Tag Archives: peanut butter

That’s Totally Okay

Looking back through today’s pictures, I still don’t know how I was as productive as I was.

I guess that explains how it’s already 6 pm, though. Last I checked it was 10am!

There was lots of learning to be done, though. Both of the educational sense as well as the personal sense.

Like how it’s totally okay to completely mess up your pancakes, only to discover they’re the best you’ve had all week. Even if they look like they’ve already been digested once or twice.

…and it’s also totally okay to realize that maybe the only reason you make mini loaves of bread is not because you like it better fresh – but because it’s so much fun to make and smell.

Sarena’s bread has yet to disappoint. I don’t think it’s possible for it to. It is so quick, so simple and so delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic hummus from Appetite for Reduction

Realize you’re home alone for 25 minutes? Well – it’s perfectly reasonable to go on an insane food-processor rampage, right?

For some reason, I can’t get the rest of my family to welcome with open arms the amount of noise required for making hummus and nut butters. On a Sunday morning, no less.

When people should be waking up to the smell of bacon, not the sound of hummus.

And yes, it’s totally okay to combine hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and peanuts in your quest to make the perfect unsweetened peanut butter. Just don’t forget the pinch of salt!

But hey – why not try a flavored cashew butter for once? I’ve never had anything other than “normal” cashew butter, so I decided to give it a try. Verdict? totally okay.

  • 2 c. roasted & salted cashews
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 t. date syrup
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 – 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. golden raisins

Method: Process the cashews until they form a ball. Break it up and add in the oil, syrup, extract and cinnamon. Process again until smooth. Add more oil depending on how runny you like it. Add in raisins and pulse a few more times to combine.

And by the way…if you just so happened to have made peanut butter before this…and didn’t feel like washing and trying your processor…it’s totally okay to just use the processor with the peanut butter residue still in it.

Not that I would have ever ofund myself in this situation or anything.

Haven’t done laundry in two weeks? Totally okay – it just makes you find all those old clothes you don’t know why you still have…but then realize why when you have nothing else to wear.

Again, not that I would know anything about that.

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to consider your workout for the day simply walking up a hill.

…but it’s probably easier to buy when the snow is up to your waist, and your dog might hate you for it.

Sorry for the butt shot…but this just had to be done. Kaia found that it worked best if she just tried dragging herself along on her belly.

We have so much snow right now. And we had a thundersnow storm last night!

It was kind of creepy and I was ready for the apocalypse.


I also realize that lately I’ve been hardly creative in the kitchen on my own, but rather have been making recipes out of books like it’s my job.

Well, I do wish it were my job…

But hey, that’s totally okay. I’m calling it “fine-tuning my technique.”

Because really, I don’t actually know anything about cooking or baking.

It’s totally okay to instantly think of your childhood when creaming “butter” and sugar.

Isn’t it a requirement of growing up to eat the butter and sugar when making cookies?

Not quite enough dried figs for your homemade “Fig Not-Ins” after you absent-mindedly munched on a few?

Using some golden raisins as filler is perfectly okay.

Adding anise extract, on the other hand? Totally not okay. Sambuca has ruined anise extract for me for the rest of my life, I think. I can’t have peppermints anymore because of peppermint schnapps, either.

Luckily, the anise was just an accentuating flavor, not a main player. I followed Vegan with a Vengeance‘s recipe because I wanted to have a more dough-like newton. The recipes I found online were more like a date bar – but with figs. I wanted more of a distinct fig newton! But, adding the anise idea came from this recipe.

Ironically, rolling the dough out for this was very time consuming and difficult and it will probably be many moons before I do it again. That and the directions confused me. I don’t think they were confusing, I think I was just having a “moment.” A “what the kale?” moment.

And if you lose patience with it, it’s totally okay to end up just making two giant tarts with the last of your dough.

And by the way – taste-testing your fig filling? Perfectly fine. In fact, I think it’s required. Mainly if you have some fresh bread and cashew butter to accompany it. D’oh.

Having paprika that’s older than you are? Well, that’s probably not okay, but I use it anyway. It probably doesn’t taste like…well…anything…to be perfectly honest with you.

I kid you not, I remember having this paprika when I was, like, three.

