To Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

First and Foremost – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Reese’s is a lot of people’s favorite chocolate/candy bar. You would think it was mine too, with my great love of the chocolate and peanut butter combo, but its not – I am more of a take 5 kinda gal – the added crunch of the pretzel just makes me swoon (side note – make my own take 5 bars).

With it being Valentine’s I wanted to make sure all my friends (available and unavailable) were given chocolates so thought I would just make my own! I’ve been wanting to make peanut butter cups for sometime and being able to decorate them with holiday sprinkles made vday as good of a day as any other.

These are super easy to make – they just take time – idle time that is – 30 min intervals of refrigeration meant back and forth to the kitchen.

They are delicious too – I had to do a taste test you know.

The recipe came from Brown Eyed Baker, but I only did a third of it (I had about 20 cups though – more than I expected)

Ingredients:

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/3 heaping cup powdered sugar
1 1/3 cups milk chocolate chips (I used a mix of 60% cacao Ghiradelli and semi-sweet)

1 1/3 Tbsp. vegetable shortening

Line a mini-muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Line a baking with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Heat until completely melted and starting to bubble a little, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar, stirring until completely combined with the peanut butter mixture after each addition. Set aside and let cool.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in the microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, until completely melted, stirring after each burst.

Using a small cookie scoop or a couple of teaspoons, spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup.

Use a heaping teaspoon to scoop out the peanut butter mixture. Roll it into a ball, and then flatten it slightly into a disk. Place on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Once finished with all of the peanut butter mixture, refrigerate both the muffin tins and the peanut butter patties for about 30 minutes.

Place a peanut butter patty on top of each chocolate-lined muffin tin. Then use a scoop or spoon to add more melted chocolate on top and around each peanut butter patty. (If the melted chocolate firmed up, just pop it back into the microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds or so to re-melt.)

Refrigerate again for 30 minutes, then they’re ready to serve! Store in the refrigerator or freezer. You can keep at room temperature in an airtight container if you’re going to serve them the same day, but they’ll start to get soft if not at cool room temperature.

Cheers to everyone, single, engaged, married and hopefully somebody remembered you on this really pink and red day.

n

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

I love lentils and better yet I was able to use up more of my coconut milk in making this third dish with it! I just have a little bit left – so might be able to find one more awesome recipe to use it up in.

I had most of the stuff on hand to make this soup, but had to make a few tweaks, so the original recipe is linked below. I was cold all day and this warmed me right up. The curry flavor was just the right amount too! Definitely a recipe worth trying and remembering (:

This recipe was adapted from Kitchen Konfidence

Ingredients:
1 cup red split lentils
3 1/2 cups water
7 baby carrots,  cut into a ½ inch dice
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. butter
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 cup golden raisins
1/8 cup tomato paste
7 oz. can coconut milk
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt

(brown rice to eat with – this helps thicken it up a bit and makes it that much more filling (:

Directions:

Thoroughly lentils in a mesh basket under cold, running water.  You will know they are well rinsed when the water draining from the bottom of the basket no longer looks cloudy.  Place the split peas and lentils in a large soup pot with the 3 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and  ginger.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the split peas are soft).

Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet, toast the curry powder over low heat.  You will know the curry powder is toasted when it becomes very fragrant.  Make sure you watch the skillet though.  If left too long, the curry powder will start to burn.  Set aside.

Heat butter in a saucepan over a medium flame, add half of the green onions, remaining ginger and golden raisins.  Saute for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the tomato paste and saute for another two minutes.  Add the toasted curry powder and stir to combine.

Add the tomato-curry mixture, coconut milk and salt to the soup pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes to an hour.  If you like your soup thinner, you can stop simmering after 20 minutes.  If you like a thicker soup, simmer until you reach your desired consistency.

Place a heaping spoonful of cooked brown rice at the bottom of your bowl.  Ladle over some of the Coconut Red Lentil Soup.  Finish with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and sliced green onions.

Cheers to a nice warm winter meal

n

To Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are so delicious. I’ve had some in my fridge for awhile and knew that I probably should use them up soon. I came across this recipe and it solved two of my problems without creating another – it used up one of my sweet potatoes and used up more of my coconut milk.

This is extremely easy to whip up as you are about to find out, and it works great as a side to any meal.

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

1/4 cup coconut milk

crushed red pepper

Directions:

Wet a paper towel and wrap around your sweet potato, place on a place and microwave for 3 minutes. Pull from microwave and prick all over with a fork. Microwave for another 3-5 minutes – the skin should start separating from the potato. Once a fork can easily go into the sweet potato, it’s cooked. Peel the skin off the potato, and mash with a fork, mix in the coconut milk, top with crushed red pepper (I was going for a sweet with a little spice flavoring) and voila your done.

Cheers

n