Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cake Balls. . .

Well, I decided to try my hand at cake balls.  I've seen and heard a lot about them recently so I had to give it a try.  I looked around for recipes and ideas and looked in my pantry to see what I had on hand and got to work.  First I started with a chocolate cake mix and mixed it following the directions on the box and I added some carmel pieces to the batter before baking (not a good idea).  After it baked and cooled I crumbled it into very fine pieces.
 Then I added a jar of marshmallow cream because I did not have canned icing like most recipes called for and I didn't want to fool with making my own. . .
After mixing the marshmallow cream into the cake very very good I made balls with it using my small pampered chef scoop. 
When I ran out of room on my cookie sheet and only had a little dough left I decided to experiment.  I had seen a lot of the cake ball recipes call for some sort of alcohol so I opened a bottle of Wild Turkey (honey flavored) and added a few tablespoons, then I rolled the last of the dough out into balls on a different cookie sheet.  The whiskey balls will go to a co-worker.  The one who always buys my alchohol for me because I'm to lame to go to the liquor store.
 Then I froze the balls for a few hours.  They never did completely firm up but they were manageable.  After a few hours I melted some ghiradilli unsweetened chocolate and grinded some oreos and almonds (each in a seperate bowl) and got busy "dipping" the balls.  Because of the messy hands there are no pictures of this step.  Sorry. . . Instead of actually dipping I put on latex (no powder) gloves and added a little chocolate on top of the ball and rolled them in my hand so they have just a very light chocolate coating.  Unsweetened chocolate is pretty bitter so I didn't want to much.  After rolling them I placed them in oreos (or) almonds and rolled them around to coat.  This is what I came out with.
They turned out decent as far as looks go.  I haven't tasted one yet because I'm on a very very very low sugar diet and I licked my fingers to many times today!  Tomorrow I will try one!
Oh, I only had 1 bar of the Ghiradelli chocolate so after using all of it I mixed a few ounces of semi-sweet bakers chocolate and white chocolate (because that's all I had left).  J said the ones done with the unsweetened chocolate are to bitter but I like dark chocolate so I *think* will like them.  He hasn't tried one from the other batch so we'll see what he think of them.

All in all I think cake balls are cute and fun but oh so much trouble!!!  May or may not ever make them again.  We'll see how they taste first ;-)
This is a good video to watch!  If you are ever in a situation where you have to use your firearm it is a must that you have Practiced Practiced Practiced!!!  I'm sure I have *not* practiced enough.  But watching this makes me want to!  Wish ammo wasn't so stinking expensive. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Heels Packn Heat

FINISHED finally finished!!!!!!  The calendar is at the printer and we will have them back in less than 2 weeks!!!

This is the calendar cover that the Lincoln County Republicans are doing, or at least the women of the group with the help of a guy or two (JOHN) on the web page and idea side!  John is working on an awesome web page for us.  Tomorrow or the next day or the next (whenever he has time to finish it) I'll post a link and more about the calendar!  But for tonight I'm just glad it is done and we are on our wait to raising some hefty funds for a great group!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Went to talk to a man about a business today. . . Kinda interested in buying it but it isn't necessarily in the industry I *want* to be in. . . But it would be my own place and it is in an industry I *know* stuff about. . . But I think we need to pray A LOT about it before we start jumping in head first. . . God grant us wisdom to not make dumb choices!

Also went to see the chiropractor again.  He put me back in and said I was good to go until I started hurting again.  That's always good!

Ate lunch with my wonderful husband and visited a few friends.  Talked to one of them about VBS.  This years theme is Saddle Ridge Ranch or Saddle Up Ranch or something like that. . . So, for the snack time I'm going to dress "cowboy".  Haven't decided if I can get by with stealing Uncle J's revolvers and wearing them or not.  ;-)  I think the kids would get a KICK out of it but I don't know if the adults would appreciate it or not. . .

OhOhOhOhOOOOOOO we got 4/10ths of an inch of rain this morning!!!!!!!!!!  It was awesome, thunder and rain are a couple of my favorite sounds!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dill Pickles

 Kaci got to come in for a little bit this evening.  She LOVES air conditioning!
Here is the sweet pickles.  J changed the water and added alum to them today
I made dill pickles today, only 5 quarts but that was all the dill I had. . . Here's how I did it. . .
 Start with cucumbers.  I like small ones.  Normally what is to big for dill we use for sweet pickles.  Wash your cucs. . .
You need some grape leaves.  About 3 per jar or if they are big just a couple.  You just want to line the jar with them.  We have wild grape vines and that's what we used.  Make sure and wash them good. . .
You need 1 jalapeno and 1 big clove of garlic per jar.  Make sure and wash the jalapenos.  Jalapenos are also from our garden!
Wash your jars and jar rings.  After washing I will put them in my canning pan while I heat the water.
While packing your jars with the grape leaves, jalapenos, garlic, and cucs go ahead and bring your water, vinegar and salt to a rolling boil.
 Line the jar with grape leaves.
Then drop in a piece of garlic and a jalapeno and pack in your cucs.  Top that with a stem of dill and pour the HOT vinegar solution on top

Wipe the rim of the jar off and top with a flat that you boiled for about a minute and screw on the ring. 

