Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved

Peanut Butter Truffles

Happy New Year!  Now is the time when everyone is making resolutions, many of which involve eating more healthfully.  Perfect time to post a decadent, irresistible truffles recipe, right?!

I made a pamper basket for my sister-in-law who just had a baby four months ago.  Giving me such an adorable nephew deserved a special thank-you gift at Christmas.  Since I already planned on dark chocolate truffles, it only made sense to add some brightness to the basket with another light-colored treat.  Enter white chocolate.  Peanut butter was an all too easy pairing with the white chocolate, but what to add to the peanut butter to make them something extra special took a few days of thought.  Then inspiration hit.

Candy canes.

That’s right.  I crushed up some good old-fashioned candy cane and stirred it in.  It was delicious.  But not perfect.

Pretzels.

What?  Yeah that’s right, pretzels.  Also crushed into small pieces.  This made for some discomfort while rolling out the truffles, but it was worth it.  I know this, because I tested one out of the sister-in-law’s batch.  Maybe six.  Sorry, Amy.

These take a lot of time to make, but most of it is inactive time waiting for the truffles to chill.

Estimated time:  5 hours total, 40 minutes active       Estimated cost: $6, depending on quality of PB

Peanut Butter Truffles

  • 12 oz peanut butter (the best quality you’re willing to buy)
  • 24 oz package almond bark or white chocolate
  • 1 candy cane, crushed finely
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, crushed

Soften 6 oz almond bark in microwave, stirring every 15 seconds until melted.  Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.  Mix in crushed candy cane and pretzels.  Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Using a teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out a portion of the chilled mixture and form into a ball by gently rolling it in your hands.  Place truffles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and chill 2 hours.

Melt remaining almond bark in a double boiler over medium heat.  Using a fork, dip truffles and roll to coat.  Return the coated truffle to the parchment-lined cookie sheet to cool.

Makes about 2 dozen truffles.

 

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Baked Goodies, Recipes, Vegetarian | , , | 4 Comments

Homemade Applesauce

This weekend was damp and chilly.  It felt like the tail-end of fall, putting me in the mood for all sorts of comfort foods.  So when I was given a sack full of homegrown apples (thank you, Dad & Suzy!), I immediately set to work making applesauce.  I thought about just making a few servings for me and Will to snack on.  Then I saw just how many apples were threatening to break through my paper sack and decided that a winter’s worth of sauce was in order!Canned Homemade Applesauce

My first ever batch of sauce came out better than I imagined.  The tart apples mixed with sweet brown sugar made my mouth pucker just enough to make a perfect Mmmm.  Using the crock pot, I made enough to can 7 pints of the good stuff with just a quarter cup leftover to savor in the moment.  I would have licked the crock clean if it wouldn’t have burned my tongue.  I promised Will some fresh sauce for tomorrow  morning, so I can get another fix then!

I can’t give you an accurate cost on this, since I got the apples for free.  And since I couldn’t tell you how many pounds of apples I used, estimating won’t work either.  But I can tell you that it is worth every penny to make your own applesauce.  Nothing beats the full flavor of a homemade sauce, and knowing how much sugar is in it and that it’s made without preservatives.

This recipe contains the amounts I used for a large batch to can.  A pint jar is probably 4 good-sized servings, so for a 4-serving batch divide the ingredients by 7.  Or skip the math and just make a whole lotta the stuff and share it with your new best friends!Homemade Applesauce

Prep time: 20 minutes    Inactive cook time: 4-6 hours

Homemade Applesauce

  • 25-30 small- to medium-sized tart apples
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1 T vanilla

Peel and core apples, and cut into bite-sized chunks.  Drop into the crock pot as you dice them, and drizzle with lemon juice as you go to prevent them from browning.  Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Cook in crock pot on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until apples are soft.  Mash with a fork or potato

masher.

Yields 7 pint jars

September 19, 2011 Posted by | Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Chili Corn Crepes

This recipe comes from the Beyond the Moon cookbook, and the crepes were so delicious that I’ve made them twice since I checked the book out from the library! The original recipe had a delicious black bean filling, but I thought the crepes alone were fantastic. Stuffed with cheddar and mozzarella cheese– amazing!

