i said yes

“yes, of course!” to be exact.

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it’s peanut butter jelly time!

originally i had planned on making peanut butter and fudge oatmeal cookies for the bake sale, but at the last minute changed my mind to these peanut butter and jelly bars – hooo boy, am i glad i did. the first bite made me feel like a kid again, these bars taste just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but, you know…more party friendly 🙂

i stayed almost entirely true to the recipe. i only made one change to the recipe itself, less peanuts on top and didn’t bother with the fussy tin foil in the baking dish instructions. i buttered the glass dish directly and the bars popped right out. easy peasy!

PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY BARS (from bon appetit)
1 1/2
cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4
cup smooth peanut butter
(i use skippy)
3/4
cup packed brown sugar

1/2
cup unsalted butter, room temperature
+ more for greasing the baking dish
1
large egg

1
teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4
cup grape jelly (i used grape cider jelly from hoch orchard – SO good)

1/2
cup chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts

preheat oven to 350. grease bottom and sides of an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with butter.

whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. in a separate, larger bowl, beat peanut butter, sugar and butter until smooth (i LOVE the smell of peanut butter and butter together). add egg and vanilla and mix totally on low. add flour mixture and beat until just blended.

divide dough in half. place one half in the freezer to chill for few minutes. take the other half and evenly press into the bottom of the prepped baking dish. spread jelly over the dough (this is easier if jelly is room temperature). take the dough out of the freezer and sprinkle it over the jelly in little pieces. top with chopped peanuts.

bake 35-40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. let cool completely, in the dish, on a rack before serving. i bet you won’t be able to eat just one at a time.

pro-tip – these are even more delicious after being refrigerated for a few hours!

lovely blueberry crumb bars

i have two favorite ways to eat blueberries – 1) fresh, straight up and 2) in muffin form. now, i guess i have to add a number 3 to that because these blueberry crumb bars are perfect for a summer dessert, a little chewy and slightly tart from the berry and lemon combo – these will brighten up any backyard bbq.


BLUEBERRY CRUMB BARS (recipe from smitten kitchen)
*i live in a 2 person + dog household so i halved this recipe to make it more manageable for eating and storing*

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of half a lemon
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch

preheat the oven to 375 and grease an 8″ x 8″ pan – i used non-stick spray

in a bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups flour, and the 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. add in salt and lemon zest. use a fork and cut/blend in the butter and egg. dough will be really piece-y and crumbly. pat half of dough into the pan.

in a new bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. add blueberries and mix until berries are evenly coated with the sugar mixture. spread berry mixture evenly over the dough in the pan and sprinkle the remaining dough crumbs over the top.

bake for 45 – 55 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. cool completely before cutting – you can even chill it in the fridge first before cutting. these bars taste great cold!

bake sale photos

the share our strength bake sale took place at midtown global market yesterday. i wasn’t able to stick around for very long, but snapped a few photos with my phone so i could share all the goodies with my internet friends 🙂 30 local bloggers participated and the sale raised over $600 – big big thanks to kate from kate in the kitchen for organizing us all!


muffins and pumpkin bread (sorry, i don’t know by who). and samples of amy from green your plate’s brioche and banana bread (we bought 2 of the banana breads – really awesome, the recipe is posted on her blog). those giant marshmallow on a stick faces were a HUGE hit. kids were flipping out over them.


lovely springy rose cookies from amanda of i am baker. her blog is so fabulous, one of my all-time favorites. an real inspiration to a newbie baker like myself!


i spy a sourdough ciabatta made by the mister. and my contributions of blueberry crumb and peanut butter and jelly bars (blog posts forthcoming). there’s kate in the middle!


fairy and pirate cupcakes – super cute. apple and cheddar scones (i bought one) and chocolate chip cream cheese cupcakes by laurie of relish it towards the back – oh, and there’s amy, hi amy!

i can’t wait to participate again next year. hope some of you folks manage to stop by and pick up some treats.

CLAP

i am participating in the CLAP project (Creative Ladies Are Powerful). my friend holly and with some other ladies started the group a few years ago and recently it has morphed into a zine with all sorts of submissions from various awesome ladies. the first issue just came out last month and the next one is scheduled for late june.

check out the CLAP blog to read about the group, learn about the zine contributors and get in touch with holly if you’re interested in submitting or having the CLAP zine for sale at your small business. right now you can find copies at Yeti Records and Everyday People in uptown.

i’m really happy to be part of this group and the zine and am looking forward to meeting the other contributors (who i don’t already know)!

i posted a DIY for an super adorable earring holder – the full tutorial is posted on the blog, here.


support your local arts scene! and awesome ladies!

happy cake!

everyone and their mom is making rainbow cakes these days – and they are so cool looking that i couldn’t help jumping on the wagon myself. the mister’s second cousin turned 3 a couple weeks ago and i thought it was the perfect opportunity for this fun and whimsical cake. also, there is something about eating colored cake, makes it taste extra good 🙂


you can tell i didn’t bother leveling the layers at all…


a simple, clean vanilla frosting with some blue detailing.


bright birthday candles, a hint as to the surprise inside the frosting 🙂