Tag Archives: peanut butter

Thai Peanut Granola

I’m not usually a New Years resolution kind of lady. I typically feel like if you are waiting around until a specific date to decide you are going to do something, then you probably aren’t really committed to doing it in the first place.

For example I will say, “I will fold that basket of laundry this afternoon when Monkey Mode is napping.” And then two days later The Hubs and are still nabbing underwear from the basket after we get out of the shower. Had I really been determined to fold and put away those clothes, I probably would have just done it when I pulled them out of the dryer.

So even though I am not usually into the resolution thing, I am into making an effort to make the year as great as it has potential to be. So I made a list of ten things I can do. I just took the basic abstract hopes for my year (i.e. to be a better mom and wife; to be happier; to feel stronger, healthier, and smarter) and put down some clear cut ways that I think will help me get there. Just little things…well most of them are little…you wanna see my list? Of course you do, you little voyeurs!

1. Do something silly every day.

2. Make the girls do something silly every day. Back when we first got married, The Hubs and I were always so goofy.  We laughed a lot. But now that there is so much that has to get done in a day, I feel like we are rarely as silly as we used to be. From the time I get up until the time I go to bed it is feed the girls, brush their teeth, get them dressed, change Monkey’s diaper, help The Dude to the bathroom, clean up the table, sweep, feed the dog, do the laundry (but not fold it or put it up, of course), blah, blah, blah…it is so constant that I forget to take a moment and just be ridiculous and have a good time. There have been days this past year that I don’t think I ever laughed. Not once. That is sad. What good is going through a day if you can’t enjoy it?

3. Do something away from the girls twice a month. When Monkey was a little baby and I was nursing her around the clock, it was hard to get out of the house; but now there is no reason that I can’t get do something away from them. They need to spend time away from me just as much as I need to be away from them.

4. Get dressed up for The Hubs at least once a week. This is one I have already been trying to do. But again, I am so busy running around after the kids that I sometimes literally haven’t even looked in the mirror since I stepped out of the shower in the morning. I figure he would probably appreciate seeing me with a little makeup on and maybe some clothes that aren’t covered in food or worse. Can I get an amen, Hubs?

5. Do something for others once a month and try to get the girls in on it. I want my girls to be philanthropic, magnanimous kinds of people. It would probably be best to start them young.

6. Take a photography class. You know that you guys would appreciate this as much as me. I mean seriously…I obviously have no idea what I am doing.


7. Read the entire Jane Austen catalog. Now this one is kind of embarrassing for me. I am a total bookworm and minored in English in college, but I have never read a single Jane Austen book. I hear they are pretty good.

8. Go to an Avett Brothers concert. When we were in college, going to concerts was what The Hubs and I did. But of course, there is something about having kids that makes it a bit difficult to go to shows. These guys have quickly become one of my favorite bands, and I would love love love to go see them this year if at all possible.

9. Do ten uninterrupted kipping pullups. Come on! What kind of resolution list would this be without some kind of fitness goal? Hubs has become a die hard CrossFit freak over the past year and has somehow managed to make me feel like a slob even though I am arguably in the best shape of my life. So by the end of the year, I want to be able to get out in the back yard (yes we have pullup bars in the back yard…told you he was a freak…) and knock out some pullups with him.

10. Eat more protein daily. After just a few weeks of doing CrossFit type workouts and increasing the weights that I am using, I am craving protein like crazy. It has really made me stop and evaluate what all of us should be eating. So I am trying to make sure that everyone gets at least a little bit of protein with every meal and snack they eat.

So there you have my list. We will see how it goes. Like I said, I feel like everything on here is really just little things that I can do that will make an all around positive impact on my life this year.

So how did I do yesterday? I was silly more than once and made both The Dude and The Hubs laugh at me. I encouraged The Dude to do some crazy good interpretive dancing (to the Avett Brothers no less) which made me and Monkey laugh. I put on makeup before The Hubs got home. I did a super hard upper body workout that could not have hurt my cause for pullups. And I made this granola.

