Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Truffles

The other night, buy my parents, ambulance 14 year old sister (Celina), and I watched When Harry Met Sally (love that movie!).

During the movie, my mom and I were getting such a kick making Hugh Grant jokes.

“Hey, Hugh. How Hugh doing Hugh?”

Hahahaha because Hugh sounds like you?!

We thought we were really funny.

After the movie was over, it was late. My mom said to Celina, “Bedtime, it’s after midnight. You’re a Republican!”

We all stared at her. Ummm what?

And then we slowly realized that she had said, “Bedtime, it’s after midnight, you’re a pumpkin!”

But Celina and I were already cracking up. I had to tell facebook about the conversation (of course) and we were hysterically laughing and typing incoherant things. And since I was the only one logged in to facebook, it looks like I commented on my own status 20 times.

Here are some gems from that conversation:

Mom: I wasn’t TRYING to say “pumpkin,” I DID say “pumpkin.”

Me: Hugh said republican!  <-Get it!? ;)

Mom: After midnight hugh turn into a Republican. Documented scientific fact.

Me: Now Celina’s saying “snatus” whatever that is

Then another person commented saying “I may be sleep deprived too but that is sooo funny!!”

Me: you have no idea the encouragment that gave us! Que hysterical laughter

Me: hahhaaa not que, cue! <-is that even real?

Me: I used to be smart once. That’s all I have to say.

Me: Celina just unliked this post just so she could like it again. HAHAHhahahahahaahahahahaha

Now that I’ve already wasted part of your day relating this (hysterical) story, I’ll make it up to you by giving you the recipe for these truffles. I’m not crazy about these photos, but I wanted to share them because they tasted pretty yummy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Truffles

Ingredients:

3 cups pretzel pieces
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 1 cup of mini chocolate chips
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 package of chocolate bark

Directions:

  1. Crush up the pretzels in a ziplock bag in to very small pieces.
  2. Cream together the peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and brown sugar. Add the pretzel pieces and mini chocolate chips to the mixture and mix thoroughly.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop, shape the peanut butter mixture into small balls. Place the balls on a wax-lined cookie sheet. After you’ve finished with all the mixture, place the balls into the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes (or more).
  4. When you’re ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate bark until it’s completely smooth.
  5. One at a time, dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate and use a spoon to make sure it’s all covered. Repeat with all of the balls.
  6. Return the truffles to the refrigerator and chill again until the chocolate is hard (if you use chocolate bark to cover them, it should only take a couple of minutes).
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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My Week in Instagram #3 – Summer Edition

The first two weeks of my summer have been wonderful! The last day of school, malady my family and I went to Sweet Cece’s for our traditional end-of-school-ice-cream and I finally figured out why I love Sweet Cece’s more than any other ice cream shop. It’s because it’s much easier for me to make choices there! They only have 8 flavors at a time, no rx and if I can’t decide, information pills I can have more than one flavor! And I can put my own toppings on the ice cream and it’s all very low-stress.

My family went hiking last week and then went and got ice cream and that ice cream place had like 30 different flavors and mix-ins and options and it was all way too stressful. Don’t judge me….it’s just hard for me to make decisions! ;)

My family and I went bowling. I started out pretty strong and then went downhill. But my youngest sister, Ella (who is 6 years old), scored higher than everyone except my dad. She broke a score of 100! And she could barely even lift the bowling ball. What the heck???

So I can’t believe that I haven’t told you that we have a new kitty! Her name is Penny and she is tiny, cute, and such a trouble-maker. That’s her sitting on my shoulder. She hung out there a lot and slept on my shoulder the first day we had her.

See, I told you she was a trouble-maker! At dinner, she wouldn’t stop attacking our feet so she had to go in her kennel. Well it’s Fenway’s kennel…but now they have to share it ;)

This is how she fell asleep the other night. How is this comfortable??? It was really cute, though :)

Mmm fruit! I’ve been eating summer fruit a lot, especially watermelon- my family can go through a watermelon a day :)

So that’s been my summer, if you add in a whole lot of photography and photo editing! What’s the best part of your summer so far?

