Peanut Butter Archives | Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter) Matzo Brei with Fresh Strawberry Syrup or Jam

March 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Fruit, Holiday, Jams/Jellies | 26 Comments
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I wanted to make Egg Foo Yung.

Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter) Matzo Brei with Fresh Strawberry Syrup or Jam

It was cooking class in 6th grade, mid-Passover.  The teacher said those of us who observed Passover would be making Matzo Brei and everyone else would be making Egg Foo Yung.

“Can I have a show of hands of those who observe Passover, please?” she asked with an evil glint in her eye.

Continue Reading Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter) Matzo Brei with Fresh Strawberry Syrup or Jam…

Caramel Apple and Banana – Peanut Butter Pudding Parfaits with Vanilla Wafer Streusel and a Giveaway! Giveaway Closed.

August 25, 2012 at 6:59 am | Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, Puddings | 173 Comments
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I caved.  I finally joined in on the Pinterest craze.  Craze is the operative word here because I’ve gone crazy pinning stuff.  This is also why I’ve labeled the photo below..in case anyone pins it, so those who see it know what it is without having to read the fine print.  It’s also there to draw your attention away from the overexposed topping..but hey, that’s artificial light for ya.


Like I said...crazy..crazed.  I wake up to go to the bathroom, I end up pinning for an hour.  I pin before work..I pin after work…I get up in the middle of watching a movie or Yankee game..

“I’m going to go pin, ok?”

I can’t surf without pinning.  This is why I abstained for so long.  I knew this would happen.  Fresh air is dwindling.

Everyone says it’ll wear off soon. I seriously question that.

The plus side is, I hated navigating through my thousands of bookmarks looking for specific recipes.  Now I don’t have to.  They sit in neatly categorized boards with a photo.  One click, no searching.  Relief.

I also have a great giveaway for you all.  Restaurantware.com is offering one of my readers a $50.00 gift coupon code to use on their site.  When I made my strawberry panna cotta verrines back in 2011, many people commented and emailed asking where I got the ‘glasses’  I used.  Well..they aren’t glasses..they are plastic cups that look like glasses. Granted, I purchased them somewhere else, but Restaurantware.com sells them too, at a better price in bulk.

If you’re a food blogger who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on real glassware or real silverware..or real most any tableware or serverware, for photo props, this is your place.  If you’re a person who loves to throw parties..this is your place.  If you’re a person who hates doing dishes..this is your place.

All of their disposable and/or biodegradable stuff is pretty amazing because it’s all beautiful and it all looks real, from bamboo to plastic.  They also have a new line of gorgeous porcelain tableware and severware, which you can see HERE.

Every single thing in each photo (outside of the dessert itself – though that is disposable – if you don’t like it!)) in this post is disposable and/or biodegradable, graciously sent to me by Restauarantware.com.  Instructions on how to enter this giveaway are below the recipe for these parfaits.

Now..speaking of the recipe, it came to me when I had a craving for peanut butter pudding.  As I was stirring away..all of these ideas started popping into my head.  Before I knew it, what should have only taken 15 minutes turned into an hour, and I had a bowl of rich caramel bananas and apples and a pan of vanilla wafer streusel sitting in front of me.

Vanilla wafer streusel?  Yep…instead of oatmeal, I used crushed vanilla wafers. No, it isn’t weird..it’s pretty awesome.  With a vanilla bean or two..some cinnamon, brown sugar, flour and butter, this could be a snack on its own.  Try it and see for yourself!

The verdict on these parfaits?  “OMG, this is an explosion of amazing flavors”, was one comment.  The empty disposable glasses was all the proof I needed to post these.  It’s not often I get it exactly how I want it the first time around..so here they are…

Caramel Apple and Banana – Peanut Butter Pudding Parfaits with Vanilla Wafer Streusel
Number of servings depend on the size glasses you use and how much of each ingredient you layer into said glasses

This recipe for Peanut Butter Pudding, using light brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar and reduce the cornstarch to 1/4 cup

OR

This recipe for Vanilla Pudding

Caramel Bananas and Apples
2 bananas, peeled, split vertically into thirds, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium apple, preferably tart, like a Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Wafer Streusel
1 cup crushed (not ground..just pounded in a ziplock bag with a mallet) vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (optional)
pnch of salt
2 fat vanilla beans, split and scraped (place empty pods in sugar for vanilla sugar)
4 tablespoons butter

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Make Peanut Butter Pudding from recipe linked above.  Pour into a bowl and press plastic wrap flat against the top of it to avoid a skin forming.  Place in the refrigerator to set up a bit more.

2.  Make the caramel bananas and apples.  Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Reduce the heat to medium, and sprinkle the granulated sugar evenly around the pan, then top with the dark brown sugar.  When the granulated sugar starts to liquify and turn golden..start shaking the pan to distribute the heat and sugar evenly.  The brown sugar won’t melt as fast as the granulated sugar, but that’s ok.  Once the granulated sugar is melted, start stirring the brown sugar into it..it will melt instantly.  If you’re worried about crystallization since this is the dry method of caramelizing sugar, stir in a little water or corn syrup with the sugars, then start heating it.