Because I was definitely using paprika as a wee little three year old. I distinctly remember burping “mo’ papriikay!” a time or two.

But until I finally remember to buy new paprika, this old stuff had to do for the mushroom and cannellini paprikas in Appetite for Reduction.

And in case you were wondering – it’s also totally okay to have sweet potato fries with every meal…and still not know whether you prefer them with barbeque sauce or hummus.

And lastly – it’s perfectly fine if you just watch the Superbowl for the commercials. I’m not a football fan…I prefer real sports.

Other things that are totally okay:

  • Realizing you haven’t gotten out of your pajamas all day. Which probably means they’re really gross considering the fact that I was definitely sweating walking up that hill.
  • Not putting away your laundry even if it’s all done.
  • Realizing you sort of enjoy the reading for your recent classes.

What was your “totally okay” moment of the day?

And I’ve gotta ask…Superbowl – yay or nay?

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Filed under baking, bread, breakfast, cookies, cooking, dessert, dinner, food, healthy living, hummus, lunch, musings, nut butter, pancakes, photography, recipe, snow, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, veggies, vermont

Rye Peanut Butter & Banana Pancake Sandwich

I don’t think I’ve ever before finished a meal and thought “oh-my-gaw that was so good I need to go blog about it STAT.”

In fact, I feel a little geeky admitting to this, but that is what just happened. And hence, what I’m doing.

Maybe it’s just an unusual day. I mean, I also don’t usually have breakfast for lunch as often as I admit it to be a good idea, and I also don’t usually have not a veggie in sight by now.

I also don’t usually have a beverage other than water with meals, but apparently since I was already having something sweet for lunch, I decided a sweet beverage was necessary, too. Hey, it’s all or nothing, right?

Another oddity? I usually have some idea as to what I want for lunch. Today I had none. Zero, zilch, nada. I have no bread, my oven is in use rendering me sweet potato-less, and not many vegetables. I didn’t feel like a grain.

And gosh darn it, the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted some pancakes again.

So I compromised.

I’d make pancakes. But! It wouldn’t be such a bad thing because, I’d just be using it as my bread.

Yes, I do realize that this is essentially the same thing as what I would eat every morning, but I’m telling myself it’s different because it was eaten in more of a sandwich-form.

Yes, I do realize my logic is flawed.

Due to an ongoing project with rye flour which you will soon see, my plan hatched rye “bread” with peanut butter and banana. If I had caraway I would be in heaven – how cool would that be?

Alas, I don’t. I made do.

My peanut butter was Jenny’s peanut butter and jelly sauce, a sauce I’ve been having a pretty steady love affair with but have neglected to blog about. I’ve actually been gathering pictures for a full on devotion to it, but I guess this came first. Such is life.

Rye Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Pancake Sandwich

for one

For the Pancake “Bread”:

  • 1/4 c. rye flour
  • 2 T. oat bran
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 T. milled flaxseed mixed with 2 T. warm water
  • 1/4  c. almond milk
  • earth balance/butter/cooking spray, for greasing the pan

For the Bananas:

  • 1/2 a banana, sliced in half lengthwise
  • earth balance/butter/spray for greasing pan

For the Peanut Butter & Honey sauce, adapted very slightly from Jenny’s Peanut Butter Jelly Sauce

  • 2 T. (heaping) peanut flour
  • 2 T. almond milk
  • 1/2 – 1 t. honey, depending on your tastes
  • pinch of salt** (see note)

Preheat a large nonstick pan and a small nonstick pan over low-medium heat.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, bran and baking powder. Add in the flax egg and almond milk. Grease your preheated non-stick pan lightly and bump up to medium heat, and divide the batter into two pancakes. Spread out a touch, and cook until the sides are starting to firm up. Spray the tops lightly with spray and flip. Cook another 4-5 minutes, or until lightly golden. While the pancakes are cooking, grill your bananas: place in the smaller non-stick pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.

For the peanut butter and honey sauce, whisk all ingredients until smooth. Note: I didn’t add salt when I mixed my sauce, but as I was eating, found myself looking for that pinch of salt that classic peanut butter has. I ended up sprinkling salt on my sandwich (try that for feeling weird) and found that salt was juuuust the ticket to what I was looking for.

