Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

Photo of Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies on a baking sheet before they are set.

Mandolin Rain
We have a number of mandolins in our house. Some of them make beautiful music (well, if you’re into that kind of music. It’s all relative.). Two of them will slice potatoes so thin that the gratin you’re making will melt in your mouth and make you cry. Those two reside in the kitchen and one of them did damage to my finger Sunday night.

I will spare you the details. But, suffice it to say, after a trip to Urgent Care and a whole lot of gauze, I will be avoiding anything with a hint of danger in the kitchen for the foreseeable future. There will be no chopping, dicing, and certainly no slicing. There WILL be a glass of wine while I sit on the couch because I am also using this moment to avoid anything hot like an oven, the grill, or the open flame of my stove.

In short, the family is just going to have to fend for themselves for a bit. It will be good for them. Nothing like cereal and mac and cheese for a few nights to give them perspective on the dangers I face walking into the kitchen each night to make them dinner. My husband is considering a suit of chain mail because, sadly, this is not the first time something like this has happened and it will most likely not be the last because I am that person. The one who always manages to injure themselves in sometimes strange, but never surprising, ways.

And, as someone who has actually been thrown from a horse (more than once I might add) you do in fact need to get back on and try again. So, give me a week and I will be back at it. Although, I am considering a chain mail glove like our butchers have. I refuse to give up that gratin…

Truthfully, I am not going to pull myself completely out of the game—mainly because I want to make these beauties below. They are no-bake but they do require the use of the stove. I’m going to take the risk. After the week I have had, I’m worth it!

There are hundreds of versions of these Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies available online. I like this one from Food Network.

Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Cookies Recipe
Adapted from The Food Network
Yields about five dozen cookies

These cookies begin on the stovetop and are set in the fridge. They are easy to make and yield a lot of cookies. It would be easy to substitute out the milk and butter to make a vegan version. And, you can always swap out the peanut butter for a nut butter of your choice. Plus, they are gluten-free. Read more…

Peach Crumble Bars

Just Peachy
I have a problem. A peachy problem—my peach cup runneth over. And, now I have to figure out ways to use or preserve the peaches, so they don’t go to waste.

The obvious solutions of eating them as a snack, slicing them up for the freezer, as well as handing them out to friends have already happened. I have made a cobbler or three. And, this weekend I will be canning some of the peaches in light syrup. I might also be making ice cream. But there are still some left…and more on the tree.

What to do with the leftovers? Sure, I could make a pie. But, the thought kind of makes me tired. I’m thinking this situation screams for a bar cookie—Peach Crumble Bars. I figure if it can be done with apple pie and pecan pie, why not peaches?

Peach Crumble Bars Recipe
Adapted from Pastry & Beyond
Yields 16 bars Read more…

Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream

Photo of a bowl of Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream

Something Totally Different
I have been overwhelmed with recipes since starting my journey into the flavors of Africa. Unfortunately, there are too many wonderful options to consider—and not enough time.

The recipe below for Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream is one I definitely want to try but just haven’t been able to get to. So I am passing it on to y’all in the hopes that someone out there is willing to give it a shot and let me know how it turns out.

Dried hibiscus flowers can be challenging to find. As an alternative, I recommend using hibiscus tea as a substitute. If you go that route, let me know what tea you use. I thought the Tao of Tea Hibiscus Ginger might be fantastic for this.

Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from Africana by Lerato Umah-Shaylor
Yields about 1 Quart Read more…

Tandoori Prawns

Tandoori Prawns with lime and cilantro on skewersTandoor Oven Dreaming
Long ago, on a continent far, far away, I ate a meal that I can still taste twenty-three years later. I have talked about the trip I took to India a few times through the years, but I don’t think I have specifically talked about the night we went to Trishna in Mumbai. (If I am wrong, I apologize. I ask that you indulge me and let me reminisce…)

I can’t remember what I was expecting food-wise when we decided to go to India. Did I expect some really good curry? Yes. Did I expect to eat it for breakfast? That would be a no. Did I expect the most amazing and uber-authentic hot Chai every morning despite the oppressive heat outside? No. Was it the greatest way to wake up ever? Absolutely one hundred percent, yes.

The fact is there is no way to visit India without tasting some of the best things you will ever taste. I mean Indian spices have been revered for centuries for a reason, right? I was surprised to find that not everything I ate was screaming hot. I mean, sure, there were plenty of chilis involved no matter what we ate.

But, the best thing I ate was super simple—the tandoori crab from Trishna. Known for its amazing seafood, Trishna’s menu is immense, but the crab is the one item on the menu that you just can’t miss. It was essentially an entire crab drowning in butter, some chilis, and an insane amount of garlic. The crab was either cooked in a tandoor oven or in a wok. (I am not completely sure which.) I am certain there was more to it than that because I have tried to recreate the dish but can’t no matter how hard I try. (Guess we just have to go back. Oh darn…)

And despite how fondly we both look back on that dinner, my husband draws the line at installing a tandoor oven in the backyard. He’s no fun…

The one dish I have been able to recreate from that night is the Tandoori Prawns. So much flavor!! Full disclosure, the prawns we ate were giant Indian Ocean tiger prawns. You would be hard-pressed to find some here but definitely opt for a larger prawn to make these, though medium prawns will work too, especially for a crowd.

Tandoori Prawns Recipe
Yields 4 servings

These Tandoori Prawns are fairly quick and easy to throw together and make a nice change of pace for a mid-week dinner when the temperatures go up. Read more…