Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

When I make dessert, I like to give it to friends and family.

You might be thinking, Oh, that’s so sweet of her!

But truthfully, it’s for my own good. If I didn’t give it away, I would likely eat all of it myself. And I only have one other roommate, so I’m not exactly baking for an army at any given time. 😉

One of my favorite desserts and/or snacks is a Rice Krispy treat. When I was in elementary school, the brand actually made snack size peanut butter Rice Krispy treats with a layer of chocolate on the bottom. I am proud to say that was my breakfast many mornings before school. Ha! I haven’t seen that flavor in stores for years, so naturally when I saw Mix and Match Mama post this recipe for Peanut Butter Rice Krispies, I was excited and intrigued! I knew this would be the next dessert I whipped up.

IMG_0007

It all started with this jar of peanut butter last weekend. If I was already going to add peanut butter to my recipe, why not make it an even more delicious peanut butter?! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE peanut butter and salted caramel speaks to me. Have you ever had Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate? Go get one, then come back and finish reading this post. 🙂

Ingredients

Note: I followed the Original Rice Krispies Recipe found here.

IMG_0074

6 cups Rice Krispies
10 oz marshmallows
3 T butter
1 cup peanut butter of choice

Directions
1. Melt 3 T of butter in a large pot.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
3. Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated.
4. Add 1 cup peanut butter. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Note: I recommend adding the peanut butter to the marshmallow mixture and THEN adding the Rice Krispies last. That is what I will do next time I bake these treats!

IMG_0075

I was on the phone with my aunt while I was making these treats so I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that yours will look different because a) I never removed the mixture from the heat and b) I added Rice Krispies before I added marshmallows. I WILL tell you that regardless of the mistakes you make while baking, your treats will be absolutely delicious. 🙂

IMG_0077

Press your mix into a 9×13 baking pan…or if you are me, press your mix into a large Tupperware container and a smaller square container. My friend recently moved to the area so these treats were her and her roommate’s housewarming gift. I didn’t tell her the mistakes I made in baking and she LOVED them!
image

And I would like to take a moment of silence for the Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Rice Krispy treats that still exist in my kitchen. I haven’t demolished them and it’s been five whole days. Willpower, I tell ya. 😉

Happy baking!

Are you a peanut butter lover like myself?

What did you eat for breakfast as a kid?

Mashed Cauliflower Sweet Potatoes

Today is FLYING by! I can’t wait to get back into my regular schedule where my posts magically appear at 7 AM. 🙂 This is being typed in real time as I stand at my kitchen counter and watch my bed get assembled by the furniture company. I also went to work today with no makeup on because I can’t find my makeup bag. And they say moving is fun. 😉

I like to talk about what I’m eating on Wednesdays and I like to share a new recipe because 1) I love reading new recipes and 2) It forces me to get creative in the kitchen. If you’ve read this blog for more than five minutes, you know I am the self-proclaimed “five ingredients or less” queen of the kitchen. I am also the self-proclaimed “quick and easy” queen of the kitchen. This is partly because I don’t have the pantry of a professional chef and partly because I usually wait until I am hungry to start cooking. And nobody wants to cook when they are STARVING.

So today, I am sharing mashed cauliflower sweet potatoes with you. I am the kind of person who is fine eating chicken, vegetables, and a sweet potato for dinner. It might sound plain to you, but I love all of those things and cook them up pretty quickly. So in an effort to branch out of my comfort zone, while still eating my favorite foods of sweet potatoes and vegetables, Pinterest helped me find this recipe (follow me here). Isn’t it pretty?!

5dedc44daaa983e1021bbebd79df1662

via

Just kidding. Mine looked like this. But it was just as tasty. 🙂

IMG_9935

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 medium sized sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Splash of milk
Garlic powder (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

IMG_9926

Directions

– Chop your sweet potato (and cauliflower, if needed) into bite sized pieces.
– Boil sweet potato and cauliflower in one inch of water on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender with a fork.

IMG_9929
– Drain your vegetables and move them to a medium sized bowl.

IMG_9930

– Mash the vegetables. Add Greek yogurt, milk, and spices.

