Peanut Butter Cup Blondie Bites


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We've cut back our grocery budget since my change in career, which means we're not buying as many of JR's boxed treats and I'm trying to make him more snacks instead. You'd think he would be thrilled, but truth be told, he loves those individually packaged treats sold in a box!

The one way I know to win him over is with peanut butter. As I've mentioned on here before, JR adores peanut butter anything. It was no surprise that he loved these Peanut Butter Cup Blondie Bites.  

This preparation was a bit unique in that you melt butter on the stove and add ingredients from there. Beware, I didn't give the batter enough time to cool and the peanut butter cups started melting as soon as they hit the batter. I tell you this so that you don't miss that important step in the directions! 

I think these would be a big hit on a holiday cookie tray! Familiar, yet a little different.

Here is what you'll need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. 

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Remove pan from heat and add brown sugar. Stir until dissolved. Once sugar mixture has cooled slightly, add egg and vanilla, and stir until smooth. Add flour mixture and stir until combined. Once the mixture has cooled, add peanut butter cups and stir until just combined.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups and smooth tops with back of spoon. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until just set. Allow to cool completely in pan. Run a butter knife around the edge of each muffin cup before removing. Makes 24.

Source: Adapted from All You, May 2008 via My Recipes

Swedish Meatballs over Egg Noodles


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Swedish Meatballs is a meal I cannot recall ever eating. We may have had this meal growing up, but it's not one that I can remember. As an adult, this was never something that appealed to me. After all, meatballs are meant to be in a red sauce. Right?

Well, that's partially right. However, much to my surprise, meatballs are great in this sauce as well! I'm so glad that I talked to my friend The Home Cook and my sister, both of whose recommendation convinced me to give Swedish Meatballs a try. If you've never made them, I hope you will try them too!

Here is what you'll need:

For the Meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the Sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 1/2  cup beef broth
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lb egg noodles, cooked
  • handful of chopped chives
Combine meatball ingredients, with the exception of the olive oil, in a bowl until just mixed. Roll into mini meatballs, a bit smaller than golf balls.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Fry meatballs until they are browned on each side, about 8-10 minutes. You may need to do this in batches in order to avoid overcrowding the pan. Once meatballs are browned on all sides, remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the butter and melt. Add flour to melted butter and whisk together into a paste. Add sherry and whisk until smooth. Add beef broth slowly while whisking to make a sauce that coats the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Turn heat to low and add mustard and yogurt. Stir to combine.

Add meatballs back to the pan and stir so meatballs are coated with sauce and are warmed through. Serve over egg noodles and garnish with chives. Serves 4.

Source: Slightly adapted from Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals as seen on A Taste of Home Cooking