Mint Oreo Truffles and Mint Hot Chocolate

Happy 100th birthday Oreo's (6 March, 1912)

1 package Oreo's
1 8-oz cream cheese, softened (I use low-fat)
1 tsp vanilla or mint extract

Dipping chocolate (white, milk, or dark)

Crush Oreo's.  Mix well with softened cream cheese.  Add flavouring extract and mix.
Roll into small balls and refrigerate if they get too soft.  To make fast work of rolling all of the oreo balls, use a small cookie scoop.

Melt preferred dipping chocolate.  Dip each of the oreo balls into the chocolate.  If desired, dip them a second time after the chocolate has hardened.  Chill the truffles.  Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate

1 gallon milk
1 package chocolate chips (mint, dark, milk, or a mixture)
1 .5 tsp vanilla

Pour milk into a heavy bottom pan on medium-low.  Add chocolate chips.  Simmer until chocolate has melted and milk is hot.  Use your slow cooker on low if you are going to be outside playing :-)


Cinnamon - Add in 1 tsp cinnamon  (or break up several cinnamon sticks) and a dash of nutmeg for cinnamon hot chocolate.  Serve with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream or marshmallows or fluff.

Mint - Add in 1 tsp peppermint extract.  Serve with whipped cream, marshmallows, or fluff.  Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top, or grated mint chocolate (like Ande's).


Baked Apples

6 servings

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar

(see notes for honey/agave substitution)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
A pinch of sea salt (optional)

1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.5 – 2 cups apple juice or cider

Water and lemon juice – if needed

© Use a fork to combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
© Cut the top off of each apple, and core (use a melon baller or apple corer) being careful not to go all the way through the apple.
© Pop the cored apples into a bowl of water with a few tablespoons of lemon juice to keep from them turning brown. This is a handy trick in case you have distractions while prepping the apples J
© Divide the butter mixture between each apple, by placing the mixture in the hallowed out cores. Add another sprinkle of cinnamon to the apples.
© Place the tops back onto the apples and place in a casserole dish.
© Pour the apple juice into the pan and cover with foil or lid.
© Bake for about 45 minutes (to an hour) at 325° or until apples are tender.
© Serve with ice cream or top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Slow Cooker Method
© Place the stuffed apples into the slow cooker and pour apple juice into slow cooker.
© Bake on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Stove Top Method
© Place the stuffed apples into a heavy pan deep enough to place apples in and still cover.
© Pour the apple juice and vanilla into the pan.
© Cover and cook on low for 35-45 minutes, or until apples are tender.

© If you like DRIED FRUIT, add 1 -2 teaspoons of raisins, cranberries, or dried cherries per apple and mix with butter and spices, then fill apples.
© If you prefer HONEY or AGAVE, simply core apples, then sprinkle insides with cinnamon and nutmeg, add dried fruit if desired, then drizzle in 1 -2 teaspoons of honey or agave, add 1 teaspoon of butter, cover apple with top and bake using desired method.
© Baked apples are wonderful with oatmeal, granola and yogurt, or pancakes for breakfast.
© If your apples are sweet (or you are trying to avoid additional sugars of any kind) you can simply sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and bake.
© Finally, if you need a quicker dessert, melt butter in pan, add sliced apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.


Butterscotch Pudding
6-8 servings

6 tablespoons butter
1.5 cup packed dark brown sugar                                         
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
4.5 tablespoons cornstarch
3.75 cups milk
3 large eggs
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

©      Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan.
©      Add the dark brown sugar and salt, and stir until the sugar is melted butter are combined. Remove from heat.
©      Whisk the eggs well, then add 1/2 cup of the milk with the cornstarch and blend until smooth.
©      Slowly add the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisk constantly.
©      Temper the egg mixture if it is still warm, otherwise just whisk in the cornstarch mixture into the milk, butter, and brown sugar.
©      Return the pan to the heat; bring the mixture to a boil making sure to whisk often.
©      Once you see a few big bubbles, reduce the heat to a low and continue cooking pudding for one minute, whisking non-stop. The pudding will thicken some.
©      Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
©      Pour into pretty glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly.
©      Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  Enjoy