Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Date Night and Dessert May 13, 2014

As you might have guessed, my hubby and I got to go on a date last week.  Because of that, I have a ton of things to share, so I’m only going to post one recipe (but it’s a doozy!).  Let’s start with the recipe.  I made these for a recent get-together with friends, and they were a huge hit!  They don’t take long to pull together, but they are so very, very tasty.  Honestly, you just can’t go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.  I want to warn you though, these are VERY rich, so you’ll definitely want to cut them in small pieces.

Peanutty Buckeye Bars (from Better Homes & Gardens)

1 19 1/2 oz. package brownie mix

2 eggs

1/3 c. oil

1 c. chopped peanuts

1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 c. peanut butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan.  In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, eggs, and oil.  Beat on medium til combined; stir in the nuts.  Spread 1/2 of the brownie mix in the prepared pan; set the other 1/2 aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and the peanut butter til smooth.  Spread over the brownie mix.  Take pinches of the remaining brownie mix, flatten it with your fingers, and place on top of the peanut butter layer.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or til the top is set and the edges are lightly browned.  Cool completely in the pan.

Peanutty Buckeye BarsPeanutty Buckeye Bars 4

My husband and I started our date night by going to Panera.  I’d been given a gift card for Panera, so with a $2 off deal from My Panera rewards, we were able to have a nice dinner for an affordable price.  As usual, I got a you pick 2.  This time, I tried one of their new flatbreads.  They have Mediterranean, Southwestern, and Thai options.  This time, I tried the Mediterranean. While the overall flatbread was nice, I really loved how the flavor of the hummus came through.  I also appreciated that the flatbread was the perfect size, not so small that I was left hungry, but not so large that I felt too full.  When you buy an entree, Panera gives you the option to add a pastry for 99 cents.  This time, we got the pecan braid which was absolutely perfect.

After our delicious dinner, we headed to Central Market for Passport Italy.  Since we went on a weeknight, there weren’t very many samples and display shows, but we still found plenty to look at.  Here’s a look at my stash:

5-8-14 Central Market finds  We picked up some Italian pasta (I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll tell you if it’s awesome.), a French soda (It was coconut lime and tasted like sunscreen smells – in a good way.), my husband’s root beer (He said it was great!), some 479 Degree popcorn (Which I’ll tell you about next.), some Italian cheese similar to mozzarella (and very tasty on our pizza earlier this week), and a host of spices to try.  Central Market has really done well revamping their spice department.  It’s very organized and offers a huge array of options.  The best part is that they have digital scales that let you know (before you get to the check out line) just how much you’re getting, and how much it’ll cost.  I got 6 new spices to try (aleppo pepper, fenugreek, honey powder, szechuan peppercorns, and za’atar) plus some chipotle powder that we were running low on.  You can also see the beautiful rose that my husband got me!!  What you don’t see pictured are the 2 Italian treats that we ate before I got a picture.  My husband decided to get a vanilla panna cotta.  He really enjoyed it, but I’m not a huge fan.  The flavor was great, like ice cream; I’m just not a fan of custardy type desserts.  I got a siciliana cannolo (the singular of cannoli) that was amazing!!  It was full of sweetened ricotta with a piece of candied orange peel at each end.  By the way, candied orange peel is incredible!!!  Do you know those candied/jellied orange slices that you can buy in the candy aisle of the grocery store?  I like those, but real candied orange peel is the pure form of what those other ones are trying to be.  In other words, I just found a new treat to try and recreate!

Okay, back to the popcorn.  When I first told y’all about 479 Degree popcorn, I told you that the next flavor I wanted to try was their Toasted Coconut Caramel.  Luckily for me, that’s one of the flavors that Central Market had, and it’s the one I bought.  Oh my goodness!!!  It’s got all the best parts of caramel corn plus a sweet coconut flavor (sort of like the coconut flavor in a Mounds bar).  Needless to say, it was popcorn perfection.  Take a look.

479 Toasted Coconut Caramel479 Toasted Coconut Caramel 3

 

 

Of course going on a fabulous date with my hubby doesn’t mean that I didn’t spot some new recipes that I’d like to make in the future.  Here’s what I found particularly tasty this week:

Orange Cupcakes from Rusty Hinges.  My friend is an interior decorator who writes this blog.  When she had us over a few months ago, she made these insanely delicious orange cupcakes.  I was so excited to find the recipe when I went through her blog.  These are moist and full of a great orange flavor.  I can hardly wait to make them for myself!

– 101 Cookbooks’s Cucumber Peanut Salad looks so cool and refreshing.  As summer comes closer, I’m starting to crave cool meals and salads with some interest to them.

– 101 Cookbook’s Broccoli Crunch:  Another delicious looking salad with interesting components.  Don’t you love colorful, pretty salads?

– Pillsbury’s One-Pot Creamy Spaghetti.  I know this sort of thing was a trend a few months ago.  I didn’t really pay it much attention then, but this recipe looked so tasty and easy.  It’s just 6 ingredients and less than 30 minutes from dinner.

And lastly, I wanted to share some of this week’s pictures.  The caption was “In the Garden”.

5-10 In the Garden  The big pot has my 2 succulents from Ikea.  The purple pot holds my chives.  I trimmed them just a few days ago, and look how quickly they’ve sprung back!  The tiny pot is my newly purchased mint plant.  It’s not doing very well, but I’m hoping to get it a larger pot for re-settling.  Now let’s see what’s in my improvised greenhouse (the upturned storage container seen in the top left corner).

5-10 In the Garden 2  The left is my basil plant (not sure why the biggest plant is blurred) and the right is my seedling mint.

5-10 In the Garden 3  Here’s a close-up of the mint.  If you look closely, you can see 6-7 little sprouts coming up.  Hopefully, one or the other of my mint plants will do really well, and I can cook with mint this summer.

What’s in your garden?

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One Response to “Date Night and Dessert”

  1. […] got to spend a little extra time together this week, so we used a gift card to go out to Panera.  Last time I mentioned the flavor of the Mediterranean flatbread I tried.  This time, we tried out the Thai […]


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