Tuesday, 12 August 2014


Little T and I are waiting to board our flight to Canada where my parents, sister, nephew and niece are waiting for us. As this is a long awaited family get together, you can imagine that our excitement levels are through the roof :) Needless to say, I won't be blogging for the next few weeks as I will be too busy catching up, but I promise to share my trip with you when we get back!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

PB & J

During my teenage years I had developed a bit of an obsession with the United States of America. I was able to name all of the fifty one states and their capital cities, could sing the Star Spangled Banner National Anthem with accompanying piano and even adopted a bit of a Midwestern accent when speaking. As only a teenager can be, I was absolutely certain that I would end up living in California or Colorado one day. Obviously I outgrew this particular obsession and gave up on my American Dream, but I do still have a certain love for the culinary treats that America has to offer and do spend a lot of time watching shows like The Barefoot Contessa and Unique Sweets on TV.

PB & J sandwiches are one of these American treats that I just love and something I do eat very often. Peanut butter in general is one of my favourite things, there is always a big jar full in my store cupboard and I am not ashamed to admit to eating it straight from the jar by the spoonful from time to time! Today though, when I was hit by a PB & J craving, I just knew that a normal sandwich was not going to cut it...

I suddenly remembered some peanut butter cookies that I had baked for a friend years ago and just knew that they would make the perfect sandwich cookies, stuck together with my home made strawberry jam.

Soft and chewy cookies, sweet and sticky jam, what more could a girl ask for :)
Feeling very inspired by the success of these cookies, I went on to turn our whole dinner into a bit of an American affair.

The pork shoulder, originally destined for the stew pot was transformed into slow cooked sticky barbecue pork.

The baked potatoes were scraped out of their skins, mixed with chopped chives, grated strong cheese and sour cream and loaded back into their little vessels for a quick blast under the grill.

No steam for the carrots and cabbage, instead they were put to good use making a fresh and crunchy slaw.

A meal that would surely make Ina Garten say "mmm, so good" :)

PB & J Cookies: 

  • ½ cup soft, unsalted butter
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar, packed
  •  1 egg
  •  1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 375 F/ Gas Mark 5 and line two large cookie sheets with greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl, cream together the butters and sugars until pale in colour and fluffy in texture. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt, thoroughly mixing everything to ensure there are no pockets of dry flour in the mixture.

Using a table spoon, drop walnut sized balls of dough onto the lined cookie sheet, leaving about 5cm between each cookie as they do spread a little and slightly flatten them using a fork dipped in flour. Bake them for about 10 minutes or until they are lightly golden brown and looks set. Leave them to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring them to a cooling rack.
When the cookies are completely cool, dollop about half a teaspoon of your best jam/ jelly onto the flat bottom of one cookie, and lightly press another on top to sandwich. You should get about 12 - 14 sandwiched cookies.