Tag Archives: recipes

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

This recipe is for all of the peanut butter lovers out there! Move this to the top of your list IMMEDIATELY. Better yet, stop whatever you’re doing and bake a batch right now! Peanut butter is one of my favorite things in the whole world and this treat gives me even more reason to love it.

I made these for a family get-together and part of me regretted leaving the plate of them behind. They have been on my mind all week, they were that good. Thinking about them so much even made me realize that the recipe could be modified in fun ways. Sure you can use any fruit jam you want, but what about using milk chocolate or Nutella instead? I suspect there will be some experimenting in my future….

Another recipe from Real Simple, it turns one of my favorite lunches into a delightful dessert:
peanut butter and jelly bars

Here’s the recipe for Real Simple Recipe for PB&J Bars:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
1/2 cup raspberry jam (I used all natural jam)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, mashed (I used organic raspberries)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter)
1/2 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts

Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Line with parchment paper. (I was out of parchment and used buttered aluminum foil)

Combine the jam and raspberries in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined.

Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing on low until just combined.

Press half the dough into the prepared dish. Top with the raspberry mixture. Fold the peanuts into the remaining half of the dough and drop in clumps over the jam. Bake until the top is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool in the dish for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 16 squares.

Makes 16 bars. Hands-On Time: 15 minutes. Total Time: 3 hours

Campfire Flavor: Foil Packets

This recipe is for all the campers out there, whether your version of camping is in the wilderness or in your backyard. This is a favorite meal for the fire pit and you won’t have any dishes to wash when you’re done!

Foil packet dinners (aka Hobo Packets) are popular with campers not only because they are so easy but because they are so flavorful. Have everyone make their own and you’re sure to have happy campers with clean “plates.”

The Husband’s Steak Packet:

Sirloin steak, potatoes, carrots and sliced onions.
Cubed sirloin steak, potatoes, carrots and sliced onions.

My Veggie Lovers Packet (vegetarian):

Tofu, napa cabbage, carrots, onion, fresh parsley
Tofu, napa cabbage, carrots, onion, fresh parsley

HOW:  Select your favorite vegetables, make sure they are cut to similar sizes. Add a protein, if desired. Toss with oil to coat, season with your favorite herbs, salt and/or pepper. Optional but strongly suggested, add a few pats of butter to make this really flavorful. The final step is sealing your tinfoil packet tight  and throwing it in the fire to cook for 20-30 minutes.

NOTE:  To avoid mushy, overcooked veggies, put tender vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus in foil packs together for shorter cook times. Hardier vegetables like carrots and potatoes do best on the fire longer.

You don’t have to wait to go camping to make these either. If you don’t have a fire pit in your yard, try throwing these on your grill instead! Imagine how easy cleanup could be at your next dinner party. 😉

Rhubarb Cupcakes

A week of blog posts celebrating my birthday wouldn’t be complete without something cake-related, so I give you a very Minnesotan treat:  Rhubarb Cupcakes. This recipe comes from Taste of Home and was made from rhubarb picked in my own backyard, but according to the recipe works with frozen rhubarb just as well.

rhubarb cupcake

While I can eat rhubarb straight from the garden, The Husband is not a big fan so I cut this recipe in half to yield 9 cupcakes. Here’s how I did it:

1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 cup white sugar
1/2 egg (I broke an egg into a cup, whisked it up and measured out half)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh rhubarb

Taste of Home provides very clear instructions that I somehow didn’t follow at all, but I still think the cupcakes turned out yummy. Here’s how you should make them:

  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in rhubarb.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Frost if desired.

The frosting recipe that I used was the cream cheese filling in these yummy Stuffed Strawberries. A perfect birthday treat for one!