friday links

Happy Friday!

Recently I was given a couple samples of Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate bars.
Not truly knowing what they were, I just thought they were another artisanal chocolate bar.
But no, they are all natural, no refined sugar, good for you chocolate bar THAT has really good
taste.  Look for them in Whole Foods or just go to their website and see where you can find them.
It's really good chocolate made with pure cacao, raw foods and all natural seasonings.
My favorite was the Be Fresh.
Have you tried your sweet potato fries this way?  Oh but you must!
Recently I got a chance to sit in (not fly...yet!) a Waco Biplane at Cape Cod Airfield.
You can imagine my excitement!
Next time I will go for a ride.
Cool right?  I wish I had a better camera so I could take a clearer photo of the cockpit.
I was asked to review the candy cookbook Classic Candy by Abigail Gehring.
No special molds needed, easy to follow instructions, and hard to find recipes for such old-fashioned candy favorites like:  licorice twists, chocolate cheesecake bon bons, cinnamon hard candies, pate de fruit, potato candy, sugar plums, gummi bears, and so much more!
If you're into vintage candy making that requires no molds, this book is for you.
Plus it comes with handy candy temperature chart.  
Classic Candy by Abigail Gehring

Around the Web:

literary life: a step back in time with HoJo's (my friend wrote this--had to share)
food combining: do you believe in it or think it's hogwash?
5 crucial exercises to keep you in tip top shape (from surf legend dave kalama)
turmeric: the next superfood?
wreaths! the movie (for all you crafty folks)
roasted pumpkin seed hummus
a lightened up version of pumpkin cream cheese muffins
pumpkin pie bagels! when I eat carbs again--this is first in my mouth!
pumpkin-cheesecake popsicles! 
10 ways to use lemons for beauty
healthy peanut butter cups
homemade peanut butter treats for dogs (really cute)
meet "super dad" aka "bat dad" (hilarious!)
apple breakfast bars (I love easy & tasty recipes)
what do the monopoly properties look like in real life?
how to make spanish tortillas

I will be crafty this winter! I will!
humans crave comfort, but comfort isn't always good for us (ut oh! study from harvard gazette)
japanese manhole covers are beautiful
a conversation with teeny the pie baker
re-charge your iphone by just squeezing it?
no more soggy bottom muffins--try this tip
the cold bruer coffee system
how to make perfect chocolate pudding
3 ways to soften butter quickly
built-in straw cereal bowl
foam roller: what is it, how do you use it & why does it hurt?
wonderful aerial view of cape cod
pumpkin ale muffins!
key lime-white chocolate cookies
streuseled acorn squash muffins
make today, eat any day: how to freeze cookie dough

Have a wonderful weekend!



pumpkin butter crunch bars

So not being able to find canned pumpkin last week, what's the next best thing?
No, I'm not roasting a whole pumpkin and then pureeing it, as much as that sounds like a fun "little house on the prairie" moment, I will pass.
The next best thing was pumpkin butter!
The pumpkin butter at Trader Joe's is pretty good, a little too sweet for me, but it's ok.
It's MUCH better to bake with----
And it's cheap...let's go with that.
This creation came about after I asked on my Facebook page: pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies yeah or nay. And a lot of you said yeah BUT not cakey.
So off I set to create a "crunch-like" pumpkin cookie.
And one of you said pumpkin powder!  Where can I find pumpkin powder?
Oh yes indeed.
These pumpkin butter crunch bars are based on the VERY popular ginger crunch bars.
Do I even have to tell you how good they are?
Let me put it to you this way: almost everything I create I give away to friends and family.
These were on the list to give to my doctor and his wife, who are total foodies btw (my doc makes
his own pasta BY HAND--no machine!).
When I dropped these bars off everyone in the office huddled around the plate like a buffalo stance, making those sounds of "ohhh and ahhh and whoa...".  Secretly?  I love, and I mean love to hear the resounding voices of people in love with my creations.  It's literally what drives me to create.
There were I think 12-15 bars on the plate?
In five minutes they were all gone.
One bowl easy?  Meh, pretty much.
IMG_2024 (1)
This could also be called pumpkin shortbread, if you doubled up the dough and made it thicker.
A little of this stuff goes a long way....it's strong.
Don't panic when the dough is crumbly, just go ahead and push it the pan!
Icing is strong too, so I only used half (see cook notes).

