Wednesday, January 25, 2012

For the love

Chocolate & Peanut Butter.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate.
What's not to love?
National Peanut Butter day after pie day, if I'd known I could have killed 2 blog posts with one dessert. 
But instead I will give you 2 recipes for the price of one.
You're Welcome!

Lovely Peanut Blossoms
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
Source: adapted from KAF
1/2 c unsalted butter 
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1 lg egg
2 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c    flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
granulated sugar
chocolate kisses or hearts
In a large bowl, beat the butter or margarine and peanut butter till well blended. 
Add the sugars; beat till light and fluffy. 
Add the egg, milk and vanilla, and beat well. 
Stir the flour, soda and salt together. 
Gradually mix into the wet ingredients.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. 
Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. 
Remove from the oven and immediately place one chocolate on each cookie. 
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 
Yield: 4 dozen cookies. Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 1455kcal; Protein 8g (16%); Total Fat 98g (151%)(Sat. 60g (302%)); Chol. 459mg (153%); Carb. 141g (47%); Fiber 0g (0%); Sugars 140g; Calcium 152mg (15%); Iron 2mg (13%)

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies
Source: ezra pound cake

3 1/2 c quick-cooking oats - divided
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c butter - cut into pieces
2 c sugar
1/2 c half n half or whole milk
4 T cocoa
2 t vanilla
Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.
Measure 3 cups of oats & the peanut butter into a large bowl. Set aside.
Stir together the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa in a small saucepan.
Turn the heat on high, and leave the mixture alone. (No more stirring.) 
Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil, and let it boil for exactly 1 minute. 
Remove immediately from the heat & add vanilla. 
Pour the chocolate mixture over the oats and peanut butter.
Use a large wooden spoon to quickly stir the ingredients together. (If the mixture seems runny or it's a very humid day, stir in the remaining half-cup of oats.)
Drop the mixture by tablespoons onto the wax paper.
Let the cookies cool until set.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4296kcal; Protein 83g (166%); Total Fat 178g (274%)(Sat. 76g (382%)); Chol. 244mg (81%); Carb. 631g (210%); Fiber 43g (171%); Sugars 420g; Calcium 263mg (26%); Iron 17mg (97%)

Monday, January 23, 2012

National Pie Day do-over

Once upon a time I found this recipe from this girl.
I loved the crust made from peanut butter cookies instead of the over exposed oreo.
It was even a post in the old pre-grandma b blog.
I wasn't so crazy about the cool whip because I rarely have it on hand & there is way more delicious fat in heavy cream. 
(I studied under Paula Deen too long to turn healthy now!)
I reworked the recipe a tad and came up with this new version.
Enjoy & Happy Pie Day!!

Nutter Butter-Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Yield: 10 servings
Source: adapted from recipegirl
24 Nutter Butter cookies - crushed into crumbs
5 T butter, melted
1 c fudge sauce
2 c heavy cream
12 oz cream cheese - softened
11/2 c powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 c crunchy peanut butter
2 T whole milk
1 c chopped peanuts
additional fudge sauce & peanuts for garnish - optional
In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. 
Press the mixture into a pie plate. 
Drizzle the hot fudge on top and smooth it out. 
Place in the freezer while you're preparing the filling.
To prepare the filling, whip the cream until it holds medium peaks. 
Beat in 1/2 c pwd sugar and whip until the cream holds medium firm peaks. 
Scrape the cream into a seprate bowl and chill.
Using same mixer bowl with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the remaining 1 c pwd sugar until smooth.
Mix in peanut butter & milk.
Fold in whipped cream mixture.
Remove pie from freezer and sprinkle chopped peanuts over fudge topping.
Spoon the peanut butter filling into the frozen pie crust, smooth the top, and place back into the freezer. 
Freeze for at least 3 hours, or until set enough to slice easily. 
Drizzle additional hot fudge and sprinkle additional peanuts, if desired.

