How peanut butter is bringing sexy back to baking - top 5 peanut butter baked goods

Are you one of those people who love peanut butter in your sweets? My favorite hard to find ice cream flavor is peanut butter with chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels. I don't know if it is the excitement of back to school shopping or a never ending love for all things peanut butter but, I thought I would round up the top 5 peanut butter recipes I enjoy making.

Here we go!

5. peanut butter pie over at Kevin and Amanda's place

4. How about this gorgeous peanut butter layer cake  I found over at Live Love and Sugar! As Lindsay says "life is better with cake."

3. This Candy bar pie  looks like a giant cookie! head over to Crazy for Crust to see the recipe.

2. What could be better than  Peanut butter cookie lasagna? Head over to Hugs and cookies for the scoop.  xoxo

1. From a cookbook, I love and highly recommend a Sky High Triple layer Peanut butter and Chocolate cake.

Tropical Turmeric Smoothie

Get your daily dose of super-foods in this easy recipe featuring turmeric. You can use powdered or fresh turmeric root. Both will provide the nutrient boost that this food provides.

Fresh turmeric root

Turmeric deserves it's spot as a superfood. It is high in Iron, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Fiber, Copper and Potassium.  Curcumin, a phytonutrient found in turmeric, acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and promotes detoxification in the liver. I recommend using fresh turmeric if available and increasing the amount in your smoothie as you become familiar with the peppery bitter flavor.
Studies have shown adding black pepper and turmeric will increase the bodies ability to absorb the cucumin.  Read more about the relationship between black pepper and turmeric here.
Turmeric is also great combined in savory dishes such as red lentil soup or coconut curry. Time to head back to the test kitchen to use up these fresh turmeric roots,
One note of caution; the fresh root is messy! Turmeric is bright yellow and will stain everything it comes in contact with. I found a good tutorial on wiki with tips for removing stains.

Water Kefir

I recently ordered some water kefir grains and was delighted when they arrived with a cute adoption certificate. I love the special touch you get when ordering from Etsy sellers.

In the past I have brewed Kombucha, Milk Kefir, and beer. Two of the three multiply like crazy and you end up on secret missions to deposit the extra scobys on neighbors porches under cover of the night.
I even posted extra grains on Craigslist and a kefir exchange list. The increased traffic to my house might have resembled another type of enterprise but, I swear it was totally in order to keep up with the proliferation of the cultured babies I was producing.

Culturing milk makes it easier to digest for many people.  I
 supported a local dairy farmer until she was shut down. It is not legal to sell unpasteurized milk to people for consumption. She had a loophole contract that said we were buying it for our pets consumption. Brilliant! When I was no longer able to purchase her raw milk I tried using store bought. I decided to retire my milk grains until I could find another local source.
A couple weeks ago I happened to purchase a bottle of water kefir from Kevita. Being the type of DIY foodie that I am, I decided I needed make my own water kefir! ASAP!

So here we are! I just got my newly adopted water kefir grains. I left some tap water out for 24 hours to fume off the chlorine in a mason jar and covered it with cheesecloth.
This morning I have stared my first batch and can not wait to experiment with flavor combos and secondary ferments!
I am starting simple -Water, Grains, and Organic Cane Juice.
Have any water kefir recipes to share? I am thinking turmeric and pineapple!

Cherry Hemp Nib Bars and a new beginning.

So many changes are ahead that I feel the need to get it all out there somehow.
My job of 7 years is coming to an end June 1st. I am so excited for the new opportunities that have been coming my way yet somehow I am a little sad to let go of what has been my life for so long.
As I go in to sign for my severance package my boyfriend will be 1000 miles away in another state starting his first day at his new job. The timing is uncanny! There is no time to think it through we are just moving forward.
I am nervous about leaving the pacific northwest and extremely excited to explore our new home-base of San Diego!
At the same time I have decided to build my own business! I have been fortunate enough to find a great entrepreneurial community here in Eugene. I have gotten so much support and advice from the members of my group. I am so grateful to the Fertilab program! I hope I can connect with a similar group down in San Diego.
As my job transitions I find myself gravitating back to the ideas that led me to create this blog in the beginning- testing and photographing recipes!
I can see by the title - Symphonious Sweets - and the content contained in earlier posts and the direction I now face with food that it is time for a new name. Something that can encompass more than the cakes and desserts that kicked off my early blogging. I love raw plant based foods. I want to share healthy recipes as well as decadent sweets.
Has anyone else gone through this with a blog? is it best to just start over? I love Symphonious Sweets for all the blog friends I met and the opportunities that came out of food blogging.

This recipe perfectly exemplifies my transitory state of mind! Sweet but healthy. Easy to pack. Quick to make.

Cherry Hemp Nib Bars
Hemp Seeds are considered a  complete source of protein, amino acids, and essential fats. The seeds are easy to digest and contain Omega 3s which can help with memory and cognition.
1/2   cup     pecans raw
3/4   cup     almonds raw
1/4   cup     dates, pitted
1/8     Tbsp   Hemp Seeds Raw
1/2   cup   Cherries, dried
1/4   cup   Cocao Nibs
1     tsp   vanilla extract
               water if needed

1   Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until pea size.
2   Add the pecans, dates, hemp, cherries and vanilla to the food processor.
3   Pulse the ingredients until it begins to hold together.
4   Toss in the nibs and pulse just to combine.
5   If the mixture is crumbly add up to 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse again.
6   If you add to much water you may add more pecans.
7   Press the mixture  into a plastic wrapped pan. I use a bread pan because I like thicker bars but any  pan will work.
8   Wrap the mixture and press some more!
9   Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Cut into bar sizes.
Processing Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Back to Basics

My oh my it has been a long time since I posted.
I have so much to share. I am excited to see the changes that have occurred in the food blogging sphere since my last post.
I left off when I got an offer which, at the time, felt like my dream job.
I was asked to develop recipes for a local vegan company.
After nearly 6 years the beloved little company I worked for was sold to a very large company.

With the change in career  I can once again share my love of food, photography, local wholesome ingredients, recipes and of course veganized sweets with all of you.
I am amazed and grateful for the new opportunities coming my way!

2015 is going to be off the hook!!! 
I look forward to your feedback and getting to know you!

I leave you with this tasty raw vegan cake that you really will love and should make immediately!
I found the recipe over at Purely Twins

This is a great base recipe for understanding raw cake basics. I tweaked ingredients to make my own varieties such as passionate mango and a crazy gluten free cookies and "cream".

See you soon!