Monday, September 27, 2010

Train Trip Treats

I love peanut butter and jelly! No matter how old I am, these two entities will always, always have a special place in my heart ... and in Tom's, too. No wonder we're such a cute couple, with our devotion to each other and to our peanut butter and jelly! It was the perfect choice for a totable lunch to eat as we rode the train to Chicago. These sandwiches aren't terribly pretty, but that's not what matters.

First, there is the tantalizing aroma of the peanut butter, luring you in. It's smooth, creamy, delectable. Frankly, who even needs the bread??? Just dip in an apple or a spoon -- even just a finger will do! -- and you've got a perfect vehicle to simply lick pure peanut butter without anything intruding upon the experience.

But then, of course, there is the jelly -- it isn't a necessity, as peanut butter is quite seductive all on its own; and yet, spread liberally it certainly enhances the experience, doesn't it? Jelly can help to ease a bit of the dryness.

I had made some jam myself a few weeks ago, with concord grapes; Tom and I found them at the store one day, and he told me that in one of the many places he lived while growing up (his family moved from rented house to rented house quite frequently), there had been grapes growing in the yard. Coupled with our beloved Koeze's peanut butter, made right here in Michigan, and spread on some good whole wheat bread ... the sandwiches were simple, yet wonderfully satisfying.

Of course, being a good eater, sandwiches were not sufficient for a 5-hour trip before the Thai dinner Tom had his heart set on sharing with me at one of his favorite restaurants -- Big Bowl. So we also brought along chips (de rigueur for Tom) -- some exceptionally crunchy ones flavored with rosemary. Almonds for a quick snack ... exceptional Honeycrisp apples which are just coming into their glory ... juicy oranges ... and Tom's cup of coffee (addict that he is!) to get through the afternoon. Nothing grand, just good ol'-fashioned wholesome treats. But don't worry -- we didn't eat everything in sight! Some of this was saved for the trip home, too.

I even found some time to make chocolate chip cookies to enjoy along the way. Just like with the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there's nothing fancy here -- just delicious cookies made more nutritious with whole wheat flour. If you're going to ride through the countryside to get to the big city, it's hard to beat a traditional favorite cookie!

Stay tuned through the week for posts about all the other goodies we enjoyed -- from Thai to breakfast sandwiches to indescribably amazing coffee to free chocolate samples to cinnamon pound cake ... sigh ... :)

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 eggs
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, brown and butter; mix well. Add vanilla and cinnamon, then stir in eggs. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Scoop dough by generous teaspoons, and place onto the cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until done around the edges and golden, but not browned. Remove to a rack and cool completely.

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Cranberry Morning said...

Oh yes! LOTS and lots of walnuts for me, please! (I can't understand people who don't want nuts in cookies.) I also love a good Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich, if it's made with homemade white bread. Oh yum. I may bake a couple loaves today.

Unknown said...

I too am a HUGE PB&J sandwich fan. When I was a kid it was pretty much the only sandwich I would eat. I still make one at least once a week for my lunch!! And chocolate chip cookies....well nothing goes better with a sandwich....YUM!!

Unknown said...

I just heard on the radio this morning that the average kid eats 1500 pb&js by the time they grad. I think I was above average. :)

adrienzgirl said...

I love peanut butter sandwiches, just not with jelly. I like jelly too, just not with my peanut butter. I'm a peanut butter and honey kinda gal.

Robin said...

It is a good thing that you and Tom like so many of the same foods. I am a crunchy peanut butter girl if I am going to eat it at all. PB & J has to be one of my least favorite sandwiches. Isn't that sad????

Abby said...

My husband eats PB&J sandwiches for snacks! But I am a PB and Honey or Banana gal, and I've converted my son to my side. :)

Phenomenal cookies. My dad LOVES walnuts, but we don't make walnut goodies often enough for him. His birthday was Friday; I'll have to make him a batch of these!

Sheila said...

Mmmm, love chocolate chip cookies - thanks for the recipe!

(Now, if only I could find something to replace my Skippy Natural. It has palm oil, which I recently discovered is as unhealthy for your heart as hydrogenated oils. I'm in a depression...)

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