Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oreo Cookie Truffles-YUM! YUM!

I have a newly discovered sweet wonder! A lady came through my check-out line at Wal-Mart in Dickson, TN and told me about making truffles with Oreo cookies. At the next break I got online and discovered the easy recipe and proceeded to buy the ingredients when I clocked out that night.

Many thanks to this un-named lady!!!

Here is my recipe with variations:

While shopping I bought the Great Value brand of regular Oreo type cookies and the Oreo Berry Burst Ice Cream (strawberry) and Oreo Mint and Cream flavors.

I also procured strawberry Flavoring, Mint Flavoring, 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese per bag of cookies and various sprinkling toppings (finely crushed pecans, colored sugar, coconut) and Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips, regular chocolate chips for melting and dipping.

You will also need wax or parchment paper.

At home I took one flavor of cookies (strawberry), crushed them in my non-electric food processor (it is very similar to the one seen here.) Then I dumped it into a mixing bowl, added a teaspoon of strawberry flavoring and the room temperature cream cheese. After trying to mix this with a wooden spoon, I decided to put a disposable exam glove on and mixed with my hand.

I sat the bowl in the fridge for about an hour while the cookie sheet lined with wax paper was in the freezer getting cold.

Then I used a small ice cream scooper/cookie dough scoop-it looks like this-to scoop the dough out onto the cold, lined cookie sheet.

I then set the balls in the freezer and proceeded to melt a bag of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips-adding just a touch of paraffin.

I took the very cold truffle dough and rolled in the melted chocolate and paraffin, placed back on the cold, lined cookie sheet then sprinkled with red, white and green candy sprinkles from the cake decorating department. Do the sprinkles while the chocolate is still warm and sticky!

These were then placed back in the fridge to harden.

I will be making these smaller--most recipes I found on the Internet said "walnut sized balls"--I think about half that size is better for party trays or even to give as gifts.

I used regular, alcohol based flavorings but feel that the oil based ones sold in the cake decorating section would be better.

You could use white chocolate for dipping and add food colorings to suit your taste or the occasion.

The plain ones, just regular Oreo cookies will have coconut sprinkled over some and finely chopped pecans sprinkled over some.

Colored sugar doesn't look exactly right on dark chocolate but may on white chocolate.

You could also dip in melted peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips.

You could dip in dark or sweet chocolate, let harden then drizzle with melted white, dark or milk chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips. Please-if anyone could have a peanut allergy do not even consider opening anything with peanuts or a peanut warning on the label in your kitchen for several days before you make these or until after you have removed these from your kitchen.

I can see these in so many ways! This just may become as popular and famous as my Two Handed Oatmeal Cookies!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies

I started making these cookies for our first daughter's first Christmas. We have done them ever since. The men and children in the family start requesting them in October. I always make these the last of my Christmas baking and make at least 5 batches. I buy all the ingredients but I use up the left over dried and candied fruits from the other items to make up the 2 cups of chocolate pieces. My brother had not been home for a Christmas, in years. I gave him a bunch of these the year he made it home for Christmas. He called me in January asking for more. He had taken ice cream and softened it, spread a thick layer between two cookies and frozen them!

6 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons real vanilla
8 cups regular oats (I use organic oats the real big ones.)
1-cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
1 6-ounce package (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate pieces

In large mixer bowl beat eggs. Add sugars, peanut butter, butter, baking soda and vanilla; mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Drop dough from an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure onto ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass dipped in sugar or, you can spray the bottom of the glass with a non-stick spray instead. Bake in a 350° F oven for 14-16 minutes. Cool cookies slightly before removing from cookie sheet; cool completely. Makes about 40 (4-inch diameter) cookies.

I have made this using shortening instead of butter and I had to start using soy butter when my eldest developed a severe and deadly allergy to peanuts.  

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Monday, September 26, 2011

Define Your Supreme Being

I am going to attempt to put into words my answer to the question, "How does your religion define the Supreme Being?"

Note this is my personal answer. I do not imagine myself able to answer this question for any set "religion" or any other person.

I prefer to use the word "Creator" and will do so here. 

Creator is Supreme over all things in the Universe. Some of the Native American Nations or Tribes call the Supreme Being "The Great Mystery" because He is such.

He created EVERYTHING. He is omnipotent. He is loving and truly wants only the best for all of His Creation-Earth, other planets, the stars, moon, trees, water, all animals, and humans.

He provides everything for us through His other creations. 

He expects us to treat each other and all of his creations with loving respect and reverence. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

List of Things I Like To Do

  1. Read--mostly non-fiction 
  2. Learn
  3. Listen to music
  4. Interact with people
  5. Attend Pow Wows or Pau Waus
  6. Sit around a fire with my closest friends
  7. Camp 
  8. Fish
  9. Hunt
  10. Cook
  11. Spend time with my Significant Other just being together
  12. Watch a good movie
  13. Spend time with my family
  14. Watch the animals and other aspects of Nature-being awed.

