baking · comfort food · Cookies · dessert · jam · peanut butter · Sandwiches · snacks · Yummy

PB & J (Cookie) Sammies

I had a to-do list today. It consisted of the following items:

  • Acupuncture for my tennis elbow (ouch)
  • Hang out with Carrie
  • Grab a delicious pastry
  • Buy a frame at Michael’s
  • Get liability insurance for the winter farmer’s market
  • Apply for winter farmer’s market
  • Write a blog post

The first 4 were done easily. I even went so far as to nap during my acupuncture appointment, so I feel as though I was being extra efficient. Then I went online to purchase liability insurance. I wanted to get signed up for my market of choice as soon as fucking possible, as I’m constantly worried that the spots are filling up (they are). I also need to sign up ASAFP because I really want a Sunday spot. If I don’t get a Sunday spot, I’m going to have to arrange things at work to make Saturdays work, and that’s a whole fucking thing. I am not alone in my desire for a Sunday spot, so I need to get my shit together now.  As I’m filling out the forms, it asks for my business name. Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

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I’m currently registered under Kelsey’s Cakes, the rated G named I chose after the church-run farmer’s market wouldn’t let me use Eat Me Bakery (but it was totally cool for a whiskey bar to sponsor the market, of course). This means that I have to most likely re-register. This isn’t a problem, but it adds time, which I don’t have. So now I’m left sitting and waiting to hear back from someone that might be able to help me out at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Bureaucracy.

Those items will not be crossed off my to-do list today. Sigh.

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Hannah had a baby. That baby is Mira, and she is over a year old already. Here she is devouring a PB & J Sammie with reckless abandon. I wish this photo had sound, as she was making adorable little suckling noises… no doubt to make sure she got every last drop of jam. A girl after my own heart.

Anyway, I had my very last market day last Saturday. I mean, not my very last EVER, but my very last for this season. I ended up making these delightful little sandwich cookies on a whim the night before. I knew I wanted to do something with peanut butter and jelly, as they are my favorite flavor combo. No one really uses these flavors much, likely because so many kids are allergic to peanuts now. Outside of that concern, I’m not sure why this classic duo is so often overlooked. I mean, even I only have one recipe that contains these flavors. What am I even doing with my life? Oh fuck, I guess I also made a mug cake recently, didn’t I? Shit. I totally forgot. I guess I’m finally getting my shit together. Get ready for all things peanut butter and jelly! Pro tip: Add PB & J to your vanilla ice cream. You’re welcome.

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PB & J (Cookie) Sammies (original recipe found here)

For the cookies:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy Jif)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup  dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup instant oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling:

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup jam of choice (I used homemade raspberry)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat and set aside. Cream together butter, peanut butter, and both sugars. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and powder, salt together. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients before finally hand stirring in the oats. Mix until just combined. I used a food scale to get my cookies all the same size. If you’re doing this, I recommend 11g per cookie. If not, about a tablespoon of dough per cookie. I was able to fit about 15 cookies per baking sheet. Once you have all of them lined up on the cookie sheets, use a fork to press them down in a criss-cross pattern. Bake for about 10 minutes. Once fully cooled, add the peanut butter and jam and sandwich the cookies together. To avoid a soggy cookie, make sure to do a very thin layer of peanut butter on the jam side. Shovel them all into your face, without sharing a single one.

Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

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DO THIS.

cake · dessert · easy · Fruit · gluten free · jam · peanut butter · quick · vegetarian · Yummy

PB & J Mug Cake

I am having a lot of life changes lately. Lots of good things, but it’s A LOT. One of those exciting things is a booth at my local farmer’s market! I decided to inquire about selling baked goods at a tiny farmer’s market 2 blocks from my apartment. I didn’t want to start with one of the big ones, as that felt really fucking overwhelming. Plus, I wasn’t sure they’d accept me being so new to the scene. So I chose the perfect, supportive little church-run market. Of course, I didn’t know I’d choose one that was run by a church when I decided on the name of my booth. I purchased the name Eat Me Bakery, LLC in January thinking it was cheeky and fun (I mean, it is).

 

When I got a call back from the person in charge of the farmer’s market last week, he was extremely encouraging in almost every aspect. Once we were winding down the conversation, and it was looking promising that I was going to be accepted, he said he had to discuss something kind of uncomfortable. He prefaced by saying that he was not the only one with concerns, and proceeded to ask if my name was “set in stone.” I was hoping my name would slide by unnoticed, since it could also be considered an Alice in Wonderland reference, but I wasn’t fooling anyone. I’m also a terrible liar, so there was no way I was going to try to convince him that it was anything other than the crude phrase that it clearly was. So I’m looking for a new name! Something rated G, but nothing too sweet. And I’ll hold onto Eat Me Bakery, since it’s still a fucking great idea. It just needs a different venue, and that’s okay. The organizer of the farmer’s market was a great sport about the whole thing, assuring me that he understood the name was just meant to be playful, but that it also wasn’t appropriate for this setting. That’s completely fair.

