Sunday, February 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting

February 2010 (Winter 2010 Semeseter) 018

These aren’t a real sweet cookie, but I enjoyed them anyway! Besides, eating them with frosting, it was plenty sweet too! :) I altered the cookie recipe from this source. The frosting I made up myself, based on my alterations I made.

Ingredients (Cookie) :

  • 2 cups flour (Whole wheat or GF mix)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 c. natural peanut butter (or other nut butter, or nut-free sunbutter)
  • 1/3 c. softened butter (or earth balance)
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1.5 t. vanilla extract

Place your oven racks on the top third. Set your oven for 350. Combine the wet ingredients and then add the dry ingredients. Stir as little as possible. Create balls of dough or just spoon the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Use a fork to squish down. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

February 2010 (Winter 2010 Semeseter) 016

Peanut-Butter Frosting:

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. +/- honey (I am going to try a little less next time)

3 T softened butter

Combine, and spread on cookies… If making the full amount of cookies (and desiring the full amount to have frosting) , you may want to double/triple this recipe as it doesn’t make a lot.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Orange Peels----Don't throw them away! :)

Here's a frugal use for orange peels (and other citrus fruits- especially lemons and limes) - something I usually throw away----until recently when I got this idea!
  1. Every time I eat an orange, I put the peels in a bag or container until it's full.
  2. Then I stick it in the freezer.
  3. Once it's frozen, and I have some time, I take the peels and use my grater to make orange zest. It's much easier to grate the orange peel (since it's already detached from the orange) when it's frozen.
  4. Then I stick the zest in a container or bag in the freezer for use in recipes!

Now, I never have to worry about having an orange or lemon on hand for lemon/orange zest in a recipe, because as long as I have done this before, I will have a lot of it to use whenever I need. In fact, this way I can even add it to recipes that I want to have more flavor. And for those recipes that already call for it---well, then I can add even MORE if I so choose. And, I don't have to pay big bucks for dried zest (that probably has a ton of additives too.) :)

PS. If you are worried about pesticides....try one of these frugal ideas to clean your fruits and veggies. I plan to try them out soon myself!

This post is linked to Pennywise Plattter

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mini Easy Little Cheesecakes

 February 2010 (Winter 2010 Semeseter) 010

Don’t these look good? And the best part too is that they are really simple and relatively healthy to make:

  • One “slice” of cheese from a box of Original, Laughing Cow, Creamy Swiss (or other flavor),3/4 oz. Soft Cheese Slices OR cream cheese cut up into wedges

 OR  for a DAIRY-FREE OPTION try Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese or Follow Your Heart Organic Vegan Cream Cheese (again, cut up into wedges etc)

  • 3 chocolate chips (I used Sunspire Grain Sweetened)
  • Chocolate Syrup (cocoa powder, honey, and a little water will do the trick in a pinch)
  • Peanut Butter (that’s the tan stuff you see- my pb is made from a powder- it’s not as yummy but anywho…)

Arrange your slice of “cheesecake” on a plate. Top with your favorite toppings or those mentioned above. Relax and enjoy! :) February 2010 (Winter 2010 Semeseter) 012

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Indoor Sandbox

Ok, I know this isn't a food recipe.....but I saw this idea and thought it looked so fun for kids! So, it's a recipe for fun! :) And it's frugal too! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Healthy Chocolate Cookies with Homemade Peanut Butter Chips!

Food Jan-Feb 2010 028

Or, How to get your chocolate peanut butter fix all in one stop! :)

Note: I made a small batch since I was adapting this from another recipe and also didn’t want too many cookies around. :) This recipe makes about 10 cookies though…Feel free to double or triple it according to your needs and wants.

1/4 (~2T) banana, mashed
3 T. honey/agave

1 T. milk/water/dairy-free milk
1 T. cup melted butter/earth balance/oil

1/2 cup flour (whole wheat/GF flour blend)
1/4 c. cocoa

(Or if you want to make these as a basic cookie, use 3/4 c. flour and no cocoa)

pinch salt
1 /4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 c. homemade peanut butter chips

Preheat your oven for 325*. In a small bowl, (if you are making 1x the recipe, a cereal bowl can be used) mix together the wet ingredients and then add the dry (minus the chips). Spoon the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies if desired and then add chips. :) Cook for about 15 minutes.

