Feb 26, 2012

butter, peanut butter.

Last night I went to see one of my favorite bands in concert. It was honestly the most amazing concert I have ever been to. Even though it was an amazing experience I still cannot hear properly and my throat is upset with all of the screaming I did last night.

I had been waiting to see this concert for months. I bought tickets when they went on pre sale back in November. It was a long wait and I am glad that it exceeded my expectations. Just like this peanut butter is above and beyond delicious. It tastes exactly like the store bought kind!

I've always had an obsession with peanut butter. Always.

I will put peanut butter on just about everything; carrots, crackers, bread (toasted and non toast), cookie dough, ice cream, pretzels... the list is endless.

I knew it would not be too complicated to make, I just never had the food processor to do it with. Let's be honest, a blender just wouldn't of done the trick.

So one day I was watching TV and on one of those wonderful cooking shows I saw someone make peanut butter. I stored the recipe in my brain and decided I would give it a go.

There is no set recipe for this, it's all about what your taste buds want. Mine wanted some honey, a little bit of salt, and a little bit of sugar.

Peanut Butter
adapted from my mind

yields about 8-10oz

2 cups of peanuts (dry roasted and shelled)
2 tablespoons of peanut oil (maybe a little less)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey

1. Put the peanuts into the food processor and turn on. When you see your peanuts start to form a paste (less than 5 minutes) stop the food processor.
2. Add the salt, sugar, and honey and start the food processor again.
3. As the food processor is on slowly add your peanut oil. Let 1 tablespoon incorporate and judge to see if you need more.
4. Taste this wonderful creation and adjust the salt/sugar/honey ratio as needed... then, you're done!

Add more or less time depending on the consistency that you like your peanut butter. Also remember that you could also add other things in like chocolate!

Make sure you put the peanut butter on something right when you're done because it will be super warm and delicious :)

Can your peanut butter or put in an air tight container. Stick in your fridge and it will last up to two weeks.


Feb 17, 2012

makin' banana pancakes and spice racks

Two things... spice racks, and pancakes.

These are not just any pancakes, and this isn't just any spice rack. They are special. Partly because I made them, partly because one is delicious and the other is adorable.

The spice rack DIY will be coming soon, up there is a sneak peak of what a little chalk board paint, love, and stick of calk will get you.

For now... let's chat about pancakes... banana cinnamon goodness.... and my obsession with little tiny bowls.

Look at all of those tiny bowls holding spices, getting all ready to mix together. There is an egg drowning in that butter milk in case you were wondering (cracked of course).

I'm not sure where my obsession with tiny bowls came from, but I'm pretty sure it dates back to one of my first shopping experiences at bed, bath, and beyond. I never knew exactly what their purpose was, they seemed meaningless and a waste of money. In the present day I want to go back in time and tell myself how I use them almost everyday. I use them so often because I'm a freak and I like to pre measure everything out before it gets mixed together. I hate stopping in the middle of making a cake and forgetting if I really did put 3 cups of flour in, or if it was more or less. This helps me get organized and ultimately bake/cook faster and more efficiently.

Who really doesn't like being efficient?

Who really doesn't like bananas or cinnamon? You so cray if you don't. Yes I just referenced a Kanye/Jay z song. That will probably never happen again, who am I kidding... cray is becoming part of my daily vocab.

Enough about referencing rap songs. One of my favorite parts about banana cinnamon pancakes are the slices of banana getting all mushy, warm, and semi caramelized. The smell from the pan is also amazing. Warm bananas are the best.

So enough talk. Let's get down to business.

Cinnamon Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

yields 8 4" pancakes....?

