Category Archives: Baking

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cookies

Dee:  In elementary school, I recall eating the most delicious peanut butter cookies in the school cafeteria.  They were big and you only got one however, that one cookie entirely filled up that recessed square in the lunch tray.  I loved them.  They had the perfect amount of crispness and a very strong peanut butter flavor.

Years passed, yet my memory lingered on those cookies.  I looked at countless recipes from cookbooks and some from online until I happened upon a recipe that I found in the Chicago Tribune.  The article stated that this particular recipe was from the Chicago Public Schools.  I was hopeful and clipped the recipe.  As it turns out, my eldest son is allergic to peanuts so I didn’t dare fill the air with poison or contaminate my kitchen and utensils with peanut butter. I am a good mother, after all.

Kids grow up and they go off to college.  Sometimes they move across the country and while I love this particular child very much I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out all the delicious peanut butter recipes that I had been saving.  This one was at the top of the list.  Enjoy!

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup real butter, softened (do not even consider substituting, seriously, don’t do it)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  Beat butter and both sugars in a bowl until fluffy.  Beat in eggs and peanut butter.  Gradually add the flour mixture a cup at a time mixing just to combine. At this point the dough is extremely stiff, please use caution so as not to burn out your hand-mixer.  I have killed my share of hand-mixers over the years.  Consider yourself warned.

Scoop dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using a 2-inch trigger scoop; do not flatten.  I repeat, do not flatten.  Bake until lightly golden and beginning to crisp around the edges, about 15 minutes.

Notes: Bake them for less time if you prefer softer cookies.  I like mine on the crisp side so I usually bake them mine for 16 minutes which makes them perfect for dunking.

This recipe makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.  I have never stopped to count them and as everyone likes to eat warm cookies, they seem to just disappear from the cooling racks.  Enjoy!

Halfway there?

This was a great weekend for knitting. I just finished on-call and was basically too tired to leave the house on Saturday.  It was Day 7 and I knit a total of 3,360.  Yesterday, I knit over 10K, and here’s my progress.
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I’m knitting my sweater with positive ease (a first for me), and I truly hope I calculated correctly.  I measured and it’s about 20″ almost time for the garter trim.  If I estimated accurately, I will be finished with the body by the end of the week.  Crossing fingers.

My other activity on Saturday was baking old-fashioned biscuits with my Gracie.  I am channeling my mom’s cooking vibes really heavy these days.  Anyway, Gracie and I were a tad bit excited with the rolling, and our biscuits were flat. Still delicious though.
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Gracie also asked for meatballs and spaghetti so we made these turkey meatballs.  No pics because they were that delicious!

Berry Season

Dee: Truly, I love berries above all other fruit!  I love them just as they are, I love them sprinkled on top of anything, and I also love them baked into delightful treats for my taste buds.  I grew up in berry country.  Hello?  Knott’s Berry Farm?!  I never stood a chance when the boysenberry was being celebrated with an entire amusement park centered around it’s loveliness.

In early spring, on my way home from Fullerton, I’d stop off the freeway and  buy strawberries by the case for $5.00. You cannot do that here…sadly.  Also, have you ever noticed that there are no good pie places around here either?  I grew up with a Marie Callender’s never more than a few miles away.  I was able to satisfy my berry cravings seasonally with their fresh strawberry pie and year round with their mixed berry pie.  I love their mixed berry pie.  Which brings me to my Triple Berry Crumble.

2015-02-07 20.03.45It’s a mélange of seasonal berries topped with an oatmeal cookie.  Drooling yet?  Well, because I am a girl who likes to share, I am posting my “recipe” for my Triple Berry Crumble for you to enjoy and celebrate the splendor that is berry season.

