Tag Archive for 'peanut butter'

PB&R Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I’ve been in hibernation mode. Taking a planned break to just have fun cooking and spending time with people I miss engaging with regularly. I remember as a child looking at my grandparents in awe of how many friends and acquaintances they had. The list of contacts seemed endless and my daughter made a comment over the weekend that reminded me of that feeling. I understood her perspective and the sheer awe of the network.

The last few years have taught me one thing loud and clear- spend time only with those that are worth your time. Laugh and smile and make everyday fun. There is a lot we have to be grateful for…don’t waste a minute of it wishing your life could be otherwise.

When I was sick a few years ago, one of my good childhood friends was also sick. Separated by great distances I remember he called me from his hospital bed while I was in mine. We laughed and cried and while our conditions were vastly different our mindset was indeed similar. This past week, after years of only being able to connect by phone and text, we met for a coffee, a walk, and a very long talk. While our lives are incredibly different, our views on life were nearly identical.

1) Never taking one conscious moment of any day for granted; we were given a second chance. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a second chance. How we both managed to get so very lucky I’ll never know. For now, it really doesn’t matter how or why, just that it isn’t squandered.

2) Never say no to opportunity, no matter how crazy it may seem.

3) Spending time with those you enjoy.

4) Appreciating the beauty around us.

5) The fight is better than the alternative. Fight for life. You can live every day- you can only die once.

This is a recipe I played around with this past week—low in glycemic sugar, gluten-free, and just the right hint of sweet. It was the perfect sweet cheat for a few people in my life that don’t often get to indulge in sweets! Need to make it vegan? Well, that is easy as swapping in your favorite vegan butter. We joked that these cookies are practically “free”; refined sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free (if you so choose)! Need to make them nut-free? No problem, substitute in your favorite spread.

As a connoisseur of peanut butter and jelly desserts, I’ve long been searching for a recipe that would combine peanut butter and jelly in a cookie. These cookies take their flavor cues from the lunch-box favorite or at least my version of it where chocolate is included! This thick chunky cookie is not overly sweet, and if you are a fan of the PBJ (peanut butter and jelly) sandwich then it will be a recipe you want to keep close at hand. Any jam or jelly can be substituted for raspberry.

PB&R Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/3 cup unsalted butter or vegan butter, softened

1 cup gluten free flour blend

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2/3 cup peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup coconut sugar

2 TBS almond milk

½ fresh raspberries, well mashed

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add butter, peanut butter, vanilla sugar, and milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is fluffy.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt. And combine with peanut butter mixture by hand. Then fold in chocolate chips and raspberries.

Drop walnut-size cookies (2 TBS) onto a baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Store in refrigerator.

Mom’s Peanut Butter Cookies

moms cookies-2

Tre(e)mendous Love

The secret lives of trees. I read this really charming article that I can’t seem to get out of my mind, it talked about tress care for each other. I know, how can I say that and not expect you to flashback to Avatar? No harm in that. That’s certainly what I thought about when I read the adapted piece, which was authored by Melissa Bryer of Treehugger.com.

“ They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network know as the ‘wood wide web’; and keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots,” reveals Peter Wohllenben, A German forest ranger and author of “The Hidden Lives of Trees; What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World” which was released in September.

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To understand the deep connection trees have with each other was mindboggling. In many ways it seems like the perfect message for this post – EVERYTHING cares and often times we just don’t understand how or speak the language of other living things. >Too touchy feely? I get that sometimes when I say things like, “ I don’t want to perpetuate any more negative energy.” But this is really thinking beyond the branches, right?<

To enlighten you further, the research that Wohllenben conducted revealed that artificially spacing out trees to allow for more light and growth was counter productive as trees exist less like individuals and more as communal beings. By working together and sharing resources, via their root network, their resistance is increased against damaging influences. Much like humans throughout time, it was the family structure and sense of community that has often kept mankind afloat. And to bring this concept into the home, it is a sense of family and dining around the table sharing food, that personally gives me the connection to my family on a daily basis. Cooking helps ground me, it helps me find my roots when things get stressful and it also provides me a great amount of entertainment. I can appreciate trees finding their strength as communal beings – for as much as I like to be an individual these past few years have taught me just how important my family and community can be when life becomes scary.

This gluten free recipe is the first one I’ve developed when my mom was diagnosed with diabetes a number of years ago. She really didn’t eat many desserts but she always loved peanut butter cookies. The look on her face when I baked up the first batch of these was sheer happiness. I’d like to believe that it took a little of the edge off of her diagnosis. It was my way of saying that we’d find a way to get around it. That’s just what family does.

The cookie recipe is quite simple. Five ingredients, a bowl, spoon cookie sheet and 12 minutes in the oven will do. The crunchy peanut flavor and consistency is really spot on. It is exactly what a peanut butter cookie should be; crunchy, super soft, and chewy. Added perks- it is gluten fee, lactose free and refined sugar free. You’ll be amazed at how something so ‘free’ of the bad ingredients is so very good! After sinking your teeth into one of the gems you just might have your new favorite dessert.

moms cookies 1.2

Ingredients

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

2 TBS maple syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsps unsalted peanuts, rough chopped

sea salt, sprinkle (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a spoon mix all ingredients until well blended. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet. Use fork to make a crisscross design. If using sea salt, sprinkle on top before baking.

Bake for 12 minutes and let cool. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Fudgiest Peanut Butter Smoothie

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This week’s episode of ‘I am not cooking!‘ is brought to you by my faithful blender.

I am a newly converted blending addict. There is no way around it. No matter how much I dream about a nice hot meal I keep on blending. Fortunately it is summer so it’s slightly less noticeable. >she tells herself in affirmation< Continue reading ‘Fudgiest Peanut Butter Smoothie’

Peanut Butter Coconut Balls (Gluten Free)

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The holiday vortex. It is only when I’ve woken up in January from my sugar filled dreams that I realize I’ve been caught in culinary bliss; blissfully drifting from bite to bite through the month of December. My body screams- it’s time to wake up – time to thin down – time to ‘try’ to leave the sugar and excess poundage behind. Every year around this time I do a gentle cleanse. Now don’t panic, it is not just a juice cleanse, which I doubt I could ever do, but it does strip out a few edible options. The cleanse is gluten, dairy, and sugar free. There are a few foods I can’t eat temporarily, but Continue reading ‘Peanut Butter Coconut Balls (Gluten Free)’