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Puppy Chow (Amped Up)

Puppy Chow 3 thumb

Puppy Chow, Muddy Buddies…whatever you call it, it is a classic Holiday treat.  It is easy to make and the flavors are a classic.  Just melt , mix, shake, and dump. You could easily have the kids work on this one for you, or at least help. And there is a decent chance you have all of the ingredients in the house already.

You know I can’t get enough peanut butter and chocolate, so it should come as no surprise to you that I have adapted this classic to have MORE!  I always loved the pieces that got stuck together because they had so much peanut butter and chocolate between them.  Well, now I make my own, and figured all the pieces should be like that :)

There are all sorts of different recipes out there for different version of this; candy cane, or lemon, or white chocolate etc. But I like a classic.  If you have peanut allergies in your house Sun Butter would work great in this.  Or maybe some Biscoff spread if you want to go crazy.

Go check out my version, and get the recipe at Culinary.Net

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls

Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls labeled

You all know that I am a huge fan of chocolate and peanut butter, so this recipe should come as no surprise.  These have become a staple at my house during the holidays.  My dad was never a fan of peanut butter, so we didn’t really have many peanut butter treats growing up.  Peanut Blossoms were pretty much the extent.  But then I grew up, and now I control what was in the house, and peanut butter it is!

Years ago before I had my son, I did a cookie exchange with some women I worked with.  We did it for a few years, each year was a little different.  Some times we actually baked together, some years we just met for dinner and handed out our cookies.  Every year we walked away with a great selection, and had a great time.  My friend Beth, was always in charge of the Buckeye’s.  One year, after I had moved away, she knew I liked them so much, she even sent me some!  But this year, I am making my own, using her recipe.

She is from Ohio, and a big Ohio State fan.  I am not.  So I chose to completely cover mine in chocolate, and change the name.  Being from Wisconsin, making “Buckeyes” just seems wrong.  I am not sure of the origin of the recipe, it is just what she has been making for years, and has been passed on to me.  A few of these are going to my son’s teachers as part of their gifts this year.  I am sure they will be appreciated.

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Peanut Butter Cup Blossom Cookies #25recipestoXmas

Peanut Butter Cup Blossom Cookies 3

December is here.  Christmas is right around the corner.  You know what that means right?  Cookies, and treats all month long!  Ok, maybe there will be one or two that aren’t Christmas related, but the rest of the month will be getting you ready for the big day.

Today, I am helping out my good friend Roxana from, Roxana’s Home Baking with her 25 recipes to Christmas!  I am super excited to be a part of this great group she has going.  Plus she has great giveaways going on with it too, so don’t miss it!


I made an over the top, kicked up version of my favorite Christmas cookie.  Trust me, these are worth breaking your diet for.  Go tell Roxana Hi, and check out these cookies!





Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Bread 3

If your house is anything like mine, you are still knee deep in Halloween candy.  I let my son have one piece of candy in his lunch, and then if he is lucky he can have another piece after dinner.  Needless to say, it lasts a really long time around here.

This bread is perfect for those leftover Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  If you haven’t stashed them away for yourself, that is.  Or maybe that is just me :)   The bread also uses up those browning bananas you have on the counter or stashed in your freezer.  See, I am here to help! And because it is me, and I don’t know when to stop I added a layer of Nutella on top.  Jean made this Nutella Banana Bread, and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind.

I am not usually a big fan of plain banana bread.  There is just too much banana flavor.  I realize that doesn’t make much sense.  I like bananas, but only every once in awhile.  So when I saw this recipe that added peanut butter to the batter I was exited to give it a try.  There is still a hint of banana in the background, but the peanut butter really shines through.  And then every once in awhile you get a bite with a peanut butter cup, and you are in heaven!

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Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups 4 - labeled

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups
It is Secret Recipe Club Time!!  I had to take off last month because of moving but  am back at it again.  Before we get started I wanted to announce the winners from my International Delight Giveaway.

