Thursday, May 30, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Our family, with the exception of Boy2, loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. We're tempted to test the DNA of Boy2 due to the fact that he despises peanut butter. Pretty sure we could have a real life "switched at birth" story. At school one day, the class made no-cook peanut butter cookies. I received a note, which included a smiley face, from the teacher. Boy2 told the class: "My mom made these and I don't like them". Great... the kid is giving the impression that I'm horrible in the kitchen.

Darling has a mad obsession with it. She'll eat peanut butter straight from the jar. But who am I kidding... most of us do that. Right?

Today I'm bringing you peanut butter & chocolate chip muffins with a chocolate drizzle. These muffins will quiet the peanut butter beast within anyone. Well, for a few minutes anyway. Just until you realize you must eat another one before someone else nabs it.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup chocolate chips

For drizzle:

1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tbsp shortening

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine egg, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix well. Add peanut butter and mix well again. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Add chocolate chips and stir.

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a muffin pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Pour muffin mix into pan (about 3/4 full). (You could also use a loaf pan and make a bread loaf. I'm guessing: preheat 350 and bake for 1 hour.)

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

While the muffins cool, melt together chocolate chips and shortening. About 50-60 seconds in the microwave. Stir until smooth.

Drizzle chocolate on top of cooled muffins. Adding drizzle is like bedazzling your muffin! Transforms it from "looks good" to "looks irresistible".


Monday, May 27, 2013

Shrimp Tacos, Refried Beans & Pico De Gallo

**Shamefully walks into blog world**

Wowza! Has it really been over 2 months since our last post? Sorry about that! Life got a little overwhelming and unfortunately the blog was put on my back burner. I've returned now that life is slowly getting back to normal.

Quite a few years ago, Husband and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and by mistake, shrimp fajitas were placed in front of me. I love shrimp... but on tacos? I wasn't sure. I placed my "what-ifs" aside and dove in. To this day, it is a meal I remember very well. It definitely made my top 5 best meals.

Today I am bringing this really great meal to you! I'm also providing a simple refried beans recipe and an even simpler pico de gallo recipe.

Shrimp Fajita Tacos (adapted from Eating Richly)

1 package shrimp (medium, large or jumbo)
2-3 limes, squeezed
1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt

2 green peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
Soft shell flour tortillas
Sour cream for taco and/or beans

Clean and remove tails from shrimp. Place shrimp in a ziploc bag and set aside.

In a bowl, stir together lime juice, cilantro, garlic and seasonings. Pour over shrimp, seal bag removing as much air as possible and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the shrimp marinades, steam the sliced peppers and onions with a bit of water in a frying pan for 8-10 minutes.

Preheat broiler.

After shrimp has marinaded, distribute shrimp evenly in a 9x13 pan, pour remaining marinade over shrimp. Add steamed peppers and onions to the pan and broil for 10ish minutes or until shrimp is pink.

Refried Beans (a healthier version) (adapted from Allrecipe)

2 ¼ cups dry (rinsed) pinto beans
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 tbsp chopped green chiles
1 tbsp chopped fresh garlic
2 tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
6 cups water

Combine ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn cooker to high and cook for 8 hours. Check periodically, add water if necessary. I ended up adding about 1 cup half way through.

When ready, drain beans but save the juice/liquid and set it aside. Place beans in a bowl and mash them. I used Kenny, my stand mixer, and he did a superior job. Once mashed, add some of the juice/liquid you set aside earlier. Add until you are happy with the consistency. Place refried beans back into the slow cooker (on low) until you are ready to serve.

Pico De Gallo

2 large tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped & seeds removed (if you enjoy an extra kick, leave the seeds)
1 onion, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup (loosely packed) cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar (consider this an "add to taste" ingredient)

Combine all ingredients and gently stir. Really... that's it. (Note: Instead of jalapenos, I used the remaining green chiles from the refried beans). Use Pico for a side dish or a topping for taco.

There you have it... a very satisfying, delicious meal.

Refrigerate leftovers and enjoy for lunch or dinner the following day. Pico can be used as a salsa too!