Jif Giveaway

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On behalf of Jif® and their Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies in my last post, we’re giving one lucky reader a chance to win a Jif prize pack! It includes everything that you need to make the cookies in your own home (minus the eggs, sugar, and milk):

  • Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Crisco® Baking Sticks All Vegetable Shortening
  • Pillsbury BEST®!All Purpose Flour
  • Jif apron
  • Customized Jif cookie jar
  • Jif branded fork for cookie imprint

All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.

 

Jif Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

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Jif® Peanut Butter sent over a little package so that I could try their Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookie recipe for myself. I received Jif peanut butter, Crisco shortening sticks, and Pillsbury All Purpose Flour. All I needed to add were ingredients that were commonly found in my pantry.

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The dough came together quickly. It was fluffy, creamy, and easy to scoop. Not only that, but it was really easy to work with. It wasn’t sticky, held its shape, and didn’t crumble. That’s all I ask for in a cookie dough.

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The cookies didn’t spread much (if even at all) during baking, so I was able to bake a lot on a single baking sheet since I made them pretty small. They held the signature criss cross imprint of the fork without a hitch. My DH loved this recipe. He ate cookie after cookie and kept asking what was in them since he was worried I was tricking him with secret ingredients. No secret ingredients here… just some good creamy peanut butter!

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There was a huge difference in baking them at 7 or 8 minutes, though. I’m guessing it was because of the size of my cookies. The cookies that baked for 7 minutes turned out to be much softer and practically melted in your mouth. The ones baked for 8 minutes were by no means hard, they just had more of a crumble. I preferred the 7 minute cookies and my DH preferred the 8 minute cookies.
All in all, this is a wonderful staple recipe for peanut butter cookies. You can add chocolate chips to the batter, top them with a little candy morsel, or even roll them in sugar prior to baking for a sweeter taste.
 
Jif Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen

peanut butter recipe from JIF: http://www.jif.com/Recipes/Details/960

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 stick Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening
  • Or 1/2 cup Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork.
  3. BAKE one baking sheet at a time 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/10/jif-irresistible-peanut-butter-cookies.html

This is a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Travel: London

I have SO much catching up to do on my blog. Seriously. I went to London at the end of March (thanks to the contest last year from Colman’s Mustard) and never even posted about that! I’m going to update you on everything that we did during those four days. Everything.

First of all, the most important part of traveling is being prepared for the flight. We had plenty of snacks, my iPod nano, good headsets, my Kindle, and a useful tour book. We used this one from Knopf and it was perfect for us. There were plenty of maps, the price was right, and it was small enough to carry around without a problem. It gave us the bullet points of London without all of the fluff.

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They put us at the Bailey’s Hotel in Kensington, which was prime for the location. We were right across the street from the Tube and had plenty of restaurants and stores within walking distance.

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We landed late in the afternoon, so there wasn’t much time for traveling too far.

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All of the streets tell you where to look for cars before crossing the street.

Turns out the Natural History Museum was only a couple of blocks away from our hotel. That makes it our first stop in London!

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After that, we headed over to Harrods. It’s basically a huge upper scale shopping store that is divided into sections– chocolate and tea, pastries and dessert, savory foods, designer handbags, perfume… It’s a big deal.

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It’s like Disneyland!

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We picked up a palmier and chocolate danish before we headed over to eat at Caffe Concerto. It’s a chain, but we just walked into the first restaurant we saw because we were starving.

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I got the the grilled chicken pesto on a baguette and my DH got a ham and cheese sandwich with an espresso. Simple enough, nothing fancy.day1-8

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We went to the M+S grocery store that night to pick up a few snacks/drinks for the hotel.

For the second day, we started off by seeing Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Royal Guard Horses.day2

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After our feet got tired, we found our way over to The White Swan.

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Latte and a London Pride cask conditioned ale.

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I had a croque monsieur.

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The DH had Bangers and Mash.