Native Wisdom Chapter 1 Questions

The questions posed to be answered by Ed McGaa, Eagle Man, during the speech that became the basis for Chapter One of the book are as follows:

  1. How does your religion define the Supreme Being?
  2. Share your thoughts on God. Did He create us?
  3. How does your religion explain the unknown, such as creation?
  4. Is this religion based on the existence of an immortal being?
  5. How did the "higher power" become the 'higher power"?
  6. How does your God manifest itself to humans?
  7. Is He always watching?
  8. Does your God have a gender?
  9. Is your religion defined by what one thinks and does?
  10. What is the underlying theme of your religion?
  11. Where do you believe your Supreme Being exists?
As you read and follow my blog within a blog about these questions and the others, it is imperative you remember that I am answering from my own heart and perspective. I do not, nor am I able to answer these questions for anyone else. 

As I was copying these questions from the book, I noticed that the Humanities students are already influenced by their upbringings, the society around them, media, etc. as we all are. They are assuming the "supreme Being" is male but then they realize the assumption and ask, "Does your God have a gender?"

I am looking forward to discovering my own beliefs in more depth as I answer these questions. My hope is that each of my readers will do the same thing. 

Some of My Favorite Songs

My Way

The Candy Man

Nobody Knows It But Me

Bless the Broken Road

Questions On Spirituality We Should All Answer for Ourselves

I began reading "Native Wisdom: Perceptions of the Natural Way" by Ed McGaa, Eagle Man. I only read a few pages. I read enough to understand that the book had come out of an invitation to speak, along with others of differing belief systems, at a college. He was addressing a Humanities class and they had submitted a set of questions they wanted to be answered by each speaker.

I turned to the back of the book and found the list of questions. Reading through these I realized that it would be truly beneficial for every person to answer these questions for themselves about themselves. 

In reality, how many of us can calmly, rationally and convincingly answer serious questions about our own Spiritual Beliefs?

Most of us were taught things like, "Never discuss religion." 'Never argue about religion."  and "Never discuss religion and politics in the same conversation."

I have never understood these idioms and I prefer to use the word Spirituality as opposed to religion. Your Spirituality, or claimed lack of it, affects every aspect of your thinking and living. How are we to ever understand and accept each other, if we do not discuss it?

These questions presented to Ed McGaa are divided up into sections, the sections reflecting a general category that the answers would fall under. He addresses each section of questions in a separate chapter of the book. These are as follows:

  1. Who is God?
  2. How did you become involved?
  3. Worldwide Philosophy
  4. Good, Evil and Afterlife
  5. Beseechment
  6. Miracles
  7. Rules, Restrictions and Conflict
  8. Hierarchy, Matriarchy, Patriarchy
  9. Government and Social Issues
  10. Followers of the Natural Way (note the sub-title of the book)
My plan is to answer the questions under each heading/chapter, for myself and where better to do this, than my blog? I would truly love to have a true conversation here on my blog, with my readers about this. Please do join in.

I make no promises about how often I will write but will try my best to write each week. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Pet Peeves as a Cashier

I work for a large retailer that I will not name. As the title of this blog post implies, I am a Cashier at this time. This is not my first job working with the public or with people, so these are not first timer problems. These are things I have watched for many years--31 to be exact as I began working when I was 13 (at the Dairy Queen in Greenwood, SC).

These are not presented in any order other than as they come to mind I will write/type them out and expound.

1. Getting in the checkout line while still on the phone. Cell phones can be a great thing or a bad thing. Staying on them while in a checkout line is a bad thing. You are on the phone and paying attention to the conversation and not to unloading the buggy, loading your bagged purchases or paying for for your purchases.

I see this hold up not only the person on the phone, but everyone in line behind them, on a daily basis.

People are talking or texting and literally stop in the middle of aisles, blocking the whole aisle off from both directions. Other people may need to look at or purchase something on that aisle.

People will be talking or texting and pushing their buggy and they run into other people, carts, even strollers with children in them!

And be forwarned--I am NOT referring to kids or teenagers but adults!

2. Turning the bag carousel while I have my hand and arm in a bag. It takes a time, not much, to properly bag your purchases. Note-the arms that hold the bags are heavy and metal. When I am actively bagging your purchases please do not grab the carousel and turn it--those metal bag holders leave bruises on my arms.

3. This relates to Number 2 above-complaining that I only put a few items in your bags when you were turning the carousel while I was trying to load each bag. If you are turning that carousel, I am going to move my arm out of harm's way asap.

4. Separating your non-food purchases from your Food Stamp (or whatever it is called in your state) purchases. Having two separate orders is needed at times, but not for this reason. We live in a technologically advanced era. The computer will separate your order into food stamp-able and non food stamp-able items on its own.

5. Trying to purchase items with food stamps that you know you can not buy with food stamps. This one is self-explanatory, but click here to be taken to the USDA web page explaining just what you can buy:

benefits can only be used for food and for plants and seeds to grow food for your household to eat. SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy:

Any nonfood item, such as pet foods; soaps, paper products, and household supplies; grooming items, toothpaste, and cosmetics

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco

Vitamins and medicines

Any food that will be eaten in the store

Hot foods

6. Not selecting the correct WIC items. Please, I know it gets confusing as the program changes so often. Your worker or nurse will give you a paper listing what foods are allowed. Most of you toss it away. Don't. Keep it. Read it. Glance over it before you go to in the store. Refer to it as you select your foods. Each time you go to pick up vouchers--ask for a new handout on what foods are allowed--if it has changed you will have the new one.