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Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast

I got up yesterday morning and thought “hmm I’m going to make that stuffed french toast I saw the other day.” By the time I got downstairs, grip I was thinking “eh…maybe I’ll just have Coco Crispies.” And while Coco Crispies are a completely delicious cereal, prescription I’m so glad I decided not to be lazy and made this french toast instead!

This Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast is really simple and we had all the stuff to make it on hand which is always a great thing.

I had just finished up making it and was about to eat when my littlest sister, online Ella, came downstairs. After trying it, she loved it and so I shared my breakfast with her. When my middle sister, Celina, came downstairs, the first thing Ella did was brag that she got to have french toast. So then Celina pouted because she didn’t get any french toast.

Me: You weren’t awake to have any!

Celina: You didn’t make any extra!

Me: You didn’t ask to have any.

Celina: Well youu didn’t offer!

So what did I do? I made french toast for Celina. And then another piece for Ella because she wanted some more. I think I should get some sort of good-big-sister prize ;)

We all agreed that this was the best french toast ever and Ella asked to have it for her birthday and Christmas. This is honestly better than any french toast I’ve ever had at a restaurant, and it’s really easy and fun to make! You can customize it however you want, using different berries and toppings. I think that tomorrow for breakfast (or today for dinner) you should forgo your cereal and make this instead :)

Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast
.

Makes one serving, unless you’re feeling generous enough to share.

2 slices of bread (the drier the better)
About an ounce of cream cheese (I used whipped cream cheese spread)
2-3 strawberries
Sprinkle of sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons half and half (heavy cream and milk work, too)
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Butter/PAM for frying
Powdered sugar, whipped cream, maple syrup, and strawberries to garnish
.
Directions:
  1. Take out your 2 pieces of bread and lightly toast them to dry them out (if they weren’t already dry).
  2. Spread the cream cheese on one side of each slice of bread (you may have to microwave the cream cheese to get it soft enough if you’re not using the whipped spread).
  3. Thinly slice up the strawberries and put them on one side of the bread. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on them.
  4. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, half and half, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Soak the bread sandwich in the egg on both sides until it had soaked up all the mixture.
  5. Heat a pan on medium head and spray some Pam on it. Cook the french toast until it is browned on each side.
  6. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on the toast, pour on a ton of maple syrup, and serve it to your demanding sisters :)

Enjoy!

Source: Yammie’s Noshery <- Love her!

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My Graduation :)

This past weekend I graduated from high school! The official ceremony was really nice and afterwards we had a party at my house. The entire day was perfect- I celebrated with lots of family, asthma friends, psychotherapist and teachers.

Another exciting thing about the day is that I spoke at the graduation ceremony because I was the valedictorian! I was nervous while speaking in front of the 5000 people there, thumb but people said I didn’t sound or look nervous. I hadn’t let anyone read my speech before the ceremony for several reasons. First of all, I wanted it to be a surprise, especially to my family. And I also didn’t want anyone suggesting that I change or edit parts. It’s not that I didn’t think that people wouldn’t have valid points or couldn’t improve the quality of the speech, but rather that I wanted it to simply communicate my thoughts and message. It was important to me to deliver a speech that was authentic, a speech that recognized both the faults and positive aspects of the education system. In the end, I wrote a speech I’m really proud of, and it got positive feedback from people at graduation.

Now that graduation is over, I’m sharing the speech here in case others want to read it :) I hope you had a wonderful start to your summer!

Valedictorian Speech by Amilia

Family, friends, administrators, and teachers, thank you for joining us today as we celebrate the end of one stage of life and the start of a new.

As I started thinking about what I wanted to say today and what it really meant to be the valedictorian, I read a speech given by a young woman for her valedictory address. This student, Erica Goldson*, spoke about the broken American education system and said that being valedictorian does not mean that you are “any more intelligent than [your] peers” but rather that you were simply the best at “working the system.” She asserted that the only thing students learn in school is how to memorize facts robotically and that students do not learn critical thinking skills or how to leave high school and face the outside world.

In many ways, I agree with her speech and feel that much of what she said applies to me. I am speaking here today partially because I worked very hard the past four years and made school a priority. But I am also at the top of my class because I chose classes just because they would boost my GPA, because I am good at rote memorization, and because I test well. I played the game and I succeeded. But I know that my GPA really doesn’t define me, or any of us, because class ranking does not reveal how hard a worker you are, how special you are, how smart you are, what your talents are, or what you believe in. I agree with Ms. Goldson that as students, we need to “use our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity,” and I hope that those of you who dream of becoming teachers will fight for these changes in our education system.

