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Entries in peanut butter (9)

Monday
Mar172014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake

Dear Friend,

It's been awhile since we've last spoken. Months, years—I've lost count. We used to be close, you and I, talking and laughing over ordinary events and everyday life. We discussed the simple things, such as what we were making for dinner, as often as the big events, the events that would eventually lead our lives away from each other and down different paths.

We no longer live in the same place together, now separated by time zones and countless miles. Our friendship held in the beginning. Though we never talked as often as we wished, we made time now and then to sit in front of a computer and catch up, stealing glimpses of each other's new lives through our living room backdrops. A painting here, a splash of color there; foreign to me, but so familiar to you.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake
Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake

Then, as time predicted it would, our friendship grew strained. A missed call here, a forgotten reply there, and we began to drift apart. As our new lives took hold, it all but seemed to evaporate together. We didn't talk anymore, but we thought of each other often and then less. I learned about your daily life online, so informal and impersonal, but I would take it over silence.

Time and distance pulled us apart. We had fallen victim to the most common reason of lost friendship. We were not the first, nor will we be the last, but knowing this doesn't make it any easier to stomach. Perhaps it was the right time for our friendship to come to a close. Perhaps we will never know.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake

I feel as if too much time has passed to reach out to you and pretend as if we still are the friends that we were so long ago. I'm torn between writing you to say hello and never writing words to page in the first place. I think of you every now and again, wondering what your daily life is like, hoping that you are happy. I do wish the dearest of happiness to you.

If we do find each other again, I'd love to invite you over for an afternoon, where we could drink coffee and eat cake and talk about simple things and big events. I'd make you this cake, a combination of flavors that you loved more than I ever did. I'd love to hear how you are doing. I've missed you.

As always,
Me

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosted Cake is a classic cake with a familiar flavor combination. The cake is mixed with peanut butter, which permeates the cake through and through. The final cake is dense, but moist. Spread with a thick chocolate buttercream, it begins to taste dreamy. This is the type of everyday cake that should be enjoyed with friends and loved ones, on sunny afternoons with a side of conversation.

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Sunday
Apr142013

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

My days are filled with adult activities: I get up early for work. I pack myself a nutritionally sound lunch. I try my best to make it to the gym after I put in my full eight hours. I pay the bills on time. I meet all of my work and school deadlines (as well as those I set for myself). Some days I even clean the house. My daily habits have evolved as I have grown older, shaping me into the person I am and who I will become. Growing up is exciting in its own sense, each stage bringing more responsibility and more freedom—two viewpoints that should be contradictory, but at this stage of my life somehow are not.

Even so, there are days that I wish I could age backwards and repeat the moments I loved that brought me here, a Benjamin Button longing of sorts.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

I was blessed with a sweet childhood, free of worry or real responsibility. I played outdoors until the sun went down. I used my imagination to invent games and produce neighborhood plays. I read books late into the night until my mother told me to go to bed. In as many ways as the activities of youth defined my childhood, so did the food.

As a picky eater, my mother often repeated the same meals at the dinner table over and over again, just to be certain some nutrition would find its way to my stomach. My father cooked dinner every so often, making the same meal each time—noodles with crackers. The plain egg noodles mixed with saltine crackers browned in butter was a smell that often greeted me when I would come home late from piano lessons. With a side of summer sausage, this meal was one that topped my childhood favorites.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Even so, as a picky eater, I ate more than my fair share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When the food on the table looked unfamiliar, peanut butter and jelly would be on my menu instead. White bread, creamy peanut butter, and grape jelly were the ingredients to create my perfect sandwich. As I have grown older, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have become much more scarce in my diet, reserved for days when the cupboards are bare or I want to reignite a bit of childhood nostalgia. Nowadays I opt for a healthier take, with whole wheat bread and crunchy peanut butter for a distinct texture.

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins may have gotten a grown up makeover, but the spirit of childhood rests just below the surface, yearning for a bite.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins

Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins are a fun spin on a childhood favorite. Whole wheat flour and ground flax meal add a healthier spin to these peanut butter muffins. A spoonful of grape jelly is added to the center of the muffins, which is absorbed into the rest of the muffin while it bakes. Be careful when layering the jelly in the center of the batter; if it is exposed, it likes to spread out onto the muffin tin. These muffins may not win any beauty pageants, but the taste will absolutely make you forget it.

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Thursday
Jan032013

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

A new year has arrived, bringing hopeful expectations and cheerful intentions. I feel pressed to make a list of resolutions, as so many friends have done and shared. Two years ago I made a list and shockingly accomplished everything I wanted. Last year I hastily found myself joining the bandwagon late, divining a list of January 5th resolutions that were immediately tossed to the wayside—the single resolution that was accomplished was by shear accident and without intention.

Resolutions have always felt so pressure-filled to me. While others may find them encouraging, my list of resolutions tends to stare at me from my desk, a stark reminder that I am nowhere near crossing them off.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

This year I've decided not to make a list of resolutions. Truthfully, I don't really have anything new to add to it. I already try to exercise regularly. Eating healthy has become a lifestyle choice for me, one I have been trying to follow for years. It is a decision I face three times a day. Like anyone, I have good days and bad days, but I do not disgrace myself based on the outcome. I fear that if I put Eat Healthy on my list, I'd only end up in a negative pattern of self judgement. There is no beginning, end, or easy system for measuring healthy eating without dieting—it is just a factor of life.

Despite a lack of resolutions, I do have many goals for myself, both shared and unspoken. Most of them are purposely vague, such as become a stronger writer or become a compelling photographer; they are not easily measurable, a work in progress for a lifetime instead of just twelve short months. For these and many more reasons, it is liberating not to have a handwritten list judging me this time around.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Even so, I have many friends that begin new diets in the New Year. Undoubtedly, I hear stories of one or two who have started skipping (or continue to skip) breakfast to save on calories. These decisions are often followed with excuses (I am never hungry in the morning or I don't have time). After a few years as a breakfast skipper myself, I am now a strong believer in a hearty breakfast. A proper, stick-to-your-bones meal can hold me over until the middle of the afternoon and I really do find I eat less during the rest of the day.

In a way, this oatmeal is for my breakfast-skipping friends—a reminder not to skip the most important meal of the day. It may even be a subtle nudge for you. I know for certain, however, that this oatmeal is for me, too. Healthy and gloriously delicious, I could eat this every single day.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal is hearty and satisfying. Mashed banana gets cooked along with the oats, pervading the oatmeal in a wonderful manner. Peanut butter complements the flavor while a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness of the banana. Topped with a pinch of brown sugar and sliced banana, this is a filling breakfast that will certainly hold you until lunch.

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