It’s National Peanut Butter Lover's Month!

Whether you’re concocting a goober burger by slathering peanut butter on your hamburger, snacking on celery sticks and peanut butter, or eating leftover peanut butter cups from Halloween, there are endless ways to enjoy this old favorite, dining out, or dining in.

Dining Out
• Did you know Hell’s Kitchen makes their peanut butter? Stop in for their weekend brunch and order an English muffin or the toasted baguette with their house peanut butter.
• There are so many cookies to choose from, but the crispy on the edges, chewy in the center peanut butter chocolate chip cookie at Trotter’s is the first that comes to mind.
• To celebrate in the style of Elvis Presley, you could order up the Elvis sandwich at the Lowbrow with peanut butter, bacon, and bananas on sourdough.

Dining In
• Do the dip. Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, 6 tablespoons salsa verde, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro for a killer peanut-cilantro dip to serve with celery, apples, or grilled chicken.
• My mother jazzed up many a sandwich by topping peanut butter with a thin slice of sharp cheddar cheese on whole wheat bread—always served with a tart apple on the side.
• Swirl some peanut butter into your pancake batter. Top those pancakes with sliced bananas.

DIY Peanut Butter

Here’s the peanut butter recipe I’ve used from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

2 cups shelled raw peanuts
1/4 to 1/3 cup peanut oil (divided)
2 to 3 teaspoons salt (divided)
1/4 cup honey (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place peanuts in a bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and mix until all nuts are well coated. Pour out peanuts onto a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Roast peanuts in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Check often. (I usually hover around the oven for fear of burning the peanuts.) Remove from oven and, while still warm, sprinkle peanuts with 1 teaspoon finely ground salt. Mix lightly. Let cool completely. Pour cooled roasted nuts into bowl of food processor and grind until mixture is the consistency of gritty sand. With blades turning, gradually pour in remaining oil and all of the honey until the peanut butter forms a cohesive ball. Pulse again. Add salt and honey to taste. (Peanut butter keeps in fridge for about two weeks.)

Take a peek at this video. It features Mitch Omer making peanut butter at Hell’s Kitchen, and has some decent tips if you’re going to make DIY peanut butter:

Anyway, happy national peanut butter month, all you lovers. Any favorite usage of yours (or local treat) I’m missing here?