Tuesday, April 2, 2013


 Did you know that before they graduate high school the average American will consume 2,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?  That is a WHOLE LOT of PB&J!  But seriously what is there to not love about peanut butter and jelly?  It doesn't get much better.  Unless you're me who'd rather have peanut butter and pickles (and no, not just when I'm pregnant!).  But that is a completely different tangent....  Back to celebrating peanut butter and jelly.

Our celebration today led me to do a bit of research into the creation of what is truly an American dish.  I was fascinated, so allow me to share.  (This is the part if you really don't care and are only here to see the pictures of food and the cute kids you should just scroll down ;-) )  The first 'recipe' for PB&J appeared in Good Housekeeping in the 1890's, with the suggestion to "use a meat grinder to grind peanuts and spread the results on bread"  It wasn't until 1901 that peanut buttery goodness was commonly paired with jelly. In the early 1900's, PB&J was actually considered a delicacy and it wasn't until then 1920's, when the price of peanut butter dropped that the tasty treat was enjoyed by the masses.  Since then, it's become every parent's go to for children everywhere.  Interesting, huh?

So I set out to celebrate peanut butter and jelly in forms other than the common place sandwich today.  (Because technically it's peanut butter and jelly day, not peanut butter and jelly sandwich day.  I'm always looking for the loop hole...)  So we started out our morning with some peanut butter and jelly donuts, where everyone agreed there just wasn't enough peanut butter flavor.  We'd have to fix that as the day progressed.

Of course, it's my favorite day of the week around here - Kid Kitchen Tuesday - and I wanted to share with Noah and Mikayla how their favorite lunch actually comes together.  So in today's kid kitchen we made our own jam and peanut butter! (Side note, jam actually has chunks of fruit as opposed to jelly which is smooth)  I found a great recipe for jam made with jello (which you could actually make sugar free if you wanted) that was probably the most uncomplicated thing we've made in Kid Kitchen - Strawberries, Water and your choice of jello flavor.  I admit to being a little skeptical about it last night as I perused the recipe again.  After all the jam recipes I read that were almost equal parts fruit and sugar I was a little afraid ours wouldn't turn out that great.

No worries, though!  I will totally be making this again - probably with some other fruit/jello combinations as they come in season.  It can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and frozen for up to 3 months.  The kids did an AWESOME job making it.

Ditto on the peanut butter.  I've made homemade peanut butter before with varying levels of success.  Since my stash of peanut oil couldn't be transported from Florida and I wasn't able to find any at three stores here I thought we'd make it without.  We did use Spanish peanuts, though, which I read have a higher level of oil in them and tend to make better peanut butter.  Noah decided skinning the peanuts was his favorite thing to do in Kid Kitchen ever.  Who'd have thought?  We added just a touch of salt and a drizzle of honey and came out with some tasty peanut butter.

For lunch we kept things going with some PB&J sandwiches we put in the waffle iron.  The kids headed to meet up with Grant at the library for storytime while I took on the DMV.  I am relieved to report that I only ended up being stuck there for a little over an hour and am now all official in Michigan.  My new license should be here in 2-3 weeks.  Not nearly as painful as I expected when I walked in to the masses in line in front of me.  They just called #1 when I walked in and when I got my ticket I was #40.  Kudos on the efficiency factor, Michigan Secretary of State Office :)

You couldn't possibly think we had fully celebrated PB&J yet, right?  Nope, for dinner my original plan was for grilled PB&J, then PB&J pizza until I came across a recipe for PB&J Monkey Bread last night.  Sold!  I even used the kiddos jam to make it :)

So I'm chalking up today as a success on multiple levels; we celebrated the heck out of PB&J, Kid Kitchen was tons of fun and I managed to make it through the DMV relatively unscathed.  Sounds like a win to me!  Speaking of wins, my Tigers chalked one up yesterday (where the temp near the end of the game in Minnesota was a balmy 20 degrees) and hopefully they'll do the same tomorrow.  Oh how I love that baseball is back!

Chocolate Mousse tomorrow.  Until then...

Mini PB&J Donuts

 My twosome ready for Kid Kitchen

 I cut the strawberry tops off, Noah cut then in chunks, Kayla loaded them into the measuring cup - aren't we a great team?

 Mashing up the strawberries

 Stirring in the water and jello

 Stirring to a boil

 Look at our pretty jam!

 Getting ready to de-skin the peanuts

 Look at that peanut butter

 PB&J Waffle Sandwich

PB&J Monkey Bread

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