To assemble, place one pancake on your plate and spread the peanut butter sauce. Place the grilled bananas on top of that, followed by the other pancake. If desired, spread a dab of fig jam on the top pancake.

As you know, I desired. When don’t I desire fig jam?

Caraway, here I come.

A sneak peak at some things in progress:

hmmmmm!!!

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Filed under almond milk, banana, breakfast, brunch, food, food blog, healthy living, lunch, nut butter, pancakes, recipe, vegan

Really Yummy Pot Pie

BRR!! These past few morning have been chiillllyyyy.

Ironically, it’s supposed to be back to being in the sixties next week – the weather we’ve been having is ridiculous! It actually snowed (okay, flurried) on and off all. day. long. today. Well, in between the five minute intervals of blue skies and sunshine.

So, what’s a great way to warm up from the deep freeze, you ask?

Why, pot pie, of course!

I realize I’ve been making veggie casseroles/pies/what-have-yous non stop lately. Case in point.

But really – what’s not to love?! I have fond memories of pot pies and shepherd’s pies as a child, and I guess those memories are still with me. When I made the butternut squash shepherd’s pie, I was having a hard time deciding between shepherd’s pie and pot pie, so it comes as no surprise that I made a pot pie last night.

Coming home and being able to curl up with the piping hot leftovers in a warm bowl on a day such as this couldn’t have been better, and I am sure I will be making this many more times.

It was not completely without flaw, however. Next time I will play with the crust recipe. I tried finding a basic crust recipe, but they all use butter. I’m not complaining about this – I think a good crust pretty much requires butter. The only problem I have with making a crust with butter is…the fact that I didn’t have any butter. Or earth balance – my weapon of choice. I just don’t use either often, and even my mom only had some margarine. Considering the fact that I just read a chapter on lipids and am in the middle of In Defense of Food, for some odd reason I didn’t think the trans-fats in margarine were in my best interest.

Shocker, I know.

And so I decided to use olive oil. Until I saw the sesame dressing I bought a while back at a farmer’s market and decided to use that. It’s a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sesame oil.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you have a good crust recipe – use that. I’m still going to include what I did, and while it’s not bad – it just needs some butter or earth balance.

After I put it in the oven I got this crazy idea that I should have made it with a cornbread crust, but I think that will be a post for another day.

Really Yummy Pot Pie

2-3 servings

First prepare the crust:

  • 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. italian seasoning
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 T. sesame dressing/olive oil
  • ~2 T. cold water

Combine the first 4 ingredients, using a fork to combine it into a crumbly mixture:

Add the water 1/2 T. at a time until it just holds together when pinched. You don’t want it too wet and sticky.

When that’s all set, refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • olive oil, for sauteeing
  • 1 1/2 c. frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 a block of tempeh, chopped
  • 1 1/4 c. water (or vegetable broth)
  • 2-3 T. white bean flour(thickening agent)
  • 2 t. italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dash of crushed red pepper, to taste/optional

Sautee the onion in a bit of olive oil until softened. Add in the sweet potato and 3/4 c. water, season with salt and pepper and cover. Cook until the sweet potato softens a bit but still firm. While the sweet potatoes cook, you can roll out your crust.

Add in the frozen mixed vegetables, tempeh and Italian seasoning. Cook until the vegetables are heated through, and then sprinkle in 1 1/2 T. of the white bean flour 1/2 T. at a time. Make sure you stir thoroughly after each addition. Season with salt and pepper, and when it’s where you want it, the sweet potatoes are tender and it is beginning to thicken, shut off the heat. Transfer to a casserole dish, and add in the last 1/2 c. water and sprinkle another 1/2 T. white bean flour over the top, stirring gently to combine. Lay the crust over top, slicing a couple holes in the top. And, you know…making a pretty smiley face with the excess crust.

Cook for about 50 minutes at 400*. The crust should turn golden, and the “gravy” may be bubbling around the sides.

The sweet potato and mixed vegetables along with the tempeh, and the gravy formed from the white bean flour is just a phenomenal combination.

Ohhh,, Marie. I am sorry to say, but you have nothing on this.

While eating, I browsed my last environmentally unfriendly addiction: the new K-Cups. I am very happy to hear that Green Mountain is looking into ways for their K-Cups to become “greener.”

