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Entries in peanut butter (9)

Friday
Mar252011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I am notoriously awful at hearing song lyrics correctly. I have become so good at mishearing lyrics, it's becoming something of an art form (or at least that's what I tell myself). Of course, I have no idea I'm hearing them wrong; it isn't until I sing them loud enough for others to hear do I become aware of this. Embarrassing? Yes. Humiliating? Just a bit. No one wants to be that person belting out the wrong words to a favorite song.

Let me give you a few examples. We'll start small.

Only a year ago did I learn the true lyrics to Prince's When Doves Cry. I've always heard "When the worlds collide" instead of "When Doves Cry." When Doves Cry may be the conclusion of the chorus and the name of the song, but my translation sounded so cool I didn't question it. The real lyrics are much more disappointing than my own interpretation, I think. Doves crying isn't nearly as awesome as entire worlds smashing into each other. In fact, this misheard imagery is what made me a Prince fan in the first place. Such is life.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

There was a commercial when I was very young featuring Johnny Nash's I Can See Clearly Now. The song was used to sell glasses for the masses. They changed the lyrics from "I can see clearly now, I can see all obstacles in my way" to "I can see clearly now, I can see all opticals in my way." Clever advertising, but my small, undeveloped mind didn't notice this. It wasn't until I was singing this song in a car full of friends did someone point out that it wasn't opticals, but obstacles. It took me nearly 18 years to be corrected on that one. Once I actually thought about the lyrics, it seemed strange that Johnny Nash would be obsessed enough with eye health to include it in his songs.

Perhaps the most absurd misheard lyrics comes from One Republic's Apologize. Instead of "it's too late to apologize," I've always heard "it's too late to father a child." I kid you not. The first time I heard the song, these lyrics stopped me in my tracks. Too late to father a child? When is it ever too late to father a child? Why is the song called Apologize? Whenever the song played on the radio, I'd listen closely to the lyrics trying to find some context for this conclusion (of which there is none, by the way). I couldn't understand how this song was so popular despite the fact that it didn't make an ounce of sense. Eventually I brought my confusion about this up to a friend who set the record straight. To this day I struggle to hear the real lyrics whenever the song plays. It's too late to father a chiiiild, it's too laaate...

What are your best misheard lyrics?

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe is my first foray into gluten-free foods and I'm not disappointed. These flourless peanut butter cookies are the ultimate peanut butter cookie. The peanut butter flavor is concentrated and intense and so good. Even without flour, these cookies hold together well and do not crumble. Because I am such a sucker for chocolate, I drizzled a little on top, but this step is completely optional; the cookies don't need anything extra to taste great. If you like peanut butter cookies, make this recipe instead (trust me on this one). With only four ingredients, these cookies are a snap to make.

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Friday
Mar112011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Three and a half years ago, living in my first apartment in college, I thought having a pet fish was the greatest idea ever. And it was, for a year or so. I had my very own fishy friend and he had a surprisingly interesting little personality that kept me entertained. I bought him a few friends and they had a swimmingly time together.

Three years later, having pet fish suddenly doesn't seem like the greatest idea ever. That very same fish tank now sits in my bedroom and begs to be cleaned more often then I remember.

I haven't always been the best fish mother. Sometimes I forget to feed them. Sometimes I don't clean the tank for a month. Yet, my fish preserver. They are survivors. I don't understand how people struggle to keep fish alive. I'm beginning to believe mine are incapable of dying.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Lately, my fish tank has been making strange noises in the night. The filter (or fish?) perfectly mimics the sound of someone breathing. Long intake of breath. Short exhale. Repeat. The pattern never strays from the steady beat. The sound is subtle. In the hustle and bustle of the day, you couldn't hear it if you really, really tried.

But late at night, when the house is dark and quiet, it's there. Sometimes it takes me offguard and for a split second, I think someone is in my room with me, quietly breathing behind me, lying in wait. Soon enough (and a heart attack later), I realize it's just the fish.