pumpkin butter crunch bars

cookie base
9 TB unsalted butter, room temp
¼  cup granulated sugar
1 ¾ cup flour
1 ts baking powder
 giant pinch of sea salt
3 giant TB of pumpkin butter

4 TB unsalted butter
2 TB golden syrup
1-2 TB pumpkin butter
½ cup powdered sugar
pinch of sea salt

cook notes:
I used an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom. 
You could use another size tart pan with removable bottom.
For me, the icing makes a lot, I just wanted a little bit of icing, so I only used half and saved the rest of the icing for pumpkin scones!  It keeps perfectly in the fridge, covered, for a week.  I can’t remember how much pumpkin butter I used in the icing; it was either 1 or 2 TB.  So use 1 TB, taste it, and see how you feel and go from there.
I know a lot of you always ask is there a substitute for the golden syrup—no, I haven’t found one yet.  If you can please invest in buying a can of this, it’s really good and one can lasts a long time, plus I have the ginger crunch bars you can make with it!  It’s just such a great ingredient for frostings, icing, etc…

Butter and/or spray up a 8 or 9-inch rectangular tart pan with removable bottom.
You can use a stand mixer—I mixed by hand.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the pumpkin butter
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture until well combined.
The dough will be very crumbly!  This is fine.
Turn the dough out onto the pan and spread it out, making sure to get into all the corners.   Stick the dough in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before baking.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Bake the dough for 18-20 minutes, until it’s light golden brown or if you want really crunchy then golden brown --  I did somewhere in between.
When the dough is almost done baking, make the icing by heating the butter and golden syrup over low heat in a small pan; add in the powdered sugar and pumpkin butter.  Keep stirring until it’s all smooth. Do NOT let this boil, take off heat when everything is nice and combined. 
Once the dough is done baking pour the icing over the top (I used about 1/2 of it).  When smoothing out the icing try not to let it get into the edges.  You want the edges to be seen as it gives a nice decorative appeal when it’s all cooled.
Let this sit for at least 30 minutes to let the icing harden up/set up. 
If your kitchen is hot, then pop in the fridge.
Use a sharp knife to slice into bars or squares.


friday links

Happy Friday!
The winner of the Krusteaz molten cookie giveaway is #7: Lynn!
Congrats to you!  Please email me your shipping address!

I was asked to review this wonderful and very creative raw cooking/creating.
I have to admit I was skeptical at first because, well, we all know raw is tricky and hard to love.
BUT this book Simply Raw Kitchen is so creative and so versatile.
I gave you a sneak peek of the dessert section, the "righteous brownies with caramel frosting".
Can you believe this is all raw?  Unreal right?
If you're wanting to go to the raw side and still want to keep it tasty and not all tasting like lawn clippings--you MUST get this book: Simply Raw Kitchen by Natasha Kyssa.
My latest creation, made late at night:IMG_2786
Since our weather here on cape cod has been gorgeous, we've had a lot of people jumping out of the sky--luckily I captured a couple.
Lots of jellyfish lately in the ocean.
And of course, the end of summer wouldn't be official without the presence of Mabel.
Mabel can only go to the beach at the end of summer since she has to say HI to everyone on the beach-- you can imagine how hard that is in the summer.
Blue Print Cleanse has a new drink!
I'm still swimming.
Can't believe I'm still swimming the end of September. The ocean is nice and warm though.
And the crabs are still biting!
My friend started his own peanut butter company.
I couldn't be happier for him.
If you're looking for a really all natural peanut without added sugar, added chemicals, just tasty pure roasted peanuts then please try this.
I was pretty shocked at how good this was without the sugar.
To order: peanutbutterboy.com