I am also very happy to hear that their holiday flavors are [almost] out. Gingerbread was my absolute favorite last winter (what a shocker there, I know) and I’m pretty pumped to try Spicy Eggnog. They didn’t make it last year, but I’ve had an Eggnog coffee in the past and it was phenomenal.

Aaaand remember that figgy peanut butter from yesterday?

Uhhhh, yuht. You knew what had to happen. That is just one part of a figgy peanut butter, honey, and nectarine panini. Oh, yes.

I was practically chanting “figgy peanut butter” all morning in my head.

I am also brazen enough to roast broccoli in our toaster oven at work. I may or may not have roasted an entire head to have with this panini.

I may or may not have stolen the air freshener from the bathroom in attempts to be super sleuthy and not give myself away.

I may or may not have still had my boss walking back only to exclaim “I thought I smelled burnt broccoli!”

In my defense, it wasn’t burnt. He just has a sensitive nose. Or something.

And while I was really excited last night to try peanut flour in my overnight oats, I was super bummed to realize something was missing this morning. It just didn’t seem…right.

And then I realized it was chia seeds I was missing, and am ever-so-appreciative of them now. It just wasn’t the same without them!

And with that, I leave you with this:

I promise he’s alive. Don’t you want to be a horse in your next life?!

If you could be reincarnated as an animal – what would you want to be? Random question, I know. Possibly a touch morbid for a food blog, too.

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

It’s Magical

uhhh, I think I’m about ready to start bouncing off of the walls. I feel like I’ve been glued to this chair doing school-work all day! I know that’s not entirely true, but I’ve at least been inside for far too long.

This is what rainy days do to me.

It was supposed to be a “training day” for Teddie – I was going to have A ride him – but I decided not to because it was raining buckets and he would have been soaked to his skin because he’d rather stand in the rain than go in his hut.

I guess it worked out, though – since I didn’t get a chance to do any school work on Tuesday, I made up for it today. Big time.

I did still get to spend some quality time with this spaghetti squash, though. It’s playing the role of a medicine ball lately. I figure it’s still got a pretty long ways to go until it’s ripe and ready to eat, so maybe by the time it’s ready I’ll have a real medicine ball.

With the strawberry coconut kefir I’ve found, my breakfasts have taken on a “new flavor,” if you will. Not everything goes with strawberries, you know! But you know what does? Bananas. I’ve been making these banana oat bran waffles for the past couple of days now (that are waffle days, anyway) and am seriously in love. It’s like gingerbread waffles are but a … I don’t know how the saying goes. But it’s as if they were never an obsession.

I sort of “forgot” about oat bran for a while there, but I really do love it, especially in baked goods. It’s alittle too mushy for my liking to eat alone, but in a muffin or a waffle? Oh, the texture is just fabulous! And not only that, but the health benefits are something to gloat about, too.

Proven Health Benefits for the whole Body:-

  • Smoothes blood glucose fluctuations.
  • Lowers cholesteral, especially “bad” (LDL) cholestral.
  • Aids dieting
  • Aids diabetics
  • Aids Renal patients
  • Provides slow release energy for endurance athletes and those who fast.

[source – Easy Vigour]

Between the generous amount of vanilla extract, oat bran and sliced banana inside these waffles, you have a wonderful, fragrant waffle to sop up the strawberry-peanut icing. Or strawberry-coconut, it’s amazing either way.

Banana Oat Bran Waffles

  • 1/4 c. oat bran
  • 1/8 c. WW flour
  • 3/4 c. puffed millet
  • 1 T. wheat bran
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • baking powder

Combine these in a small bowl, and set aside.

  • 1 flax egg [1 T. milled flax + 3 T. warm water]
  • 1/4 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. almond milk

Add these wet ingredients to the dry.

Thinly slice in half of a large, ripe banana and gently incorporate into the batter.

Generously spray the top and bottom of a waffle iron. Spoon half the batter in at a time, and cook as your waffle maker tells you!

Meanwhile, combine:

When the waffles are done, pour over the “icing,” and voila!

And this morning, I used peanut flour in place of whole wheat flour, and nixed the vanilla. I couldn’t taste much of a difference, to be honest.

