Ring In "The New Year" with "Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Fudge"

I've been invited to an early New Years Eve gathering for our neighbors on Saturday, and everyone was asked to bring something simple.  Finger foods, both savory or sweet.
"Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Fudge"  
Now that sounds good to me!

The recipe is very simple to make.  I used little paper cups, rather than a pan for the Fudge.  
A bag of Dark Unsweetened Chocolate Chips, a cup of Peanut Butter, a stick of Unsalted Butter, a large teaspoon of Vanilla,  a half cup of Powered Sugar and just a few tablespoons of half and half. Place sauce pan into a double boiler. I used a larger pot with about 5" of water.   Bring all to a roaring boil.  Remove from the heat and in about 5 minutes  stir in as many nuts as you like, I used about a half cup of chopped walnuts.

I also put a few mini marshmallows in  the cups before spooning in the Chocolate Fudge.

These little single serving portions make it so much easier when giving as a gift.  No fuss and no mess, especially at a party.

I'm a lover of Peanut Butter cups and this recipe is really wonderful.
I've been thinking how fast this past year has flown by.  It's going to be a New Year soon.  I for one am so pleased 2012 is coming.  After three years, in middle of  the So. Pacific, my daughter and her family will be coming back to the states to live and this makes grandma so happy!  A  3 or 4 hour flight to visit them is so much better than 22 hrs on 3 planes. 
(and that does not count lay-overs)

It will indeed be a
"Happy New Year"

I'd like to wish all my bloggie friends a wonderful New Year ahead.

I'm linking up to

Saturday Night Special


Looking Back To All My Projects In 2011 . . .

Looking back, I sure was busy in 2011.  I must have had home projects going on 10 of the 12 months.

The Kitchen was completely re done,
Built a Faux Fireplace,
Built two Desks,
New Flooring for the entire downstairs,
Created a Front Porch,
Numerous crafty projects.

I look at the photos of the "Before Kitchen" and still ask myself, "Did I do that?"

The kitchen today.

Then both Mr. N and I needed a desk for ourselves and the lack of space caused me to get my creative juices flowing.  I could not find two desks to fit anywhere in the house, so I simply built both of them.  My laptop desk was built in an odd space behind the kitchen dishwasher cabinet.  It's now my favorite space to do my PC work and I have somewhere to store my purse each day. 
Mr. N is very happy with his space. Now he can find 'his' stuff and not insist "I tossed it".


Then there was the Fireplace and new Flooring I've been wanting forever.

My final project for 2011 was my new Front Porch.
That was a fun messy project.
Now I can sit and watch the world go by and no longer have the snakes and puddles in the mud.



Thinking back to 2011 puts a smile on my face for so many reasons.   My Cardio Doc is  happy to see me each 3 month check up, when he really did not expect me to live this long.

This was indeed a busy, happy, healthy year!

"Bring on 2012" 
It's going to be even better!
 * * * * *

 I'm linking up to



"How to Salvage a Holiday Disaster"

Did you ever have to choose from 'tossing it' or 'fixing it'?
My Christmas Pumpkin Pie was one of those disasters that was very upsetting to me, but I chose to 'fix' it rather than put it down the garbage disposal.  It took two cans of pumpkin and other ingredients and would have been such a waist!
I'll tell you what I did, or rather, did not do. 
I forgot to put in the sugar!
I started out as a Chef years ago.  It got to where I cooked and baked so much I had no need to read a recipe or measure the ingredients.  Well,  I forgot the Sugar and luckily I was the one to take the first bite of my bitter Pumpkin Pie. After making my apologies for not serving the pie, (I did not offer a reason to my questioning guests)  I put it aside and offered a substitute dessert.
That night I did the repair work needed to the pumpkin mixture and added the missing sugar.

All I did was whip a cup of sugar into the pumpkin mixture.
The crust had to go.  

My sister asked "why are you tossing the crust"?  Well, I can't really put the updated Pumpkin in that soggy crust and rebake it.  The Chef in me needed to make a new one.