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Something I’d like to sell at my booth is peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies. I haven’t had time to play with the recipe yet, so I did something quick today with those same flavors. Peanut butter and jelly is my favorite flavor combination. I am baffled by the lack of options outside of an elementary school cafeteria. I mean, why aren’t there cookies and donuts and muffins full of these flavors??? And they could be done in SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. The mind reels. So many missed opportunities. I was fucking psyched when I discovered this mug cake recipe on Food52’s website. I needed something simple and sweet today to counter all the salty as fuck meat my body has been craving for the last 24 hours. Yes, I gave into the meat for 2 meals. I’m mostly a vegetarian, but I do have my moments. Not that I need to justify myself to anyone, because I fucking don’t (I’m talking to you, Hannah). This little mug cake was the perfect fix. It’s gooey and rich, with light sweetness from the jelly. I used triple berry jam made locally, but any cheap grape jelly would work perfectly well. Pick your favorite flavor, and go nuts (ha!).

This cake is unintentionally gluten-free, too!

 

PB & J Mug Cake

4 tablespoons peanut butter

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons jelly/jam (any flavor)

I used a small bowl to mix everything, so I had enough room to make sure all the ingredients were incorporated well. You could opt to mix everything in the mug/jar as well. Start by mixing everything except the jelly. Stir/whisk until smooth. Add a tablespoon of jelly and swirl into the batter (without fully incorporating). My jelly was actually jam, and quite thick. I ended up kind of cutting it into the batter, so little chunks of jam remained. That way you get little pockets of jam, which is fucking delightful. Pour everything into a mug or 1/2 pint mason jar. Add another tablespoon of jam on top, pressed lightly right into the top of the batter. Microwave for 50-60 seconds. Sift a little powdered sugar on top if you’re feelin’ fancy. Let cool for a couple of minutes. Then SHOVEL INTO YOUR FACE.

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baking · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · Dating · dessert · easy · Fruit · jam · pie · snacks · Tarts · travel · vacation · vegetarian

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts

I texted Cortney today, “I miss you. I want to come visit and drink iced coffee in the rocking chairs. Then we can go for a swim at our beach.” She responded with, “I’m ready. Let’s do it.”

Don’t have a lid for your sauce pan? Just cover with another pan! Lids are for rich people.

The rocking chairs are special for us. They’re all along the front porch of the Moana Hotel in Waikiki. Cortney took me there on my first trip to Oahu 2 years ago because it’s a great spot for people watching. I had ordered iced coffee from the coffee shop attached to the hotel and impulsed a few macaroons as well. We settled into our chairs with our fancy cookies and proceeded to check out all the hot people that walked by, having one of our many epic conversations. That experience stuck out to me. It’s silly, because we also went snorkeling and hiking and touring and did a million other amazing Hawaiian things. This was just one random morning. But for some reason, every time I think about visiting her again, I imagine those rocking chairs.

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During my most recent visit we recreated it. It was the morning after my second date with the guy. I refused to tell her anything about it until we were comfortably seated in our chairs with iced coffee and macaroons. She was dying. Keep in mind, Cortney has never met the guy. He is merely a friend of a friend. She didn’t actually have a clue how our dates were going to go, or if he was going to be a crazy person that sends unsolicited dick pics. For all she knew, he could have been a fucking murderer. Honestly, it’s mostly just dumb luck that I’m not dead right now. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but after my Tinder experiences I have become a little (understandably) guarded. So we sat down in our beautiful wooden rocking chairs, taking bites of our tropical flavored macaroons, and I finally launched into the story about the night before, when I discovered that I had found someone incredible. And we did what Cortney and I do best… we talked it all out. She let me gush, and then offered up her thoughts/feelings/encouragement. She allowed me to be unapologetically myself, just like she always does (and what I try to always do for her), and encouraged me to feel all my feelings. While I skipped zero details with Cortney (often starting statements with, “This is a little TMI, but….”), I will skip almost all of the details with you, dear readers. Just know that this person made me feel like I was enough, just as I am… in all of my very human glory.

(Side note: He’s coming to visit me next week. “Excited” is an understatement.)

When Cortney visited last fall, we made hand pies. This is a variation of that, but better (in my opinion). The only annoying part is the fucking dough. All the freezing of shit and the waiting. I’m not great at waiting (duh). It turns out that it’s worth the wait, and it’s easy as fuck to make. Get on it, y’all. You won’t be sorry.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts (inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

1 1/2 pounds rhubarbs stalks (or approx. 6-10 stalks depending on size), cleaned and trimmed of leaves/dirty ends

1 cup dark brown sugar

a splash of vanilla

2ish tablespoons strawberry jam (Thanks, Stacy!)

