|My dad, me, and my momma|
Here is a picture of me and my parents taken about two years ago. I couldn't find one with all three of us in it so I thought I would use this one. It is in front of a restaurant we use to frequent when I lived in Virginia. I believe this was on my mom's birthday. I started calling my parents The Dukes when I was in high school and, well, the name has stuck. My dad's listed as Father Dukes in my phone and my mom as Ma Dukes. My parents got quite the kick out of it and even they have each other in their phones as "The Dukes." :) My dad is an engineer and, along with his dad (my grandpa duh), built a lot of the interstates around where I used to live at. My mom is a nurse and has been for over 25 years. I had my first real job working with her as a receptionist at the doctor's office she works at. I had such a great time working there. It was nice because we got to go out to lunch everyday and have nice talks. I love my parents and they have given me so many things in life; including the wonderlust that is instilled within me and for my love of animals. Thank you both.
Now on to the recipe of the week.
1/4 tsp sea salt
12 paper muffin cups
Heat 1 1/2 cups of chips in a small sauce pan over low heat. Make sure that you do not get distracted (that means no hoop citying while baking, Kelly!!) because you have to really watch and make sure you do not burn them. Stir pretty continuously until all the chips are melted and you have a nice, creamy consistency.
Using a spoon, paint brush, or basting brush, spread the melted chocolate evenly into the muffin cups, being sure to fill all the cracks in the cups. This is NOT as fun as it sounds; it is actually quite tedious and at time hard. I placed then in muffin baking pans and it made it a ton easier. In the end, it was kind of fun to paint the tins with chocolate; mainly because I kept dripping it on me and then licking it off :) shhh... Place in freezer and let harden, about 10 minutes.
After the chocolate has almost hardened, combine the peanut butter, salt, and powdered sugar and either microwave or heat up in a sauce pan (I only had one small sauce pan so I had to, unfortunately, nuke the PB). Stir until nice and creamy. It is a little complicated to get the powdered sugar fully distributed. I would maybe recommend adding a little sugar at a time. After it has cooled slightly, start filling your lovely, hardened cups. Do not overfill, you still have to put the rest of the chocolate on them.
After you have filled them with the peanut butter, rewarm your chocolate saucepan and top with the remaining chocolate. I couldn't get them covered very nicely so I just swirled them. I think it looks a lot cooler like that anyways :P. Before you start digging in (and you will want to, trust me, after smelling all that yummy, cooking chocolate for the past few minutes), stick them in the freezer for about an hour. If you can't wait, we will all understand.
After they have hardened, enjoy!! Now, I know these are not healthy, but we are allowed to indulge every once in a while, right? And if you are craving some Reese's (like my boyfriend was), at least you can make your own, controlling what you put in there. You can always sub the powdered sugar for splenda, stevia, or xylitol. I'm sure it would come out similar. You may have to heat those up a little to prevent the cups from becoming grainy. I leave you with a picture of my love enjoying his organic PB cup. And a rare one at that with him actually smiling!! He hates pictures. :)
Peace, love, and hoops- SG*