I know that many of you feel that you have had a similar experience to Ms. Goldson’s- that you haven’t truly learned anything the past four years and are now graduating feeling discouraged and disappointed. And to those of you who feel that way, I hope you go out into the world excited to learn and grow in a way that you weren’t able to in high school. But overall, my personal high school experience has been a positive one, and I have learned a tremendous amount because of the amazing, life-changing teachers I have been blessed to have the past four years.

Many of my teachers have invested a tremendous amount of time and energy in my classmates and me, and the life lessons they taught me will remain long after I forget how to interpret standard error, whether inverted images are real or virtual, or what the difference is between Frederick the First and Frederick William the First. A physics teacher’s excitement over rocket launches and a statistics teacher’s love of math has taught me to always be energetic and passionate about what you do. Through his stories about attending Pearl Jam concerts around the country, an English teacher taught me the importance of pushing yourself outside your comfort zone in order to find out who you are and who you can be. My conversations with another English teacher taught me the importance of always questioning what it is that you believe. A history teacher’s story Fridays showed me the impact you can have by encouraging others and by always living out your life according to your faith. These teachers, and the many other talented, inspiring ones I have been lucky to have, have made a lasting impression on my life and are one of the reasons I am confident to leave high school and face the next stage of my life.

I have heard many people say negative things about our generation- that we are lazy or entitled. And while that may be true for some, in my experience I have not found a situation where a select few define the many. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for others in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.** This class is filled with some of the most talented, most brilliant, and hardest-working people I have ever met- students who have spent countless hours perfecting paintings, memorizing monologues, practicing sports, studying, and helping others. I know students who have worked part-time jobs, multiple part-time jobs, or full-time jobs to save for college or provide for their families, students who have spent the past years, or are spending this next year, doing mission work and helping others. This class of 2012 is incredible- I am thankful that I have been lucky enough to be friends with some of you, and wish I could have gotten to know many of you better. I have high hopes for this class as we go out into the world.

In these next few years, and for the rest of your lives, I hope you find something you believe in and can have faith in- a faith you don’t hold because your family or friends do, but because you’ve questioned and searched and come out with even stronger convictions.

I hope you leave your comfort zone and meet people who are different from you- people who are of different ethnicities, faiths, and orientations. I hope that they challenge you and any prejudices you may have held.

I hope you never reach a point in your life when you think that your best years are behind you- the best years of your life are always ahead of you if you’re hopeful and refuse to fall into complacency.

In a society focused on outer image and materialism, I hope you rebel against the culture and cultivate inner beauty.

I hope you keep your family and friends close. I know that I have only gotten through life because of my supportive and encouraging family. My step-dad taught me that your past doesn’t define your future, and my mom has taught me the true meaning of strength and love. My family consists of people who may or may not be blood-related to me, but who have all had a hand in raising me and for that I will be forever grateful.

And finally, I hope that you live with passion and joy- as though the world really is going to end on December 21st. Because, as I have learned from my photography class this year, you only live once. I hope that you always live a life that you’re proud of. Thank you.

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

*Read Erica Goldson’s speech here

**1 Timothy 4:12

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Easy Peasy Ranch Dip

Hello there! Long time no see! I’ve been so busy the past couple of weeks between finishing up school, order graduating, writing speeches, throwing parties, visiting with family, and lots of other really great stuff. I’ll write more of that later but for now, I just want to share this really easy and tasty dip.

Yesterday I was at my friend’s graduation party, and her mom had made a veggie dip. She was nice enough to give me the “recipe” which ended up not being a recipe but just two ingredients mixed together. Since our oven isn’t working pretty much at all now and summer is approaching, I’m looking for lots of no-bake recipes. I made this tonight to have along with dinner (hamburgers, grilled veggies, chips, corn, watermelon :).

I loved eating this with carrots and tortilla chips!

Easy Peasy Ranch Dip

16oz sour cream

1 (1 oz) package of ranch powder

Directions:

Mix together and enjoy! Eat with veggies and chips. Refrigerate leftovers.

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