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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My Mom’s Falafel and Sesame-Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

Mother’s day is approaching so I think this is an appropriate time to post my mother’s awesome falafel and yogurt sauce recipe. Because my mom’s falafel are awesome. She uses green split peas instead of chickpeas to make the falafel balls which is pretty unique in America’s falafel-land (although I think using split peas is more common when making falafel in India or other parts of the world) and her yogurt sauce kicks butt. Its got cucumber, toasted sesame seeds and bread (WHAT?, yah I said bread) which make it fresh, creamy, and thick.

I grew up eating falafel her way and when I first had a non-mom falafel my taste-buds were not ready for it. Since then I have grown to love many different types of falafel, but I still think my mom’s recipe rocks the house. I changed it up a bit by adding garlic (because she really doesn’t like garlic and I LOVE it) and tandoori powder in the falafel mix. The yogurt sauce got kicked up a notch with some garlic too (sorry mom!) and cayenne pepper. We are eating this for dinner tonight with a full falafel fixin’s bar including hummus, feta cheese, pickles and a tomato/cucumber/onion salad. I can’t wait for dinner!

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Samoa (Chocolate-Caramel-Coconut) Brownies

Whats your favorite girl scout cookie? Mine is without a doubt, Samoa’s! When I was a girl scout, I used to hoard boxes of these (I think then they were called Coconut Delite’s then) and I could polish off an entire box all by myself. And now anytime I know a girl scout selling cookies, I buy at least 6 boxes of Samoa’s.  The coconut, chocolate, caramel goodness are just too much.

I bought toasted coconut flakes a few weeks ago so I started looking up recipes to make homemade samoa cookies but honestly, it seemed a little too complicated and I was feeling pretty lazy last night. BUT I still wanted to make something sweet. So I took the easy way out and used a brownie mix but added homemade caramel sauce, coconut and chocolate drizzle. These things were better than the cookies, which is a bad thing because now I can make them any time of year! Ahhh.

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