Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits

Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits

What’s better than chocolate?  Or peanut butter?  Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits.  This version of a favorite combination of classic flavors is creamy good and so easy to make.

This recipe calls for the cook and serve chocolate JELL-O pudding for this recipe, but to make it even easier, you could use the instant.  The cooked pudding has a smoother, richer flavor if you ask me.  You could also substitute half a tub of Cool Whip for the whipped cream.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits

  • 1 small box (4- serving size) JELL-O cook & serve pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 -1/2 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 2-1/4 tsp. meringue powder
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tblsp. milk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla


Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com First, prepare the chocolate pudding as directed on the box.  Allow the cooked pudding to cool slightly for a couple of minutes but be sure to stir it frequently to keep it from forming a skin on the top.

Place a Ziploc freezer bag in a large glass and pour the pudding into the bag.  Zip the bag shut.  Allow the excess air to escape before closing.   Leave the filled bag in the glass to continue to cool while you prepare the peanut butter layer.


Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.comChill a glass mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 – 20 minutes.   Remove from the freezer and pour 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until thickened.

Mix in 2-1/4 teaspoons meringue powderWhip until stiff peaks form.  Set this aside.Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com






In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar, the milk, and the vanilla.  Mix together until well blended and creamy.


Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com



Gently fold in the whipped cream.


Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com











Spoon the peanut butter filling into a large pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.  Set inside a large glass while you work with the chocolate pudding bag.

Cut off one tip of the Ziploc bag and pipe some of the chocolate pudding into the mini goblets or your desired mini dessert glasses.  Wait a few minutes for the pudding to cool before adding the creamy filling.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com



Next, pipe the creamy peanut butter filling over the top of the cooled chocolate pudding, reserving some for topping the next chocolate layer.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com











Add another layer of the chocolate pudding and top with a little of the creamy peanut butter filling.  Unwrap a mini Reese cup and place on top of the dessert.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


This recipe makes 6 of the mini desserts.  You can easily double the recipe if you are making 12 of the mini desserts.Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

You know I love mini desserts!  Click here for more► Mini Desserts.  This is just another adorable tasty mini treat for you to try!  Chocolate Peanut Butter creamy goodness!  Enjoy!Quick and Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Parfaits on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

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The Best Holiday Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

The Best Holiday Classic Cheese Ball Recipe

Need a really tasty classic cheese ball for this holiday season?  You need to look no further!  Searching for a good cheese ball recipe, I came across this winner on Pinterest.  Lauren from Tastes Better From Scratch shared her recipe for a classic cheese ball.  

The ingredients listed seemed to assure a flavorful appetizer.  Cheddar, Worcestershire, Garlic Powder, oregano, green onions, and hot sauce made this recipe sound like a winner.   In the last couple of years, I have made the cheese ball from another recipe and ended up adding more garlic and some other seasonings because the original recipe was too bland for our taste.  This one doesn’t need that!

The Best Holiday Classic Cheese Ball Recipe on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com


In the past, for Thanksgiving, I also formed the cheese balls into a pumpkin shape.  Each was wrapped in plastic wrap and manipulated into a round shape and pumpkin – like gores were formed with my fingers and the help of a rounded chopstick.  Thin slices of cheese accentuated the gore lines.  A thick pretzel was used as the pumpkin stem.  I also got this idea from Pinterest.Follow me here!

Last year, I saw where someone had wrapped the cheese ball in plastic wrap and used large rubber bands to make the indentations in the pumpkin shape!  Brilliant!  I have been anxious to try this new method and it worked perfectly!  I love the results!

The Best Holiday Classic Cheese Ball Recipe on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com



So, here, you can compare the two.  I definitely like the newer version better.   Shaping the cheese ball with the plastic wrap, some of the pecans got smashed into the cheeses but it still looks much better.  Don’t you think?

Instead of the pretzel, a piece of celery was used for the stem.  I’ve seen bell pepper stems used as stems, but I didn’t have any of those.  We were fresh out of pretzels, too.  Brainstorming, I came up with the celery.   

I’ve also seen the cheese squares served on a wreath of rosemary and decided to combine the two, with the cheese ball in the center surrounded by the rosemary and the cheese squares.  These were placed on a clear glass platter.  The colorful tablecloth shows through the clear glass.  Be aware that the cheese squares actually pick up some of the rosemary flavor, which is not a problem for me.  I love rosemary.

