Today you’re in for a real treat. On of my best blog friends is here to entertain you. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you already know how much I love her. Following my best friend and the hubby, she’s one of the best at making me laugh 🙂 So i’m just gonna sit back and let you enjoy her!
Howdy, y’all! Seasons Greetings from The Smart Kitchen!*
*I have already exceeded my exclamation point quota. Curses!^
My name is Miss Smart,* and as a food blogger I like to think I’m known for three things:
*OK, it’s actually Sarah. But I like the idea of an alter-ego, and Miss Frizzle was taken.
1. Having a love affair with my food processor
2. Licking my plate in public (and asking people to take pictures of it)
3. Being generally awesome^
^And (usually) having very high self-esteem?*
*Also, if there were a #4, it would be my excessive use of footnotes.
Today, we’re going to focus on #1. There may also be spatula-licking involved, but #3 you’ll have to determine on your own.
Yes, I have a love affair with my food processor. This pretty much stems from the fact that I make ludicrous amounts of hummus and nut butters, in every possible flavor or fashion I concoct in my little ol’ brain.*
*which I actually hope is quite large
I’ve reviewed how to make homemade nut butter a million times on my blog. [OK, maybe three. Whatever.] I’ve offered tips and tricks and suggestions. Still, I find people are scared of the concept.
Maybe it sounds like a really good idea but you always forget to follow through?
Maybe it’s the scary noise made during the initial crunching that frightens roommates and pets?
Maybe it’s the potential for your food processor to start smoking while you are churning away?
Whatever it is, today I’m solving the problem of making your own, flavored peanut butter at home. How? I’m giving you permission to cheat.*
*I’m a teacher. I can do that.
You don’t have to start from scratch all the time…especially not when there companies out there making perfectly affordable (and frankly, quite tasty) creamy peanut butters made from nothing more than peanuts.
From there, the world is your oyster. Or, perhaps I should say, the world is your peanut?*
*Both are in shells? Maybe?
Really, you can go anywhere from here. I get flavor inspiration from cookies, from pie, from seasons, from tea, from other flavored peanut butters…once from a flavor of instant oatmeal! Today, I was inspired by chocolate. Mexican chocolate.
Perhaps it was my recent obsession with PB&Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams combined with my current habit of putting cinnamon into everything, but the idea of combining cinnamon and chocolate into a delicious peanut butter treat would not get out of my head.
Into the processor went my flavorings and spice: unsweetened cocoa and cinnamon. If I’d had Mexican vanilla–or any vanilla at all*– I probably would have added some of that as well.
*Don’t ask me how that went missing.^
^And no, that was not a lead-in to a story. I really just don’t know.
Then comes the fun part: turning and tasting!
After all, you want to make sure it tastes good before you share it with anyone, right? [Or eat it all yourself. Your choice.]
I find that generally speaking, I have to add WAY more seasoning that I think, especially with cinnamon, but if you put extracts in (like vanilla), it’s easy to go overboard.*
*Like Goldie Hawn, in the 1987 family classic.
Also, unless you’ve started with salted peanut butter, adding a little of your own sodium chloride* generally brings out the flavor.
*That would be salt.^
^ It might taste the same if you get it from the big blue canister…but it’s certainly not as much FUN that way, now is it?
And if you want to sweeten things up, you can give Mr. Snowman a plus one to this Mexican wedding (cake).
And that’s really all there is to it.
Unless of course you want to make a fancy label for it featuring (attempted) recreations of the Mexican flag, chocolate bars, and cinnamon in both its stick and powder form
But while that’s totally optional…
…licking the bowl is not.
So tell us, do you make your own nut butter? What’s your favorite flavor combo??
30 Min Quarter Mile Workout
Inspired by this workout: http://www.fitinheels.com/2011/10/new-workout-obsession-tread.html and this workout:http://www.angrytrainerfitness.com/2011/10/get-with-the-program-the-14-mile-drag-workout/
I ran all of my quarter miles at 7.0 mph and finished the two miles in 17:40. Adding the 8 minutes of exercises and the few minutes of walking warmup I did brought me to just under ½ an hour. I was dripping sweat.
If you want to make this harder you could: run faster, run longer in between exercises, or use dumbells. I did all of the exercises with just body weight and did as many as I could in 1 min. I also didn’t rest at all.
Next time I’m going to add another mile and alternate running my quarter miles at 7.0 and 7.5, or increase my speed each quarter mile for a mile and then start over, pyramid style. I really liked this workout because it got me sweating, kept my heart rate up and the time flew by!