Tag Archives: peanut butter

PB & Toasted Coconut Energy Balls

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to my brother, who had come to spend Mother’s Day here in CA with the family- we totally wish it was a longer visit but we’ll take what we can get! It was his first time meeting Gabs, and she is already in love with her Uncle ‘Merck’ 🙂



My brother just got his helicopter pilot’s license a few days ago- so proud of him! He has a few more licenses that he wants to obtain yet, but pretty soon he’ll be flying me all over Hawaii for free, I’m sure. I mean, why else does he need a helicopter license?? Juuust kidding. Won’t say no though, bro.

Anyways, up early again this morning with a hefty to-do list for the day! I was going to start out with a run, but I peeked outside and saw that it was sprinkling- and decided to put off my run until later and bump a couple other items on the list to priority. Enter: no bake energy balls.


I’ve heard a lot of people talking about different recipes they’ve used for these nutrient-packed little snackies, and had never gotten around to making any until now. And man, have I been missing out! These are like little balls of cookie dough, dude- SO stinkin’ good! But healthified. A perfect little pre-run bite or afternoon pick-me-up. Or even dessert! Or crumbled on top of oatmeal. Or… I don’t know, probably good any way you choose to eat em.


You can pretty much throw in whatever you want to make these- these are so versatile! I decided to make mine with the following ingredients:

1 cup dry old fashioned oats

2/3 cup toasted {unsweetened} coconut flakes

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup wheat germ

1/2 bar of Dove’s dark chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

{Mix all these things together, let chill in fridge for 1/2 hour, then roll into balls and viola! Better than cookies.}


Now that I’m recalling what I put in them, I’m planning out my next energy-ball attack. Craisins, white chocolate chips, almond butter, pepitas.. ooooo I’m getting so excited.

Any other good combos out there that you’ve tried??


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Filed under Cookies/Bars, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread


I have never been a real fan of anything banana flavored. I like tangy, sweet, and tart! Not creamy, banana-y, and well, just banana-y I guess! Once I got into green smoothies though, frozen bananas were a key ingredient and I started to not mind the flavor as much.

Then I started buying bananas but didn’t go through them fast enough so I had to freeze them. And what to do with 12 frozen bananas ? Well, I don’t know, but I know what I can do with 2!


This snacky banana bread is absolutely divine. The banana flavor totally jives with the PB and chocolate riddled throughout the loaf! Sadly, I only got pictures of the very last piece… Gabby and I geared up for the first time since she was born and made this on Wednesday for my grandparents who are in town! She is going to be quite the little baker, I think. Even though she slept through the whole process, I can tell she liked it. I can just tell. 🙂

Banaaaaaana Breeeead!!

Banaaaaaana Breeeead!!

I just love her.


Peanut Butter CHocolate CHip Banana Bread

makes one loaf


2 cups AP flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 medium ripe mashed bananas

1/2 cup creamy Peanut butter

3 TBSP butter, softened, divided use

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup semisweet, dark, or milk chocolate chips (I used more, duh.)

1 1/2 tsp Turbinado sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

IN a medium sized mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, peanut butter, 2 TBSP butter, and both sugars until creamy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk and flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven, melt additional TBSP butter, brush evenly over the top, and top with Turbinado sugar. Continue to bake for an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool for 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges, removing, and transferring to a wire rack to cool an additional 30 minutes before slicing.

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Filed under Baby, Dessert, Family, Food Stuffs.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola

Sad story.


I’m all out of peanut butter.

BUT it’s totally for a fantastic reason! So I guess it’s really not that sad of a story. Anyways, you guys know I love my classic breakfast combo- greek yog, bluebs, and that Fiber One cereal. However, I am about out of Fiber One and sometimes that cereal is as much as $6 (?!?!) a box! So, as much as I love it, I decided it might be time to search for a cheaper member of my breakfast bowl.


