One of the most common questions that I receive after telling someone the name of my blog is, "Oh, do you only do peanut butter recipes?"
Makes perfect sense, right?
So then I tend to go into this whole explanation starting way back in 2007, when I was still trying to figure out what a blog was. It was not easy to decide on a name for my brand new "web log." I wanted it to be fairly concise, to make some sort of sense and, most of all, to be memorable.
This led to one serious blog-brainstorming session on my trusty legal pads (which I still use--haven't quite made the leap to my iPad.) Every potential phrase, culinary term and adjective that I could think of filled up several pink pages (I love a pink legal pad.)
But still, nothing. Nada. Zilch. I still hadn't found "the name."
Then, one night (I believe it was roughly 3 a.m.), the name came to me out of nowhere: Peanut Butter and Julie. It was cute, witty, not too long and pretty memorable. Yesss!
So then I just needed to hope that the URL was available. It wasn't. Did you know that Peanut Butter and Julie was the name of a band? Me neither. Fortunately, since we were still back in the blogging stone ages and Peanut Butter and Julie (the band) wasn't yet selling out Wembley Stadium, I was able to get it for a bargain. Done and done.
The funny thing is, having a blog titled Peanut Butter and Julie has almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I've always liked peanut butter, but somewhere along the way I started to love peanut butter. As in "I eat at least a little bit of peanut butter every day" love. I put it in my smoothies, spread it on Mary's Gone Crackers before a workout and go old-school-after-school, pairing it with a crisp Granny Smith apple.
And I bake with it. Lots. Like these cookies. Yum.
One thing that I love to do is come up with new ways to translate peanut butter and jelly into a sweet treat. When I had my Julie Annes' Granola company (another one of my 9 culinary lives), it only made sense that I had a flavor called "Berry Yummy PB&J," featuring crunchy peanut butter granola, salty peanuts and jammy dried strawberries. It was my favorite snack. What really inspired the flavor was the strawberries, When their intense and concentrated flavor was paired with the peanut butter, the result truly mimicked a pb&j sandwich.
These easy cookies were inspired by the same flavor combo. Dried strawberries are becoming more and more common in stores. Look for them in the bulk bins or the natural foods section. If you can't find them, substitute dried cranberries.
Oh, and my mom always made her peanut butter cookies with those criss-cross fork marks in the top. Roll them in sugar or don't roll them in sugar but, to me, those fork marks are non-negotiable.