3.  Immediately stir in the butter once the sugars are melted and golden brown, then add the chopped apples.  Stir for a minute, then add the chopped bananas and salt.  Cook until the fruits have softened, but are not mushy, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and pour caramelized fruit and syrup into a heat proof bowl or glass.

4.  Make the Vanilla Wafer Streusel.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.  Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly, but it comes together when you squeeze some with your fingers.

5.  Spread on a baking sheet, squeezing some together to make clumps, if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes..stirring half way through to make sure it crisps and browns evenly.

6.  Assemble parfaits.  This is all up to you.  Layer each ingredient in glasses or cups, any way you want.  I made some with pudding, then streusel, then caramelized fruit, then more pudding, then more caramelized fruit and streusel – lather, rinse, repeat.  I also made some with mostly pudding, a thin layer of the caramelized fruit, and a light sprinkle of streusel.  I just glopped everything in, but you can make these really beautiful.  Enjoy!

To Enter the Restaurantware.com Giveaway, just leave a comment.  But first check out their site by clicking the photo below to see all the amazing stuff you can choose from!

For 4 bonus entries (can never leave you without bonus entries!)

1. Like Restaurantware.com on Facebook

2. Follow Restaurant.com on Twitter

3. Follow me on Twitter

4. Tweet this giveaway - Restaurant.com $50.00 gift card Giveaway: http://wp.me/pg5pm-4Qc

Giveaway ends August 31, 2012.  I’ll be choosing a winner via Random.org.  If the winner does not respond within two days, another winner will be chosen.

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Peanut Butter Brown Sugar and/or Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal, plus the KA Mixer Winner, and Part 13A

June 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Fruit, Giveaway, Healthy, Jams/Jellies, Lunch | 51 Comments
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I don’t usually go for fads, trends or follow rules when it comes to food.  In fact, I don’t abide by any rules when it comes to food.  I’ve been known to bake pumpkin pies in June, and I know some people may argue this, but there is NO discernible difference between using fresh roasted pumpkin puree and canned.  I’ve tested it many times over the years..and no one..I mean NO ONE, could tell the difference between the pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin and the pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin.  As long as the canned pumpkin is pure, with no additives, it’s fine.

There..I said it, and I didn’t want to wait until Fall to say it.

By the way, did you know most canned pumpkin puree is actually Butternut or Hubbard squash. or a variety of squash, not named pumpkin?  Yes, this includes the one that starts with L.

Back to trends and fads in the food blogosphere.  I have seen overnight oats all over the place for months now.  Normally, I’d steer clear, because, again, I’m not a trendy person.  However, I need quick breakfasts because I don’t eat breakfast anywhere near as much as I should, and I’m sick of cheerios, toast or smoothies, when I do.

After seeing Barbara’s (of Barbara Bakesovernight oatmeal with berries, I decided I really needed to give this a shot.  I also decided to blog it because I didn’t bake or cook anything for the KA Stand Mixer winner announcement, and Part 13…ummm…13A.  I don’t like putting up posts without something tasty and visual in them.

This is a food blog..well, food/story journal, you know.

That said, no pretty jars for these overnight oats, because you will be using up the peanut butter at the bottom and around the sides of an almost empty peanut butter jar so everything goes into the almost empty peanut butter jar.  If you want to make it look nice for serving to someone(s), spoon it into pretty glasses or bowls..like I did for photos.  BUT, off of my blog, it’s getting eaten straight from the jar, then bye-bye jar – into the recycle bin.

This is not a completely healthy version, but if you want to add protein powder, flax, chia seed. hemp, swamp goo, motor oil..or whatever, go ahead – no rules.  You can also cut down the calories and make it healthier by choosing the Greek yogurt option and skim milk

Well, there is one rule, but it’s a general rule to get the right consistency..and that rule is 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid, plus extras of your choice.  If you want it thicker, add more oats.

Here’s my version.

Overnight Refrigerator Peanut Butter – Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Jelly or Chocolate
About 2 servings
1 almost empty jar of peanut butter (about 1/4 cup peanut butter left in jar)
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (I tried both and preferred the quick oats, but if you like more ‘chew’, choose the old-fashioned oats)
2  to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk or any milk you prefer (skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
1/2 cup vanilla bean Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup heavy cream steeped with vanilla bean scrapings and pod (pod removed after steeping, of course)
fruit or jam/jelly/preserves of your choice and/or chocolate chips, chunks (optional). I even added chocolate ganache to the bottom of one glass.  No rules!  You can go healthy or decadent, or both!

DIRECTIONS:
1.  Dump the oats in the almost empty peanut butter jar.  Sprinkle the dark brown sugar evenly on top of the oats.  Stir together the milk and yogurt or steeped cream, then pour on top of the oats and dark brown sugar.  If you’re adding chocolate chips or chunks, add now. Put the cover back on the peanut butter jar, tightly, and shake it vigorously.  You’ll be stirring it come morning, so this is just a preliminary ‘shake’ to get the oats soaked and dissolve the brown sugar.

2.  Put the covered jar in the fridge overnight,  The next morning, open up the jar and stir it all together, digging the peanut butter up from the bottom and around the sides.  Stir in fruit if you like – raspberries would be great, or swirl your favorite jam, jelly or preserves into it.   If you prefer your oatmeal warm, give it a nuke in the microwave for a minute or two.  Grab a spoon and dig in!  Throw out the jar when you’re done..my favorite part next to eating it.

