Sunday, March 25, 2012

White Chocolate Peanut Butter and PB Cups

I recently got some white chocolate peanut butter called 'white chocolate wonderful' from USA foods. The white chocolate part mostly consists of cocoa butter so the flavour it quite subtle, just like extra sweet peanut butter but still quite delicious. I used mine by adding it to rice cakes, putting it on pancakes with maple marinated strawberries and by making peanut butter cups.

I made a couple of these to help keep me awake at the wild flag show, which was amazing a few weeks ago. Sleater Kinney are perhaps my favourite band so I was so happy when Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss formed a new band with Rebecca Cole and Mary Timothy. I have a bit of a fan crush on Carrie Brownstein who you might know from Portlandia and thought both her and Mary were great performers. Heres a picture of Carrie, I took with my phone:

I then made some more yesterday to take to visit a friend of mine who had quite serious surgery.

White Choc Peanut Butter Cups recipe adapted from peanut butter co
 2 cups (about 12 ounces) chopped dark chocolate (I used whittaker)
¾ cup White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Special Equipment:

10 (2-inch) aluminum/tin foil muffin liners


1. Place chocolate in the top of a double boiler (or make your own by setting a heat-proof bowl over a pot with 1-inch of water) over high heat. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce stove heat to low. Or melt in 30 seconds increments in microwave.

2. Continuously stir the chocolate until completely melted. Remove bowl from the heat and place on a heatproof surface.

3. Using a small spoon, “paint” the melted chocolate all over the insides of tin foil muffin liners (the tinfoil cups are easier to peel off than the paper cups). The layer of chocolate should be thick enough so that you cannot see through it, but thin enough that the paper cups remain upright and intact. You will not use all of the melted chocolate in this step.

4. Allow chocolate cups to cool and harden completely by placing on a tray in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can also complete this step the night before.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth.

6. Using a mini ice cream scoop or a small spoon, evenly divide the peanut butter between the hardened chocolate cups. Smooth the top to create an even surface.

7. If the remaining melted chocolate has hardened too much, simply repeat steps 1-2.

8. Evenly divide the remaining melted chocolate amongst the filled cups, smoothing the tops and making sure the chocolate reaches all the way to the edges in order to seal the cups.

9. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 1-2 hours.

I loved these and wish I had made more. The original recipe asks for white chocolate in place of dark chocolate but I think the white chocolate peanut butter pairs so perfectly with slightly bitter dark chocolate. I did have some issues finding mini foil liners in the supermarket but eventually ended up finding some medium ones in iga.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Microwave Baked Potatoes with Happy Tuna Salad

Remember me?

I'm not sure what happened but somewhere along the way I lost my blogging mojo. Not just blogging but also reading blogs, have over 100 posts in my google reader and I'm not even curious.

I've lost my blogging enthusiasm before and it always returns, or I kind of force myself to blog, but someone wisely said its not a chore, do it when you feel like it. I'm not sure where this leaves this blog, at the moment am going to leave it and see if the renthusiasm eturns, but if it never returns then maybe its time to say goodbye or to make some changes. Does anyone else suffer from blogging burnout?

I have several things to post about including awesome food in Sydney but instead i'm blogging about about the one thing that I kind of want to blog about.

I had day surgery to remove endometriosis last week and my recovery has been a lot longer and worse than I expected. My friend Eve very kindly offered me her microwave to borrow while I recover and she moves house. I've generally been quite anti microwave, haven't owned one since moving out. However it has come in super handy over last week, in heating up a heatpack more times than I can count, reheating my lunches when I'm home alone and making this. I've become so used to it that I think when I return it I'll get my own. Also look forward to making mug cake, melting chocolate and more.

Troy and Bec come over one night to visit me last week and showed Toby how to make baked potatoes or jacket potatoes in the microwave. It was my idea to add the happy tuna salad. This dish has been the best comfort food. Is there anything more satisying than melted margaine on baked potato? On second thought, don't answer that!

For the record I don't really think it tastes anything like tuna, but its delicious in its own right.

Happy Tuna Salad from VeganMania

1 1/2 cooked or canned chickpeas
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp chopped sweet pickles (we sometimes skip this)
2 Tbsp sweet pickle juice or brine
3/4 cup vegan mayo
1 Tbsp old bay seasoning (never used it)
1 Tbsp of prepared mustard
pinch of dried kelp powder (I tend to use dulse flakes)

Mash chickpeas in food processor or with masher. Mix in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust to your liking.

 Easy 'baked' potatoes:
4 small-medium 'washed' potatoes

Wash potatoes, prick each one with a fork several times. Place potatoes on folded paper towel,  and wrap it lightly arou d potatoes. Microwave for 10 minutes.

Remove from microwave, and cover in foil for another 10 minutes.

Cut open and serve with toppings.

They are not as crispy on the outside but are so quick and easy that I don't mind at all.

Today they were topped with happy tuna salad, margarine, cheezly and sour cream.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mexican Salsa Verde

I spent most of the summer holidays renovating our kitchen and in amongst all the sawing and traffic my tomatillos were growing strong. I always try a few different plants every year and these really seemed to take off. 

My new Kitch  

As we had a nice sunny weekend and plenty of fresh produce I thought I would celebrate with salsa verde mexican style. 

Mexican Salsa Verde from Veganomicon
10 tomatillos (husks removed) cleaned and diced.
1 teaspoon of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (my wife has an intolerance to garlic so I didn't use) 
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth/stock
juice of 1 lime
1 cup of loosely packed coriander/cilantro

Cook jalapeño (and garlic) in oil until fragrant, 
Add tomatillos and salt, sauté until they soften and release moisture.

Add stock, bring to boil and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes 
Cool down until not steaming and add coriander and lime juice.
Wizz up in a blender for 30 or so seconds  

I had never tried tomatillos before and it was a refreshing change from a tomato based salsa. 
Definitely a fan!