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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autumn in The Ozark Mountains




The Ozark Mountains and the plateau are a highland region located in central US.  This region covers the southwest section of Missouri and northwestern area of Arkansas. The Ozark Mountains are also noted in Oklahoma, and in Kansas.   The wooded foothills and ridges are many and if you enjoy touring off trail you will view magnificent peaks, valleys and spectacular waterfalls, white water rivers, streams and creeks.  

Autumn in the Ozark Mountains is a real treat for a nature lover.  The weather is ideal as the average temperature is 70 degrees during the day and 50 at night.  The warm days and cool nights  makes it ideal for spending time outdoors; touring botanical gardens, attending state fairs, hiking in the countryside, taking float trips, horseback riding  or working in the yard.  

The season autumn is my favorite time of the year as I enjoy being outdoors and taking photographs.  Here are some of my favorite photos and gifts that I designed from my photographs.  All were captured on a sunny Indian summer day in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozark Mountains.



Scenic Autumn Water view
Scenic water view at lake of the Ozarks


Vintage Homes with Oak Trees
Scenic fall foliage in Ozark Mountains Missouri

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Balls - Candy Recipe



This scrumptious chocolate candy recipe is from my mom’s recipe book.  In the autumn season a few weeks before Thanksgiving my mother would start to make an assortment of sweets.  She would fill up decorative holiday tins with chocolate candies and set them aside. These candy tins would then be handed out to coworker, neighbors and friends as seasonal gifts of care and to say thank you.  

Chocolate candy is always well received when you add to a dessert tray at an autumn open house.  These nutty chocolate balls also make a nice afternoon snack with a cold glass of milk

You will need:
1 cup of semisweet chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 cup sifted powder sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
½ cup flaked coconut for recipe
½ cup flaked coconut for garnish
½ cup chopped peanuts

Instructions for chocolate peanut balls
  Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy
In a heavy medium sized saucepan melt the chocolate and the butter, heat at low.  Stir the chocolate sauce so that it does not burn.  When the chocolate is melted remove the pan from the heat and let it set until it is warm to the touch but not hot.
Using an electric mixer beat the egg into the chocolate until the batter is smooth.  Add the sifted powder sugar and fold into the chocolate mixture with spoon.   

Add the vanilla and mix into the batter. Stir in the coconut and the peanuts.  Using a spoon mix all of the ingredients well.


Chill the chocolate candy mixture in the refrigerator for one hour.  Take a teaspoon of the candy mixer and using your hands roll the candy into a one inch ball. 
Add ½ cup of flaked coconut to a zip lock bag.  Set the rolled chocolate candy ball in the bag of coconut and gently toss.  Garnish the outside of the nutty candy ball with the flaked coconut.

Set the candy ball on a baking sheet. Refrigerate the chocolate peanut balls for one hour before serving.  This recipe makes 30 pieces of candy.

Tips:
This is an easy recipe that you can make with your children.  Candy making is a fun activity for a cool autumn day.

Store candy in an air-tight container in a cool dry place and it will keep for several weeks.

Learn how to melt chocolate by viewing this YouTube video:

 Other chocolate and peanut candy recipes:



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chocolate and Pecan Turtle Candy Recipe





Milk chocolate and pecan turtle candy clusters
When the autumn weather starts to turn cool I start to think about baking and making candy for the upcoming holiday parties.  I like to make cookies, fudge and chocolate turtle candy.  

When I was a child my mother showed me how to make the chocolate pecan turtles and I would make the candy for my friends at school.  Everyone loves the chocolate and pecan candy and always asked me for the recipe.  

Share this recipe with your children and make candy today.  I know you and your family will think the candy is delicious. 



Recipe:
Gather your ingredients for chocolate turtles

1 14-ounce bag of vanilla and chocolate caramels
½ cup of butter
2 cups of pecan halves
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
2 cookie sheets that are covered with wax paper
Heavy medium sized sauce pan

Instructions:

Step 1
Remove the plastic wrappers from all of the caramels and put them in a heavy saucepan. Heat the pan at low and cook the caramels with the butter.  Stir as the camels and butter melts.
Step 2
Set 4 of the pecans grouped together on the wax paper.  Make up 36 groupings of the pecan halves.  These grouping should be spaced two inches apart.
Step 3
Drop the Caramel mixture by the teaspoonful over the pecans and let cool on the wax paper. The candy cluster is cooled when the caramel is firm.
Step 4
For the top part of the candy you will need to melt the chocolate.  (See video bellow)
Spread the melted chocolate over the caramel and pecan candy.  Set the cookie sheets of the chocolate turtle candies in the refrigerator to chill until the chocolate is firm.   Remove the candy from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.  This recipe makes 36 candies.

Learn how to melt chocolate by viewing this YouTube video: