Lowfat Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

Lowfat Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

We are big fans of peanut butter in my house, so when I saw a jar of peanut butter powder I knew I wanted to try it.  All the taste of peanut butter with very little fat? Sign me up! I thought it would be a great way to sneak in another high protein meal. I decided to make a Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl to start my day off right.

Lowfat Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

The blend of vanilla almond milk, oats, chia seed, and peanut butter powder makes a thick smoothie with a great peanut butter flavor.  I also loved that it covered a bunch of other nutrients for my day: 45% of my calcium intake, 60% of my daily fiber, and a whopping 21 grams of protein and only 4.5 grams of fat.

Lowfat Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

It turns out my kids wouldn’t let me eat it all by my myself.  They scavenged some of my meal, but I’m not complaining.  I’m always looking for ways to make their meals just a bit healthier.

Lowfat Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

Lowfat Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl

1 cup vanilla almond milk
¼ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons peanut butter powder
Assorted, chopped fruit (strawberries, blueberries, grapes, etc.)

 Add the almond milk, oats, chia seeds, and peanut butter powder to a mixer or food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour into a bow and let sit for 5 minutes.  Garnish the top with the desired amount of fruit and serve.


PB&J Pancake Puffs

Thanks to Grandpa, my children associate weekends with special breakfast treats. Their favorite is pancakes, so in a moment of weakness I agreed to make some for them. That might seem like a funny recipe item to resist, however pancakes are the bane of my existence. I make them so infrequently that it usually takes me half the batch before I get into the rhythm of the perfectly brown flap-jack.

To differentiate my pancakes from Grandpa’s, I dug out my ebelskiver. An ebelskiver pan has spherical indentations to make the Danish pancake treat – a round pancake that has a filling of jam or chocolate. I know what you are thinking. Why does someone who has a love/hate relationship with pancakes have a specialty pancake pan? My theory is that creating pancakes with a fun shape plus the bonus of a decadent filling is one of the ways to improve my pancake making (and consumption) skills. I think it may be working.

I decided to go with a classic flavor combination for my ebelskiver, resulting in these PB&J pancake puffs.

PBJ Pancake Puffs

A light, peanut butter pancake batter is perfectly complemented by the Concord grape jam filling. A dusting of powdered sugar is all that was needed as garnish, and enticed even the adults to try these PB&J Pancake Puffs.

PBJ Pancake Puffs

While they take a bit longer to prepare than your traditional pancake, I think the wow factor is worth it. Wouldn’t this be a great way to celebrate dad and grandpa on Father’s Day?

PBJ Pancake Puffs


PB&J Pancake Puffs

1 cups all-purpose flour (your favorite gluten free blend can be used, too)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup concord grape jam
Powdered sugar (optional)


In a bowl, mix flour with sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, beat egg and peanut butter, then blend in the milk. Add liquids to dry ingredients and stir until evenly moistened.

Place an ebelskiver pan over medium-low heat. When pan is hot, brush pancake indents lightly with melted butter and fill each to slightly below the rim with batter. In about 1 minute, thin crusts will form on bottoms of balls (centers will still be wet); pierce the crust with a slender wood skewer and gently pull shell to rotate the pancake ball until about half the cooked portion is above the cup rim and uncooked batter flows down into cup. Cook until crust on bottom of ball is again firm enough to pierce, about another minute, then rotate ball with skewer until the ridge formed as the pancake first cooked is on top. Cook, turning occasionally with skewer, until balls are evenly browned and no longer moist in the center, another 2-3 minutes. Remove cooked balls from pan and keep warm. Repeat with the remainder of the batter. Once all the batter has been used, fill each pancake puff with the grape jam using a pastry injector/cupcake injector. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired, then serve immediately (makes approximately 24 ebelskiver).


Classic Banana Bread with Elvis Presley Frosting

I started collecting recipes long before I actually had the opportunity to get in the kitchen everyday and tinker. One of my early acquisitions was my grandma’s Joy of Cooking Cookbook. An odd momento for an 18 year-old to keep, but at the time it seemed such a true representation of her and the love-infused meals she created. As I turned to this trusted book once again for a favorite recipe, I realized what a perfect keepsake it is.


I have kept all of her book markers that were in the volume, which are both place holders and reflective of her character. For example, the place markers include:

  • An Easter Card with the verse “ He is Risen” (Matt 28:6) on the front, a representation of her faith that she expressed daily.
  • Scratch paper with shopping lists and recipes. Much like my grandma (and very unlike my age) I write down my shopping list and recipe interests as they hit me, often on scratch paper in my vicinity.
  • The start of a letter to a “dear friend” – who was this friend? Did they share her passion for cooking? What made her start the letter in the midst of cooking? Questions I’ll never answer, but interesting none-the-less.


One of the recipes I make often from this cookbook is the quick banana bread. There is nothing fancy about the banana bread, just flour, shortening, banana, sugar, egg, and baking powder.


While I would generally use bananas that were more ripe than the photos show, my 3 year-old heard me mention that I wanted to make banana bread. This means that I heard her ask every half hour, “Are we were going to make banana bread?” until we did, regardless if the bananas were that perfect shade.


We mashed, mixed, filled the pan, and finally baked our loaf . . .




achieving a lovely golden crust, and buttery inside.


The motivation to make banana bread was actually tied more to my kitchen experiments. I am sure you have heard of the “Elvis Presley Sandwich”, which is a fried banana, peanut butter, and bacon sandwich. Honestly, the idea of the sandwich falls in a gray area for me – it is either going to be surprisingly tasty or absolutely unpalatable. My cheater version is to make banana bread and make what I am calling Elvis Presley Frosting.

The frosting is a sweet-savory concoction of peanut butter, powdered sugar, milk, and bacon. Much to my surprise, it actually tastes good!





Elvis Presley Frosting

½ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup original flavor almond milk
4 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked crisp and cooled


Stir together the peanut butter, sugar, and almond milk until smooth. Crumble the bacon and stir into the peanut butter frosting.  Serve on top of thick slices of banana bread.


Cocoa Peanut Squares

Do you have a favorite treat from your childhood? Sometimes the simplest ones – like Rice Krispies Treats® and brownies served on hot dog day at school – are the treats that you can’t wait to eat. The extra special Cocoa Peanut Squares my Grandma use to make were something I really looked forward to when we visited her.

Over the Labor Day weekend I visited family and my mom made the Cocoa Peanut Squares for our family barbecue. I’m pretty sure I ate a sizeable portion of the pan by myself. I don’t know the origin of my Grandma’s recipe, and it varies from a version shown on the Rice Krispies® website. Google and Pinterest also pull up quite a few variations, so I encourage you to have fun with this super easy recipe.

Simply heat up corn syrup and brown sugar in a saucepan until bubbly and then stir in peanut butter.


One smooth, add your Cocoa Krispies®.


I also decided to stir in some raw chocolate bits.


Finally, pat into a 8 x 8 inch square pan or a 9 ½ inch diameter pie pan, then let cool and cut into squares (or wedges).

I guarantee these will disappear at lightening speed.



Cocoa Peanut Squares

1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups Kellogg Cocoa Krispies®
¼ cup raw chocolate bits (optional)

Combine corn syrup and sugar in medium sized sauce pan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Add Cocoa Krispies® and raw chocolate bits, stirring until well coated. Press into a buttered 8×8 inch pan or pie pan, cool, and cut into squares or wedges.