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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Very Pink of Perfection

In the pink.

" An expression of the perfect condition... especially health."

It seems from the time of birth, a little girl is surrounded by the color pink!

She sees it everywhere! She is dressed in pink ruffles and lace

and bombarded with pink icons.

Long ago, I remember my parents surprised me one spring day.
I came home from school on my 9th birthday to find my room completely remodeled in pink. 
 Pink chenille bedspread, pink dotted swiss sheer ruffled pullbacks
on the windows and a pink swag lamp in the corner.
I was in "little girl heaven".

And as I grew older, the color pink came to symbolize everything beautiful and feminine.

But the color pink is not just juvenile.

It is classic.
Miley Cyrus said, "Pink isn't just a color, it's an attitude!"

Maybe she is right. 
 Pink is a sexy and sophisticated color that grows with the girl into womanhood.

Who coined the phrase, "Pink is the new black?"

or how about just pink and black?
That does it for me.

The late Alexander McQueen was quoted as saying he was "the pink sheep of the family."

I guess pink IS the new black.

“The tones of gray, pale turquoise and pink will prevail.”
 Christian Dior

May it be so.

“Yeah, baby! I didn't get to keep the pink baby doll outfit,
but I wish I did because people are always telling me
 I should wear it."

-Austin Powers

I believe in manicures.
 I believe in overdressing.
I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick.

I believe in pink.

I believe that loving is the best calorie burner.
I believe in kissing.

I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.

I believe that tomorrow is another day

and I believe in miracles."
- Audrey Hepburn

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentines Day....just another excuse for eating Chocolate...

As if we need another excuse!

Actually, this started out as an experiment- or a quest, if you will.

I had tried other recipes for peanut butter cups, but they never tasted quite right. My husband said they just weren't "peanutty" enough and I was determine to get it right.  So like the proverbial mad scientist, I went back to the kitchen, determined to make a more "peanutty" peanut butter cup!!

After a couple of tries, I made some ingredient adjustments and came up with this recipe. I recommend you use a high quality milk chocolate, but it must be tempered. However, if tempering chocolate seems too intimidating, you can use milk chocolate flavored candy melts.
Jacque's Peanut Butter Cups

1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup peanut butter
2  Tablespoons softened butter
dash salt
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 cups powdered sugar
Melted Milk chocolate ( tempered)

Grind peanuts very fine in a blender or processor. In a bowl, Mix together  ground peanuts, peanut butter, butter, salt and brown sugar. Add Powdered sugar and incorporate until you have a nice dough, about the same feel as a pastry dough. 

If it is too crumbly, add more peanut butter. If too soft, add more powdered sugar.
Roll out on a silicone mat or wax paper about 3/8" thick.

 Using a 3/4" circle cutter, cut out patties and set aside.

Use only what you need. Wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Fill a medium sized Peanut Butter Cup mold  almost half full with milk chocolate.

Using a stiff artist brush, paint the chocolate up the sides of the molds.

Place peanut pattie in each cup. 

Drop enough chocolate over the top of the patties to fill cups.
 Lightly tap mold on counter to remove bubbles. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.

Pop out of mold (and into mouth.)
No! No... I up these delectable delights for that special person in your life.

So again we have the perfect couple. Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Ahhhhhh!
Happy Valentines Day!
Photography and Tutorial by Jacque Benson 2010- All Rights Reserved
This material may not be copied without permission from the author.

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A stranger you were once.
Then, with a gentle look you took my hand.
As our lives engaged,
you lit my life and I held both your hands.
Now that decades have passed,
ours souls have indeed become one.
How fortunate we are
that we have found the love so true
that everyone dreams about.

- Laura Veronica Merodio -