Sun Butter Bars

sbbIn mid January, nothing seems more important than the sun. And since days are short and cold, today, I got my dose of sun from these delightful Sun Nut Butter Bars.

I came across a recipe for sun butter bars on Big Man’s World. The original recipe is here.

I mostly follow the original recipe and make the bars with coconut flour, almond flour, and coconut sugar so they are gluten free. I love the slight aroma of coconut that comes from the flour and sugar. It gives these bars a little tropical flair. Even more sun! I added the sea salt and vanilla. I feel like dessert is missing something if it doesn’t have a little vanilla in it.

Sun Butter Bars
1 cup+ 1 tbsp sun butter
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla – I used powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Combine the flours, sugar and spices and mix well.
  2. Add 1 cup of the sun butter and mix until a thick batter forms.
  3. Gradually add the almond milk 1/4 cup at a time to moisten the batter. It should be thick but not crumbly.
  4. Press into a 9 inch square pan lined with parchment.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of sun butter and spread over the top of the bars.
  6. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled and set.

I have very fond memories of Peanut Butter Bars from elementary school lunch. But your average Peanut Butter Bar is loaded with butter, sugar and more sugar. I figure if I can’t even read the recipe without feeling a little queasy, best not to make them.

Nothing about this recipe makes me queasy. They are a nice satisfying treat without leaving me full or guilty.



Chicken with Spinach and Pesto

cspI cannot express to you how much I love this  chicken dish. It has so many wonderful qualities, I don’t know where to begin! Surprisingly enough, this chicken is a pretty big hit in my house, even though it has tomatoes and fresh spinach, two things that my darling children abhor. It’s a hit with me because it is very easy, almost mindless recipe. I don’t measure anything at all. There is no chopping, just a little tomato slicing that I can sometimes outsource to My Faithful Assistant if he isn’t busy being a surly teen on a growth spurt. Mostly, I assemble it and bake it and we all live happily ever after.

Chicken with Spinach and Pesto
Four chicken breasts
6 oz pesto
Four roma tomatoes, sliced
Four big handfuls of fresh spinach
Shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with pan spray
  2. Put the chicken in the pan, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon pesto over the chicken.
  4. Arrange the spinach over that.
  5. Add the tomato slices.
  6. Cover with cheese.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes at 375. Cooking time will vary, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Mine were quite large and I actually had to cook them for an hour.

You could serve this with some angel hair on the side for all the pesto that you will have in the pan. But I prefer to serve it with a nice crusty bread. And may I point out that if you have a little assistant of your own, they can easily make this alone. Roma tomatoes are easy to slice with a serrated knife. Or you could leave them out and avoid that risk altogether! Just think of how much fun it would be to prepare this by remote control from the comfort of your office! And for once, you can come home to dinner waiting for you!


DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritzer

acvsWhen I stop at the store on my way home from work, I often text my family and ask them if they need anything. Imagine my surprise when My Faithful Assistant asked for organic apple cider vinegar. ??? What? Why? Because apparently, in addition to teaching Spanish, my son’s Spanish teacher was also extolling the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Alrighty then.

Fast forward a few months and my husband, thanks to a health conscious co-worker,  was also on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon. We have a big bottle of the stuff and it goes in tea with honey and lemon, juice, water, and recently, we concocted this delightful refreshing spritzer.

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Spritzer
1/2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar – use more if you want!
4 ounces 100% fruit juice – We used pomegranate juice
8 ounces seltzer

  1. Combine the apple cider vinegar and juice in a tall glass.
  2. Add ice then seltzer.
  3. Stir gently and enjoy!

Now apple cider vinegar is an acquired taste so I would recommend you ease yourself into this. Get used to the bite of the vinegar and the tingle in your throat and sinuses.

