Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Bars

Apple and Peanut Butter.

Pretty much one of the best combinations ever, right?

It finally cooled down enough for me to turn on the oven, so I decided to make something with that wonderful flavor combo.  You should probably give this a whirl, especially if you love peanut butter as much as I do.

Vegan Peanut Butter Apple Bars

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky, I used a combination of both)
1/2 cup honey  (or agave nectar or maple syrup)
1 cup flour (all purpose or whole wheat, both work)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla

Apple Filling:
5 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove (optional)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)

Crumble Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp peanut butter
3 tbsp coconut oil

Combine wet ingredients for the cookie base, in a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Chill in the freezer while you prepare apples.

Combine all ingredients for apples, let sit for 10 minutes.  In the meantime, you can do dishes, have a dance party, do some squats, make the topping, wash your hair, write a love note… you get the idea.  Should you choose to make the topping now, combine all the ingredients using your hands until you get coarse crumbles.  You can also preheat your oven to 350 F now!

After your dough has been chillin’ for a while, press it into a 9 x 13 baking pan (I used a pie pan and a small casserole dish because I’m a rebel like that, or really I just take any opportunity to use that little dish that was a complete impulse buy).   On top of that, layer on the apples, then sprinkle on the toppping.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Allow to cool and enjoy.

It’d probably be a good idea to top this with ice cream (although sadly my dulce de leche ice cream is no longer in this household, let’s just say it was a popular creation).

I recommend you start making this now, especially if it’s cloudy and gross out like it is here.

I also recommend wrapping them in wax paper

And giving them to friends as a friendly weekday treat.  Sometimes I think this is the secret to making and keeping friends.  I hope that’s not actually true…

Lastly, and completely unrelated to the rest of this post (or, arguably, food for that matter), did anyone watch True Blood this weekend and see who plays Alcide Herveaux?  (Sorry to those non-True Blood watchers/Sookie Stackhouse readers)

Holey Moley!  He gives Alexander Skarsgard a run for his money!

Maybe it’s just the beard?

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Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

I’m feeling particularly unwilling to do things right now.  Honestly, I could probably be convinced to go shopping but not much else (except maybe bake something).  Why?  Let me tell you.  Today has felt eternal.

As usual, I was up at 7:30 ready for a new happy day.  I lounged around for a while, had coffee then toast then some more coffee.  The morning was rather blah.  Then there was a soccer game.  I was right.  Germany won.  There was a party of Germans next door.  They got the feed before I did, I knew a goal was coming when there were a million screams and the bellow of a vuvuzela.

At the half time, I made ice cream.  30 minutes later, I brought my computer into the kitchen and packed the ice cream nicely in containers for freezing.

Okay really this was roughly a two day process.  So let’s backtrack.  Remember when I mentioned Argentina was playing against Mexico?  Well I decided I should probably make something in honor of Argentina.  I had a hunch they would win (again, I was correct).   So I decided dulce de leche (dUUUlce not dOOOlce… just saying…) was probably a good idea.

Last night, I boiled a can of sweetened condensed milk for a few hours (about 2 and a half).  I was a little concerned it might explode but as long as it’s completely submerged in water, all is well.

After boiling it for 2 and a half hours, I turned the heat off and went across the street to watch Che: Part 2, with a friend.  All I have to say is it’s looooooong (but enjoyable to some extent, I liked part 1 better).

Have I ever mentioned how much I like beards?  Well, I love them… there were a lot in these films… that’s all…

In the morning, I took the cooled can out of the water and opened it to find a perfectly delicious, sweet and sticky treat.

Then I got started on the ice cream.

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
adapted from Gourmet

1 1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 can of dulce de leche (guessing about a cup?)

Heat milks together, add dulce de leche and stir until dissolved.  Allow to cool (I put it in the freezer to get really cold) and put in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.  Freeze for a few hours before serving.

In between games I went for a run with a friend.