PS. These are very satisfying with the chips added. If you don’t use the chips, they might be a little bland and not as sweet. I would suggest adding additional sweetener in that case.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Chips!

Food Jan-Feb 2010 024

I just discovered how to make my own peanut butter chips! I simply chopped up my fudge (see previous post) into tiny pieces and added it to my cookies. :)

Yeah! (Be sure to keep them in the freezer though :))

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recipe Review: FUDGE! Refined-Sugar-Free Carmel-like Peanut Butter Fudge/Truffle

Food Jan-Feb 2010 022

I tried Comfy Belly’s homemade peanut butter fudge recently! It was so good! I followed her recipe except I used 3/4 c. honey instead of 1 c. honey and used my low-fat peanut butter that I get and finish at home here. It was really sweet-even with less honey. Next time, I think I’ll experiment with 1/2 c. honey instead and maybe some extra water/peanut butter .  Be sure to watch it though- I burned the butter/honey mixture the first time! :/ :)

Food Jan-Feb 2010 016 



For those of you who are dairy-free, sub coconut oil or earth balance for the butter.

For those of you who are peanut free, try a different nut butter.

For those of you who are nut-free, try sun-butter.

For those of you who are vegan, try it with agave, maple syrup, etc.

Let me know what you come up with! :)

Food Jan-Feb 2010 018

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yummy, Homemade Use-what-you-have Pizza

My room mates went out for pizza and I decided since I was staying home, I’d make my own…healthier version with what I had on hand. (yeah-for double frugality! No money spent on going out, no money spent on more food supplies!)

Food Jan-Feb 2010 013

I topped this with some frozen chicken pieces, bits of pineapple, frozen shredded cheddar cheese, and parmesan. Feel free to top it with whatever you have on hand (and can eat :)).

It was really yummy…soft, bread like, dough. It was very thick. I think next time I might split it into two pizzas.

No Rise Pizza and Crust – adapted from this recipe



1 T yeast
1 C warm water

1 tsp. honey/agave
1 tsp. salt
2 T olive oil
2.5 C whole wheat flour or some other (GF flour) combo

Prepare the crust by mixing warm water, honey,and yeast in a small bowl. Allow yeast mix to sit for about 5 minutes.  Then add the oil and stir. After that add the flour and salt. 

Next knead the dough for a few minutes with your hands (or alternatively a kitchen aid/bread maker), then let it sit for 5 mins while you grease your pizza pan and gather the ingredients for the toppings.

Take the dough and put it on the center of the pan…stretch it out slowly until it covers the entire pan. Top it with your favorite sauce (I used straight tomato paste) and toppings.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is done and the toppings (such as cheese) are done.


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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Naturally Sweet Double Berry Oatmeal

Food Jan-Feb 2010 008  You will notice the oatmeal looks a little purplish-almost gray especially compared to the background----but don’t fear! It’s because of how it’s made.


I discovered that I left a mug of herbal raspberry tea out and decided to experiment with using that instead of water in my oatmeal. I also added some strawberries. It was perfect. It gave it just enough flavor….oatmeal, strawberries, and a hint of raspberry flavor! :) Try it! :) You might be surprised. :)


I try to use as little sugar as I can especially on oatmeal so this was perfect option for me. :)


*GF’ers- be sure to use GF oats or quiona flakes!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Frugal, Filling, and Hearty Carrot Soup

January (Winter 2010 Semester) 045

The other week I noticed I had some carrots that were in dire need of use! I didn’t want to waste them so I decided to make something with them. I found a recipe for carrot soup and then modified it to fit my needs and what I had on hand. The original recipe doesn’t advise to use “older carrots” but I found it worked just fine.  It was delicious and so filling. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a soup this filling before! :)  I would definitely make this again, even with fresh carrots. :)  I like how frugal this recipe is too.

