Friday, April 20, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Nilla Wafer Peanut Butter Sandwiches

When you have eaten your fair share of a Costco sized box of Nilla Wafers and are looking for something to change it up, this recipe will do the trick! Not that I know from experience or anything... but just saying ;) This recipe goes against all traditional methods of dealing with the Nilla Wafer. No pudding, whipped topping, or bananas involved. And the best part? It's beyond easy! Make it up, eat up, and Nilla it up :)

Chocolate Dipped Nilla Wafer Peanut Butter Sandwiches
Recipe by Angela Atkins


40 Nilla Wafers
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips


Beat peanut butter and powdered sugar in small bowl until combined. Spread 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter mixture on flat side of one cookie. Place another cookie flat side down to sandwich the peanut butter mixture. Do this with remaining cookies to create a total of 20 sandwiches. Next, melt the chocolate chips in microwave at increments of 30 seconds stirring in between until all chips are melted and smooth. Dip each sandwich in melted chocolate shaking off excess. (I found it easiest to drop the cookie in the bowl, cover it with chocolate using a spoon, and then pick up the cookie with said spoon tapping gently on the bowl to remove excess chocolate.) Place on wax paper to cool... Or eat it if you like a warm chocolate mess. I say rules are meant to be broken... especially in the kitchen ;)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vanilla Milk

Looking for a simple and delicious nightcap? Then look no further! Warm milk is not only relaxing, but good for the bones. This warm treat is especially tasty in the Fall and Winter months. However, that doesn't stop me from enjoying it year round. My mom always made warm Vanilla Milk for my sister and I growing up and as an adult I make it all the time for myself! Okay, okay... there are times I ask my mom to make it for me when I am at her house, but I am just trying to keep her connected to my childhood, like any thoughtful daughter would. Ladies and gents, put down your wine and try this before bedtime :)

Vanilla Milk


1 C milk
1 t Vanilla
Sugar to taste (I think about 1.5 t is perfect)


Pour milk and vanilla into sauce pan and heat over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, depending on how hot you like your milk. Stir occasionally - being careful not to scorch your milk! Once warm, add sugar and stir.

Personally, I then like to let mine sit for a few minutes to get that "skin" on top (kind of like warm pudding does). It adds character to the drink ;)

* This recipe has not been tested with soy/rice or other non-dairy "milks."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Walking A Mile or Two In Her Shoes

There is a young lady in town who works at a restaurant Jeremiah and I frequent. We have seen her walking to and from work for the last couple years. She walks in heat, snow, wind, rain and all the elements we encounter in the Tri-Cities. She has an obvious disability and walks with a limp. She does not have a vehicle and the walk is well over 2 miles from the farthest point we have seen her to her place of employment. She is always friendly and working hard when we see her and has even worked her way up to a management position. This young lady could use every excuse in the book and live off of disability, but has chosen to persevere and live a "normal" and fulfilled life. It is clear that she has not let any of her physical or material set backs affect her getting to work and being a productive, hard working, pleasant member of society. Despite the fact that she must try twice as hard as the rest of us just to get to work, then stand on her feet all shift, and has faced obstacles many of us will never experience she has not let her body defeat her. I find this inspiring! Have you let your body, mind, or lack of material means defeat you? Do you listen to the aches, pains, thoughts, worries, insecurities, illnesses, lack of "things", or haters (I know I laughed when I used that word, too)? It can be hard to ignore those things, but when I see others can do it I know we all can. And the more we do it, the easier it will get.

When I think of people I know who are healthy, able bodied, and have no visible signs of a physical or cognitive impairment, yet who don't work I am stunned. I am not referring to people laid off who can't find work right now. I am referring to those who have no desire to work or look for every excuse to not get a job. Most people would rather be doing something more fun than working everyday, but there comes a sense of pride and fulfillment contributing to society and being able to live off your own means. We all have difficulties in life that make some days very hard to go to work. Having IC makes getting through the work day very hard when I don't feel well. But when I see people who don't let their set backs in life stop them from living I am inspired and motivated... and even more disappointed with those who don't try harder or care about the way their lives are going. Whether or not we let our excuses control us and ruin our full potential is up to us. Before thinking you can't do something, or simply choose not because of laziness or fear, try walking 2 miles in the shoes of someone with a disability. Thank God for your life and what you have been given. Life could have given you a much tougher deck of cards. I pray you don't have to learn the hard way to appreciate your life. I find this young woman's accomplishments to be far more inspiring than those I know who have a graduate degree or run their own business. In the words of America's icon Oprah, "You go girl!"

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed."  - Booker T. Washington