It’s Monday! Here’s some chocolate, because I love y’all.
It’s Monday! Here’s some chocolate, because I love y’all.
It’s Monday! Here’s some chocolate, because I love y’all.
These adorable penguin brookies are gluten free and vegan.
Soft gingerbread cookies stuffed with a dark chocolate fudge. Gluten free and vegan.
aka Study Break Bars. I made these bars over and over when I was studying for my board exam. Super easy and quick, these ideal for dorm-room cooking because they’re made in a microwave.
This simple chocolate peanut butter fudge is ready in minutes. It only dirties one bowl, and you whip it up in your microwave. Vegan.
As it gets warmer out, I can’t help but think of warm weather foods. A mouthful of stinky ramps. Charred corn, hot off the grill. Cold watermelon, perfectly salted. And fudge.
I suppose fudge is technically a beach treat, and not specifically a warm weather treat, but you know….folks generally go to the beach in the summer.
And technically, if you asked me where I wanted to go on vacation right now, I’d tell you the mountains, and not the beach. But fudge can be enjoyed anywhere. Pack these up in a box and tuck them into your cooler for a long drive out to a quiet hammock.
This recipe actually started out as an attempt at chocolate peanut butter, for Jason to dip his pretzels in as an after-school snack. Er….after-work snack? Nah, that sounds wrong. I think we all understand that the idea of after school snacks carry far past our classroom days. Whether you’re removing your dirty soccer cleats or peeling of damn panty hose, it’s still an after-school snack.
Anyways, the pretzel-dip thing didn’t quite work out, but one thing lead to another and I retooled the recipe to become classic chocolate peanut butter fudge.
It makes a small batch, but it can easily be doubled or tripled if you wanted to bring it to a party.
The sprinkles are optional (I only added them for the photo aspect), but if you can put anything you want over top. An extra drizzle of peanut butter, chopped nuts, a sprinkle of big-flake salt, whatever.
I know that it’s too early for Valentine’s Day things (well, Walgreen’s clearly disagrees), but since when are heart-shaped red chocolaty things just for Valentines?
insert a diatribe about cultural food norms. i did this to save you having to read two rants. second rant below.
Okay, well maybe it’s not so much a rant as an observation. I think the whole Valentine’s Day being Singles Awareness day is true. When you’re single and it’s mid February, you are painfully aware of the fact. When you are in a blooming relationship, you freak out that you might become single if you mess this day up by either over celebrating or under celebrating.
But when you’re in a committed relationship, Valentines Day barely registers. You’re aware of the cute fuzzy animals in the store, and you maybe buy discount chocolate the next day, but that’s about it. The year we got married, I got Jason a last-minute pink cake pop and he got me nothing. I would have gotten him nothing too, but I just happened to already be at Starbucks and I know he loves those things.** We made burritos for dinner. Nothing says romance like burrito breath and bean toots.
**And watching a big tall grown man eat a pink cake pop is pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Valentines Day is also for your Nana, but that’s a different kind of love not applicable to this discussion. And maybe Valentine’s Day is also for very strict Catholics who still attend mass on every single Feast day. When I was in high school, my mom would get mad at me when I said I didn’t like 2/14, because I was apparently committing some sort of heresy by denouncing the Feast of Saint Valentine.
So…….I totally get if you don’t like Valentines or whatever, but you can still love chocolaty jam-filled things.
Speaking of love (or not love), here are some reasons to become enamored with — err get excited about — these tarts.
This almond-flour based crust is really easy and you can make in a blender. Cool! You use a banana as the binder, but make sure you use a greenish banana because riper ones will make the crust too wet.
The filling is made with my favorite homemade jam. Just dates and frozen raspberries. I love the pucker you get from raspberries, because it goes so well with the chocolate sweetness. But if you don’t like tart raspberries, I would recommend increasing the amount of dates in the recipe.
These freeze well (as long as you wrap them individually) so if you make them now, you can still have them in February. Make them for yourself, for someone that you love, or for a group of pals.
Oh! I finally made a Facebook for this blogaroo. Check it out here, and do the whole “like” thing. Please? 😀
It’s been so long since I’ve made sugar cookies. I’m not talking about since last Christmas or the Christmas before that. The last time I made sugar cookies, I was in college and took a historic costume class, and I was giving a presentation on Marie Antoinette’s personal style. I made cookies in the shape of the Dauphine’s hair to hand out during my talk. I don’t know why I chose her hair, but then again, I don’t know why I chose to be a history major. I don’t know why it’s been so long since I’ve made sugar cookies!
Luckily, these sugar cookies really make up for that lapse. How good were they? Baked at 2 pm and gone by 6. I brought them to dinner at Jason’s parents’ house, even though the supply was already pretty decimated by the time we got there (not my doing, btw).
Anyways, everyone ate them up. Even my brother in law, who told me that he “wouldn’t have tried them before hand if he’d known they were gluten free and vegan, and that he couldn’t even tell.” That reminded me of this Onion article, so I tried to avoid eye contact when he said that. Please read the article, it’s hilarious.
