Monday, July 28, 2014

Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter

Remember my last recipe for peanut butter? Well here's another!

Peanut butter is seriously my favorite food. Now over the course of this blog, I am sure I'll frequently state otherwise, saying, "mango is my favorite food", or "chocolate is my favorite food", but the truth is, I have many favorite foods, but it just so happens that peanut butter is at the top of the totem pole. In fact, this blog might have been titled "Chits and Chats and Peanut Butter", if Chocolate didn't sound better.

But, chocolate is another of my favorite foods, and it's just so wonderful that two of my favorite foods happen to be such a brilliant pair.

And now, you too can have your fill of peanutty-chocolatey goodness without the chemicals and sugar in Reese's peanut butter cups, or store-bought chocolate peanut butter!

Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter
Makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups

2 cups peanut butter
1 tbsp. Coconut oil
3-4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz. dark chocolate 
1-2 tbsp. agave syrup (more or less depending on desired sweetness)

Grind peanuts and coconut oil in food processor until it forms a coarse paste. Add remaining ingredients and continue to process until completely smooth. The peanuts will go through phases--
1) coarse crumbs, like sand
2) a thick, coarse paste, like play doh mixed with sand (yum, right?)
3) a giant ball, mostly smooth
4) the ball will melt down into a smooth, luscious dream come true

Refridgerate in an air-tight container ~2 weeks. Use your best judgement.

~~{~@ Danielle

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Letter Challenge

When was the last time you sent a letter? This form of communication is becoming increasingly unpopular as technology advances, which is a shame, because I think receiving letters is so much more fun than receiving e-mails of texts.
So, I'm starting a challenge. Once a week for at least a month, I'm challenging you to send a hand written letter to a friend or family member. Trust me, it's not that bad, and it's one of the best ways to show that you're thinking of them and that you care. And it is not unlikely that if you send a letter, that you'll receive one in return!

·~Danielle

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Chit and Chat no. 2

Hey! Welcome to my Let's Chit and Chat post no. 2! My last one has been one of my most popular posts, but no one commented! Please comment. I don't bite. Really. Unless if you are a bowl of salted caramel pretzel chocolate peanut butter banana soft serve. Then I can't make any promises.
 Anyway, like last time, my answers are in italics. Comment your answers below, pretty please with sugar on top!

Secret Talent?
I taught myself how to play the harmonica.

Do you have any pets? What are their names and what animal are they?
No pets! 

What's your favourite sport to watch? To play?
Does figure skating count? I love playing tennis!

What does your ideal vacation look like?
A tropical cruise.

If it was your last meal, what would you choose?
Crab for dinner, cheesecake for dessert!

So please comment your answers! I'd love to hear them!
~Danielle

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blueberry Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal

Originally, this oatmeal title was not going to include the "cobbler" part, but the second I took my first bite, I knew I had to forewarn you all: this tastes shockingly unhealthy, or at least a lot like dessert. Not all deserts have to be unhealthy. This recipe just so happens to be healthy enough for breakfast, and tasty enough for dessert. The best of both worlds!

The blueberries bloat in the oven untill they become little packets of flavor that burst in your mouth with every bite. The peach sweetens it and give it that wonderous cobbler-like texture and flavor. Yes my friends, this is the breakfast of champions!

Blueberry Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal
1 peach
1/3 - 1/2 cup blueberries (depending on your preference)
1/3 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Sweetener to taste, optional
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
Pinch of cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Baking powder

1) Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit
2) Combine last three ingredients and set aside
3) In a blender, puree 1/2 of the peach, milk, vanilla, and sweetener if using. Pour the liquid over the dry mixture and stir gently until combined.
4) Dice the remainder of the peach, and fold it and the blueberries into the oat mixture until the are evenly distributed.
5) Bake in a greased ramkin for 25-30 minutes, or until center is no longer very wet.
Allow to cool a little before consumption.

~Danielle

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How to: Spaghetti Squash

I'd always heard about how amazing spaghetti squash is, how by just running a fork through the flesh of the gourd, impastas come to be (sorry, bad joke... couldn't resist).

I just had to see it to believe it. So, I bought one. And guess what? It worked! Yes, by just running a fork through the squash, I came upon healthy, flavorful, bountiful "noodles".

Here's a few tips and notes:
~When cutting the squash in half,  use a super sharp knife because the raw gourd is pretty tough, and you'll want to make as straight of a cut as possible so that the squash will steam itself evenly.
~One medium-sized spaghetti squash is about the equivalent of two to two and a half cups of "noodles".
~For maximum efficiency, use a fork to get as much of the flesh out as possible, but then scrape the insides of the skins out with the edge of a large spoon to remove the remaining fruit.

So, Heres the technique

Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit)
2) Cut squash in half length-wise.
3) Line a baking tray with foil, and place the squash cut-side down over foil.
4) Bake for forty minutes, or until the squash has become as tender as you'd like it.

~~{~@ Danielle

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's new?

Well, I don't know about you, but a lot has been going on in my life recently! I recently had some grafting done in my mouth. Not trying tobsound too graphic here, but for those of you who don't know what that is, it's when a periodontist (gum specialist) cuts skin from the roof of one's mouth and sews it to the gums. I had this done because I had a bacterial infection that ate away at my gums.

So naturally, I've been eating a lot of this:

And a lot of these. 

Also, I impulse bought some new nail polish that I loooove! 

The color is called Cinderella.

Another impulse buy:
85% is the bomb.

I'm looking forward to vacationing in Wisconsin next month, too! I could use a break from life! 

What's new with all of you? 
-Danielle


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Garden: An Update


Well it's been a while since I've shared about my garden! So long in fact, that back then, it looked like this:
That is, if you can even call that a garden. Now I've gotten a few grape tomatoes ripening...
Not to mention some GIANT cucumbers!
Also, this year I've learned the hard way that squash do not need tons of water. I was over watering them for a while, so now they are looking mostly dead. (Excuse my  The Princess Bride reference.) Also, I've learned that herbs don't need much water. Thankfully, all of them (except for the stevia plant) are 98% alive. 

So, do you have a garden? How is it doing (comment below)
~Danielle