Chocolate peanut butter cups for breakfast
Steel cut oats are a vehicle for chocolate peanut butter cups for breakfast! Well, not exactly, but sort of. You will think you are eating peanut butter cups for breakfast – just the super healthy, stick to your ribs, and give you lots of energy kind of version
For one serving:
½ cup steel cut oatmeal – cooked according to package directions
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
Combine peanut butter, honey, and cocoa powder together, stir, eat. You won’t be disappointed.
PB cup oatmeal
I had some delicious looking peaches just ripened to perfection sitting on my table. What beautiful peach scones these would make, I thought to myself. I looked out my window feeling discouraged because of the rain/wind storm from Tropical Storm Irene and feared I would be giving up my Sunday trip to the Fresh Market. Lucky for me, BJ has a truck, is a great driver, and wanted to explore the flash flooding. Off to Fresh Market I went – I was one of the only people in the store, crazy – No, excited – yes. Like a kid in the candy store I had the whole place practically to myself. I grabbed a few necessities, a few non-necessities, and was off. Back to our tiny kitchen to create the scones – smeared with some of the lemon curd I picked up at Fresh Market this morning. My belly feels happy.
These scones are just peachy
2 small ripe peaches (about a cup worth)
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cane sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup of vanilla yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup half and half
2 tablespoons cane sugar
- Preheat your over to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper you could grease your baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder. Cut in the butter – I used a fork to do this.
- In another bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients. Finally, add the peaches and mix until combined.
- The texture is somewhat sticky, so I decided to make drop scones instead of the fancy triangles. Drop large balls of dough onto the baking sheet (lined with parchment paper). Using a pastry brush, brush some half and half onto each of the scones, and sprinkle with cane sugar. The half and half, I learned from my Mom, allows the tops of the scones to turn golden brown.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes. Watch for the tops to be golden brown.
Like Mother, Like Daughter
I was partially inspired to create these peach scones because in my Mom’s kitchen, she had already been busy in her kitchen creating one of our all time favorite recipes – blueberry raspberry scones with lemon drizzle. They are to die for. One of the first things I tried cooking when I decided I wanted to learn to cook eight years back – they have been one of our most loved breakfast treats ever since. I’m pretty sure my mom makes a better version than me – she is hands down the best cook I know.
My mom's amazing scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
1 cup half and half, plus more for brushing the scones
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen raspberries
(The frozen berries don’t bleed when mixed into the dough – if you use fresh, you may have a pink/purple version of these scones)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Sift together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients (I don’t have as many fancy kitchen tools as my mom, so I use a fork for this part!). The mixture should look like course crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the half and half. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the blueberries and raspberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the berries because their strong color will discolor the dough.
- Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 10 x 5 x 1″. Cut the rectangle in half then cut the pieces in half again, giving you four squares. Cut the squares in half on a diagonal to give you four triangle shapes. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with a little half and half. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.
- Place the lemon juice, lemon zest and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on high for 30 – 45 seconds or until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm. Add the confectioner’s sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves. Add more confectioners’ sugar to thicken glaze if desired. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let scones set for a few minutes before serving.
Middle Eastern Inspired Chicken Meatballs
These meatballs were inspired by the Middle Eastern, specifically Lebanese food I love to eat. BJ is Lebanese/Italian so I try my best to cook some of the recipes – falafel, tzatziki, kibbeh, moujadara (I still struggle to pronounce this), and I’ve even tried my hand at grape leaves. Some of our favorite ingredients incorporated into those recipes are pine nuts, lemons, cumin, all spice, onion, garlic, and parsley. I combined these things, with a few extras to make these meatballs – which were sooo good – I watched most of the plate disappear before my very eyes, and the rest were gobbled up for a late night snack. I will definitely be making these again. The lemon version of tzatziki was a must for dipping and drizzling.
Just a side note – I’m thankful that Irene only knocked out our power for a total of three minutes. With the scones baking and the meatball making – I would have had a total meltdown if the power went out. It is not unnatural for me to have a mini melt down and be upset if I mess up a recipe, it wasn’t as good as I had hoped, or I spill something in the kitchen – but this would have been different altogether because it would have meant: A. No dinner, at least not the one I wanted, and I really did not want PB&J and B. It would have also been a wasted trip into the flooding roads to pick up these items at the Fresh Market. THANK GOODNESS that did not happen, nobody wants to see a meatball meltdown. The lights flickered throughout the entire time we cooked dinner – but luckily stayed on!
Into the pan you go!
One pound ground chicken – I may try ground turkey next time!
½ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup chopped basil
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
½ cup toasted pinenuts
3 or 4 sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil, chopped up
½ yellow onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
½ cup golden raisins, chopped up
sea salt and pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon allspice
Olive oil, for sautéing
- Heat olive oil on medium heat in a heavy bottom sauté pan.
- Combine all ingredients, except for the olive oil, into a large mixing bowl. If you aren’t afraid of getting dirty, use your hands and mix together. Roll into small balls, about the size of golf balls.
- Drop, one by one, into the pan and watch them sizzle and turn golden brown. Flip to cook on each side. Cook for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Drizzle with lemon tzatziki – recipe below.
2 containers of plain greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch of sea salt
2 small garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper