Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Raise your hand if you love peanut butter? Well, I hope your hand is raised for this one…Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal! Yuuuummmm!

I started making this recipe when I lived at my parent’s house. A couple years ago, there was 5 of us living there at the time. The first time I made this recipe I made it on a Sunday night to provide a yummy breakfast for the rest of the week. Rest of the week? Yeah, wishful thinking. I came down the stairs that Monday morning–the last one to leave the house (it was only 7:30 a.m.!)–and there was maybe, MAYBE, 2 portions left of the baked oatmeal! My family RIPPED through the oatmeal. Oatmeal! Okay. Breathe. Sorry for raising my voice a little. I’ll calm down now. I can be calm because it is just myself and the hubby in the house now. Okay, wait…hopefully he won’t eat it all before I get the chance. Yikes, I better get moving…

You should get moving too. You gotta get this baked oatmeal in the oven for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Heck, make it for dinner. It’s THAT good. (Sorry for raising my voice again.)

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together and stir until well combined. Spread into a lightly greased 13×9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve warm and with milk, if desired.

Enjoy!

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Meatball Ricotta Pizza

Yikes! It has been since August 20th that I posted last! Could you tell school started again? Yep, school started in full force last week. I went from being bored and free reading book after book to almost every minute of the day being booked. Now is the time that being healthy is the hardest for most people–including myself. How do you find the time to stay healthy and active during your busy weeks? Although this semester is going to be a crazy busy one, I am actually pretty excited about it. This semester, I have the following classes on my plate:

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy II
  • Research
  • Food Services & Systems Management
  • Pediatrics (Graduate-Level)
  • Nutrigenetics (Graduate-Level)
  • Exercise Physiology I (Graduate-Level)

I will also being working at the athletic club part-time and will be a part-time intern for Anne, who heads up this lovely nutrition blog! Check it out–she has some great healthy recipes that I cannot wait to try. Remember this post about our Sunday night pizza nights? Well, we decided to put a new twist on our pizza. Turkey Meatball Ricotta Pizza with fresh basil. It was delicious!! It was nice to mix up our weekly pizza with some new flavors. You should try it this for your own “Cutie” Pizza night this week. 🙂 Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Meatball Ricotta Pizza   Meatball Ricotta Pizza

  • Herbed Whole Wheat Pizza Crust, or your own version
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella & provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 ounces, frozen turkey meatballs, thawed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 handful, fresh basil, chopped

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Par-bake your pizza crust on your pizza stone (if you have one) for 7-10 minutes. Add your pizza sauce followed by both shredded cheeses. Layer your sliced turkey meatballs to the pizza. Next, drop dollops of ricotta all around the pizza. (I say 1/2 cup, but seriously add your desired amount.) Lastly, add your fresh basil. Continue baking the pizza at 425 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown. Enjoy the new twist on your pizza night!

Easy Skillet Sesame Chicken

Every once and a while I get a craving for Chinese food. Not just any Chinese food though, it has to be from Emperor’s Kitchen–my favorite place for take-out as long as I can remember. I admit it, I don’t venture out too much in the Chinese food world. My order is almost always the same: Sesame Seed Chicken, Chicken Fried Rice, and an Egg Roll. I might order Chinese food maybe 2-3 times per year. Yeah, it isn’t often, but when I get it it is sooooo yummy! I would probably get it more often if it wasn’t so unhealthy. Talk about deep fried, sugary, fatty chicken plus a few vegetables. So when I found this healthified sesame chicken over at How Sweet It Is I knew I had to try it. I admit that it doesn’t match Emperor’s Kitchen, but this healthy alternative hit the spot for dinner. 

Interestingly enough, I actually didn’t even add the sesame seeds to mine. So if you really love them, don’t forget to add them to yours! 

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Easy Skillet Sesame Chicken

 

Easy Skillet Sesame Chicken

Recipe Adapted from: How Sweet It Is

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Brown rice & your choice of vegetable for serving

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together chicken broth, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar. Set aside. 

Over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil and grapeseed oil in a cast iron skillet (or other oven safe skillet). While it heats, toss the diced chicken breast with the salt, pepper, and flour. Once the oil is hot, at the chicken to the skillet in a single layer. Cook until seared and golden on one side, flip, and cook until golden again. Pour the set aside chicken stock mixture over the top and toss to coat. Turn off the heat. Place the oven safe skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Sever the chicken with steamed vegetables and brown rice. 

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Easy Skillet Sesame Chicken

Enjoy!

 

Caramel Cheesecake Rolo Brownies

Here in Wisconsin, we tailgate and we go big! Brewers, Badgers, Packers…cold or hot, the parking lots are filled before the start of the game. A few weeks ago my family decided to tailgate for an entire weekend Brewers series. Three days in a row. I was in charge of bringing the dessert. It was my choosing because I was looking to try out this new recipe. Caramel Cheesecake Rolo Brownies. They were a hit!

Being the peanut butter fanatic I am, I used a brownie mix that contained peanut butter chips–my favorite! When making this recipe, if you love peanut butter, feel free to use the peanut butter chip brownie mix, otherwise, just follow the recipe below.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Caramel Cheesecake Rolo Brownies

 

Caramel Cheesecake Rolo Brownies 

Recipe Adapted from: And They Cooked Happily Ever After

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix, or homemade recipe–prepared according to instructions
  • 8 ounces, light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 1, 8 ounce bag of mini rolos
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 13×9 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Prepare the brownie mix as directed, without cooking.

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and caramel sauce until smooth.

Pour 2/3 of the prepared brownie mix into the pan. Take dollops of the cream cheese mixture and place on top of the brownie mix. Pour remining brownie batter on top and use a knife to swirl the brownie and cream cheese mixture together, creating a marble pattern.

Before placing in the oven, sprinkle the mini rolos on top of the brownie mixture and press them in lightly. Use as many or as few as you would like. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature. Cut the brownies prior to refrigerating them–it is easier to cut when the rolos aren’t cold. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

If you are like me and believe that chocolate and peanut butter are the best combination in the whole world…well, then you NEED to make these cupcakes. Now.

Sure, peanut butter and jelly is great sandwiched between to soft pieces of bread…but chocolate and peanut butter. Enough said.

My birthday was this past weekend and my sister made me parmesan orzo, almond crusted chicken, and these a-ma-zing peanut butter chocolate cupcakes. I had made these cupcakes before and was told they were the best cupcakes they had ever had. The cake portion is the perfect flavor of chocolate cake and the filling is like eating the best part of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Put those two together with the perfect balance of frosting and peanut butter and you have the best cupcake you have ever tasted.

Okay, all this talk has made me hungry for one. There is one left in the fridge and I think it’s going to have to be my afternoon snack. Hey…it is the last of my birthday celebration–the calories still don’t count so don’t judge.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe Adapted from: Annie’s Eats

Makes: 24 cupcakes

Filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake:

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners.

First, make the filling. Combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer until well combined. Roll the filling into 24 balls and set aside.

Next, make the cupcake batter. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk this dry mixture and set aside. In one small bowl, combing the sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Using the bowl of your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and sour cream mixture. Begin and end with the dry ingredients. Mix together until just incorporated.

Into the cupcake pans, spoon a tablespoon or two of cupcake batter into each liner. Place a ball of filling into each cupcake and top each cupcake with the remaining batter.

Bake the cupcakes for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5-10 minutes and then transfer each cupcake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lastly, make the frosting in the stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Combine the cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in the cool whip until it is smooth and fluffy. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired–if it is for my husband, as much as humanly possible! Enjoy!!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Parmesan Risotto

Do you remember the first time you ever had risotto? You know, that creamy, cheesy rice dish that once you took a bite of and wondered where it was all your life? Yeah, that stuff. Yum! Now I know exactly what you want to eat for dinner tonight!

I love this creamy dish, but am often times a little turned off on making it because of how long it can take. However, this recipe for Parmesan Risotto is so easy that the time on the stove seems to be pretty short.

A few weeks ago my sister and I cooked this dish together along with some Almond Rosemary Crusted Chicken! If you haven’t tried this chicken recipe yet, you have to! My sister even cooked it up this weekend for my birthday dinner along with some yummy parmesan basil orzo. Whether you choose the orzo or the risotto to pair with this chicken, you’ll have some yummy food filling your belly.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Parmesan Orzo

 

Parmesan Risotto

Recipe Adapted from: The Comfort of Cooking

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (optional)

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, slightly toasted the rice. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed.