An assortment of crackers was displayed on a Wilton Armetale platter next to the cheeses. (We are an Amazon affiliate and may receive a small percentage of any sales through this link at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting this website!)  We have several pieces of Wilton Armetale and I love them all.  

We had fresh parsley on hand and instead of the teaspoon of dried parsley in Lauren’s recipe, a tablespoon of fresh parsley was used.  The bright fresh green of the parsley and the green onion added color as well as flavor.  Oh, and I doubled the recipe.  Here it is!


Classic Cheese Ball

2 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese softened
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp.Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped

With a spoon, blend the softened cream cheese and the cheddar cheese together well.  Add the chopped green onion, the Worcestershire, the hot pepper sauce, fresh parsley, garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper.  Mix well.  Shape into a ball with your hands.

Roll the ball into the chopped pecans, covering the entire ball.  Then, place on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Pull the plastic wrap up and around the ball.  Use large rubber bands wrapped around the ball to create the pumpkin – like indentations. The Best Holiday Classic Cheese Ball Recipe on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com

Refrigerate overnight or for several hours.  Then, remove the plastic wrap and insert a piece of celery for a stem.

Yes, I think this will be a great addition to our yearly Thanksgiving menu.  But, hey!  Christmas is coming and we always have appetizers all day Christmas Eve.  This holiday classic cheese ball will, undoubtedly, be on the menu then, too.

The Best Holiday Classic Cheese Ball Recipe on MyHumbleHomeandGarden.com




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Plan For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Like An Expert

Plan For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Like An Expert

November 19, 2016

   After preparing Thanksgiving meals for over forty years, how to Plan For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Like An Expert has evolved!   Of course, you can buy prepared dishes, but if you want to have homemade food, one of the keys is preparing side dishes that can be assembled a day or two before, to be baked, and or, served Thanksgiving Day.

                                   Thanksgiving Meal Plan Breakdown

►Three days before Thanksgiving

Place the turkey in the refrigerator to thaw, if you’re using a frozen bird.

►Two days before Thanksgiving

Prepare a Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Prepare the Mini Cheese Balls, (love these), or the Pumpkin-shaped Cheese Ball. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  (This year, I have found another way of shaping the cheese ball and it looks even better!  You wrap the ball in plastic wrap and use rubber bands to wrap around the ball to create the pumpkin-like indentations and refrigerate overnight. Genius!)

►The day before Thanksgiving

Prepare the Creole Green Beans. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Prepare the Sour Cream Potatoes.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the Cranberry Sauce.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

 Prepare the vegetables for the vegetable tray and store in Ziploc bags and refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the Ranch Dip, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Thanksgiving Day

At least 3 – 3-1/2 hours before the meal for a 12-16 lb. turkey.  Depending on the size of the turkey, you may have to adjust the time.  

(Check here for cooking times and instructions using Reynolds Oven Bags.)

   Bake the turkey.  We don’t stuff the bird.  We also use the Reynolds turkey oven bags, which make a moist turkey.  It takes less time to bake it without the stuffing.


   Place the giblets from the turkey, (not the liver), into a saucepan with water.  Add a teaspoon of salt, 8 – 10 peppercorns, a bay leaf, a quartered onion, celery tops, and parsley.  Heat to a boil, turn down the heat, cover, and simmer until cooked through.  Use the liquid and chopped giblets to make your favorite dressing.

   The bread maker is usually started at this time and in two hours, dough is ready to make into buns and proof for a half hour before baking for 8-minutes in the oven.  To make it easy on yourself, you can make rolls the day before or simply buy them from the bakery.

One hour before the meal.

   Place the prepared Sour Cream Potatoes in the 350° oven.  

   Prepare the Kentucky Spoon Bread.  Place in the 350° oven after the potatoes have baked for 15 minutes.

   Place the Stuffing and the Creole Green Beans in the 350° oven after the spoon bread has baked for 5-10 minutes.

      While the potatoes, green beans, and spoon bread bake, assemble the cheese ball appetizer and the vegetable tray.  


