National Peanut Butter Day

Yes. It is true.  Today, January 24th, marks a wonderful day in the culinary world.  It’s National Peanut Butter Day.  I think that it is safe to say that PB deserves its own food group and should be devoured at least once a day.  Creamy, crunchy, whipped, extra crunchy, it’s all great.  Eaten by the spoonful?? Even better. Here are some of my favorite peanut butter treats along with some others that just look absolutely delicious.

1. Creamy Peter Pan Peanut Butter –A classic.  I grew up on this creamy concoction and I always find myself going back to it.  Maybe I’m not giving other peanut butter varieties a fair chance, but I’ve found one I love, so why would I change now?? PS.  I once betrayed Peter Pan  and tried PB2 which is a powdered peanut butter, people.  It just doesn’t compare to the good stuff.

2. Peanut Butter Cheese Ball— I’ve never been fortunate to try this delicious looking dessert (I don’t think those are actually dog treats pictured above, but hey, I could be wrong. Arf), but how delicious does it look?!? Cream cheese, peanut butter and chocolate? Sounds good to me.  The recipe can be found here

3. Peanut Butter Truffles— Oh boy. These look scrumptious.  I think I could find myself popping one too many of those into my mouth in one sitting. Want to make them?? Find the recipe here!

4. Edy’s Slow Churned Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream— This is my hands down, my favorite ice cream that I can get my hands on easily. Here is the lineup:  peanut butter flavored ice cream with peanut butter ribbons and peanut butter cups. There might be some other chocolate in there too, but we’re talking peanut butter today.  Added bonus: it’s 1/2 the fat of regular ice cram and I can absolutely not tell at all when eating it.  Other delicious peanut butter flavored ice creams?? Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic and Braum’s PB Cup.

5. Jumbo Honey-Roasted Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies— If you’re in a hurry and want to curb your peanut butter craving, this recipe is an easy solution.  If you want the easy directions you can find the recipe here.

6. Reese’s Egg–(or any other seasonal Reese’s peanut butter cup).  These little guys are better than the normal Reese’s variety.  For some reason the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is different and it truly makes a difference.  I love them. Especially when they are eaten cold. Yes, put them in the refrigerator before you snarf them down–you won’t regret it.  I know the eggs are already in stock in my local Dillons grocery store, so maybe V-Day hearts will be out soon, too?!  Last night I just finished my last Christmas tree…I savor these little morsels of heaven.

So yes, to answer your question, I will indeed be eating some peanut butter at some point in the day. Maybe once, maybe twice….maybe even thrice.

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The BEST sugar cookies

Day 10: Something I Made

I have seriously been slacking on this 30 Day Photo Challenge, so I’d really like to redeem myself in the next couple of days. I can’t believe I’m only on day 10…yikes!! My coworker’s birthday was today, so I thought, what better way to celebrate than to make cookies?! Homeade “Lofthouse Sugar Cookies”. I’m sure everyone has seen these scrumptious cookies on the shelves of the grocery store: soft, chewy cookies with colorful or holiday frosting and sprinkles–the way a sugar cookie should be. Even though the Lofthouse cookies are quite the little treat, the homemade version is sooo much better and might just be my favorite cookie recipe now.  I used this one from Annies-Eats.com. They came out perfectly! You do not want to know how much sugar and butter went into these cookies, so just forget about calorie counting for the day : )


What I Wore & S’mores

Day 2: What I Wore

Today I channeled my inner fashion blogger (wannabee) by posting the outfit that I wore today.  I could have picked something a little bit more interesting to wear, but I ran out of time this morning while getting ready and throwing on a dress seemed like my easiest option! I hit the snooze button one too many times…Also, I tried taking a picture of myself in my outfit and failed desperatley.  The self-timer tactic was just not cutting it this morning. So, when I got to work I had to explain the 30 day challenge to my co-worker and ask her to take my picture. Thanks, Kendra! : )

Dress: J. Crew, Sandals: Gap, Necklace: Charlotte Russe Bracelets: Krystallos & Forever 21

Since I obviously haven’t gotten enough sweets in the past week (immense sarcasm here), I celebrated National S’mores Day with the gals at the office!  I already had graham crackers & mallows in the pantry from last time I craved s’mores, so all I had to get was the chocolate.  It was a nice little pick me up at the office today!

National Chocolate Chip Day :)

After celebrating National Ice Cream Sandwich Day on August 2nd,  I was in for a treat for there was another national food holiday later in the week! That’s right. Yesterday was National Chocolate Chip day!! We celebrated at the office by bringing our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. Chocolate chip cookies rank high in my list of favorite desserts and I have over-indulged a little bit : ) Oh well, it’s the weekend now…who cares!

I’m going home for the weekend to spend time with the fam and some friends. I am hoping to go to the Farmers Market, thrifting, to a creperie and see some long lost friends.

What are your plans for the weekend?!

Today is…

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!  Yes, whoever decided it was a great idea to sandwich ice cream between cookies was on top of their game.  I certainly indulged in this sweet treat today!

