Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oat Breakfast Milkshake

Who gets excited for breakfast?! Lordy, before bed every night and sometimes a week in advance I plan my breakfast out, and become extremely excited for morning to come. My typical breakfast rotation includes: steel cut oatmeal, granola and greek yogurt, soft boiled eggs and smoothies.

Smoothies are definitely my breakfast favorite, even though I rarely blog about them. I think it’s because I wake up when it’s still dark outside…I’m an early morning wild child (I don’t know what that means). This smoothie is filled with so much goodness. Honey + Oats + Ground Flax + Banana Goodness. Yes, please!

To begin, grind flax and oats together with a mortar and pestle (or with a spice or coffee grinder).

In a blender combine your choice of milk (I used 1% for this), banana, peanut butter, ground flax and oats.

Add in your delicious honey. Blend until no banana chunks remain, and the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

Enjoy! This is so easy and delicious. I wish I had more…

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Oat Breakfast Milkshake
Recipe lightly adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes 1 large or 2 small portions

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk (soy, almond, or regular milk)
1 banana (frozen is ideal)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 heaping teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground into meal
2 teaspoon old fashioned oats, ground fine

Directions
Grind flax and oats together with a mortar and pestle (or with a spice or coffee grinder).

In a blender combine your choice of milk (I used 1% for this), banana, peanut butter, honey, and ground flax and oats. Blend until no banana chunks remain, and the mixture is thoroughly incorporated.

Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Even though it’s illegal, I sometimes text when I’m at a stop light. I simply can’t help it! I was born in ’87 and need constant stimulation. It’s a well known problem of my generation.

I don’t however, talk on the phone while driving or text when the car is moving. Sooooo that’s better, right?

*Humf*

I don’t know. Anyway, I’m telling you this because yesterday while waiting for a red light to turn green I looked into the car next to me, and I saw something interesting…a 20-something girl talking on the phone with her left hand and eating french fries with her right hand. WHAT THE HECK?!

I can only assume that this young lady talks and eats at stop lights just like I text sometimes. I MUST assume this, or I will never walk through an intersection again! Craziness.

This wild event in my life required me to go home to brownies. Any event requires brownies really, though. Like:
“Oh, I should shower”….brownie first.
“My kitty is cute”….eat brownie and stare at kitty.
“I should wake up now”…and have a brownie.

I’m sure you agree.

To make these beauties, place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides and grease the parchment paper as well. Get your boxed brownie mix and beat all the ingredients needed together to make a brownie batter. Pour brownie mixure into prepared pan. I used Ghirardelli. They make the best boxed brownies.

To make the Peanut Butter Filling, place peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl.

Whisk it all together until smooth.

Spoon the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter in three lines.

Use a butter knife to swirl the lines together.

Arrange pretzels on top of the batter.

OMG.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Let cool for about 30 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing and enjoying.

Yes!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies
Makes 9 large brownies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:
1 batch of Boxed brownies. I used triple chocolate.

Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, I prefer natural peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

9 chocolate covered pretzels (I used Rold Gold brand)

Directions:
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides and grease the parchment paper as well.

Get your boxed brownie mix and beat all the ingredients needed together to make a brownie batter.

Pour brownie mixure into prepared pan.

To make the Peanut Butter Filling, whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until smooth.

Spoon the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter in three lines and use a butter knife to swirl the two together. Arrange pretzels on top of the batter.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Let cool for about 30 minutes before slicing and enjoying.

Ozeri Pro Digital Kitchen Food Scale Giveaway Winner!

A BIG thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway! I’m so happy you could, and hope you all keep entering giveaways when I have them. I really appreciate your comments!

And the winner of the kitchen scale is….

Valerie for her comment: “I had the recent task of making recipes from the UK/Ireland and realized the importance of having a good kitchen scale! I could definitely use one as conversions are not my strong point.”

Congrats Valerie!

Also, thanks slimkicker.com for providing me with this giveaway. You guys are awesome!

Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping

When it comes to fruit muffins, I need a crumble topping. There’s something about the combination of melted butter, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon that makes me swoon. This topping alone will have you picking away at the muffins as they cool…trust me. It’s hard waiting!

I have quite a bit of rhubarb left over from last June still in my freezer, so recently I have been getting busy trying to use it up before this coming June gets here! There can never really be too much rhubarb though. It can be made into so many delicious things like cake, pie, spreads for toast, and other muffins. I adore baking with it, and you will too!

Tp begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, combine brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat together well.

Add in rhubarb and stir. I used frozen rhubarb from last year.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Stir into the wet ingredients.

I love a good, thick, batter.

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full.

Mix together melted butter, sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon. Press lightly on top of muffins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until the muffins have cooled completely.

Enjoy!

Rhubarb Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
A Warm Vanilla Sugar Original

Ingredients
Muffin Batter:
1-½ cup Brown Sugar
½ cups Vegetable oil
1 whole Egg
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Buttermilk
2 cups Chopped Rhubarb
2-½ cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat together well. Add in rhubarb and stir.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Stir into the wet ingredients.

Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full.

Mix together melted butter, sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon. Press lightly on top of muffins.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until the muffins have cooled completely.

Enjoy!

Note: If you do not have buttermilk, combine 1 tablespoon of vinegar and milk to make 1 cup. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, stir and add to recipe.

Also, don’t forget to enter my Giveaway! Winners for the kitchen scale will be picked next Tuesday, March 19th and announced Wednesday.

{Giveaway} Ozeri Pro Digital Kitchen Food Scale

Giveaway Closed

If I could describe my time living in Switzerland in five words I would say: running, hiking, mountains, friends, and chocolate.

