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Discussion Starter #1
Not that I'm bored with my winter bedtime snack, but I would like to try something different anyway. So I figured we could share our holiday recipes. Preferably something quick and easy, but if you have a wonderful thing that takes a bit of effort, that would be okay too.

Caramel Steamed Milk

2 cups milk
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix ingredients in a large mug. Microwave 1 minute. Stir and microwave another 30 seconds at a time, until it reaches desired temperature. You can either divide it into 2 mugs, or just drink it all (I do!)
Whipped cream and caramel ice-cream topping can be drizzled on top.

You could half the recipe and do 2 or 3 tbs brown sugar, depending on how rich you want it.

For those people with diabetes, I'm sure you could use Splenda brown sugar - but I haven't tried it
For people with lactose intolerance, maybe Soy "milk" would work? I've never tried that, either!
 

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Oreo Truffles

These are simple in the idea that they require few ingredients, but the process can be a little tedious. I've made them a few times for different functions and they are always a hit. I think I might have gotten the process down now! ;)

Ingredients
* 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
* 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
* 1 (8 ounce) package BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
* 1 (8 ounce) package BAKER'S White Chocolate

Directions
1. Crush cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; place in medium bowl. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into balls, about 1-inch in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

2. Place cookie balls in freezer for 30min to 1 hour. This helps with keeping their shape while dipping them in the melted chocolate.

3. Melt chocolate according to package instructions. Dip balls in chocolate, using a spoon to coat. Use a fork to pick ball up and let excess chocolate drizzle off. Place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Use spoon to drizzle chocolate over any marks made by the fork.
* Use different colored chocolate to decorate. Can also reserve 3 – 4 cookies and crush to sprinkle tops with cookie crumbs.
4. Place dipped and decorated balls back into the freezer for up to 30min to set chocolate. Then transfer to refrigerator until ready to serve.
* Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
 

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Oh man. my kind of thread. I love cooking and I have a terrible sweet tooth. I saw these on the Today Show last week and made them. It was super simple and quite tasty.

Katie's Truffles
Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract(I make my own, far superior to store bought)
Exspresso powder, powdered baking cocoa, toasted coconut, Toasted ground almonds, or ground walnuts for rolling

Preparation
  • Boil cream on low heat for about 3 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons.
  • Add chopped chocolate, return to low heat, and stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  • Whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Pour into a Pyrex loaf pan and refrigerate until hard (at least one hour).
  • Remove pan from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Scoop out chocolate with a teaspoon and roll it into 1/2-inch balls.
  • Roll balls in any of the final ingrediants.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oh! And of course the second part of my bedtime snack... I got this idea from StarBucks, because I LOVE it...just don't love paying $2 a slice o_O!! I don't like nuts, so this is better to me!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 box cake mix (yellow, white, butter pecan (this one is wonderful!) or any other "plain" kind - I'm going to try chocolate next time)
whatever ingredients the cake mix calls for
3 or 4 mashed bananas
1 bag chocolate chips (semi-sweet are best, but milk chocolate work okay too)

Make the cake just like the box directions say to. Add the bananas and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly. Cook as directed on the box.
Frost with any flavor frosting (or drizzle with the white stuff that goes on cinnamon rolls - that's nummy too!)

Whenever I make the cake, I have to cook it an extra 30 minutes, or it's all gooey inside. This may be from having a 35 year old oven to work with...though I dunno.
Also, the chocolate chips seem to sink to the bottom if I mix them in the bowl with the batter. If I sprinkle them on top, just before putting in the oven, then they seem more evenly distributed in the cake. Tastes the same both ways, of course!
I like to use either chocolate frosting, or caramel frosting. I have a recipe for banana frosting, but that might be overkill!

I have the recipe for cinnamon drizzle somewhere, but I'm late for bed. I'll get it tomorrow if anybody wants it.
 

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OMG- you guys are making me hungry!! Here's a new salad recipe I made up for Thanksgiving when my mom wanted me to bring something fruity:


Holiday Fruit Salad:

Pomegranate Syrup-
4 cups pomegranate juice (strained if you juiced the seeds yourself)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally. It will have to cook around 30 min, but you will have to check on it often. I took mine off the burner when I could see the bottom briefly when stirring the pot (as in the liquid becomes slightly cohesive). Pour the mixture into a glass mason jar or good quality plastic container. It will thicken A LOT while it cools. **Note: you can half/quarter the ingredients depending whether you want lots of leftover syrup (it keeps for several months in the refrigerator)**

Salad-
5-10 of your favorite apples (I preferred the red and green because the yellow was a bit too sweet)
Walnuts (plain or lightly toasted with butter, cinnamon & sugar)
Craisins
Mandarin Oranges? (I'm testing them out tomorrow rather than the grapes I used last time)

Slice the apples into bite size chunks or slices. Toss them in a bit of lemon juice as you go so they don't brown. Add walnuts, craisins and any other fruits you want to test out. Lightly drizzle a few table spoons of the pomegranate syrup over the top, and mix it up with a large spoon. Taste test & add more syrup if needed. I also added a dash of cinnamon for extra flavor :)
 

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This isn't a bedtime snack...or easy...but :D Also, I guess I should warn you that I don't measure things when I am cooking, so the recipe is more about what tastes right to you!


