Easy-peasy homemade peanut butter

July 23, 2012 in Appetizers, snacks & dips, DIY/How-To's/Informative, Recipes

Homemade peanut butter is a quick & easy money-saver that’s fun to make…

There was a short little article about making homemade nut butters in my local newspaper about a week or so ago. When I saw how ridiculously easy it is to make I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t done this before. I was now on a mission to make my own peanut butter so I ran up to the grocery store to grab a few ingredients. The peanuts happened to be on sale BOGO (buy one get one free) and I also had two coupons – score! I was excited just about making some yummy peanut butter, but now this was going to be a lot less expensive than buying a store brand – double score! When I returned home with the ingredients, I got out my food processor and literally in minutes I had delicious and creamy, homemade peanut butter – no banana was safe at this point. The texture was not the same as store bought PB, but I actually liked this better. It just tastes so fresh and natural, not “commercial and processed”. I put the remaining peanut butter in an airtight, hinged jar, wrote the date on the bottom and popped it in the fridge. And I am happy to report, nearly three weeks later, the peanut butter is not separated or hard-as-a-rock like many store-bought natural brands I have tried. This would be a great thing to do with kids and when placed in a decorative jar, it also makes a nice little gift for someone. I brought a jar over to my mom and she loves it. Here is all you need to do to have your own fresh peanut butter in minutes…

Standard-size food processor (a mini one will not give good results)

  • 16 oz. Unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 4-6 Tbs canola or peanut oil
  • 2 Tbs honey (optional)
  • ½ tsp sea salt, or more to taste

Here’s what to do: Read the rest of this entry →

Greek garden couscous

July 8, 2012 in Recipes, Side dishes

Everyone needs a quick and delicious go-to side dish for busy weeknights, to bring to a pot-luck or for a light lunch, so you can throw together a healthy dish in a pinch.  This is one of my all time favorites and I make it at least once a month.  It comes together in minutes and is light, yet flavorful.  Enjoy it as a side dish to sautéed chicken, a grilled steak or your favorite baked fish or try it for lunch: stuff the center of a large tomato and serve it with some baked pita chips and fruit.

Serves: 4-6                   Cook time: 10 min                  Prep time: 15 min

Ingredients

  • 1 C water
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt; kosher or sea salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅔ C couscous
  • ½ C tomatoes, chopped or sliced
  • ½ C cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • ¼ black olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbs red onion, diced
  • 2 Tbs crumbled Feta cheese, plain or flavored
  • 2 Tbs of a lite Greek vinaigrette or dressing

Recipe

First, prepare the couscous by bringing the water, oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder to a boil.  As soon as it is boiling, add the couscous and give it a quick stir to combine everything. Put the lid on the pot and remove it from the heat.  Wait five minutes, remove the lid, fluff with a fork then transfer to a mixing bowl and allow the couscous to cool a bit.  Once cool, add the tomatoes, cucumber, olives and onion to the couscous; mix to combine. Add in the crumbled feta cheese and the Greek dressing. Mix thoroughly to evenly distribute everything and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

Note: If you are making enough so you have leftovers, divide the mixture and do not put the Greek dressing on the portion to be refrigerated, do that when ready to eat.

 

Make Your Own Breadcrumbs

February 27, 2012 in DIY/How-To's/Informative, Recipes

There are certain things that we just really never spend our hard-earned money on, and breadcrumbs are definitely one of them. Once you see how very easy they are to make you will never need (or want) to buy them again.  We all wind up with pieces of bread that seem destined for the trash: ends of the loaves of sliced sandwich bread, that one last piece of Italian bread that no one ate, bread from the bakery that became stale, etc. Save all of this bread! If you don’t have enough to go through the trouble of making bread crumbs at the time, throw it in a large Ziploc bag, remove as much air as you can, and put it in the freezer until you are ready. Here’s what to do when you are ready:

You will need:

Non-Edibles: Cookie sheets, food processor, storage container

Edibles: Bread pieces, seasonings (if desired)

First, if you have any frozen bread that you will be using, completely defrost and bring it to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the bread into 1” cubes and place on one or more cookie sheets, depending on the amount of bread you have.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a light golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Then simply place your bread into the food processor, only fill it about 2/3 full at a time.  Add in any seasonings you would like: perhaps a mixture of Italian seasonings or maybe just some sea salt and pepper, or plain works nicely as a blank canvas. Then place a dish towel over your food processor and pulse until you get a texture about that equal to beach sand. The towel will help keep in any dust that may try to escape during the process.  Repeat this process until you have all of your bread pieces crumbed then store in an airtight container until ready to use – voila!

Making homemade breadcrumbs is quick, easy & economical

 

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