March 2013 Recipes
Pineapple Mango Vitamin C Booster Smoothie (vegan, GF) – The pineapple in this smoothie really sings, the mango gives it an extra layer of sweetness, and the banana helps to provide creaminess
Mint and Chocolate Fudge Oreo Bars (almost no-bake) – Similar in flavor to creme de menthe bars, but they’re fudgier, denser, and have more texture from the crunchy Oreo cookie crust
Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies - NO butter and NO white sugar used in these soft, puffy, and very peanut buttery cookies. They’re made with coconut oil, which smells stronger than it tastes, and although you can ‘taste it’, it’s much milder and more subtle than coconut flakes. The peanut butter flavor really shines through
Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars – Easy, fast, and ombine three things I love: Cookie Butter, brown sugar, and streusel topping. The bars are soft, tender and moist in the center with lots of chewiness around the edges. The streusel topping adds tons of texture
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter (vegan, GF) – There is nothing quite like the taste of homemade nut butter. Ready in under 10 minutes, it’s robustly and boldly chocolate-flavored; rich yet smooth. Once you try homemade, you’ll never want storebought again
The Ultimate Fudgy Caramel Brownies -A one-bowl recipe that’s whisked together in 5 minutes and produces ridiculously rich and fudgy brownies with zero cakiness. They’re made with cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate, and ff you think cocoa powder brownies are inferior to melted chocolate brownies, these will change your mind. Not too sweet; very deep, dark, and rich, and a new favorite
Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies – The best M&M Cookies I’ve ever had. Soft, moist, and tender in the interior with perfectly chewy edges. The dough is buttery, with hints of vanilla. There’s an abundance of M&Ms in every bite. I tweaked my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and added M&Ms along with a secret ingredient
Strawberry and Sprinkles Buttermilk Pancakes – It had been almost 4 years since my last on-blog pancake recipe and these made up for lost time
Homemade Baileys Irish Cream – Make in less than 1 minute in a blender with spot-on flavor. You’ll wonder why you haven’t always been making it at home
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes – A roundup of my favorites
Homemade Graham Crackers - Easy to make and spiced with cinnamon and lightly sweetened with honey, molasses, and turbinado sugar. They’re crispy, crunchy, buttery, richer and so much more flavorful than storebought, for a fraction of the cost
Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Graham Crackers Smores – 15 seconds in the microwave is all it takes for indoor smores; no stinky campfire hair necessary
Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies - They really do taste like a brownie, in cookie form. They’re fudgy, dense, and not at all cakey. Rich, dark, smooth, and are soft in the middle with chewy edges
30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread – The easiest bread I’ve ever made. It only takes 3 minutes to mix up the batter in one bowl. It’s so easy you’ll think you’ve missed something. Fresh, warm, no-knead bread in 30 minutes
Tropical Green Smoothie (vegan, GF) – Tastes like a green pina colada, and nothing like spinach, and it gives me more energy than coffee
Buttery Sugar Wafer Sandwich Cookies – Buttery, delicate, and the cookies literally melt-in-your-mouth. The buttercream is sweet, thick, dense and the perfect compliment to the airy and delicate cookies
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars – All the flavor and texture of peanut butter-chocolate cookies, but much faster and easier. The batter comes together in minutes by hand and in one bowl. In under 30 minutes, from start to finish, you can be eating one
Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread – Buttermilk, bananas & coconut oil keep this tropical-ish bread so moist, tender, soft & springy
Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites (no-bake, vegan, GF, grain-free/Paleo, soy-free, no added sugar or salt) – They taste just as good as real brownies made with butter, sugar, eggs, and flour without using any of those ingredients
Three Day Juice Cleanse – For 3 days, I wanted to give my body, mind, and spirit a break and chance to allow it to re-center, realign, and restore. Like pressing the reset button. I shared my thoughts and experiences about the three days and my husband did the cleanse with me
I checked three bucket list recipes off my mental checklist – Homemade Graham Crackers, Brownie Cookies, and Buttery Sugar Wafer Sandwich Cookies. It felt great tackling all of them and it’s very satisfying to make something that you’ve been thinking of making for months or years, and finally doing it.
I continued with my coconut oil loving ways via Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Cookies and Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread. If you’ve never baked with coconut oil, please get on board this train. It leaves your baked goods soft and supple, tender, moist, and doesn’t really make them taste like coconut. Even if you don’t love coconut (it’s probably shredded coconut you don’t like), give coconut oil a try because it’s much, much cleaner-tasting than shredded or flaked coconut.
For the first time in almost four years I posted a Pancakes recipe. And I also posted the Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites, a revamp of a 2009 recipe. It was the month to revisit 2009.
It was definitely the month of the brownie with four brownie-related recipes – Mint and Chocolate Fudge Oreo Bars (which have a brownie-like crust), and I cheated on my 2011 Fudgy Nutella Brownie recipe with The Ultimate Fudgy Caramel Brownies, which was a fabulous decision, and I compared the two brownies in detail in the post. I made Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies, and Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites.
And if that wasn’t enough chocolate, I made Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter and Homemade Smores. No wonder I felt like I should do a Three Day Juice Cleanse after all that chocolate.
I made two bar recipes using two of my favorite spreads – Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars. Both are dense, rich, easy, and very satisfying.
I posted two healthy smoothie recipes, Pineapple Mango Vitamin C Booster Smoothie and the Tropical Green Smoothie.
The totally unexpectedly popular post of the month that caught me off guard: Tropical Green Smoothie. It went nuts on Foodgawker and Pinterest. It gives me more energy than a cup of coffee and I love it, but I never expected anyone else to.
Post that I deem a dud and can’t figure out why people didn’t seem to like it more: Homemade Graham Crackers and the Smores I made using the crackers. They taste great, the photography is nice, and I think being able to make your own graham crackers is pretty darn cool, but I guess I was virtually alone because the post was a dud. I promise, they’re so good and you won’t regret making them.
Copycat Recipe of the Month Award: Homemade Baileys Irish Cream. Spot-on flavor in 30 seconds in the blender.
Worst kitchen karma: Soft and Chewy Brownie Cookies. That recipe almost killed me, but many people have written in saying they made them with success. I am so glad. And that makes it all worth it.
Best kitchen karma: 30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread – The easiest bread I’ve ever made. It only takes 3 minutes to mix up the batter in one bowl. It’s so easy you’ll think you’ve missed something. Fresh, warm, no-knead bread in 30 minutes and people have written saying they’ve made this and really enjoyed it.
Recipe from this month that people seem to have made the most based on comments I’ve gotten: Soft & Chewy M&Ms Cookies. They’re essentially use the dough base from my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies and that base never disappoints so I knew anyone who tried the M&M Cookies would have good luck.
Recipe that made me cry while I was making it, photographing it, and writing it: Buttery Sugar Wafer Sandwich Cookies. I could feel my grandmother’s presence and I miss her dearly. Making and eating the cookies reminded me of 1984 and being a little girl and making cookies with my grandma, except it’s 20 years later and she’s not here. I nailed the cookie recipe; they’re spot-on. They’re so spot-on that I had all these nostalgic and bittersweet memories. Food, and the memories it can spark, is so powerful.
Thing I’m most proud of doing: The Three Day Juice Cleanse. I’ve never gone for 3 days without putting any solid food (shy of 1 singular rice cake) in my mouth. It was a powerful experience and helped me grow, learn, recenter, refresh, and realign.
What did you do or make in this month that was memorable?
Thanks for the Handy Kitchen Gadgets Giveaway entries and Happy Easter to anyone celebrating!
Stay tuned for a HUGE giveaway coming up!