When it comes to pesto, I tend to think only of the basil and pine nut variety. This one is my favorite. But there are so many combinations of herbs and nuts that you can use to make pesto! I find basil and pine nuts to be on the pricier end of the spectrum, so using cheap ingredients like cilantro and peanuts make this a wallet friendly pesto as well as a delicious one. The pesto is tossed with some linguine and shredded chicken to make for a complete meal.
My Everyday Food magazine on the iPad is proving to be quite the handy resource. I can put the iPad in my cookbook holder. I don’t have to print out the recipe, and I don’t have to have my big laptop next to the stove and sink. In addition to being convenient, there are a lot of quick and simple recipes, like this one.
I didn’t change much about the recipe. I used less pasta than the recipe calls for. I did this for a couple reasons. I’d rather have more stuff in my pasta dishes and less pasta. Also, my pasta was a 1 pound package. I’d rather use half and have enough to use later for another recipe instead of using 3/4 and trying to incorporate 1/4 into a meal. I had some pesto left over, so I should have just used the 3/4 pound.
The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, but spice hasn’t been my friend lately. So I left that out. I used a little more ginger, added shredded rotisserie chicken for some protein, and used 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and found that to be plenty. But start with 1 tablespoon, taste and adjust as you see fit.
Martha says you can use the entire bunch of cilantro, including the stems. I’m not sure if the same is true for basil and parsley. I would think parsley would be since the two are so similar (I’ve bought one instead of the other at the store on more than one occasion). Basil, I don’t know. But since basil leaves are so big it isn’t a difficult task to remove them from the stem.
1 bunch cilantro, 1/4 cup leaves reserved for serving
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 teaspoon light-brown sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 to 3/4 pound spaghetti or linguine, cooked according to package instructions
2 cups shredded chicken (optional)
In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup peanuts. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine.
In a large bowl, toss pesto with pasta. Stir in shredded chicken.
Roughly chop remaining peanuts and sprinkle over pasta along with cilantro leaves.
There are not many combinations more perfect than peanut butter and chocolate. When I came across this recipe as I was flipping though The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook I immediately stopped and added the ingredients to my grocery list.
There is no baking required and therefore no need to turn on your oven, which is nice for me. It’s been over 100°F most days this summer.
I changed a few things about the assembly of this pie to make it a little simpler. If you read the recipe from the cookbook you notice that the assembly requires some marbling of the caramel, peanut butter and cream cheese mixture. I just put a layer of caramel on top of the crust and then mixed the peanut butter in with the cream cheese. This seemed to be a fine way to assemble the pie, maybe just not as pretty as the marbling would have been.
I highly recommend putting the peanut butter cups in the fridge or freezer prior to chopping. This makes life, cutting boards, knives and hands, much cleaner.
As you might have noticed, there is not much sugar in the filling. I was a little worried about this, but it was perfect. Who am I to doubt Magnolia Bakery? Combined with the cookie crust, caramel and peanut butter cups it is just wonderful and not overly sweet.
One of my new guilty pleasures are those Reese’s Minis, and I happen to have a stash of them in the fridge (where I must keep any chocolate with it being so hot this time of year.) I halved the minis and chopped some unsalted peanuts for the topping. If I were feeling really crazy I might use salted peanuts as a nice salty contrast. Something else that might be interesting would be using some of the white chocolate Reese’s…I think it could work. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Icebox Pie
From The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
1 stick butter
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup (1 pint) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
6-8 regular peanut butter cups, chopped
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup caramel sauce
Handful of chopped peanut butter cups
Handful of chopped peanuts
Combine butter and cookie crumbs in a bowl until crumbs are evenly coated.
Press into a 9-inch pie plate.
Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Beat cream cheese until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, then beat in peanut butter and vanilla.
Whip the cream in a separate bowl, then fold gently into the cream cheese mixture.
Fold in the peanut butter cups.
Remove the crust from the freezer.
Spread the caramel on the bottom of the crust, then spread the filling over the caramel and smooth the top.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours, or overnight.
To serve, garnish with peanut butter cups and peanuts.
There was a time in my life that I would have turned my nose up at a cookie recipe that used a cake mix. Times have changed.
Like many of my baked goods these days, this one was an attempt to use things I had on hand. I had a cake mix, a jar of peanuts, and chocolate chips. So, I made these cookies. And they are not bad.
These cookies taste like a cake mix, and that’s OK with me. I happen to like that flavor every now and then. The mix I had already had some little chips in it, so add a few more chocolate chips if your mix does not. I used half butter and half margarine since I had half sticks of both in the fridge. These were crazy delicious while still warm and gooey in the middle. They weren’t quite as good the next day for some reason. Just pop one…or two…or five in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to warm them up, and enjoy with a cold glass of milk. Mmmmm…
Switch the chips for whatever you want. Use different nuts. Whatever. Enjoy!
Fudgy Chocolate & Peanut Cookies
1 box chocolate cake mi
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
Beat butter or margarine until smooth. Beat in cake mix, then oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
An undeniable craving for oatmeal cookies struck me last week. I rummaged through the baking cabinet…yes, I have a cabinet filled almost exclusively with baking goods and gadgets…and found a bag of peanut butter chips. Mmm. Then I went to the pantry and was drawn toward the jar of creamy peanut butter and the container of roasted peanuts. Peanut butter oatmeal cookies were calling to me. I toyed with the idea of adding some dark chocolate chips, or maybe some crushed pretzels, but in the end all peanut was the way to go.
I looked at a few regular oatmeal cookie recipes for some basic ratios and then changed and added as I thought necessary. My final recipe is below. There are a few things I might tinker with in the future, but these cookies were very good. They have a nice full peanut flavor, a good contrast of salty and sweet, they are crunchy yet chewy, and delicious.
Triple Peanut Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chopped peanuts
Beat together butter, shortening and peanut butter until smooth.
Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, powder and salt.
Mix in flour mixture until just combined.
Add in oats, peanut butter chips and peanuts and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Spoon dough onto baking sheets using a large scoop (2-3 tablespoons) about 1 inch apart.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
Let cool on pan for a minute or two, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.