And the other morning, I made a strawberry-coconut kefir sauce – with coconut flour instead of peanut flour or chia seeds.

And by the way, what’s up with all the peanuts?!

Okay, okay – so it’s mostly because a while ago, I got it in my head that I was going to make my own peanut butter. This was waaay back when I had a less-than-powerful blender. Asking this blender/processor to make butter out of peanuts would have been like asking Teddie to make me breakfast.

It just wasn’t happening.

And I still have a lot of peanuts, which has recently made me feel like I need to finally use them. But, they’re still waiting for me to make peanut butter. I since have a better blender, and while I was thinking about this this afternoon, I decided to try it.

I’ve always held true to my belief that there should be a figgy peanut butter in the market. I mean, figs and peanut butter is the perfect marriage, so why not just make peanut butter with figs in it?

After a couple minutes of blend, blend, blending, I’d stopped only to realize I’d essentially made a really messy Larabar. I was starting to feel like a bit of a failure, but I added a bit of peanut oil and marched (er, blended) on.

And by golly, I made peanut butter. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really proud of myself and ready to gloat all afternoon.

I made peanut butter.

I made figgy peanut butter.

I took peanuts. And made them into butter.

With figs.

Capiche?

pea-nut bud-der (n): a spread that makes your mouth stick together and reminds us that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Yep, this fits the definition.

Figgy Peanut Butter

  • 1 c. “peanut butter stock” peanuts
  • 1/4 c. honey roasted peanuts
  • 4-5 large dried Turkish figs, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 t. peanut oil

Add all to your processor, and blend for…a while. There will be a magical point in time where the consistency suddenly changes from Larabar-esque to peanut butter. You will feel like a proud new mother would when you see this happen – it is magical.

Next time, though – I’d very finely chop up a few more figs to stir in at the end, to give it a bit more figgy deliciousness and texture variation.

And then I tried making peanutty birdseed bars. Does this make your eyes do crazy things like it does mine? Anyways – I overbaked them. I might turn them into granola!

And you know what? I think peanuts are sort of overlooked in the blog world. All over, you see bloggers snacking on almonds, or cashews, or pistachios. Adding them to bars, on top of oats, on top of dinners. But why never handfuls of peanuts? Maybe it’s because they’re not expensive enough, and won’t actually break the bank. But really – peanuts are great! I remember learning about them in a plants and people class – and learnt that they’re not actually a nut but rather a legume like peas, lentils, and chickpeas. What fascinated me most was the fact that they grow as a normal plant, but since they get too heavy, they have to burrow underground which is where the peanut fully grows. They’re also:

  • a great source of monunsaturated fat  – the heart health fat!
  • they contain oleic acid, which is the same healthy fat as is in olive oil
  • they rival fresh fruit when it comes to antioxidant levels

I also made a pretty fabulous dinner, if I do say so myself. Admittedly, I sort of wanted to push those ideas aside and eat a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but it was already made and I was equally as excited for that dinner than I was of making my own peanut butter.

So, there’s some hints. You know I’m pulling a cliffhanger though, right?!

Have you discovered something you can make yourself that you’d sort of resigned yourself to simply not being able to?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe

Peanut Buttah And…

I’m going to be quick, since I just fiddled around with the site and have a quick business assignment to finish! So – just do this for me.

Pretty please? You’ll thank me later.

Go ahead and grab some bread and some peanut buttah. Homemade bread. That is accidentally a lot smaller than you intended. Trust me, it really lets you get a thiiick layer of p.b. 😉

Then snag a fresh local apple, and a dried fig. That fig is funky lookin’, non?

Now plug in your panini maker.

Glomp (yes, glomp) a bunch of peanut butter on the bread, and slice your apple and fig. Layer on some apple slices, then some fig slices, and sandwich to-gedder.

And then panini away.

Just don’t do like I did, and walk back upstairs to finish a project.

You’ll burn it…but the sandwich will be just that good that it doesn’t even really matter.

What’s your favorite Peanut Butter & ______ sandwich?

p.s. Chocolate chip cookie dough larabar

not as good as I was hoping. Bummer. Too much chocolate chip, not enough cookie dough.

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Filed under foodblog, health, healthy living, lunch, recipe