Saturday, May 29, 2010


Hello readers!  Have you missed me?

I'm sorry I've been so bad a blogging lately but a lot has been going on in our lives lately.  Chris and I went to Europe for a couple weeks and had a FABULOUS time in Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece.  I was blown away by the things we saw...

The Eiffel Tower (and no, I'm not talking about the one at the local theme park King's Island, either!)
Beautifully unique Venentian canals (AND St. Mark's Square's so heartbreaking!)
 The Parthenon in Athens...I am bewildered at how old some of these ruins are!
And let's not forget the quintessential white house on blue water look of the Greek Islands such as Mykonos...
My stomach was also delighted by all the delicious things we ate.  I came back refreshed and ready to cook.  In fact, our travels home took us nearly a full 24 hours of being awake but once we got home, the first thing I said was "Oh kitchen, I love you and miss you!".  Imagine that...I MISSED COOKING!  Now, most normal people would probably dread the end of the vacation because that would mean back to cooking.  But me?  I was so inspired by all the foods that we ate that I just couldn't wait to get started.

Now, we got back two weeks ago as you'll see, I haven't posted in well over a month.  I also can't say I've done any real good big meals yet (thank goodness for my frozen stash of homemade meals!) because week 1 was spent re-adjusting to the Eastern time zone and week 2...well, that's the other part of our busy lives.  We are now unexpected first-time dog owners!

My sister's friend had found a little stray beagle at her work and decided to take him in.  They did everything they could to reunite the poor lost doggy with his owners but sadly, none could be found and her mom had had enough of him.  Enter my husband and me.  My sister knows that I love dogs and have wanted one for years now.  She also knows that we LOVE beagles.  Somehow, I convinced my husband to go visit the beagle, who was temporarily named by his foster family as "Richard".  We went and played with him for about an hour or hour and half and honestly, I did my best to stay distanced because I had a feeling my husband would just say no.  We slept on it and after some convincing from his mom and what I felt was a miracle, Chris agreed the next day that we could keep the dog!  So, we made arrangements to pick him up this past Friday and brought him home with us.  Needless to say he's kept us busy trying to acclimate him to us and our house.  Though, we're very fortunate because he is already house broken and quite a mellow little fella.  We have renamed him Toby and he's a happy little 24lb, ~2 year old beagle boy :).

Oh man...who could resist this sweet little guy's cute face with his big brown eyes, floppy ears, and wagging white tipped tail.  *Sigh* I'm a sucker for cute animals!
Anyway.  I do hope to get some recipes on here EVENTUALLY about my European traveling inspirations but given that I'm backlogged on recipes still in March and haven't gotten much cooking in lately it may be awhile.  Add to that our new furbaby Toby and cooking...and even more so, blogging about cooking...may be less frequent than in the past.  Bare with me though, I promise it will be worth it!!
For now, I leave you with a recipe that comes to you from my homestate of Ohio: The Buckeye State.  Buckeyes are nuts that come from the Buckeye tree.  The buckeye is named as such because it looks like the eye of a buck deer, from what I read.  I have no idea what a buckeye nut tastes like but apparently you roast them before you eat them.  The recipe that I am sharing with you is for a Buckeye Candy which mimics the look (though I highly doubt the taste) of a Buckeye nut. 
If you like peanut butter and chocolate, this recipe is for you!
Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 5 Min
Ready In: 50 Min
Yields: 30 Buckeyes
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter

  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until smooth.
  4. 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. If desired, use finger to cover the toothpick hole and smooth out the surface of the peanut butter.  Put back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.
Source: Modified from All Recipes