie plate with custard.

For topping, whip cream and add 5 tablespoons of sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. When sugar is beaten in, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread on top of custard.

Garnish with reserved berries. Chill until ready to serve. This may also be made with bananas, peaches, or blueberries. For coconut, add 1 cup coconut to the custard and follow directions with whipped cream.