Enter: Peanut Butter Granola. This stuff is highly addictive and pretty darn nutritious- yay for oats! And it’s pretty much as wallet-friendly as something can be. I made a small batch this morning because I was 1.) Hungry, and smaller batches take less time, and 2) I only had 2 TBSP of peanut butter left in my sad little jar.


This recipe is simple and takes a total of less than 20 minutes! I would make a bigger batch if you can, though. Pretty sure this is all going to be gone before lunch.


Have a wonderful Thursday, I’m off to a date with my mother in law!



Crunchy Peanut Butter Granola

makes four 1/4 cup servings


2 TBSP creamy peanut butter

2 TBSP honey

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup old fashioned oats


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine peanut butter and honey in a bowl and microwave until peanut butter melts (approximately 20 seconds). Stir.
  • Stir cinnamon, salt & vanilla into peanut butter and honey mixture.
  • Add oats and stir until oats are completely covered in peanut butter mixture.
  • Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until granola is slightly browned.
  • Let cool until granola is crunchy.



Filed under Food Stuffs.

Christmas Cookie Roundup 2012


I am a huge lover of Christmas baking. More importantly, the Christmas cookies. Mm mm mm. I know you can eat cookies anytime of the year, but something about the holiday season almost makes it a LAW that you have to indulge. If I’m wrong, I don’t want to be right.


So in the spirit of the cookie baking season, I have rounded up a list of my favorite things to bake for my Christmas platters!

1. Peanut Butter Blossoms

2. Scotcheroos

3. Eagle Brand Cookies

4. Old- Fashioned Sugar Cookies

5. Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

6. Peppermint Bark

7. Chewy Gingersnap Cookies

8. Reindeer Chow

9. Marshmallow Snowmen (use as stirrers for Hot Chocolate or coffee!! SO cute!)

10. Amaretti’s

11. Brown Sugar Shortbread

12. Almond Tarts

13. Snowball Cookies (AKA Mexican Wedding Cookies)

14. Nutter Butter Balls

15. Hot Chocolate on a Stick


The pictures of some of the goodies are the courtesy of the original bakers of these goodies! I can’t wait to get started… Joey and Baby Judah are the best taste-testers out there. 😉


Merry Christmas!

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays, Holiday, Holiday Baking

a nice surprise and green monster

I got called on Wednesday night and was told that the provider at the Escalon clinic was sick and therefore we could not open the clinic on Thursday. “Aw, what a bummer… I hope she feels better soon…” was what I said. And what I truly meant! But I was secretly SO excited to have the day off! What a nice surprise- I was starting to get a little nervous that I wouldn’t have time to shop for a fanny pack for my trip?!


Yes, you heard me right. I was an avid lover of fanny packs in my younger days, and I still am. Pretty sure I always will be. It’s so much more convenient than lugging around a purse all day, and it can probably double as a belt. Just kidding, I don’t know about the belt part, but it sure is nice for hiking! Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Just in case you are wondering, because I’m sure you guys all secretly want one too, they are only $5 at WalMart! Score.

On to more important things! My day off yesterday was just beautiful. Started out the day with a walk with my dogs and my favorite green monster smoothie. Man, all my recipes are green lately. Time for a new color!


As I walked, I planned out my mental to-do list and thought about adding a wood-burning tool to my shopping list so I could make this. Did not buy one, because the first attempt at wood burning turned out like this. (I need a few more lessons from Master K before I invest) 20120615-094358.jpg








Hardly very intricate detailing there, but you were warned that I am not crafty!

I got home, ran a few errands, and fit in a quick shopping trip to Old Navy for some comfy capris and last minute travel items. K, I really needed Lindsey with me for the whole ‘avoiding over shopping thing’. I haven’t packed yet for Israel, and it’s not a good idea to go shopping when you’re worried you don’t have the right kind of clothing for your trip. You end up buying things that you know you’ll never wear again. (Thank goodness for their bomb return policy!) Then got home and made a quick lunch of maple almond butter oatmeal. Have you guys tried this combo? Do it and thank me later 🙂


1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, water, spoonful of almond butter, 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (and a pink lady apple!)

