Untidy Heidi

the untidy side of my learning journey


1 Comment

Peanut and (Trader Joe’s) Cookie Butter (PCB) Cups

PeanutCookieButterCupsThis decadent and rich treat was originally inspired by Taste of Home’s Homemade Peanut Butter Cups.

It can make a great gift for Valentine’s Day!

Due to a limited supply of peanut butter when attempting to make this recipe, I was left to my own devices and had to improvise. Below is the recipe that came forth…

Peanut & Cookie Butter Cups

  • Servings: ~18 big cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup creamy (light) peanut butter, divided
  •  1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter (or you could make your own), divided
  • 4-5 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (if clumpy, run it through a sifter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1.5 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup cookie butter, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt until smooth; set aside. 
  2. In a microwave, melt the chocolate chips and remaining peanut butter & cookie butter; stir until smooth. 
  3. Drop a tablespoon+ of chocolate mixture into paper-lined muffin cups until the bottom is covered. Top each with a 2 teaspoonfuls of peanut/cookie butter mixture; top with another tablespoon+ of chocolate mixture until all peanut/cookie butter mixture is covered. Take the back of a spoon and gently smooth over the top.
  4. Refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 1.5 dozen.

*NOTES:

  • Size of Cups: Living in a small apartment, we do not have an endless supply of kitchen gadgets and baking tools, so I again made due with what we had and used regular size muffin wrappers and tins (rather than the small wrappers and tins as recommended in the Taste of Home recipe. These are so rich, that I cut the big PCB cups into quarters when serving or enjoying. One or two quarters has been more than enough of a serving for me. If you have the small wrappers and tins, I would recommend you use them. I don’t have them, so won’t include those in this recipe.
  • I put them in the freezer to speed up the chilling process then removed them to a container and store them in the refrigerator.
  • These make great decadent gifts! Wrap up one big PCB Cup with saran wrap and tissue paper and give it as a perfect sweet Valentine or as a thoughtful just because gifts. I gave them as take aways from a recent dinner I hosted.
  • I imagine you could try with other nut butters. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

Credit: Taste of Home


Leave a comment

Homemade Beauty Products

I am always up for a good adventure, but when it comes to skincare and beauty products, I tend to follow any recommended recipes perfectly (I guess, kind of like you should with baking… maybe that is why I am not a good baker…). So below I will list and link out to some of my favorite homemade beauty products.

Favorite DIY / Homemade Beauty Products:

homemade_eyecreamHomemade Eye Cream: As a result of going back to grad school, we have had to really tighten our financial belt. Really good eye cream was something I never hesitated to drop a pretty penny on due to the eye skin being so delicate and sensitive. That delicate area frames the windows to my soul — I wanted them to be bright, inviting, fun, and engaging. After a couple of weeks of using this, I don’t know if I will ever go back to spending the cash on expensive eye cream.

  • Ingredients:  All you need is two simple and accessible ingredients for this luscious eye cream. Coconut Oil and Vitamin E. The post has a long list of benefits for each of these ingredients and why they are perfect for your sensitive eye area. As it says, “These two ingredients are power houses in terms of skin benefits and this eye cream is a fantastic natural product that is 100 % chemical, toxin and synthetic fragrance free.”
  • Container: I used an old eye cream container. Be sure to wash it out thoroughly, then mix the ingredients in the container with a toothpick. In the post they recommend using contact lens holders.


Leave a comment

My Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

Favorite Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Light Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg*
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Reese Pieces
  • 24 mini peanut butter cups

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet (I like to cover with parchment paper). If you want to add candies: Place 5-8 Reese Pieces on each of the cookies and one mini Reese Peanut Butter Cup in the middle of each cookie.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned; remove from oven. Cool slightly; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 20 cookies.

 

*NOTES:

1) Egg replacement: Sometimes I like to replace the egg with a 1/4 cup applesauce. Two reasons for this: (1) sometimes I don’t have eggs and need a quick replacement and more importably (2) I’m a fan of eating raw cooking dough and sometimes the whole raw egg thing can give me the heebie jeebies, so the applesauce helps with that.
2) Make extra raw cookies and separate with parchment paper and put in the freezer to eat later. I sometimes even like eating frozen raw cookie dough. (no judgements friends!)

Credit: Hershey’s Kitchens


Leave a comment

Honey Dijon Chicken Skewers

This is a great simple late spring or summer dish that the whole family will love.

Honey Dijon Chicken Skewers

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

chickenskewersIngredients (chicken skewers):

  • 6-8 chicken thighs (or 3-5 chicken breasts), cut into 1 inch pieces*
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard (I have this awesome garlic dill mustard from Paradigm foods that I used instead of Dijon)
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey (depending on the sweetness you like)
  • 3/4 teaspoon tabasco
  • ground pepper
  • salt

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, mustard, vinegar, honey, tabasco, pepper and salt.  Before adding chicken, reserve a small amount of marinade to brush onto skewers while cooking (optional). Place chicken pieces into bowl or put chicken and marinade into a gallon sized ziploc bag. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
  2. Preheat grill for high heat.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Thread chicken onto skewers (if using wood skewers, be sure to soak in advance).
  4. Lightly oil the grill. Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.
  5. Serve immediately and pair with Sautéed Spinach with cherry tomatoes & feta.

Enjoy!

*Note: I have a preference for dark meat, so I choose to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but if your more of a breast human, then breast it up friends!

Credit: Food.com


Leave a comment

Sautéed Spinach with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Sauteed Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
sauteedspinachIngredients:

  • 3 cups fresh spinach (rinsed)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • half an onion (chopped)
  • olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar (I like Trader Joe’s)
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tomatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes collapse, about 13 minutes.
  2. Rinse and dry spinach. Chop onion and mince garlic.
  3. In a very non-stick pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it’s browned. Add chopped onion and sauté until nearly translucent.
  4. Add the spinach to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste) and toss with the garlic, onions & oil, cover the pan, and cook it for 2 minutes.
  5. Uncover the pan, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted.
  6. Using tongs, lift the spinach to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with white balsamic vinegar. Top with roasted cherry tomatoes and feta. Serve hot.

Credit: Food Network/Spinach and Food Network/Tomatoes