Peanut Butter


That was the question we were asking ourselves when Kayte came up with this week’s theme – Your Hearts Desire.Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  The day for lovers.  The day for flowers.  The day for Chocolate!!  Well not for Kayte!! 

 I thought long and hard and decided it wasn’t a food that was my Heart’s Desire.  It was The Man in my life.  HE is my heart’s desire.  We’ve been married 43+ years.  We’ve had hard times and great times.  I almost lost him once.  Do. Not. Want. To. Do. That. Again!  So because of him it was easy to choose a recipe for this week.  Why?  Because his favorite small sweet treat is Peanut Butter Cookies.  And since I deny him almost nothing when it comes to food that is what I made. 

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These were good.  Very good.  It is the first time I have made PB cookies with natural PB.  I usually use the name brand stuff.  You know the ones –  with lots of sugar.  Sugar we don’t need.  And while the recipe did call for 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup regular {for which I subbed in 1/4 cup Splenda and a dash of Stevia}  they didn’t need the extra sugar in the PB.  Don’t get me wrong, we love PB and eat it with jelly on sandwiches.  Or melted over ice cream or chocolate cake.  Or out of the jar!!! But we know the extra sugar is bad for us.

Make these cookies.  They will be your faves.  Crunchy! Full of PB flavor (DUH!).  Trust me on this one.

The recipe is on page 260 of Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix.  130 calories in 2 cookies.  2 gm fat.  14 gm cholesterol and 14 mg of fiber.

What, or who, is the Heart’s Desire for the rest of the EwE Group? Visit Eating with Ellie and see.

How many times have I said that Cheesecake is my fave dessert?  Probably more times than you want to hear.  When the theme of Divine Desserts came up I knew exactly what I was making.

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PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE TART WITH PEANUT PRALINE

Cheesecake.  Peanut Butter.  Praline.  YES!!  Super simple to make.  A nice chocolate cake/cookie bottom piled high with whipped and sour cream a tasty peanut butter filling topped with chocolate ganache, melted PB and peanut praline brittle.  So, no I didn’t make the praline.  And we didn’t care for topping the cake with whipped and sour cream.  But the melted PB brought out the flavor of the cheesecake and the ganache complimented the chocolate crust.  The only reason I didn’t make the praline – no DEMERARA SUGAR .  The brittle worked just fine.  I was mostly interested in just the cheesecake any way.  

We really enjoyed this cake.  I got to use my ‘deep dish’ tart pan my daughter gifted me a couple of years back.  It was perfect for this divine dessert.

The recipe can be found on Donna’s website.

For more sweets visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay – Divine Desserts.

And if you want to join in the themes are listed through the end of August.  Just find a recipe to fit the theme.  Blog and send us your link under Comments.  Love to have you.

Hard to believe it is already March 18th.  I am constantly astounded at how quickly time goes by.  Seems like just yesterday I received my ‘assignment’ for The Secret Recipe Club and now it already time to post about it.  This month I cooked with Sarah.  She is the cook/baker and mother of three adorable kitties who blogs over at The Pajama Chef.  Lucky for her husband she  loves to try out new dishes and he becomes her sous chef.

As usual I found more recipes than I had time to make.  For some reason I gravitated toward sides and sweets this month so that is what I went with.

First the veggies:  How about Baked Cauli-Tots Two Ways

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Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies.  As a child I only ate three – cauliflower, broccoli, and corn. And the only way I would eat the cauliflower was with cheese.  Times haven’t changed much except this time the recipe is different.  Shredded cauliflower baked with herbs and cheese.  Good Stuff!!  I made mine in mini cupcake tins and they were perfect bites.

And then two sweets.  The Man has been asking for something to eat with lunch.  Just a little bite of something sweet.

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How about Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and not just any filling but dulce de leche – Caramel!  Yep, made from Sweetened Condensed milk.  Cooked until it is thick and super sweet.  Fortunately I keep several cans in the pantry already to use.  While she empties the can into a double boiler and cooks it until it is very thick I have always just cooked 3 – 4 cans in boiling water so I always have some.  These are very sweet and one or two are all you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.  I don’t think I will make just plain cookies again.

