Thursday, December 20, 2007

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

So we're leaving soon for North Dakota to visit family for Christmas. This means that I get to make peanut butter chocolate balls! I love sharing, but truth be told, I make them for selfish reasons. A lot of the goodies people put out at Christmas just aren't vegan. So here I come with a big tupperware container full of these puppies and problem solved.

Here's the recipe:

-1 jar peanut butter (the kind that separates)
-1 package of graham crackers (there are usually 3 packages per box, the Keebler original are the only vegan ones I can find)
-2 cups of powdered sugar
-1 stick of softened margarine (don't melt it, just soften it)
bunch of vegan chocolate chips (it may take a couple bags, depending on the chips)

-Crush graham crackers into almost a powder (I use a rolling pin)
-Combine graham crackers with the powdered sugar, peanut butter and margarine in a large bowl.
-Mix together with your clean hands (or a spoon) until everything is well combined and the color is consistent. The stuff shouldn't be sticky or gooey. If it is, add more crushed graham crackers.  Roll into balls about an inch in diameter. You'll probably have anywhere from 25 to 40 balls.
-Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. I use an old frying pan with some water in it and then put a sauce pan in the water. Put the chips in the sauce pan, turn the heat on low.
-Drop a ball in the fully melted chocolate. Use a couple spoons to coat the ball and then place it on a sheet of waxed or parchment paper (which is in turn laying on a cookie sheet or something else you can pick up and put in the fridge). Um ... repeat for each ball.
-Once they're all coated put them in the fridge and let them cool off for at least a couple hours. Yeah, just try to wait that long.
-Best if served directly from the fridge, since they can get a bit melty if sitting out too long. I hear using baking chocolate will take care of that problem, but I haven't tried it yet.

These freeze wonderfully.

I also made some peanut butter rice crispy bars for the second time in less than a week. The recipe for those can be found here . I didn't take any photos because, well, they're just rice crispy bars. And the photo on the page I just linked to looks pretty much how mine look.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

In the Loop

So, I didn't get to 50,000 words on the novel.

But I have a good excuse! I read an essay on Minnesota Public Radio's show In the Loop on Thursday.

The show is taped live, which means I got to read in front of a hundred-some people. I loved it. Reminded me of the stand-up comedy days of my youth.

I'm not going to tell you what the commentary is about though, you have to go here and listen (you need Quicktime, if you don't have it then you might be able to listen by downloading here). Or, if you use iTunes, you can download the podcast here.

I recommend you listen to the whole show, but if you really want to listen to my commentary it's somewhere in the middle.

But like I said, listen to the whole show. It's really good. And then when you're done and thinking about how much you enjoyed it, take the time to send MPR a quick note and let them know how great In the Loop is.