African Peanut Soup

At the start of February, the temperature suddenly dropped back below zero and soup became an absolute necessity.  I had been planning to make this soup for some time — it’s a question where the recipe came from — and it seemed like the perfect night to make it.  The vegetables and chicken are nicely sweetened by the peanut butter and a little heat is added with the crushed red pepper.  I added some salt — the peanut butter I used was a low-salt organic peanut butter and it needed just a bit to help bring all the flavors together.

African Peanut Soup

African Peanut Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 quarts chicken stock or broth
1 can (28 ounces) Italian tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (for garnish)

In vegetable oil, saute onions, bell peppers, and garlic until soft. Add chicken, stock, and tomatoes with juice, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.

Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Simmer about 5 minutes. Serve in bowls or on top of rice. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.


Peanut Butter Bacon Pizza

It’s been a few weeks of continuing to make pizza.  I had my refrigerator freezer go out on me a few weeks ago and I found myself cooking up the leftover pizza dough in the freezer, cooking with my sourdough starter, and trying to make sure I didn’t have too much extra.  One item I found in the freezer was some bacon from Nick’s Country Meats in Hayward, Minnesota.  I had seen someone suggest on Reddit that people put peanut butter, provolone, and bacon on pizza, so I thought it was time to try it.  Overall, I thought it tasted okay, and probably would have been better if I had heated the peanut butter to help it spread a little bit more on the pizza and be a little more even.

Peanut Butter Bacon Pizza

Peanut Butter Bacon Pizza

sourdough pizza crust
peanut butter
provolone cheese
cooked bacon

Partially cook the pizza crust, according to the instructions.  Spread peanut butter on the crust, lay the provolone cheese slices on top, and sprinkle cooked bacon on the top of cheese.

Thai-Style Broccoli Salad

This is another recipe that has found its way into my recipe folder, but I’m not sure of the origins.  After having done so much baking over the past four or five weeks, I was out of sugar, so I substituted honey in this recipe, and since it’s a primarily savory dish, I don’t think it made a significant impact.  The peanut butter offers a nice sweetness to the broccoli, and I liked it warm and cold as I was reheating it last week.

Thai-Style Broccoli Salad.jpg

Thai-Style Broccoli Salad

1/4 c chunky peanut butter
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 c fresh broccoli florets
1/2 c red bell pepper, julienned
1/2 c thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c chopped peanuts

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar, water, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper flakes.  Whisk until blended and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil over medium high in a large skillet or wok.  Add the broccoli, bell pepper, onions, and garlic.  Stir fry for 4 minutes or until vegetables are just tender crisp.

Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter mixture.  Toss well to combine, sprinkle on chopped peanuts and serve hot or at room temperature.

Monster Cookies

In addition to the six-in-one oatmeal cookies I made a few days ago, I found this monster batch of monster cookies and it seemed like a great way to use up a lot of things in my house — brown sugar, eggs, m & ms, etc. — and it seemed like a great recipe to keep ready to bake.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a monster cookie — unless they have a peanut allergy.  This monster batch of monster cookies also came from the Moss Heaven cookbook.

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

2 lbs brown sugar
4 c sugar
1 lb butter or margarine
12 eggs
8 tsp baking soda
1/4 c vanilla

Cream the above together in a large roaster pan.

1 lb M&Ms
1 lb chocolate chips
3 lb peanut butter

Mix in, with a wooden spoon.  Add:

18 c oatmeal

Mix in with your hands.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees.  To make monster cookies, drop with an ice cream scoop and bake for 15-20 minutes.  To make normal size cookies, drop from a tablespoon and bake 10-12 minutes.


Blizzard Bars

Being from the Midwest, there is no doubt that the weather is a frequent discussion item.  We joke, but ti’s pretty easy to talk about rain, or the need for rain, or how the crops are doing, or if snow is expected, among other things.  One such type of weather is the blizzard.  For those of you unfamiliar with the blizzard, it’s a combination of snowfall and wind in a way that makes visibility challenging, and often times resulting in the cancellation of classes, church, or community gatherings.  So, when I came across this recipe for Blizzard Bars in the From Minnesota with Love cookbook, I knew I wanted to make it.

Blizzard Bars.jpg

Blizzard Bars

1 c butter, softened
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
4 c rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla

6 oz chocolate chips
3/4 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all bar ingredients until crumbly; press into 15x10x1 inch pan.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes; cool.  Heat frosting ingredients in double boiler over hot water until chips are melted.  Spread over bars; cut into squares.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I’ve been eyeing this recipe for awhile now and looking for the time I wanted to execute it.  Even better, the idea of mixing together a dessert in a food processor was too exciting to not try and do, so one weekend morning I decided to take the plunge.  This is another fall recipe I’ve pulled from the Savoring the Seasons cookbook that I love so much.

The bar flavor turned out really tasty.  I think presentation has a little to be desired, but I’m sure that will improve on the second or third time around making them.

Chocolate peanut butter bars.jpg

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Snickers Candy Bar Cookies

When the end of Halloween came, I found myself with a number of fun-size Snicker bars hanging out at my house.  I could eat them myself or bring them into work, but it also seemed like a good chance to use them for baking.  I had friends who were moving, family driving through to see other family members, and an election to celebrate being over.  This recipe seemed like a sure-bet for some post-Halloween deliciousness.  It’s from our family cookbook, and is another one submitted by a cousin of mine.  On election night, it was the perfect slightly labor intensive cookie to put together while watching the results come in.

Snickers Candy Bar Cookies.jpg

Snickers Candy Bar Cookies

1 c margarine or butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
3 c flour
1 c peanut butter
1 c brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
60 snicker or milky way miniatures, or 10 regular bars, cut into 1″ pieces, or funsize bars, but into 4 pieces

Mix together all ingredients except candy bars.  For each cookie, shape dough around candy piece, forming a ball.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool and then drizzle with chocolate glaze: Combine 1 c powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.  Add 1 Tbsp milk, then additional milk 1 Tbsp at a time to make drizzling consistency.