Well-made: Best cookies ever (PB&J shortbread)

I don’t normally do this (share recipes), but these are just too amazing to keep to myself (like how you always want to tell EVERYONE any sort of good news).

PB&J shortbread, delicious like my childhood ūüôā

Jessica’s PB&J Shortbread:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar (I like organic raw cane sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I like organic creamy peanut butter)
  • 2 cups flour (I like whole wheat pastry flour — I’m sure regular flour works too)
  • 1/2 cup jam (I like blackberry jam)
  • cookie cutters (I like heart shaped — always)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Make sure butter is softened (not a melty puddle). Cream softened butter and sugar in a bowl. Add peanut butter and mix together. Then add flour, one cup at a time, folding it into the mixture. Once you have dough, roll it out and make shapes using your cookie cutters. Put the cookies on a nonstick baking pan. In the middle of each cookie, make a small indentation with your finger. Place a little bit of jam (I would say about 1/4 teaspoon) into the indentation.¬†Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees. When you take your cookies out, they’ll be soft, so let them sit in the cookie sheet for a couple minutes to firm up before you move it to a wire rack to fully cool. And you’re done. Now you can relive your childhood memories for dessert. You’re welcome.

If you don’t like jam, these cookies go well with chocolate or just by themselves. They also go well with a cold glass of milk followed by a game of tag.

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In lieu of a proper update, 2010 year in review

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
– have a real job
– pay bills, clean my house, basically things that grownups do
– live away from my parents

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I lost that list, so I don’t remember any of them, so it’s probable that I didn’t keep any of them. That said, I’m only making one resolution, which is to be my true self.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend Desirae, and Dakota Jaclyn is absolutely beautiful!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I know of.

5. What countries did you visit?
I stayed stateside for this one.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2011?
– I no longer view things from a mindset that I lack anything, so nothing.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 30, 2010 — My first day of work!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally landing a sweet job.

9. What was your biggest failure?
It’s not possible for me to fail at anything, so nothing.

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California, here we come

What happened since I last posted (it’s been a crazy few weeks) :

I finally made it to San Diego (via driving from Portland, Ore.). I had to cross some mountains in Ashland, but the Soul Train and all my stuff made it.¬†Fun fact: the highest point on the I-5 is in the mountains of Ashland at 4310 feet.¬†My mom ended up taking the wheel for most of California driving after I seriously got freaked out. It’s so true what they say about LA drivers–they do drive fast and crazy. But now that I’ve been in San Diego for two weeks, I’m getting used to the driving style (speed limit is obviously a suggestion — I’m driving 70 in the “slow lane” and I get passed all the time) and getting around and figuring out where everything is.¬†And I had my mom for a week to help get me settled in, which was also fun. My condo also came with a roommate! She seems chill and awesome and I think we’ll work out just fine.

I love the weather in San Diego. It’s sunny, not too hot and just perfect. I think being in places that have not-so-great weather (Portland and Lexington, VA)¬†makes me appreciate it even more. But at the same time, I refuse to freak out over half an inch of rain. We just got some rain (less than an inch) a couple weeks ago, and people kept calling it “a storm” and I kept thinking, “Oh please. Let me bring you to Portland and you can see how we get “mega storms” half the year.”¬†On the day we got some rain, there were also many accidents.¬†Newsflash: you can’t drive as fast when the road has water on it!

I also jumped headfirst into a new gig at a local TV news station that already has me working hard.¬†I will end up writing for both the newscasts and the site, so I’ll be swinging both ways.¬†I just finished up my two weeks of broadcast writing training and now I’m about to start training for the Web. YAY. I’m so amped on that. Web is my main deal — especially multimedia projects (for which there are opportunities).¬†It gets crazy and stressful,¬†but the good news is that it’s never boring.

But not like it was a completely painless transition: some goodbyes never happened. Some weren’t as meaningful as I wanted and some people haven’t quite grown up yet.¬†As much as I love how everything is exciting and new and an adventure,¬†I miss mostly people, but some things like no sales tax, homecooked lumpia, delicious microbrews and evergreen trees.

MARCH RADNESS

I’ve been absent from a post in a while, but that was because I had the best week in a long time!

Yes kids, I am employed now. In journalism! Therefore, we must doubly rejoice! By the end of the month, I’ll be working at a TV station in San Diego where I will spend most of my time writing stories for their Web site. I’ll also be writing for their newscast and working on some multimedia (hopefully)! This is even more exciting because I have yet to see an SD news site with robust multimedia offerings (other than just video, but more like interactive infographics and such) and we can take the lead. It will be awesome.

So this means I’m packing up¬†and leaving the rainy Northwest for a golden state of mind. But the best part is that I’ll be driving away from my hometown/everything I know and a city full of the finest microbrews in a new car! I just got a 2010 KIA Soul (titanium color) and it’s been fun to drive. It’s cute (according to my grandpa) and has pretty much everything I could need (Sirius, Bluetooth and a sunroof among so many things).

It’s been a whirlwind couple weeks. They’re getting their money’s worth of me in Smoothieland.¬†In other coolness, I’m delighted to see these videos circling my Facebook News Feed:

Now if I can only get my bracket filled out, I’ll be all set.

Not only can she produce catchy dance hits, but wisdom?

‚ÄúSome women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you‚Äôre wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn‚Äôt love you anymore.‚ÄĚ –Lady Gaga

(via Lovely Happenings)

Then again, it’s not like¬†your career can snuggle up next to you. Or carry your heavy groceries up a couple flights of stairs. Or change the oil in your car. Or tell you that you’re beautiful. That is the dilemma.

You don’t lose as long as you learn

I just had the most stressful and exhausting day¬†straight full of traveling, interviews and tests (going full on from about 3 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Oh man. I’ve never experienced anything like it. My shoulder is incredibly sore (tension, maybe?). I can imagine that’s how work can get, but wow. But I still can’t complain.

Now that I’m done whining about it, the tough stuff makes life not boring.¬†The lows and highs are what make the roller coaster interesting.

Of course, there are so many things I could have said or done differently, but I feel like I stood confidently behind whatever answers I gave.

It’s easier to remember the bad things over the good. Why else do wounds come with scars? Why don’t we have anything to remember the good things that happen to us?¬†Regardless, you’ve just got to do the best you can¬†in whatever circumstances you’re facing.

Now it’s over and done and everything is committed to something higher than me. I can’t take back anything I said or retake anymore tests from yesterday¬†and nothing is going to keep me from enjoying my today.

Right now I’m reminded that you’re supposed to rest after working (six days shall you labor, but you shall rest on the seventh day and all that). So I’m resting. I’m not going to let yesterday’s events stress me out any longer.