IMG_9932

– Serve with your main dish of choice! I chose chicken because I am predictable. 😉

IMG_9935

I made MANY modifications to this recipe. First, I was cooking for one, so I changed the measurements a great deal. Again, to see the original recipe, click here. I also used garlic salt in place of garlic powder and salt…mostly because I didn’t have garlic powder in my pantry. The nutrition facts on this dish were great! I entered the ingredients into MyFitnessPal and found that it was 119 calories, 0.3 g of fat, 24 g of carbs, and 4.2 g of protein for the entire serving! It was delicious and I will definitely be making this side dish again.

Time for honesty hour: I was so excited to find chopped cauliflower at the grocery store because that means less work for me in the kitchen! But then while I was trying to open the bag, this happened.

 IMG_9927

Picture yourself cooking with a five-year-old who has no attention span and creates a mess. That’s me. Hahaha! I try to clean as I go, but then things like this happen. I was honestly picking the tiny pieces out of the burners on my stove BY HAND! So share with me: are you a master chef or are you a little bit disastrous like me? I would love to know! 🙂

Happy cooking!

Previous cauliflower recipes:
Vanilla Pound Cake

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

We’re baking on the blog today. And my favorite part of baking is licking the spoon. 🙂
IMG_9379

The next best thing besides licking the spoon is the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. And the next best thing after that is a peanut butter cup that is only 25 calories. Nope, not too good to be true! It also follows my personal kitchen rule of 5 ingredients or less. 😉

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

IMG_9370

Chocolate Layer
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk) –> Cashew milk worked well here too!
1/4 c plain low fat Greek yogurt
1/4 c + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T baking Stevia (or 2 T sweetener of choice)

IMG_9371

Peanut Butter Layer
1/4 c peanut flour (or PB2)
1/4 c + 1 T water
1 T baking Stevia

IMG_9375

Directions

1. Locate two small bowls. Combine ingredients for the chocolate layer in one bowl and combine ingredients for the peanut butter layer in the second bowl.

2. Mix each bowl until ingredients are well combined. The consistency should creamy.
IMG_9373

IMG_9376

3. Fill a mini muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners. I only had the larger size, so I cut parchment paper to fit in the smaller sections of the muffin tin. Pour 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter in the middle, and 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the top.

IMG_9384

Or if you’re like me, don’t measure your ingredients and just pour chocolate/peanut butter/chocolate until the wrapper is full. 😉

4. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

IMG_9416

These peanut butter cups must be stored in the freezer, so take one out about 5-10 minutes before you want to eat it so it can thaw a bit!

IMG_9395

Enjoy! 🙂

Pancake Party

My love for pancakes and waffles knows no bounds. When I was younger, friends who slept over would always get so excited for breakfast because my mom was known for doing something like this:

pancake name

Pancakes are a fun breakfast to begin with…but when they spell your name?! The best!

The love for any breakfast dish with syrup (pronounced seer-up;)) continued in college where, freshman year, I was the queen of Belgium waffles on Sunday mornings. After struggling with my weight and an “I-can’t-eat-that” attitude, I brought the pancakes and waffles back into my breakfast rotation…but not without some healthy modifications first. 😉 That’s not to say I don’t enjoy sugar-filled pancakes or waffles if I’m out at a restaurant, but when I cook for myself, I try to make as many healthy modifications as possible!

Today, I have four pancake options to share with you. Two that you can buy at the store and simply add water, and two that require a little more work. All four are worth it. 🙂

IMG_9164

If you wear this when you eat pancakes, it makes it all better. 🙂

Store Bought Options

IMG_9192

The first is P28 Pancake Mix. I purchased mine at Wegmans, but I will probably order my next container from Amazon or the P28 website. You have your choice of buttermilk buckwheat or white chocolate. Can you guess which flavor I purchased?! I am a fan of this brand because it is high in protein and low in sugar. Protein is good for you and it makes you feel “full”, which I need because I am not afraid to ask for seconds or thirds. Ha! It is a little pricier than your average pancake mix, but I think it is worth it because it is not something I cook every day and I am only cooking for one. All you have to do is add water to this mix and you have the perfect pancake batter. How easy is that?!

