Saturday, January 26, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter

I have tried several rounds of homemade peanut butter. After the first round, I thought 'well, that was fun but I doubt I will do it again'. I was wrong. The second round was much better and the third round has been the best. There are TONS of recipes out there. I got the idea from Pinterest here. Just peanuts - sounded intriguing. Nope - definitely NOT what I was looking for. You know how PB tends to stick to your mouth - well, multiply that by a thousand. And, well I am use to store bought which a bit more sweet. So I did a little experimenting and added some white sugar and some coconut oil. This made it edible, but grainy.

The second round I used honey as the sweetener and again coconut oil to help smooth out. This was good. but the flavor was not quite what I was looking for. If you really like all natural type stuff, this is probably perfect for you. I still need a little more of the refined, not good for you, sugar flavor. I know - crazy, but true.

This round, I used corn syrup and coconut oil. The good news, I needed much less sugar in this recipe as opposed to the honey version. I have actually started to prefer this to the store bought. BUT, they are different. Do not think you are getting store bought texture or flavor. You are never going to get the smoothness like a creamy PB in the store - at least I have not been able to. Maybe with a bit more experimenting. Instead it is more like a cross between crunchy and smooth - which I really like. You can see the texture  here. And yes, it is almost gone and I finally decided to write this post and take pics. :)

So, I case you are interested in how I made mine, I will share.

1 container of salted dry roasted peanuts. (I don't remember the size, 12-14 oz I think) - the one that is $2.88 at walmart - for the off brand.
2-3 TBSP coconut oil (FYI, it is solid at room temp)
3ish TBSP corn syrup

Put peanuts in the food processor. Let her go for several minutes. Wait until it is smooth - or the texture you want. Adding the other ingredients will make it so the peanuts don't get any smoother. Then, add the oil and sugar to taste. This is REALLY forgiving. I play with it until I like the texture and flavor, so the above amounts are an estimation.

Store in a jar with a tight lid in the fridge. I have read this lasts up to 2 months in the fridge - mine doesn't last that long. Also, it gets hard when stored in the fridge. I have to pop mine in the microwave to soften. I usually do about 20 sec at 50% power.

Note: You can also use a veggie oil, but you will have oil separation and have to mix every time before using. This does not happen with the coconut oil since it is solid at room temp - which is why I use it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy Packing - oh New Year?

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and had a great celebration to bring in the new year. I spent the day packing and went to bed by 8:30! Not much of a party girl I guess.

We have just 7 days until we have to be out of our house! EEK! We have made some great progress with packing, but still have a ways to go. I just started doing my craft/sewing space. It is a bit overwhelming. I am so good going through everything else and getting rid of things we are not using. Even the kids did a great job getting rid of toys. I must say, that all changed when I got to MY stuff (the fun stuff that is).

We are not entirely sure where we will be moving to. We are under contract with a property, but things are still up in the air a bit. Even if we do close, we won't know for sure what day until the very end. So, we may just be homeless for a couple of days. 

As for my weight, yes, I gained a little over the holidays. But, after weigh in this morning - I am still in an overall net weight LOSS as compared to where I was a year ago. So, I will take that as success. And, since we got Boomer I have been walking a whole lot more. Now that we are past the holidays and I am a bit sick of all the junk food - it is a good time to really try hard again to drop a few pounds. Not to mention all the exercise I get while packing (and soon - while moving). I don't do a whole lot of sitting these days - although I don't do a whole lot of hard core exercise either. I think my biggest challenge in the next few weeks will be with food. Not having a fully functional kitchen for a while may hinder things a bit. But, I will really try to get good meals on the table.

As of last week, I reinstated no dessert Wednesdays. I will also shoot to add a second day each week of no desserts.

So, lots going on here. All part of the adventure. Anyone else having a big adventure to start the new year?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Family Changes

Lots of changes happening around here these days.

First, we have a new addition to the family. Meet Boomer.

He is approximately 3-4 years old and has been a delight so far! He is a Treeing Walker Coonhound. The kids are SOOOOO excited. Training is going pretty well, but we are new at it and we have our own struggles to overcome too. ;)

And, just a few days after bringing Boomer home, we got an offer on our house. Finally. Of course. We are excited to sell the house and move on to our next adventure. We are not entirely sure what that will be yet, but we know it will be interesting. We have found we may not always have chosen the path life has lead us down, but we have always landed in a great place. We look forward to see where this path leads us.