I grabbed a quick and low-key workout and then spent the rest of the day on the phone with K and cleaning the house like a mad woman- I love coming home to a clean house 🙂

Dinner was those meatballs that I made a while ago. I have not been cooking as much these past few days because we have been avoiding grocery shopping and trying to use up what we have in the fridge before we go. Joey’s brother came over for dinner after his first day of his internship and was starved, so we were glad that we had something that was ready to be popped in the oven and ready in a few minutes! That along with some roasted veggies and garlic bread made for a pretty filling meal. Instead of meatballs for me, I had a hankering for some of my mom’s homemade chili. She made me some months and months ago, and I had stuck in the freezer for instances such as this. I roasted some cubed sweet potato and mixed it in with the chili and wow, that was the best decision I’ve made all day! SO good! I will come back with a recipe for you guys, I promise. The chili and sweet potato mixture is incredible!

Finished up the day with the Heat vs Thunder game (c’mon Thunder!?) and a nice big bowl of brownies and ice cream. Sorry, I ate that way too fast so there’s no picture.

What a nice day off.

Happy Friday!


Green Monster Smoothie

serves YOU!

2-3 big handfuls of fresh spinach

4 oz. plain Greek Yogurt

1Tbps PB2 (or regular peanut butter)

1 frozen banana

1 cup ice

water or milk to thin out


Blend it all together in a blender! I would recommend starting with the liquid at the bottom, then spinach, and then the heavier ingredients on top so that it pushes the spinach down, making it easier to blend. The more ice you use, the more smoothie-like it will be!


P.S. sorry for the blurry picture- I freeze my ‘naners with the peel on, so it looks pretty gross there. Also, you will learn as you read my posts that I like to try new weird food products. (Don’t ask why I like some ingredients and are scared of others) PB2 is something I ordered from Amazon because I heard good things about it from  Jenna. Its basically peanut butter that has all of the oil pressed out of it- so it is in a powdered form. I have grown to adore this stuff! You can sprinkle it on apples for a snack, mix it in brownies, and countless other things.

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Vacation

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

These, my friends, are what you’ve been waiting for. All of the classic deliciousness of chocolate chip cookies, all the richness and creaminess of a peanut butter cookie, and a bit of salty pretzel crunch as a curveball that scores the home run. I’ve had this cookie recipe bookmarked for months- but kept putting off baking them because I knew that once that mixer got those ingredients combined, there was no stopping the energizer bunny that is my mouth.

I love love love cookies. My great-aunt Kathy used to bring me cookies every once in a while at college, and they were always gone within a few days. She made the puffiest peanut butter chocolate chip cookie you ever saw, and the chewiness and melt-in-your-mouth taste left me licking the plate clean wondering why in the world I shared them with my roommates. Ever since then, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies have been my absolute favorite. Until I saw this recipe, which added crushed pretzels!!

I can’t resist the salty-sweet combo- I promise I only had seven  two bites of cookie dough.

Ok, I have to  be honest. I didn’t even bake these! Katie and I spent all our time figuring out how we were going to make this combined blog work and the little sister decided she wanted to bake something while we played on our computers. “What should I bake?” dear little sister asked. And my mind immediately went to that wonderful cookie that I knew would cause me to lose all control. I pointed at the poor neglected little recipe on my printer and set her to the task, while we worked hard on our blog all afternoon.
Obviously, hard at work.
And then we had a cookie! And you should, too.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies 
 makes about 3 dozen medium cookies
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs, room temperature
3 cups pretzels, chopped
1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and PB and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until combined. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until combined. Mix in 1/2 cup of crushed pretzels and chocolate chips.
Place remaining crushed pretzels in a small bowl. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop balls of dough into crushed pretzels and roll lightly to coat. Then place on cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 min, the cookies will look slightly underbaked when you take them out. This is GOOD! That means they will stay nice and chewy for the whole two days they last on your counter 🙂



Filed under Food Stuffs.