      Remove the Sour Cream Potatoes, Creole Green Beans, the stuffing, and the Kentucky Spoon Bread from the oven.  If you stagger the times you put each into the oven correctly, all should be done at the same time.


   You can use these recipes or your own, but try to find side dishes that can be prepared the day ahead, refrigerated, and baked at the same temperature on Thanksgiving Day.

Need To Enlarge The Kitchen Or Dining Room Table?

 Dixie Carter, who played Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women, had so much class.  A magazine, I don’t remember which one, published an article on her and her home.  She revealed that underneath her beautiful tablecloth and all the beautiful dishes and decor was a sheet of plywood!

   She needed her table to be larger, so she placed the plywood on top of the table and no one was the wiser!

   That is where I got the idea to do that very thing.  As our family expands, we need more space at the table. A few years ago, my oldest son helped me buy a 4′  X  8′ sheet of plywood and bring it home in his pickup truck.  (It clearly would not fit in my Mustang.) 

   Wanting the corners rounded, I placed a bowl upside down in each of the corners and drew around the bowl from where it met one edge to the other.  Then, a jigsaw was used to cut the rounded corners. 

   Before placing the plywood on the table, four silicone pot holders are placed on each corner.  This helps protect the table and it also helps keep it from sliding.  Don’t you love the silicone pot holders?

   Now, cover the board with a big beautiful tablecloth or tablecloths and no one will be the wiser.  I have three banquet tablecloths.  Two are used to overlap slightly covering the board, and also drape down the ends and sides of the table.  The third is centered on the table over top of the first two.

   If possible, add your centerpiece to the tables and set the tables the night before.  Serving dishes are not added to the tables.  To make it easier for our big gathering, the food is served on the kitchen island.

   Using the easy to make cardboard lifts and levels, the island is covered with a pretty tablecloth or two.  Use a variety of heights and sizes to display platters of food.  It adds interest and sometimes it makes serving more convenient!

    Pulling out the platters that the food will be displayed on and placing a little note with what each platter will hold help remind you of what needs to be served!  Have you ever forgotten something?  Yes, I have only to remember halfway through the meal!

   Maybe you don’t want to use the recipes my family has come to love and expect at Thanksgiving, but using this same idea, you can Plan For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving Like An Expert!


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Isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Tablescape Adorable?

Isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Tablescape Adorable?

September 26, 2016

Melted Snowman Tablescape

      Isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Decoration Adorable?  The plan for this Snowman Tablescape has been on my mind for several years.  I saw the idea for this in a magazine and sketched the idea in one of my ‘idea notebooks’.  

    The snowman hat I made in an earlier post was the beginning of this little project.  The hat ended up being about 4″ high and 7″ wide.  My first intent was to make a larger hat for this display to be used on the kitchen table.  Then, finding the corncob pipe was difficult.

   Dave remembered seeing some at the local liquor store and he picked one up for me.  Well, this little pipe is only 3-1/2″ long.  It seems to be the perfect size for this little hat!  So, the original idea was downsized a little. 

   Since we have no coal for his eyes, I found a couple of rocks and simply painted them with black spray paint.  I deliberately chose more angular rocks to look more like coal.  Coal is not smooth and round. 

   Like Frosty, he also has a button nose.  This button was one my grandmother had in her button box, which I inherited!  It coordinates perfectly with the plaid flannel fabric. 

   A couple of snowflakes were cut from white felt and added to the arrangement.  I just cut out a ‘simple’ snowflake and pinned it to the felt.  Then, cut around the snowflake pattern. 

   The scarf was made from a plaid flannel.  It was very simple to make.  You could also use a store bought one, but this is a perfect size.

 Scarf “How To”

   To make the scarf, cut a piece of fabric 8-1/2 inches wide across the width of the fabric.  The fabric is 45″ wide.  The finished scarf will be about 45″ long and 7-1/2″ wide.  This plaid fabric was woven with different colors of thread.  All I needed to do to make a straight line was to cut following one of the lines in the fabric. 

    Fold both long edges up 1/2″ and press with a steam iron.  Then fold the loose edge in half and press again.     Cut off the selvage edge on both ends of the fabric.

    Stitch 3/4″ from the end of the scarf, catching in the folded edges.  The fringe will be made by removing cross-threads.  (I waited to stitch the long hems on the side until the fringe was made.)



