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Peanut Butter and Pretzel Bars (PB&P’s)

PB & PI know…another dessert-y thing.

But I’ve been under the weather this past week and many of you have asked for this recipe.  I made these several weeks ago for a party after my son’s piano recital and they were a huge hit.  Who can resist the chocolate/peanut butter combination along with the saltiness of the pretzels?

I adapted the recipe just slightly, substituting my beloved dark chocolate instead of the milk chocolate called for in the recipe.

peanut butter and pretzel bars, from No Bake Makery by Cristina Krumsick

*I doubled this recipe using a 9″x 13″ inch pan

3 cups salted mini pretzels

1 cup salted creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup packed, light brown sugar

10 tbsp (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 Tbsp coconut oil (or additional butter)

Line an 8 x 8″ baking pan with foil, coat with non stick spray. Set aside.

Roughly crush 2 cups of the mini pretzels, either by pulsing in a food processor, or buy putting them into a sandwich bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

Combine the peanut butter, butter and sugars in a small bowl, then stir in the crushed pretzels. Press this mixture evenly into the lined pan, and chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips and the coconut oil (or 1 Tbsp butter, if using) on the stovetop in a double boiler, stirring almost constantly until just melted.  Remove from heat and pour over your pan with the peanut butter mixture.  Spread with a spatula.

Tap the pan against a hard surface to even out the chocolate a bit more.

Place 16 mini pretzels evenly in a grid pattern on top of the chocolate (they’ll be your guide for cutting the bars). Place back in refrigerator or freezer until set.

Lift the foil out of the pan with the bars, peel the foil off, then using a sharp knife, cut into squares.

Store in refrigerator or freezer.

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Lately…

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creamy zucchini soup with truffle oil

You may be wondering why I’m making soup when it’s almost June.  I’ll spare you the iPhone weather screen shot and just tell you that it was 45 degrees here last weekend!

Friends posted photos on Facebook of fires in their fireplaces.

I had to turn the furnace back on.

I made soup.

45 degrees in May is definitely not cool.  Good thing I had some zucchini from the farm and this recipe to keep us warm.

I know it’s a splurge, but try the truffle oil.  It’s got such a wonderfully intense, earthy flavor and a little goes a long way.  If you don’t want the expense, finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

To make this vegetarian, go with vegetable stock.  To make it vegan, skip the cream.

zucchini soupzucchini soup with truffle oil (originally from Relish by Daphne Oz)

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 medium zucchini, chopped

one medium yellow sweet onion (such as visalia), chopped

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

white truffle oil for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté another minute.  Add zucchini and tarragon leaves and cooked another 2-3 minutes, stirring often.  Add the white wine to deglaze the pan.  Add stock and bring to a simmer.  Continue to simmer on low heat until zucchini is cooked through and soft, about 15-20 minutes.

Carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth.  You could use an immersion blender instead, if you have a heavy duty one (unfortunately, mine died while making this recipe).  Transfer back to pot and stir in cream, if using.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls.  Drizzle with truffle (or olive) oil.  Top with nuts.

zucchini soup white truffle oil

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Little league started this past weekend.  The day was like Americana on steroids complete with a parade, fire trucks, hot dogs, etc.Black Truffle Things that are locked at Wegman’sthrough the years Every year, I place the new school photo on top of the old.  This year I spread them all out and had a good cry.

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Lately…

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IMG_1298

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end of winter root vegetables with romesco sauce

winter veg2

Goodbye boots, static electricity, and frosty windshields (that last one was iffy)!

Hello ankles, self-tanner, and homemade margaritas on the patio!

While I’m hearing that parts of the country are still in the middle of winter storms, it’s safe to say that spring/summer has reached us mid-Atlantic residents.

This is a great dish for two reasons.  First, it contains a variety of vegetables that you can switch up according to whatever you have on hand.  Second, this romesco  sauce is extremely versatile.  It’s great on top of grilled chicken, fish, or pasta.  Delicious as a condiment on a sandwich.  Even better on grilled sourdough with a little shaved parmesan on top.

 

end of winter root vegetables with romesco sauce (from This is a Cookbook:  Recipes for Real Life)

for the romesco sauce:

6 small plum tomatoes (I used tomatoes from last summer that I slow roasted with garlic)

3/4 cup raw almonds

3 cloves garlic

1 medium onion, sliced

2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp sherry vinegar

2 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

4 lbs mixed root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks (I used golden beets, carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread the almonds in a single layer on a large baking sheet.  Place in oven and toast until slightly darkened and fragrant, about 10 minutes (give the pan a shake about halfway through, keeping eye to make sure they don’t burn).  Remove from oven and transfer the almonds to a plate to cool.

On the same baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, garlic, peppers, and onions with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt (You might find this easier to do in a large bowl prior and then transferring to the baking sheet).  Place in oven and roast until tender and slightly charred.   Onions and garlic will finish first so remove after about 15 minutes.  Peppers and tomatoes will finish up last at about 30 minutes.

Remove vegetables from oven and transfer to a food processor or a powerful blender.  Add almonds, sherry vinegar, cayenne, and smoked paprika.  Process until smooth.  Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, toss root vegetables with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt.  Spread in a single layer on the same baking sheet you’ve been using and roast in the oven until tender, about 40-45 minutes.  Remove from oven and arrange vegetables on a platter.  Top with romesco sauce or serve the sauce alongside the vegetables.

almondscarrotsclose winter vegwinter veg