Homemade Almond Butter

Making your own nut butter…. say WHAAA?

Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought this process was complicated and unattainable by someone (me) who did not have professional grade kitchen equipment.  Remember in grade school when you learned about George Washington Carver’s ingenuity with the peanut?  For me, it was 4th grade and we wrote our very first research paper about him.  Looking back, it seems like this sparked two things in my life:  my love of writing, and my love of peanut butter.

As far as my love of writing, I’m fueling it every day with my job and classes.  My love of peanut butter..well it’s fueling me 😉

Lately I’ve been learning how to properly manage what I eat, and take more care about putting the right foods in my body.  I’m no health nut; I love my double dark chocolate brownies and would probably eat 6 of them at the same time if I let myself!  But instead, I’m being more purposeful in what I eat.

So when I realized it didn’t take a Jiff factory to make nut butter, I decided to try it out for myself.

It was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Well, if you don’t count the fact I about broke my NutriBullet….. But that is a simple operator’s error. You won’t have that problem 🙂

Really, you only need 1 ingredient:    Almonds!

I used a 9 ounce bag of Roasted Almonds.  I read a lot of recipes where you would do your own roasting, but my motto in life recently has become “Work Smarter, Not Harder”.

Toss those in your NutriBullet, food processor, or high powered blender, and let ‘er rip!  Don’t worry if it takes a while for your almond to progress from whole almonds, to chunks, to mush, to the almond butter.  Have patience, and stop every now and then to scrape down the sides of your container.  After a while, your almonds will begin to release their oils.  This step causes the chunky-mush of almonds to bind together into the glorious almond butter!

I also added about 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil, and 1/2 tablespoon of honey to add sweetness.  The perfect time to add these mix ins is once the almonds were ground and just starting to stick together.

So far, I’ve eaten my homemade almond butter with apple slices and on a whole-wheat tortilla with a little more honey.  I’m looking forward to trying my an almond butter and jelly sandwich and maybe adding a little to my oatmeal in the morning!

 What do you eat your nut butters with??  Leave me a comment and let me know! I’m dying to try it! 
Stay joyful,
Libby

||Find, Tweak, Try||XXL Chocolate Cookie

Hi Friends!

Oh man am I excited for this week’s post!  While I had been on a crafting kick this summer, school has taken over my life, so I’ve decided to channel my creativity into the kitchen (which means follow a recipe).  My Pinterest food board and cookbooks are overloaded with yummy treats to try, so I have been trying out some good recipes lately.  While doing this, I have created a method of cooking from start to finish.

My “patent-pending” Find, Tweak, Try method is a simple three-step approach.

  1. Find.
    1.  I have two main recipe gurus: Pinterest and the cookbooks we got as wedding presents.  Pinterest is great and all, but there is something special about the all-church cookbooks with tried and true recipes.
  2. Tweak.
    1. Admittedly, I never have all the right ingredients on hand.  Sometimes I’m willing to make a special trip for those really important ingredients (like flour or chicken stock), but the majority of the time, I just use what I have in the pantry.
    2. I’ll start with my core ingredients, such as the meat or vegetables, see what seasonings/sauces I DO have and DON’T have, then find things to supplement the recipe.
  3. Try.
    1. Finally, I give it a whirl!  Somethings have been a flop, but most of the time it works out pretty well!

So to kick things off, I’m going to start with my favorite recipe I have used my “Find, Tweak, Try” (FTT) method on.  So pull out your recipe cards or your Pinterest boards and your ingredients from your pantry because do I have a recipe for you!


 

need to share this recipe with you.  Seriously.  For all you chocolate lovers, you better try this right now.  Put down whatever you are doing and pull out your mixing bowl and spatula, because this XXL Death by Chocolate Cookie is now on the top of your priority list.  You can either make it as one big cookie, or make 4 small cookies out of the dough.  (Make the right choice here.  Go big or go home.  And please don’t go home)

Go right now to Sally’s Baking Addiction and check out this cookie.  It’ll take you like 20 minutes to make, and you won’t regret it.  (Okay, you might regret it if you eat the entire thing…but who am I kidding, you’ll be wanting another one!)

Luckily, I ended up having all the right ingredients for this recipe.  However, Hershey’s makes Dark Chocolate cocoa powder….so I used 1 tablespoon Dark Chocolate and 1 tablespoon Milk Chocolate to spice things up a little in my life.

Excellent.

Divine.

Are you in the kitchen yet??

Find, Tweak, Try||XXL Chocolate Cookie

I went big and made mine into a massive chocolate cookie. Seriously so good

 


 

Please go to the kitchen now if you are not.

I made this once last week for my man and I to split before he went to work, and nearly every night after that he asked me to make it again and again

It tastes like a rich brownie on the inside, but it’s a little crunchy on the outside like a cookie. Best of both worlds.

Pros:
Chocolate
Quick and easy
Absolutely delicious
Hubby-approved
Common kitchen ingredients

Cons:
I struggle to get 2 tablespoons of egg measured correctly
Gone too quick!
Very chocolatey (Also a pro)

Okay, I think you’ve had enough time to get yourself into the kitchen to make this tasty XXL chocolate cookie, so get to baking.

Thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction for this recipe!!

Did you make this cookie yet? Let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

 

 

Stay joyful,
-L

Baked Peaches

Hi friends!

Okay, I have to share this amazing recipe I finally tried on my Pinterest recipe board “Get out my stretchy pants, this looks delicious”.  This board is aptly named because I have recently discovered that my dessert recipes way outnumber my actual meal recipes.  (Definitely not a bad thing!)

I went to the store the other evening and fresh peaches immediately caught my eye! So with this baked peach recipe especially in mind, I bought four of them.  Tonight was the big night when I tested these (and LOVED them!)

I originally found this recipe for Brown Sugar Baked Peaches from The Kitchen is My Playground

They are so simple to make!

-Pick your perfect peach
-Slice it in half and pit it
-Add a little butter to each half
-Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on top

Before baking

I went a little ‘heavy’ on the brown sugar, so maybe it wasn’t quite as healthy as it could have been… oops! 😉

Next,
-Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes–until tender and toppings are melted.
**You can also broil it at the end for a little extra caramelization!

After baking

I was so excited to try these I forgot to snap a picture before digging in 🙂

These baked peaches were SO good!  I think they would be good at any time of the year—-definitely perfect for a fall day, warm and cozy for a snow day, light enough for a spring day, and just the right fruity taste for a summer day like today.

After letting it cool thirty seconds a minute or two, I ate one half of my peach just how it was.  I didn’t think it could get any better.  I was wrong!  I added some whipped cream on top of my second peach half and yep! AH-mazing!

does it get any better than this?

Please promise me that when you try this, you will add some whipped cream on top!  Also, as a bonus, as my peach halves cooled, the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter began to thicken, making it into a really great sauce!

The “Technical” Recipe:  (I always try to follow recipes, but end up doing a lot of guesstimations on our taste preferences)

1 Peach
1 tsp butter (unsalted)
~~3 tsp. brown sugar (I ended up with about a tablespoon on each..maybe just a little too much 😉 )
Cinnamon for sprinkling

Once you halve the peaches, halve the rest of the ingredients and equally top each peach half with them.  Like I said, ingredient portions have become more of ‘suggestions’ for me, so feel free to play around with how much of each item you put on based on what you like 🙂

I’d love to hear about your experience with making these!  I keep thinking how these would be good with some sort of oatmeal crumble on top–any suggestions for a good topping?

Stay joyful,

-L

Thanks again, The Kitchen is My Playground  for the recipe!