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Monday, August 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies (& my one-year blogiversary!)

Did you see my post title? It's my one-year blogiversary! Exactly one year ago, I wrote a measly little paragraph and The Sweets Life was born. I had no idea what I was doing, or why I was even starting a blog. In all honesty, Ryan encouraged me to start the blog as a means to keep busy. Last summer I found myself injured and unable to run. A non-running Natalie is not a happy Natalie, and I think he sensed the need to introduce me to a new hobby. I had been reading food blogs for awhile and was becoming more comfortable in the kitchen, but I was still apprehensive about starting my own. After all, I'm the Queen of Kitchen Mishaps and Messes! I had a tiny, mediocre camera and no knowledge of how to photograph food. But after he mentioned the idea, my wheels were turning. I came up with what I thought was a catchy little name and I warily signed up for a blogspot address. The first few months were a learning experience. For the first month or so, I told very few people about the blog. My grandma and Ryan were my only regular readers and I went days without a comment on any of my posts.

...and now fast forward 365 days and 383 posts later. I have a fancy new camera (though I'm still learning how to take those mouth-watering photos!). I have my own domain name. I have more than two readers (and some days get more than a few comments!). I've tried things in the kitchen that I never would have imagined. Homemade cinnamon rolls? Salmon Burgers? Baked Potato Chips?

My passion for cooking, baking, and yes, blogging, has grown significantly over the past year. I love hearing from readers, whether they be strangers, blogger friends, long-lost friends, or my mom. Menu planning is exciting each week. While I cook, I pay attention to what I'm doing and when I eat, I pay attention to what I'm tasting, all so that I can share it on the blog. In essence, my time in and out of the kitchen is enhanced by this little corner of the web and by those of you who take the time to read it. Thank you for reading, for commenting, for sharing your thoughts when you try recipes you see on here.  Thank you for bearing with my lame anecdotes and my overuse of the words yummy and delicious!

I'm excited for another year of blogging. There are a lot of things I want to do in the next year, both in terms of the blog (a recipe index, for starters!) and in my kitchen (any recipe requests?) and I hope you stick along for the ride! In the meantime, do me a favor today and leave me a comment (even if you never have before!), and tell me who you are. I'd love to know who's out there reading. You don't have to share the details of your personal life (although I'm nosy enough to want to know them!).. I'm just curious to know who my readers are, what they're like, where they're from...you get the picture. Do me a favor and leave me a comment, I'll do you a favor and leave you with this incredible peanut butter cookie recipe. Seriously, my co-workers went crazy for these! They're sugary, soft, and bursting with peanut butter flavor.

One Year Ago: Homemade Blizzards and Marshmallow Brownies

Peanut Butter Cookies
as seen on Let's Dish, adapted from allrecipes.com

-1 cup peanut butter
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 egg
-3 tbsp milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 cups peanut butter & milk chocolate chips (could do one or the other or both, mine came together in the package)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter, and sugars until smooth. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to creamed mixture, stirring well.
4. Drop rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets (leave space between each, they spread!)
5. Using a fork, make criss-crosses on each cookie. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.