Note - I stirred extra peanut butter into the oats after they soaked overnight, only because I’m a peanut butter freak.  It doesn’t need extra, but it doesn’t hurt if you’re a freak too.  Also, I topped it off with some fresh, whipped cream and chocolate.  If you want it topped, but healthier, use Greek yogurt.

Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (I tried both and preferred the quick oats, but if you like more ‘chew’, choose the old-fashioned oats)
1 to 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (taste)
1 cup whole milk or any milk you prefer (skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
1 tablespoon dark cocoa
1/4 cup chopped chocolate

DIRECTIONS:
1. Stir together milk and cocoa powder until uniform.

2.In an empty jar..like a mason jar, dump in oats, dark brown sugar, chocolate milk and chopped chocolate. Shake the jar vigorously and set in fridge overnight.

3. Eat right out of jar. I like to microwave it for a few seconds to melt some of the chopped chocolate. Enjoy!

————————————–

Now to Part 13A (Yes, 13A, I’m determined to get this memoir finished in 14 parts, so I’m cheating) of Bad Boy First Love.  If you’re just tuning in, Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE,  Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, and Part 12 is HERE.

The month I had left with him before the two-week separation was so much fun,  things about it still brings on chuckles to this day.  For one, I finally saw him drunk.  It was 4th of July and a bunch of his friends got together in an empty parking lot to party and shoot off fireworks.  I brought one of my friends, who was now completely ensconced in a full-fledged friendship with J and one of his brothers, the grunge guy, the one I call P.

Empty parking lots were a big thing in his town, no matter how small or large the gathering. They even had different nicknames for each one.

For instance, “Meet me at The Barber Pole” meant the parking lot across the street from a barber shop with a spinning pole in front.  I was soon accustomed to each lot, via the nickname for it, perfectly.

I’d already gotten to know his friends and family well.  One of my friends and I spent most of that summer hanging out with J and one of his brothers, whether or not Dreamboat was around.

I can’t believe I put tis photo up.  Yeah, I know what it looks like.  In fact, artificial light is most definitely not kind to oatmeal in photography.

He had two younger brothers, one a year older than me, one a year younger than me, and they looked nothing like him. Dreamboat was the golden boy – his light brown hair and piercing blue eyes inherited from his Mother, who was of German descent.  His father was a soft-spoken, sweet, Italian man and his brothers looked just like him, with drak brown hair and brooding, deep-set, dark chocolate eyes.

His two brothers also looked nothing like each other.  The one who was older than me was about the same height as Dreamboat, but that height came with a slouch and a generous helping of grunge movement chic.  His hair almost reached his shoulders, and he had a faint ‘stache of softer hair above his upper lip because he wasn’t old enough or hairy enough to grow a full one yet.  The brother younger than me was shorter than the both of them, with short, thicker, slightly curly hair and he was terminally metrosexual..with nary a hair out-of-place and always dressed to the nines, the scent of Giorgio Armani permanently rooted in his pores.

They looked up to Dreamboat in a way that was kind of rare in sibling dynamics, at least in my world.  They adored and respected him, but at the same time – feared him as you would a parent if you did something wrong.

They called me ‘sistah-in-law’. It was cute.

SO, that night, Dreamboat got drunk – super drunk. thoroughly shnockered.

His disposition was naturally cool, calm and collected. and he was never out of control in any way, shape or form – BUT, on this 4th of July, once blitzed, he was all over the place, and it was a hoot to witness.  I couldn’t help but enjoy my pickled Dreamboat.

I always loved that he was affectionate publicly (PDA!), and didn’t care what people thought, but because he was drunk, he was almost slobbering me, hanging  and wrapping himself around me like an embryonic twin.  In fact, I could barely converse with anyone without having to shoo, or peel, rather, him off of me.  I was laughing, but relieved when he pulled me away from the crowd to talk in a wooded area off to the side, because my body was starting to ache from his almost dead weight.  He pushed me up against a tree..kissed me for a few minutes, then leaned back a bit, just looking at me.  A very serious look came over his face, and although he was 10 sheets to the wind, he sounded completely sober when he said this..

“I don’t want you to leave me, please don’t go.”

I reassured him instantly..”It’s only two weeks, baby..we’ll have the last three weeks of August togeth…”  He interrupted me..

“No, I don’t want you to go to Boston.  I mean, I want you to go to college..but locally.”

Huh?

I didn’t know how to respond because I had thought about that myself.  It was too late, though.. I’d already changed colleges to be closer to him, and everything was paid for and set.

Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal (with melty shards of chopped chocolate)

Double Chocolate Oatmeal with melting chocolate shards 

He nestled his face in between my shoulder and neck, and mumbled into my collarbone..

“I can’t stand the thought of not seeing you for months at a time.”

I’d never seen him like this before. He was like a child – so vulnerable, and dare I say scared?  His eyes were wide and almost pleading. I wanted to hold him forever, keep him safe…soothe his heart.

I stroked his hair (god, I loved his hair) and whispered, “But you can come visit me anytime you want, and..”

He cut me off again…

“No, you’ll meet other guys..rich college guys, you won’t want me anymore.”