Chicken, Gnocchi & Spinach Soup:

-2 cups cooked & shredded chicken or turkey (I did this with leftover Thanksgiving Turkey last year)
-1 pkg frozen spinach thawed & drained
-1 to 2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese depending on personal taste
-2 small cans cream of chicken soup
-1 small can cream of celery
-3 cups gnocchi (packaged or homemade)
-milk (type doesn't matter)
-seasonings (salt, pepper, italian, oregano, garlic, etc.)


Gnocchi (time consuming but amazing!!)-
-2 cups mashed potatoes (fresh, leftovers, mashed from baked potatoes, etc.)
-1 egg
-flour
-salt, pepper, garlic to taste

Put a pot of heavily salted water on to boil. Prepare your mashed potatoes to taste. Mix in egg. Slowly add flour about 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture turns doughy. Your dough should still be very sticky when you touch it with your hands. Using two spoons, scoop small balls of dough into the boiling water. Boil each batch for about 3 min. Place the cooked gnocchi aside.


Soup-

Add the canned soup, spinach, chicken and gnocchi to a large pot. Add milk to thin the soup out to desired thickness. Season to taste with the parmesan cheese and spices. Simmer until all of the ingredients have melded together; remember to stir often so the milk doesn't scald. Makes around 10 servings depending on your hunger... Bon Apetite ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
ugh...my dad does that! He makes the BEST meals, and ones I particularly like I ask him how to make it. "Oh, a little of this, and some of that". BLEH! I can't cook without exact measurements, and even then I ruin stuff! I tried to make his meatloaf once... well, it tasted about the same, but ended up the size of a baseball in the middle of the pan, rather than filling out to a true loaf!
 

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lol- you have to learn to cook using your senses (smell, taste, touch if making something like dough or hamburger mixture) :D Next time I will measure it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Request

Okay, it seems that I'm getting an upper respiratory infection (again! Just got over one 4 weeks ago!). Today my throat hurts, but it's going to get worse and last about a week. Does anybody have some good hot drinks? So far I drink these, but wanna try something new. Oh, and I don't like tea much.

* hot water with 1 teaspoon lemon & 1 tablespoon honey

* same, with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinager (for when my throat is getting more better, and I can tolerate the extra acid)

* hot chocolate (made with milk)

* caramel steamed milk

* hot apple cider (made just by heating up 100% apple juice - I either put honey or brown sugar in it...the sugar makes it sweeter, but the honey is better for health)

My mom used to make something she called "Russian tea", which was mostly orange juice, had some cloves in it...cooked it on the stove. Maybe I should research that, though orange juice seems like it would hurt my throat more (anything with too much citric acid does...hence the diluted lemon/honey and all the milk)
I could gargle with salt water, but even at mild dilutions it makes me queasy... tastes icky!

I'ma go take a HOT bath now, maybe the steam will help a bit too!
 

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You could add some Bailey's to a couple of those. It may not make you any better, but you won't mind as much. :grin:
 

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URI in people? Earl Grey tea(as hot as you can bear to swallow) with a VERY healthy shot of Blackberry Brandy. I know you don't like tea but if you put in the right amount of Brandy you won't taste the tea.
 

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URI in people? Earl Grey tea(as hot as you can bear to swallow) with a VERY healthy shot of Blackberry Brandy. I know you don't like tea but if you put in the right amount of Brandy you won't taste the tea.
Don't forget a good shot of honey to your tea.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
MowMow - A'course we can have URIs... what do you think the common cold is? LOL Though it could very well be RSV too, as that's what it was last year. Not sure I want to bother with going to the doctor to get another culture done...especially if it's a virus, which you really can't do anything for other than extra fluids and rest. No point in wasting a hospital visit for only a test! I just hope it doesn't turn into pneumonia, then I'll be sick for 2 months rather than 1! My immune system sux0rz!

Huh... never thought of adding booze! LOL Though I'm LDS/Mormon, so always used to finding non-alcoholic stuff to drink. Technically it's not "coffee or tea", but the scriptures actually say "hot drink"...so if you want to get really fussy about it, we're not even supposed to have hot chocolate! LOL I've been told we should avoid coffee/tea/booze, even for medical reasons - but personally, as long as that's ALL it's used for, and not abused, I would think it would be okay.
Anyhoo... I guess I'll go see if I can get some tomorrow when I go out to buy cat food (almost wasn't going to go out until Tuesday's work shift at the cat shelter...but then realized I need cat food NOW).
 

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My mother's prescription for a sore throat always worked: potato chips dipped in honey, and a cup of hot Tetley black tea.
 

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I like to drink hot chocolate, apple cider made from a mix, or hot mint tea when I am sick. I am not a big tea person, but mint tea is so good!!

I find these help to soothe my throat a bit, but if you want to get better you need some kind of chicken broth. Plain chicken broth, chicken noodle soup, or chicken gumbo (my favorite) work well. You can't use the canned version though; it has to be liquid that you actually cooked chicken in. I don't remember what exactly, but something in real chicken broth has been proven as a cold remedy.
 
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