7. Not having your ID ready when you are purchasing alcoholic beverages or fussing at me for asking for it. This is law in Tennessee and has been since 1 July 2007. It only applies to the the retail sale of beer. It does not apply to bars and restaurants that sale alcohol for on-premises consumption. If you have a problem with this law, please do not fuss at me, throw your ID at me or demand I break the law. Please, be a good citizen, obey the law until it is changed and in the meantime, contact your state lawmakers with your desire to have the "Responsible Vendor Act" repealed.

8. Being impatient. Computers do not always work properly. When a store is busy, they do work slower--your computer at home gets slow sometimes so why do you expect other computers to never have a problem? You have days when you are slower have things on your mind. Why do you get so upset with another person for having to dig a little bit for the exact change or another dollar? I have noticed that the ones that complain the most about the previous customer being "so slow" usually end up holding the line up in some way themselves.

9. Trying to tell me something was marked down when you know it was not. Yes, things get moved around and put in the wrong places and things get priced wrong.Please do tell me and I will have it checked and do what store policy says do. But bringing a $50 item to the check-out and telling me it was on sale for $5 is not acceptable.

10. Putting items you have decided not to buy any where you are at the moment you decide not to buy it. Please, just hand it to the cashier so they can have it put back. this is especially true for frozen or refrigerated items. you wonder why prices are so high? Part of it is losses the stores must recover--when a hundred people place a pack of steaks under a box of candy bars at the register, that is about $1,000.00 lost. Multiply that by 365 and you can see a fraction of the loss from this type of thing happening.

Bottom line? Remember your basic manners when shopping. Be considerate of your fellow human beings. Think before you say or do something.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Didn't See Me

I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But you
didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local Mall.

I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant when you saw my
bike parked out front. But you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise
more money for the hurricane relief.

I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by. But you
didn't see me riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the
car window.

I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children. But you didn't see me,
when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless.

I saw you stare at my long hair. But you didn't see me and my friends cut ten
inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our Leather jackets and gloves. But you didn't see
me and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none.

I saw you look in fright at my tattoos. But you didn't see me cry as my
children were born or have their name written over and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But you didn't see
me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But you didn't
see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you yelling at your kids in the car. But you didn't see me pat my
child's hands knowing she was safe behind me.

I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But you
didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn.

I saw you race down the road in the rain. But you didn't see me get soaked to
the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date.

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But you
didn't see me trying to turn right.

I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But you
didn't see me leave the road.

I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But you didn't see me.
I wasn't there.

I saw you go home to your family. But you didn't see me. Because I died that
day you cut me off.

I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family. But you didn't see me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Work Out Your Own Salvation????

Philippians 2:12-13

KJV-Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

NKJV-Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

NLT-Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.

NIV-Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

ESV-Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

NASB-So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

These words were written to the Philippians by Paul. Knowing that Paul was writing on behalf of Jesus and therefore God, and that all that comes form the Father and the Son is good for edification of all humans, let's study this as if it was said by Jesus to you or me.

He is saying that we have always obeyed Him, when He was here on Earth with us and even more so after he went back into Heaven.

Now, why is this so important? Well, as the old saying goes, "When the cat's away, the mice will play." When Jesus was here on Earth and visibly walking among people, it was easier for them to obey His teachings.

He was right there and might see them.

When He left, it became easier, as in today, to not obey His teachings fully and completely. It is hard to fathom, with these simple, limited human minds that although Jesus was crucified and arose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven-that He is also Omniscient and sees and hears all-even our thoughts.

Thus it becomes easier to dis-obey Him.

". . .for it is God who is at work in you. . ." Yes, it is God Himself that is in each of us, Working to prepare us for a better, different life on the other side of the grave.

Again, something hard for our minds to understand in its fullness. "He is in us?" you ask. Well, yes.

Just as when you create something-a crocheted blanket, or a birdhouse, or a pair of curtains a part of you is in that object. How much more so when you have created child?

God is in us as He made the first of our race from dirt and his own spit and then breathed life into them from His own Spirit. All that was passed down to each of us--those parts of God, the Creator, the Great Mystery from generation to generation.

". . .both to will and to work for His good pleasure. . ." Does this mean God imposes His Will and His definition of "good pleasure" on us? Yes and no. He will never force us to do or think what He wants or knows is best for us, UNLESS, we have willingly and knowingly submitted to His will for our lives.

" . . .work out your salvation with fear and trembling. . ." This is the tricky part. This is the part that is the hardest to comprehend. Our minds say, "But God tells us what salvation is." "He tells us what we must or must not do."

No, He does not. He gives us warnings. He tells us what He hates and abhors. He tells us the consequences of doing one thing or the other, but He never tells us we must obey.

It is a free will choice to have the fruits of this action or of that action.

So, we must make our salvation with fear and trembling.

Friday, January 14, 2011