Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blue this, Chocolate that

Hello! Check out the new hue of our living room! Ben spent his day off hanging the TV and painting the room. We are so happy with it. If you've never visited our house, every room is a different bright color, so this is much more us than the drab green.

Ben had the idea of making our old changing table into a entertainment center/play area. With the T.V. on the ground (though it looked great in front of the fireplace) and the DVD player, etc. Z had easy access to his favorite electrical toys! I'll take a full picture of the room once we finish moving some stuff. Next we buy the carpet and ceiling fan! What a makeover this room will have had since the divider wall came down! I've decided it's all very symbolic of how much our lives have changed since Z's entered our world.

Speaking of whom!!! Below, you can see him with his favorite book, "Jesus and the Twelve Dudes who Did" It's got plastic faces that are fun to touch. He even says "Deuce" in efforts to say "Dudes," which, we think is hilarious! Yesterday, we were on the porch swing enjoying the weather and he said, "Down," and wiggled his way off my lap! For once, he wasn't just echoing us, and it was a word we didn't realize we had taught him!

He's into everything these days! He flushes toilets (whether you're done or not!), turns knobs, takes the Jet Dry thing out of the dishwasher, climbs stairs, opens doors, and loves buttons!
-proofing our house is an on-going process. We put Ben's 35 lb. weight on the laundry shoot in the floor upstairs, have gates up, put cabinet latches on, and just bought a play pen from Craig's List to have somewhere safe to put him if I can't watch him for a second (I couldn't stoke the fire in the basement when he became mobile!). Despite all the efforts indoors, if I set him in the grass while I water the garden, he doesn't move an inch! The grass feels too funny! We'll see how long that little reprieve lasts!

Below is a picture of the wonderful meal we enjoyed at our friend's Dave and Sharol's house last Saturday night. She made the noodles from scratch in this Chicken-Noodle delight which I learned was wonderful over the mashed potatoes. All this and friendship bread to boot! For dessert we had a Cappuccino Trifle and some much needed fellowship! I'd share the recipe for these noodles if I had it. We gobbled up all the noodles she sent us home with the very next day. Thank you, Sharol and Sloop!

The Chocolate Escapades

I love chocolate. I'm pretty sure it loves me too. I made dark chocolate chip chocolate cookies last week. Ate them too fast to take a picture. Ben definitely approved. I used the recipe on the back of the bag...I think it was Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips. Divine! That was not enough. Oh no. I decided going over to Dave and Sharol's was the perfect excuse to make some Oreo Truffles. Aunt Val made them over Christmas and I couldn't stop eating them. So, I followed the recipe, rolled the little balls of oreo goodness and fridged them, melted the chocolate and did a little "I'm the cook
and I deserve it" taste-test and Eeeww! We'd accidentally bought unsweetened chocolate which is 100% cocoa! I added sugar and succeeded in making a strange cake-like batter that was undippable and still tasted nasty. Fortunately, there was a recipe in the box for Hot Fudge Sauce which required sugar, so I was able to salvage all of my beloved chocolate (see cool whip container in picture). The above is my chocolate face as I sample the new Hot Fudge Sauce I totally didn't need. After a quick trip to the store I was able to dip the Oreo balls in the right chocolate and was done! And Voila! Aren't they gorgeous? Three ingredients, easy peasy, recipe follows:

Easy Oreo Truffles
Prep: 30 min (plus an hour to fridge)
1 pkg (1lb, 2oz) Oreo chocolate sandwiches, divided (I learned that means you use some now and some later, don't pull the cookies apart)
1 pkg. (8oz) Cream Cheese
2 pkg. (8 oz each) Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor, reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be crushed in a resealable plastic bag with a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls (I made 60 smaller ones), about 1" in diameter.
Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store covered in fridge.
Extra Tip: For easy dipping, place oreo ball in chocolate to coat; roll if necessary, lift using two forks (This allows chocolate to run off) before placing on wax paper.

Finally, I have to share good news! My cousin, Jamie, is now Seaman Apprentice VanNice! She graduated from Navy boot camp on Friday. I took a picture of her graduation photo to share with you, hope you don't mind, Jamie! She's on her way to technical school in San Diego soon. She's training to become a sonar technician. We are so very proud of her! Please keep her in your prayers as she'll be far from friends and family.


Deanne said...

I can't wait to see a pic of your totally made-over room!

You've been into Craigslist again I see! Have I introduced you to something addictive? Ryan has told me I can't see 'Craig' anymore. :) He doesn't want me buying junk. But I am allowed to sell on Craigslist. He doesn't mind if I sell it, I just can't buy it! :)

Love the 'chocolate face'! Cute! Thanks for the delish recipe....I'd love to win a batch or 3, can I?? :)

becca said...

Sorry! These don't mail well. Need fridged. Nice thought though.

Chris said...

Well aren't you newsy today! There's enough here for 3 or 4 posts! I am overwhelmed with information. Love the pics. And the updates. And the recipe! Can't wait to have an event to try them out at.

kimmy said...

mmmmmm i want some stuff... kewl pics.. ezra is gettin so big... wow.. and jamie she looks so awesome... well talk to you later..


Anonymous said...

love the paint color! can't wait to see everything when it's finished. i'll give you a call soon!!! take care- Molly

Jenn said...

Love the blue!!! It is amazing what it really means to "baby proof" the house. The entertainment center idea was good - kudos to Ben! MMMM...chocolate!!! You can't go wrong there! Even mitstakes can turn out yummy! thanks for the recipe!

Rachel said...

Hey Becca! I love chocolate! Looks like you have been very busy with painting and baking! Jamie looks great in her picture! Love ya Rachel

Jana said...

The blue looks fabulous! Your house looks very tidy!

As for the chocolate... I'm presently scrounging in my cupboards and am finding absolutely NOTHING resembling chocolate AT ALL. And I am getting angry.

Just joking, of course. But it really looks delicious.

Jana said...

I pressed enter before I typed my URL. Oops!