Was he kidding?  That would NEVER happen..I loved him with every inch of my heart and soul.  I could NEVER be with anyone else.  I told him this, but not in those exact words..heart and soul is too poetic – I don’t talk like that..

“I don’t want anyone else, baby..I can’t even imagine it.” I said as I continued to run my fingers through his killer hair.  What I wouldn’t have given for a head of hair like his, I thought.

He hugged me tight, but I could tell he still didn’t feel good about it.

We remained that way for a while, his face buried in my neck, squeezing me to him so tight, that at some points I couldn’t breathe.  After about 15 minutes, the bark of the tree was starting to scrape my back.  I tried to wiggle into another position, but then felt pain.  The damn bark had scratched me since I was wearing a white sun dress with just straps in the back.  I could feel the blood starting to ooze.

He was too wasted to tend to my latest injury, so I let him know what happened and suggested we go back to the parking lot.  He tried to tend to it, feeling awful, but instead we went back to his house with J, his brother, and my friend.  His parents had left for the shore with his other brother earlier that day, so after my friend patched me up, she took my car home, and I spent the night because he wanted me to.  He was out like a light in minutes.

While I watched him sleep…I tried to think of a way to tell my father I was going to change schools again..maybe apply to NYU.  I didn’t think I could bear us being apart for months at a time either.

Well..just as I assumed, it didn’t work.

“NO, you’re going to school in Boston, and that’s it! ” my father shouted angrily when I tried to reason with him, “But, Dad, you went to NYU!  I could be a legacy!”

He left the room.

OKAY..no Plan B here, this was sticking like super glue and no amount of arguing or begging was going to unstick it.

Dreamboat remembered what he said by the tree, so it wasn’t 100% alcohol related, but in the light of day, minus the alcohol, he knew that was something he couldn’t ask of me.  He apologized, but his eyes said “Stay.”.

A little over 2 weeks of more wonderful with him, later, he left for the shore, and I left for Florida with my friends and family.  The night before, I cried, but we would see each other in 2 weeks, so this wasn’t the end – yet.

I have to admit, I had a blast in Florida.  We hung out a lot with some guys (just friends) that my raven-haired friend and I had met during X-Mas break of my junior year, who lived in a condo owned by one of their parents, year round.  Lots of partying, lots of cruising, lots of beach, and lots of climbing the fence and swimming in the condo pool at 3 or 4 am.  But, I still couldn’t wait to get home and start packing for the shore and my last 3 weeks with Dreamboat.  We spoke on the phone a few times, but we were always interrupted by my friend wanting to talk to his brother, P.

Creamy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Over Soft Chocolate Ganache

When we finally got home, packed up, and left for the shore the next day, around early evening, I couldn’t contain my excitement.  I drove so fast, my friends finally convinced me to let one of them drive the rest of the way.  They were right, I was too keyed up and anxious to see him.  As soon as we got there, around 8 pm, I fixed myself up and practically ran to the pier.  My blonde friend, who accompanied me, could barely keep up, and bitched about it plenty.

I was in a zone, and that zone was him..and only him. I had to see him, smell him, touch him, kiss him – PRONTO.  He was my oxygen, my drug, the love of my life.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal made right in the Peanut Butter Jar!With Cocoa Nibs

That summer he was working on the most popular ride on the pier, second to the roller coaster, called The Enterprise.  This was a ride that started spinning horizontally, then rose slowly until it was spinning round and round and you were upside down, a non-stop loop. Dreamboat took me on it the summer before, and I hated because I do not like being upside-down, unless my head is hanging off the edge of a bed, where it’s safe.  Any upside-down ride pretty much scared the crap out of me, so I was always ‘the bummer’ at most amusement parks when it came time to do the upside-down loop coaster. Even with Dreamboat, I felt like I was going to fall out, regardless of the closed car and how tight he held me from behind.

Naturally, there was not only a huge line for this the ride, but a throng of girls trying to get his attention, as usual.  As I approached the platform, he was running from car to car closing them shut. He looked incredible. His hair was lightened and streaked by the sun, his lightly tanned skin accentuating his beautiful, blue eyes.  New ‘summer muscles’ popped when he closed and locked each car door, making sure it was safe.

All at once, I felt like I did the summer before, insecure, scared and nervous..suddenly worried he wouldn’t want me anymore.  We had been inseparable all year-long in our own little world back in North Jersey, but now he was the ‘rock star’ again, and on a much bigger and more popular stage than the previous summers.

I tentatively stepped up on the first step of the platform, away from the line.  He saw me and came jogging over, grabbing my hand and pulling me the rest of the way up..hugging me, lifting me in his arms, and then kissing me.  I heard a collective groan and a few curses from the girls as we put on our little show.

When we broke for a moment, he took my hand and walked me over to the booth so he could start the ride, and then we embraced outside the booth and kissed more, little sweet nothings and ‘I love yous’ perfectly peppering the moment.  He was just as happy and excited as I was, so all of my worries dissipated..just as fast as they had suddenly reappeared. I was bursting with joy, inside and out..I loved him so much it hurt.

He took both of my hands in his and stood back..looking at me..his dazzling smile melting me to goo as usual.

“Wow, look at that tan, my beautiful girl.”  He said, and it was obvious he had still not had his eyes checked, I thought, forever insecure…my inner fat girl always lurking.