1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg beaten
1 1/2 cups of buttermilk
4 melted tablespoons of unsalted butter
as much cinnamon as you want
as many banana slices as your pancake sizes call for

1. Get your butter all melty in a sauce pan. Don't let it brown, just melt it all down.
2. Beat together the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
4. Whisk in buttermilk & egg mixture... don't whisk too much!! You want your batter to be semi lumpy.
5. Quickly whisk in butter.. again... we want lumps!
6. Heat your pan to medium and pour your first bit of batter in the pan, then line with banana slices. Flip your pancake when it is gold brown on one side. When it is golden brown on the other side... start another! Make sure you check that those little banana slices don't get burnt.


Feb 11, 2012

cheesy crackers!

Let me start off first by saying it should be illegal to A. ever buy a box of cheez-its again, and B. not own a food processor. I just bought a food processor after Christmas and I honestly don't know how I've ever lived without one. It's like when you realize that your iPhone does pretty much everything for you and if you lost it your life would probably turn upside down. My food processor is slowly becoming just as essential as my iPhone. I make pesto in snap, grate cheese in a flash, and slice up veggies! I don't have the super fancy one with the adjustable slicing thickness or cheese grater, but this works just as well.
These cheese crackers literally took me 15 minutes for two doughs. It is THAT simple. The bulk of your time spent on these little ones is the baking time. (and letting them hang out in the fridge for half an hour)
Look at all of this cheesy goodness. I made two different kinds. The first was the original recipe that a friend found online for me. He posted it on my FB wall earlier this week. There was no hesitation in me saying... that is my weekend recipe.

The original recipe uses cayenne pepper and paprika. YUM! Except I am not a spicy food eater and they turned out a bit too spicy for me, but I am still eating them like crazy even with my mouth on fire.
The second was a version I put together using sharp white cheddar cheese, oregano, basil, and garlic powder. This was more my taste. Both are absolutely delicious and I super suggest you try them out. Just think, making these yourself cuts out all of that processed yuckiness. These are ultimately healthier, and more delicious!
Yellow Cheddar Spicy Crackers

8oz. Cheddar Cheese (I used mild wisconsin cheddar)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

White Cheddar Garlic & Herb Crackers
adpated from the above.

8oz. White Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2-1 teaspoon of garlic powder (depends on your palette, I love garlic.. I used 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil

For Both:
1 cup all purpose flour
4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon of table salt
2 tablespoon of ice water
Crush sea salt for on top of the crackers

1. Grate your cheese of choosing, and combine all ingredients in your food processor (minus the water, and sea salt).
2. When your mixture starts to stick together in the food processor add 1 tablespoon of water at a time. You will only need to keep the food processor on for a few more seconds after you add the water.
3. Form your dough into a ball and wrap in plastic and flatten a bit into a disk. Keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. When the 30 minutes is up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
5. Roll out your dough to be 1/8th of an inch thick and then cut into 1" squares. I used my fluted pastry wheel to get nice crinkle edges.
6. Sprinkle sea salt on top of crackers and ever so gently press the salt into the crackers... seriously just a little pat on top.
7. Taking a skewer or a dowel rod lightly press into the center of each cracker.
8. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and load up your crackers. Don't worry about over crowding the sheet because they only puff up, not out. Just keep them at least a 1/2 inch a part at the most.
9. Bake each tray for about 12 minutes. The original recipe says 25 minutes, but honestly... mine would have burnt really bad. Just make sure you keep an eye on the first batch and see where you're at when 12 minutes it up.
10. Let cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes and enjoy!

Feb 7, 2012

roses are red, violets are blue.

That special day is approaching! You know the day with all of the hearts, candy, and roses?


Well sometimes at work I doodle little things when I'm trying to think and today the above picture was the result of that.. a few days ago it was:

and then some time ago I did this:


This is what your ladies might like.. a little note. Something to make them smile. Get creative when asking your Valentine to beeeee yours!

Look at this... I just can't stop!

Anywho... getting back on track... Gentlemen, be kind to your ladies on this Valentine's day. Also ladies, be kind to your gentlemen! Share kisses, share hugs (even if they are of the Hershey brand!) and most importantly share love!

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!