IMG_8780

The second is Kodiak Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix. I found it at Target and not only is the price point much better, but you get more of the powdered mix! Nutritionally, this brand doesn’t have as much protein as P28, so if that’s what you are thinking about when you purchase, I would go with P28. Flavor choices: whole wheat oat and honey or buttermilk and honey, which is the one I chose! Combine mix with water and you are good to go. These were also delicious!

IMG_9176

Now, it’s time for some recipes! One I have made before and it is so good, but the second was brand new to me and a little unique. You’ll see what I mean!

Egg White Oatmeal Protein Pancake
*Original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 c liquid egg whites
1/3 c oats
1 packet sweetener of choice (I used Truvia)
Cinnamon (to taste)

IMG_9317

Directions

1. Grease and heat pan (I used coconut oil).
2. Combine egg whites, oats, sweetener, and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix well.
*I have found the oats tend to “sink” and the cinnamon tends to “rise” or stay on the surface of your mixture. As long as you combine the ingredients and stir, I think it works well!
3. Pour mixture into frying pan.
IMG_9319
4. Cook until slightly browned on both sides!
*I use a utensil to even spread the oats around once the mixture is in the pan.IMG_9322

IMG_9323

Enjoy with fruit preserves or syrup! I first saw this recipe on Julie’s blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, and I have made it several times in the past few years. It’s always a good one! It’s the perfect balance of protein and carbs…but Julie once made this pancake and included spinach to get some veggies in with her breakfast. I’ve tried it this way too…it makes your pancake green, but I promise if you can look past the color, you can’t taste it! 🙂

Now for the unique pancake recipe…this was an interesting one to make! On Pinterest (follow me here), there are a ton of “healthy” pancake recipes using just a banana and eggs. I have made this recipe before, and I have to be honest, while it was tasty, it did nothing to fill me up. I hoped that swapping a banana for a sweet potato would do the trick and keep the hunger pains away!

Easy Sweet Potato Pancakes
*Original recipe here.

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 medium sweet potato
Cinnamon (to taste)
Honey (to taste)

IMG_9091

Directions

1. Make a baked potato. I poked holes in my sweet potato and put it in the microwave for 4 minutes. Time may vary for you, and you might have another preference about how to cook the potato.

IMG_9092

2. Slice your baked sweet potato and use a fork to scrape out the mashed potato into a bowl.

IMG_9127

3. Add 1 egg at a time and start to mix your “batter”. Once the sweet potato and eggs are combined, add cinnamon and honey to your liking. This adds some sweetness to the savory flavor!

IMG_9130

4. Grease and heat a frying pan and pour batter, just as you would with regular pancakes!

 IMG_9133

5. Add your toppings of choice. I chose syrup!

IMG_9134

The sweet potato pancakes are not as sweet as say, my white chocolate P28 pancakes, but they have a great flavor and I didn’t feel like I was eating a sweet potato! Give them a try. 🙂

– Are you a breakfast person?

– Pancakes or waffles?

Summer Broccoli Salad

If I had to choose one word to describe me in the kitchen, it would be simple. I don’t like to mess with a bunch of ingredients and this sometimes means that when reading a recipe, I skip out on seasonings or other flavors because I don’t feel like it’s a necessary addition. I’m pretty sure that goes against every chef’s philosophy, ever. They love their flavors!

I love vegetables and I have a side with almost every meal. However, because I am so “simple”, I often steam my vegetables in coconut oil or…sigh…nothing. Hot water and maybe some pepper or red pepper flakes. Plain is just a-okay with me! Maybe I will add some hot sauce. In any case, I don’t go above and beyond to dress up my vegetables. After all, I am only cooking for one and if I like them plain, why not eat them that way, too?

On Thursday nights, my roommate and I take turns cooking dinner for each other. Sometimes we end up eating together on other nights of the week, but we usually just cook for ourselves and happen to eat at the same time. Setting aside one night a week to eat together makes me 1) be more intentional about spending time with my roommate and 2) branch out of my normal eating habits. I can’t very well serve her plain, boring veggies, can I?!

Last week was probably our last dinner together as roommates! She is in Israel right now on a trip and I am going on vacation and moving to Virginia pretty close to the time she gets back. For our “last supper”, I had turkey burgers and broccoli in mind. But, I decided to dress up that side of broccoli, so Pinterest came to the rescue. 🙂 I have tasted broccoli salads that incorporate bacon before, but I am not a huge bacon fan, so I loved that this recipe had some other “extras”. Bacon is a popular broccoli salad ingredient, though!

