Chocolate Peanut Butter Panna Cotta

I easily have only two true obsessions in life.... Peanut butter. And chocolate... And my dog... And lobster rolls. Ok so that might not be entirely true, but when you put peanut butter and chocolate in front of me you can fully expect it to be devoured.
Of course it should come as no surprise to hear that my favourite treat that combines peanut butter and chocolate is peanut butter cups. In fact we go way back... They would be the first thing gone from my bag at Halloween (I'm sure we all had that coveted peanut butter cup pile!). For years they were the treat of choice at Christmas. And today I often grab a bag of mini's when I'm at the movies. There is no denying my love for this flavour combination!
So when Hershey's decided to take this flavour combo to the next level by creating a spread, I couldn't wait to try it! The new format offers endless recipe possibilities! From mouthwatering Peanut Butter S'mores Pies to the more unusual Peanut Butter and Chocolate Coated Bacon, new Reese Spreads makes enjoying chocolate and peanut butter fun... one spoonful at a time!
Once I had the beautiful orange and brown jar in-hand the recipe ideas started flowing... and while I wanted to try something more simple and traditional with the spread (like a brownie), I pushed myself to create something new and remarkably delicious... A Chocolate Peanut Butter Panna Cotta. And don't let the fancy name fool you, this is actually pretty easy to put together!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Panna Cotta
This luscious panna cotta combines two familiar flavours: chocolate and peanut butter. The first layer is flavoured using Reese Spread for a subtle hint of chocolate, while the second layer takes this dessert over the top with a taste of peanut butter. Garnished with some fresh whipped cream, chocolate shavings and a mini Reese Peanut Butter Cup, this dessert is sure to please at your next dinner party!

For the Chocolate Panna Cotta:
6 tbsp cold water
4 1/2 tsp unflavoured gelatin
2 cups whipping cream (35% fat)
2 cups table cream (18% fat)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Reese Spread
pinch of salt
2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped

For the Peanut Butter Panna Cotta:
3 tbsp cold water
2 1/4 tsp unflavoured gelatin
1 cup whipping cream (35% fat)
1 cup table cream (18% fat)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
pinch of salt

For the Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup cold whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar

For the Chocolate Panna Cotta:
1. In a small bowl combine cold water and gelatin. Stir until it starts to thicken. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat whipping cream, table cream, sugar, Reese Spread and salt until completely dissolved and mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
3. Add chopped dark chocolate to the saucepan, and whisk until melted.
4. Remove saucepan from heat. Strain mixture through a sieve into a large glass measuring cup with a spout.
5. Stir in thickened gelatin until dissolved. Don't expect the mixture to thicken to a pudding-like consistency at this time, it will need time in the fridge to set.
6. Pour the chocolate mixture into 6 parfait glasses or 8 medium sized ramekins. Let it come to room temperature before placing in the fridge for 3-5 hours.

For the Peanut Butter Panna Cotta:
1. Once your chocolate panna cotta layer has set, you can make the peanut butter layer.
2. In a small bowl combine cold water and gelatin. Stir until it starts to thicken. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat whipping cream, table cream, sugar, peanut butter and salt until completely dissolves and mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.
4. Remove saucepan from heat. Strain mixture through a sieve into a large glass measuring cup with a spout. Stir in thickened gelatin until dissolved.
5. Divide the peanut butter mixture among the chilled and set chocolate mixture. Let it come to room temperature before placing in the fridge for another 3-5 hours.

For the Whipped Cream:
1. To a stand mixer add whipping cream. Beat on high until soft peaks start to form in the cream. Slowly sprinkle in sugar and continue to whip another minute. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
// Reese Spread Instagram Giveaway \\
Want to try Reese Spreads for yourself? Well it just so happens I am giving away $100 worth of Reese Spread! Head on over to THIS Instagram post to find out how you can enter to win! #DoYouSpoon?