Nutritional facts per serving (daily value): Calories 675kcal; Protein 7g (15%); Total Fat 43g (66%)(Sat. 23g (116%)); Chol. 118mg (39%); Carb. 70g (23%); Fiber 1g (5%); Sugars 65g; Calcium 77mg (8%); Iron 1mg (6%)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Dip

Hooray, it's almost time for the dreaded Super Bowl.
I can't stand football but where there's a party there must be party food!
This would be a great dip to serve at your Super Bowl party or any get together. 
The boys devoured this dip with waffle fries and then even more dip with chips while watching some football game in the family room.
I enjoy my portion in the kitchen while watching the US Women's National Soccer team school Guatemala in a 13-0 Olympic qualifying match.
Whatever your sport this dip scores big! (sorry, that was kinda cheesy)

Loaded Baked Potato Dip
Yield: 4 cups
Source: adapted from Southern Living recipe
8-12 slices bacon - cooked crispy
16 oz sour cream
2 c              Cheddar cheese - grated
1/3 c green onion - chopped
2 t               hot sauce
Stir together cooled bacon and next 4 ingredients. 
Cover and chill 1 to 24 hours before serving. 
Garnish with additional bacon, green onion & cracked pepper, if desired. 
Serve with crispy, warm waffle fries or chips. 

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2214kcal; Protein 46g (93%); Total Fat 216g (333%)(Sat. 99g (496%)); Chol. 382mg (127%); Carb. 23g (8%); Fiber 1g (5%); Sugars 2g; Calcium 556mg (56%); Iron 2mg (12%)

Friday, January 20, 2012

No Bake Energy Bars

Who doesn't need more energy? 
I can think of a few bodies around here that could use a little more moxie. 
The EMT who is up more nights than not on calls. 
The accountant studying non-stop for the CPA exam.
The boys playing basketball & video games. (thumbs & fingers need energy too)
The mother of 5 with two (paying) jobs.
Another pinterest find & adapted from this adorable blog I put the original ball shape into a pan because a. it was easier and b. it just so happens to be Granola Bar Day. 
So I cut them in bars & pretended they didn't taste like cookie dough, sans the threat of salmonella. 

No Bake Energy Bars

Yield: 18-20 bites


1 c oatmeal

1/2 c peanut butter 
1/3 c honey
1 c coconut flakes
1/2 c ground walnuts
1/2 c mini chocolate chips
2 t vanilla
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated. 
Press into a square baking dish.
Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. 
Once chilled, cut into bars and enjoy! 
Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 2223kcal; Protein 58g (116%); Total Fat 133g (205%)(Sat. 33g (163%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 235g (78%); Fiber 25g (99%); Sugars 154g; Calcium 190mg (19%); Iron 11mg (59%)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Scones

Scones are something that I find I appreciate more with every bite.
At first taste I wish it was sweeter but then the deliciousness kicks in and scolds my sweet tooth.
Using buttermilk instead of cream will give you a light, almost bread-like texture.
This blog gives you a great scone "formula".
Additional ingredients and combinations are as endless as pins on Pinterest.

Lemon Poppy Seed Scones
Yield: 16 scones
2/3 c sugar
1 - 2 T lemon zest 
4 c flour
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 1/2 T poppy seeds
1 c butter - frozen & grated
2 lg eggs + an extra for the egg wash
1/2 c buttermilk
1/4 c       fresh lemon juice 
1/2 t vanilla extract
Grate frozen butter & return to freezer.
Combine the sugar and zest with your fingers. Set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt. 
Add the sugar/zest mixture & poppy seeds. 
Cut the butter into the flour mixture. Set aside.
Combine the 2 eggs, buttermilk, citrus juice & vanilla. 
Whisk until well combined. 
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the egg mixture and stir just until it comes together. 
Whisk the additional egg with 1 T water. Set aside.
Turn out on a lightly floured counter and knead a few times until it holds it's shape. 
Divide into two equal portions and roll into an 8 or 9 inch circle. 
Lightly dust the bottom of the circles with flour.
Cut each circle into 6 or 8 triangles. 
Place the triangles on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Lightly brush with the egg wash, then bake for 10-15 minutes at 400ºF, or until golden and cooked through.
Cool on a wire rack. 
Serve warm.
Can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 4250kcal; Protein 73g (145%); Total Fat 206g (317%)(Sat. 122g (609%)); Chol. 916mg (305%); Carb. 531g (177%); Fiber 15g (59%); Sugars 144g; Calcium 1600mg (160%); Iron 28mg (158%)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Marcona Almond