IMG_8981 (1)

Original recipe here.

IMG_8974

Add balsamic vinegar and honey to this photo and you have your complete list of ingredients. 😉 The outtakes I have from my past few blog recipes all have beautifully arranged ingredients and then I never ended up posting the picture because I always forget to set out SOMETHING! Here, you get what you get. Just don’t forget balsamic vinegar and honey!

Ingredients

8-10 cups chopped broccoli
2/3 cup smoked almonds, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
12 oz fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
2 t onion powder
2 t sea salt
Black pepper (to taste)

Directions

IMG_8975

This recipe was fun to make because it required no cooking…just lots of chopping. My Slap Chop is still my favorite kitchen tool for chopping things like almonds! Chop and add together dry ingredients: broccoli, almonds, cranberries, and cheese.

IMG_8977

In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, honey, onion powder, salt and pepper.

 IMG_8978

Add your “dressing” to the dry ingredients and mix evenly.

IMG_8979

Now you are ready to serve! It tastes even better after its been in the fridge all night. Yay for leftovers! Enjoy. 🙂

– What’s your favorite vegetable?

– Have you ever had broccoli salad?

Strawberry Salsa

I have a fun recipe coming your way today! Whether you’re going to a cookout, making a dish for a luncheon at work, or simply looking for something summer-y to snack on at home, you will find a way to put this recipe to use in your kitchen. I just know it. 🙂

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea for her monthly series of Recipe Club!

Recipe Club 2

Last weekend, my friend Hannah and her husband hosted their “Second Annual Summer Solstice Strawberry Soiree”. It was every guest’s duty to bring some kind of food or beverage that incorporated strawberries, and our spread of food turned out to be delicious!

I had two hopes for my dish: new-to-me and unique. Pinterest to the rescue!

Original recipe here.

Strawberry Salsa

Here is what you will need:

1.5 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 T fresh cilantro
2 T lime juice
1 T brown sugar

IMG_8694

Chop x 3…

IMG_8700

Strawberries…

IMG_8696

Then green pepper and cilantro…with the Slap Chop that saved my cilantro-chopping life. 😉

IMG_8697

I added ingredients to the bowl as I chopped…then I cut a lime and squeezed the juice over the bowl. Added the brown sugar and got to mixing!

IMG_8698

Your final product should look something like this…and tastes delicious with cinnamon chips or tortilla chips! When you eat the salsa with a cinnamon chip, it tastes sweet, and when you eat the salsa with a tortilla chip, it tastes fresh. A yummy combination!

Happy chopping!

P.S. Today is the 100th post I’ve written on this blog. Pretty cool. 🙂

– What’s your favorite strawberry dish?

– What have you been cooking this week?

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! This week has been both long and short. Long because I am counting down the days until NEXT Friday when I can drive home for Spring Break. Short because we didn’t have school Thursday or Friday. 🙂 I do enjoy living in a place where everyone is afraid of snow. Though in their defense, we got 7 inches of snow! Baltimore and DC both got 9 inches so it’s been a big mess everywhere. I finally ventured out to go to the grocery store today but it’s been a nice few days of relaxing and catching up on work before midterms next week!

fridayfavorites

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci to share some of my favorite things! Blog one of your favorites and join us 🙂

March means spring, right? In our dreams! I’m pretty sure most of the country is still covered in white. I can’t be too upset when the view of The National Mall is this pretty, though. One of my favorite places looking beautiful before the latest storm hit!

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 9.42.17 PM

The local news station was sharing a bunch of images posted by viewers and when I clicked on someone’s Instagram, I found this image from earlier in the week. This picture was taken from a plane that was about to land and I just think it is so majestic. Yes, I said majestic. Go with it.

