Tag Archives: nut butter

Chocolatey Peanutty Goodness

The past couple of days have been kind of boring food-wise. Eggs and toast, tomato soup, grilled cheese, pizza . . . and more than a few white chocolate Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Thank goodness those are gone. I had way too much chocolate this weekend.

Yesterday I ate breakfast kid of late because I wasn’t feeling well. The only thing I felt like was eggs and toast so my husband offered to make me some. And he got very creative with the eggs.

2 fried eggs in the shape of a heart! How cute is that? It did make me feel a lot better.

Other than that meal, the highlight of my weekend was probably making homemade peanut butter. Homemade white chocolate peanut butter at that. A couple of weeks ago, we bought a huge container of peanuts from Sam’s.

52 ounces of peanutty goodness. FYI: I bought these peanuts because I prefer peanut butter to almond butter (most of the time). I may be in the minority in this but oh well.

Peanut Butter & Co. make the most amazing White Chocolate Peanut Butter. It’s one of my favorites. I don’t know if you guys have noticed it or not, but food prices have gone up. Way up. So making your own peanut butter just makes good sense. I do feel weird calling this a recipe because there are only two ingredients. Well . . . three if you add salt. I never realized making your own nut butter could be so easy. My food processor is my favorite kitchen appliance.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter (makes about 1 2/3 c.)

2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
salt to taste (optional, I did not add this because the peanuts I used were already salted)

You start out by placing the peanuts in your food processor.

Process until smooth. This process can take about ten minutes or so. So have patience! You will probably have to scrape the sides of the bowl several times until finished.

Meanwhile, melt white chocolate chips in microwave or over the stove on medium heat. My creative husband made our own double boiler by placing a large bowl over a pot filled with some water.

Once peanuts are a smooth consistency, add melted chocolate chips (and salt if using). Process well.

Enjoy! This peanut butter is a lot better than the store-bought stuff.

I had a serious lack of veggies this weekend so I decided to use my new white chocolate peanut butter in a delicious breakfast smoothie.

In the blender went:

2 large handfuls of spinach
a frozen banana
several fresh strawberries
1 c. of milk
half a scoop of vanilla protein powder
spoonful of white chocolate peanut butter

It was so delicious and healthy . . . not to mention filling. I don’t usually have smoothies for breakfast because they don’t fill  me up for very long. But this smoothie kept me full for a while. It was the perfect way to start the week.

I was wrong

Remember when  I said the only thing my Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast needed was more peanut butter?

I was wrong. Wrong in the most glorious way.

It needed bacon. Bacon makes everything better. I need to remember that.

Meant to Run?

I think that my body was not made for running. Ever since my last run almost a week ago, my right knee has been very swollen. This happens sometimes and this time I couldn’t ignore it. When I stand up, it actually makes me feel uncomfortable. So I knew that going for a run today was out of the question, even though it was unbelievably nice outside.

Check out the size of my right knee!

I have no idea why my knee gets so swollen. Last time I visited an orthopedist, he couldn’t figure it out so he just drained the fluid. It doesn’t hurt or anything. It mainly just feels uncomfortable because of the swelling. Does anyone know why this would happen?

I am so excited because today was the beginning of my “staycation.” I have mentioned that I have been super busy at work. I decided to take the next several days off of work. I don’t have to be at work until next Thursday. Yay! Since Sundays and Mondays are usually my days off work, that equals about four days off. I really need this time to relax and recharge my batteries. Does anyone else ever take a few days off work just to recharge a little?

I started the day off on a wonderful note. Time off work = more time to cook breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day after all. ;) I started the day with my Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast. I used Naturally Nutty Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter. I also stuffed the bread with fresh strawberries!

Holy yum! This was so good. I loved the addition of the fruit. So good.

I always think that I’m being lazy on my days off when I guess that’s what relaxing is all about. Why do I feel guilty when I’m not doing anything? I mainly surfed the web, caught up with blogs, and caught up on my DVR recordings.

My breakfast actually kept me full for several hours so I ate a late lunch. I made myself some tuna fish (made of low fat mayo and mustard) and lettuce on multigrain bread. Along with the sandwich, I had some chips and salsa.

The salsa was unpictured because I ate it directly from the jar. It totally hit the spot.

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping on the couch with Callie.

Apparently she was feeling a bit lazy as well.

