I made soup twice last week.  I am fairly certain that I could eat soup every day.  I love how it warms me up and keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours.  I made a brothy farro vegetable soup (farro is my new grain of choice by the way) early in the week that was so healthy and delicious.  Then later in the week I made an also healthy and simplified version of one of my favorite soups, Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients).  As I was making this Simple Potato Leek Soup, I realized that I was utilizing some of my favorite kitchen tips for making things healthier and easier to manage in the kitchen and I decided to share them with you in this post.

I love lists.  Do you love lists?  I hope so because here we go with my list of 3 kitchen tips for you:

  • Sauté vegetables in stock rather than butter or oil.

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When I am sautéing vegetables for soups or a side dish, rather than dousing them with oil or drowning them in butter, I simply open a can of stock (I use low sodium chicken stock but you could also use vegetable stock without either option affecting the flavor too significantly) and pour about 1/8 cup at a time into the pan with the vegetables.  I don’t measure, I simply make sure there is a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan so that the vegetables don’t burn.  I watch it and pour a bit more when the liquid has evaporated/steamed off.  I find that this technique results in soft, tender vegetables without any added fat.  I want to save my oil and butter for when I need it to add flavor.  I will usually sprinkle some fresh ground pepper into the veggies, but don’t add extra salt because the broth does that for me.  Once my vegetables are cooked, I can continue with them as I wish whether that be turning them into fajitas or adding other things to make them part of a soup.

  • Clean your potatoes with a manicure/pedicure nail brush (an unused one silly).

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This one does not need much explanation.  I was cleaning out my bathroom and had a never-been-opened pedicure kit with a nail brush and I was about to discard the whole kit when I realized how convenient that brush would make cleaning potatoes.  I scrub my potatoes with the brush while running them under cold water to remove excess dirt.  Simple idea, but it helps me be more efficient and effective.

  • Clean your leeks quickly, but effectively.

Oh leeks, how I love you.  I used to fear and avoid cooking with leeks because they seemed like a pain to deal with because of all of that dirt hiding between their layers.  Here are the simple steps that I now use to avoid sand in my dinner:

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the root ends and the dark green parts off each leek

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut the remaining leek in half lengthwise

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

run the leek under water while fanning out the layers to remove dirt; flip leek over and repeat from the opposite end

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

cut into thin strips (and sauté in chicken stock-see first tip of this post)

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}

How to clean and prepare leeks {satisfymysweettooth.com}I hope that you find these simple kitchen tips helpful when you make this Simple Potato Leek Soup!  You would never guess that this soup is only 140 calories per serving based on how rich and creamy it is!  Add additional salt and pepper to your taste.

What is your favorite, most helpful kitchen tip?

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients), plus 3 helpful kitchen tips

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Rich, creamy and flavorful soup that is light and healthy and simple to make

Ingredients

  • 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only (about 3 cups sliced leeks)
  • 5 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken stock
  • 1-2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium/large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/8 cup chicken stock.
  3. Cut root end and dark green parts off of leeks. Cut in half lengthwise. Run under water while fanning out layers to clean and remove dirt.
  4. Slice into strips, sprinkle with regular salt and pepper and add to pot and cook until softened 5-10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, clean potatoes and dice into 1-inch pieces. Add to pot with remaining chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover pot and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
  6. Puree soup using immersion blender or regular blender. Add 1-2 tsp celery salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Stir in sour cream.
  8. Serve with additional sour cream.

Notes

Per serving: Calories: 140 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 29g

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Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com} Simple Potato Leek Soup (only 5 ingredients) {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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When I first tasted these Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to eat them with every meal everyday for the rest of my life.  They are that good.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The potatoes were extra special because after cooking them, we finished them off on the grill which made them slightly crispy and smokey and it was the perfect complement to the creamy and slightly spicy aioli.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Since we have been married, my husband has become much more open to eating things that he had previously characterized into a special mental folder that he “doesn’t like”.  He loved these Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli the first time we had them.  Then, the next time I made them, he asked what was in the dressing and I made the mistake of being honest with him.  At the sound of the word “mustard”, he turned his nose up.  Mustard is one of the condiments in that mental folder of his.  In the end, these potatoes are so good that he enjoyed them just as much as the first time we had them.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

These Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli are the perfect side dish to accompany any summer meal and are also great when eaten cold which makes them resemble an extra flavorful potato salad.  I modified the original aioli recipe which was heavy in mayo and substituted Greek yogurt which added a nice tang and made me feel better about sopping up every bit of sauce off my plate.  I had some extra aioli left and so I boiled up some hard boiled eggs and made egg salad for lunches for the week to make the incredible flavors of these potatoes last even longer.