My Top 7: Seattle Edition

1. Flying Out of YKF // I can't tell you how much I love flying out of my hometown airport! Saves me from having to get up at 3am to catch a 7am flight out of Toronto!
2. Breakfast at Lowell's // You know when you find a restaurant you love in a new city and you just want to keep going back? That was most definitely Lowell's! The super fresh & fast breakfast was hard to beat! I tried their Alderwood Smoked King Salmon Scramble, the Sauteed Chili-Tiger Prawn Omelet and of course I couldn't pass up a Smoked Salmon Bloody Mary!
3. Hiking to Rattlesnake Ledge // It's not very often I have a day to spare when I am travelling for business, so my colleague Katie and I really took advantage of our time off. After exploring the city (we went to the market, the great wheel and the space needle) we decided some rugged terrain was needed to satisfy or desire to explore. We rented a car for the afternoon and drove 30 minutes out of the city to Rattlesnake Mountain. After a 3km hike up the mountain we were greeted by beautiful sweeping views as far as the eye could see. These photos honestly don't do this place justice... it was truly breathtaking and well worth the trip!
4. Dinner at Imagine Food // One of the benefits of working with such a fun loving group of farmers is the food. Wherever we go mushrooms are on the menu! The generous folks at Imagine Food put on a lovely mushroom centric dinner for us on Wednesday night featuring a delicious Smoked Corn and Chanterelle Stew, an amazing Short Rib Pho with Enoki "Noodles," and a very interesting Black Sesame Gelato with Porcini Mushrooms. Their unique space (which doubles as an art exhibit) is something worth checking out if you are interested in Seattle's food scene!
5. Checking Out Pike Place Market, The Great Wheel & The Space Needle // Before hiking up a mountain, Katie and I opted for a hike around town visiting the famous Pike Place Market, The Giant Wheel and The Space Needle. We had to do the traditional "touristy" things too, right?
6. Oysters! // Seconds after I landed in Seattle I told myself "I am not leaving this city without getting oysters"... and The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House did not disappoint. This platter of oysters was gone in a flash as was my absurdly tasty Northwest Bouillabaisse (I mean it had 7 different types of seafood in it, of course I was going to love it!). A seafood lovers paradise!
7. The Alexis Hotel // Totally worth mentioning was the hotel I called home for 5 days... The Alexis Hotel. Outrageously expensive, but worth every penny! The rooms were so large and accommodating, the staff was pleasant and helpful, and the The Bookstore Bar & Cafe features a James Beard Award winning chef! All around, a great place to stay!

Have you been to Seattle before? What was your favourite part of the city?

5 Items to Wear This Weekend // Wedding Edition

In 15 short minutes the weekend will be upon us! And while I don't know what you're up to this weekend (gardening? travelling? relaxing with a mojito in hand?), I'll be travelling to Blue Mountain to attend the wedding of one of my college girlfriends. This will be my sixth and final wedding this summer (phewww, I didn't think I'd make it through)! My pocketbook hates me and my closet loves me (I mean, you have to buy a new outfit for every wedding, right)?

No matter what you're up to I hope you make the most of the weekend and enjoy some time with your loved ones!

Summer Fruit Sangria

It's always hard to face the fact that summer is coming to an end. I know it's only the first week of September and we still have some sunny & warm days ahead, but it seems like these days go by in the blink of an eye.
I went to the market on the weekend and realized that I could very well be picking up the last of the local strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. The diminishing displays are a telltale sign of the end of summer.
So when I got home I asked myself, "what is the best way to use up all these summer fruits while commemorating a memorable summer?" Sangria! And this sangria sure hits the spot! Exploding with all the best fruits summer has to offer - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and peaches, it's a refreshing and colourful way to end the season!
So if you're looking for not only the tastiest sangria recipe on the planet, but the easiest, this one is for you! Head on over to the Hello Yellow Blog for the full recipe!
Cheers to a wonderful long weekend!