Even though I couldn’t run, I knew that I had to work out. It took me a good half an hour to drag myself off the couch and workout. I was tired and just didn’t feel like it. I had to keep repeating my exercise mantra in my head: “You are just one workout away from a great mood!” It gets me up every time. I’m not going to lie though. The main reason I got to work out was because I had completely caught up with my DVR and I was bored. There are worse reasons, right? ;)

I ended up doing two Jillian Michaels workouts: 30 day shred level 2 and 6 week 6 pack. They both count as my new workouts for this month. I had only done each of them once and that was a couple of months ago. Why am I so afraid of strenuous workouts?  The 6 week 6 pack workout was a killer. I could barely get through it, but I did it. I guess an hour-long workout isn’t bad for someone who didn’t want to do anything in the first place.

Callie wasn’t in the mood for a workout.
Lazy dog. :)

The best part of the day was undoubtedly when my husband got home. He had to work late tonight. When he came home he surprised me with some flowers that he picked in front of his office.

The first sign of Spring! Aren’t they beautiful? Isn’t he the sweetest?

And yes, we put the flowers in a wine glass. That’s just how we roll.

The day ended with a great meal and wonderful quality time with my husband.

I had a cooked hamburger patty with sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus. Of course I drizzled lots of barbecue sauce on them. I’m kind of addicted to barbecue sauce on my veggies now.

After a trip to the grocery store, I am now relaxing with my husband. For the first time in a really long time, I don’t have to work tomorrow. Yay!!!

Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast

Clearly I am in love with French Toast.

I have been in the mood to make Blueberry and White Chocolate Stuffed French Toast all week. But what’s a girl to do when there is no cream cheese in the house? Enter . . . peanut butter!

It is National Peanut Butter after all. And this breakfast is a great way to celebrate.

This breakfast is easy, quick, and it’s healthy but tastes decadent. My favorite kind of breakfast! I think the only thing I would change next time would be to add more peanut butter. You can never go wrong with more peanut butter.

By the way . . . I am in love with Smucker’s all natural peanut butter. Only two ingredients (peanuts and salt) and do you know what the best part is? Only $2.49! No, you don’t have to pay $6 for all natural peanut butter. ;)

Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast (serves one)

2 slices whole grain bread
1 tablespoon peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Spread peanut butter on a slice of the whole grain bread and press together with the other slice of bread to make a sandwich. Whisk together egg whites, vanilla and cinnamon. Coat the sandwich with the egg mixture. Cook in skillet for a couple of minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.

Internet Free

Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Mine was pretty nice. And by “nice,” I mean it was awesome.

On Saturday, I actually got off work semi-early for a change. Instead  of running errands and going to Whole Foods, my husband and I spent the rest of the day relaxing together and watching TV. We watched Due Date on demand. I thought that some of the comedy was a little over the top, but mostly it was really funny and a pretty decent movie.

On Saturday night, we also made some homemade peanut butter. I am in love with honey roasted peanuts, so I took about a cup and a half of honey roasted peanuts and threw them in the food processor. It only took ten minutes for it to go from this . . . .

to this!

This is probably the best honey roasted peanut butter I have ever tasted. So delicious and definitely cheaper than buying my own.

Last week I mentioned to my husband that I wanted Sunday to be Internet-free Sunday. So no blogging, no Facebooking, to tweeting, no surfing. I think we both spend way too much time on the computer. I wanted to have a day with no distractions for me and Corey . . . and Callie too, of course. :)

It was a wonderfully productive and yet relaxing day. The day started with Corey making me breakfast. He made me some breakfast potatoes. Then he made me a breakfast bowl that consisted of potatoes, a couple of scrambled eggs, and some chicken sausage. I also added some ketchup. Yummy!

After breakfast, Corey and I relaxed a little longer, took Callie for a little walk and set out to run some errands. It was seriously cold yesterday for the first time in weeks! My ears were freezing. I should have known our Spring-like weather was too good to be true. The errands included a trip to Whole Foods, Kohl’s for a clothing exchange, Pet Smart for some doggy goodies, and my favorite place, Sam’s Club.

At Pet Smart, we bought Callie some dog food and some new treats. They are all natural! If I am going to eat all natural foods, then my dog probably should as well. She deserves the best.

I think she loved her new treats. What’s not to love about bacon and cheese? :)

Does anyone else get full from shopping at Sam’s Club? I kind of love going there on weekends because of all the free samples. It’s the perfect place to eat foods that I wouldn’t normally eat and it’s also the perfect spot to exercise a little portion control. You kind of have to with their small (but tasty) portions.

