Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Bars

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Hey again! Welcome back to the second edition of Beyond Frosting on My Cooking Spot. I am excited to bring you something that is basically the totally opposite of my Peach and Macadamia Nut Muffins. These are Peanut Butter Cake Bars. They are just like a magic bar, but these use a cake mix instead of a graham cracker base. I really had no idea you could use a cake mix as a base for a bar, which in hindsight, I am not sure why I thought you couldn’t. If you mix an egg and some butter with a cake mix, it creates the perfect base for a bar.

However, this recipe brings you a little something else that’s special. Have you heard of Jif Whips? Basically, it is whipped peanut butter goodness and bonus, they have a chocolate version. I was totally hooked; like “forget the spoon and just use your finger” hooked. Mmmm; guilty. I mixed some Jif Whips into my cake mix base for an added layer of peanut butter in these bars.

You might also notice this bar is topped with brownie crumbs. I had a batch of leftover brownies, and well, I just thought it was appropriate to add some chocolate to these to offset the peanut butter. Whether you prefer chocolate or peanut butter, these bars are packed with both.

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Baked Eggplant Fries – Gluten Free

Eggplant Fries
This month I’m thrilled to share my neighborhood’s farmers market with you. It was the first one I visited in Seattle and the one I now consider my home market. Every Sunday morning, the Ballard Farmers Market seems to draw much of the rest of the city to the neighborhood’s historic downtown core. This large market is my favorite for a well-rounded selection of fresh produce and other artisan foods – ideal if you’re looking to cook a special meal. It’s also just right for a weekly trip to stock up on staples like eggplant from Alvarez Family Farms.

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The funny thing about eggplant is that I hated it growing up, absolutely hated it – with just one exception; the eggplant fries my mom would make. The preparation is simple and the end product seems to please just about any palate. I prefer these crispy bites dipped in either ketchup or some tame sriracha however they are also tasty plain.

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4 Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Cake

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I’ve been on a wheat and gluten-free kick lately.  Here’s why… I’ve spent the last 9 months getting back into shape after 2 back-to-back pregnancies and I just can’t seem to get rid of the excess belly fat.  I decided to give the whole wheat free thing a try to see if it helped.  I went a whole week without eating wheat and I still have this belly, so I don’t think it’s really working.  Now… on to the chocolate cake.  (Also that was sarcasm.)

Now, you might be asking “Why Kristy, why would I want to make a chocolate cake without flour?”  And here is my answer to you, “Because it is freaking delicious that’s why.”  While researching flourless chocolate cake recipes, I came across a doozy from the queen herself, Martha Stewart.  (Don’t worry; Oprah is still the other queen.)  I figured if it was a Martha recipe, how could I go wrong?  And boy was I right!

Ladies, I am not a baker by trade.  I don’t have a baking blog and I don’t have the baking genius to just whip up a recipe from things lying around in my kitchen.  I just really enjoy eating scrumptious things.  I am an accountant ok?  That means I can measure things well.  So when looking at this recipe, you might think that it is too difficult for you, but have faith!  If I can do it, you can do it.  I used to be intimidated with beating egg whites into stiff white peaks too… Wait!  Don’t go anywhere!  It’s easy I swear.

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Baked Onion Rings

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Oh, onion rings, how I love thee!Though, I never order them! In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had onion rings! I got a wicked craving for them last week and I just had to have them, but of course, I wanted them without all of the calories and fat. Frying them was out of the question. Time to bake ’em up!
I was a little worried about getting these to brown so depending on your oven, you may want to bake them a little longer. Even though they didn’t get as golden all the way around like I wanted them to, I still found them to be perfectly crispy! I dipped mine in sriracha mayo (which makes them even more yummy, by the way!) I would take this baked version any day over the fried version!