Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Outer Banks with Family

After graduation, we went out to a beach house in the OBX for a week. And by "we," I mean all of my family and all of Eric's family. It was a blast. We were really close to the beach so we spent lots of time there flying kites, boogie boarding, digging for crabs, digging in general and sitting on chairs chatting. We even spotted dolphins in the waves several times. It was awesome.
One of my favorite parts was playing games with the combined families in the beach house until late at night. It was really a great vacation and we are so lucky that our families could come out from the west to join is celebrating Eric's graduation with a sweet party!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Graduate From Law School: Check

Eric has at last graduated from law school. I am so very proud of him. We were so delighted that both our families could come out to Durham for the ceremony and an awesome beach trip afterwords. Thank you Pelfreys and Deardens for the support. We have been so blessed during our time in North Carolina. We are so very sad to leave after four wonderful years, but we are looking forward to our new adventures and what life will bring in Dallas.

Pelfrey crew
Dearden crew

Charleston, SC

After Eric finished his law classes we took a little break from packing up the apt and headed down to Charleston, South Carolina for a little two night stay. The weather was getting pretty toasty, so we spent a lot of time at the beach which was actually really fun. The water was a nice temperature which was a huge bonus for me because I love swimming in the ocean. The kids had a blast running around in the waves and digging in the sand.One of the highlights of the trip for Ethan was driving a boat. We went on a water taxi ride out in the harbor and we were the only people on board so the captain let Ethan drive the boat and honk the horn. It was pretty cute.
We also enjoyed the sun, the food and the beautiful town of Charleston. I hope to go back someday sans kids and explore a bit more in depth.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Peanut Butter Toffee Pretzel Bon Bons

I made these babies the other day after I had seen them posted on our ward's cooking website "Roast My Pig." Holy cow! These were delicious!
For your enjoyment:

*Note: to chop the pretzel sticks, I place several large handfuls of pretzel sticks in a ziploc bag, seal, and roll over the top with a rolling pin until the pretzels are crunched up well. I measure out of the bag and continue the process until I have 2 cups. These bonbons can be made up to three days in advance. The peanut butter pretzel filling can be made and formed into balls and frozen for up to 2 months before dipping.

*Makes about 10-12 dozen bonbons

8 tablespoons butter, softened to warm room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

2 cups peanut butter

1 cup toffee bits

2 cups chopped/crushed pretzel sticks

1 pound chocolate (semisweet, milk, bittersweet)

2 tablespoons shortening or butter

Toffee, chopped nuts, chocolate jimmies for garnish

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until evenly combined. Add the peanut butter and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the toffee bits and pretzel pieces by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet (12X18-inches or several smaller baking sheets) with parchment or waxed paper. Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch or so (it doesn't have to be exact) balls and place them on the lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm. At this point, the balls can be transferred to a sealed container or freezer ziploc bag and frozen for up to 2 months.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and shortening/butter together in a microwave-safe bowl or in a double boiler until completely melted and smooth (taking care not to overheat the chocolate as that can cause white streaks, bloom, to appear in the hardened chocolate).

One by one, toss a formed peanut butter/pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and using a fork, cover the ball with chocolate. Lift the covered bonbon out of the chocolate with the fork and tap the lower stem of the fork (right above where the rectangular tined fork part ends) on the edge of the bowl to let excess chocolate fall through the tines of the fork. Scrape the bottom of the fork along the edge of the bowl and transfer the covered bonbon to a parchment lined baking sheet (you can use the same baking sheet(s) used for freezing the balls if you have room). Set the bonbon very close to the parchment paper and using a second fork or butter knife, gently scoot the bonbon off the fork onto the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle your garnish of choice on the top of the wet chocolate before it sets.

Refrigerate the bonbons until ready to serve.