IMG_6819

My view is not quite as spectacular. When it’s not so foggy and white out, I actually have a really pretty view of UMD’s campus! But for the past few days, it has looked like this. The sun knew we needed a little happiness so it’s actually shining today! Next week it is supposed to be in the fifties. I tell you, weather is crazy. I have noticed that people love to talk about the weather and either get excited or complain depending on the forecast, but what’s going to happen is going to happen regardless of if I check the weather so typically I don’t discuss these matters. 😉 Although, that is how I get myself into situations like the one I found myself in last Sunday: pulling my hoodie tight around my face as I “ice skated” home from the gym because there was freezing rain and ice. #yougetwhatyouget

One of my favorite ways to get inspired in the kitchen is to play around on Pinterest. Earlier this week, I mentioned that I felt like I kept making the same thing over and over and over. SO, last night when the fridge was looking barren and it was my turn to cook for my roommate and I, I made these Italian chicken sausage and feta cheese stuffed peppers.

  IMG_6823 IMG_6825

I was very proud. I sort of followed one recipe and I sort of followed another…so does that make me a real chef? Because I basically made this up on my own?! 😉

The first recipe [here] called for goat cheese. I very often half listen to recipes and add or omit whatever ingredients I do or do not have. Hahaha #creativeflair But lucky for me, while I was contemplating whether or not I could substitute goat cheese for feta cheese (which is what I had on hand), I found this recipe [here]. They turned out SO good! The only time consuming part was cleaning out the peppers. I am also not known for my patience, so it took some skill to cut the peppers without cutting myself. Fun story: last week I used the handle of a knife as a spoon. Which means I was holding the blade. Because you see, I only needed to stir something for a second, so no big deal, right?

IMG_8351

Can I blame the blonde hair?

It’s no secret that I love to work out, so it should come as no surprise that my favorite Friday activity for the last few weeks has been checking out new studios around the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. My friend Kristen and I tried our luck at [solidcore], which is a strength workout completely done on one machine called a megaformer. To say it was difficult would be an understatement. I have never felt more uncoordinated and the guy next to me was just whipping out the lunges and crunches like it was no big deal! So after that interesting experience, the following week we went to Soul Cycle, which is known for being a really popular cycling studio in NYC. There are two around here now, one in Maryland and one in DC, and I was really excited to go because I am certified to teach cycling classes, so I really love taking other people’s classes! I get new ideas and I get re-inspired. Plus sometimes it’s nice to not be in charge of your workout and have someone else tell you what to do! The guy who taught our class was literally INSANE! Crazy energetic, great music, just all around motivating and fun. So we are sticking with what we know and going back to Soul Cycle tonight. Yay for Friday fun!

348s

While we’re on the topic of things that make me feel good (like working out), something that makes me feel GREAT is when my jeans fit exactly how I want them to. Which is what happened this morning (or should I say afternoon) when I finally got dressed. A favorite moment for sure. I even found myself out and about today thinking, I hate pulling my jeans up. Why didn’t I wear a belt? But this is no reason to complain so I quickly told myself to shut up. 🙂

MjAxNC1mNmY5ZGMyOGMxMGIxZWEw_52e59658c0c5b

HA! Ecard, I win.

I have been playing around with the idea of “flexible dieting”. Basically it means that I am paying attention to how much protein, fat, and carbs I eat. I have a calorie goal for the whole day, but honestly I haven’t met it yet. I am not used to eating this much! I spent a lot of time in college counting calories and eating tiny portions so this idea of “more food, more weight lost” is still very strange to me. But the jeans fit so I’LL TAKE IT!

Finally.

Finally.

The good stuff.

IMG_6831

So I understand that your eyes are probably drawn to “no sugar added”. BUT PEOPLE. This is my new favorite ice cream. First of all, I do not believe in sugar free desserts. That’s just wrong. You are eating dessert, so enjoy the sugar! When I see things like sugar free brownies or sugar free fudge, my brain just wants to know why. I understand that some people actually need to pay attention to their sugar intake, I’m just saying, if you’re trying to watch what you eat and you decided to indulge in dessert, just go all the way. Just do it. Be Nike. Eat all the damn sugar! 🙂

ANYWAYS, the reason I am over the moon about this ice cream is because it’s not completely free of sugar. It’s sweetened with Splenda and it is so so tasty. I don’t eat a ton of ice cream (I’m a salty person) so my ice cream taste buds might be different than yours, but I really liked this!  So my suggestion to you is to go to your local grocery store and buy the happiness.

Happy weekend everyone 🙂

– Is it still a winter wonderland in your area?!

– What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?