Around the web:
5 steps for avoiding & detoxing the Bt-toxin found in GMO crops
How cute are these? Mason jar lid pies: spiced peach
The radioactive flow from Japan in the Pacific ocean is terrifying
Should we avoid low-fat cheese & milk?
Simple dietary switch that improves your mood
I love these kinds of "rustic recipes" sourdough skillet biscuits!
Wonderful aerial view of different beaches around the world
Cassava cheese balls (an Indonesian dessert)
Vitamin B may help protect against Alzheimers (I hear good and bad about Vit B, not sure about this)
Love this! Small batch homemade sauerkraut. Looks very easy!
Paleo Love: fig newton clones!
Pumpkin-caramel latte brownies
Healthy foods that keep you full (brownies didn't make the list)
DIY bubble gum kit
How to make a ramen crust pizza (will you?)
The crazy world of NFL diets
If you can believe it--Hello Kitty contact lenses
Nacho Cakeletes!
Cheetos infused macaron?  Yes please, I'll take 12!
Bookmarked: turkish coffee brownies
Cheddar, fig jam & candied pecan panini
DIY: peach ketchup
GF Love: GF Brownie Waffles (hello!)
Why do different weather apps give you different weather forecasts?
Nutella-chocolate chip cookies with sea salt (my love for Nutella is now stronger)
Complete guide to understanding probiotics & prebiotics
What it's like to be an eagle.  Awesome footage.
Inspiration read: Hank bought a bus....
I could drink this--white cheddar, garlic & sriracha dip
New research on healthy gut bacteria
Will Chipotle become the first GMO-free restaurant?  I sure hope so!
Handmade portraits: Beantown homemade--so cute!!

**And lastly, this post/article is graphic--I post this because I want to help find the person that did
this to the poor dog.
If you're from Boston/Massachusetts, please share.  Let's find this asshole!
There is huge power in numbers!
Again, this is graphic and heartbreaking.
UPDATE:  because of all the public outcry on this horrific crime, outpouring of support for Puppy Doe and the knowledge that so many of you share our sense of shock at the pain purposely inflicted on this young dog a fund has been set up in "puppy doe's" name.
Your donation (to the Animal Rescue League of Boston) today will go directly to on-going law enforcement efforts on behalf of Puppy Doe and others like her.
$5,000 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the perpetrator in the Puppy Doe case. Funds donated on behalf of Puppy Doe in excess of this reward will go directly towards preventing future cases of animal suffering, cruelty and neglect.
And lastly, I have found out that State Rep of Massachusetts Louis Kafka is vowing to change the
punishment laws of animal cruelty to be more harsh.**


peanut butter-banana oat snack cake

I love when I get emails from my readers saying they love this recipe or asking me if they can swap out something and add in something else.
Love those. It's tells me you're being creative!
But the other day I got a wonderful question/comment from a reader stating they, like me, have no kitchen aid mixer and no hand mixer either. And that they are so glad that my recipes can be done without a mixer; just a strong arm is needed!
Well now I don't feel so all alone!
I honestly thought it was just me doing all this baking and cooking "little house on the prairie" style--
aka by hand.
One of the reasons I started the whole "quick & easy" category on the blog, and why I put the phrase
"one bowl easy" in my posts and recipes.
I know most people are drawn to one bowl easy PLUS tasty. I am too!
So for those of you that do not know, I do NOT have a mixer.
Do I want one?
Yes, I do, financially times are tough and the money goes to the house or the abundant student loans we have in our house.
I truly think we will be paying our student loans until age 80.....
With all that said, here is another very easy recipe, that can "almost" be classified as one bowl easy.
This snack cake is quick to make, but more importantly it isn't heavy, or too sweet.
How should I classify it?
Lightened up blondie with oats, peanut butter and bananas?!?
Yeah, that's definitely it.
My husband, who hates oatmeal, health food, and bananas loved these--so go figure.
If I had to make these again, I would add in some peanuts, pecans or walnuts.
It just needs a bit of texture/crunch.
One bowl easy and one pan easy too.


