Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

When the temps get down to single digits and you’re stuck in the house all day, it’s time to bake.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, September 2011.

Substitution made, noted below.

PB cups 1

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

5.6 oz all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 c)
1 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
1/4 c butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tblsp 2% milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips
4 (.75 oz) peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped – I used 1/3 c mini PB cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk.  Combine peanut butter and next 4 ingredients (through eggs), stirring well.  Add peanut butter mixture to flour mixture; stir until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Scrape the batter into a 9-inch square metal baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray, and arrange the peanut butter cups over batter.  Bake at 350 for 19 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.  Cool in pan  on a wire rack.

PB cups 2

cartoon-strawberry-9Chocolate and Peanut Butter, what could be better?  When said chocolate and peanut butter are wrapped in a chewy blondie!  We always have mini PB cups on hand in the freezer, so this was the perfect treat on a very cold evening.

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Thai Chicken

I knew I’d be a bit busy over the holidays, but had no idea I’d be taking such a long break!  We had husband’s family visiting over Thanksgiving (I’ll be sharing a muffin recipe we tried on Wens!).  We flew out to CA over Christmas to welcome my BFF’s new son and celebrate with family.  Things have been crazy, exhausting and fun.  It’s amazing how much great and amazing stuff can be fit into just a few short weeks.

It was an honor and joy to be with my best friend waiting for her baby to arrive.  He came a few days late, so we had time to talk, relax, do a little shopping and a little cooking together.  During that time we made this recipe.

This recipe is from Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.

No substitutions were made.

thai chicken 1

Thai Chicken

2 1/2 lbs chicken pieces – we used bone-in chicken thighs
1 c hot salsa – we used a medium heat taco sauce
1/4 c peanut butter
2 tblsp lime juice
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Hot cooked rice
1/2 c peanuts, chopped
2 tblsp chopped fresh cilantro – we skipped this

Place chicken in slow cooker.  Combine salsa, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and ginger; pour over chicken.

Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken in no longer pink in center.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice; sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

thai chicken 2

cartoon-strawberry-9The bestie and I were making spicy recipes and foods to try and help usher in a late baby.  The medium heat salsa was a good flavor, but a HOT salsa would have added the heat we were missing.  An easy and delicious recipe to have on hand for a weeknight dinner.

Spicy Peanut Soup

All the kiddos are heading back to school soon.  Which means lots of lunches, coffees and dinner with these amazing students; telling me of summer adventures, schedules of the upcoming school year, joy, heartbreak, talking for hours and hours.  It blesses me and feeds my heart.

This recipe is from The Complete Book of 400 Soups.

Substitution made, noted below.

spicy peanut soup 1

Spicy Peanut Soup

2 tblsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chili powder
2 red bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped
8oz carrots, finely chopped
8oz potatoes, finely chopped
3 celery sticks, sliced
3 3/4 c vegetable stock
6 tblsp crunchy peanut butter – I used smooth
2/3 c corn
salt & black pepper
peanuts for garnish

Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic for about 3 minutes.  Add the chili powder and cook for an additional minute

Add the red peppers, carrots, potatoes and celery.  Stir well, then cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetable stock, followed by the peanut butter and corn.  Stir until thoroughly combined.

Season well.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.  Serve garnished with chopped peanuts.

spicy peanut soup 2

cartoon-strawberry-9This soup has a great flavor, but not so spicy.  I need to remember this cook book tends to under-spice the recipes.  Next time I’ll add in some cumin, ginger and maybe some Chinese 5 spice powder.  I served the soup over white rice with some shredded chicken thrown in.

Peanut Butter Hummus

Hummus may be my favorite food ever.  Creamy & Smooth, able to take on a variety of tastes, and needs to be eaten with veggies or pita.

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

No substitutions were made.

peanut butter hummus

Peanut Butter Hummus

2 – 15oz cans chickpeas
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 to 5 tblsp regular olive oil
1/3 c creamy peanut butter
3 tblsp lemon juice (or more as needed)
2 tsp kosher salt or 1 tsp table salt (or to taste)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 to 1/3 c plain greek yogurt
2 tblsp peanuts, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
1 tsp smoked paprika, to serve (optional)

Drain and rinse the chickpeas.  Put the garlic, chickpeas, 3 tblsp oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, salt and cumin into a food processor and blitz to a knobbly puree.

Add 1/4 c of the yogurt and process again; if the hummus is still very thick, add another 1 to 2 tblsp of yogurt and the same of the oil.  (This will often depend on the chickpeas, as different sorts make the hummus thicker or not.)

Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice and salt if you feel it needs it.

On serving, mix the chopped peanuts with the paprika and sprinkle on top if you wish, and put an array of bits and pieces to eat with or dip in, as you see fit.

cartoon-strawberry-9This is a nice alternative to a tahini based hummus, the peanut butter adds a different depth of flavor.  Mine was a little too thick, I should have added a bit more lemon juice and oil.  But there’s always next time. 🙂