Boys run fast, even if they claim to not have exercised in a long time.  I’m sure he slowed down for my 5’3″ stride, but I was pretty pooped by the end.  My legs felt like lead the entire time, and I have huge blisters on the bottoms of my feet (shoes not tied tight enough?).  Despite the heat and the fact that I felt like I was dragging small children on my legs the entire time, I had fun.

After running, I decided to sit outside in the shade to cool down.  So I ran into my apartment grabbed some water and took off my shoes (blisters remember?).  While I was sitting outside, my roommate walked out with her friends.  Little did I know, she locked the door.

There I was stinky, hot, barefoot and locked out.

Locked out of my apartment with only 30 minutes until the Argentina vs Mexico game no less!

Luckily, the friend I ran with lives across the street.  While I watched with him, I won’t lie.  It was embarrassing to be that gross if front of anyone.

My roommate got home just as the game was ending.  I was able to bathe and eat some ice cream (which my stomach will pay for later).

and now enjoy a beer (any Vermont readers??)

because sometimes you just need one.

(Thanks for the beer, Christina!  Sorry it didn’t make it to Matt, but I’m glad you made it to Florida!)

Lentils, Quinoa and Kale

I swear the weather in Ithaca has terrible mood swings! It’s cloudy and gross out today.

The day started off with more World Cup and waffles, but I’ll spare you that.  I’m sure your tired of hearing about waffles and the World Cup (not that I’m going to stop talking about it… more on that later).  In between games, I went for a run.  It was great!  5 miles that flew by! It probably helped that it was pretty cool out.

For dinner, I decided I should probably finish up the kale I got last Saturday before it goes bad.  This ensued…

Lentil, Quinoa, Kale Sautee

1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup cooked lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup tomato sauce (aka pasta sauce, or sautee some fresh tomatoes and herbs with the shallot if you have them instead!)
3 eggs

Heat the oil in a pan, add shallot and cook for 2 minutes.  Add kale and cook down for a few minutes.  Stir in pasta sauce, quinoa and lentils.

While kale is cooking, boil some water to poach eggs.  Once water starts boiling, slowly slide in raw eggs and poach for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve quinoa, lentil, kale mixture on a plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with poached egg, because really everything tastes better with a runny yolk.

I like this because it’s quick, easy and healthy, but also because you can easily adjust the measurements to feed as many or as few people as you need.

Not gonna lie.  I’m a little bummed the US lost today (although I’m not completely surprised).  Sort of put a damper on my night.  Although I will say I’m looking forward to tomorrow!

Germany vs England in the morning.
Mexico vs Argentina in the afternoon.

My guesses:  Germany beats England.  Argentina beats Mexico.

I hope I don’t jinx them!

What do you think?  Not that into it?

I think I might do some baking tonight since 1) I’m a little bummed and 2) it’s not that hot and 3) I really have nothing else to do!

Have a great night!

Turnip and Kohlrabi Slaw

It really is just way too hot to cook.  This morning I had oatmeal.  Big mistake.  I was sweatin’ like a ____ in _____.

So there’s no way I’m turning on the stove, much less the oven, but my vegetables still need to get eaten.

My goal is to not let any vegetables from my CSA share go to waste.  Can I do it?

Last week, I got these guys:

I won’t lie.  I was a little concerned when I put them in my bag at the farmer’s market.  First, I had never touched a kohlrabi.  Second, the only knowledge I had of turnips was a book I read in elementary school

Luckily, the internet (and Clay and Zach) saved the day.

Turnip and Kohlrabi Slaw

adapted from Turnip-and-Kohlrabi Slaw with Ginger Vinaigrette

1 kohlrabi, peeled and grated
1 bunch of turnips, peeled and grated (I used about 5 small turnips)
A few lettuce leaves (or any other green), shredded
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of peanuts

The food processor is really handy to grate all these veggies.  Combine grated kohlrabi, turnips and shredded lettuce in a bowl.  In a small bowl mix together vinegar, oil, sugar, ginger, salt and pepper until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour dressing over vegetables, toss to combine and sprinkle with peanuts.  Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

I was extremely pleased with this.  Next time, I would definitely add a grated carrot and some cilantro for both taste and color.  This really would be perfect to take to a barbecue or potluck!

