Monthly Archives: December 2012

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

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Yay! It’s almost Christmas! It’s starting to really feel like the holidays as Matt and I geared up yesterday for the 10 hour jaunt across country from Philly to Indiana. I was a very spoiled passenger and was able to take a few naps and watch a few movies along the way. I used to hate car trips but thanks to technology it isn’t nearly as bad. We broke up our trip with some of our favorite high school jams and I impressed my husband with my endless knowledge of lyrics. It was a great trip and it feels great to be home for a few days between the madness of constant studying.

Anyhow, we were invited to our neighbors for dinner and I was asked to bring some dessert. Since preparing for finals was consuming all of my life and braincells, it had been a while since we had a proper grocery trip. Our fridge was pretty bare, but fortunately I had all of the common staples in my fridge and pantry. These peanut butter cookies are probably the easiest cookie recipe I have ever made. All you need is 5 ingredients and NO flour and you have a perfect, delicious cookie in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I highly recommend that you add it to your cookie repertoire. No worries if you feel you are baking challenged, these are so simple that I know you’ll have great results. It’s a very easy starter dough and you can feel free to add chocolate chips or press Hershey kisses into the cookies.

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I made regular peanut butter cookies with the classic fork hashmarks and also some with Hershey hugs pressed in to the top. Both are equally delicious!

The Ingredients:

Makes 26-30 cookies 

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

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Lettuce Wraps…with a Mexican twist!

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Phew! Finals are over and I have a few weeks off before resuming classes. I am looking forward to getting back into the kitchen over break and trying all the recipes I’ve been stockpiling during my study breaks (aka periods of pure procrastination!) It is finally feeling a little bit more like the Holiday season now that I’ve caught up on sleep and feel like a real member of society again. I am in the preliminary stages of my Holiday shopping and have already brainstormed a few really great gift ideas. One of my gift ideas is actually a little bit of an at home project, so I look forward to sharing that after the Holidays! It seems like a great project and I can’t wait to get it started tomorrow morning. I’ll be sure to share after the Holidays when all of my gifts have been dispersed! I love giving personalized gifts because I feel that it really shows people just how much you care. I am also excited about creating all my favorite Holiday recipes! A particular favorite of mine is my candied almonds! I’m planning on making them this week and will be sure to share the recipe. They are to die for!

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On to today’s recipe:)  On a quick trip to Whole Foods I saw that Bibb lettuce was on sale for $1.99, avocados were on sale for $1.00, and ground chicken was also ridiculously on sale. I couldn’t resist any of these items and because of my underlying love of lettuce cups I knew I had all the makings of a very quick and healthy meal. If you know me at all, you know that I love all things spicy food. So naturally, I knew these ingredients would lend themselves very well to creating a twist on the traditional Asian inspired lettuce cup. It was undoubtedly a success and I’m not certain I’ll ever transition back to using taco shells after coming up with this recipe redo. One can’t beat tasty and healthy! Plus cutting the calories from the taco shells allows me to feel a little less guilty about having a small scoop of my homemade vanilla ice cream in the freezer (recipe to follow soon!).

I made a very simple guacamole to add on top. I used one avocado, a 1/4 cup of sweet onion which I rinsed under water to get rid of the pungent onion taste/smell, and a small handful of pickled jalapeños which I minced. I added a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper and mashed it all together with a fork. I let it hang out in the fridge while I prepared to the rest of the meal.

The Ingredients: 

  • 1 head Bibb Lettuce, pre-washed and leaves separated
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey, or beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

To a small bowl, add:

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • A liberal pinch of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2-1 tsp Sriracha or hot sauce
  • Fresh cracked black pepper 

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Better than Starbucks Chocolate Frappuccinos

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With finals week approaching, I thought it would only be appropriate to share my new favorite way to consume copious amounts of caffeine. I’ve come up with a spectacular, easy way to get a drink that tastes as good as Starbucks without breaking a grad student’s budget (plus I bet my recipe is even lower in calories then the purchased kind!). If you are a coffee drinker, I bet you’ll have almost everything you need right in your kitchen. The one thing you may have to add to your grocery list is chocolate syrup or powder. The addition of the chocolate completely transforms the every day ordinary (sometimes boring) cup of coffee. To say that I am totally obsessed with this recipe is an understatement–I have literally been addicted and have made one every day! Give it a try! I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.

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The Ingredients:

Necessary equipment: blender or large food processor 

  • 1 cup brewed coffee–I usually let mine chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes but if you don’t have the time to let it chill, just add more ice
  • 1/2-1 cup milk–depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor
  • 2 tbs chocolate syrup or chocolate powder
  • 1 tsp or 1 packet of sweetener of your choice
  • 1 cup ice

How to:

  • Add ice, coffee, and milk to blender
  • Pulse until smooth
  • Add chocolate syrup and sweeter and pulse until well incorporated
  • Top with whipped cream if desired and enjoy:)