Full of hearty, protein-rich peanut butter, and peanuts. It has tons of flavor just like your favorite Thai peanut sauce. It is garlicky, and spicy, and slightly sweet, and crunchy, and irresistible, and good for you. Just the kind of snack to help you get on with your own list of ways to better yourself this year.

Here’s the recipe.

Thai Peanut Granola

Makes approximately 4 snack portions

1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha hot chili sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 cup old fashioned oats

1/4 cup (heaping) salted, roasted peanuts

1/4 cup packed sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl combine peanut butter, sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, garlic powder, cilantro, and ginger.

Stir in oats, peanuts, and coconut.

Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stirring once halfway through cooking.

Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M and Peanut Butter Oat Balls

See? This is exactly why I don’t watch the news.

I am apparently one of those nut jobs who takes every little dramatic story that is reported waaaay to seriously.

About a month ago, I started seeing info pop up on my Twitter feed about these White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms.

At first, I thought it was some sort of fake advertisement. I started looking around the internets and couldn’t really find anything about it. Then as time went by, I kept seeing more and more tidbits here and there and basically got the impression that they were a real thing but very hard to find. So I started getting all obsessive and paranoid that I would never have the pleasure of trying out these fun little candies. It got to the point where every time I went to Walmart, I would slowly and methodically walk down the candy aisle, scouring the shelves for that one elusive bag that I just knew had to be hiding somewhere. Does this sound like something a sane person does while shopping with a three year old? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I finally saw them at my Walmart one afternoon while I was picking up a few random odds and ends. I’m pretty sure I squealed. Then before I knew what I was doing, I grabbed three bags and threw them in my cart. Three bags!

Here is what is incredible about that fact:

1. I never buy candy. N.E.V.E.R. For one thing, The Hubs and I can’t control ourselves when we have it, and truthfully I don’t really even care that much for candy anyway (…I know…if it makes you feel any better, it is really hard for me to admit that).

2. While candy corn is The Hubs’ very very favorite Halloween candy, I can’t stand it. I think it tastes terrible.

So there I was, having a little Happy Parade all up and down Walmart, for something that I would never normally purchase and was pretty sure I wasn’t even going to want to eat.

Oh well.

My craziness is your gain I suppose.

While I didn’t really love the M&Ms by themselves, these little nuggets even brought a candy corn non-believer like me, back for seconds.

I don’t know if you could ask for more really, this stuff is literally three ingredients and requires no baking or cooking. If you can stir and warm things in the microwave, you can make these. And the Halloween colors and slight candy corn flavor make these a really fun non-gross looking (yeah, I’m talking to you, Brain Cupcakes and Monster Toes!) Halloween treat.

First, coarsely chop up a handful of the M&Ms. This is going to give the balls some crunch and give you those fun Halloween colors.

Then you melt your peanut butter in the microwave and set it aside.

I just want you to know, it took every ounce of willpower I had not to turn that bowl up and drink the peanut butter right then and there.

Next up, microwave some M&Ms for 30 seconds.

See how they are starting to crack open? This is a very exciting thing.

Give them a stir (you can be like me and use the same spoon you stirred the peanut butter with) and then microwave them for another 30 seconds.

Now start to crush them with the back of your spoon to release all of the white chocolate goodness.

Then plop that over into your peanut butter and stir, baby, stir!

Now add this mixture over into your oats along with the chopped M&Ms and stir it all together.

And, hey, I don’t care if you start licking the inside of the peanut butter bowl now. You just go right on ahead.

I used a 2 tablespoon scoop to lift out the mixture and then gently molded it into little balls with my hands. This part is admittedly pretty messy, so if you would rather, you could just press it down into a pan and then cut into little bars when you are ready to eat it. I actually considered molding them into a round cake pan and then cutting them into little triangles to sort of mirror the whole candy corn thing. It would be really cute.

Either way, refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes and then they are yours to devour as you please.

Uh-oh. I think I hear the nightly news coming on, I better go turn that off real quick before I start digging a fallout shelter in my back yard or something.

White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M and Peanut Butter Oat Balls

3/4 cup White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms, divided

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup old fashioned oats

Coarsely chop 1/4 cup M&Ms.

