Sunday, May 28, 2017

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

These Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats are so easy to make and only have 4 ingredients.  They're very rich and peanut buttery.  They're almost like candy- I'll bet they would be awesome cut into small squares (or rectangles!) and dipped in chocolate to make candy bars.  I found the recipe on
Quick Note: My finished "sheet" of treats was about 9 by 9 inches, but I found it easier to use a 9 by 13 pan and just not spread the mixture over the entire thing.  My parchment paper is about 15 inches wide and it worked well to just line the pan with a torn of sheet the entire width.  If you do want to use a 9 by 9 pan, cut a sheet of parchment paper about 10 or 11 inches wide.  Alternatively, the mixture is thick enough that you could just put a large piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, pour on the mixture, and press it into a square as thick as you want with a spatula.
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
1 C sugar
1 C corn syrup
1 1/2 C peanut butter
5 C Rice Krispies
Pour Rice Krispies into a large bowl and line a 9 by 9 inch pan with a piece of parchment paper large enough to hang over the sides by a 5 inches.  Set aside.
Place sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium until it comes to a slight boil.  Stir constantly and let simmer for a couple of minutes.  The mixture will be very thick and can burn easily.  It may not look like much of a simmer because it's so thick and you're stirring the whole time, but just stick with it.
Remove pan from heat and immediately pour over Rice Krispies.  Stir until cereal is completely coated.  Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and spread with a spatula.  Press flat your hand over the folded edges of parchment paper.
Let set an hour or so until cool, then cut into squares and serve.
Yield: Completely depends on how large you cut them.  I got about 16 squares.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Default Green Smoothie

Charming name, no?  I picked it because that's what it is: the default smoothie I make several times a week with the Vitamix blender we received as a gift (thanks, Mom!).  You can get creative with the fruit and use all the same kind or a mix.  Also, if I put in apples, I sometimes leave out the carrots because even with a Vitamix blender, there's a little more texture in the finished smoothie than I prefer.  It's not bad by any means, though.  You could also try adding cucumbers or zucchini or another mild tasting vegetable instead of the carrots.  I'll do that here one of these days and update the post then.  My husband and I both love this smoothie, no matter how I make it!
I would also like to add that an inexpensive blender may not do a good job with the raw carrot.
Default Green Smoothie
1 C plain greek yogurt
1/2 C cold water
2 bananas
about 3 C somewhat packed down spinach or torn up kale
3/4 C baby carrots
1 1/2 to 2 C fresh or frozen fruit, like strawberries, blueberries, mango chunks, pineapple chunks, peach chunks, apple slices, or peeled oranges
optional: 2 or so Tbsp lemon or lime juice
Place everything in the blender in the order listed in the recipe.  Put on lid and blend according to your blender's directions until smooth.
Yield: 2 large smoothies or 4 small ones

Monday, May 8, 2017


I came upon this borscht recipe on the Learning Herbs website and was intrigued.  Neither my husband nor I had ever eaten borscht before, and the recipe just looked good, so I made it a few days later.  As usual, I changed things around a bit: substantially less pepper, no caraway because I dislike it, and more veggies.  I changed the method a smidge as well.  The results? Wow!  Definitely good!  I'm really glad we liked it because it made a huge amount, about 14 cups.  Healthy, delicious, and even rather pretty- what's not to like?  Next time I may even add the caraway!  I'm excited to make it again because we really liked it, it's quite healthy, and extremely flexible.  Got a ton of carrots?  Toss them in.  No celery?  No problem.  Nice!
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (had to leave this out but my broth had a ton of garlic)
about 8 mushrooms, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 small red cabbage, cored and chopped
3 beets, peeled and diced (this was one bunch)
8 C chicken broth (I used homemade)
8 oz can plain tomato sauce
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp caraway seed
3 bay leaves
greens from the bunch of beets, rinsed and chopped
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
garnish (optional):
sour cream
sliced green onions
fresh dill
quartered hard boiled eggs
Melt butter in large pot.  Add onion, carrot, and celery, and saute over medium until onions are tender.  Add garlic and saute another minute or so.  Add remaining vegetables except beet greens, then pour over broth.  Stir in tomato sauce, pepper, salt, optional caraway, and bay leaves.  Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook until veggies are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Stir in beet greens and vinegar, then taste and add more salt or vinegar if desired.  Simmer 5 minutes longer.  Serve in bowls topped with optional garnishes.
Yield: About 3 quarts soup