Add half the broth (1 ¾ cups) and simmer until absorbed, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the remaining broth and simmer until the rice is tender and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Stir in the Parmesan and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the basil and additional parmesan, if desired.

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee…Simplified!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t drink hot coffee in the summer time. There is just something about it. It isn’t just that it is hot, but the flavor too. I just can’t do it. And even though I’m not an everyday kind of coffee drinker, maybe only 2-3 times per week, I still spend way too much money at the coffee shops getting an iced coffee or iced latte. It kills me to pull my wallet out like that. But when I have early 5 a.m. shifts at work when I worked the previous night until 9 p.m., coffee is needed.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Even though I have been pinning iced coffee recipes for a about a year, I never actually took the time to brew my own…until now. Cold brewing iced coffee is really easy, it just takes time in advance to make it. The coffee has to sit for about 12 hours and then you have to strain it. It really isn’t laborous, just a little time consuming. But if you are anything like me, it is worth the mulah in the end. Plus, you can add your own flavors to it. For me, it’s just plain old half & half. My husband prefers the Coffee Mate Natural Bliss creamer (no trans-fats). And if you love your coffee shop’s shots of a flavored syrup, you can brew this coffee on your own and purchase your own syrup pump from online. We’re talking about lots of savings here!

I recommend getting a good, quality coffee to brew your own. In the Milwaukee area here, my husband and I tend to by loyal to our local shops, like Alterra and Stone Creek Coffee. Stone Creek is our favorite and within walking distance of our place, but Alterra has a baked oatmeal to die for! If anyone has a recipe like that, let me know, I’ve been searching long and hard to find a recipe to match Alterra’s!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

 

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Recipe Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Makes: 2 drinks

  • 2/3 cup medium-coarse ground coffee
  • 3 cups water
  • Coffee filters
  • Your favorite creamer or sugar

In a large bowl, measure your ground coffee. Add the 3 cups of water, ensuring all of the coffee grounds are soaked with water. Cover and allow the bowl to rest at room temperature overnight or for 12 hours.

Using your actual coffee maker, add a coffee filter. Pour in your coffee/water mixture to the coffee filter until almost full, allowing it filter down into your coffee pot. Let the mixture filter for a few minutes until nearly all filtered. Change your coffee filter. Add the last half of the coffee/water mixture to the new coffee filter allowing it to filter into the pot once again. It will take a few minutes to completely filter.

Refrigerate in your coffee pot or fancy pitcher until ready to drink. Add to a fancy mason jar or regular glass filled with ice. Add your favorite milk, creamer, or drink black. Enjoy!!

 

 

Pico de Gallo

I don’t know what took me so long to try them, but the tacos at Chipotle are one of my favorite things in the past few months. In college I really enjoyed the burritos at Chipotle. After graduation brought an end to my competitive athletic career, I moved on to the burrito bowls. Not working out 4+ hours a day forced me to remove the calorie packed, yet yummy white tortilla from my order. Since then, I have been enjoying the burrito bowls with the yummy cilantro lime rice. But a few months ago, I don’t know what came over me one day, but I tried the chicken tacos and haven’t ordered a burrito or bowl since. Now every time we are in a pinch for dinner and don’t have much at home, I always start craving chicken or steak tacos with guac, corn salsa, and pico de gallo from Chipotle.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Pico de Gallo Salsa

After finding a new recipe for pico de gallo, I quickly added homemade tacos to the menu. I designed the meal as “make your own tacos”. I diced up some chicken, seasoned it, got out some flour & corn tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, and of course guacamole.

Try this new, fresh salsa recipe this weekend! Create your own taco night or serve it as an appetizer with some multigrain chips.

Tonight we are making a pork tenderloin with yummy parmesan basil orzo! If you haven’t made this orzo yet either, you should really add it to your menu this week!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Pico de Gallo Salsa

Pico de Gallo Salsa

Recipe Adapted from: Sweet Life

  • 4 medium tomatoes, seeded & diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, minced (without seeds)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve on tacos or with chips!

I’m all “Pintresty”!

