{cooking with tine} chocolate peanut butter awesome bars

One of my closest friends is moving to Minnesota next week (sad face) to start an awesome grad school program (happy face), so obviously I’m throwing a going away party to send her off.

I keep typing Michigan instead of Minnesota. It’s one of those M states. But not Maine. Or Maryland.

I adore playing hostess and have been trying out lots of Pinterest recipes this summer for all my get togethers, and this weekend is no exception. I stumbled across this recipe by The Girl Who Ate Everything and immediately knew I had to make it! She got this recipe from a friend who I have credited below.

I tried a tiny piece and they are AMAZING. I can’t wait to wow everyone Saturday night!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Awesome Bars
by Greta White

1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix (cake mix is now sold in 15.25oz packages, so I bought two boxes and used one whole one plus 1/2 cup of the second one. You can also do crazy math to reduce this recipe for one box of cake mix, but I was way too lazy to do that).

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup coconut (optional) (I didn’t use coconut because a friend is allergic)Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, peanut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.
3) In a small pot, melt chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and coconut.

4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the 1 1/2 cups of reserved cake mixture on top evenly.

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Image courtesy of Christy Denney of The Girl Who Ate Everything
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Sunday Social

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m pretttttty awesome at life and blogging. It figures that I would miss my own questions for Sunday Social, but I still have to answer them because they are about FOOD and I love to eat, cook, and explore new cuisine! I’ve been really good at actually making the recipes I pin this summer and I can’t wait to try yummy fall dishes.

Sunday Social

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Guacamole. Or any chocolate-peanut butter combinations. Preferably not together. Although that would make either be an awesome or disgusting sandwich.
What’s your guilty pleasure/comfort food?
Lately I haven’t been able to stop eating Nilla Wafers. Homemade baked macaroni and cheese, chicken tacos, red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, and pints of Haagen Dazs. My favorite flavor of ice cream EVER was their Midnight Cookies and Cream (cookies and cream, but with chocolate ice cream. So simple, yet so amazing) except it was a Limited Edition flavor and now it’s gone forever and that makes me sad all day.
What’s the weirdest/craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I had escargot when I was 9. I also ate raw baby squid recently at a sushi place. The escargot wasn’t bad, very chicken-like. The texture of the baby squid freaked me out.
What foods do you avoid at all costs?
Raw tomatoes, mushrooms. I don’t really like coffee. I haven’t eaten beef or pork for ten years (kind of like a half-vegetarian). I’ve been working on eating less chicken/turkey/fish as well and now I consider myself to be a flexitarian. I would also never ever touch veal, duck, lamb, etc.
What meal reminds you of your childhood?
My mom makes a chicken and stuffing casserole that she got from some family friends. The first time I had it I was 5 or 6, so I’ve grown up with it. Also, things like peanut butter and jelly and goldfish dipped in yogurt since they were my typical school lunches.
Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it.
My best friend and I decided to have a date night: we went to the grocery store, picked up random ingredients, and created a recipe. We’re still trying to find an awesome name for it, but basically it is chicken sauteed in white wine topped with roasted peppers, arugula, and fresh mozzarella. It’s so good on its own or served over pasta! It means a lot to me because we created it together and had so much fun doing it. We ran around the kitchen playing old Italian music and drinking wine while sautéing things. It was amazing.
Recipe:
1-2 thin chicken breasts per person (I buy big ones and slice in half lengthwise)
Dry white wine (Chardonnay works well)
Olive oil
Roasted red peppers (make your own or buy them jarred)
Fresh arugula
Fresh mozzarella
Fresh parsley
2 clove fresh garlic, chopped
Garlic powder
Fresh lemon juice
Salt
Pepper
Oregano
1. Prepare chicken breasts. Lay out on cutting board and season each side with parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano.
2. Add olive oil to two pans: one large and one small. Enough oil to cover pan and have a little left extra.
3. Heat both pans on medium
4. Add chicken breasts to large pan and arugula to small pan.
5. Let chicken cook until light brown on bottom
6. While chicken cooks, stir arugula until well coated with oil. Add half of chopped garlic, a couple dashes of garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice. Reduce heat to low.
7. Flip half-cooked chicken breasts and reduce heat to medium-low. Add wine to pan.
8. Allow chicken to simmer in wine until fully cooked. Top each breast with roasted red pepper and a slice of fresh mozzarella and allow mozzarella to melt.
9. Plate chicken breasts. Top with the arugula and the remaining wine sauce. Serve.

The greatest study snack of all time

It’s 11pm. I’m frustrated. I’m overwhelmed. I just want to bake Christmas things. I’m craving chocolate.

I decided to take a short break and try out a cake-in-a-mug recipe since I’ve seen tons of them popping up on Pinterest lately.

I found one for a brownie and altered it a little to fit the ingredients I had. And let me tell you, it’s DELICIOUS.

I used to love those Warm Delights microwaveable desserts when I was living in a dorm, but this is so much better. No preservatives and it gives me a nice little baking break.

Ingredients:

1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt
2 T. canola or other mild vegetable oil
3 T. milk, coffee or water (I used nonfat milk)

Directions:

In a heatproof mug, stir together the dry ingredients until no lumps remain (a fork works well when de-lumping brown sugar)

Stir in the oil and milk until you have a thick paste

Microwave on high for a minute, checking it after 30 seconds (microwaves vary) – it will be done when it’s springy on top but still a bit gooey – like the very best brownie. Eat warm.

Don’t worry if it’s a little bit lumpy. It’s still good, I promise!

This was delicious and I love this recipe since you can easily make it vegan by using coffee or water instead of milk. It would be great topped with ice cream (which I don’t have), but I’m loving it topped with a spoonful of crunchy almond butter and a big glass of milk!