Carrot Soup

Modified by Ari, from this recipe

About +/- 10 carrots (use what you have)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups+ water
1.5 T lemon juice (half a lemon’s worth)
fine grain sea salt (as much as you need)

cinnamon (as much as you want)

and or garlic (again, that’s subjective to you)

Peel, cut, and cook carrots in 3 c. boiling water. After they are soft, add lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon and or garlic. (I used a both- A little garlic gave it more flavor- and the cinnamon heightened the sweetness of the carrots.) Then use a potato masher to mash up the mixture.  If you want a smoother soup, use an immersion blender or if you don’t have that, do as I did and use a regular hand mixer. :) You could also  use a food processor or a blender to do the same thing. After mixing, serve! :)

The original recipe says it serves about four, I would say that is about right. :)

January (Winter 2010 Semester) 046

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sloppy Joe Boats

After finishing up my hamburger buns and still having meat left I decided to make a healthy low carb variation of my sloppy joes! January (Winter 2010 Semester) 088

Viola! Take a leaf of lettuce (like Romaine), add meat, and sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mom’s Homemade Sloppy Joes

January (Winter 2010 Semester) 051

Mmm…sloppy joes! A classic American favorite. I just recently made my mom’s recipe and I will quote it here with some minor add-ins:

Sloppy Joes

Brown 1 pound hamburger with one diced medium onion.

Add one 6 oz. can of tomato paste,  1 1/4 cup water, and shake in a few shakes of dry diced garlic.

Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve on hamburger buns.

That's it.  Easy, huh?  Yup, real easy. Real tasty!

This makes enough for our entire family.  (There are 7 of us) Her suggestion (if you are the only one eating it or have less people) is that  you may want to half it and then freeze it in baggies in 1/3 cup portions that you can pull out to eat quickly.  Or you could add it to spaghetti sauce to use it up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Homemade Hamburger Buns

January (Winter 2010 Semester) 053

I wanted to make sloppy joes one night but also really wanted to serve them traditionally in buns. So, I found this recipe and made it my own. It was really easy, tasty, and fast.

Here is the recipe with slight alterations:

Hamburger Rolls

With my slight alterations taken from this site

  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup honey (I think I used 1/8th)
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour  (or other GF/wheat free flour mix)
  1. Combine water, yeast, oil and sugar or honey; let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Add salt, egg, and flour to yeast mixture and mix well.
  3. Roll out 3/4 inch thick and cut into 10-12 rounds with a cookie cutter or a mug like I did :).
  4. Place rolls on greased cookie sheet. I rub mine down with butter or organic palm oil shortening.
  5. Bake at 400-425 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Be careful not to overbake or they will be too dry. Every oven is different. Slice in half and voilla! There you have it! :)

*If you are making these to go with something, I suggest starting these first and cooking them while you make your food so that they can cook and cool. :)

** They also make good sand which rolls.

Soft and Chewy, Healthy! Chocolate Chip Cookies


WOW! This is the first time in years I’ve had a chocolate chip cookie! It’s amazing! And my first try worked! :) They were so good I ate way too many! and burned my tongue. :) I think these would be great too with the alterations listed but I was excited that they turned out so well with whole wheat flour and no refined sugar. Give them a try and let me know what you think!!! :)

They aren’t quite as sweet (just a little bit less sweet) than your normal cookie but they do the trick for me! :) Hence, the burnt tongue and disappearance of a 1/3 (ok…ok…1/3 sounds better…I ate 6! :) They were that good!) of my cookies! :)

Amazingly, Yummy, Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Ari (me) based of this recipe

1 cup whole wheat flour (or GF flour blend)

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter(or melted earth balance, melted coconut oil, etc)

1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used grain-sweetened, which are sugar-free)

Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together honey, vanilla extract and butter until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Place spoonfuls of batter on cookie sheets and bake for 13-17 (no more than 17- the maximum actually gets you a very crisp cookie with a tiny bit of a chewy center) minutes for soft chewy cookies. I would guess 15 minutes is about perfect. Cookies will set up as they cool. :) Makes 12-15 cookies.

ENJOY! :) Serve with a glass of cold milk! :)