Category Archives: Recipes

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I adore baking! It’s therapeutic and it brings me great joy. One of my all-time favorite things to make are these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies. 2014-09-29 11.28.14 They are soft with just the right amount of peanut butter and chocolate. A glass of milk are these cookies’ best friend.

I discovered this recipe in high school, I think, and had it tweaked to perfection by the time my freshman year of college rolled around. These babies secured me with bodyguards all through my IWU days! 😉 They make great gifts and because the recipe turns out four dozen, one batch goes a long way for a carry-in.

Warning: If you make these for a bunch of teens you should probably make a second batch and hide them in your house because the first batch will disappear!

I have been asked over and over for this recipe. So, here you go, friends:

Jessica’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 cups semisweet or dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 365 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, peanut butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and mix well. Next, mix in chocolate chips. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. I prefer to spray my pans with Baker’s Joy (the flour and spray in one).
Bake for 10 to 11 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned at the edges. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a minute before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Jess’s notes: I sift the flour, soda and salt together. Also, please notice that I add the chocolate chips in before the flour mixture. Sounds weird, but they mix in better. The batter is lighter and fluffier than the typical cookie dough. Pop it into the fridge in between bake times. Don’t add extra flour or you will not have a soft cookie. Resist the urge. The batter looks different and these cookies TASTE BETTER than your momma’s. You know they do! So, trust me!

**Adapted from this original recipe here.

This is the way to make Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

autumn-free-wallpaper-autumn-path_2560x1600_93197Autumn is here…and so are my allergies! Ugh! But I just stumbled upon a brilliant way to enjoy Pumpkin Spice Lattes at home. I’m sure you’re thinking, “There are tons of recipes on pinterest already for these fall beverages.” This is true, but this is the first recipe that I have seen that makes a batch for the week! That’s why I think it’s brilliant! I pinned this, of course, but for those of you who’d like a link, go visit A Farmgirl’s Dabbles and try out her Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. Let me know what you think! I’m going to go make it myself!!!

UPDATE: I just made this and it is marvelous! I added more spices than called for and didn’t have whole milk so I used 1 1/2 cups skim milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream. I also had lowfat condensed milk on hand so I used that. I added a bit more brown sugar after tasting the first time, but not much. I’m sure the exact recipe is great, too! I just really like cinnamon and nutmeg. I didn’t even add the whipped cream and chocolate shavings and it is scrumptious! Enjoy!

I Made 77 Meatballs During Naptime…

I posted earlier today how I use up bulk amounts of ground beef to get the best bang for my buck AND to save time in preparing it later. See my post here. I mentioned that I was going to be making meatballs with 2.5 pounds of the ground beef along with some italian sausage.

I used 2.5 pounds of ground beef, 2 pounds of sweet italian sausage, italian seasoning, garlic powder, grated parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and 4 eggs beaten to create 77 meatballs (ok, 78, but I had to try one just to make sure they were done). That translates to 7 batches of meatballs which is the equivalent of 7 Spaghetti and Meatball nights at our house. I don’t know about your family but my family LOVES Spaghetti and Meatball night. I’m surprised the smell of the meatballs haven’t woken them up from their naps. :-) Ella begs for this meal.

My meatballs need to cool and then I can transfer them to freezer bags. So in the weeks to come all I have to do is pull a bag out, defrost and add to my favorite pasta sauce to heat through. Pick your favorite pasta and make some garlic bread and you will be nominated for Wife/Mom of the Year. Trust me. :-)

*By the way, the total of meals I prepped ahead for today comes to a whopping 15 meals using 12 lbs of meat.

Want to know how I’ll use all of my meat? Tune in for my next post. In the meantime, how do YOU use ground beef to it’s fullest potential? Or any meat, for that matter?

The BEST Pumpkin recipe

I keep making these Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes from Paula Deen. This time, instead of a yellow cake mix, I used a Spice cake mix. I’ll let you know how it turns out! It’s in the oven now!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 50 min


* 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
* 1 egg
* 8 tablespoons butter, melted


* 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
* 3 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 8 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Variations: For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

The Verdict: Though the spice cake mix had a nice spicy flavor, it seemed more dry and less sweet than the yellow cake mix. I am sticking with the yellow cake mix from now on. I’m trying the Peanut Butter variation next. Or maybe this one!