“My bathing suit said ‘go to the gym’, but my sweatpants said ‘nah girl, you’re good'” ~ unknown

Do you ever get lazy in the kitchen?

Boy, I do.

I get the incredible urge for cookies and I have all these fabulous recipes I want to try but the minute I think about pulling out that heavy Kitchenaid mixer – I think, nah.

If I can’t easily mix it up with the hand-mixer, I’ll just forgo them that day.

That’s why these cookies are just perfect!

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup of butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 jar (16 oz) peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350°
In a large bowl, add all ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until smooth.

Scoop out and roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Then make the classic peanut butter cookie indentations with a for – dip fork in white sugar before making each hatch mark..

Cook for around 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

**note: all ovens cook differently, so watch closely as cooking times may need to be adjusted.

Really, how simple is that?!

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-abp

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“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I ran across the best little recipe on Pinterest the other day!

Since I’ve been on this little health kick I am noticing recipes that I would normally skim right on past.  I have been missing out.

I’m thrilled that this little jewel caught my eye.

It’s always good to get a little burst of energy in the morning as you are headed out the door or on your way out to exercise. A lot of those times it would be one of those blah fiber type bars. They’ve always tasted ok but they were usually dry and tough and seemed old even if they were not.

Well, no more! My now go-to burst of energy is homemade. Not only are they not dry, they taste great!

Energy Bites

(adapted from Lil’ Luna)

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup milled flaxseed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients together then add in the wet ingredients.

Place in fridge for 30 minutes, then roll into 1 inch balls.

Store in refrigerator in airtight container.

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-abp

“Mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.” ~Emily Dickinson

My momma is so good to me.

In these last few weeks of pregnancy, I have had cravings. Nothing crazy but when I decide I want it – I WANT it.

So thank goodness for mommas!!

Not that the husband wouldn’t help me out – it’s just that he’s busy working most of the time and well, sometimes a girl just needs her momma.

One example this week was I decided I just had to have the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Whipped Pie she makes, within 24 hrs – she had one in my fridge.

Happy, Happy Girl.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Whipped Pie

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 oreo crust

Mix cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar together. Add cool whip and blend well. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour in to pie shell.

Refrigerate over night. Serve with whipped cream.

photo-6Love on a fork!

-abp

“I got to thinking about relationships and partial lobotomies. Two seemingly different ideas that might just be perfect together – like chocolate and peanut butter.” ~ Carrie Bradshaw

I now officially know how to perform CPR on an infant – let’s hope and pray I never, ever need to use it but like a good girl scout (or was it boy scout?) – BE PREPARED.

All this learning to save a life worked up an appetite and it is still several hours until dinner.

Snack time!

And that brings me to my new obsession.

Jif® Whipped Peanut Butter and Chocolate flavored Spread.

Oh my.

No recipe needed here.

Just add fruit or bread and boom. You are very happily satisfied. Actually – you don’t have to add anything – a spoon would cover it 😉

Jif Whips

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Yum.

Try it! You’ll be glad you did!

-abp

ahh.

“If I can’t have too many truffles, I’ll do without truffles.” ~ Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

A few days ago I had some time left over on a cold rainy day after throwing together a super simple crock pot meal (Honey Sauced Chicken) so I decided I would mix up a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles.

FYI – all the bowl and spoon licking that occurred during this process totally cancelled out my first trip to the gym this year, the one I had been so proud of mere minutes earlier. (Let this be a warning to you.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles (adapted from Bakerella)

  • 10 ounces of cream cheese softened
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon confectioners sugar
  • Toppings of your choice to roll the truffles in (i.e. – chopped peanuts, confectioner sugar, cocoa)

Start by creaming the cream cheese in the mixture.

cream cream cheese

In the mean time, melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in 30 second intervals in the microwave.

8 oz milk chocolate

melt chocolate

Stir peanut butter into melted chocolate. Mix well.

mix in peanut butter

Pour chocolate/PB mixture into cream cheese and add powdered sugar. Stir until completely combined.

Spread into an 8 x 8 dish and chill for several hours or overnight.

Once chilled, scoop out with a spoon or melon ball sized scoop and roll into balls. Re-chill if necessary.DSC03118

Roll truffles in topping of your choice.

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Place in fun candy sized cups.

DSC03124DSC03127DSC03120Keep refrigerated.

(P.S. the next night I rolled them in chopped peanuts – that’s my fav!)

I can not describe to you how sinfully good these are!!! The only downfall is they are pretty gooey so its a little difficult to roll but they are so good – I don’t care.

I must admit because of this I ate more out of the spoon than I did in ball form. 😉

Have a good one!

abp

“Luck is what you have left over after you give 100 percent.” ~ Langston Coleman

Well, the stitches came out (ouch, ouch, ouch) and although it’s not perfect, I’m feeling much better – I have about 80% use of my right hand. I’m actually going to attempt to go back to work today. I have really enjoyed being off – just wish I could have been a little more productive although I can’t remember the last time I got to just take it easy – a girl could get use to that! 🙂

Besides making Chili from a pack (we had our first really cold night of the fall this week and I had to have chili to commemorate it) I have not made anything to eat and well – I’m itchin’ to get back in the kitchen!

I found just the recipe to pull me back in.

Nutella and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

(recipe adapted from Of Pots and Pens)

With all the talk of Halloween and candy – I am craving the sweet stuff!