After reading about this almond on one of my favorite blogs I made it my mission to find said almond.
I hate to report the Nifty Nut House disappointed me by not stocking the Marcona but I picked up the last bag of Kate's (latest) favorite candy while there so all is forgiven.
While in KC recently I visited Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, & Dean & Deluca. All fun places if you love food. My all time favorite food emporium has to be Central Market, nearest location: Texas. Sad face.
Sorry, I digress.
While perusing the isles of D&D I finally found the elusive Marcona almond! I reluctantly parted with a Jackson for 2lbs, hoping they were worth the effort.
The official Marcona web site describes the nut as the Queen of Almonds; sweeter, fatter and rounder than the typical almond.
Now I don't know about sweeter but fatter & rounder are terms I'm familiar with. And so are my jeans so I opted to try the nut in a "healthy" cookie instead of candy recipe.

Toffee Almond Sandies
Yield: 9 dozen cookies
adapted from Lea & Jay
3½ c  all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 c pwd sugar
1 c vegetable oil
2 lg eggs
1 t almond extract
2 c chopped Marcona almonds
6 oz toffee bits
Additional sugar
Preheat oven to 350º.
Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and cream of tartar in a medium bowl; set aside.
Cream butter, sugar and pwd sugar until well combined, about 1-2 minutes.
Add oil, eggs and almond extract; mix well.
Add dry ingredients and mix slowly to combine.
Stir in almonds and toffee bits.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls, roll in sugar, then place about 2" apart on lined baking sheets and flatten with a fork.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Let cookies cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Store in airtight container.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 7640kcal; Protein 117g (233%); Total Fat 521g (801%)(Sat. 144g (720%)); Chol. 911mg (304%); Carb. 663g (221%); Fiber 49g (196%); Sugars 213g; Calcium 689mg (69%); Iron 35mg (195%)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Tzatzikitzadziki, or tsatsiki (Greekτζατζίκι [dzaˈdzici] or [dʒaˈdʒici]Turkishcacık [dʒaˈdʒɯk]English pronunciation: /zæˈdziːkiː/Albanian: xaxiq) is a Greek meze or appetizer, also used as a sauce for souvlaki and gyros.
I pronounce it tzyummy.
You can buy it prepared like Shawn & Pam did for Christmas.
(Thanks again for hosting the whole gang!)
I decided to see how easy it would be to make it at home. 
I give it an EE+ for extra easy and tasty.
Add some chicken & naan and you've got a quick meal. I need quick most nights.
I mixed up the tzatziki this morning, after a trip to the Orthodontist, before work at the coffee shop
You'll want to do this at least 2 hours before serving/devouring so all the flavors can blend.

Yield: 3 ½ cups 
Source: The Craving Chronicles
3 c Greek Yogurt
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
2 cucumbers, seeded
1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 T fresh dill
Koisher salt & fresh ground black pepper
Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds.
Chop cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T kosher salt and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. 
Drain and wipe dry with paper towel.
Dice the cucumbers, garlic and dill finely and combine in a bowl with the other ingredients.
Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. 
This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 14kcal; Protein 0g (1%); Total Fat 0g (0%)(Sat. 0g (0%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 4g (1%); Fiber 0g (1%); Sugars 1g; Calcium 12mg (1%); Iron 0mg (1%)

For the Greek flavored chicken I mixed 1 1/2 lbs. raw chicken breast strips, 2 t lemon zest, 2 t dried oregano, salt & pepper. Cook in 4 t olive oil over medium heat until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve on warmed naan/flatbread with marinated red onion, tomato & olives, if desired.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nutty for Nutella

