Sunday, September 15, 2013


   This recipe was found at www.dinnerwiththedonnells.blogspot.com .  This is a quick and easy party dessert, almost like a truffle without some of that extra work.

Oreo Balls!!

Many of you may have had these before, but for those who haven't, YOU ARE MISSING OUT!! A few years ago at Bunco, my friend Melissa brought these and I was instantly in LOVE! They are insanely easy to make and will literally fly off the plate. If you need to take a dessert or a snack somewhere, take these...they are always a big hit!


Oreo Balls

1 package Oreo Cookies

1 block cream cheese, softened

1 package Chocolate Almond Bark or Bakers Chocolate Baking Squares

***I halved the recipe this time around, so that is why everything looks smaller. :)

Place Oreo Cookies in a baggie and smash until it is the consistency of dirt.

Mix softened cream cheese into smashed cookies.

This is what it will look like when the cream cheese is mixed in:

Form into balls. (I like to put mine on wax paper.)

Melt chocolate according to package directions in microwave.

Cover balls in chocolate.

Place in refrigerator.


A view of the inside...


    Black cats have been the subject of much fear and superstition for centuries. Depending on the part of the world you lived in, and the time in history in which you lived, they could be associated with evil, demons, illness, prosperity, luck....even a storm at sea. Superstitions about these cats still remain, and unfortunately they sometimes become the objects of fear.
    The color black was ( and still is, to an extent) associated with mystery, darkness and evil. Cats that were totally or mainly black were therefore often associated with witches. As a result, many a poor woman was burnt at the stake or drowned in the local river in the Middle Ages in Britain, and her pet cat was often burned or drowned along with her.

    Some people believed these cats were demons, or a form of the devil, in disguise, so the woman who owned the cat must therefore be a witch. Others believed that the cats aided witches in performing black magic. Some thought they were actually witches in disguise, and even believed they could fly on a broom.
    In addition to the witch association, the black cat is the subject of many more curious beliefs, which are sometimes completely different depending which part of the world you're in.
    In ancient times, Druids believed these cats were humans, reincarnated as cats as a punishment for evil deeds they'd committed in a past life. In the Middle Ages, in Germany, it was believed that if a black cat jumped on the bed of a sick person, then the person would die. In Finland, they were believed to carry the souls of the dead to the

afterlife. In 18th and 19th century England, fishermen's wives kept these cats because they believed this helped to keep their husbands safe at sea. If one ran in front of a sailor as he walk up a pier, this would bring him good luck. However, if it crossed his path, it meant bad luck. At this time, cats were carried on ships to keep rats and mice at bay. If a black cat was thrown, or accidentally fell overboard, this was believed to bring bad luck in the form of a terrible storm. Interestingly, in England, Scotland and Australia today, a black cat crossing your path is supposed to be lucky. But if you live in Ireland, most of the rest of Europe, India or America it's meant to be bad luck!


  A ghost ship is a ship that is haunted, has been abandoned at sea with no evidence of its crew (or with its crew dead on board), a ship that apparently "haunts" a specific area or various combinations of the above. There are many ghost ship stories in history. Some of them seem to be easily explained, others, not so much. You see, ghost ships are not always related to claims of hauntings, there are some, like the Mary Celeste, that are simply mysterious. Here are three of the most famous ghost ships in history and descriptions of what make them ghost ships.

Famous Ghost Ships: The SS Queen Mary

    The SS Queen Mary started her life as a cruise liner. However, when World War II broke out, she was commissioned as a personnel carrier. While acting in this capacity, the Queen Mary struck the HMS Curacoa off of the coast of Ireland. It was an accident that was caused by the ship's defensive maneuvers, which were being undertaken to avoid German U-boats. After World War II, the SS Queen Mary was turned into a hotel ship. She also reportedly became a ghost ship.
    Numerous ghosts have supposedly been sighted on the SS Queen Mary. One ghost is of a woman who reportedly drowned in the ship's pool, another is of John Pedder, a man who was crushed to death in one of the ship's mechanical doors. The most terrifying ghostly apparition that people have claimed to bear witness to, are the ghostly screams of the crew of the HMS Curacoa.

Famous Ghost Ships: The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste was a merchant ship that was found floating aimlessly by the crew of the Dei Gratia in 1872. None of the crew or passengers were on board. All of the ship's cargo and all of the passenger and crew's personal belongings were still on board. The only thing that was missing was the lifeboat. Neither the lifeboat nor the crew was ever found. No satisfactory explanation has been given for their disappearance either.
The ship was still in seaworthy condition, except for some water that had made its way in (by unknown means) and a few torn sails. This damage probably took place after the crew and passengers left, but even if it had not, the crew would hardly have been stymied by these minor problems. This mystery is what makes the Mary Celeste a ghost ship.

Famous Ghost Ships: The Flying Dutchman

    The name "Flying Dutchman" is synonymous with ghost ships. The name comes from that of a ship that was reportedly lost off of the Cape of Good Hope in 1641. It was captained by Captain van der Decken and was sailing home from Holland after spending some time trading in the east. The ship got caught in a storm which threw her up against the rocks and damaged the hull irreparably.
    A probably sensationalized version of the story says that Captain van der Decken kept trying to sail the Flying Dutchman, even though she was obviously doomed. The story goes on to say that his final words before sinking into the ocean with his ship were "I will round this Cape, even if I have to keep sailing until doomsday." (He obviously didn't say this in English)
    Since that time, there have been countless supposed sightings of the Flying Dutchman and her crew. Some of these sightings involve military personnel on board navy ships. Others involve civilians and/or civilian sailors. It is said that if you spot the Flying Dutchman, you are doomed to die shortly thereafter.
   Some of these stories may very well stem from the active imagination of people out at sea. There is no denying that the ocean can be a very scary place and that when people are scared, their minds can play tricks on them. Despite the questionable nature of hauntings, ghost ships have found a permanent place in maritime history, whether they are factual accounts of mysterious ships, or hearsay accounts of maritime hauntings.