Winner 1 – Kesha
Winner 2 – Amy
Check your email ladies, so I can send you your prize.

For Secret Recipe Club this month I was assigned Quick and Easy, Cheap and Healthy.  This site is full of so many great and healthy recipes, as well as shopping deals, coupon links, menu planning, and much more.  She was actually assigned my blog one of the first months that I participated in SRC!  Check out her take on my Cinnamon Roll Muffins.  I had a couple recipes picked out including this Pizza, but as usual my sweet tooth won out.

The original recipe is made with Sunbutter, due to allergies.  Fortunately, we do not have allergies here, so I just used peanut butter.  These are a fun treat to have in the fridge or freezer.  They melt quickly, so I kept them in the fridge.  I currently have a few in the freezer to pull out in a chocolate emergency :)

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No Bake Cookies

No Bake Cookies 2_labeled

No Bake Cookies
Yesterday was school supply shopping day here.  We have a little tradition of my son and I going out to lunch (his choice) and then heading out to get supplies.  It always amazes me how much he needs, but I must say this year I am happy he only needed 1 box each of crayons and markers.  I think last year I had to buy 4 or each.  It really made me wonder how much he would actually learn and not just color all day.  This year he had notebooks, erasers, red pens, and an actual ruler on the list!  I think 2nd grade is looking good so far.

One thing I know that my 2nd grader will always request is No Bake Cookies.  This is one of those cookies that I usually always have on hand.   I keep them in the freezer, and they go in school lunches.  I take one out in the morning, and by lunch time it is nice and thawed for him.   It has been a few months since we have had these in the freezer though, and apparently my 7 year old was going through withdrawal.  He is usually good with whatever cookie or dessert I want to make.  But this week he put his foot down, and would not stop asking for these!

You really can’t get much easier than these cookies.  Just a few ingredients, heat to a boil, cook for 1 minute, spoon onto cookie sheets.  I remember making these when I was in grade school with a friend.  I think it was probably 4th grade.  They store perfectly well in the freezer.  They don’t require an oven on super hot days.  What more do I need to say to convince you to make these?  Oh yeah, they have peanut butter and chocolate in them?  There.  Go make them!

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No Bake Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

PB S'mores Bars 2 - labeled

PB S'mores Bars

What a great day with my husband yesterday.  We went to Denver, walked around a few different shopping areas.  Two of them were outside, and it was really hot.  We walked by Sur Le Table, but it was closed!  A Wednesday afternoon at 3:00, and they had their doors locked.  Not a happy girl!  We had dinner at a wonderful steak place, and then went to see a show.  My husband is not a fan of musicals, or plays, but I enjoy them.  Jersey Boys was in town, so that is what we saw.  It was wonderful.  The 4 Seasons were way before my time, but I know a lot of their songs from my dad playing them when I was growing up.  The story was very interesting, and they did a fantastic job with the music.  If you get a chance, I highly recommend it.  Even my husband walked away relatively pleased with the performance (and that says a lot)!

PB S'mores Bars

I made these bars a few weeks ago.  My husband was going to help a friend move, so I sent along some fuel.  I figured a bunch of guys lifting heavy boxes and couches needed something to keep them going.  Boy was I right!  My husband brought the container home empty, so I am pretty sure everyone appreciated them.

Everyone knows that peanut butter and chocolate is a winning combination.  And anything with S’mores is good too.  So, why not put peanut butter in with the S’mores?  Seems like the next natural progression.  Lucky for you they don’t involve a campfire or an even an oven.   Perfect treat to make on one of those hot days when you don’t want to heat up the house.  Which pretty much means any day of the week around here!

