Wednesday, September 29, 2010

peanut butter frosting

Who doesn't love peanut butter cups? Well this is the next best thing. Peanut butter frosting. It is light and fluffy and good on brownies, cupcakes and my favorite a spoon. This frosting is simple and delicious. So lets get started!

You will need:
1 cup butter softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
whipping cream (or milk)
2 lbs of powder sugar (give or take)

Mix butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add vanilla and 1/3 of the powder sugar. Once it is mix well add a little cream and then a little sugar. Do this until you have used all the powder sugar and reached the constancy you desire. The longer and you beat it the fluffier it becomes especially when using cream. Turn your mixer down when adding powder sugar to keep it from flying everywhere.

So there you have it one of my favorite recipes using peanut butter. you can even add cocoa to the frosting to give it a chocolaty goodness. Have fun and spoil your family today with a yummy surprise.

Monday, September 27, 2010

peanut butter snack balls

These are some of our favorite lunch treats or after school snacks.  They are similar to peanut butter playdough and the peanut butter acorns but contain a few more ingredients and crunchy cereal.  I adapted this recipe from My Cafe Kitchen.  These are one of our favorite snacks because they are very yummy, easy to make,  and also packed with fiber and protein.  The recipe is flexible for whatever you have on hand.

1 cup honey
3 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
2 cups rice krispies
2/3 - 1/4 cup applesauce (optional - I have tried it with and without)
2 cups crushed cereal (I use Cheerios,  Life, or what every cereal I have on hand )
½ cup chocolate chips or dried fruit
3-4 tablespoons powdered milk
2 cups crushed mini-wheat cereal
Mix all of the ingredients but the last two until well combined.  Add powdered milk like flour until it forms a soft cookie like dough.
I use a small cookie scoop to make the balls and then roll them in crushed frosted mini wheat cereal or the crumbs from the bottom of the box. 

We put three in snack size baggies and put them in the freezer or fridge.

They are ready for lunches or afternoon snacks.  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

favorite kitchen chopper

 We love these little food choppers and have worn out a few different kinds at our house.  I decided to try this one after spotting it at IKEA.  Like many things from IKEA it is designed better than any other we have tried.

Here are the things I love about it:
1.  It is dishwasher safe, really.  (I have had others that said they were but then could not handle the heat.)

2.  It has a bigger top than most and is easier to push.

3.  The top comes off the container so that it can be filled from the top instead of the bottom.

 4.  The little container on the bottom has a lid that fits on the bottom when not is use and on the top to store any leftovers.
5.  By pressing down and turning, it becomes much shorter so that it will fit into more spaces.                        
Over all it is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets to chop nuts, olives, onions, peppers, etc.
If you are looking for one, this is the best one out there.  Happy chopping.

Friday, September 24, 2010

peanut butter acorns

 In celebration of such a beautiful fall day or maybe just because it is Friday, a fun activity with my preschooler became today's great after school snack.  We used our favorite reciepe for peanut butter playdough to create these cute little edible acorns.
After rolling the dough into balls we dipped the top into melted chocolate, and chopped nuts, and finished them off with a little piece of pretzle.
 Fun, fast, easy, and healthy. 
 And a hit with the kids.  What more could a mom ask for.  Happy Fall!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

eggplant parmesan

I love Italian food especially when it is made with fresh ingredients. This is one of my favorite dishes it is so light and yummy, made with my favorite things from my garden, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, and garlic. So lets get started.

You will need:
1 lg. eggplant (smaller ones work great for side dishes too.)
2 cloves of garlic
1 lg. tomato
olive oil
5 basil leaves
shredded Parmesan cheese

Start by washing and cutting your eggplant into half the log way. Scoop or cut out the inside of the eggplant leaving just the skin. Chop the eggplant that you removed from the skin into small cubes. Cut the tomato into small cubes and mince garlic as well. Set a side and preheat oven to 350*. In a small pan you are going to heat up about 4 tbs of olive oil and begin to saute your garlic for about 1 min just enough to season the oil. To the pan add your eggplant and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Cook the eggplant for 2 min and remove from heat. Add chopped tomatoes to the eggplant mixture and chopped basil as well. Scoop the eggplant mixture into the eggplant shell. Top with Parmesan and bake for 10-15min. until cheese is browned and eggplant is soft.


Friday, September 17, 2010

lunch baggies

The perfect Eco-friendly container that's perfect for lunches or trips to the park.
To get started you will need. Fabric, Ripstop nylon, Ribbon, Velcro: fabric supplies.

1. Cut two rectangles of patterned fabric and ripstop nylon, each 13x7".

2. Pin right sides of fabric together, with nylon on the outside.

3. Fold two pieces of 5" ribbon in half and pin them, centered on each short side. The loop should be toward the inside and approximately 1 1/2" of the tails should be showing (so the tabs can be reinforced when you stitch the Velcro).

4. Stitch each short side using a 1/2" seam allowance.

5. Turn right side out and iron the fabric side on a warm setting.

6. Pin Velcro to each short end on the ripstop nylon side, approximately 1/4" from the seam edge, as well as 1/4" from each raw edge (this will cut down on the bulk in the finished side seam).

7. Stitch Velcro in place using two lines of stitching.

8. Fold in half, right sides together, and stitch down both sides approximately 1/4" from the edge.

9. Turn right side out, press and stitch down each edge with just slightly more than a 1/4" seam, enclosing the inside seam.
These snack baggies are even machine washable- turn them inside out, place an extra piece of loop Velcro over the hook Velcro so it doesn't catch on other items, then Wash and dry as normal with like colors.

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