I have a thing for peanut butter. I love the stuff. Crunchy or creamy is fine by me. It’s been one of my go-to quick fix meals for years, the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Occasionally, it’s been banana, or honey, or marshmallow fluff. About the only jelly, jam, or preserve I’m not too fond of is orange marmalade. I generally prefer my bread toasted, so the peanut butter gets a little melty and gooey.
In the last few years, I’ve become more educated on ways to use peanut butter in a non-traditional manner, at least non-traditional for me. I already knew peanut butter is used in some asian dishes, but the first dish to really wow me was an african dish called Muamba. Now, a good friend of mine, Lynne, makes a killer version that utilizes a crockpot, and it’s always amazing! I’ve yet to attempt it, but I have the recipe saved on Food.com for future use. Soon, my precious, soon… More recently, I saved a go-to recipe for stir fry with a thai feel that uses peanut butter from Allrecipes.com. I change out the main ingredients, but the sauce always delivers each time I use it.
However, my two newest obsessions involve PB&J for breakfast, and peanut butter with something entirely unexpected for lunch. First, I had the brilliant idea to cook plain oatmeal, then toss in a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoonful of jelly to flavor it. Delicious! I’ve since done just peanut butter in an apple-cinnamon oatmeal and that’s outstanding as well. Plus the protein source adds additional health benefits to give me a great start to my day. Then, just a week or so ago, someone posted on FB an infographic of 15 different alternative toppings for a sandwich. So, on an adventurous whim, I tried topping my PB with a fried egg. I’ve done it twice since then; it’s that good. The salty peanut butter blends delightfully with the rich flavor of the egg. This one is definitely an “on-toast” prerequisite.. I’m sure I’ll do it again before the week is done.
As I expand my knowledge and palette, I’m learning more and more not to shoehorn ingredients into narrow categories, but to let myself experience some crazy combinations that I’d never had before. They don’t always work out, like the time I tried to wing it with a “mexican” spaghetti, but I’ll keep at it, and savor my successes. A few are bound to even end up here as original recipes from yours truly. Enjoy!