Dee’s Triple Berry Crumble

  • Wash and dry about three (3) pints of mixed berries.  I like to use raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  I have also been know to make this a quadruple berry treat by adding some cut up strawberries to the mix.  Use your favorites, be the architect of your crumble.
  • Sprinkle and stir in no more than 1/4 cup white sugar into the berries and about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the juices.  You seriously do not need to add any sugar but there are times when the berries are a tad too tart, use your best judgement here. You also do not have to add the cornstarch but I like thicker juices so I add some.
  • The oatmeal crumb topping is heavy on the oatmeal because I love it so.  Experiment a little, go ahead, I give you permission to mess with perfection and adjust to your preferences.  I still do, sometimes I add about 1/2 cup or so of chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • You’ll need 1 cup softened butter (don’t even think about using anything but butter).
  • 3 cups of old fashioned oatmeal.  The five (5) minute variety.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Mix all of the crumb topping ingredients with your hands until nice and crumbly then spread evenly over the top of the berries. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until the topping is nicely browned and the juices are bubbling up through it along the sides and corners.
  • I like to eat mine while it’s still warm and heavenly.  This would be a good time to add a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream but really, the berries are delicious enough on their own.  Mike likes his berry crumble cold so I stow all leftover triple berry crumble in the fridge.

Happy baking!


Let’s Talk Food

Lynette:  So I’m a foodie – meaning n.Slang A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food.  I love watching food TV shows (I’m a huge Top Chef fan), reading food blogs and biographies by chefs and fictional food books.  However, I wasn’t very creative or inventive when it came to cooking. My meal plan was always the same.  So late last year, I started actually looking at the recipes I’ve read about.  Time to change up my meal repertoire.  It’s all a part of my Learning New Things.

One of the blogs I’ve recently discovered is called Simply So Good.   Her name is Janet and her food looks delicious.  The post that made me want to ‘cook this’ was her Crusty Bread recipe.  It is amazingly simple and delicious!  Originally, I thought to myself I’ll try it but my bread won’t turn out like that.  But yes it did!  This recipe is SO easy, I’ve made it almost every week.  Not for myself but I’ve baked it for my family. It taste so much like the bread they serve at Panera.  I’ve yet to experiment with it by adding herbs, cheeses, raisins, etc. because it taste so delicious on it’s own. You have to try this.

Next up is her Chicken Tortilla Soup and Black Bean Salsa.   Double Yum!  This was one of the most delicious meals I’ve made in a long time.  I no longer buy packaged soups because of the high sodium content and now I can enjoy it the healthy way. There is some prep work and that’s ok.  I’m learning now that all meals don’t have to be cooked in 30 minutes or less.  I’m very, very pleased with the outcome.

There are more recipes from this blog I intend to try.  Here’s a link to the recipe index if you want to check it out.

Onto another blog called The Crepes of Wrath.  The Crock Pot Beer Chicken was calling out to me one day.  So here’s my result.  My pictures don’t look as good as the original, but the taste is great!  The chicken was so very moist and truly fell apart when I tried to lift it out of the crock pot.  My only drawback was that I don’t know anything about beer so I went to the store and bought a can of Miller’s I think.  Next time around, I think I’ll go to Trader Joe’s and get some Lindemans Framboise Raspberry Lambic Beer or some other flavor.  I tried this at a friend’s house, and it was so good.  It tasted more like sparkling wine rather than beer.  I think that would give a totally different flavor altogether.

The last recipe (with pictures) I want to share with you is called Grands! Chicken Pot Pie Puffs by Pillsbury.  Again, it’s super easy, quick and delicious.  My family ate it up within a few minutes.  My son ate his while standing in the kitchen then asked for more.  Here’s my version.  Next time, the only thing I would change is to make two batches or use two cans of biscuits.

These recipes don’t have pictures for it, but I wanted to share them.  I tried the Slow Cooker Pepper Steak by  I served it over rice.  I keep saying the word delicious.  And it was!  You’ll have to take my word for it and try it one of these day.   The last recipe is from a blog I read called Under The Tulip Tree.  The recipe is called Family Pancake, which is basically a dutch pancake.  Instead of cooking a stack of pancakes, I made this on a Sunday morning when everyone was home, and it was a winner.  And delicious!