Did you know it’s National Peanut Butter Day? It’s pretty much always peanut butter day around here.
Honestly, I’m always baffled by how much peanut butter I buy – but I do understand it. It’s such a crowd pleaser! My kids (and husband) are happy to eat it whenever, wherever – which makes this quick and easy breakfast a family favorite.
I can’t believe we’re already talking back to school, but here we are. I feel like we lost most of our summer to the move (because, we did), so I’m sort of wishing these next few weeks would slow down a bit. We still have a lot on our summer bucket lists that we want to check off!
But, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit excited about back to school. I can’t wait to get everyone back on a routine and have life be somewhat normal again. This move, man. It’s really thrown us off our groove!
I’m also excited about getting the kids back on some sort of normal eating schedule. What is it about summer that makes them want snacks ALL THE TIME? As soon as I was mixing these up they were both in the kitchen, asking incessantly when they’d be done.
These totally got the kids’ seal of approval. And mine. I know no-bake granola bars are generally more popular, but in my opinion, you just can’t beat the chewiness you get from baked ones. They would make a really rocking lunchbox treat or after school snack.
And if you’re looking for more back-to-school inspiration, I’m linking up with some other bloggers today. From quick breakfasts to specials treats – and everything in between – they’ve got you covered:
House update: we were outbid on the house we liked. Womp, womp.
I’m trying to comfort myself by reminding myself of all the negatives. Like, the super pink early-90s kitchen and the extra bathrooms to clean. I’m also trying to relish the fact I no longer have to worry about showings – which means I can actually do some meal planning! And after all the fast food I’m excited about all the vegetables.
This spaghetti squash version of pad thai has been one of my favorite Lenten dinners so far. If you’re a slow chopper like me, this will take a bit to prep – but it’s flavorful and the contrast of the cooked squash with the other raw veggies is great!
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai (adapted from Tasty) Serves 2
1 spaghetti squash
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. Sriracha
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, coin-sliced
1 red bell, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the water, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, lime juice, Sriracha, peanut butter, and garlic to make the sauce.
When the spaghetti squash is done, shred the inside with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sauce and remaining ingredients until well combined. Serve immediately.
The kids’ nap schedules have been wonky lately, so I’ve been getting some solo time with Julie while big brother naps – which means she’s been getting some kitchen projects of her own. Our favorite has become blender muffins.
The idea behind blender muffins is that you just dump all the ingredients in to mix, then pour into the muffin pan. It’s super quick and easy and only takes about five minutes – which is about her attention span.
The payoff is a great, healthy snack or an easy breakfast!
Today we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with some #FoodBloggerLove and I’m so thrilled to introduce you guys to Nicole from For the Love of Food.
I was so excited to get to know her blog over the last few weeks – she and I are super similar! She also has two little ones that help her out in the kitchen, family meals are her bread and butter, and she’s crazy for anything chocolate peanut butter.
Yeah, I know – it was like looking in a mirror!
I knew I wanted to make a treat Nicole would love – and I also wanted it to be something her girls could help with. These Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are the perfect fit!
My little helpers helped with the measuring and stirring. These treats are no bake, but they do need a few minutes on the stove top to melt the ingredients together so I handled that. They only take about five minutes to prep – perfect for a toddler attention span! – and they’re so, so good. If a peanut butter cup and a crunch bar had a baby, this would be the result.
Nicole, I know you’ll love these! I hope you and your girls get a chance to make them soon! Happy #FoodBloggerLove!
If you’re looking for some more blogger love, check out the #FoodBloggerLove linkup here:
What’s better than chocolate lava cake? Chocolate lava cake with warm, melty peanut butter sauce in the middle. Seriously you guys – this is what dreams are made of.
We fell in love with lava cakes after a cruise a few years ago and they’ve since become my go-to special occasion dessert. And this one is freaking amazing. If you’re a chocolate-peanut butter fiend like me, you will love this! That melty peanut butter is really something special.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes just two little cakes – perfect for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or any other occasion where you want something special for a smaller crowd. The recipe can, of course, be scaled up to make more – but sometimes it’s nice to have something already sized for two!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray two ramekins with non-stick spray. Combine 1 1/2 tsp. flour with the cocoa power and coat the inside of the greased ramekins with it – shake off any excess. Place prepared ramikins on a baking sheet and set aside.
Combine 4 Tbsp. butter and the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
Using a stand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and salt on medium-high for about three minutes, until the mixture is think and pale yellow. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate until no longer streaky. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.
Use 2/3 of the batter to fill the ramekins, then place half of the peanut butter mixture on top of each ramekin. Cover the peanut butter with the remaining batter.
Bake for 14-16 minutes – the top should be set but the cake should still have a little jiggle. Let sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Need more ideas for Valentine dishes for two? Here are some great ideas!
My three year old is completely obsessed with pancakes and requests them nearly every other day. We’ve been obliging him – but the thing that drives me mad is the timing of them.
He is, of course, starving so he’ll get the first pancakes out of the pan. By the time I’m done cooking up the batter, he’s polished off his plate and is itching to go play. The genius of sheet pan pancakes is that everyone’s pancakes are done at the same time so we can all actually sit down and eat together. It’s kind of awesome.
And since it’s National Peanut Butter Day, I thought I’d share this peanut butter-y version (with compliments to PB’s bff, chocolate). Need some more peanut butter inspiration to help you celebrate today? I’m linking up with some other bloggers to bring you lots of fun options!
Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.
One thing I love about #Choctoberfest is getting to know some new brands – like Davis Chocolates I showed off the amazing Cocktail Sticks on facebook last night, but they also sent these awesome (organic!) peanut butter baking chips – and I knew they’d become cookies.
These cookies are so, so fabulous. They’re rich and chocolaty without being overly sweet – and then you bite into the pockets of chocolate chunks and peanut butter chips. It’s just seriously yum. I brought these to a meeting and as we were packing up at the end everyone was grabbing “just one more” – always the sign of a good cookie!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes about 3 dozen 2″ cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Davis Chocolate Organic Peanut Butter Baking Chips)
1 cup chocolate chunks
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, until just combined. Fold in peanut butter chips and chocolate chunks.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet at bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and then let cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
You can see today’s other #Choctoberfest recipes here:
Today, I’m kicking off a series of kid-friendly recipes – ones they’ll be able to help make and like to eat. I generally get a lot of questions about how I incorporate Jake into the cooking process. There’s nothing really earth-shattering about my approach: I just let him jump in wherever he can. Yes, it’s sometimes a mess. Yes, we have plenty of over-mixed muffins. But, he’s learning – and that’s important.
These mini muffins are a great place to start if you want to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re super simple and come together quickly. These definitely ebb on the healthier side of muffins – if your little one has a big sweet tooth, try mixing in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
I love apple season! We did a family trip to the orchard for some apple picking a few weeks ago and since then I’ve been making apple everything – applesauce, buttermilk custard apple pie, and this oatmeal were the first few kitchen projects post-trip.
This oatmeal was great – and just screams fall to me!
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 3/4 cups milk
3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 apples, diced
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, applesauce and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the oats and stir to combine.
Add in the peanut butter and mix until well combined. Fold in apples.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until set and golden. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.