I have no idea if any of the health benefits claimed are actually real benefits backed by science. You can read the claims and decide for yourself what you want to believe. We drink it more often when I’m feeling a cold coming on because I find it soothes my sore throat.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Homemade Roast Beef Hash

hrbhWe had a pretty big Prime Rib for Christmas for the sole purpose of having lots of leftovers so I didn’t have to cook for several days. I pretend to be exhausted after “slaving over a hot stove” all day and lounge on the couch after dinner, and then go on strike for a few more days. For some reason, it works every year. Or maybe it really doesn’t and my family has just been humoring me all these years.

Believe it or not, I did not get any leftovers. Stunning. I guess when you wait for something for a full year, you get excited. And also, when you’re a teenaged boy, you eat a lot. There was exactly one large slice left which turned out to be the perfect amount to make…

Homemade Roast Beef Hash
1/2 – 3/4 lb left over Prime Rib or Roast Beef, cubed
3- 4 potatoes, chopped into small pieces
1/2 onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
2 TBSP butter

  1. Heat some oil that will tolerate high temp on med high in a cast iron pan if you have one. Add butter.
  2. When the butter has melted, add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook for about five minutes. Add the chopped onion. Stir frequently to prevent burning but not so much that nothing browns.
  3. After the potatoes have browned (about ten minutes), add the beef and cook until heated.
  4. Serve instantly.

My kids have never had Hash of any kind. I am happy to report that My Faithful Assistant was very happy with his dinner. He was the only one home. This came as a relief to me since the rest of his day was disappointing thanks to his apparently incredibly jealous dog and an unexpected ending to a movie. He has cheered up a ton and I didn’t have to go to Chick-Fil-A or Joann Fabrics!

Typical of me, this would have been a much more helpful recipe if it had been posted three or four days ago. I’m really sorry about that. I’ve been super busy the past few days sitting on the couch, knitting, binge watching Dr. Phil, and  “recovering” from all the hard work of Christmas another epic Christmas Feast.


Festive Rum Cake Balls

frcbFull disclosure. What you are actually seeing here is a cake fail. HUGE. CAKE. FAIL.

When you are the one who says to all your coworkers, “LET’S HAVE A POTLUCK,” you should probably put some actual effort into your offering. Like make something with your own two hands. No cheater pit-stops at the market, even if it is Whole Foods and the cupcakes everyone loves are on sale.

You can imagine my dismay when I flipped my scrumptious Chocolate Chip Rum Cake over to remove it from the bundt pan and it stuck. And not a cute little piece it back together sticking. A keep half the cake in the pan and laugh in your face sticking.

I am not a cooking quitter. It was time to turn to my Remarkably Well Stocked Pantry and look to see what I had to help me out of this predicament. What I uncovered there amazed even me.  I found some powdered sugar, green candy melts, and red sugar. SCORE!!!

Festive Rum Cake Balls
One box cake mix prepared with rum instead of water
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup powdered sugar
1 bag candy melts

  1. Prepare the cake mix using rum instead of water. Stir in the chocolate chips. I used Yellow cake. You can use whatever you like. Chocolate would be okay, too. Double the chocolaty goodness!
  2. Bake the cake according to the instructions on the box.
  3. Allow to cool for ten minutes, then crumble into a bowl.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar until sticky.
  5. Form into one inch balls and freeze for 30 minutes.
  6. Melt candy melts according to instructions on bag in something big enough to roll the frozen balls in.
  7. One at a time, roll the balls in the melted candy. Place on wax paper and sprinkle with the sugar.

I have to say, I am really proud of myself. Not only are these cake balls festive (as the name tells you), they are very darn delicious. And they were super easy to make.

If you didn’t figure it out, the recipe for the rum cake simply involves swapping out rum for the water in the recipe and baking in a bundt pan. Please make sure you allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before you try to get it out of the pan. Please. Learn from my mistake.

I have had horrible luck in the past making cake balls. I’m not sure why these actually worked. But who cares! I can walk into work with my head held high, holding my plate of Festive Rum Cake Balls up for all to see, instead of a grocery bag!

Five more days! Hope all the work of the season is winding down and you are close to sitting back and relaxing with your loved ones for a few days.