Hellooooooooo!!! One misspelled word and three exclamation points in, and it already feels so good to be back. I’m sorry, I mean truly sorry I’ve been away so long. I took a bit of time off for one reason, and then another and then another; and by the time I was ready to come back, it was hard to find the time (especially since Evelyn, my 19 month old, has recently decided she doesn’t need naps anymore and likes to sit on my keyboard every time I open my computer…).
So much has happened since I was last here, writing in this space. Since the non-napper is actually napping after bouncing off the walls for an hour and a half at the trampoline open gym this morning and Annabelle is away on her first overnight trip with just daddy at the ski mountain, I’m here, alone. The house is sort of clean and the laundry is sort of done and I don’t think I’ve volunteered myself for anything that NEEDS to be done this afternoon so it’s writing time.
I owe you an explanation for my months long hiatus. Abbreviated and in chronological order, here goes:
1- The Election. Don’t worry! This isn’t a political rant. In the weeks immediately following the presidential election, I wanted to stay as far away from the internet as possible. The toxic rhetoric that was being spewed from every direction was enough to make me want to say farewell to the internet forever. But after a while that didn’t seem like a feasible or productive solution. So I decided to stand firm in my convictions without screaming them at everyone else from behind a computer screen, respect the widey varying opinions of my friends and family, and try to overcome the nasty things I read with nice actions, thoughts, and prayers. And then the holidays were upon us.
2- The Holidays. After yelling at 3 1/2 year old Annabelle for sticking her fingers into a painstakingly styled pie, and watching her perfect little smile of satisfaction melt into tears, I realized that is most certainly NOT what the holiday season is about. So we baked, we cooked, we listened to Christmas music, we went sledding and skating, we visited family in two different states. Annabelle stuck her fingers in pies and Evelyn sat on them (only once actually, and it was an accident), we frosted cookies with our fingers, we ate straight from the pan. I photographed some of it, wrote about none of it, and no one got yelled at for being three. Ahhh Three…
3- 3. Tim and I were blessed with the news of another little miracle. 7/17/17 is the date we are expecting our third child. I feel like bursting into tears every time I say or write that. I’m ecstatic. My heart is overflowing with love and joy. As happy as I am now and have been since finding out, I did not feel like writing, talking, or even thinking about food for quite a few weeks. The days of closing my eyes and holding my nose while making dinner are finally over and I’m on to craving things like spicy chicken sandwiches from Wendy’s (are you kidding me?! No, I haven’t given in to that one; as much as my stomach says yes every time we drive by, my brain is still rational enough to say no way) and peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies with flaky sea salt (Okay, I’ve given in to that one a “few” times).
While I was away I found time to read an actual book. Cover to cover. One without pictures or rhyming words. I took a bee keeping class and ordered two hives of bees which are due to arrive around mid-April. I printed plans to build a chicken coop for the 9 chickens we’ll be getting sometime next month. I planned a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate my 30th birthday with my parents. My husband and I took our girls to Disney World and I got Norovirus on an airplane somewhere around 22,000 feet above a real bathroom. In short, life has been good (except for that last part, that wasn’t so good, but next time I get a stomach bug I will appreciate the heck out of a real bathroom).
Thank you all SO much for your messages of love and support during my absence. Thanks to those of you who checked in to make sure everything was okay and for those who asked me to please come back. I would have let more time pass had it not been for your encouragement.
My three reasons for being away all have one thing in common: cookies. Whether you considered the election to be a win or a loss…it probably made you want to eat cookies. The holidays…made me (and you too?) want to eat cookies. And being pregnant with my third child in three years…makes me want to eat cookies.
These peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies are crispy around the edges, chewy and gooey in the middle and, as an added bonus, the dough freezes exceptionally well, so you don’t have to eat them all at once. Natural peanut butter works okay here as long as its been stirred very well, but the stuff I swore I’d never buy again after reading the label makes the best cookies. Everything in moderation??? This recipe is from a well-loved journal I’ve kept since my freshman year in college. I guess I can’t blame pregnancy for my cookie cravings after all…
If you want to freeze some of the dough, scoop it into balls and place them on a baking sheet. Freeze them for at least 30 minutes and then transfer them to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. When you’re ready for a cookie fix, simply place the dough balls on a lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 min.
- ½ cup / 100 g Granulated sugar
- ½ cup / 100 g Light brown sugar
- ½ cup / 113 g Unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup / 128 g Peanut butter
- 1 Large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup / 152 g All-purpose flour
- 4 oz / 113 g Dark chocolate, chopped (I like Ghirardelli's 60% cacao bars)
- ¼ cup Unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)
- Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream together sugars, butter, and peanut butter on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until the flour is incorporated. Stir in chocolate chunks (and peanuts if using).
- Form dough into balls by the rounded tablespoon. Leave about 2 inches of room between each cookie to allow for spreading. Sprinkle each ball with a very small pinch of flaky salt.
- Bake 11-13 min.