Tag Archives: peanut butter

My Kitchen Essentials: Pantry Edition

25 Sep

Our pantry shelves collapsed a couple of weeks ago. We don’t have a huge pantry, but it’s generally pretty well stocked so when the shelf brackets decided to go on strike, we lost a lot of counter space to cans and bottles and bags of things. The only positive to come out of this was that we were able to take stock of what we had, what we needed and what we had in triplicate. So what did we have in there? What do we always have in stock?

  • Peanut butter. Not only do we have this staple in the pantry, but we have it in the cupboard, too. I don’t think we have less than two jars at any time. God forbid we run out of it. Pandemonium!
  • Apple juice. Because our inner 6-year olds are not always satisfied with just peanut butter.
  • Four Tupperware containers full of spices. We have enormous bags of cumin and chili powder – the two spices we use most – but everything else is in smaller quantities: thyme, oregano, peppercorns, paprika, mustard seeds, turmeric, bay leaves, ground ginger, curry powder, etc. I love having all those spices available as it makes cooking on the fly a lot easier.
  • Every variation of canned tomatoes possible. Crushed, diced, whole, paste…we’ve got ’em. J makes a lot of pasta sauce and I make tomato soups and tomato-based stews so these are in constant demand in our kitchen. They may also be the shelf-collapsing culprits.
  • More rice wine and balsamic vinegars than one needs. Same re: plum sauce.
  • Nutella. Since discovering a recipe for Nutella brownies, it’s rare I can’t find a jar in the pantry.
  • Pasta. So. Many. Noodles.

There is also a whole pile of Tupperware in which to store leftovers  and the foodNURLDling’s pureéd goodies, beans of all sorts and other assorted odds and ends. Ninety percent of the above items were scattered over the various surfaces of our kitchen driving me justifiably batty. The only good thing was that we got a chance to reorganize and rethink our shopping list: do we need so much apple juice? Do we need more Nutella?

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Moroccan Tomato Soup

12 Nov

It’s November in Toronto. No offense to the November babies out there, but it’s kind of a miserable month. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s generally kinda dreary. So what’s one to do to combat this downer of a month? Get in the kitchen and cook up something warming and delicious to make you forget about the blah-itude outside! This Moroccan tomato soup fits the bill and then some: it’s finished with creamy peanut butter that lends it a lovely richness.

This is a very balanced recipe, with no ingredient overwhelming another. If you like your food on the spicier side, add a little more cayenne than what’s called for here.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 280z can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch of cinnamon
2 tb brown sugar
2 tb chili powder
1 ts cumin
1/2 ts black pepper
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts cayenne pepper
1/4c tomato paste
1 tb red wine vinegar
3/4 c creamy peanut butter

Directions

1. Toss the onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 cups of water into a slow cooker. (Or a big pot set on low on the stove. Whatever you’ve got!)
2. Stir in the cinnamon, sugar, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.


3. Cook on low for 5 – 8 hours.
4. Add in the peanut butter and, using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. (If it’s a bit thick, add in a little water and purée again.)

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

12 Apr

You know you want it.

J made this scrumptious, deliciously calorie-laden classic-with-a-twist and we haven’t been able to stop ourselves from eating the whole dang thing. Haven’t shared a single slice and you won’t want to, either.

 

Mmmmm...Banana Bread...

Ingredients

2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 ts baking powder
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3 tb unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 ts vanilla extract
1/2 c milk
3/4 c semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 ts turbinado sugar – optional

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and coat a 9″ loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder & soda and salt.
3. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, peanut butter, 2 tb butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, roughly 2 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until just combined and then stir in the chips.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 50 minutes. If you’re using the turbinado sugar, melt the last tb of butter, brushing it over the top and top with sugar. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
5. Cool 20 minutes before running a knife around the outside edges. Remove bread and transfer to a wire rack to cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Asian Pasta

17 Aug

We call this “peanut butter pasta” at home, but that can sound kind of unappealing. My mother-in-law made this a while back and I absolutely dug it. It covers a wide range of flavours – salty, sweet, hot – and is very versatile.

Serves 4.

Ingredients

12 oz spaghetti (or however much you think you need! Some peeps are hungry, okay?)
1/2 green/red/yellow pepper, julienned
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cabbage (Napa or red. Depends on your preference)
1/2 onion, julienned
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tb sesame oil
2 tb cider vinegar
1 tb hot sauce
2 tb olive oil
1 ts salt
1 ts pepper
2 tb sesame seeds (toasted if you have time)
1 scallion, chopped

Directions

1. Set a large pot of water on to boil.
2. Slice (julienne) all the vegetables. (Note: you can really put in any veg you like. It all works!)
3. Whisk together the peanut butter, soy, sesame oil, vinegar and hot sauce. Taste it! You might want to add more of one ingredient depending on your personal preference.
4. The pasta should take 6-8 minutes to cook. Add salt to the pasta water, followed by the spaghetti.
5. Heat the oil in a medium pan to medium heat. Add vegetables, then salt and pepper.
6. Drain the pasta, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Add the vegetables and sauce to the pasta. Combine all the ingredients and add some of the reserved water if the sauce is too thick.
7. Plate the dish and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and scallion.

Stupendously Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

16 Aug

Full credit to the people at Kraft Peanut Butter – this is straight off the jar. If you have kids or are a new baker, this recipe is a great gateway to baking all sorts of other goodies.

Makes 14-20, depending on how big you like your cookies!  

Ingredients

1 c smooth peanut butter
1/2 c sugar
1 egg

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325.
2. In a bowl, mix all three ingredients til smooth.
3. Roll into balls and place 3 inches apart on baking sheet.
4. Press flat with a fork.
5. Bake 13-17 minutes. When you can smell them, they’re done. Let sit for 5 minutes then inhale.

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