I think the best part about them was when my little nephew’s face lit up after having a bite. Making people happy with food is a pretty wonderful feeling, don’t you think?
Speaking of making people happy, my mom was peering over my shoulder the whole time I was making these, and may have mentioned one or two or three times that she doesn’t like the new blog name. I thought that I might as well explain it to y’all.
It comes from a case of intentionally misunderstood lyrics. As in “we know they’re singing this, but it sounds like they’re singing this, and it’s funnier this way.” Lonely Starbucks Lovers.
The opening lines to the Avett Brothers song Laundry Room are “don’t push me out.” If you don’t know them, Google the live version, not the studio version, please. Avett fans know that the boys absolutely adore cats, which is why don’t push meow is an amusing alternate lyric. Sometimes we all need an amusing alternate version to life, so I thought this was a pretty good blog name. *shrugs
Of course, you don’t need an alternate version to anything when you have a sugar cookie in your hand. These are nutty and a tiny bit under-sweet. I made them under-sweet on purpose because I don’t like a super sweet cookie and then super sweet frosting on top…and I knew I wanted the frosting to be really sweet. The sticky finger kind of sweet, the sugar coma on a Sunday morning syrup kind of sweet. This frosting tastes exactly like the kind of goo that comes on cinnamon rolls. Which is kind of making me wish they weren’t all gone. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to make more of them. Darn.
adapted from Ethel’s Sugar Cookies in the classic Betty Crocker Cooky Book
this is not sponsored content, I just like Bob’s 1 to 1 mix.
I’m so excited to share this cheery little forest with you! 🌲 🌲 🌲
But first, how were y’all’s Thanksgivings?
Mine was wonderful. I worked in the morning, where I witnessed so much goodwill that I was literally jumping for joy (traditional sense of literal). It put me in a good mood right then and there.
I thought I was going to be wiped out by the time I got off, but everybody’s kindness must of energized me. I went home and changed and didn’t even need a nap before heading over to dinner.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, large gatherings make me nervous. But for some reason, I was fine almost the whole time. I got there late, so everyone had already eaten and where heading out for a walk. That was really nice, too. I feel like in my family, everyone would have waited for me to get there. Then they would have laid on major guilt about making everyone wait.
Since everyone had eaten, there was no awkward “you go first no you go first” line and I just scooped up leftovers here and there, taking as much as I pleased. Mainly I ate cheesy potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Jason’s aunt makes some really good cheesy potatoes. I might try to steal her recipe, but add jalapenos or something.
It was the most relaxed Thanksgiving I’ve ever been to, and I got to hold a baby in my lap the whole time.*
*this does not mean I’m ready to have one of my own.
So. I love my family, but Thanksgiving with Jason’s kin pretty much won over every Thanksgiving I had with my own folks.
Also, Jason’s family uses paper plates, which meant FEWER DISHES.
Okay, okay, enough about the holiday. Let’s talk about the cheery forest. I wanted to call it a magical little forest, that reminds me of bad paperbacks from the discount bin.
But these trees really are magical. Peanut butter with chocolate is enchanting in almost any form, but particularly if said form is a Christmas tree!
They are wonderfully easy to make. Ground up cereal, melted PB, and coconut oil come together to make this nice pliable dough to form the trees with. Then just a dip in melted chocolate and you’re good to go.
Since they include ingredients almost everyone enjoys, they are a great choice to bring to your next Christmas party. I feel like they’re already a classic in our home, and I hope they’ll be a classic in yours too.
My husband is an Ohio native. We were living in North Carolina when we met, and I thought we would live there pretty much forever, but then life happened and we moved here. He’s been here since January, and I came up in July.
It’s been an adjustment. I miss my favorite running trails, particularly because I feel that flat terrains are harder on the body. And, um….there’s a lot of flat terrain here.
But I have gotten to do a bunch of fun Ohio things, like stuffing myself with fresh heartland produce, and going to a game at THE Ohio State University. We haven’t gone apple picking yet, but I hope to soon. And we’re going to a bonfire at his cousin’s farm, which I’m really looking forward to because I love love his folks.
But there’s still a lot of Ohio stuff I haven’t done — like survive the winter here yet, har har — and make buckeyes. So I had to make some buckeyes! But I’m not a real Buckeye, so I couldn’t make the traditional creamy centered powdered sugar kind. They are made with cereal, which gives them a very slight crunch. And the peanut butter is a little salty, so they have that whole salty sweet thing goin’ on with you can love, no matter where you’re from.
I thought that my husband was a sturdy son of Ohio, through and through. Like, on one of our first dates, I put the accent on the wrong syllable in “Tressel” and got a big long lecture. So I thought was prepared for the madness, but I was OH so wrong. I still have a lot of learning to do, about history and traditions and what you can and can’t say during the week before Thanksgiving. So I gotta ask, what are y’all’s favorite Ohio traditions?