I really ought to get that checked out before I actually have a heart attack.

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

First and foremost, if you are going to make these cookies, make a double batch. I didn't and immediately after tasting one, I sorely regretted it. These peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are everything you want in a cookie. The outside is crisp while the inside stays soft and tender. They are perfect for dunking or eating plain (though you will want a glass of milk). I used chunky peanut butter to give my cookies more of a crunch though I have no reason to believe creamy peanut butter wouldn't be just as great. If you are a cookie lover, I recommend you give these a shot.

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Sunday
Feb272011

Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

peanut butter swirled brownies

Sometimes the best part of my day is making a batch of brownies and that's the honest-to-god truth.

Though I often try to stay upbeat and cheerful with you (no one likes a Debbie Downer), it would be amiss to pretend that I don't have my bad days as well as my good. In many ways, sharing my life with you in these small, candid ways has compelled me to find the good—or even happiness—in my daily life. I want to tell you how I feel when the sunlight shines in through the window just so (or take a picture so you can see for yourself). I want share my love for chocolate and for lemons.

What I don't tell you about are the days where want to bury my head under my pillow and pretend I don't have to get out of bed. Instead, I will express my nostalgia for the childhood foods that comfort me. I don't need to share the days that I feel so lonely I could burst. Instead, I'll read (and reread) your comments and smile, feeling blessed that I can be a part of this community. I want to be a small bright spot in your day, whether through my photography, my stories, or my food. I wish to bring a smile to your face or a hunger to your stomach.

peanut butter swirled brownies

A friend reminded me today that the key to happiness (or, at the very least, not feeling overwhelmed with life) is taking what you have and making it enough somehow. I thought about this for a long time. I am always dreaming for a life that isn't mine—maybe parts of it are, but the rest is fantasy. Some days I wish I was a middle-aged woman, complete with a loving husband and beautiful children. Other days I wish I was a bold and courageous woman, flying off to live alone in Paris to do what I love.

I have a hard time becoming satisfied with what I have made for myself. Do I regret anything I have done or resent the decisions I have made? No. Though, sometimes life leads me towards people and places that don't quite fit what I have planned. They may be a part of the bigger picture, but in my small, everyday moments, it isn't quite what I wanted; this isn't what I dreamed about.

Appreciating what I have is more difficult than I expected or realized. I know I'm lucky to be where I am and I know this, but it is hard not to want moremoremore. I am trying to understand that hopes and dreams take time and energy and we all must pay our dues to see them realized. While saying this to you is one thing, living and experiencing it is another beast.

Sometimes I buy myself a new pair of shoes hoping it will bring me a moment of happiness. Maybe they will, but the moment is fleeting.

peanut butter swirled brownies

I do consider myself to be a happy person, but, like everyone, I have my moments where it can be difficult to find those bright spots in my day. For long periods of time, my days can feel dim (not necessarily dark) and this is what I struggle with most. The mediocrity of day-to-day life prevails above all else. How do you overcome this? How do you train yourself to find more bright spots (and, thus, more happiness)?

These are the questions I'm working on answering. Lifelong happiness may be an endless process and, though never easy, it is what you make out of it. You have to find your own happiness because no one is going to do it for you. You must take what you have been dealt and find a way to be content with it.

I am searching for genuine happiness in the humdrum of daily life.

I will let you know where I find my happiness. I hope you share your happiness struggles and triumphs with me. Where do you find your happiness?

peanut butter swirled brownies

These peanut butter swirled brownies are never too sweet. The brownie is neither a thick fudge or light cake (like these blueberry brownies), but falls somewhere in between. The crunchy peanut butter swirls give these brownies a much needed texture. I find that the sweetness of the peanut butter balances out the bittersweet chocolate of the brownie. If you ever so slightly under-bake the brownies, you'll find yourself with a moister brownie that is neither dry or crumbly.

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