Slice rhubarb in half, length-wise, and then chop in approximately 3/4″ pieces. You should have about 4 1/2 cups, but it doesn’t have to be exact. Set aside 1 1/2 cups. Combine 3 cups of the chopped rhubarb with the brown sugar and vanilla in a sauce pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Cover and let sit for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should become pretty saucy. Uncover and increase heat to medium, cooking for another 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and causes the spoon to leave a trail at the bottom of the pan. Once finished, stir in the strawberry jam, letting it melt in. Finally, add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of rhubarb. Pour into a bowl and set in refrigerator until cool.

For the crust: follow instructions from Fruit Hand Pies. Except you’ll just put a scoop of the filling in the center of a piece of dough and mush the sides up around it. It’s like a little bowl for jam… that you can eat!

Place them on a greased cookie sheet (or cake pan!) and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. This should make about 8-10 tarts. I only had enough rhubarb for 4 tarts. Then I ate one before the final photo, which is why there are only 3 finished tarts. Fuck it. I’m human, and I was hungry/had a craving. My only regret is that I didn’t make more.

apple · baking · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · Cookies · Dating · dessert · easy · Fruit · jam · pie · vegetarian

Fruit Hand Pies

Okay, the online dating continues… errr… it was continuing. Then I decided that I hated everyone and deleted it. Okay, so here’s the thing… the guys I was meeting on Bumble would start out being very nice, but almost 100% of them would think it is okay to say something sexual to me before we even met. And then they’d get pissed and tell me to loosen up when I would fucking call them out on it. When we’re in the middle of talking about how we both like cooking, it is not appropriate for you to say, “It’s fun to cook with another person, but it turns me on when a woman cooks, so that’s a problem.” I’m sorry, what? Are you telling me that you can’t get through cooking with someone because you’ll get too horny? I don’t even know you. Gross. This shit is not okay. And when I called him out on it, he went on to say how he jokes like that with his friends all the time, and that it’s not a big deal because he’s just joking around. I think he was forgetting the fact that (again)…. I DON’T FUCKING KNOW HIM. How the fuck am I supposed to take a comment like that? We’re not friends… I don’t know his personality yet. We’d been chatting on a dating app for all of 10 minutes. Fuck. Get it together. Needless to say, he “unmatched” me for calling him out on his douche bag behavior.

So I decided that I’m done. I was getting really stressed out trying to fit dates into my schedule anyway. And the guys on the app were so aggressive about meeting immediately. I just don’t have time for that shit. I have 3 jobs, plus all the yoga classes to attend, and some amazing friends that I’d rather be spending time with than strangers that may or may not offend me within moments of meeting. I’m taking a break.

Last Sunday I decided to spend the entire day doing yoga, which is something I used to do every Sunday, but haven’t been able to in the last 2ish months. It felt so amazing to just spend the whole day doing exactly what I wanted to be doing, and not having any responsibilities. And I got to do Acro for several hours at the park! This is me in my happy place…

I made these hand pies when Cortney was visiting. My amazing friend (and Acro teacher!) Alyssa gave me the recipe. She wrote it down for me, but didn’t know specifics about timing/measurements for a lot of it. I made 3 batches, but one of them ended up more like cookie dough (I added too much sugar), which was actually awesome (according to Cortney), so I’ll share that mistake in the recipe below as an option. This recipe could easily be made into savory pies, too… just leave out the sugar.

Fruit Hand Pies

For the crust:

1 cup flour (optional: substitute 1/4 of the flour for 1/4 cup sugar)

1 stick butter, frozen

2 tablespoons sugar

Ice cold water

For the filling:

Follow the filling instructions from the apple pie blog post (found here), but cut it down to about 1/4 of the recipe. Once mixed, refrigerate until cool.

For the raspberry filling, it is just equal parts raspberries to sugar (start with 1 cup of each). Boil that until it’s a thickish sauce. You’ll also want to add a few fresh berries to the filling, so make sure to save a little! Refrigerate until cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate the butter with a cheese grater. Throw the grated butter into a bowl, and stick it in the freezer for an hour. After the hour, mix the flour and sugar with the butter, then slowly add ice water until it reaches a dough-like consistency (about 1/4 cup). Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and freeze for another hour.

Flour a surface and roll dough out pretty thin (thinner than regular pie dough… use your best judgement). Cut into squares, circles, rectangles, or any shape that speaks to you. Scoop some (cold) filling onto half of the square of dough, and fold it over, pressing a fork into the edges to seal it. Sprinkle with a little more sugar, and bake on a greased cookie sheet for about 40-50 minutes (until they are golden brown). Bring them to your local Acro jam (don’t know what that is? Check out AcroYoga Minneapolis)!

Also, serve this warm with ice cream. I didn’t do that, and I’m sad about it every day.