Did you participate in “National Ice Cream Sandwich Day” today??? Stay tuned for the next “national food day” event, it’s even better! : ) 

Basil. Mozarella. Tomato

To me, these three ingredients scream “summer” in terms of cooking healthy, light dishes. I bought a big bunch of basil this weekend, not knowing exactly what to make with it. I also bought a ball of fresh mozarella and some ripe tomatoes, imagining some sort of “caprese” dish. Because I didn’t want to heat up the oven or thaw chicken, I decided to make the standard caprese salad.

I mean to take a photo before I dug in, but my stomach got the best of me! This salad consists of tomato, mozarella and basil, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, salt and pepper.  It was very refreshing and light! However, the basil was a little bit strong for me.  I used the leftover basil from the bunch to make a homemade pesto sauce which I used for this: Pesto Pizza with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze**

1. Use whatever type of crust you prefer.  I used a Betty Crocker instant crust because I wanted this baby to come out of the oven fast.  However, I actually prefer the WalMart brand of crust because it turns out a little bit crispier.

2. Grill up some chicken!  I seasoned mine with some Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash.

3. Chop up the toppings: spinach, roma tomatoes, fresh mozarella

4. After cooking dough for about 5-7 minutes in the oven to get it a little crispy, spread on pesto sauce. I made a simple pesto sauce with 3 cups of chopped basil, 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, 1 cup olive oil. 2 T minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Put all of it in a blender or food processesr to make the sauce

5. Add additional toppings to the pizza crust and cook for 8-10 minutes or until crispy and melty.

6 Ta Da!! I missed the step where I was supposed to make the Balsamic Vinegar Glaze. Oops. Instead of simmering the vinegar over the stove for 20 minutes to get it nice and thick, I just drizzled it on right out of the bottle. Big mistake. It flooded the pizza and made the crust soggy : ( Still so so yummy though!!

What new recipes have you tried lately?? Mine wasn’t really an actual recipe, I just kind of made it up, but still. What have you been cooking?!

Glorified Zebra Cakes

That is how my brother described the cake balls I made this weekend for my birthday celebration with my family. These little treats are so simple to make yet yeild scrumptious little desserts! All you do is bake a cake and let it cool completely. I used funfetti cake, vanilla frosting and almond bark. However, you can use  ANY combination you would like, ie. chocolate cake with chocolate coating, strawberry cake with almond bark or even red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting and almond bark. The possibilities are endless!! Crumble cake and then mix in one tub of frosting. Store in the refrigerator until chilled. Then, roll dough mixture into small balls and place in freezer for 30 -45 minutes. Melt almond bark or chocolate and add a tiny bit of crisco to prevent clumping. Next, dip each cake ball into melted chocolate and place on wax paper. Add sprinkles if desired and wait til choclate/almond bark hardens. Last, ENJOY! : )

“New” Foods

Recently I have been making an effort to incorporate more nutrient packed items into my diet.  Even though it has only been a week, my body already feels better! I believe that if you’re putting healthy, nutritious foods into your body (whole grains, veggies, fruits, chicken, fish) you are going to feel more energized and healthy than if you eat more processed items like Lean Cuisines, chips, cookies, etc.

Here are some of the new (to me)  items I have been incorporating into my diet this week, (in addition to lots of fruits, veggies, low fat yogurt and cottage cheese and lean turkey and chicken)

I know I never get enough fish, so I bought some fresh salmon at Hy-Vee and ate it the other night with roasted asparagus and brown rice. It was so so yummy! Except I made a flub when I thought I was seasoning it with lemon pepper and really, it was lemon pepper & seasoning salt.  My fish was a little on the salty side…=/  I’ve also been eating tuna on salads or in lettuce wraps for an extra dose of omega 3!

I LOVE peanut butter. I will never abandon it, EVER.  However, I thought I would give this sunbutter a fair chance. It had a very distinctive sunflower seed taste, that is for sure! I haven’t had it on anything besides tasting it by the spoonful, but today I’m going to try it with some apple slices.  I think it should be pretty yum! Also, gotta support Kansas’ state flower, right??! : )

Quinoa is an ancient grain that dates back to the Incas! It is a complete protein and has very high nutritional value.  I had never had quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) until this summer when someone made it as a “pasta salad”.  It kind of takes on the flavor of the foods it is mixed with, so it was just delicious! The interesting thing about quinoa is it has a little curly tail on the end when it is done cooking–how cute! I plan on making this with roasted vegetables and chicken for dinner tomorrow!

MMM, guacamole!! These 100 calorie packs are perfect for a little snack or to put on a grilled chicken sandwich, which is what I will be doing for dinner tonight! Avocados are great source of “good fat”. They also have 60% more potassium than bananas…I had no idea! Also, avocados are not veggies, they are actually a fruit!

 

A couple of other things I would like to try in the near future:

Greek yogurt is packed with protein and other nutrients!

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener and can be substituted for honey and sugar.  I want to try it in some greek yogurt with blueberries!