One night I needed something just for the two of us.  Something that would be gone in one night.  Sarah’s Twice Baked Apple Crisps were just the thing.  They were good, but the crisp just would not cooperate for me.  So we had Baked Apples in Sauce.  :(.

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I don’t know what happened here.  But it was still good, especially with a little whipped cream.  Sarah suggested ice cream and that would have been so much better.

Next on my list:

Butternut squash and quinoa salad

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Sausage Pepper Penne”

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

and lots more….. I’ll be going back to visit Sarah because I know I will want to make more of her dishes. Too good to pass up.

Please visit the rest of Group C and see what they cooked up this month.

If you want to join in the fun visit The Secret Recipe Club to find out how.

I have been in a baking funk. I haven’t felt like doing ANY baking. Which is unusual for me. I LOVE to bake. Even when it’s hot. I bake. Until recently. Thank goodness for SRC because the blog assigned to me was so full of goodies to bake I just HAD to get back into the kitchen. In case you are wondering, SRC is the Secret Recipe Club. Each month we are assigned a blog to cook from and, in Group C, we REVEAL on the third Monday of the month. This month’s assignment was a good one because thanks to Jamie at Our Eating Habits I am out of my baking slump!

I usually pick two or three recipes to feature on the SRC post. Usually savory. But this time I went strickly for baking goodies.

We started out with Jamie’s

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    Blueberry Muffins

This is the first year our Blueberry bushes have yielded enough berries to actually use in something. So exciting to know I will have fresh berries in the freezer.

    3/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 large egg
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup Stevia
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Mix together the milk , oil, and egg. Reserve 1 tbl dry ingredient mix. Add remaining dry ingredients to liguid and stir until just combined. Toss berries with about 1 Tbl flour mixture. Gently fold in blueberries.

2. Line muffin tin with paper liners (or grease) and scoop in batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 22 minutes. Original Recipe

I added a simple Lemon glaze. Perfect for Breakfast. Snack. Dessert. Blueberries!

Then we were completely out of cookies, so…..

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup white sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia
    3/4 cup peanut butter
    1/4 cup Eggbeater
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Beat together the butter, peanut butter, sugars and Stevia.
2. Add Eggbeaters and vanilla, beat together again.
3. Add flours, baking soda, and salt, mix until just comes together.
4. Beat in chocolate chips and oats.
5. Bake for 8 minutes at 375 degrees, transfer to cooling rack. Original Recipe

The cookies didn’t last long. Between the Peanut Butter and the Oatmeal in the cookies they made for one perfect cookie.

The Man eats sandwiches most days for lunch so I bake bread every week. This week I used Jamie’s recipe for

    French Style Baguettes

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Jamie’s recipe made 2 large baguettes but I made 4 by cutting the dough into smaller pieces. I also subbed out some Whole Wheat for some of the flour. These were good and made great sandwiches. Just the right amount of ‘chew’ with the WWF. So much better than ANY store bought bread. You can find the recipe HERE!

So I am out of my Baking Funk. Spending the day with Jamie in the Kitchen was just the therepy I needed. Of course with all the other recipes I pinned there will be more days spent in the kitchen with Jamie.

Discovering new foodie blogs through SRC is always good for one’s baking psyche. Check out the other discoveries from the SRC members below.


Debbie does DELICIOUS!!!

    In more ways than I can count!

And lucky for me she was my assignment for June’s Secred Recipe Club.
For once I did not have any trouble picking a recipe. I WANT to do ALL of them!! But since I only had two weeks and there are TONS of delicious, healthy recipes on Deb’s site, I had to settle for two, or maybe three…

Before we start with the Recipes…Debbie of Debbie does Dinner is a mom and home cook who decided that dieting was the pits unless you had good tasting food. She has adapted and developed tons of recipes that are healthy, delicious, and lower in calorie. Thanks, Debbie. These are just what I needed.