You will need:

  • 1 cup butter (unsalted), softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°.

First cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy.

Then add in peanut butter, Nutella, egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.

(had to put this pic in just because it looks so yum! – could eat with a spoon!)

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients until well combined.

Slowly add in dry mixture to the creamy mixture.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Place tablespoon sized scoops of cookie dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

(I smooshed them down a little bit after this)

Cool on sheet, then transfer to rack to finish cooling.

There you go – that wasn’t too hard for this not back to 100% girl.

Glad to be back to cooking/blogging – it might be a slow go for a while but I hope to be good as new very soon!

Happy Halloween!!!!

abp

“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.” ~ James A. Garfield

Very busy day at work on Wednesday, followed by a great start to my Wednesday night Bible Study. Not to mention the great meal served beforehand! I’m totally going to get used to this not cooking on Wednesday deal!

If you do not know – I work late on Wednesdays and Thursdays so I never cook on Thursday (usually a date night with the mom) and I only cook on Wednesday if it’s a casserole I made ahead of time or a crockpot meal. Now I will not have to worry about Wednesdays for the next 15 or so weeks! I’m especially grateful because my friend, the great and wonderful cook – Ashley H. is back at the helm so the food will be awesome!!!

I know you’re thinking – but wait – I thought you liked to cook.

I do!!! Just not when I’m pooped. And I’m pooped on Wednesdays and Thursdays!

I had another very busy day at work Thursday – dinner with the mom.

And Friday night was an awesome date night with the DH at Kozy’s. Kind of funny though – they were hoppin’ that night and ran out of grits – so my shrimp ‘n grits turned out to be shrimp ‘n potatoes. Hey – a carb’s a carb in my book!

So my hiatus from the kitchen is over for the week.

Time for Creamy Peanut Butter Tart.

This recipe comes from the blog Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – she has awesome recipes!

The only change I made was that she made her own graham cracker crust and I bought one at the store. I think its wonderful to make it completely homemade but it can get to the point that it will not be made at all because there are just too many steps.

So, I cheated a tiny bit.

Creamy Peanut Butter Tart

  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 3 ounces of milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used morsels because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Place chocolate in a small bowl. Heat ½ cup of heavy cream in sauce pan over medium heat until simmering and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 3-5 minutes and then whisk it until well combined.

Spread chocolate mixture over crust and chill in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Next, with a handheld mixer combine cream cheese, peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Blend until sooth. Now add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and beat mixture for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.

Spread peanut butter mixture evenly over chocolate layer and smooth out to edges.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Serve chilled with a dollop of whip cream and mini chocolate chips.  This is yum-o! A great dessert to serve after a big meal because it’s not too sweet or too heavy!

You really just can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate!

pb

I hope everyone has a great start to a new week!

Coming later this week:

Super Moist Pork Tenderloin with Pan Sauce

and

Chicken Parmesan Casserole and Parmesan Knots

abp

“A human being isn’t an orchid, he must draw something from the soil he grows in.” – Sara Jeannette Duncan

Today is a good, no great day!!! For two reasons – 1) It’s Friday!! 2) It’s the first day that I feel back to normal. Wednesday I was starting to wonder if that would ever be the case!

So after work, I headed to the store to get to the couple of items I needed to make Salted Nut Bars or as I have renamed them – Friday Paydays . And when I walked in, there were the most gorgeous orchids I had ever seen!! (at Winn Dixie – I know) Considering I am still in mourning because the orchid I had been nurturing for the past several months had faded away a few weeks ago – there was no question that one of those beauties were coming home with me!! Of course, the one I wanted was the one on the top and my short self looked like a spaz try to reach it with out knocking over all the others. Oh well, nothing new about that.

Here she is!!!!

Okie Doke – on to the Friday Paydays. I call them that because it’s Friday, many people get paid on Friday and they taste a whole lot like the Payday candy bar.

They are also addicting. I’m typing with sticky fingers because I can’t stop eating them long enough to finish this post!

These are quite simple to make. 5 ingredients and no baking!

(I found this recipe on the blog Bake or Break.)

  • 3 cups salted peanuts (no skins), divided
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • kosher salt or sea salt, optional

Start by layering half the peanuts in the bottom of a 7″x11″ baking dish.

Over low heat, melt butter and peanut chips, stir til smooth.

Now, mix in the sweetened condensed milk.

Once this is combined – stir in marshmallows until melted and smooth.

Pour mixture over peanuts.

Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top.

If you prefer more saltly with your sweet and salty snack – add a little sea salt or kosher salt.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Cut into bars.

Weeelllll, I did this and they taste absolutely fabulous but they didn’t set up perfectly.  You can cut them into bars and eat them but if you stored them cut they would kind of want to stick to each other because they are fairly soft/sticky.

This by no means is to deter you from making these, I just hate that I couldn’t really box them up pretty and give as a gift. Seems to be better served from the baking dish.

Regardless – they are yum yum good!!!

They finished off our dinner perfectly. BTW – we had spaghetti with this new pasta sauce I found at publix that had whole roasted garlic cloves in it – AWESOME! (I doctored it up a little of course ;))

Take a look.

Now off for a walk and then in the bed to watch the first of the three Bourne movies so I’m ready to go see the new Bourne Legacy movie at the theater this weekend!

’til later

abp