Monthly Archives: July 2014

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Balls

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I’ll never forget the first time I shook my husband’s hand when we met.

It was a brief meeting but my subconscious stored it away as if it knew that moment was important before I did.

Fast forward four years and here we are, married for over two years.

One thing I love most about him is his sense of humor. He has the goofiness of Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation, the quirkiness of Jim Carrey, and he can do a spot-on Nacho Libre impression. He’s always making me laugh.

He also has more patience than a snail herder and I’m a very lucky gal to go through life with him.

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Yesterday was his birthday so I thought I’d share one of his all-time favorite foods.

He’d been requesting that I make a peanut butter ball recipe for awhile. Patiently (see snail herder reference above) waiting for that glorious day when they would become reality.

And now they are!

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This is an incredibly simple recipe. If you use dark chocolate with a high cacao content, I would dare call these a healthy dessert.

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Balls; Recipe or Not

makes 10-12 1″ balls

  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 3 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips or broken up chocolate bar* (health bonus points for chocolate with at least 70% cacao)
  • 1/2 T. coconut oil  (use canola oil if you don’t have coconut oil)

 The prep: In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, oats, and honey. Form 1″ balls and place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Next, melt the chocolate over a double boiler, adding in the coconut oil. Once the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, dunk each peanut butter ball in the chocolate, making sure the whole surface is covered. Lift the ball out of the chocolate with a fork and let the excess drip off, then place the ball back onto the baking sheet. Once all the peanut butter balls are covered, place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) then transfer to the fridge. Store them in the fridge until you serve them.

*We’re dark chocolate people so I haven’t tried milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate. It couldn’t possibly be bad though. ;) End disclaimer.

 

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Maple Coconut Oatmeal

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Alternate titles for this post were:

  • My Current Breakfast Obsession
  • Let’s Put Coconut Oil in E’rythang
  • Maple & Coconut = BFF’s 4 Life
  • How To Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

If you want to start your day off right, start it with a bowl of this oatmeal.

Maplecoconutoatmeal

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It’s difficult to describe, specifically, the taste of this oatmeal. It’s neither overly maple-y nor overly coconut-y but the blend of the two is perfectly balanced for a delightful and sweetened oatmeal. Perfectly paired with coffee, of course. ;)

Maple Coconut Oatmeal; Recipe or Not

serves 2

  • 1 1/3 c. rolled oats
  • 2 2/3 c. milk (I used almond.)
  • small pinch of salt
  • 2 spoonfuls unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • 4-6 T. maple syrup

In a medium pot, bring the oats, milk, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Monitor, stir, and reduce heat if needed until the oats have absorbed the liquid, about 15 minutes or so. Divide the oatmeal up in two bowls, stir in the coconut oil and maple syrup. Enjoy!

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Mini Pepper Nachos

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A few weeks ago my husband and I were over at my parent’s house and I stumbled upon my diary from when I was nine. It included such treasures as this:

Dear Diary,

It’s me, Jordan. I just wanted to say that I love writing in this diary.

Love, Jordan

PS – I will probably write again later!

My family and I couldn’t stop laughing at the funny musings of my nine year old self.

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Ironically, I turned twenty-five over the weekend and it has me feeling like I’m really an adult now, as if the last few years were just the preteen stage of adulthood.

The good news is whether I’m a real adult or not, I can still stuff my face with nachos. Nachos are for all ages!

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I made dinner out of these nachos but they could certainly be appetizers as well. They will satisfy your cheesy nacho craving while giving you a boost in your veggie intake. Mini pepper nachos for the win. :)

Mini Pepper Nachos; adapted from my sis-in-law, Emily

serves 4-6 as an appetizer, serves 2 for dinner

10-15 mini peppers*, cut in half, remove seeds
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast**, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 medium onion, diced
1- 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used a combo of pepper jack & monterey jack.)
Dash of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, & pepper to season the chicken
1 T. olive oil
Tomato & cilantro for topping
Salsa & guacamole for dipping

The Prep: Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken for about 10-12 minutes, seasoning with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Add in the onion and continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink inside and the onions are becoming translucent, 2-3 minutes. In an oven proof skillet or 9×9 baking dish, lay the pepper halves on the bottom, next layer on the chicken & onions, top with the cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the peppers are heated through. Top with fresh tomatoes and cilantro. Dip in salsa and guacamole.

*If you can’t find mini peppers, cut regular bell peppers into 2 inch pieces. I would estimate 2-3 bell peppers to be equivalent.

**You could also use beef or turkey or for a vegetarian option, use black or pinto beans. Use the same seasonings.

Pineapple Crisp with Coconut Crumb Topping

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Do you ever have those weeks when everything just feels extra chaotic? By the end of each day your brain feels like mush and you wonder how you’ll get through the next day.

It’s been one of those weeks.

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I’m really looking forward to catching my breath over this long weekend, celebrating the 4th of July and my birthday. (Yay! Turning 25!)

I’m usually all about pie for the 4th of July. This year, however, I’m taking a more simple approach.

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This crisp is as simple as it gets with a hands-on time of about 10-15 minutes. That’s it! Then it bakes for 30 minutes or so and dessert is ready. The tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut are just the thing to sit back, relax, and pretend you’re at the beach. And if you’re actually going to the beach, can I come too? :)

Pineapple Crisp with Coconut Crumb Topping; Recipe or Not

serves 4 using a 9×9 baking dish, see adaptations below for a 9×13 pan

1 pineapple, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 T. cornstarch

Topping:

1 c. oats
1 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. chopped macadamia nuts, optional
3 T. unrefined virgin coconut oil, in a solid state
Butter or additional coconut oil to grease the pan

The Prep: Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, coconut flakes, brown sugar, and macadamia nuts. With clean fingers, mix in the coconut oil (this gets a little messy) until it is thoroughly combined. In a greased 9×9 baking dish, pour in the pineapple then sprinkle on the topping mixture evenly. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is slightly brown from toasting and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Pro-tip: Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. :)

Ingredients for a 9×13 baking dish, serves 6-8

2 pineapples, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
3 T. cornstarch

Topping:

1 1/2 c. oats
2 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
2/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped macadamia nuts, optional
1/3 c. unrefined virgin coconut oil, in a solid state
Butter or additional coconut oil for greasing the pan

Follow the instructions above for combining the ingredients. Bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes until the top is brown from toasting and the filling is bubbling. Let cool 10 minutes.