Friday, December 20, 2013

Eggnog Rice Krispy Treats

I've been on kind of a rice krisy treat kick lately. I feel like plain RKT's (rice krispy treats) are a bit like a blank canvas. They are fine just as they are but open to lots and lots of variations. For me it just isn't the Christmas season until I get my first glass of eggnog. while shopping for some cake decorating supplies a few days ago, I found some eggnog flavored candy melts made by Wilton. I bought them, not really knowing how I would use them. i decided to make Eggnog flavored RKT's using the candy melts as an icing for the treats. These RKT's really taste like eggnog which makes them perfect  for the holiday season.

Eggnog Rice Krispy Treats
3 tablespoons butter
1 10 ounce bag mini marshmallows
1 1/2 teaspoons rum or rum extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 cups rice krispy cereal
1 cup white chocolate chips

1 bag Wilton Eggnog Candy Melts

Spray an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray. I like my rice krispy treats to be thick. You can also use a 9x13 inch pan, your treats will just be a little thinner.

In a large pot, melt butter and stir in the marshmallows over medium low heat until marshmallows are melted completely. Remove from heat. Stir in run extract, salt,   and nutmeg. Pour in cereal and stir to coat in marshmallow. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan and press down well with buttered fingers. Melt the Wilton eggnog candy melts according the package instrutions, With an off set spatula or knife spread the melted eggnog candies over the top. Top with sprinkles , if desired. Cool to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes. Cut into bars and serve.
Bag them up and give them as Christmas gifts!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Making Plans for the Future

Can you believe the New Year is just around the corner? As a younger person I never really thought much about the New Year beyond how/where to celebrate with friends and family. As I’ve gotten older, I find myself looking at the New Year, less as just a time to celebrate and more as a time to take stock and reevaluate my life and goals for the future. What do I want my future to look like and how can I make those things happen? The New Year is just a natural time to consider making changes to ensure a good future. It’s a great time to really think about the things I’m doing now and how they will affect the future I hope to build. Is how I’m living my life now working toward my plans for the future? How do I want to Get Old? Get Old is an initiative developed by Pfizer to challenge people of all ages to rethink what it means to Get Old and take a more active role in their health and quality of life at every age.
For me, and I would imagine a whole lot of other people, this includes planning for maintaining good mental and physical health in the future. Sure good genes play a role in our health as we age but taking charge of how we live our lives can make a huge difference in future health and well-being. Being mentally and physically strong as I get older is important to me so this year I’m resolving to take simple steps help ensure both as I age.
My New Year’s resolutions usually include some vague plan to lose a little weight, get more exercise and eat better. I've found I have better success when I’m accountable to someone. This past year I've done pretty well sticking to my exercise goals from last year by meeting my friend every morning to walk. We motivate each other by having a plan to meet and walk our neighborhood first thing every day. Having that accountability to has made a huge difference in me actually sticking to my goal to get more exercise. My goal for this year is to continue this and also add in some workout classes. I've found I need really need the accountability and motivation of an organized workout plan. I don’t stick with it otherwise.
Another big resolution for me this year is eating better. I know this is one of those resolutions that everyone makes but this is something that has been really difficult for me since Hubs has taken a job that keeps him away from home for long stretches of time. Eating alone, I tend to just do whatever is most convenient, which is usually not the healthiest choice.  One of my concrete plans to reach this goal is to eat breakfast every day. That may sound easy for some but I almost NEVER eat breakfast even though I’m well aware that it’s “the most important meal of the day!” So I’m resolving to eat breakfast every day. I’m planning to try to eat things like this Apple Pie Oatmeal. It can be made make ahead and is so easy, I’ll have no excuse for not sticking with my resolution!
I have found that when I stick to both of these goals I feel better not only physically but mentally as well. Another resolution I’m making toward mental “fitness” is continuing to pursue my passion for cake decorating by building up my small business and striving to learn new techniques and methods to take my skill set to the next level.

