Peanut Butter Things.

Is it really Monday?

Well, actually it is really Sunday evening.

At least that is when I am writing this.

Let’s just say I have a belly full of dinner and these little peanut buttery things I’m about to share with you.

This past week I burned  trashed my 2 year old house shoe boots.

They were so comfortable and I donned them in my p.j.’s every single night until the soles were ripped wide open and my slippers were “talking.”

It was tough to move on, but I’m a new woman.

Flaxseed is also changing my life.

Well, it is basically rocking my little cooking/baking world.

Watch out vegan desserts, I am coming for you.

Let’s continue on this flax train w/ some 3-ingredient bars.

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Yea, i said 3-ingredients…but not just any bars, peanut butter bars.

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Flourless peanut butter bars.

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VEGAN AND GLUTEN-FREE.

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Say what now?

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YUP!

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Y’all know how I feel about peanut butter, so you can imagine how I wrapped my brain around this one.

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INSANITY.

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On another note…I have lost my ever-loving mind.

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Went to the store to get Princess some dog food.

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Only I accidentally overlooked the package which was labeled “puppy food.”

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Yep, she’s pretty much a 14-year-old Yorkie. Definitely not a puppy.

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Whoops.

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I mean, that would be like someone serving me IN-N-OUT instead of Whataburger.

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Clearly not the same thing. IN-N-OUT is a crime. I’m a Texan y’all…WHAT-A-BURGER is where it’s at.

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Thankfully, she still ate the food.

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If I could just feed her peanut butter cookies we would all be better off.

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A girl can dream can’t she?

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PEANUT BUTTER ALWAYS WINS!

Flour-less Peanut Butter Cookie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
3-ingredient flourless peanut butter cookie bars drizzled in a silky cocoa peanut butter glaze. Vegan and Gluten-free.
Ingredients
  • For the cookie bars:
  • 1 flax egg (1 T. flaxseed meal + 3 T. water)
  • 1 c. all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 c. coconut sugar
  • For the cocoa peanut butter glaze:
  • 1 T. unsweetened, cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 2 T. + 1 t. all-natural peanut butter (or PB2 original powdered peanut butter)
  • 1 T. coconut sugar (or granulated stevia)
  • 2 T. + 1 t. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk (or water)
Instructions
  1. For the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to create an egg like texture.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
  4. Press the cookie dough into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the bars are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bars comes out clean.
  6. Let the bars cool completely before cutting into square bars and glazing.
  7. For the glaze, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together until smooth.
  8. Glaze each bar.

MANGIA!!!

Carrot Crazy.

I have no idea where I developed this obsession with carrots. I mean, hello…carrots are on my plate at almost every meal. And I’m not talking about plain, raw carrots with a side of ranch dressing. I’m talking about the fact that I have made this carrot souffle about 173853782 times in the past 3 months. I could probably make it in my sleep. Then, we had that little happening at the beginning of the week involving carrot cake coffee cake…for breakfast…or anytime of the day. Get ready, because I am about to show you another recipe with carrots. I really think it might have something to do with Easter being right around the corner. I mean, I cannot walk into a grocery store or a craft store without being bombarded by aisles of plush Easter bunnies, woven neon baskets, and giant Reese’s PB Eggs. At least I will keep using this Easter excuse…until I turn into an actual carrot, that is.

See what I mean?

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Oh, and you know I just HAD to throw some coconut up in there too.

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These are definitely health food bars.

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Those are dried figs up there. I thought…carrots and figs? Boom. Couple of the year.

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I added flax seed to these breakfast bars because ya know…it’s a super food. It also has a ton of fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, and can help reduce your risk heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

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I sound like a walking Web MD advertisement…i know.

I also put my honey nut butter in these bars because duh…HONEY NUT BUTTER…seriously? This stuff works miracles.

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These are breakfast bars well…because I say so, but also work for a yummy snack.