 

comfort food · dinner · easy · jam · lunch · peanut butter · quick · Sandwiches · snacks · vegan · vegetarian

PB & J + Potato Chips

I went swimsuit shopping today. I walked in there with all this confidence… and was immediately put in my place. First of all, why is it so fucking difficult to get something in my size that isn’t fucking disgusting? I’m tired of hiding under skirts and extra layers to hide my thighs and hold my belly in. It’s exhausting. I just want to wear a swimsuit that is comfortable, and cute. Is that so much to fucking ask?

First, I tried a little online shopping at Aerie. They are my go to source for the best underwear, and they refuse to photoshop their models. Plus! They just signed a plus size model to model their standard size clothing. This is a big deal, guys. Anyway, I thought for sure I’d find something on their website.

I am a naive person. Or maybe just a little dumb. Maybe both. Who knows?

Those fuckers didn’t even have my size at all. Apparently, my boobs are too big to be contained by Aerie.

So I went to Target today. I buy lots of clothing at Target, and can always shop their standard size section (I’m one of those people that can shop in both plus size and standard size… usually). So I walk in, and am overwhelmed by all the options right inside the front door. There are stripes and polka dots, bikinis with cute bows and ruffles, one pieces with these cool sheer stripes, all covering 2 huge walls, plus several racks in the middle of the floor. I went digging, highly optimistic.

Sigh. I’m just so naive.

NOTHING FUCKING FIT.

You want to know how many options they had in their plus size section? There was one rack, and everything on it was a variation of the same black, skirted, one piece. God forbid someone see my upper thighs!

Swimsuit skirts can fuck off. I don’t need to hide behind you anymore!

I like to think I’m bold enough to wear a bikini, and just tell everyone to fuck right off. Clearly, the clothing industry has other ideas.

Fuck you, society. Stop body shaming me.

Also, put some fucking underwire in those swimsuits! WTF?

PB & J + Potato Chips

2 pieces of white bread

Jam of choice (I chose my fancy homemade plum jam, but you do you)

Peanut butter

Potato chips

Assemble sandwich in obvious manner. Then smoosh the sandwich a little bit to crush the chips a bit. Shove in your mouth with extra potato chips.

I think this is the best thing that’s ever happened to my mouth.

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breakfast · brunch · dessert · easy · gluten free · jam · quick · sides · snacks · vegan · vegetarian

Cranberry Jam and Alone Time

DSC_0011I have a long standing tradition of taking myself on dates. I will randomly feel the need to take a break from socializing, and honor my introvert by simply spending the day/afternoon/evening alone, doing all my favorite things. Today was that day. I went to two yoga classes – one taught by the person that originally taught me yoga, and one taught by the person that has helped me deepen my practice in the last few months. Both classes were low-energy, with lots of slow stretching and breathing. It was just what I needed. I left each class feeling calm and grounded. After yoga, I spent some much-needed quality time with my mom, then took myself out to a “movie.” I went to see the Humpback Whale documentary at the Science Museum Omnitheatre. Guys – it was so fucking cool. At first I was concerned about the tiny screen, but then a giant screen fucking moved over the top of it! It was awesome. Everyone should go there. Go right now. You won’t be sorry.

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Sometimes the need for alone time will translate into something different than what I did today. A lot of the time, my cooking becomes my alone time. Last weekend I made cranberry jam. I became obsessed with the idea after seeing cranberries at the farmers’ market the week before. Of course, when I went to pick some up, that vendor wasn’t there. So I ended up going to my local co-op and purchasing $30 worth of cranberries. It would have been $10 at the farmers’ market, but I missed that opportunity, because I’m a dumbass.  It also turns out that I don’t love cranberry jam. So with my second batch, I added frozen blueberries. It changed everything for the better. 20151120_102325

I have been putting that shit on everything. Nothing is off limits! My favorite method of consuming jam is by adding it to an English muffin that is already topped with cream cheese. OR! On top of vanilla ice cream, maybe with a handful of dark chocolate chips. You’re welcome.

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Cranberry Jam

8 cups fresh cranberries (or 4 cups blueberries and 4 cups cranberries)

3 cups brown sugar, packed

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Follow canning instructions here if you want to actually can the jam(which is what I did). Otherwise, feel free to cut this recipe in half and just throw it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for a few weeks. If canning, you do not need to add pectin, as it is naturally found in cranberries.

Throw everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for around 25 minutes, stirring frequently. It will bubble quite a bit – especially if you’re only using cranberries (which thicken quickly). I had to put pants on for this, which was really fucking annoying. Hot jam splattered on your legs really hurts – don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You’re done! Can it, eat it, or bathe in it.

Side note: My family doesn’t do cranberry sauce, but if yours does, this would be a great option. Maybe just add a little cinnamon and orange zest.

20151120_101640This jam is Piper-approved.