Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Christmas in September, why not? A beautiful Pearl Wreath!

The other day I was in Michael's looking for reindeer moss to make a fall wreath. They were out of the reindeer  moss. However, in wonderful strike of luck, I wandered by a tub of pearls that just called out to me! "What can I do with a tub of pearls," I wondered. So I carried the pearls around looking in every nook and cranny for the perfect project. Soon I stumbled upon the wreath making section of the store and there it was...the perfect idea. A pearl studded Christmas Wreath! So I gathered all the supplies and headed home.
The supplies I gathered were:
1- white Styrofoam wreath
1- tub of pearls ($6.99 -40% = $4.20!)
2- strands of large pearls (from the jewelry section)
1- Christmas floral pick of white/silver/clear bulbs
2- rolls of white satin ribbon
1- roll silver ribbon (optional for hanging)
Hot glue gun and glue

Here's how I did it:
1. Using hot glue, wrap white satin ribbon around the Styrofoam wreath. This will give a finished look to the sides and back of the wreath.

                                                        *Work in small sections, limiting hot        
                                                     glue usage to back of wreath if possible.

2. Separate the balls from the floral pick. Cut off the thin wire attached, leaving the base intact. Place the balls in sporadic areas around the wreath. When you get them where you want them push them into the Styrofoam.

3. Working in small sections, begin hot gluing the pearls to the top layer of the wreath.

4. When the pearls are all glued down and the wreath is complete, it is time to tie the bow for hanging. I used silver ribbon for this part of the project. If you are not confident in your bow tying capabilities this is a great tutorial: Ribbon Tying Tutorial .
So with no further adieu...
My Pearl Studded Christmas Wreath!!!!! (I actually plan to hang it in the dining room when I hang it for the holidays so that it will stick out more.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kitchen Mission: Peanut Butter Pie

Hello everyone in blog world! Today I am bringing you a wonderful Peanut Butter Pie recipe from The Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook by M.C. Barber and S.C. Whiteford. We received this beautiful cookbook from my hubby's mom last spring. It is not only easy to use and practical for the novice entertainer, but it is also pretty enough to put on display in your kitchen. Anyways, my husband has an intense love for anything chocolate-peanut butter, who doesn't? So since I was feeling rather domestic this weekend I tried out the peanut butter pie recipe from our pretty little cookbook. It turned out so great that I just had to share it with all of you! Ladies and gentlemen get your pie pans ready...

Peanut Butter Pie Sealed with Kisses
Serves 6 
30 vanilla or chocolate wafers
1/3 cup lightly salted Dry-Roasted Peanuts
2 tbls unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature ( I actually used reduced fat and no one could tell)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
18 chocolate kisses (I used chocolate covered peanuts because I did not have kisses on hand)
Chocolate syrup for drizzling

 Put the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
 For the crust:
    Combine wafers and peanuts in the bowl of the food processor, fitted with the steel blade. Process until it finely ground. Add butter (melted) and pulse a few times until butter is incorporated. With your fingers, firmly press the wafer mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan. Bake until you can smell it, approximately 15 minutes. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.

 For the filling:
    While crust is baking and cooling begin the filling. 
Put peanut butter in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer (using the whisk attachment). Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, approx. 1 1/2 minutes. When the cream is ready it will slowly fall forward when lifted by the whisk. You could also use a hand mixer for this step.

With a rubber spatula, gently stir about half of the whipped cream mixture into the peanut butter. Then transfer the mixture into the remaining whipped cream and beat on medium-high speed just until incorporated. Do not over mix.

Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread until even. Arrange chocolate kisses (or chocolate covered peanuts) around the outside edge of the filling. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Slice and serve with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. 

Good luck and happy baking!!