Browsing Tag


Peanut-Walnut Butter

August 31, 2011

Since we have been married, Joey has been shocked at the amount of peanut butter I consume each week. When, like me, you eat a couple tablespoons of the stuff each day, it doesn’t last long. Instead of picking up another jar of Smuckers Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, I decided last week that it would be fun to start making my own nut butter again.

It’s an amazingly simple process to whirl together your own nut butter, and I love how easy it is to customize the blend based on your specific tastes or allergy restrictions. I’ve made pure walnut butter before, but felt that it was lacking something without the extra zing of salty peanuts or another more flavorful nut. So this time, I used a combination of walnuts and peanuts for a smooth, creamy and slightly salty spread that is perfect atop toast or served with sliced apples.

If you’re interested in some of the other combinations I’ve put together, you can see them here:
*Make Your Own Nut Butter
*Cashew Butter

Also, just a reminder that our Fund for Jennie Auction is open until 10 pm tonight! The bid for our baked goods gift basket is now up to $225. Let’s keep the bidding going! If you’re interested, you can find the auction HERE. And thank you all so much for your kindness and generosity. 

Peanut-Walnut Butter
*3 cups lightly salted peanuts
*2 cups unsalted walnut halves
*1/4 cup olive oil
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Blend for two to three minutes, scraping own the sides occasionally, until mixture is smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Happy Cooking!


Homemade Larabars

September 6, 2010

A couple weeks ago after a trip to Florida, I wrote about healthy eating strategies for traveling. And since J. lives in Illinois, it seems like I spend a whole lot of time traveling, eating on the go, and trying my best to stick to a healthy eating schedule. Not an easy thing to do!

Larabars have fast become one of my favorite nutrition bars, and it takes only a quick look at the ingredient list to know why. Most contain only four or five ingredients and absolutely nothing hard to pronounce. But as much as I love Larabars, I find it hard to justify shelling out $2.50 a bar when I can make them at home.

Cue the Homemade Larabar.

A base of dates and prunes keep these bars chewy and moist, while nuts and peanut butter provide healthy fat to keep you full and satisfied. If you’re adverse to prunes, swap them out for another favorite dried fruit, like apricots, cherries, or cranberries. And if peanut butter isn’t your thing, give another nut butter, like one made with almonds or walnuts, a try – or maybe even Nutella if you’re feeling decadent.

Anyone else have a favorite nutrition bar they go to when on the road?

Happy Labor Day!

Homemade Larabars
(Printable Recipe)

*10 oz. pitted dates
*1 cup prunes
*2 cups slivered almonds
*1 tsp. almond extract
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
*5 oz. dried mixed fruits (I used a mix from Target of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries)

*In a food processor combine all ingredients and pulse until nuts and fruit are finely chopped and begin to come together in a paste, about 1 to 2 minutes.
*Remove ingredients from food processor and press into an 8×8-inch foil-lined baking pan or dish.
*Refrigerate overnight or freeze for 30 minutes before cutting into bars of desired size. I cut mine smaller to serve as snacks between meals, but you can cut them into larger bars to serve as a meal replacement, too.


Candied Almonds

August 19, 2010

Greetings from Florida! No, I’m not posting from a beach. In fact, I’m posting from a hotel room while preparing for a full day of work tomorrow. But not to worry, I took a few photos before I left this morning of a recipe I’ve been dying to share with you all.

Although I hope there are plenty of other good reasons why J. enjoys dating me, I think there is one thing that definitely tops the ‘cool’ list. When we first started dating, the concept that he could pick out a food he enjoys and ask me if I can figure out how to make it. Some of the items on this list?

*Texas Roadhouse Rolls with Cinnamon Butter
*Homemade Salted Nut Rolls
*Candied Almonds
*Green Goddess Salad Dressing

You can best believe you will see all these recipes on the pages of Espresso and Cream eventually, but today we are here to talk candied almonds. When J. traveled to Europe in January to study WWII history, he ate a lot of really awesome food. Awesome food like candied almonds sold on the street, sold in paper cones, just begging to be consumed.

Turns out, they are super easy to make, too! Give them a try, the recipe only requires four ingredients and has one step in the instructions. Doesn’t get much easier than that! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get some shut eye before my busy day! 

Candied Almonds
Courtesy of All Recipes 

*1/2 cup water
*1 cup sugar
*1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
*2 cups whole almonds

1. Combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; add the almonds. Cook and stir the mixture until the liquid evaporates and leaves a syrup-like coating on the almonds. Pour the almonds onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Separate almonds using forks. Allow to cool about 15 minutes. 
*Note: Make sure all the liquid completely evaporates. It will start to be slightly grainy and sand-like in texture and stick to the almonds when all the liquid is evaporated. 

Happy Cooking!