Have a great night!

Quinoa and Black Beans on Lemony Kale with a Tangy Spice Sauce

Holey Moley it’s hot today!   Luckily, the apartment I’m living in this summer is very well ventilated!  It’s always about 15 degrees cooler than my friend’s apartment across the street.  But enough about the weather… Lunch… Remember the three bunches of kale in my CSA this week?

I ate an entire bunch for lunch!

Quinoa and Black Beans on Lemony Kale with a Tangy Spice Sauce

1 tsp olive oil
1 bunch of Kale, washed, stemmed and chopped
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
1 cup cooked black beans (I boiled mine with an entire onion, a bunch of cilantro and garlic)
1 cup cooked quinoa (boiled with onion powder and garlic powder, or cooked with vegetable broth)
Tangy Spice Sauce (recipe below)

Heat oil in a pan.  Add kale and garlic.  Sautee for a minute.  Add lemon juice, salt and a pepper and sautee for another minute or two.  Serve kale on a plate, top with quinoa and black beans.  Drizzle with tangy spice sauce and enjoy!  Serves  2-3.

Tangy Spice Sauce

1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
few shakes of cayenne (optional)
Pepper to taste

Just stir it all together!

Sounds like a weird combination right?  But it worked!  Pretty tasty and pretty healthy!

In other news, guess what arrived in the mail yesterday!!

A 50mm f/1.8 lens!!

Woo!  I’ve been taking pictures of random things all day but mostly of my toes and basil.  I’m going to need to find a better subject because my toes aren’t cute and my basil will probably get eaten soon.

Lastly, Sara and I made donut holes using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, except we were our usual selves  and added cinnamon and cayenne to both the dough and the glaze.  Highly recommended.

Yes, they were deep fried.  That was a first for me.   I won’t lie.  I’m not sure I want to do that again…

Have you ever deep fried something?  What was the last thing you deep fried?

Way Too Hot To Cook

The past few days have been HOT HOT HOT and not in a good way.   That doesn’t mean I haven’t done fun things

The past few days I’ve:

  • Gone on a trail run in a wild flower preserve.
  • Swam in a creek with a waterfall with a dog here:

This photo is not mine and I don’t know those, but that’s where we swam and it was great 🙂

  • Failed at making black and white cookies

  • Got 3 huge bunches of kale, 1 bunch of lettuce, 1 bok choy and strawberries in my CSA.
  • Enjoyed a salad made with my goodies

  • Started making some dresses

  • Made sangria

On the Agenda for Today:
-Work/Internship Stuff
– Play with ice cream maker my neighbor let me borrow. Interested in beer and wine?  Check out his blog!
-Check the mail every 10 minutes to see if the exciting thing I ordered online arrives!
-and realistically I’ll probably watch a soccer game at some point…

Have a great day!

Pão de Mel (Honey Bread)

My first Portuguese teacher was named Mimi (Miriam); she was from São Paulo.  On the last day of class, she brought a delicious, Brazilian treat for the class.  It was sweet and spicy.

Honey,  spices and chocolate, an interesting combination.  Ever since, I’ve wanted to make it.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a blog and while perusing the recipes, I came across it!

Pão de Mel (Honey Bread)

from The Cookie Shop

2 cups flour
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Whisk together dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and combine well.  Put batter into a greased and floured baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes.    As soon as you take it out of the oven, sprinkle with chocolate chips.  As the chocolate chips melt, spread with a spatula.  Allow to cool and serve.

I’m not sure why I love this stuff so much!  Probably because it’s crazy sweet and has an interesting flavor combination.  Let’s call it sweet and sassy.  Reason enough to try it, right?

It’s a beautiful day out here!  And it’s Friday!

Have a great day!