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Pumpkin Peanut Butter

Have you had enough of pumpkin yet?

We certainly hope not, because we have one last recipe to add to the onslaught of pumpkin-themed-everything that you have probably been being hit with for the past month-and-a-half.  If you are tired of it though, perhaps we could change your mind… with a cookie?

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Oh sorry, that’s just the dough- you were expecting the baked stuff, weren’t you?

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*Disclaimer: there may or may not have been a certain amount of dough that did not quite make it into cookies…

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But isn’t it kind of a rule that you always have to taste-test the batter before you bake the cookie?  It is in our house, anyways 😉

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In all seriousness though- these cookies are fantastic.  Who knew that peanut butter and pumpkin could be such a winning combination?  Of course, the chocolate chips just add that extra bit of decadence 🙂

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It’s difficult to describe the texture of these cookies.  They’re soft but dense, sort of cake-like but not quite as light as cake- you know what? Maybe you guys should just try them and decide for yourselves what the texture is instead of letting us ramble on forever, sound like a plan?

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And after all that we completely forgot to mention that these are gluten free!  How silly of us!  We used our trusty‘ol new gluten-free flour blend, of course :).

If you think the peanut butter-pumkin combo is strange, we urge you to give it a shot- we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  We know we were!

And after you’ve made these cookies, we give you full permission to start into all things ginger bread, peppermint, cranberry, chocolate and Christmas-filled wonderfulness!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

2 c. Gluten-Free flour blend
1
/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine the flour, xantham gum, baking powder salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Cover a baking sheet with parchement paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Drop the dough onto the sheet, about 2 tbsp for each cookie.
Using a floured fork, press the cookie so that it’s flat, shaping them to make them round.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm enough to be picked up and the bottoms are slightly brown.

~twosaucysisters

What was your favourite pumpkin recipe from this Fall?  Are you looking forward to Christmas baking?  What are you planning to make?

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No-Bake No-Problem

So, we’re about to open another post talking about the weather.  We hate to be repetitive or predictable, but really, the weather has so much of an effect on what we eat that it really must be mentioned!  At least in this post, anyways.

Because today we’re talking about these:

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No-bake peanut butter banana granola bars!

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You see, we try to always have quick snacks in the house that we can toss into our lunch bags when we go to work.  Lately, though, we’ve been on a huge muffin-kick.  Remember these?  So what do muffins have to do with the weather?  Nothing.  Except that they require an oven…

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And you might recall us mentioning a couple times the heat-wave we experienced a few weeks ago.  Definitely not muffin-baking weather.  Which is where these granola bars come in.

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Our first attempt at these granola bars was made during said heat-wave.  Unfortunately, while they tasted really good, they fell apart very easily and so we knew we needed to give them another try before we gave the recipe to you guys.

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But then the heat wave came to a very abrupt end (as in the temperature literally dropped by about 20 degrees Celsius overnight), and suddenly not using the oven wasn’t such a priority.  But we had already made one attempt, and we knew we couldn’t back down from the challenge!

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On the second attempt, the stars aligned and they turned out just the way we wanted!  Don’t you love it when that happens?

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Confession:  The first time we made these they had chocolate chips in them.  The second time around we went to put chocolate in them again and realized we were all out- yes, it was a shock to us too- so these ones are chocolate-free.  But adding chocolate chips is highly recommended.

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So we’ve put muffin-mania on hold for a few days, because right now we’re all about the no-bake granola bars!  Our oven could use a little vacation, anyways 😉

No-Bake Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Makes: 12 bars

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, divided
2 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flax seed*)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 ripe banana, mashed
1.2 c. peanut butter (we used all-natural)
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 c. chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

Grind one cup of the oats in a blender or food processor until it is a fine flour.  In a large bowl, combine the ground oats with the remaining 2 cups of whole oats, chia seeds, salt and chopped peanuts.

In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, honey and vanilla and stir until it is smooth and fully mixed.  Pour the peanut butter banana mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until no dry spots remain.  You may add the chocolate chips at this point if you are using them.

Line a 9×9 inch square glass dish with wax paper.  Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the dish and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to firm up.  When they are ready, use the edge of the wax paper to gently lift the un-cut bars out of the dish.  Cut into 12 bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

*You can use ground flax seed in place of chia seeds, however we have not personally tried this and cannot guarantee the bars will stay together as well.  If you decide to give this a try, please let us know how they turn out!

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite no-bake treats?  Have you ever tried making no-bake granola bars?