I had a blast, and I have many posts from there in my archives (summer months of 2010 and 2011) that I often check back on to reminisce. Even though it was the perfect place to live, be physically active, and eat, it made things a bit difficult when it came to baking. There weren’t your standard measuring cups or spoons and most baking ingredients needed to be weighed out. I knew this before moving there so I made sure to pack my own measuring cups along with my hiking boots and clothes for the year. It was a life saver!

But of course, the Swiss don’t need to bake with measuring spoons. They produce some of the most delectable sweets I have ever tasted and all they need is a weigh scale (for the most part). So, setting aside my measuring spoons I tried baking this way a few times and all of these recipes turned out great! It makes sense really, if you weigh something out then it will be consistent every time. One cup of flour may not be the exact amount as another cup of flour. I highly recommend baking this way, and with that I have something for you.

A digital kitchen scale! This giveaway is provided by slimkicker.com as a way to promote living a healthy lifestyle. Check out their website! They have nutritionists that provide meal plans and advice for you, and they help you stay motivated and excited about your fitness goals.

Not only is this scale great for baking, but it is also great so that you can portion out your snacks. It’s an awesome way to make sure you are staying on track and not eating too many calories.

For the Giveaway:

If you’d like to enter to win the digital kitchen scale just comment below by telling me:

1. Do you use a food scale? What do you usually use it for?

OR

What do you do to stay physically active?

2. For a second entry, Twitter Follow Warm Vanilla Sugar and then tweet the following:

“I entered to win a Free Digital Kitchen Scale in the @katrinadingle @SlimKicker Giveaway http://bit.ly/z29dKC

3. For three extra entries (leave a separate comment for each):

Like Warm Vanilla Sugar on Facebook

Follow SlimKicker on Twitter

Follow Warm Vanilla Sugar on Pinterest

NOTES:
-Contest ends Tuesday, March 19, 2012 and winner will be chosen randomly.
-Open to Continental U.S. Residents only.

Good luck!

Parmesan Spinach in Puff Pastry

Dear 12 year old me,

One day you will grow to like spinach. I’m serious. So much in fact that you will spend hours on end scrolling through your Google reader (don’t worry about what that is hunny) to find fun ways to use it. Who knew steamed spinach wasn’t the only way to eat this wonderful vegetable. Trust me. You’ll love it.

Also,
Stop wearing overalls, pay attention in French class and know that you will still be listening to the Spice Girls at 25….a concert may be in your near future.

Uhh….anyway, 13 year old me would like this puff pastry, I like this puff pastry, and you will like it too! Who doesn’t like cheesy goodness in a buttery crust? Like, come on!

To begin, place the pine nuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes (until tender). Add the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.

In the meantime, squeeze the water out of the spinach, and place it into a large bowl. Add the scallions, Gruyere, Parmesan, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the pine nuts. Add the onion mixture. Mix well. Set aside.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Cut the pastry in half.

Place one half of pastry on your lined baking sheet.

Spread the spinach mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border. Brush the border with the egg wash.

Lightly flour your counter or a board, and roll out the second piece of puff pastry until it’s an inch larger in each direction.

Place the second sheet of pastry over the spinach, and seal the edges, crimping them with a fork.

Brush the top only with egg wash. (Don’t let it drip down the sides, or the pastry won’t rise.) Make three slits in the pastry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned.

Transfer to a cutting board, and serve hot.

Spinach in Puff Pastry
Recipe lightly adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1/8 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup onions, chopped (1 onion)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1 chopped scallion, white and green parts
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
1/2 tbsp dry plain bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 sheet (1/2 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water

Directions:
Place the pine nuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, and cook for about 5 minutes (until tender).

Add the garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.

In the meantime, squeeze the water out of the spinach, and place it into a large bowl. Add the scallions, Gruyere, Parmesan, eggs, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the pine nuts. Add the onion mixture. Mix well. Set aside.

Unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Cut the pastry in half and place one half on your lined baking sheet.

Spread the spinach mixture in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch border.

Brush the border with the egg wash.

Lightly flour your counter or a board, and roll out the second piece of puff pastry until it’s an inch larger in each direction.

Place the second sheet of pastry over the spinach, and seal the edges, crimping them with a fork.

Brush the top only with egg wash. (Don’t let it drip down the sides, or the pastry won’t rise.)

Make three slits in the pastry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned.

Transfer to a cutting board, and serve hot. (Slice with a long serrated knife, if possible.)

Note: This can be assembled and refrigerated a day in advance and baked before serving.

Apple Pie Muffins

Something unusual happened this week. Something that never happens…I didn’t bake.

Sure, I got up to my usual dinner cooking routine, but I can’t even remember the last time I went an entire week without baking. And now I want to eat something buttery and sweet more than ever! For the first time in a long time, I catch myself staring longingly at the cookies in Starbucks or the pastries at various shops in the mall I work in. It’s funny what a week without home baking can do to a girl. I don’t like it.

This week will be better. I have less school work, and really need to get some baked goods together so that my sweet tooth will not get the best of me when I’m out! I bought a cookie downtown yesterday for $2.75!!! Not. Freaking. Cool.

So, join me in baking our own treats! With crumble topping and butter and all the stuff my thighs hate that makes our mouths water!

To begin, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line 12 cup muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Pour butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in apples.

Use a large scoop to fill each muffin well, filling the cups to the top.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until well blended.

Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.

Crumble topping is the freaking bomb.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed…or look brown like these.

Cool on a wire rack until set. Then dig in!

Apple Pie Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
Recipe taken from My Baking Addiction

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith Apples

For the topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 cup muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in apples. Use a large scoop to fill each muffin well, filling the cups to the top.
4. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until well blended. Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.
6. Cool on wire rack. Store at room temperature.

NOTE:
– If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, you can make your own, or simply substitute 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.