Crepes do take a little time to make, especially when you make the full recipe (10 crepes). However, I found that they freeze well and taste just as good when thawed. This is good, since even Will and I can’t eat 10 crepes on our own! So make an extra batch to freeze and take out one or two at a time to make a quick lunch or snack. They also take a little forethought, since the batter needs to sit for at least an hour. The batter is simple to make, so you can make it ahead the night before or even in the morning and let it sit in the fridge for the day.

Getting the batter to spread correctly is a little tricky the first crepe or two, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. By my 4th crepe I was flipping like a pro!

Prep time: 5 minutes active, plus 1 hour  Cook time: 20 minutes   Approximate cost: Cheap, since you’ll already have most ingredients!

Chili Corn Crepes

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 T butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 T chili powder

Combine eggs, milk, butter, and 1/3 cup water in a blender or food processor (or mix by hand) and process until smooth.  Add the flours, cornmeal, salt, and chili powder, and process again.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

Heat heavy, 10-inch skillet over medium heat.  Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter, and quickly tilt the pan, swirling batter so it covers the bottom.  Cook the crepe until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  Flip it with a spatula, and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more.  Repeat until all the crepes are cooked.  Stack the cooked crepes, and set them aside.

Put filling (cheddar/mozzarella cheese mix, feta and roasted red peppers, etc) on one-quarter of the crepe.  Fold crepe in half and half again to form a pie-shaped wedge.  Bake on a greased baking sheet at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until the crepe is lightly golden.

Makes 10 crepes (5 servings)

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Recipes, Vegetarian | , , , | Leave a comment

Beer-Battered Onion Rings

I just made the most fantastic onion rings. Disregard my other onion rings post, this version blows the other recipe out of the hot oil!

If you’re like me and can’t stand to throw things out that are slightly past their prime, this is a perfect use for the beer that’s been sitting in your fridge since February 2009. Make sure that you don’t overcook these rings. In fact, I recommend undercooking them just a bit. The batter gets more crispy the longer it fries. Also, cut your rings thick. Skinny rings just can’t stand up to this batter!

Beer-battered Onion Rings

  • Vegetable oil, about 3 inches deep in a pot
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup beer
  • Pinch each of Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 large onion, cut into thick rings

In a deep pot, heat oil to 360 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except onion and stir together until smooth.  Dredge the onions through the batter, coating evenly, then drop into the hot oil.  Fry until a light brown, turning if necessary.  Drain on paper towels.

Serves 2

June 23, 2010 Posted by | Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Roasted Chickpeas

My worst cravings are always for crunchy, salty snacks.  I can empty a bag of tortilla chips in a sitting, and feel miserable for it afterward.  This afternoon I was cooking up a batch of garbanzo beans and decided to throw some in the oven and see what happened.  I’ve had chickpeas this way from the store and loved them.  Of course, this means preservatives and more salt than I should be eating.
 
I have seen recipes for this online in the past, but I took a gamble on my own culinary skills and just went for it.  And I have to say, it turned out better than I expected!  I only made about 1/2 cup worth, since I had plans for the rest of the beans.  But that 1/2 cup didn’t last long.  These babies are addicting! 
 
I seasoned mine with sea salt, but garlic salt would be fantastic with these.  If you like a little spicy with your salty, try adding some cayenne pepper or chili powder.  In a middle-Eastern mood?  Try a dash of curry powder.  The flavor options are endless!
Note that if you want to save these to eat for another day, you may want to consider dry roasting and tossing with oil and seasoning afterward.  They tend to lose their crunch after a few hours.  Personally, I don’t see them lasting until day 2 in my house!
 
Prep and cook time: 45 minutes   Approx cost: $1 for the batch
 
Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Sea salt (or other spice/seasoning) to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toss chickpeas in olive oil and salt and spread onto a baking pan with sides.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until crunchy.

April 21, 2010 Posted by | Food for thought, Learning to Love Chickpeas, Recipes, Vegetarian | , , , | 1 Comment