Put them in your hot boiling water and bathe them for 15 minutes.  Take them out and start listening for the pops.

Put them in the pantry for a few months and then gobble them up!

Here is the ingredient list.  I think the solution will make about 8-10 quart jars of pickles.  For each jar you need 3 grape leaves, 1 clove garlic, one jalapeno, 1 stem of dill, and enough cucs to pack in the jar.
These pickles have a nice bite to them that is a little on the hot side but they are so good!

Dill Pickles.
1 quart apple cider vinegar
3 quarts water
1 cup salt
grape leaves

Saturday, June 25, 2011

 So, I hosted and taught a Womens Only Basic Handgun course today. . . Had 15 women from across the state!  (seriously, from Anidarko to Bristow).  Two were family members that I don't get to see often.  It was great catching up with them!  The other 13 were a conglomeration of ladies who were all wonderful!  We started the morning out talking about basic handgun stuff, safety, makeup of a firearm, use, fundamentals. . . Then, after a scrumptious lunch that my Mommy came over and fixed for us we went out and shot.  Shot a lot!  Shot a lot in the heat!  Got a sun burn on the back of my calves. Odd looking sun burn, it's not even symmetrical on both calves.  I didn't get very good pictures because I was "instructing", my camera was floating around between a few people, but I thought I'd share what I did get. . . 

This is Star, she is a very spoiled Jersey who loves being loved on and Katie (my sister) just happened to offer her some lovings.  In the back you'll see 76 and 81, Katie had set a table up with some pampered chef goodies and they were checking them out!  I think they wanted to place an order but Star was hogging Katie.
 This is John, Pam, and Tara.  John was "instructing" them on the use of a Walther P22.  Each lady got to shoot 50 rounds out of the Walther P22.  They are fun and easy firearms to shoot!  Great for learning!
 This is Kathy, Me, and Amber. . . They too are learning the Walther P22.  I *think* Kathy's firearm of choice would be the revolver, she was deadly with it!!!!!!
 Here we have Stacy, Me, and Vicki.  They both did a great job.  Vicki had a perfect grip every time!
 Again Stacy and Vicki shooting. . . .
 Jennifer and Melissa working the Walthers. . .
 This is my cousin Sherry and her friend Annie.  Sherry is a few (ok several but don't tell her I said so) years older than I am.  She went to school to be a teacher (crazy lady) and I remember my freshman year she was filling in for a teacher who was on leave due to a pregnancy.  It was Humanities class and we were suppose to watch Fiddler on the Roof. . . Sherry didn't like Fiddler on the Roof and I'm sure you can imagine a class full of freshman didn't either.  So, we compromised.  We watched Speed instead, how is that a compromise you ask?  Well in Speed Keanu Reeves fiddles with something on a roof.  Made sense to us!  We *loved* having Sherry as a fill in!!! Anyway, in the picture John is describing the ins and outs of the Walther. . .
 Oh and we CAN'T forget Amy.  Amy is my 2nd cousin.  Amy was one of my best friends in school.  Amy's house is where I spent a lot of time!  I remember watching Amy get a whooping from her mommy once for not cleaning her room.  I remember laying on Amy's bed and making our own version of Cowboy Rap. . . Memories Memories
 Sherry decided Amy was to dangerous to shoot with (all 3 of us cousins so you can imagine the fun) so they sent her off with me.  YIKES.  But she ended up doing a great job!
 HUM, Amy was and will forever be older than me but I don't remember a time I ever got to teach her anything, it was always her doing the leading.  This is a change!
 This is Katie's pampered chef table.  If anyone needs anything she can hook you up (pampered chef wise that is).  She had a good looking table and is going to give the turnabout away!  WooHoo, oh wait, I didn't get my name in the drawing :(

That's it, all the pics I have from today. . . . . We also let each lady shoot 25 rounds out of a S&W 38 special and 25 out of Glock 9mm's.  I *think* the general consensus was that the revolver was the best.  (I think because I was instructing on the revolver and John on the semi-auto) hehehehe.  Turned out to be a great day.  I already have people asking when the next class will be and the answer is either when John builds me some shade on the range or when it cools off a bit. . . I went through 3 bottles of water and 1 big glass of iced water in 3 hours and needed more!
Teaching a Womens Only Handgun Class today.  *Should* be fun!  :D

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We just picked 2 five gallon buckets of cabbage!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you say saure kraute???? 
Day off!  Spent baking and cleaning. . . Baking fun, cleaning not!
Made a pan of brownies, a turtle cheese cake, a giant cookie, and banana bars.  The banana bars aren't great.  :(  I tried  a new recipe and it seems thin and doesn't have a lot of flavor and the icing has white chocolate chips in it and they didn't melt very good.  UGH.  Will either try it again or re-work the recipe.  I like the concept but not the taste. ;-)

Also started 3 gallon of sweet pickles.  They take 7 days from start to finish.  Day one is fairly easy, wash them, cut the ends, cut them in chunks, pack them in gallon jars (or crocks if you have them), cover with water, and add a cup of salt.
For supper I made parmasean chicken. . . Because of time I cut it in chunks instead of baking whole chicken breasts.  Then coated them in butter and put them in a bag of crunched up corn flakes and parmasean cheese.  Poured it in a baking dish poured the leftover butter on it and baked it at 400 for 20 or so minutes.  With the chicken I made new potatoes and green beans.  YUMMO!
To make them I simmered my beans for a little while (10 minutes?) because they seem to take a while to cook.  Then drained them and put them aside while I cooked a few pieces of bacon and some onion.  Then I added the potatoes and the beans back in the pan and stirred them around good, added some salt and pepper and a little water to keep them from sticking to the bottom.  Cooked them for 15 or so minutes (until the potatoes were tender) and gobbled them up!