As usual, I morphed back into that shy, nervous 15-year old, again.  My voice was weird..

“You look awesome too, baby.” I whispered because I was positive I might squeak.

He kissed both of my hands in his.  This was getting even better.

THEN…

“Baby, there’s something I need to take care of tonight in Brick (a town about a half hour from his shore house).  I promised Andy (his friend from Part 4, with the nice girlfriend), I can’t get out of it.” He said, momentarily looking over my shoulder, which bothered me.

A slight chill came over me…all the warmth and happiness draining as I tried to register what he had just said.  We hadn’t seen each other in a little over two weeks! What the…?

He saw the look in my eyes and pulled me to him..kissing my cheek and squeezing me tight.  He pressed his lips against my ear and explained that there were some people giving Andy’s brother trouble and they needed to take care of it.  He didn’t want to bring me, it could be dangerous.

I couldn’t help it, the disappointment was so fierce, and the fear of him getting hurt, so scary, that my eyes started to well up.

Dammit!

Remember how I told you nothing ever rattled him?  Well..there was a negative side to that.  When I became emotional or feisty, he treated it like it was no big deal and there was no reason for me to get so agitated, almost amused by my reactions.  It had happened a few times during my senior year of high school, but now it was more painful than ever.

For some reason, I couldn’t help thinking that all the girls watching him hug and kiss me were thinking how lucky I was and probably wished they were in my place, but little did they know..he was blowing me off..or at least that’s how I felt.

I started to pull away from him but he kept pulling me back.  The people on the ride were getting a bonus round of upside-down.

He took my face in his hands..looked deep into my eyes, trying to be serious since he knew his nonchalant reactions to my emotional states bugged me to end.

“If I get back early enough, I’ll come by and get you, okay ?  It’s no big deal, baby..we have lots of nights together after tonight.”  He said in almost fatherly way, which bugged me even more.

He kissed me a dozen more times, but I didn’t feel any one of them.  How could he blow me off for some tough guy shit when we hadn’t seen each other in weeks?  Maybe there was a girl there he liked?

On top of soft chocolate ganache

For the first time in our relationship, I opened the vault to my anger, and let it fly..

“Why can’t you stop being such a tough guy?  Why do you always have to be a f%^%ing hero?  Why do you always have to put your life in danger??” I shouted, a little too loudly.

I pulled away from him and walked away fast.  I knew the girls watching us were probably happy now that it didn’t look good between us.

When I reached my friend, I grabbed her and pulled her with me.  Suddenly I heard a girl in the swarm of Dreamboat lust say to her friend..”Go over and talk to him, I think I saw him look at you!”

I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to see two really attractive girls plotting their move on him.  The anger came on fast and I saw nothing but hot, blazing red.  I took a step toward them..

“Don’t even think about it!” I shouted, icily.

They both looked at me with surprise, as did my friend…totally shocked at what came out of my mouth.  One of the girls decided to pour fuel into my already raging fire;

“I don’t see a ring on your finger.” she said, brazenly.

That was it..I was in NO MOOD..

“No, but you will see one around your eye if you even try to get with him!” I blurted out, feeling the steam rise from my guts, then out my mouth.

OMG, what had come over me?  I was going completely Jersey on these girls.  This was a first.  I think some of Dreamboat’s friend’s girlfriends had rubbed off on me.

My friend yanked me away as the girls continued to yell “Bitch!” and other obscenities.  She had to pull pretty hard to get me to move..I was ready to rumble.  I was hurting and seething at the same time.

Once we got off the pier and onto the boardwalk..I started to cry…well, sob uncontrollably.  She consoled me as we walked back to the apartment, reminding me that I was PMSing, so I was probably overreacting.  Plus, he was not afraid of anything and strong, she reasoned, so if anything, the other party would be hurting.

It didn’t matter, I told her..strong and not afraid do not trump a knife or gun.

J, and his brother, P, were waiting out in front when we got back to the complex, since our other friend’s boyfriend had driven up an hour after we did, and they didn’t want to disturb them.

My friend told them what happened as I rubbed my puffy eyes.  His brother hugged me…

“Awww, Sis, (short for sistah-in law), he’s crazy about you, trust me…there is something he needs to do.” P said, trying to temper the situation.

Yeah..like his brother, who adored and feared him, would tell me the truth if he was in fact lying to me.  But it wasn’t just that..it was the worry I now had to endure.  What if he got hurt?  What if he was killed??  What if he hooked up with another girl???  Yeah, the latter seemed to worry me the most. Jealousy was eating me alive.

His brother then announced that their Mom had made her killer lasagna, so why not go back to his house and have some, so we could leave our other friend and her boyfriend alone for a while?  Of course my friend, who loved to eat and never gained weight, jumped at the offer.  I felt sick, but went anyway.  Great, I’ll be at his shore house…without him.

When we got there, his Mom was only too happy to feed us..well, them, since I couldn’t eat, I was too upset.  She also tried to soothe my worries…telling me she doubted there was anyone else he wanted more than me because she’d never seen him like this with a girl.

Don’t they all say that?

Her blue eyes, Dreamboat’s eyes, sparkled as she sipped some wine and enjoyed having a daughter to talk to – she stroked my hair as if I was her own daughter, which was really nice, then said….

