Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Peanut butter chocolate chip muffins

I'm not sure which I love more, the marriage of peanut butter and chocolate or the marriage of caramel and chocolate.  Both combinations are heaven to me.  I also love making muffins.  They are quick and simple and perfect for freezing and packing in little one's lunches.  When I found these peanut butter chocolate chip muffins on Pinterest, I just knew that I would be baking in the near future.

I realized that I had everything on hand already, so I whipped up a batch.  These muffins did not disappoint.  My partner in crime at work, Allison, was just as smitten as me after her first taste.  I feared that they would be more of a cupcake than a muffin, but they really are a more of a muffin and the not too sweet with the chunks of chocolate and just yum!

Here it is:
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
6 T butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky, creamy, whatever you prefer)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used huge chunks, the original recipe called for mini, so again, personal preference)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar.
In the bowl of your mixer (or another large bowl) combine butter, peanut butter, eggs, and milk until smooth.  The peanut butter may remain a little clumpy and that's ok.  Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture until just combined (you do not want to beat muffin batter too much).  Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into paper lined muffin tins filling about 3/4 full.  Bake for 17 - 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I couldn't help myself and had to try one right out of the oven.  The melted chocolate and warm peanut butter was amazing.  Although warm and melty is my preference, Allison prefers them at room temperature and claims that they were even better the next day.  Enjoy!

Original recipe adapted from kaitlininthekitchen.com
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Roasted turnips

Last Saturday I received an amazing turnip from my CSA share.  I love turnip greens and have a few go to recipes, but I've never had much luck with the turnip.  I cleaned and chopped it and put it in the fridge hoping that I would find a use for it.

I was sitting at work and then it hit me - roasted turnip.  Recently I've been roasting every vegetable possible, so I was excited to give the turnip a chance.  It didn't disappoint.  I thought that it was delicious.  And incredibly easy.

Turnip (mine was rather large)
Olive oil (enough to lightly coat turnip)
Rosemary (also from my CSA share)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss chopped turnip with olive oil, rosemary, and salt until turnip is lightly coated in olive oil.  I put all of the ingredients in a plastic bag and just gave it a good shake.  Roast turnips until tender and browned, start checking on them after about 30 minutes.  Try not to eat the entire pan at once.


Recipe adapted from localfoods.about.com

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring has sprung!

Every day I see more and more evidence that Spring is finally arriving in Ohio.  The daffodils are finally blooming, the grass is turning green, and the air is definitely warmer.  Another indication, last Saturday we had our first CSA share delivery and I forgot how much I missed it.

I love our CSA share and our farmers.  We've bought from them for years and they are always extremely generous and genuinely concerned about customer satisfaction.  I am sad to hear that they are struggling a bit this year with a family illness and I really hope that they can continue offering shares in the future.

I have to admit that this time of year I love our share more than I do in the summer.  Seems like a strange statement, right?  The thing is, once we pick up our share, it's a lot of work.  I take at least an hour, and most of the time longer, to clean and prepare everything so that it's easy for us to eat during the week.  If I don't take this time, then we end up tossing a lot of it, and what a waste!

Of course I am busy now, but I'm "winter" busy.  I don't mind sticking a movie in for the boys and working in the kitchen for a while.  When the weather breaks, it just about kills me to be inside (and to keep the boys inside so that I can keep an eye on them) while I clean and prepare our share.  That warm area and beautiful sunshine beckon to me as I stand over my sink washing and chopping.

Since I fully realize my struggle, I've vowed to myself to use more and more of our share this year.  I plan to utilize our freezer and I'm already looking forward to fresh summer produce during the cold months of winter.  I'm constantly looking for new recipes that incorporate the vegetables that we receive and to keep meals interesting.  Any tips or tricks are welcome!
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

I realized that in the long months on winter, we've been slipping on serving vegetables every single dinner. I always feel guilty when this stuff happens. It's not intentional, but I still feel like I am missing an opportunity to make my kids a bit healthier and introduce them to nature's yummy foods.

Last night I decided to break this trend and pulled out a bag of frozen green beans. Feeling more inspired than the usual steamed with butter, I found a recipe for Parmesan Roasted Green Beans. Yum, right? Super easy, too.

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

Green beans
Olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place dry (since mine were frozen I patted them dry with a towel) green beans (ends removed) in a bowl. Add enough olive oil to just coat green beans and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on a baking sheet (as single layer as possible). Top with parmesan cheese (we love it, so ours got a pretty good coating). Place in oven for 15 - 20 minutes. Enjoy!

My boys (Jason included) each ate healthy servings. I've never seen them go after green beans like this. They've eaten them before, but not so willingly and happily. I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of the process and final result. I will take one next time and update this post. This will definitely become a regular in our house.

How do you get your kids to eat vegetables?
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