Okay, now for the food!! Breakfast: A Breakfast Smoothie to be exact. With lots of fruit and dairy and SPINACH!! Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. SPINACH? In a smoothie? But it totally works. AND it means more fiber and protein. Yep!

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All those beautiful healthy colors!!

    10 strawberries
    1 banana
    1 handful of blueberries (or blackberries)
    6 oz. low fat plain yogurt
    1/4 cup low fat milk
    1 big handful of baby spinach

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until you reach desired texture. If you want it cold and icier, freeze the fruit before putting in the blender. {I used all frozen fruit.}
While I make smoothies quite often I have never put spinach in one. There were lots of little pieces of green, red, and blue from the spinach and berries. Great start for the day. {Original Recipe}

And Dinner meant QUINOA. Debbie has several quinoa recipes on the site. If I had had some Sun-dried tomatoes I would have made this one but the Mexican Quinoa was awesome.

P1040409Mexican Quinoa

    1 medium onion, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup yellow corn
    2 tsp. cumin
    2 tsp dried cilantro
    2 cups quinoa, rinsed
    3 cups veggie broth
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 tsp. oregano
    Salt and pepper

Boil the onion in about 1/4 cup of veggie broth in a large saucepan.
When it is soft add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and cook for about a minute. Add the quinoa, broth, diced tomatoes, corn, oregano, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Lots of wonderful flavors in this one. The only change was to add some corn and put some dried cilantro IN the saucepan with the other ingredients. It was a tasty side. For lunch the next day I added some diced roasted chicken. YUMYY!

And Dessert! Of Course!

And lucky for us she had a cheese cake recipe. Lucky because that is our favorite dessert. And then, even better, it had PEANUT BUTTER and CHOCOLATE!!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

    Filling:
    2 (8 oz) bars cream cheese {Lower cal with fat-free}
    3 eggs
    3 egg yolks {I used Egg Beaters}
    1 cup Splenda
    1/2 cup fat free sour cream
    1 cup creamy peanut butter

    Topping:1 cup fat free sour cream
    1 cup milk chocolate chips
    2 tbsp. light brown sugar

DUMP all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until it becomes a silky smooth mixture.
Pour the filling into a springform pan (9″ or 8″) and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the the oven and place it aside allowing it to cool just a bit.
Warm the sour cream and milk chocolate with the brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Gently whisk to blend in the chocolate as it melts, then take the pan off the heat.
Gently pour topping on top of cheesecake and put back into the oven for about 15 minutes.
Cool cheesecake completely before eating. The chocolate topping will harden in the fridge.
Debbie’s original cheese cake had a crust but I made mine crustless. {Original Recipe}

I have so many of Debbie’s recipes pinned. It was hard to pick and I still have to try:

Just to name a few.


So hop (Get it – Blog HOP) on over to Debbie’s blog and try some of her DELICIOUS! recipes.


Once a month I get to cook/bake with an awesome bunch of bloggers who live all around the world. Each month a theme is announced and then we all get busy and find something that goes with the current theme. Sometimes it is easy – PIE! Sometimes it is hard – literary meal! This month I thought would be difficult but it turned out, once I got my thoughts straight, to be quite simple. Come up with a dish using just 3 ingredients!!!

Now how on earth can you make any…… nevermind. Lots of things are possible

How about MAC AND CHEESE?

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    2 cups elbow macaroni
    1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
    3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

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Cook elbows in salted water until al dente and drain. Return to saucepan.
Add in 1/2 and 1/2 and grated cheese.
Stir until cheese melts and the mixture is thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

OR how about Peanut Butter Cookies?

    1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
    1 egg
    1/2 to 1 cup sugar (and you can sub out about 1/2 of that for Splenda if you like.)

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Peheat oven to 325.
Mix the three ingredients together.
Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Bake 8 – 10 minutes.
EAT!!

Okay I could go on but thought I better quit with two goodies. But that’s not all there is for lunch. Check with the other Let’s Lunchers by visiting Linda over at Free Range Cookies who is hosting our lunch this month.