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But then again, I just ate an entire bowl of paleo turkey spaghetti squash casserole with a side of carrot souffle…for breakfast.

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So, in any event do as you please…hell, top it with ice cream…it will balance out the flax seed.

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Honey Nut Flaxseed Breakfast Bars (GF/P):

Ingredients:

1/2 c. almond flour

1 c. ground flaxseed meal

1 t. baking soda

1/4 t. fine sea salt

1/2 c. Honey Nut Butter (or any other nut butter you prefer)

1/4 c. raw honey

1 T. pure vanilla extract

1/2 c. + 2 T. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk

1 c. finely chopped, or shredded carrots

1 c. unsweetened, shredded coconut

1/2 c. dried figs, chopped

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 in. square baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, and salt.

3. Add in the honey nut butter, honey, vanilla, and almond milk. Mix until smooth.

4. Fold in the coconut, carrots, and figs.

5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean.

7. Let cool completely before cutting into even squares.

8. Serve with a good topping of honey nut butter.

Makes 9-12 squares.

MANGIA!!!

Real Nuts.

 

Happy Thursday y’all!

Dear reality television,

please stop consuming my life. I made the “mistake” of trying Netflix free for 1 month and 1 week in…I’m already through the first (and last) season of Pretty Wild (don’t judge me :/) and halfway through the first season of Make It or Break It…I was a closet gymnast in another life. 🙂 I keep on justifying my reality t.v. addiction by telling myself “it’s not the Kardashian’s…it’s not the Kardashian’s.” Complete and total justification.

On another note, the other night I found myself waking up from a dream and randomly coming up with 3 dessert recipes in my head as I lay in bed. WTheck? Seriously, how does one come up with a festive pop-tart recipe at 2 a.m. while listening to their dog snore next to their bed? Who am I? Oh, yea, that’s right. I should know me by now.

On another, another note 🙂 let’s talk about nut milks.

Now, I love me some almond milk. In fact, I have been making myself a steamed almond milk with cinnamon and stevia every night before bed solely because it is pure comfort in a cup. 🙂

I am all for trying new things…experimentation is where it’s at.

Enter some soaked cashews.

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The beginning of the cashew milk process.

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Cashews are the new almonds.

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For reaaaaalz yo.

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Don’t mind that pic…it’s cashew pulp. More about that tomorrow.

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Now, I didn’t get fancy w/ this goodness…vanilla bean and cinnamon.

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Two of my fave spices.

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Pure bliss.

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Really could use a cookie…or two right about now. 🙂

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Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Cashew Milk
Cuisine: Beverage
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. raw, unsalted cashews
  • water, for soaking
  • 1 c. filtered water
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with cold water.
  2. Let cashews soak overnight.
  3. Drain and rinse cashews with cold water.
  4. Place all of the ingredients in a large powerful blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl.
  6. Place a cheese cloth inside of the strainer.
  7. Pour the cashew milk through the cheesecloth.
  8. This will reserve the "cashew pulp."
  9. Let the cashew pulp strain.
  10. Reserve the cashew pulp for another recipe.
  11. Pour the cashew milk into a large glass and enjoy!

 

MANGIA!!!

Bananas.

Happy Thursday y’all!
Okay people, now is the time to kick it into high gear, go all out, game face on: countdown, one week to Thanksgiving. I’m on a mission tomorrow w/ my dad to get our turkey. Let’s talk about things that drive me bananas…in particular, bananas themselves. Okay, I love me some bananas, that is if they are covered in peanut butter. Sometimes, they just aren’t appealing to me, unless they are in banana bread, or banana muffins, or banana pancakes or tucked away into any carb-loaded comfort food. So, naturally when I go to the grocery store and my mother requests that I pick up some bananas, I find the greenest ones so I know they will last a bit longer than usual. However, it frustrates me when I see the same bananas on the counter a week later, un-eaten, and covered in brown spots. I mean, seriously? Let’s eat those bananas, people. Especially if I am going to spend .65 purchasing them ;). The only solution then is to put on my creativity cap and make another banana bread…only different…for the millionth time. 
Lucky me…I love banana bread so this is a no brainer.
Today is all about the whole grains…let’s use barley flour

and buckwheat flour

haha…buckwheat.