    After the fringe is made, edge stitch the folded and ironed 1/4″ hems on both long edges.   If you are using a regular sewing foot, here’s a trick to keep the hem flat and not puckered.  Every 3-4″, let the needle down penetrating all three layers of the fabric.  The needle holds the fabric in place.  Lift the presser foot, straighten, and re-position the fabric around the needle.  

   You should see that the bottom fabric was beginning to be pulled through the feed a little faster than the top fabric.   Using this trick will assure that both sides of the fabric will be even at the end of the stitching.

    There is a foot for your sewing machine called the ‘walking foot’, which has top feed dogs, too.  This eliminates that problem.   Have you ever had this problem?  I seriously need to buy one of those, but this trick has served me well for years!


   This display may be changed a little before Christmas Eve this year.  Thinking of adding some sticks for arms or maybe some mittens I’m planning to make from burlap.  But, seriously, isn’t This Easy DIY Melted Snowman Decoration Adorable?




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Fiesta Dinnerware A Nice Foundation For Place Settings

Fiesta Dinnerware A Nice Foundation For Place Settings

July 27, 2016

Place settings

    These beautiful square-shaped plates caught my attention at Homegoods! Imagining them set against our scarlet red Fiesta Dinnerware, I couldn’t resist!  A few years ago, I decided to buy Fiesta ware.  Of course, I started with the ‘scarlet’ Fiesta 5-piece place settings.  Each time the department store had a sale on Fiesta, I would purchase a couple of sets. 

    Because of the patriotic holidays, the cobalt blue was considered, too.   That was nixed because, with the red and white, I could just add a blue napkin.  What’s better than red, white, and blue? 


   With good intentions,  I would head to the store and that scarlet red would scream, “Buy me!”  And I did.  You know my affinity for red… We now have fourteen five-piece place settings!     


    Even though we have these red place settings, that doesn’t mean they have to be boring!   Red is actually a good neutral color!   Stacked plates look amazing!  Don’t you love the combination of the floral plates with the medium blue background against the red of the plate and the napkin?  

    Or, how about the red plate with this cute little black and white floral patterned plate?  Just imagine a coordinating plaid or polka dot plate.  I seem to be drawn to red and bold colors that go with red.  What colors speak to you?


   By mixing these basic dishes with other more colorful, and, or, patterned plates, you can create an amazing magazine-worthy table setting!   Not everyone has Fiesta dinnerware, but these same ideas can be used with whatever dishes you have!  (Yet, as you can see, you are not limited if you have colorful Fiesta ware either.)


   An easy no-fail way for choosing patterns to go with your plates is to make sure that the color of your plate is also found in the pattern you choose., Notice the square plate at the top of the post.  The red color of the Fiesta plate is actually in the pattern of the square plate.


   In the second picture, the bold black and white pattern looks amazing in contrast to the red.  Choosing a contrasting color in the same color depth is another winner.  The bold black and white against a pale soft pink or lavender plate might be too much, but a softer black or gray patterned plate would be beautiful.

    Changing the dinner plate to a bright blue chintz, adding the Fiesta scarlet salad plate, a silver charger, and a blue napkin changes the look completely!  (The red rose is from the garden!)

    Add a green lined glass plate and a ‘Fitz and Floyd’ apple plate.  You have an entirely different look!

    This fruit patterned salad plate is from the first set of dishes Dave and I bought!  I still love this set, and it looks pretty with the red plate and gold charger!  The red and gold colors are echoed in the napkin and holder.

    Here’s another completely different look using a green, gold, and black dinner plate and salad plate.  The autumn colors in the napkin coordinate nicely, but by changing out the napkin, a completely different look can be attained.


   When I spot a set of napkins marked down, I am often tempted.  If they are the right colors and the right price, I can’t say no.  Lots of the cloth napkins we have were homemade.  The fabric designs are endless and it is so easy to sew up a set of one-of-a-kind napkins in no time!  


   Isn’t it amazing how many different looks you can achieve by just adding another plate or napkin?   Even if you don’t have Fiesta Dinnerware, maybe you will look at your own dinnerware in a new light and find some of your own beautiful options!





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