“I’m tellin’ ya…I’ve seen dozens of girls come and go, yaw the first one he’s evah fell hard faw,” she said, as she gave me a half hug, then tried to force feed me lasagna.

It helped, but I still couldn’t shake that icky feeling.  I couldn’t tell her about his ‘taking care of Andy’s brother’ deal, which was scaring me more and more as the clock ticked away.  There was no need to make her worry too.

Swirled with raspberry jam

She suggested we stay the night.  Since his father only came up for long weekends, due to work, she insisted my friend and I sleep in their bed and she would sleep on the couch.  She was in a good mood.. excited because they were going to Atlantic City that coming weekend.

After hanging out for a while, watching movies and playing some board games (as I desperately hoped he would suddenly walk through the door, the later it got), we finally went to bed around 2 am.

Surprisingly, sleep came fast.  In what seemed like minutes, although the clock showed hours, I was jolted awake from my deep slumber.  I heard the backdoor creak open.  He was just getting home..it was almost 5 am.

Part 13B coming soon.

Now to the winner of the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer!  I really wish I could give everyone who entered one of these mixers.  I promise, there will be more great giveaways coming soon!  Thank you all for entering!

The Random Number Generator decided that Candace, who’s comment is #224, is the winner!

Congratulations, Candace! I will be sending you an email so you can choose a color and give me your mailing info.  As soon as I get it, it will be sent out to you ASAP.  If there is no response from you within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

One more thing – I’d like to thank Bonnie, of Bonnie Banters, for nominating me for a Food Stories Award!  Again, I’m incredibly flattered!  Since I was nominated late last month, and have already passed on 5 nominations…I’ll throw in another random fact about me.

When I was a child..having had the luxury of seeing several Broadway shows, and listening to my father’s collection of Broadway soundtracks..I decided I wanted to be a Broadway singer.  I used to stand on my front door step and belt out tunes like Tomorrow, Memory, One etc.  There was one small problem, I couldn’t sing.  My poor neighbors.

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Peanut Butter Cream and Berries Crepes plus a VISA Card and Peanut Butter Giveaway!

March 16, 2012 at 7:21 am | Posted in Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, Healthy | 358 Comments
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I’m a peanut butter freak.  You might not have known that because I don’t have a lot of peanut butter treats, sweet or savory, on my blog.  Oh, I do have some, like..

OK, so maybe it’s a little more than I thought.

…but, the main reason I don’t have TONS, is because if I cooked or especially baked with peanut butter as much as I wanted to, I’d eat it all.  No giving most of it away, no one slice then ‘into the freezer’, no dumping the rest into the trash – all to eliminate the big gorge.  I’ve had an ongoing love affair with peanut butter since I was a child, and no amount of restraint can keep me from it’s creamy or crunchy ‘come hither’ lure.  This is why one of the above actions must take place when I do bake with it.

I even keep a jar of peanut butter in my bedroom.  Wow, that was kind of embarrassing to admit.

The first crepe in the upper left hand corner ‘went to the dog’ aka me.

So, I’ve got peanut butter desserts and a few savory lunch or dinner peanut butter treats, but what about BREAKFAST?  Yes, peanut butter for breakfast!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Lakeshia for the National Peanut Board about Promoting Peanut Butter for Breakfast.  I was offered a $50 VISA card, plus one to give away to one of you, along with a variety of peanut buttes, and a mug and spatula.  Obviously, the VISA card is definitely the biggie, the main lure, the Hell YES, right?  Not exactly in my case..all I could think was..

‘Yeah, yeah, just get that peanut butter to me ASAP’

I’ve eaten peanut butter for breakfast, again, since I was a child.  It started with the goofy blue suited captain cereal – ONLY the peanut butter crunch version.  I think I had that for breakfast almost every day kindergarten through 4th grade.  Then that morphed into just a snack I ate straight from the box, while I started my mornings with peanut butter pancakes, or peanut butter french toast (NOT actual peanut butter French toast or pancakes, I just spread peanut butter in between the pancakes or slices, then poured on the syrup).  Once I was in High School, if I wasn’t skipping breakfast, which I did most of the time, it was peanut butter on whole wheat toast, with or without apple slices.  I still eat that for breakfast to this day.

According to the National Peanut Board;

While 93 percent of Americans agree that breakfast is the most important meal, less than half eat a morning meal every day .Reasons for skipping out often include trying to lose weight or not having the time (That’s me!).


They also mentioned that peanut butter is full of fiber, protein and good fats.  Why not eat it for breakfast?  However, I’m willing to bet the goofy, blue suited Captain peanut butter cereal doesn’t fit into any of those categories.  Funny thing is, as a kid, it tasted SO peanut buttery to me.  As an adult, I cannot taste one bit of peanut butter, just a sugary, salty, kind of distant relative of peanut butter.  Bottom line, open up a jar, or grind your own..there’s no substitution for the real thing.

Well..I’ve created a breakfast offering (although it can be construed and eaten as a dessert) that I think you’ll all love.  This is probably more of a Sunday ‘breakfast in bed’ kind of treat, considering it’s not super quick to put together.  Making crepes takes some time, and a little technique, but once you get the hang of it, it starts to move along a lot faster.  However, don’t be put off when that first crepe doesn’t turn out.  This happens to even the best chefs, hence the saying….