These are just a few of the things that come to mind for me as I think about resolutions and goals for the upcoming New Year. What are you doing to Get Old well?  Tell us at and join the conversation on and   I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Pfizer and Get Old. I received compensation for this post. All opinions stated are my own. Get Old is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fudgy Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Chip Cookies

This is a rich chocolate cookie that has a wonderful fudge like texture inside. The cookies are great even without the glaze icing but they are extra special with the icing and extra peppermint crunch on top. Chocolate and peppermint are the perfect Christmas time combo which makes this fudgy peppermint cookie perfect for Christmas cookie exchanges!They are festive looking and oh so delicious.
Fudgy Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies
Yeilds: 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies
METHOD:1 stick butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso powder or coffee extract
1 cup Andes peppermint crunch baking chips

Chocolate Glaze Icing
 2 cups confectioners' sugar
 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
 2 tablespoon butter, softened
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 4 tablespoons milk

For the cookies:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla at low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. With the mixer running, slowly add in the flour mixture. Mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. 
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees . Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment or a silicon baking mat. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on each cookie sheet, flattening the tops slightly. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes. Don't over bake. You want the cookies to be soft and fudgy!

For the Chocolate Icing:
In a small bowl, combine butter with sugar and cocoa.
Add vanilla. Add milk gradually until smooth.

Just add a glass of milk

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I don't mind getting older...

as long as the cakes keep getting bigger!
It’s that time of the year again, time for holiday celebrations, family gatherings, and lots of food. It also brings about the ending of another year. If you’re like me you are probably wondering how in the world an entire year went so quickly. The older I get, the faster time seems to fly. Life gets busier and busier. It becomes filled with responsibilities, jobs, family, and time seems to shift into warp speed. I've realized I'm now staring middle age square in the face. What?! How did that happen?
Pfizer has asked me to participate in their Get Old campaign and discuss what getting older and having a happy future means to me. Growing older is inevitable fact of life. A privilege denied to many, as the saying goes. As I've gotten older, I've started to think more about the future than I did as a younger person. I certainly put more thought now into what I eat and trying to get enough exercise and sleep than I used to. Staying healthy has definitely become much more important to me as the years go by. While good health plays a large part in planning for the future, I also find it equally important to keep learning new things as well. For me, having a creative outlet and new challenges to conquer are just as important as good health to my future happiness.
Blogging is one of my creative outlets. It’s wonderful having a place to share ideas, the things that excite me, and connecting with people I might never have met otherwise.  I've learned so much through blogging. Everything from taking better photos to what SEO means. Yeah, I had to google it too!
Anyway, it was through blogging that I discovered that my real passion in life is cake decorating. One of the things I enjoy most about cake decorating is that there’s always something new to learn. There is always some new technique for decorating a cake or a new cake recipe to make. It helps me keep current on popular styles and pop culture trends. Did you know that ombre cakes are a huge trend in wedding cakes or that the Ninja turtles have made a comeback?  With some cakes I get asked to make, I receive very specific and detailed directions on what the client wants. However, I'd say at least half of the cakes I do I get little or almost no direction at all. For example, one recent order went like this; I know I want purple and something to do with art. Okay... time to get creative!

 Every cake I do brings me a new set of challenges. With each new cake I decorate I feel I'm learning to become a better cake designer. It's what keeps me excited and wanting to push myself even more.
 I truly believe you’re never too old to learn something new or to push yourself to try something you've never done before. There’s no stopping the forward march of time. However that doesn't mean you have to stop learning or trying new things.  I believe that a large part of a happy future can be found in allowing a place for creativity of some form in your life no matter what your age. 
  • Get Old is an initiative developed by Pfizer  to challenge people of all ages to rethink what it means to Get Old and take a more active role in their health and quality of life at every age.  Whether it’s through watching what you eat, physical exercise, spending time with family and friends or participating in an activity you’re passionate about -- each of us has the power to decide for ourselves how we want to Get Old. It’s not just about living longer, but living better.

I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Pfizer and Get Old. I received compensation for this post. All opinions stated are my own.