p[ea]nut love

I am inspired by peas.  Well, one Pea in particular.  Mama Pea.  And when she says that her Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls are the best recipe she has ever made?  Of course I made three batches.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls from Peas and Thank You

  • 1/2 cup earth balance (or any other non-dairy margarine)
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (naturally, I used Trader Joe’s natural creamy)
  • *1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2t vanilla extract
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4t salt
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup + non-dairy chocolate chips (Trader Joe’s definitely makes the best semi-sweet chocolate chips around)

*the almond milk is optional based on if your dough is too dry without it, I found that mine was so after making the first batch I combined it in with the wet ingredients

1. Beat earth balance, peanut butter, both sugars, almond milk and vanilla until fully incorporated.

2. In a smaller bowl combine baking powder, soda, salt and flour.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time until almost mixed together.

4. Now add the chocolate chips that you managed to not nibble on during the making of the dough.

5.  Chill dough for roughly 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350*.  Roll the dough into small balls.  Roll these in your hands to look more like a dough ball and less like a scoop of ice cream.  Place on a lined cookie sheet (they don’t spread so you can fit a lot on each sheet).

The mini cookie scoop I used made tablespoon-sized balls, perfect for a party.

Bake for 8-10 minutes (mine were small so if you make larger ones the time might be slightly more).  But do not overbake.  I repeat, do not overbake.

Doesn’t that make for an awesome dessert selection.

Peas and Thank You, Mama Pea.

veggie pizza remix

I love veggies.  And I also love pizza.  Veggie pizza?  Oh man, this used to be one of my downfalls at any gathering that had it.  Typical veggie pizzas call for crescent dough rolled out into a “crust”, topped with cream cheese with something mixed in and then topped with the only actually healthy part – the veggies.  I am guessing the small proportion of veggies to the other components is one of the reasons it is so popular for a ‘vegetable dish’ ;).

I have not had the previously mentioned veggie pizza in quite some time, as I no longer eat dairy and crescent rolls are pretty low on the list of nutrient-filled foods.  Thus, I was extremely happy when Kinley compiled the following concoction to recreate a veggie pizza for my grad party!  First, she turned to The Gracious Pantry for her Clean Eating Thin Crust Pizza.  If you subbed out the honey in the crust for agave or some other non-honey sweetener, this entire pizza would easily be vegan.

Once the pizza crust was baked and cooled, she topped it with Non-Dairy Cream Cheese and also mixed in dried garlic and dill.  This was my first tasting of non-dairy cream cheese, and boy was it ever better than any cream cheese I remember!  Even the relatives who initially turned their nose up at “tofu cream cheese” licked the container clean…

The final component?  Shredded carrots and chunked up broccoli, but do what you’d like here.  There are infinite possibilities.

This was a hit.  It was gone less than 2 hours after the party started.  No lie.  And no one knew it wasn’t actually cream cheese.

This picture has nothing to do with veggies or pizza… but it was another one of the beautiful flower arrangements out at my party.  Thanks Aunt Jody for putting these all together with the two bunches of flowers I picked up at Trader Joe’s!  I just love hydrangeas.  

graduation party

I’m still in the process of detoxing from my grad party ;).  It seems as if I have been going non-stop since last Friday, and I apologize for the lack of posting over the weekend.  I’m slipping back into a more normal routine now.  I actually biked to yoga this morning (I am without a car this week), and I feel so much better.  I haven’t practiced for a couple of weeks and I could definitely tell with how tight my back has been feeling!  Can’t go so long without going again!

I’ll start out by giving a little overview of my graduation party which was this past Sunday, and then go through the details throughout the week ;).  You can see some of the non-baking/cooking preparations here as well.

We started the party later in the evening, I knew I wanted to have a bonfire but did not want to entertain too long haha, so the party started at 6:30 which ended up being a really good time.  It gave us plenty of time during the day to make last minute preparations, clean and get everything set up.  It also helped avoid the dilemma of not knowing what to serve for dinner!

On the invitation, I put appetizers, cocktails and desserts and we mostly went along with that.  The main addition to the list was the PB&J Bar we put together – loved it.  We also had a variety of hummus (hummi for plural? 😉 ), salsa, guacamole and plenty of dippers.

And of course a party cannot be complete without a cake and other desserts!  I loved how the cake turned out!

And finally, what’s a campfire without S’mores?  These got put together and taken out to the bonfire.  Unfortunately not too many of these got eaten because of all of the wonderful cake!  But they will definitely keep for our next bonfire!

I don’t have any pictures of cocktails, it was mostly pre-bottles beverages but I also concocted a little sangria to serve which ended up being delicious and oh-so-easy.  I used white zinfandel (although I think a darker red wine would work great as well), and topped it with a little sparkling water and simply orange juice.  I just garnished with one orange sliced up and it was good to go – and perfect served over ice!

Stay tuned for more in-depth details on all the party components :).

party planning

My graduation party is on Sunday!  I have been busy planning and starting decorations for it, and tomorrow starts some baking :).  I have ended up doing a few cost-conscious and environmentally friendly items that I thought might be nice to share, and also so that I will remember these things as well.

Invites can be completely customized and only cost 15 cents an invite.  I simply created an invite and printed it like a photo – nothing fancy but it looks very nice and is 100% customizable (depending on how creative you want to get 😉 ).  I kept mine pretty simple, but I loved how they turned out!

I ended up getting 16 mason jars to fill with various things to keep everything coordinated.  I also got ribbon to match the invites as well as the colors on the cake.

Here are the jars I used for the forks, spoons and knives.  They fit perfectly in them even with the cover on top (to make sure they don’t spill out before the party!).

Since I am using the mason jars to put different things in (rather than using the jars/containers they already come in), I needed to make some sort of label to let people know what everything was.  I just got a couple pieces of decorative paper, cut them the size of place-cards, and will print off what’s in the jar on white paper and put them on the place-cards along with a color-coordinated flower.

I’ll fill you in next week with what the jars will all be filled with!  Can’t wait to see how it will all look together with the plates and cake!  I’ll be baking two different things tomorrow, Kinley is in charge of a couple of dips on the menu and will be working on them this weekend.  We also have family coming into town tomorrow night to entertain so we will definitely be busy busy!