We’re Baaaack! (And we Brought Chocolate)

Hi everybody! Long time no-see!

Some of you have probably been wondering where we’ve been the last few days, since it’s been a full week since we last posted, but we promise we haven’t suddenly given up blogging, and we have good reasons as to why we’ve been missing in action.  Well really, we have one reason, and it is that we’ve been crazy busy this past week!  Ok, so we realize that’s a somewhat lame excuse, but perhaps if we give you a run-down of our lives these last few days you’ll have a better understanding…

Tuesday: Exam #3 (nailed it, by the way ;))
Wednesday: Exam #4 (last exam of the year- hellooo summer!)
Thursday: Mini road trip to Toronto to celebrate a couple of birthdays with a chocolate-making party (yes, that happened- more on that later)
Friday: Mini road-trip home from Toronto then PACK. (We’re moving houses for the next school year- it’s amazing how much random and useless stuff you accumulate after only two years in a place!)
Saturday: Up super early to volunteer all day at a track meet, rush home and quickly pack up last-minute stuff, throw it in the van and rush home to baby sit.
Sunday: Spring cleaning/un-packing (read: gut all cupboards, closets, and bedroom, get rid of everything you don’t need/use/wear and then fill them all back up again with stuff from London house)

So, as you can see we’ve been a little pre-occupied with life these last few days- some of it boring, some fun, and some completely overwhelming and exhausting!  In fact, neither one of us has hardly been on our computers at all!  We’ve missed Simple Sunday, and Heather’s Meatless Monday (sorry, Heather…) but now that our lives are starting to settle down somewhat, we will be back to a more regular posting schedule.

And as a sort-of apology for our prolonged absence, we bring you chocolate!

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Chocolate pumpkin bread, to be more precise.  And yes, we know that making pumpkin bread this time of year is completely out of season.  The thing is, that if we didn’t tell you there was pumpkin in this loaf you would never know it!  So it’s really more like chocolate bread, and is chocolate ever out of season?  (The answer would be no, it is not)

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And while we’re on the topic of chocolate, we think that this is the perfect time to fill you in on the chocolate-making party we attended in Toronto.  (Pretty good segue, don’t cha think? ;))  A couple of the girls on the team have birthdays right around the same time, so we decided to combine them and move our celebration to Toronto for a fun little change of scenery.  One of the girls found this amazing business that sends a Chocolatier to your home and teaches you and your guests how to make chocolate!

First, our lovely instructor Cocoa Kelley (don’t you love that name?) gave us a brief history on chocolate.  It was first made by the Ancient Incas and Myans, who used the cocoa beans to make a drink called “Chocolotal” (please forgive us if we misspelled that!) Fun Fact: in ancient times, before be-heading someone, they offered them a drink of chocolatal to help them relax.  So considerate of them, right?

Anyways, after the little history of chocolate was over, plenty of chocolate making/eating ensued, and of course we got to bring quite a large stash home with us!

Best. Party. Ever.

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So now that we’ve got you thinking about chocolate, you’re going to go and make this delicious, chocolate (and pumpkin) filled bread, right?

Right 😉

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

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Prep Time: 15 min
Bake Time: 45 min
Serves: 12

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp coffee granules (optional- intensifies the chocolate flavour)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c. pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1/4 c. coconut oil, softened
1/4 c. date paste
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients (all the dry ingredients).  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the pumpkin, coconut oil, date paste and maple syrup and stir until smooth.  (There may be a few lumps from the coconut oil- that’s ok).  Add the milk and vanilla and stir again until the mixture is smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is combined.  Add the chocolate chips and give it another quick stir, until the chips are evenly distributed and there are no dry spots in the batter.

Pour the Batter into the prepared pan and bake on the centre wrack for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever been to a chocolate-making party?  What is the coolest party you’ve ever been to?

Simple Sunday Goes Green!

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Happy Saint Patrick’s day everybody!

Since a lot of you probably have other activities planned for today, we’ll try to keep this post short and sweet- just like this recipe!

Ok, so this recipe’s not sweet, per say, but it sure is delicious! And it honestly couldn’t be any easier.  And it’s green, so it fits in with the day’s festivities. 🙂

Today’s super-easy recipe is for one of our favourite snacks- kale chips!

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Now, before those of you who have a fear of leafy greens go running in the opposite direction, hear us out!  These chips are so incredibly flavourful and crispy, we promise they will change the way you look at dark green veggies!