Every once in a while a blog name really catches your attention. Usually because you just know it tells you something important about the blogger. So when I was assigned It’s Yummy to my Tummy I knew right away my blogger had children. Isn’t it obvious? How many times have I heard my granddaughter say…

yogabba

    “There’s a party in my tummy. So yummy….”

and I imagine Heather’s two cuties say it a lot too. Especially if they get to eat her treats.

Like the ones I chose to make for Secret Recipe Club. and as usual it wasn’t easy making a choice.

The day I started reading through Heather’s blog is was chilly outside so soup sounded perfect.

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    Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

What a delicious way to warm up. Creamy, full of flavor with all the garlic, parsley, and thyme. And so colorful.

    1 cup cooked chicken, diced
    4 tbsp butter
    4 tbsp flour
    1 quart half and half
    14 ounces chicken broth
    1/2 cup celery, finely diced
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 cup carrots, finely shredded
    1 cup onion, finely diced
    1 cup spinach, chopped
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 tsp thyme
    1/2 tsp parsley
    1 lb gnocchi
    salt and pepper, to taste

Saute the onion, garlic, and celery in the butter and olive oil, until onion becomes translucent. Add in your flour and make like a paste or a roux. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture for about a minute and then add in your half and half, seasonings, carrots, and chicken. Let mixture begin to simmer and thicken up.
In another pot, cook your gnocchi according to package directions or prepare your homemade gnocchi. Note, if preparing homemade gnocchi for this dish, I would do that before so you don’t have to worry about it at the same time as preparing your soup. As the soup mixture gets thicker, maybe a few minutes of simmering, add in your chicken broth, and let it reduce a few minutes again. Once the gnocchi is ready, add it to the simmering soup, along with your spinach.
Cook for a few additional minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt. Serve with a little parmesan cheese on top if you wish.

Afterward we needed a litle something sweet.

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And this Peanut Butter Fudge was just perfect.
I have been making PB fudge for years. And I have used the same recipe for years. You know the one -with that Puffy White Stuff. Well I am here to tell you this is sooo much better and tons easier to make.

    5 ounces of unsalted butter
    2/3 cup smooth peanut butter
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

In a microwaveable bowl, place butter and peanut butter and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for about 1 1/2- 2 minutes. Next stir mixture and microwave another 2 minutes, mixture will be hot and bubbly!
Add in vanilla and salt
Stir in powdered sugar until smooth. Note the mixture starts to get really thick here! So stir it with some muscle to incorporate the powdered sugar well.
Put the fudge into a 9 x 9 pan lined with parchment paper for easier removal. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator until to cut into pieces and enjoy.

Microwave fudge!! This is way too dangerous a recipe to know about. Maybe I shouldn’t share it?

I don’t make biscuits very often (carbs!)(no self control!) but I decided to try Heather’s with the stew the other night. I needed something to soak up all the extra juices.

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    Fabio's Cheese Bomb Biscuits
      2 cups of sifted flour
      2 tsp of baking powder
      1/2 tsp of salt
      4 tbsp shortening
      1 1/4 cups of half & half
      1 1/2 Asiago cheese

    Mix all the dry ingredients together, including the grated cheese. Next add in the shortening. After you incorporate the shortening, add in the half & half.
    Ordinarily one would drop 1/4 cup of dough onto a greased cookie sheet, but I decided to use a muffin pan which gave me a nice thick biscuit.
    Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

    Heather used Romano or Parmesan cheese. I used the Asiago instead. And you will need more than 1 1/2 cups if you want a stronger cheesy taste. They were perfect with the stew.

    If you want to find out what else was coming out of the SRC Member's kitchens you need to check out the postings below. I know you will find some great food.

    And just in case you aren't familiar with Secret Recipe Club it is a great group of bloggers who are assigned a blog. We then make something from their blog and all of us post, or reveal, on the same day. Nobody knows who got who until the reveal. Tons of fun.


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