Oreo Truffles

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Oreo Truffles have been trendy and popular on Pinterest for years, yet I have never made them until now!  The outside of these adorable desserts is a creamy almond bark shell, and the inside is a moist, yummy Oreo filling!  It’s almost like taking a bite of oreo cookie dough! Lainey and I are hosting our first annual Mother/Daughter Cookie Swap this weekend, and Oreo Truffles will be her contribution.  (Maddie and I hosted this party for years in Arkansas, and it remains a highlight of her elementary years!)

Oreo Truffles can be made well in advance and frozen, so they are the perfect treat for when you know you will be pushed for time but still need something homemade and fun!

Oreo Truffles

1 pkg regular Oreos
1 block cream cheese, softened completely
16-18 oz vanilla almond bark (8-9 squares)
½ t. Crisco (to thin almond bark, if necessary-optional)
Sprinkles, crushed candy canes, crushed oreos, etc. for topping (optional)

Spread a sheet of wax paper onto a large cookie sheet before you get started.

In a food processor, pulse oreos until they are all fine crumbs.  If you do not have a food processor, place oreos in a large Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin until they are fine crumbs.

Pour crumbs into a separate bowl and add softened cream cheese.  With the back of a spoon, combine crumbs and cream cheese, pressing down into bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened.  Form 1-inch balls and place onto the wax paper. *Tip: Make the balls smaller than you think they should be.  Remember the almond bark will harden and increase the size of the truffle a good bit). Freeze truffles at least one hour or even overnight, as the dough will not hold the melted almond bark if it is not cold enough. This also gives you the option to do some of the work ahead of time!

When you are ready to coat the truffles, melt the almond bark according to the package directions, adding ½ t. Crisco. Remove the truffles from the freezer and set up a separate cookie sheet or flat surface covered with a large sheet of wax paper.  Now you are ready to dip the truffles in the candy coating!

The easiest way to coat the truffles is to rest each one a fork and lower it into the melted almond bark.  Gently lift the truffle out and tap the fork on the side of the bowl to allow excess almond bark to drip back into bowl.  Transfer truffles onto wax paper by placing end of fork onto cookie sheet and wriggling the truffle gently onto the paper.

Sprinkle your desired toppings on each individual truffle as soon it comes of the melted almond bark.

Refrigerate truffles to set the almond bark coating.  It is optional, but I think these are best served cold!

Printable Recipe

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OreoTruffle1

Simple Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

SimpleSalmonCreamyDillSauce
If you are a salmon-lover like me, you will love this simple version topped with a delicious, creamy dill sauce! My husband is allergic to fish (not shellfish, thankfully!), so for most of our marriage, I’ve given up preparing fish at home. We were craving shrimp recently and stopped by a local seafood market, Indianola Fresh Market.  If you live in Oxford, it’s well-worth a visit! The salmon was so beautiful, we couldn’t pass it up!  I was a little pushed for cooking time that night, and stumbled upon post after post of Pioneer Woman’s instructions for perfect, embarrassingly-easy salmon.  Whip up a quick batch of dill sauce, and you have most of your dinner prepared!

Simple Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

Salmon Filets
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Lemon wedges for table

Dill Sauce:

1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 T. chopped fresh dill
1-2 t. prepared horseradish (I omitted)
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1/4 t. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Drizzle each salmon filet with olive oil, coating entire filet.  Sprinkle both sides of filets with salt and pepper.  Arrange filets on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Place baking sheet in a COLD oven, then turn oven on to 400°.  Bake for exactly 25 minutes.  Remove perfect salmon from your oven!

To make dill sauce, mix all ingredients well and refrigerate before serving.

Serve each filet with dill sauce and a lemon wedge.  Garnish with fresh dill sprig, if desired.  Enjoy!

Printable Recipe
SimpleSalmonCreamyDillSauce

First Day of School…for Moms

First Day of School '14
With the addition of social media to our world, we all now get the privilege of seeing all the adorable Back-to-School photos of friends near and far.  I particularly love all these photos, as they are truly mile markers in our lives as families, as kids, as parents. As a mama who has experienced years and years of “First Days of School,” I now know there are many stories behind the fresh tennis shoes, new backpacks, and front door smiles.

For some of us, it is pure, 100%, unadulterated relief that the kids are back at school.  I read an hysterical post on Facebook last week from friend who admitted singing “I Got One Less Problem Without You” as she dropped each child off.  Dying!  For some, it’s a start of a complete new season of life…sending the first or the last child to kindergarten or college.  Tears of relief and grief and joy.  For others, perhaps it is a returning to work after being at home for years or off for the summer.

If you are mom of school-aged kids, no matter their age, the first day marks the beginning of a new chapter, another year passed, another inch closer to launching them into the world.  And it’s so many emotions for a mom…exciting, terrifying, joyous, sad, lonely, yet connected in spirit to mamas everywhere.

For me this particular year, our “first day” today was good.  Just really good. And I rejoice, because past years have been so difficult for me. Today, I did not come home and “go to pieces,” as my mom calls it:), all three kids were ready on time (miracle), they all walked themselves in (out of necessity since David was out of town), and none of my kids were “brand new” to their school district, friends, and Oxford. Thank.You.Lord.  Nobody wants a repeat of moving to a new town and starting school 4 days later ever again like last August.  Not recommended to a worst enemy.

I know for some of you out there, though, the recent “First Day of School” was or is going to be really, really difficult.  I’ve been there.  And I promise it gets easier. Especially if you are sending your first to kindergarten…or your last to kindergarten. I can’t speak to college send-off, but I am reading posts from veteran mamas who assure us that we’ll survive that, too.  I have been praying this morning for all of us mamas…for God to reach down and rain down His grace for where we think we’ve not done enough, for tender mercy when it’s just plain hard, for comfort if we grieve them leaving, and renewed strength and energy if we’re singing Ariana Grand lyrics today.

Here’s to another “First Day of School” in the books!!

I’d love to hear what the “First Day of School” is like for you and yours.  Have a great week.

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad Main
I was sitting at the pool recently with my sweet friend, Anna Dabbs, and we agreed that deep into summer, it becomes harder and harder to want to cook, especially with the temps so hot!  The thought of heating up your kitchen when it’s sweltering outside…boo!  Anna mentioned a cold pasta salad that her family has loved for years, and I gave it a try the next week. If you love Greek flavors, this pasta salad is for you! Below is the base for the dressing, but you can make additions to suit your taste! Enjoy!

Greek Pasta Salad

16 oz pasta (colored rotini or your choice)
4-6 green onions, chopped fine
2 oz. jar chopped pimiento (I chop even smaller from jar)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. mayo
2 T. Cavenders Greek Seasoning
1 can petite diced tomatoes

Optional additions:  Shredded Rotisserie chicken, crumbled feta cheese, olives, etc.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients with pasta.  Add any additional ingredients to suit your taste. Wal-Mart carries my favorite Rotisserie Chicken-Traditional flavor.  I shredded roughly half the meat from one chicken.

Chill overnight or at least a few hours before serving to allow flavors to marry.

If you prefer a sweeter version of pasta salad, be sure to try this Summer Pasta Salad that is an all-time favorite from my sister.

I’d love to hear from you if you have a favorite cold pasta salad to share!  Happy last days of summer!