“The first crepe always goes to the dog.”

I think it’s a matter of the pan hitting the right temperature.  If you’re new to crepe making, I strongly suggest using a non-stick pan.  Actually, I recommend you always use a non-stick pan, no matter how advanced!  Much, much easier to produce perfectly golden crepes that don’t stick.  Plus, it’ll cut the time in half.  The crepe recipe I’m using contains canola oil and skim milk rather than butter and whole milk, so there’s your ‘healthier’ factor.  The filling is another issue.  Yes, it’s a bit rich, but you’re using a small amount of it to fill each crepe (the beauty of the PB cream is you can adjust the sweetness and consistency to your liking – just taste along the way)..and then fresh berries to top it off..a huge DING on the healthy meter again.


You can splurge and gussy it up a bit, like I did with drizzles of melted chocolate or chocolate syrup on top, and, heck..even a spoonful of whipped cream, plus powdered sugar wouldn’t kill ya.

Who wouldn’t want a plate of these served to them for breakfast?  It’s like breakfast out, not in. Go.for.it.

Now to the Giveaway…

To help make mornings easier, the National Peanut Board is equipping peanut butter fans with nutritious breakfast tips and recipes at www.PB4Breakfast.com . Visitors are also encouraged to vote for their favorite peanut butter breakfast dishes. For every vote, America’s peanut farmers will donate $5, up to $10,000, to help serve a nutritious breakfast to the hungry.

     Photo of above prizes courtesy National Peanut Board

Not only can you help those in need with a click, you also have a chance to win a variety of Peanut Butters and Peanut Butter samples – a mug and spatula, and a $50 Visa gift card by posting your favorite way to eat Peanut Butter for breakfast and sharing away. I will select a winner on March 23rd, 11:59 pm, using random.org. A winner will be announced March 24th.

In order to enter this giveaway, you must

1. Leave a comment here about anything  – whether it be my crepes, and/or your favorite way to incorporate peanut butter into breakfast or a way you might incorporate it into breakfast.  THEN,

2. Tell the National Peanut Board how you like Peanut Butter for breakfast on the Peanut Butter Fanatic Facebook wall.

3. Vote for your favorite PB for Breakfast recipe, while you’re there.

4. Leave a comment here telling me you did # 2 and #3.

Of course I couldn’t leave you without bonus entries..

1.  Like Peanut Butter Fanatic on Facebook

2.  Follow me on Twitter @parsleynsage

3. Subscribe to Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives via email or RSS feed.

4.  Tweet this giveaway – I just entered to win a $50 VISA card, a variety of Peanut Butters plus more at http://bit.ly/z5HW3X. #giveaway #peanutbutter

Leave a separate comment for everything you did.


Peanut Butter or Plain Cheesecake and Berries Crepes

4 -6 servings
Crepes
Recipe from Jacques Pepin via Delish

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon corn or canola oil
A little additional oil for greasing the skillet

Peanut Butter Cream
8-oz cream cheese, softened (make it skinnier using Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter *
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar (you can add more or less depending on how sweet you like it. If it gets too thick if you increase the amount, just add more cream or milk)
2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream, or milk, or soy milk, or almond milk etc.. your choice.
Assorted mixed berries of your choice, sliced or cut up

* If you don’t like peanut butter and want plain cheesecake crepes, omit the peanut butter and use another 1/2 cup cream cheese plus an extra 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine the flour, eggs, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the milk in a bowl, and mix with a whisk until smooth. The mixture will be pretty thick. Add the remaining milk and the tablespoon of oil, and mix until smooth.   Let sit for 1 hour.

2.  In the meantime, make the peanut butter cream.  Combine peanut butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl if you use a hand mixer.  Beat until smooth.  Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla and combine until smooth.  Drizzle in cream (or whatever milk you’d like) until it’s of a frosting like consistency, and fluffy.  Fill a piping bag with a small or medium tip, or a ziplock bag with the end snipped off, with the cream if you want to get fancy, or just cover the bowl and set aside until ready to spoon onto crepes.

3. Lightly grease the bottom of an 9 or 10-inch non-stick skillet with a little oil, and heat the pan over medium to high heat. When it is hot, add about 1/4 of the crepe batter, and quickly tilt and move the skillet so the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan. Move quickly, or the batter will set before the bottom of the skillet is coated, and the crepes will be thicker than desired.  If there’s a hole anywhere, just add a little more batter to cover it.  Like I mentioned above, don’t be deterred if the first crepe doesn’t turn out.. this is the one usually goes to the dog anyway (In my case..I was the dog).

4. Cook for about 45 seconds on one side, and then turn and cook for about 20 seconds on the other side. As you make the crepes, stack them on a plate, browned side down, so that when they are filled and folded this brown side will be visible. Don’t start making the crepes until you’ve got the filling and berries ready to go, not to mention the ‘crew’ you’re going to serve them to.