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Potatoes coated with zesty and tangy aioli make for a perfect side dish

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) container nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced chives

Instructions

  1. To make aioli, combine yogurt, garlic, mustards, mayo, salt and pepper. Refrigerate aioli for at least 30 minutes before tossing with potatoes. (Can be made a day in advance.)
  2. Place potatoes into a large pot, add water and 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes until you can piece through them with a fork.
  3. Drain potatoes, allow to cool slightly then cut in half.
  4. Place cooked potatoes into a large serving bowl.
  5. Pour aioli over potatoes and toss to coat.
  6. Sprinkle chives over potatoes and serve.
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Potatoes with Mustard Garlic Aioli {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

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I hesitate to say that I have “mastered the art of French macarons”, but I have certainly found a method that works well for me.  I have enough confidence in my basic recipe and technique for making the shells that I felt brave enought to mix it up a little.  Generally, I use all almond flour for my shells, but for these Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, I used half almond flour and half peanut flour.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The peanut flour did not make any difference in the form or texture of the macaron shells but just lended a subtle peanut flavor.  This peanut flavor paired delightfully well with the honey cinnamon buttercream that was sandwiched between the shells.  The flavor is reminiscent of a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

When making these Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, or any macaron shells for that matter, I have a few tips that should help you learn how to make macarons easily.

  • Plan ahead.  Aged egg whites whip into stiff peaks more reliably for me.  All that means is that you should separate your egg whites at least 2 days before you plan to make the macaron shells.  Store the egg whites in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.  This step seems to dry out the egg whites slightly which makes them perform better upon whipping.  I love to use my OXO egg separator to make sure I don’t get any yolks in my whites.
  • DO NOT use egg whites from a carton.  They don’t seem to hold stiff peaks as well.
  • Be organized.  Before you begin whipping your egg whites, have all of your other ingredients measured out in bowls and ready to go.  Then when you are ready to incorporate them into the egg whites, they are all ready.
  • Parchment paper is a must when making macarons.  Your macarons will be very easy to peel off the paper if cooked properly.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 54 minutes

Yield: about 20 filled macarons

Macarons with a subtle peanut flavor that are sandwiched around sweet honey cinnamon buttercream

Ingredients

    For the macarons:
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites, aged and at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • For the buttercream:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Instructions

    For the macarons:
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Measure and sift almond and peanut flour and powdered sugar into a clean, dry bowl. Set aside.
  3. Prepare a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.
  4. Place egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl and using an electric mixer (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer), beat eggs on medium speed for a few minutes until they get bubbly and frothy and you can begin to see the tracks from the mixer in the whites.
  5. Keep the mixer on medium speed and slowly incorporate the granulated sugar into the egg whites in several increments.
  6. Increase speed to high and beat egg mixture until stiff peaks form (when you lift the beater out of the egg whites, the mixture does not droop when inverted; alternatively when you can tip the bowl upside down and the egg whites do not move).
  7. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold into the egg whites using a spatula. Do not worry about "deflating the meringue". Continue with 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture and finally with the last of the flour mixture. Mix until no dry, flour streaks remain.
  8. Use spatula to load mixture into prepared pastry bag.
  9. Pipe 2-inch circles onto parchment paper leaving at least 1-inch in between each circle.
  10. Firmly tap the baking sheet against the counter a few times to help flatten the batter.
  11. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. The batter will dry slightly while the oven preheats.
  12. Bake shells 1 baking sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes. Shells are done when they can easily be lifted off of the parchment paper cleanly.
  13. Cool completely before filling.
  14. For the buttercream:
  15. Combine all ingredients using a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  16. Pipe about 1 tsp of buttercream onto half of the shells and top with remaining shells.
  17. Store in airtight container. Macarons taste even better the day after they are made. :)
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mix egg whites on medium speed until frothy and mixer begins to leave marks, then slowly add granulated sugar

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

increase mixer speed to high and mix until stiff peaks form (you can turn the bowl upside down and the mixture does not move)

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

fold in dry ingredients in three increments

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

mix until no flour streaks remain

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth} Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

bake

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

DID YOU KNOW?  Peanuts are a great snack because they can help keep you full and feeling satisfied.  Protein and fiber provide you with a feeling of being full longer and they also provide long-lasting energy because they have a low glycemic index which helps to maintain a stable blood sugar.