Oh, and let’s sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar for a nice golden, crispy crust.

Ummmm…yum!

Genius!
Oh, and this banana bread just so happens to be vegan and dairy free 🙂

Not to mention absolutely, utterly delicious.

Whole grains for the win!
You just might want to snack on this while you are prepping all of those Thanksgiving dishes!
Whole Grain Cinnamon Sugar Banana Bread (V/Wheat-free):
Ingredients:
1 c. barley flour
1 c. buckwheat flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. sea salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/2 c. honey (or maple syrup for Vegan-version)
3/4 c. unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
juice of 1 small orange
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. raw coconut sugar
Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 in. loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Mix well.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth.
5. Pour the banana batter into the prepared pan. 
6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and coconut sugar.
7. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the top of the banana batter.
8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the banana bread is firm (not longer jiggly in the center), and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
Makes 8 slices.
MANGIA!!!

Baked.

Happy Ash Wednesday my little pretties (in the gnarliest Wicked Witch of the West voice ever)!

How was your Fat Tuesday? Mine was great! I had a job interview and discovered what I already knew, so I guess I can thank myself for being so damn smart. Word of advice: never let anyone make you feel less valuable than you are. Because I sure don’t. College degree. Check. Tons of experience. Check. Nine dollars an hour…peace out! Their loss. Anyway, to blow off my steam I did some therapeutic shopping with my birthday money at Sur La Table. I die. Thank God for the clearance section. Now that I am done with my little rant for the week, I bet you are wondering who that special winner of my Chobani Giveaway is. The random winner is…





Sarah from The Pajama Chef! Yay Sarah! I am so excited for you to get to try these ah-mazing Chobani flavors!  Sarah, contact me at chuychuychels@yahoo.com with contact information.

Moving on to the good stuff, today I want to get totally baked with you. Yes, I said it, baked. Geez…no, not the “I’m so high as a kite I can see Alaska from my house” baked, and not the “I have 40 tan lines from falling asleep while laying in the sun on a beach” baked. No, this is the best kind of baked…twice baked, sweet potatoes, that is. Yes, people, I am talking about the kind of baked that we all know and love. 

Our favorite sweet potato


 gets turned into an even sweeter, browned and melted kind of baked symphony 


then taken out of the oven, cooled, and skinned of it’s beautiful filling, which gets whipped into a delicious coco-nutty concoction,


 thrown into two ramekins, and baked a second time until it reaches a caramel-colored perfection, with crispy outer edges, and a gooey inside.

That was an awesome run-on sentence.

Hey, it’s whatever.


Wham, Bam, Thank You!

I am off to get some ashes, but I would love to know HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR SWEET POTATOES?









Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Coconut:


Ingredients:
1 T. melted coconut oil
1 large sweet potato
1/4 c. coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1/2 T. cinnamon
1 T. agave nectar (or honey)
1/2 t. sea salt
2 t. unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
melted coconut oil, as needed


Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the sweet potato in half, crosswise. 
2. Rub the sweet potato halves with the melted coconut oil.
3. Arrange the sweet potato halves so that they are standing up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, turning them once during the cooking time.
4. When the sweet potatoes are soft (check by piercing with a fork), take them out of the oven and allow to cool completely.
5. Scrape the flesh of each sweet potato halve into a medium mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk and mash together using a potato masher.
6. Stir in the cinnamon, salt, and agave.
7. Spoon the sweet potato mixture into two small ramekins, each well oiled with coconut oil. 
8. Top each ramekin with 1 t. of the shredded coconut. Drizzle each with a bit of coconut oil.
9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the coconut is slightly golden.


MANGIA!!!