Saturday is my 2nd Women's Only Introduction to Firearms. . . Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm helping with VBS at church. . . Today I met with a few people to go over the menu. . . (I'm helping in the kitchen, very limited kid interaction).  This year VBS is Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  The little kids will be there from 8 or so till 12:30 or so, the older kids will be there from 8 or so Thursday until 2:30 or so Saturday.  ALL NIGHT!!!!!!!!  So, Thursday we're having 3 snacks, lunch, and supper, and Friday 3 snacks, breakfast, lunch, and supper, and Saturday 2 snacks, breakfast and lunch.  WOW.  There will be 2-3 of us there most of the time getting things ready and in the evenings we'll have an extra "helper".  I'm looking forward to it but I'm sure it will be a lot of work!  I'm sure I'll take pics of all the food and do a giant blog of them!

Also got to the chiropractor today, Thank You Mark!!!  Feeling good right now, hoping it holds out.  He wants me to come one more time next week to make sure it's still good.

And I met with our photographer and a calendar girl to do a re-take of a picture for the Heels Packn' Heat calendar.  I've got to take the last one of a cute young girl on Friday and we'll get them edited over the weekend and sent to print!  I'm really looking forward to getting it done!  For one I'm tired of the head ache associated with it and two I'm excited to see how it turns out!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

How about a cheesecake w/o the "cheesecake" pan?

Well, everyone wants to know how I get the cheesecake out of the pan so I'm just going to post the whole thing start to finish!

Well, this is a cowboy boot with a Mexico looking thing on the side that will be discarded (eeerrr ate) later.  .  . I spray the pan with Pam and because of the funny shape of the pan I have to cut pieces of parchment paper to get it mostly covered.  In this case parchment paper IS your friend!  I also line the sides of the pan using Pam to hold it in place and I spray a light coat over the parchment paper after I get it all lined, it kinda helps things stick together. . .

Then I make the crust.  For this cake I used 2 sleeves of Oreos and 1 stick of butter.
Grind the Oreos

Pour the butter in the grinded Oreos and mix until it is all buttery

Pour the crust into the pan and mush it all out, in this case I  have a few holes but it is on the part I'm cutting off so I wasn't worried about it. . .

Bake the crust at 350 for about 10 minutes.  Just enough to set it so it doesn't run away when you pour the filling on top.

Now for the cheesecake filling. . .

Cream Cheese!  5 packages for this cake

5 Eggs

Here's where it gets tricky. . . I don't usually measure stuff I just start adding.  But I think I used about 1 cup of brown sugar

2 cups of white sugar

About 5 tablespoons of sour cream

A little salt

Some vanilla

and about 5 tablespoons of all purpose flour

Mix the cream cheese until it is good and smooth, add the sugars and mix well, add the salt, vanilla, sour cream, and flour and mix good, then add the eggs one at a time and mix just until it is all incorporated.  Do not over mix the eggs, I've been told that contributes to the cake cracking.

Pour the mixture over the crust being careful not to get it between the parchment paper on the side of the cake and the pan. . .

Put it into a bigger pan and add hot water.  I have learned that a hot water bath is the #1 key in keeping the cake from cracking.  Well that and not cooking it to hot and to long.  Oh and not putting it in the frig until it is completely cooled!

Cook it at about 315 for oh I don't know until it is done and doesn't jiggle.  Maybe 1 to 1.5 hours.

UnPanning. . . After it is completely cool I put it in the frig and let it get cold.  It is better and easier to unpan when it is very cold or frozen!  Run a little HOT water in the sink and sit the pan down in it to loosen the butter that is solidified on the bottom. . . Run a knife around the edges if it needs it.  Dry the bottom of the pan off and get a sheet pan or something flat and cover it with wax paper.  (I forgot the wax paper on this one)  Put the flat object on top of the cake pan and invert it you may have to tap a little to get it to loosen but it is usually pretty easy.  Peel the parchment paper off the bottom of the cake and put a board on top of the bottom of the cake and reinvert it so the top is up.  (I normally do that on the cake board or cake plate I'm going to use.)  Then you are ready to "decorate" if need be.

I forgot to take pictures of it before I cut the circle thing off but here it is before adding the good stuff. . .

I use caramel ice cream topping, pecans, and melted bakers chocolate and load it up!


P.S. (Yeah, this is long and crazy!  Cheesecake is very yummy but time consuming and kind of expensive to make!  But did I mention it was yummy???)