Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

Happy Mother’s Day! I think these cupcakes are a perfect mother’s day post because they bring back memories of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches my mom used to make for me most days to take to school when I was a kid. I don’t miss grade school very much, but I do get nostalgic about those bagged lunches that were always waiting for me as I ran out the door to catch the bus.

These white cupcakes have a strawberry preserve filling and are topped with peanut butter frosting. They really did remind me of eating a super delicious PB&J sandwich. I loved the strawberry flavor but my husband recommends using grape jelly for the filling so that it tastes more like the PB&J sandwiches of his childhood. Whichever filling you choose, you can’t go wrong!

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Spicy Fajita Marinade

Last night we made fajitas which I love, especially at Mexican restaurants when the skillet comes out with the vegetables all sizzling and smoking. To make fajita’s at home, we used to buy fajita marinade in a jar from the grocery store which made it a really quick go-to meal because you just had to cut up the veggies you wanted and add the sauce. But I either haven’t looked for that jar on recent grocery trips or I can’t find it anymore, so I decided to whip up my own marinade. Its tangy and spicy and worked really well on the tofu/onion/green peppers mixture that was the filling for our fajitas! It also really wasn’t hard to make, and I think it may be worth me making a batch and storing for anytime a fajita craving hits (which is all the time).

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Cauliflower (Gobi) Manchurian

We had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge and I was debating what to do with it last night when I decided that trying my hand at the delicious Indian-Chinese dish “Gobi Manchurian” would be fun (gobi is what cauliflower is called in Hindi). This is not a dish you find at traditional Chinese restaurants (its clearly not authentic Chinese), but it is an adaptation of Chinese food that you see all over India. I am not sure how to best describe it so if you are wondering if its more Chinese or Indian in it’s flavor profile, I can’t answer that!

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Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette

My lunch yesterday is in homage to my husband and I’s favorite salad at one of our go-to restaurants: Houston’s. We started going to Houston’s in NYC when we heard it had one of the world’s best veggie burgers. It is totally true. The veggie burger there rocks (but I do not love the waitress who told me that the amount of calories in it is practically equivalent to one of the steaks on the menu – she does NOT rock). Lucky for us since moving out of NY, we have found restaurants part of the Houston’s group in every city we have lived in (Hillstone in Boston and The Woodmont Grill in Bethesda).

Our most recent trip to Woodmont Grill had us splitting a veggie burger for lunch and a kale salad. Best. Kale. Salad. Ever. It was drenched in this amazing peanut dressing and I devoured it faster than the veggie burger (which is like superhero fast because have I mentioned how much I love their veggie burger?). My husband was convinced we could remake this salad at home pretty easily so after googling a million peanut dressing recipes, I am pretty happy with this version. Its very different than Houston’s in the end, but its pretty darn tasty! Its what I had for lunch yesterday and I have enough leftovers for another heaping serving today (yay!).

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Chocolate and Peanut Butterscotch Bars

Yesterday at the grocery store I saw butterscotch morsels and it totally hit a craving for me that I didn’t even know I was having. I picked that up along with some condensed milk, graham crackers and roasted peanuts (AND about 6 different types of cheese which I need to figure out what to do with…this is why I should never go to grocery stores hungry). I got home and wasn’t exactly sure what to make with my random ingredients but then settled on adapting this recipe from The Pioneer Woman – changing it around to match what I just bought. Much to my surprise, I have grown to love The Pioneer Woman because the recipes are always pretty simple and accessible. Plus its one of the only actual cooking shows left on the food network to watch amidst a million competitions (although I am not going to lie, I can…and do…binge watch Chopped for hours). Three words sums this dessert up: so freaking good.

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