I baked the new pie for about 30 minutes, just long enough for the sugar to incorporate into the mixture and gave the crust time to get flaky.
It worked!
I was able to salvage this Pumpkin Pie after all.
I wonder how many people had such a disaster happen during their Holiday Meal?

Tomorrow I'll be making a really good cheese cake to bring with me to a New Years party and I'll be sure to list the ingredients on paper before I put it into the oven.

New Years 2012 is just a few days away. 
Where did the 2011 go?

I'll be linking this post to



A Few of my Christmas Gifts, and my First (and only) Gift Exchange. . . .

One of the wonderful Christmas gifts I received.  
What could this be?
(more on it later)

Although Christmas was pretty quiet this year, I had a great time talking to the kids on Face Time and the phone.  My sister and I both spent most of Christmas Eve tracking Santa on the Norad site. I know it was all fairy tale but
when Santa was delivering  his load of gifts to my grandsons in Guam I had tears in my eyes!

 My thanks to all the military men and women who manned the computers to allow us to use this great tool!

On Christmas morning, I lit  the fireplace, turned on the Christmas tree lights and put on Christmas music.  It really felt nice to be celebrating with my sister and husband.  Then we exchanged gifts and opened those sent from the kids.
When I opened my gift from my sweet sister all I could do was say, "What is it"?
then when I looked further into the paper work a large smile came upon my face.

It's a solar light for the garden.
I hung it on the front tree and waited for the darkness to fall.  
Wow, is all I could say. 
Now I want more for my back yard!

How cute is this!

Thank you Dolly, I so love this beautiful light

My Son and Daughter-in-law in Juneau sent me another great garden toy.  A light house wind chime, from Maine.  
It actually sounds like a buoy.

Thank you Tom, Michelle and my sweet grand daughter Eve.

I received so many nice gifts from family and friends but there is another that put a big smile on my face... this one I'm in love with.  Single serve coffee pot from my daughter Cyndi.  She took the hint way back in November and really heard me talking while we were shopping one day.
(don't you love it when they listen to you?)

Thank you Cyn!

Mr. N gave me something very special.  I've been wanting a good, right hand, middle finger ring and he really took the hints way back when.  The ring he pick out was a beautiful white gold,  imbedded with diamonds and quite lovely.
I needed to take it to be sized.
Of course my sister and I had to go to see all the sales the day after Christmas, but first I made a stop at the Jewelry store.   As I was talking to the Jeweler all his rings kept coming into view and I spotted  one that really made me happier.

Blue Sapphires are my favorite stone, and there it was just begging me to exchange Mr. N's ring for it.  "What do I do", is all I could say to myself?  Then the Jeweler told me it was $200.00 less than my new ring.   
I tried to rationalize my decision by telling myself how Mr. N would love that I saved him that much money.
My ring will be ready in a week or so and I can't wait! 

Christmas is such a wonderful time.  It's amazing how we Christians hustle and bustle around trying to get our gift shopping finished.  Oh, the pressure we put on ourselves.  But, when Christmas day arrives and we see the joy and pleasure on the faces of our loved ones, it's all worth it!
Well, except when we spend much too much money!  
I'm one of those women who shops for Christmas all year long.  Today I went to Michaels after Christmas sale and stocked up on wrapping paper, ribbon, a few new ornaments and craft kits for my grandsons, for next Christmas.  70% off all, and that is how I save money.  The gifts, I shop all year.  When I'm in a store in February and see something for one of my family members, at a good price, I buy it and store it in the back of my closet.  By the time November rolls around, I'm just about finished.

Now it's all behind us for another year.  We will ring in the New Year in a few days and start anew.  
I wanted to close by thanking all who thought of me this Christmas and to let you all know how much I love you!

(Just to let you know, when I came home and told Mr. N what I did, he was fine with it.  
"If it made you happy then it's ok"  Thank you Mr. N.)


I'm linking up to the after Christmas party