Peanut Butter W/Honey, Cinnamon, & Cocoa: Back To School Post #1

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter Hi everyone!

I know I have been kind of missing the last week or so and I have a good excuse.  Its summer!  I have been immersed in home improvement projects, little red wagon walks around the neighborhood, bike rides, picnics, and appointments!  I am also in the middle of trying to perfect an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe (that still is not ready after 9 batches-argg!) so that has been keeping me in the kitchen but away from my computer and all of you!

That said, I have been making big plans and am excited to share!  Today marks the first day of my Back To School Series!  I have been compiling lists, recipes, ideas, and tips to help make lunches, snacks, and weeknight dinners a bit easier, more streamlined, and less monotonous!  The series will continue through August and September as we all get back into the swing of things and nail down a new routine for a new school year.  Not everything posted here in the next few months will be geared toward kids, but the great thing is that even if you are single, married without children, or empty nesters, its nice to have some fresh ideas for healthy snacks, brown bag lunches at the office, and even pre/post workout food!
HoneyIn addition to what is hopefully  useful ideas for you, starting today, I will be featuring one of my favorite ingredients throughout the month: HONEY!  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I luuuuv to cook and bake with it!  My local supplier has been harvesting and I am celebrating with a wealth of new recipes all highlighting the golden sweet stuff.  Which brings me to my next announcement-another GIVEAWAY!  My third and final giveaway of the summer will be a box of raw honey shipped straight to one lucky winner!  More details on that later so keep checking back so you don’t miss it!  Be sure to follow Brittany’s Pantry on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe via email so you are sure to get all my updates and witty prose!

And now, on to the eats!
Honey Cinnamon Peanut ButterWe love peanut butter at our house.  As in, we go through an obscene amount of it every month.  We never get sick of pb&j and it makes its way into my baking and cooking on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, we don’t have access to good natural peanut butter here-which we far prefer-but we make do with our favorite brand.  We are a JIF family all the way, baby!  But as much as I like peanut butter, I dislike repetition.  I get bored with food quite often and even though the chitlins and the hubs don’t complain, I like to shake things up.

Can I confess something to you?  Every time I watch the movie Matilda and I see her make a sandwich with that Smuckers Goober Grape, I wonder why I don’t do the same thing.  I mean, what a genius time saver!  So here is my version, sans the retro look and just a bit more versatile.

These two recipes are kicking off the Back To School series because they are, well, peanut butter!  Can you get more traditional than that?  Feel free to post your ideas in the comments section below!  Here are some snack and lunch ideas to get you started:

– use either spread to make a sandwich but use banana bread instead

– dip apple or pear slices in it

– we LOVE them smeared on a warm multi-grain bagel

– make a chocolate peanut butter and cream cheese sandwich with raisin bread

– spread it on a graham cracker with some marshmallow fluff and make an extra special fluffernutter snack

– spread it on a rice cake

– top sliced bananas

– use it as a dip and pack it with graham crackers, pretzel sticks, or mini vanilla wafers
Honey Cinnamon Peanut ButterHoney Cinnamon Peanut Butter Honey Cinnamon Peanut ButterOne Year Ago: Ranch Dressing, Saucepan Brownies
Two Years Ago: Smashed Potatoes W/Spinach, Cherry Hand Pies, Grilled Yogurt Chicken
Three Years Ago: Earth Bread, Banana Bran Muffins

Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter
This will keep tightly covered in the fridge for weeks.  Although I doubt it will last that long!

1 c creamy peanut butter
3 T honey
1 1/2-2 tsp cinnamon

Whisk all ingredients together.

Peanut Butter W/Honey & Cocoa
I wanted this to taste like peanut butter with chocolate in it, not chocolate with a bit of peanut butter.  This has just a hint of chocolate without being too sweet.

1 c creamy peanut butter
1/4 c honey
1 T cocoa powder
a splash of hot water

Whisk all ingredients together.  Add the splash of hot water if needed, as the cocoa can make it a bit dry.