When we got home from running errands, it was time for lunch. After Sam’s Club, I was not in the mood for lunch. I had filled up from bites of chicken salad and pizza. Instead I did a 40 minute Jackie Warner workout. After the workout, I was in the mood for something cool, light, and nutritious. So I made myself a Gingerbread Smoothie.

Thank goodness we had purchased skim milk. No more whole milk in my smoothies! It was so good and exactly what I needed. With the smoothie, I had half a wheat bagel (bought at the Farmer’s Market and so good) with my homemade honey roasted peanut butter.

The smoothie and bagel were perfect fuel for our next project: cleaning out our refrigerator and freezer. We had way too much in our freezer that we knew we were never going to eat. For instance . . . Lean Cuisines. I had about six of those in our freezer.

I can’t believe that this time last year, I was eating those just about every day for lunch. The only reason I stopped eating them was because I needed to remove a lot of things from my diet to prevent my migraines. Obviously, they have way too many preservatives. There was a time when I couldn’t have imagined my lunches without Lean Cuisines. But I have gotten more creative with my meals (and we make lots of leftovers for my lunch!) and I couldn’t imagine eating those meals again on a day-to-day basis. I see now that they weren’t very nutritious, nor were they very filling. It’s no wonder that I was hungry barely two hours after eating them.

The best part of the day was making homemade tortillas! I haven’t had a tortilla in forever and it’s mainly because they have too many ingredients I can’t eat. I have yet to find a tortilla that I am able to eat. If I had known how easy it was to make them, I would have done it a lot sooner. We used this recipe. The only changes we made were to use half white and half wheat flour and we used olive oil instead of shortening. Really, they were very easy to make. Just mix, knead, roll, and cook.

These tortillas were so delicious! We made some steak fajitas to go with the tortillas. My husband marinated some top round meat in a little olive oil, Cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes. He also sauteed some peppers and onions.

The meat was the most delicious meat I have tried in a while. What a delicious marinade that my husband made!

In the tortillas that we made, I had some meat with peppers and onions, a little scoop of refried beans, and some salsa.

fajita x's two!

I also had some unpictured chips and salsa. Dare I say that this meal was better than most takeout from Mexican restaurants?

After dinner, my wonderful husband offered to clean the kitchen and do the dishes. Then we relaxed for the rest of the night. We watched another movie, On Demand. We watched Love Happens, starring Jennifer Aniston. It was a really good movie. It was sweet and moving and a little sad at times.

It was a wonderful weekend and I am so glad there we unplugged from the Internet for a day. I told Corey that I wanted to do that every Sunday. So don’t expect any blogs from me on Sundays in the future. ;)

What was the best part of your weekend?

Time for rest

So I haven’t posted anything since Thursday and I have a very good reason. I had other things to do. ;)

Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging and I love the blogging community. However, sometimes a girl just needs to unplug. Also, my husband came home from his business trip on Friday. Since he was scheduled to leave again yesterday evening, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. So I pretty much avoided the Internet for the entire weekend. I didn’t read any blogs and I didn’t tweet or visit Facebook. Spending time with my husband felt really nice. Now I am trying to keep busy until Corey returns on Saturday.

Since Corey was out of town and it was my day off, today was spent relaxing, cooking, and catching up on some DVR recordings. This morning, I slept in until nearly 9:00 am. I never sleep this late, but alas I did not sleep well last night. I was in the mood for breakfast potatoes. I had never made those before and wanted to try them out.

I came up with an easy recipe. I just sautéed some peppers and onions until soft. While they were cooking, I boiled a couple of baking potatoes until they were firm but soft. Then I sautéed the potatoes in a little olive oil with some salt, pepper, paprika, and a little parsley. Yummy!

I made a very filling breakfast bowl with potatoes, a couple of scrambled eggs with cheese and a chicken sausage link that I bought at Publix. I topped the entire mixture with a little ketchup. It may look weird, but it was delicious! And I have leftovers. No way I could eat all those potatoes by myself. :)

Because I didn’t eat breakfast until kind of late, I didn’t eat lunch until late. I didn’t get hungry until nearly 2:00. When I did get hungry, I wasn’t in the mood for something really heavy. So I made a grilled cheese sandwich with some Muir Glen organic tomato basil soup.

It was comfort food at its finest!