5. Pipe or spread about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the peanut butter cream, in a line, on one side of the crepe (In my photos, I did a little piping twist, which used a lot more filling – this was all for show, unless you love A LOT of filling). Top with a few tablespoons of mixed berries. Roll up gently so most of the berries end up on top – some might get lost in the peanut butter cream. Top with some powdered sugar, a few drizzles of chocolate ganache or syrup and tuck in some extra berries in between each crepe and/or around the plate.  Pipe on some whipped cream, if you’re feeling especially ‘splurgy’.

Part 8 of Bad Boy First Love coming in a few short days.

The National Peanut Board provided me with a gift card to promote their Peanut Butter for Breakfast campaign, but the thoughts, opinions and recipes (except the plain crepes) shared in this post are my own. The National Peanut Board is providing the product giveaway and gift card.
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Crepes

Peanut Butter Again? Yes! Cookies on Steroids!

October 10, 2011 at 9:15 am | Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Gluten Free, SRC | 68 Comments
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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cream Filling

I just realized something, this is my third post in less than two weeks.  It’s a very unfamiliar feeling since I usually only post about twice a month, give or take. There have been two new blog challenges that I simply couldn’t resist, the Love Bloghop and the Secret Recipe Club, which is part of the reason.  The latter is the focus today.  Ack, what a dull beginning to this post! Picture unicorns with bedazzled horns jumping over rainbows, to liven it up.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cream Filling
That said, I’m sick.  I caught a bug last week, and it’s worsened. I was hoping it would be one of those quick 2 to 3 day deals, but no such luck - come Friday I was feeling lousy x three. The slight upside was, fasting for Yom Kippur on Saturday was a cinch. The downside, I couldn’t eat a bit of a beautifully prepared Yom Kippur dinner – couldn’t even be near the table since the smell of food was enough to start the nauseous sweats.  Have you seen the dress fitting/food poisoning scene in Bridesmaids? Luscious, huh?

OK, enough about my sickness (and I won’t mention that looking at these photos, as I put this post together, is making queasy again – Whoops, sorry!).  For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Sweetie Petitti .  I know Susie from back in the day when she participated in the Daring Bakers.  Last month, I was happy to see she was a member of the Secret Recipe Club.


When I was assigned her blog, I wasn’t surprised.  If you factor weird ju-ju into situations, you can turn them into an equations.  Haven’t seen Susie in ages + joined the SRC + See Susie = Her blog is mine this month.  This is not unlike the peanut butter magically appearing on my doorstep last week.  I won’t make an equation out of that.

Bear with me, I have a fever..things may not seem/sound as they should.


I love Susie’s blog.  She decorates a mean cookie – I don’t, so that was out of the question.  I had a hard time choosing between 4 recipes.  1) Her pumpkin bread, which I was going to make into a bundt with swirls of cream cheese and Nutella. 2) A Spicy Buccatini with Rapini, Pancetta and Clams, which I was going to call Spicy BOOcatini, in honor of Halloween, although the name was all the Halloween it was going to be.  How do you make a yummy pasta dish scary?  Intestines are overplayed..  3) A Mile-High chocolate cake, Then I started feeling run down, a preface of what was to come, soo..I decided to go with something a little more simple, and pump it up a bit –  4) Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies. Would you believe, me, a self -confessed/obsessed peanut butter freak, has never had a flourless peanut butter cookie?

They’re great as is, but I couldn’t resist sandwiching them with the Bouchon Bakery’s peanut butter cream from their famous Nutter Butter cookie.  I added cinnamon to it for a little kick of warm spice, but that’s it.  I kept Susie’s cookie recipe as is, except to make bigger dough balls, therefore, less cookies.  Next time I’m going to make the balls smaller, like maybe a scant tablespoon, because it is a bit much ‘cookie’ for a cookie sandwich – it needs to be thinner. But hey – if you like a lot of cookie in ratio to the cream, why not?

These are heavy in weight, super rich, and pretty darn good.  They’re also kind of delicate with all that cream, so if it falls apart while you’re eating it, just put it on a plate and use a fork..or spoon..or shovel.


Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter Cinnamon Cream

Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Peanut Butter – Cinnamon Cream Filling
Recipe from the Bouchon Bakery (I added cinnamon)
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar ( I used 1 1/3 cup)

Melted chocolate or caramel, (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll heaping tablespoons (or a scant tablespoon for thinner cookies) of dough for each cookie into ball.

2. Arrange on a large (I used a 12 by 17 half sheet pan), parchment lined baking sheet – 2 inches apart. You should have 16 dough balls (more if using scant tablespoon). Use the bottom of a glass to flatten each dough ball.

3. Bake cookies about 10 – 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to racks; cool completely.

4. Beat together cream filling ingredients until smooth, then scoop into a pastry bag with a plain tip or a zip-lock bag.

4. Using the pastry bag with a plain tip, or the zip-lock bag with the end snipped off, pipe cream filling evenly on to 8 cookies.  Drizzle with melted chocolate or caramel, if desired.  Top with remaining 8 cookies.

This recipe makes 8 sandwich cookies.  You can double it for 16 sandwich cookies. You might have some cream filling leftover ( i overfilled each one, so not much left over), so double the recipe or umm, eat it with a spoon, like I did.

Be sure to check out Susie’s blog when you get a chance.  She really is a sweetie!  Don’t forget to click on the blue frog below to see a ton of mouth-watering SRC creations!

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches, with Peanut Butter Cinnamon Cream.




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