I hope you have enjoyed the peanut recipes that I have brought to you this week and that you have learned something new about how peanuts and peanut butter can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.

*The Peanut Institute sponsored my trip to California, but all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

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Last weekend I was fortunate to travel to Napa, California courtesy of The Peanut Institute.  The Peanut Institute “is a non-profit organization that supports nutrition research and develops educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles that include peanuts and peanut products.”  The trip was incredible and I learned wonderful facts about the nutritional benefits of peanuts, got to spend time with one of my great friends Emily,

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and we even got to cook at the Culinary Institute of America!  Check that one off my bucket list!

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The trip inspired me in so many ways.  When I returned home, I was excited to share some fantastic peanutty recipes with you.  So sweet teeth, I am declaring it Peanut Week!  I will be sharing one fact that I learned about peanuts with each of these satisfying recipes.

What better way to kick of Peanut Week than with these Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies?

Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

These Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies are so light and soft, you would never guess that a key ingredient like flour is missing!  With only six ingredients, these cookies are a great gluten-free treat option and you will be shocked how only SIX ingredients can create a cookie that tastes so delicious.

Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

I was so happy when I calculated the nutrition facts for these Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies and found out that each cookie only has 13 grams of carbs!  That is pretty remarkable for a cookie that has chopped up candy bars in it!

Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 22 cookies

Soft and chewy flourless peanut butter cookies stuffed with Peanut Butter Snickers Candy Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped Peanut Butter Snickers

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream peanut butter, sugar, egg baking soda and vanilla together.
  3. Mix in chopped candy bars.
  4. Roll dough into small balls and place onto cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 12 minutes.
  6. Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Notes

Per cookies: Calores: 138 Fat: 8g Carbs: 13g

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Flourless Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

DID YOU KNOW??  Eating 1 ounce of peanuts daily can cut your risk of heart disease in half.  The oil in peanuts is mostly monounsaturated which offers the same health benefits as other healthy fats such as olive oil.

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Remember when you were little and you would spin a globe around and put your finger on it and exclaim that wherever it landed is where you were going to live when you grew up? Well I have decided to incorporate that mentality into my “what to bake next” routine.  You see, everyday, I Pin recipes, I save recipes to my inbox recipe folder, I tear out recipes from magazines and I mark pages in cookbooks that have recipes that I must make.  However, I have all of these real and virtual piles of recipes, but rarely do I actually make any of them!  And it’s so silly because these recipes are where I find a lot of my inspiration for things I actually am baking in my kitchen each week, so why oh why have I not actually made more of these recipes that have inspired me in the first place?  We are changing that today with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles.

In this spirit of the “spin the globe” game, I am going to select a recipe from either my Pinterest boards or my inbox from other bloggers who have inspired me and put my own twist on the recipe and share it with you each month.  I may do this once or twice a month and I hope that it will inspire you the way that these recipes inspire me to try new things and to create adorable and scrumptious treats to share.

Last weekend I shared this Pretzel Toffee Fudge with you and suggested that it would be a great addition to a homemade chocolate box to give on Valentine’s Day.

Pretzel Toffee Fudge {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Well, we all like a little variety and so why not add these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles to that thoughtful gift of yours?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

This recipe was adapted from Bakerella who is notorious as the cake pop lady but she also whips up some other sweets and treats that are worthy of recreating.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles could not be easier to make and again, will fool your sweetie into thinking that you have slaved all day in the kitchen to make him/her something special.  I rolled my truffles in crushed salted peanuts, but you could roll them in cocoa powder or toss them in some sprinkles as well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: ~25-30 truffles

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles: Simple, yet decadent and creamy chocolate truffles rolled in crunchy crushed peanuts

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet or milk chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts

Instructions

  1. In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add melted chocolate to cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop firmed mixture into small balls. Roll balls with your hands to shape into spheres.
  6. Roll balls in chopped peanuts, pressing the balls into the peanuts gently so that they stick.
  7. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated.
  8. Recipe adapted from Bakerella
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Truffles {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

 

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