Quick & Easy Paleo “Peanut Butter” Cups

Quick & Easy Paleo "Peanut Butter" Cups | The Happy HousewifeBy contributing writer Tessa

What mom does not long for quick and easy food items to throw in front of her family? How about we make it nutritious, irresistible, and pretty to look at too?

In need of a super quick snack for my kids, I wanted to adapt my  Healthy “Peanut Butter” Cups recipe for an after school snack.  I did not want to mold or dip. I wanted to whir and dump and be done!  This recipe was the answer. It contains healthy fat  via the coconut oil and coconut butter and protein from the seed butter.  These quick and easy “peanut butter” cups are just as addicting as their counterparts.

You will want to store these in the fridge unless you live in a very cool climate.  They are better there anyway…it might help you resist them a touch more!

Ingredient Note:  I make my own coconut butter as it is really easy and much cheaper.  If you prefer to use all coconut oil, you can, but the results will be much softer, so freezer storage is a must.  Costco and Trader Joes both sell coconut oil at affordable rates, and it is an excellent healthy  oil to be subbing into your baked goods whenever possible!

Also, you can use any nut or seed butter you have on hand, they all work the same, just taste different!

Quick & Easy Paleo "Peanut Butter" Cups | The Happy Housewife

 

Quick & Easy Paleo ‘Peanut Butter’ Cups – Healthy Candy!
Serves: 15 mini muffin sized cups
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup nut or seed butter
  • ¼ cup coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or preferred liquid sweetener. You want to do this to taste, but note that the more sweetener you add, the more soft the end product will be.
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, to taste.
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, whir all the ingredients except the chocolate chips until smooth.
  2. Add the chocolate chips, and pulse a couple of times to mix.
  3. Pour a generous tablespoon of the mixture into muffin liners (mini or large), silicone molds, or you favorite candy molds.
  4. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up, or in the fridge for about an hour.
  5. Drizzle with melted chocolate if you like (I just did it for the pictures!).

Quick & Easy Paleo "Peanut Butter" Cups | The Happy Housewife

 

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Homemade Ranch Dressing or Dip

Homemade Ranch Dressing or Dip | The Happy HousewifeBy contributing writer Kristia

Ranch dressing is a staple at my house. We use it for salads, raw vegetables, and our favorite wing recipes. I attribute ranch dressing to the reason my oldest daughter will sit and eat a plate full of raw vegetables, such as broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, and sweet peppers. She has rated my homemade version two thumbs up.

Homemade ranch dressing or dip is so easy to make and it tastes so much better than what comes out of a bottle. It stores in the fridge for up to a week, but mine never seems to last that long when I make it.

Don’t be afraid to buy fresh parsley or chives if they aren’t available in your garden yet. This recipe only calls for one tablespoon each, so you’ll have leftover herbs if you buy from a store, but they both freeze easily. Just wash and dry the herbs. Chop and store in a freezer bag. Take out what you need and put directly into any recipe.

Homemade Ranch Dressing or Dip | The Happy Housewife

Homemade Ranch Dressing or Dip
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Pour all of the ingredients into a mason jar or bowl and cover with a lid.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or more so the flavors will blend together.

 

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Crock-Pot Cuisine: Quick Homemade Dinners

The more I try Crock-Pot® Cuisine meals the more I like them. I cannot tell you how I wish I would have known about these when Commander was deployed. I would have loved a culinary break from pizza and cereal.

This month we tried Roasted Chicken and Herbed Dumplings and Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken.

The roasted chicken was absolutely delicious. It was a huge hit with the kids and we didn’t have anything leftover (which was disappointing as I would have liked some for lunch!) I would highly recommend this meal, with one caveat. You cook the meat first and then add the dumplings towards the end of cooking. So you can’t breeze into the kitchen at the end of the day and open the slow cooker and eat.

Since I’m throughout the day it wasn’t an issue, but I wanted to give you a head’s up since some people make these meals when they won’t be home until dinner.

photo (61)

Once again, the vegetables were cooked to perfection. The chicken was moist, and the dumplings were very tasty.

Our next meal was Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken. I wasn’t sure if the kids would love this one since it was a bit spicy, but it was delicious. This meal you can start in the crock pot and walk away for eight hours.

photo 2 (4)

We actually had to push back dinner the night we made this and it ended up sitting in the slow cooker for an extra 2 hours on warm. It still tasted great and we didn’t have any leftovers.

photo 1 (4)

Here’s how Crock-Pot® Cuisine works. You order your meals through the website. They currently have seven meals to pick from, but new meals are being added soon.

Current meals available are:

  • Layered Beef Lasagna
  • Rustic Beef Stew
  • Sesame Ginger Chicken
  • Roasted Chicken and Mini Herbed Dumplings
  • Creole-Style Andouille Sausage and Chicken
  • Lemon Herb Chicken

After your order is placed your meals will arrive at your doorstep in a few days.

This is a great service for someone who has just had a baby, or is recovering from a medical procedure. Even if you don’t have time (or are not close enough) to take a meal, you can send them four delicious Crock-Pot® Cuisine meals.

If you are interested in trying Crock-Pot® Cuisine you can save 25% off your first order by using the code CPC25BLOGD. This code is only valid until March 31, 2014 so don’t delay!


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Black Bean Brownies (Grain Free & Vegan)

Black Bean Brownies (Grain Free & Vegan) | The Happy HousewifeBy contributing writer Tessa

Beans in a dessert??!!  People look at me like I have two heads when I suggest it, but believe me when I say, not a single person has ever been able to tell what these black bean brownies are made of!  They taste like real, dense, fudgey brownies.

Only difference is…they have the added nutrition of the beans incorporated! Go sneak some goodies into your family today!

Healthy, Moist Chocolate Brownies Made w/ Beans?!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 15 ounce can black beans (or 1½ cups cooked beans), thoroughly rinsed and drained.
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil or other oil/melted fat of choice
  • ⅔ cup sugar or more to suit your taste
  • 2 tablespoons chia meal or flax meal, or one egg
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor bowl, add the beans, oil, sugar, and chia meal. Puree until smooth and beans are indiscernible.
  3. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour/spread into a greased or parchment lined 8 x 8 inch pan. The batter will not be deep.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
I like to use adzuki beans too. They’re easier to digest!
I use palm sugar and stevia.

 

Black Bean Brownies (Grain Free & Vegan) | The Happy Housewife

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