peanut butter-banana oat snack cake

2 cups flour
½ ts baking soda
½ ts baking powder
½  ts sea salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
12 TB (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
8 ounces cream cheese room temp.
1 and ¼ cup peanut butter (not oily peanut butter)
2 ripe bananas
1 cup light brown sugar, not packed (loose)
½  cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray with non-stick spray or generously butter a 9 x 13 pan.
In small bowl, whisk all dry ingredients and the oats together; set aside.
With electric mixer, or by hand, mix butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
Add in sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Add in eggs and mix, then add in the bananas and mix till all combined.
Then by hand add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  
Pour batter into well-greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake about 25-30 minutes; mine was done at the 25-minute mark.
You’ll know it’s done by the light golden edges.
Definitely check the cake at the 20-minute mark.

Let this cool at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.


friday links + GIVEAWAY

Krusteaz recently sent me some of their new Molten Deep Dish Cookies mixes to try.

Krusteaz Molten Deep Dish Cookies are unique treats that combine the best of chewy cookie texture AND a creamy center in one DELISH cookie!
These are really good AND they are one bowl easy.
But the best part?
That molten packet that you use to fill the cookies with?  Krusteaz gives you plenty of it.  Most companies do not.
I think you're going to like these new Molten Deep Dish cookies; they are one bowl easy too with only three easy steps!
Krusteaz is giving away one set (1 box of each) to one lucky winner.
All you have to do to enter is tell us what other molten cookie flavors should Krusteaz come up with?
ONE COMMENT per person please.
Please have a valid email address in your comment.
ALL anonymous comments will be deleted.
Drawing ends 9/20/13
Sugar cookie with a molten chocolate filling
Chocolate cookie with molten caramel filling
Classic cookie with molten chocolate filling
Want to try these now?  Find a store near you that sells Krusteaz products click here. 
I tried the chocolate cookie with molten caramel filling.
So easy to make; literally 3-step easy.
They were really good!
I sprinkled a little bit of sea salt over the caramel middles before baking.  Try it!
Don't forget to enter!  Tell me and Krusteaz, what should their next molten cookie flavor be?

Around the web:

The sandwiches from Starbucks are actually quite good.  I love the turkey & havarti.


When you live on cape cod, this happens--a lot. Need a caption for this one.

We had a lot of great white's on the cape this summer. First sign I've seen posted in years.
Photo courtesy of Atlantic White Shark 
I will miss summer.
Best kind of dinner. From Chatham Fish & Lobster
Hard to let summer go.  I'm always dreaming of an endless summer.
Best part of the summer? Exploring the wonders of the sea.

peach caramels from love and olive oil (doesn't that sound good?)
like chicken & waffles?  how about chicken & waffle melts!
I'm loving these 7-layer magic cupcakes
a better take on the pop tart: chocolate fudge pop tarts
think you're low on magnesium? read this helpful article from natural society
the importance of probiotics in your life
I just love these baby onesies...so cute!
exercise more BUT sleep more first!
what a great idea for ice cream tacos: brown butter crepes!
how processed foods are killing you one bite at a time
a favorite salad of mine: grilled peach & arugula with gorgonzola & pancetta 
the peloton's power of food
soylent: what the heck is it?
paleo crush: sweet potato drop biscuits!
mini detox to rev up your metabolism
so cute! individual peach upside down cakes
best ways to detox your liver
Mmmm chocolate-fudge pops
the farmers almanac 2014 winter prediction is out (I'm moving to Hawaii!)
paleo crush: mexican rice bowls!
love this: everything you need to know about back pain (infochart)
can broccoli stop the onset of arthritis?
faux cronuts! (very quick & easy)
get your kleenex out: man, 96, enters song contest to pay tribute to his wife. (LOVE)
9 best foods for athletes
the best food tips I've ever seen
are you eating too little food on paleo?
how to take the perfect nap (you know you needed a chart for this!)

Have a wonderful weekend!


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