I've been known as nutty for quite a few reasons but none so delicious as Nutella.
For the 1% of you that have not sampled Nutella it is a gooey combo of chocolate & hazelnuts...what's not to love?
Coincidently the title of this blog post is the same for this pin board. And if you aren't aware of pinterest I just have one word for you. 
Fun word, feel free to use it.
Pinterest is the biggest, bestest waste of time I know of. It is a cyber bulletin board where you can "pin" ideas, recipes, books you want to read, places you want to go...endless items.
My friend Roni & her daughter pin wedding ideas for the upcoming big event.
98% of my pins involve food, shocking I know!
Currently I have 51 nutella pins. I hope to try most of them before the world nutella day on February 5th. I provided a link, just in case you didn't believe there is actually a nutella day.
There is also a link on with 700 nutella recipes. I have a feeling my nutella pin board will soon grow!
There is also a facebook page. 
And if you don't have facebook I'm afraid there is no hope for you!
The first nutella recipe I tried from pinterst is actually one that I have flubbed twice now. Nutella Fudge, like any fudge is both easy & tricky to make. My trouble has been heating it at too high of a temperature so that the chocolate & oil separate. Not to fret, if you keep the water in your double boiler at a low simmer & not touching the top bowl you're golden.

Nutella Fudge


1 T Butter - For Greasing Pan
1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 t Vanilla Extract
8 oz High-quality Bittersweet (60%) Chocolate
1 c Nutella
3 T Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature - Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces
½ t Sea Salt

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with butter.
Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.
In a medium glass or stainless steel bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, bittersweet chocolate chips, Nutella, and butter.
Form a double-boiler by setting the bowl over a medium pot of gently simmering water.
Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, spread the top smooth with a spatula, and sprinkle with sea salt or hazelnuts.
Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.
Once the fudge is chilled, run a knife under hot water, dry it off, and run it around the edges of the pan to loosen the fudge.
Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the fudge out. Peel off the parchment paper.
Cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares.
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.

I gave the sea salt a chance but I do prefer my fudge nutty.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It's the thought that counts

I received this wonderful Christmas gift from my friend Tillie.

Thoughtful because she knows how much I love to bake & they took the time to create a beautiful gift.

In a season that's full of rushing about, spending more money and having less time the Bylers were gracious enough to prepare this unique gift.

And I heart new dishtowels.

I came across this lovely blog if you're curious about the technique for making your own vanilla.
I've also seen more than a few pins about diy vanilla.
After discovering the awesome KAF products a few years ago I have used this vanilla.
I think I now have a new favorite vanilla! 

And I think I shall use it first to bake some of Tillie's favorite cookies.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Empty Cookie Jar

Is there anything more pitiful than an empty cookie jar?
My excuses are as follows:
1. We were out of town for Christmas so why have cookies just laying around to tempt Pepper?
2. Kate was here for a week, she's 2-enough said.
3. I'm old.

Luckily I had more ideas for holiday baking than I had time for.
Does this ever happen to you?
So what do I do? I bake cookies that don't ideally fit in a cookie jar! But don't they look nice in this OXO
Especially since, as everyone knows, that stands for hugs & kisses. Anyhoo, on to the recipe!

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms 
(adapted from a bhg recipe that I could not locate)
1/2 c  butter - softened
1/2 c  shortening
1 c      sugar
3/4 c  unsweetened cocoa powder - I used the dark stuff
2 t      baking powder
1         egg
2 T     milk
1 t      pure peppermint extract
1 1/2 c  flour
Hershey's candy cane kisses
additional sugar
Preheat Oven to 350º.
Cream the butter and shortening.
Add sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder.
Beat in egg, milk, and peppermint extract.
Mix in flour.
Cover dough and chill for 1 hour or until firm.
Form 1 inch balls, roll in sugar and bake for 10 - 12 min.
Place candy in center of the cookie as soon as you take out of oven.
Transfer to a cooling rack and place in the refrigerator until set. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Blog

It took me most of the evening...because I was born in the 60's but I've created a new blog!
It still needs some work but I wanted you to be the first to know.
Same good recipes & bad photography just a different name & new address.
So copy it, link it or if you are also from the 60's write it down.
And now I need sleep.
Oh, and Happy New Year!
ps. someone should be paying ShelbyG buckets of money for all her talents :)