After lunch, I was feeling a little stir crazy so I decided to take Callie and go for one of my 10k training runs. It was seriously gorgeous outside. It was actually 53 degrees today! It felt like fall, which is my favorite season. 45 minutes of walking and jogging intervals left both me and Callie tired and ready for some serious rest.

When I got home, I was in the mood for a little nourishment. And I had a craving for a Green Monster smoothie. I haven’t had a smoothie in so long, maybe because it’s been so cold. Believe it or not, today was the first time I used my new blender. I’ve been using the food processor attachment more than anything.

While I was catching up on a few blogs today, I noticed a recipe on Tina’s blog for a Gingerbread Smoothie. It sounded too good to pass up. I pretty much used her recipe, except for the fact that I used nonfat milk instead of Almond Breeze and I added a couple of handfuls of spinach to get a few more veggies in.

This was, by far, the best Green Smoothie I have ever made. I will definitely be making this again. It tasted like Christmas in a glass. :)

Soon it was time to make dinner and I made a very tasty and easy pasta sauce to enjoy. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. It was full of flavor and had just the right amount of spice. For my first attempt at a homemade pasta sauce, I didn’t do half bad.

Cajun Pasta (serves 2)

1/2 c. nonfat milk
1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 or 3 jarred roasted red pepper strips
2 links of Jennie-O hot italian turkey sausage (cooked)
Cooked pasta

Mix red pepper strips, milk, and cajun seasoning in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to skillet with Italian turkey sausage and cook on medium high heat until heated through. Serve hot over pasta.

This was such a good sauce. It may have been a little thin, but the flavors were still there. I served the sauce over some spinach fettuccine.

Late today, it came to my attention that it was National Peanut Butter Day. I decided to celebrate my making some of Jessica’s Peanut Butter granola bars. I used some of my homemade white chocolate peanut butter. There was only one problem: I was out of honey so I used maple syrup as a sweetener. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick enough. They were really good, but when I cut them after they were baked, they were very crumbly.

I think I may chop it up and just use it as regular granola. The recipe still came out really well except for that. Next time I will remember to use honey. :)

Now I am relaxing and enjoying my last few hours of my day off. I’m watching Shrek Forever After.

Hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Do you ever unplug? If so, for how long?

I heart leftovers

It was a short weekend. I worked all day on Saturday and I am back at work today. Who else has MLK Jr. Day off? Count your blessings. :)

I wasn’t really super hungry when I got up, so I made myself a nice egg and cheese sandwich on organic multigrain bread.

I’m so glad we went to Whole Foods yesterday so that I could get some more of this yummy bread!

Work was actually pretty busy, mainly because I missed a couple of days last week due to the weather. I had a lot of paperwork to catch up on. I kept my energy up with a couple of clementines.

I have decided that I like clementines much better than oranges. They don’t have seeds, they are easier to peel, and they also seem to be easier to eat. I haven’t been able to eat citrus in the longest time because of the possible connection between that and my migraines. I am reintroducing citrus to my diet and luckily, there don’t seem to be any ill effects as of yet. :)

Lunch was a taco salad. The salad consisted of ground beef made with my favorite homemade taco seasoning, some spinach, a little cheese, and some salsa.

It may not look very pretty, but it was delish! I also had some unpictured tortilla chips. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: homemade taco seasoning is just better than the packaged stuff. But isn’t that usually the case with most things? :)

For dessert, I had some fresh pineapple.

If I had to choose a favorite fruit, I think it would be pineapple. I love getting it at the Farmer’s Market. You pick out a fresh one and they will peel and core it for you. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

For a snack, I had a couple of pieces of bread with some homemade white chocolate peanut butter.

I think for my next nut butter, I will make cashew butter. I just discovered how much I enjoy cashews (especially in bite form). I have never tried cashew butter before, but I’m sure it would be tasty.

Dinner consisted of a few leftover chicken strips and some green beans that I roasted with a little olive oil and cajun seasoning.

Believe it or not, we made extra chicken strips last night just so I would have leftovers today. Does anyone else do that? Corey hates leftovers, but I love them. There are several dishes that we make extras of so I can have leftovers, such as chili, tacos, meatloaf, and pasta. What is your favorite meal that you enjoy even better  the next day?

The best part of the day was a package waiting for me when I got home.

Yes I ordered some more Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter. I love that stuff! Including the peanut butter I made yesterday, I have five different kinds of nut/seed butter.  That’s a lot of nut butter!

Have a great night.