Saturday, January 16, 2010

What's been baking in my kitchen this week...

I wasn't sure what I wanted to post about this week.  My heart has felt very sad about the devastation in Haiti and talking about food hasn't felt like something I wanted to do.  I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti back in 2001 on a medical mission trip.  I know that my life was changed more by the people I met than theirs were changed by me.  They did not have much - hardly anything.  Some barely had clothes to cover themselves with.  But they did not complain.  They were - they are beautiful people.  I don't understand why such disasters happen.  I know people question why God would allow it.  But I believe that things happen in life for a reason.  I don't need to know why as long as I know who is in control and trust that He has not for one moment left us alone.  My prayers are with them.  One thing I have been reminded of this week is how much I complain about the little things in life.  I find myself now being so thankful for what I have been blessed with. 
On a lighter note - I did do some baking this week.  I had some bananas that started getting brown faster than I had thought they would.  I remembered seeing a recipe from the Sugar Plum blog for a Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Marbled Banana Bread - so I gave it a try.  It was delicious!  It was huge and beautiful too.  I brought it to work and it was gone by the end of the day.  This recipe is definitely one I will make again!

Isn't it pretty?!  It looked even better when you sliced into it.  Very swirly.  Unfortunately those pictures didn't do it justice - so I left them out.

I have recently gotten into the routine at night of checking my blog for comments and then checking each of the blogs I follow for their newest recipes.  I keep a notebook by the computer to remind me of which ones I want to try.  This week Jenny from Picky Palate had beautiful pictures of a panini she had made.  It got me thinking - I have a panini maker in my basement I had never tried before.  So I got it out and whipped up and turkey and provolone panini with ranch/pesto dressing.  It was really good.  I wont be keeping that panini maker in the basement anymore!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Peanut Butter S'mores

I have a great group of girlfriends that I love to get together with and play cards.  Once upon a time we used to meet weekly for dinner and games-but things have changed as we have gotten married and had kids.  Our New Years resolution for 2010 is to have Girls Night Out at least once a month.   I hosted this past weekend and we had such a fun time!  We munched on veggies and dip and a hot spinach/artichoke dip.  For dinner I made a roast beef roll that was delicious.  (It is a Pampered Chef recipe that I hadn't made in a long time)  After dinner we got into our card game and passed around a big bowl of kettle corn - which is a staple for Girls Night in my opinion.  I also tried out my own creation - a peanut butter s'mores dessert.
Here's a picture of my two best sisters.  I couldn't have asked for better sisters or friends!

And here are some pictures of my creation...

Peanut Butter S'mores
1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
2/3 c. crushed graham crackers
1/2 c. softened margarine
1 egg
Mix all ingredients together, except egg.  Add egg when crumbly.  Press into ungreased 13x9 pan.  Bake 14-16 minutes.
 1+1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/3 c. powdered sugar
Mix together until smooth.  Spread over warm chocolate crust.  Sprinkle mini-marshmallows and crushed peanut butter cups.  Broil 10-20 seconds until toasty brown.