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And if you’re a real chip-lover who’s trying to cut down on the amount of chips you eat, well, these were practically made for you! 🙂

And they take 4 ingredients and only 5 steps, so really, what are you waiting for?

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Kale is also extremely healthy for you, by the way! Full of fibre and antioxidants, plus it’s fat free and low cal, of course!

And there’s so many different flavours you can make!  Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast!) and bam! You’ve got cheesy kale chips!  Or add some chili powder and paprika for a spicier version, or onion and garlic powder and make a sue do-all dressed flavour- the choice is up to you!  Just think of your favourite chip flavour and you can probably adapt it to kale chips 🙂

So here is the super-extremely easy recipe for a tasty and very healthy snack!

Kale Chips

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Prep: 10 min
Bake time: 10 min
Serves: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

1 head of kale
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Wash the kale under cold water and pat dry on a paper towel to remove as much excess water as possible.

Remove the thick stem from each leaf, and tear the leaves into large pieces.  In a large bowl, toss the kale in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (you will probably need more than one sheet) and place in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the leaves are slightly browned and crispy.  Eat right away (they will wilt and become soft if you try to store them)

Wash your kale…

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Pat the leaves dry…

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Remove those stems…

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Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper…

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Spread on a baking sheet…

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Bake and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Have you tried kale chips?  What is your favourite chip flavour?

Bloggers and Bibles

One of our all-time favourite recipes we’ve ever made from another blogger is this:

parsnip puree

Roasted Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Puree.

This genius creation comes from Gina over at Running to the Kitchen.  If you have never been to her site before, you should make a point of paying her a visit ASAP.  Seriously, this women comes up with the most amazing meals and snacks, and she’s hilarious, too.  Even if you don’t like cooking, you’ll love her blog just for general reading!  She has a way of taking everyday situations and turning them into scenarios the likes of which you would find in a sitcom.

But we’ve gone a bit off track now, haven’t we?  We were talking about this parsnip puree!  It may look humble, but don’t let it’s outer appearance fool you- it is what food dreams are made of! (Hey now, hey now… ;))

Of course, after we made her recipe (with a few modifications- we don’t often have heavy cream lying around- cottage cheese and Greek yogurt to the rescue!) we decided it was about time we created our own version, but we decided to use the parsnip’s more well-known cousin… carrots!

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Not that we don’t absolutely LOVE parsnips (they just so happen to be one of our all-time favourite vegetables- partially thanks to Gina!!) but we just thought that the bright orange hue from the carrots might be kind of fun 🙂

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So we knew we wanted to use carrots, but as for what else we wanted to add to it?  That was a little tougher to decide.  So we’re going to let you in on a little secret here.  What do we do when we are stumped for flavour combination ideas?  We consult the Flavour Bible.

flavour Bible

This book is every cooks best friend! When your creativity well is running dry, this book will give you a million-and-one ideas for flavour pairings for every food you can possibly think of!

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After reading through the seemingly endless list of flavours and foods that go with carrots (who knew there were so many!?!) we finally decided on ginger.  It made sense, since we just so happened to have a knob of fresh ginger sitting in our fridge 🙂

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Then of course we hummed and hawed for a little while longer trying to decide what else we should put in this puree, because for some reason we always seem to think that just having one flavour add-in isn’t enough.  But we honestly couldn’t think of anything else to add, so we just left it as it was.  And you know what? It turned out to be just right.  Sometimes, simplicity is best!

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So now you’re probably thinking “well this is great- you’ve given me a bowl of orange mush- now what?”.  The simple answer to that is eat it!  If you’re starting to get tired of mashed potatoes, this is a great substitution.  Pair it with some grilled chicken (or tofu!) and a salad, maybe a warm piece of crusty bread and you’ve got yourself the makings of a fantastic meal 🙂

Carrot and Ginger Puree

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1.5-2 cups

Ingredients:

2 large carrots
1 c. chickpeas
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp Cottage Cheese
2 tbsp-1/4 c. milk of choice (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Peel the carrots and cut into chunks.  Place them in a microwave-safe bowl with about 2 tbsp of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until carrots are very soft.  (you could also steam the carrots on the stove top, we just went with the microwave because it’s quicker!) Add carrots (including the water), chickpeas, ginger, garlic, yogurt and cottage cheese to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth.  While the motor is running, add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, until it reaches the texture/thickness you desire.  Add the salt and pepper, and continue blending until everything is fully incorporated, adjusting the seasonings to your taste.

