Friday, February 19, 2010

Fast-Friendly Peanut Butter Balls

I was trying to find an easy recipe for peanut butter balls, but most of them had dry milk as an ingredient.  I really needed a recipe without that milk.  But didn't have much luck, so I came up with this one.    I'm sitting here staring at a plate of them right now....  Can't wait until dessert time!

These also make great afternoon snacks for really hungry kids.

Fast-Friendly Peanut Butter Balls
makes about 20 1-in balls

1 cup peanut butter
1/3 c oatmeal
1/4 c wheat germ (if you don't have it, just use more of the other dry ingredients)
1/4 (or so) of powdered sugar
1 T honey (optional)

Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine to form a dough.  This is a tough dough to mix, but just keep at it and it will get all incorporated.  If your is still too wet (dough is not coming together into a dough ball - pulling away from the sides of the bowl), add more of the sugar, oatmeal, and/or wheat germ (to your preference or taste - all three are helpful for "drying out" the peanut butter.  I added the honey because I like the flavor it adds to the peanut butter.  You may need more or less sugar depending on the sweetness of your peanut butter.  I used natural peanut butter and needed closer to 1/3 cup.

Once you get a nice dough ball, use a spoon to scoop and form approximately 1 inch balls, rolling them in your palms to get a nice even shape.

Roll the balls in powdered sugar or anything you like.  Maybe mini-chocolate chips? Yum!  I used some Heath Bar bits I had in the pantry - delicious!  

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

A nice breakfast or snack (or dessert).

2 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1 lg can pumpkin
1 can (2 c) applesauce
5 c flour
4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cloves
1 T cinnamon
1 T salt
1 c dates or raisins
1 c nuts
Blend sugar and oil together. Add pumpkin and applesauce, then dry ingredients. Mix in nuts and raisins. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 3 loaves.

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Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

For a delicious, nutritious start to the day.  This recipe comes from  You can scale it to fit your family at their website.  I'll make enough for all 6 of us...

6 bananas
3/4 c peanut butter
3 c milk or soy milk

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Add honey for sweetness if needed (depends on the sweetness of your peanut butter).

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Chick Pea Soup

This recipe is from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, one of my favorite cook books.

4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, ground fine almost to a fine powder OR a small sprig of fresh rosemary
2/3 c Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juices
2 1/4 cups canned chick peas, drained
1 c broth (veggie, meat, or chicken)
freshly ground black pepper

:: Saute garlic in pan large enough to accommodate all the ingredients in the olive oil and over a medium heat. Cook until a light nut brown, then remove from pan.
:: Add the crushed rosemary or fresh spring, stir, then put in cut up tomatoes and their juice. Cook for 20-25 minutes (or until oil floats free from the tomatoes).
:: Add the drained chick peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring them thoroughly with the juices in the pan.
:: Add the broth, cover, and adjust heat to that the soup bubbles at a stead but moderate boil for 15 minutes.
:: Taste and correct for salt. Add a few grindings of pepper. Let the soup bubble uncovered for another minute, then serve promptly.

To this I may add some cooked rice or just serve it with a good loaf of bread.

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