Next on our agenda: St. Paul’s Cathedral, Queen’s Walk, the Shakespeare Globe, Tate Modern, Borough Market, and the Covent Garden Area.

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Borough Market was amazing. It had every kind of food you could imagine, fresh and tasty.

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We got some juice and coffee.

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We saved our stomachs for dinner at Tokyo Diner.

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Chicken katsu curry and salmon donburi were on the menu for us. This meal was as good as eating in Japan.

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We strolled over to Chinatown at night, where gypsies pretty much took over the streets. We picked up our kind of nightcap: boba.day2-14-2

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Matcha green milk tea with red bean and taro milk tea with pudding.

Now we’re on Day 3. First thing’s first… food!

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I had the “half and half”– granola, yogurt, fruit.

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DH had the chorizo hash with an Americano.

We then walked over to the British Museum and Notting Hill, where they have the famous Portobello Road/Market.

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Red velvet cupcake from Hummingbird Bakery, which was not impressive at all. The cake was dry and the frosting was hard. I’ll pass.

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Another fail was our chocolate waffle from Wafflemeister. Stale, overly sweet, and cold.

We made up for all of the bad food by visiting Dishoom. It was a restaurant recommended to us by a friend and when we tried to go the first time, the wait was over two hours. What restaurant is two floors and has a two hour wait at 8:30PM on a Tuesday night? That’s insane! We skipped that night, but came back again the next day at an odd hour to make sure we’d get a table.

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We ordered the house chai, Dishoom chicken tikka, black daal, and garlic naan.

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Ahhhh, now we understand the hype. This is the BEST Indian food we’ve ever had! Everything exceeded our expectations and we licked our plates clean.

Time to walk it off at the Tower of London/Tower Bridge!

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We were craving a little something warm after walking around all day and went into the most crowded Vietnamese place we saw. This place was busy!

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I got bun bo hue and my DH had pho. It’s hard to mess up Vietnamese food. We met one of my friends later at a lounge/bar called Jaguarshoes and called it a night.

For our last full day in London, we started it off by going to V&A museum. I read online that they had the best scones in their cafe and had to go see for myself.

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Their cafe is breathtaking.

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…. and it was the best scone I’ve ever had. We ordered a raisin scone, mocha, ham and cheese croissant, and a cappuccino. I have no idea how they make their scones, but you need to try them if you go to London.

Since it was such a nice day, we walked through Hyde Park and enjoyed being outdoors for a bit.

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We went to Putney, where the River Thames run through in order to watch some rowing. It’s something else. I was mesmerized watching the boats float effortlessly across the water.

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We headed to Duke’s Head for lunch, where I pretty much drank all of my DH’s Aspall Saffolk Cider.day3-29-2

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We had fish and chips and a burger. The fish and chips were spot on.

We winded down our day by going to the Churchill War Rooms and walking around the London Eye.

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For our last meal, we didn’t want to venture out too far again after returning to our hotel so late. We ate at Nando’s, a chain restaurant that thoroughly satisfied our stomachs.

To sum it all up, what did I learn about London?

  1. Well, the food isn’t as bad as everyone says it is. In fact, we had some of the best food we’ve ever eaten (the scone at V&A museum and Dishoom). You just have to know where to go.
  2. Getting around is extremely easy with the Tube, but it’s crazy at rush hour. We avoided traveling during that time.
  3. Westminster Abbey is a MUST.
  4. Toilet water pressure is low. We actually had to google how to flush the toilet in our hotel room.
  5. The air quality is terrible. My snot mucous was black (sorry TMI).
  6. Yogurt is sub par, but the tea is awesome.
  7. Their parks are their beaches.
  8. There aren’t very many homeless people.
  9. You need to make a dinner reservation every night you eat out otherwise you can’t get a table.
  10. There are no toilet seat covers or privacy blockers for urinals (found that out thanks to my DH).
  11. Words used that we don’t: cheers (salutation or thank you), toilet (restroom), cycle (bike), lift (elevator).

Coming up next… Australia and New Zealand!