After moving into our new place there was several things I wasn’t sure what to do with. Our old apartment that had a doorway with a closet nearby that became our obvious shoe drop. However, in our new place, our door opens up into a hallway pretty much where I can’t stand the shoes being dropped but seemed to do it anyway when I walked in the door. After I was searching Pintrest, I had a thought! We had a nice coffee table that was just sitting in the corner on the other side of the room, not being used. Even worse, our shoes were piled in a box in a closet not even close to the door. Ding, ding! I called my little project, “Look! I’m being all ‘pintresty’!” Take a look at our coffee table turned “boot seat”…

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Before Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Coffee Table Turned Boot Seat

Taa Dah!! Turns out the coffee table and pillows are all from Target. Believe it or not, 1 week later, the shoes are still being lined up straight like that!

But if you’re looking for another “Taa Dah!” in the cookie department, I have just the recipe for you! Today is my sister-in-law’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Linda!). And a little birdy had told me that chocolate chip cookies were one of her favorite foods. So I went on a search for a new chocolate chip cookie recipe to surprise her with a package on her birthday. These cookies were almost identical to other recipes, except this one contained corn starch. Interesting, I know. Despite the new ingredient, these cookies turned out fabulous! They were plump, soft, and tasty! Magical corn starch that is.

Have you ever had those cookies made from Betty Crocker in the bag where you just add egg and butter? Yeah, those amazing ones? Well, after my husband tried these, he thought I made them with the assistance of Betty Crocker. In this household and with the love of the bagged cookies, that is most definitely a compliment!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes: 2 dozen cookies + 1 ball of dough, eaten by me!

Recipe adapted from:  Apple A Day

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the cover to 350 degrees. Using your stand mixer and a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy and lighter in color. Next, add the egg and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the stand mixer a little at a time. Mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Taste test the dough. Drop 24 slightly rounded balls of cookie dough onto cookie sheets that are lightly greased, lined with parchment paper, or spilmats. Bake 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden brown.

Allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caesar Pizzsalad

Let me tell you about another foodie item that blew my mind. When I say “blew my mind”, picture the man from this AT&T commercial. Exactly what I’m thinking with those soft pretzels dipped in hot fudge and this… a caesar salad pizza, or better said as a PIZZ-SAL-AD!

When we headed up to visit a great friend in Appleton, Wisconsin, we went out to dinner and one of the pizza selections was a “Pizzsalad”. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it…you maybe having trouble too, but I can’t help you much over typed letters. The pizza was literally a pizza topped with caesar salad. It was DE-LI-CIOUS! I told myself right then and there that I was going to be making my own version of this as soon as I got home. Well…that was in the beginning of June. But the pizza hadn’t slipped my mind. Although, it wasn’t until it appeared on another menu last weekend while visiting more great friends in LaCosse, Wisconsin that I knew I had to make this pizza… I mean salad…I mean pizzsalad, once and for all.

So I did it. And it was fabulous! I should have brought some to this patient who pleaded for pizza from their hospital window as we went on our evening walk past Froedtert Hospital…

photo-14

If you enjoy pizza, caesar salad, and making a new dish for the evening, try out this new recipe that I put together on my own from inspiration from the two restaurants. I’m pretty sure this dish will be making its way to more pizzeria menus…including yours.

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Caesar Pizzsalad

Caesar Pizzsalad

    Herbed Pizza Crust:

Adapted from: Mommie Cooks

  • 1 cup warm water (approx. 110 degrees)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

Caesar Pizzsalad

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light caesar salad dressing
  • 4 ounces, cooked & diced chicken breast seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup bite sized croutons

Using your stand mixer attached with a dough hook, add water, sugar, and yeast to the mixing bowl. Mix and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.

Next, add your garlic, olive oil, salt, basil, and onion powder. Combine. Add your flours and mix until well combined. Your dough should be slightly sticky. If too sticky to handle, add a little more flour. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes and preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Once the oven is preheated, roll out your pizza dough onto your pizza stone or pan. Be sure to use corn meal on your pizza stone or lightly grease your baking pan. Bake the dough for 7-10 minutes.

Next, spread 1/4 cup of the dressing on the crust as your sauce. Layer the cheeses and spread the diced chicken. Place the pizza back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes until the pizza is golden brown.

Lastly, make sure your romaine lettuce is diced or shredded into bite size pieces. Toss the lettuce with the remaining 2 tablespoons of dressing. Spread the lettuce on the pizza and sprinkle on the croutons (we cut up our croutons into even smaller pieces). Take a moment to appreciate your work of art, then devour! Enjoy!!

Heaven Sent Peanut Butter: Caesar Pizzsalad