~twosaucysisters

What do you do when you are stuck for flavour ideas?

Round 2: Roasted Garlic

On Wednesday we talked about three hummus recipes that we made last week.   We gave you the full recipe for our spinach hummus the other day, but in an effort not to bore you with an endless string of hummus recipes, we’ve held off giving you the second edition.  (Even though can you ever really be bored with hummus recipes?  We don’t think so…)

But now that we’ve given you a one-day intermission, we think you’re ready for round two! 🙂

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This roasted garlic hummus is much more traditional, but traditional doesn’t mean boring!  An entire bulb of roasted garlic went into this batch, so it definitely wasn’t lacking in flavour!

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If you’ve never roasted garlic before, you really must.  When you roast garlic, the cloves turn so soft and buttery, you could practically spread it on toast!  The strong and pungent flavour that is so characteristic of raw garlic is also mellowed-out considerably when roasted, which is why you can put an entire bulb of it in one batch of hummus without reeking of garlic for a week 🙂

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This hummus truly embodies the idea that simplicity is delicious.  Its easy, quick, and healthy.  And if green colour of the spinach hummus scares you a bit, maybe this one would be more up your alley?

At any rate, you should give this hummus a try, and then get ready, because we’ve still got another rendition coming your way!

Roasted Garlic Hummus

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Prep Time: 30 min
Time: 10 min
Makes: ~ 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 bulb of garlic

2 c. cooked chickpeas (about 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1/4 tsp salt
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350C.  Slice the top of your garlic bulb (just the tips) off and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil.  Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft, lightly browned and aromatic.

Once the garlic has cooled off a bit, place all other ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever roasted garlic?  What is your favourite way to enjoy it?

The Lunch that Almost Wasn’t

Yesterday was just one of those days.

You know the kind where you just can’t seem to think of anything that gets your appetite going, and yet everything you eat turns out to be incredible!

It started with yesterday’s breakfast.  Seriously people, there is no better way to start your day than with a beautiful stack of decadent pancakes…. with ice cream 😉

It ended with a good ol’ basket of fish n’ chips (healthy of course!) with an out-of-this-world peach dipping sauce.  We promsie we won’t keep that recipe from you for long!

But yesterday, it was lunch that was the real test.

We couldn’t think of anything to make, and yet we came up with one of the most delicious vegetarian burgers we have ever made!

Here’s how it all went down:

1. open the fridge and find chickpeas and black beans.  Can’t decide which ones to use.

2. Decide to use both.

3. find ourselves unable to ignore the giant pile of zucchini on the counter.

4. Grate some zucchini.

5. …burgers, anyone?

So there’s not really a connection between grated zucchini and burgers, but that’s where our thought process went anyways, and are we sure glad it did!  The rest of the procedure was just an exercise in gluing.  Vegetarian burgers are actually quite easy to make, but the tricky part is making sure that they stick together in the pan.  No one wants a crumbly burger!

And of course, every veggie burger needs a delicious sauce.  In this case, hummus   came through for us once more! A smooth and creamy Berbere-Hummus sauce adorned this delicious creation.

We got the idea for the Berbere-spiced hummus sauce from here. We made that recipe a few days ago, and LOVED it! We had a bunch of leftover spice mix, and thought it would be awesome as a sauce for these burgers. We were right.

So here’s what we did for the sauce: mixed a 1/4 c. of our favourite hummus with 1 tbsp of this Berbere seasoning, and added 2 tbsp of water to thin it out and give it a more sauce-like consistency.

From the burger to the sauce, this recipe is so simple, so quick, and so delicious.

Zucchini-Bean Burgers

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 small zucchini, grated

1/2 c. each chickpeas and black beans

2 tbsp finely diced onion

1 tsp oat flour

1 tsp water

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp hot pepper relish

pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium-sized bowl, mash the beans together, leaving a few larger pieces for texture. Add all other ingredients and mix together until the mixture comes together when packed.

Separate mixture into 2 equal-sized portions and form into patties.  Wet your hands to avoid having it all stick to your fingers!

Heat a pan with a little olive oil.  Carefully place burgers onto the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned.  Carefully flip over and cook for another 5 minutes.

~twosaucysisters

ps- congratulations to the Canadian Women’s soccer team, who won the bronze medal today!  This was the first time since 1963 that Canada has won a medal in a traditional team sport 😉

Do you like vegetarian burgers?  What do you do when you can’t decide what to eat?