Microwave peanut butter 45 seconds. Stir and set aside.

In a separate bowl, microwave remaining 1/2 cup M&Ms for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave 30 seconds more. Crush M&Ms with the back of a spoon and stir.

Add melted M&Ms to the melted peanut butter and stir to combine.

Add peanut butter mixture and 1/4 cup chopped M&Ms to oats in a large bowl and stir until well combined.

Form into balls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Oh and P.S. I have been reading that some people are worried that there may be a pumpkin shortage this year, so guess how many cans of pumpkin I have in my pantry right now?

Three. Yep. And you know I don’t even really care about pumpkin…

What is happening to me?

Saturday Selections: Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Is it just me or are my recipe titles getting longer and longer?

I seriously apologize, I just didn’t know what else to call them. Let’s break it down shall we?

Pretzels, covered in oozing, melted chocolate chips, all tucked inside a peanut butter cookie.

Ummm. Yeah. That’s right.

You don’t know whether to love me or hate me do you?

It’s cool. The Hubs can’t decide either.

I kid. I kid.

I think that these would be so fun to have to munch on during a football game.

Now I will admit that they do take a few minutes to put together, but there is nothing at all hard about them. And while I haven’t tried it, I can’t see any reason that it would be a problem to have them all ready to go into the oven long before you bake them. So if you wanted to make them on a Friday night and just pop them in the oven at halftime on Saturday, I think it would be awesome.

We start off with just a basic peanut butter cookie.

To begin, cream together peanut butter, butter, and sugar.

Now this step is totally optional, but if you want,  you can take a quality control moment with a pretzel here.

Oh OK….The Dude wants some too now…

I know I’m partial, but seriously, could The Dude be more gorgeous?

Ummm, now would somebody please go throw some raw eggs over in the peanut butter mixture so The Dude and I will quit eating this stuff!

Phew. Thanks.

Mix in the rest of the ingredients and you are good to go.

Once your dough has come together, scoop out 2 teaspoons at a time and roll them into little balls. Then flatten them out. You are going to need two discs for every cookie, and you want to make one of the discs slightly larger than the other (the larger one is going to be your top and needs to lay across all of the delicious filling).

While I was doing this, I had The Little Dude break up some pretzel sticks into a bowl.

Completely cover half of your discs with a little mound of pretzel bits (the cookies are going to puff up all around it so you will probably put on a little more than you would think you need).

Then dollop 1/4 teaspoon of peanut butter on top of the pretzels. This just gives the cookie even more peanut butter oomph, and gives the chocolate chips something to stick to.

Now sprinkle on about 1/4 teaspoon of chocolate chips. These are going to melt all down onto the pretzels giving you the “chocolate covered” part.

And now sprinkle on a little bit of kosher salt over the top. This is, of course, the part that I forgot to photograph, and probably the one that would be the most helpful for you to see. Obviously, you don’t want to go overboard with the salt here, but it just brings out the flavor of the pretzels. You’ll see.

Once you have all of your stuffings stacked up, carefully pick up the wider cookie circle, place it over the top, and press down the edges to seal.

They are finally ready to go into the oven!!!

When they come out,  give them a few minutes to cool so that they don’t scald your tongue, but definitely eat them warm. This is a must.

(Yes, I was totally too busy eating these cookies lazy and waited to take the pictures until well after they had cooled, but eat them warm!)

The cookies are dense and not overly sweet. The chocolate and peanut butter are soft and gooey. And the pretzels are an unexpected salty crunch.

It’s pretty much awesomeness.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1 1/2 tablespoons milk

1 egg

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

broken pretzel pieces

peanut butter

chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a mixer, beat together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.

Stir in vanilla, milk, and egg to the peanut butter mixture.

Fold in the dry ingredients.

Measure out two teaspoons of dough. Roll it into a ball and flatten. Prepare two discs for each cookie in this manner, flattening out half of them to a slightly larger piece than the others.

Top the smaller discs with pretzels, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and kosher salt. Gently cover the mound with the larger cookie dough disc, and press the edges to seal.

Bake for 18 minutes.

Serve warm.