PB S'mores Bars

These are very similar to the Peanut Butter Bars I made awhile ago.  Kind of like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup combined with a S’more.  Trust me, they are addicting.  They are best kept in the fridge.  If I have enough willpower I like to let it sit for about 5 minutes at room temperature before I eat it.  But, that doesn’t always happen :)

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Dark Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter

Dk Choc Banana Peanut Butter 1

Dk Choc Banana Peanut Butter

We finally moved over the weekend!  So while I am trying like crazy to unpack boxes before my in-laws get here this weekend, I have one more guest post for you!  Another Erin :)   Erin from The Spiffy Cookie is a great blogger, who is super supportive.  She helped out with my bake sale, has done a couple bake sales of her own, and has helped me a couple times over email.  She is a grad student working on her PhD in Biomedical Sciences.  So, not only is she super smart, but she is very talented as well.  Go tell her I said Hi after you check out this fun recipe.


Thanks so much Erin for having me today, it is such a pleasure to be here! I am also Erin, over on The Spiffy Cookie, and I have come to spread my love of peanut butter – something I know Erin can relate to.

After seeing Erin’s homemade peanut butter, I knew I had to pull out my food processor and make some for myself. But it didn’t end there. I could not resist adding some melted dark chocolate and dried banana chips into the mix. You can blame the dark chocolate peanut butter banana cookies I recently made. Because what’s better than a cookie with those three ingredients? Turning it into something spreadable.

Dk Choc Banana Peanut Butter

Just imagine this spread over a warm, toasted English muffin. Or added to plain Greek yogurt.  And while we’re at it, imagine eating it straight off the spoon. Yes please! You could also use semi-sweet or milk chocolate if you prefer those over dark chocolate. I bet white chocolate would taste delicious as well!

Dk Choc Banana Peanut Butter

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Homemade Peanut Butter

peanut butter 2_

peanut butter

We love peanut butter in this house.  I like creamy, my husband and son like crunchy.  So we always have lots of peanut butter around here.  But awhile ago my  year old asked how they make peanut butter.  I told him it was actually pretty easy.  Just put a few things in the food processor, let it grind until smooth, and you are done.  He didn’t believe me!

I tried to explain to him that his dad and I actually made peanut butter years ago, before he was born.  Still, he didn’t believe me.  My husband even backed me up, but still, he didn’t believe me!  Maybe it is just me, but if someone doesn’t believe me, even my 7 year old, I will do pretty much anything to prove that I am right.  A trait I get from my dad, I think.

So off to Costco we went to get a GIANT container of peanuts.  I pretty much let my son do all the work for this, that is how easy it is!  He weighed the peanuts, measured the ingredients, and turned on the food processor.  In less than 10 minutes we had peanut butter, and he was eating toast.  He was pretty impressed, and I was back to being the mom who can do everything.

After it was done we threw in a handful of peanuts and lightly processed them so he could have his crunchy peanut butter.  It is pretty liquidity from the heat of the food processor.  Store it in the fridge, and it firms up quickly.

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Peanut Butter Polka Dot Bars

reese's bars 3 (1 of 1)

Thanks for all the birthday wishes to my 7 year old yesterday!  I let him read my post from yesterday, and he got a huge smile on his face.  He is shy, but loved being the center of attention for a day.

As promised today I bring you what he chose for his birthday treat.  He isn’t much of a cake kid, so I knew that wouldn’t be his choice.  I showed him probably 100 desserts from my Pinterest boards, and let him pick.  He knew he wanted peanut butter and chocolate (takes after his mom), so at least we narrowed the choices a little.  In the end, I think it was the Reese’s Pieces that won him over.

Unfortunately I waited until the last minute to make these, and the store I went to did not have mini Reese’s Pieces candies.  So I had to go with the full sized version.  I am sure they taste the same, you just don’t get the full “polka dot” effect.  He had a tiny one after dinner last night, and said he made a good choice.  Really, how can you go wrong with peanut butter, oats and chocolate?  He picked his birthday dinner to be at Red Robin, and wanted them to sing to him this year, so he filled up on ice cream before we got home.  Looks like the teachers or my husbands co-workers are going to benefit tomorrow :)

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