Saturday, December 22

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

May your Holiday and home be filled with love and happiness!

Friday, December 21

Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just days away and I'm still not done shopping! The last items on my list are always the small things...the little add-ons to the big gifts I've already purchased. Here are a few of my favorite last minute stocking stuffers.


For the fashion savvy ladies out there, one of my must have nail polishes comes from Deborah Lippmann. Her polish is beautifully pigmented, high quality and super quick drying. You can buy them at department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, or you can purchase them online from I recently bought this gorgeous blue/green glitter shade named Across the Universe, and also adore the gold version called Boom Boom Pow. It helps that the names of each color are super fun!


If the guy in your life is anything like mine, his phone is constantly running low on battery. I saw these handy and handsome chargers in the J.Crew Men's Shop last weekend and thought what a great stocking stuffer they would make. They do come in a variety of colors, but are not currently available online. Check out your local mall to pick one up, or for a plainer but no less useful version, check out the ultimate smart charger on

Men's backup battery for iPhone

One of my favorite little kitchen tools is my fresh nutmeg grater. I got mine at Crate & Barrel years ago, but this one is from Bed, Bath & This is such a handy item and you could certainly use it to grate small amounts of zest from lemons and limes. The bottom (black) portion catches everything you grate for easy pouring into recipes.


For those bath lovers out there, check out or your local brick&mortar Lush store for the most deliciously scented, smooth as silk and bubbly bath bars. My favorite is the Rose Jam which has an incredibly strong, sweet rose perfume and can be split in half for use in two sleep inducing baths. Bonus: you'll smell like a flower for the rest of the night!
Rose Jam

Enjoy the rest of your shopping and remember the best gifts are always the ones that come packed with love!

Sunday, December 2

Comforting Chicken Soup

I'm pretty into soup.  And this simple chicken soup is one of my all time favorites. It's easy. It's economical. It's versatile and above all, it's delicious. This is what you want to eat when that sore throat is creeping up on you, when the days are too short and the nights are crisp.
Start with the basics. Chopped onions, celery and carrots. Then build from there in any direction you choose. If you happen to have any other vegetables handy, like zucchini or squash, toss those in too. The most important thing to remember about homemade soup is that you have to add flavor. And the best way to do that is with lots of herbs, salt and pepper.
I always put a bay leaf in my soup, something I saw my mother do so many times when I was young. I also like to put whole sprigs of rosemary and thyme, you'll find tiny bare branches floating around later, make it a game to see who gets the stems.
Another great flavor addition is a can of white or cannelini beans. Drain the beans, pour half the can into the soup and mash the other half to add a nice creamy thickness to your broth.
At the end of cooking, I like to add a hearty leaf vegetable like kale or swiss chard, it's a healthy alternative to noodles and it tastes amazing!
Whether you choose to use homemade chicken stock or boxed stock doesn't matter, just be sure that it if you do buy it, it's high quality and low in sodium. You need to be in charge of the salt levels. You can also choose to use a raw chicken breast, that will cook directly in the soup, or pre-cooked, shredded chicken (such as a rotisserie chicken from the market). Either way, this soup will seriously satisfy you're whole family and last a while too! I make a pot for my husband and I for two nights of dinner, and you could certainly double this recipe to serve a crowd.
Sprinkle each bowl with a bit of parmesan cheese and dig in.

Comforting Chicken Soup

1 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme
1 bay leaf
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
5 C chicken stock or broth
1  14 oz can white or cannelini beans, drained and split in half
3 or 4 leaves kale or swiss chard, chopped
Cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped, or one large raw chicken breast
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrots, celery and zucchini. Brown the vegetables until they begin to become translucent, about 6-7 min. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min. Add the herbs, bay leaf and salt and pepper followed by the can of tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. At this point, if you are using raw chicken, drop it into the boiling broth and cook for about 8-10 min. Remove the cooked chicken breast and dice it up, then continue with the next steps.

Bring the soup to a simmer, add half the can of drained beans. Mash the remaining beans in the can with a fork until they resemble a paste. Add the mashed beans to the pot. If you are using cooked chicken, add it to the broth at this point. Gently fold the kale into the soup, shut off the heat and cover the pot to allow the greens to wilt down, about 3-4 minutes. Season again to taste, if necessary.


Monday, November 19

Quick Weeknight Thanksgiving Dinner

Let me tell you how my day went last Thursday. I worked all day as usual, went straight to the gym, ran home to shower and then cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, Thanksgiving dinner on a weeknight at 6:00pm. It can be done. Maybe you have to work on the holiday this year, or just don't feel like spending hours in the kitchen. Or maybe you are like my husband, who loves Thanksgiving, and these tips allow me to recreate his favorite meal year round.
First tip: Don't cook an entire bird. Larger supermarkets often carry Turkey cutlets, breasts or thighs all year long. The cutlets are boneless, skinless and thinly sliced, all qualities that equal quick cooking. Maybe you don't get the wishbone, but you also don't have to wait 3 hours.
Second tip: Use the same pan to cook different dishes. For example, I used the same saucepan to steam my veggies as I did to boil my sweet potatoes and I didn't even need to rinse in between. There's no reason to use multiple pans if you don't have to. Less pans equals less mess and less time spent cleaning up. I also used the same skillet to brown my veggies for stuffing as I did to pan fry my turkey cutlets.

Third tip: Fire up the oven. But not for cooking, just for keeping everything warm as you cook each side in batches. I prepped the stuffing, put it in a casserole dish and stuck it in the oven to keep hot while I cooked the turkey.
Finally: Keep it simple. We all know what the classic flavors of Thanksgiving are; Turkey, Stuffing, Cranberry sauce, etc. To speed things up, focus on making the ingredients you want to use stand out by paring down what you add to them. Guess what? Green Beans are pretty delicious with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a dash of mustard and butter.
I hope you have a fantastic, relaxing Holiday whether you decide to spend the day cooking or just use these tips to get your meal on the table in no time.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Cranberry Sauce recipes that will make your house smell amazing.

1 Bag Fresh Cranberries
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C fresh Orange Juice
1/4 C water
1/2 an apple, peeled and diced small
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1-2 T sweet vermouth or brandy
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg, ground clove, ground allspice and ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, mixing occasionally. The cranberries will burst as they cook down. Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the mixture resembles jam. Remove from heat and place in the refrigerator to cool. This sauce will get better with time, so if you have a minute to make it a day or two ahead, go for it.

And don't forget, the best part of making these dishes is the sandwich you can make with the leftovers the next day! 

Wednesday, September 26

Black Bean Stew

This meal was inspired by a dinner my husband and I had years ago at a Spanish tapas restaurant. It was a simple Black Bean Soup served over white rice and it became one of my all time favorite dishes. This is my recreation of that soup, tweaked to be slightly more like a stew and not brothy at all. This recipe is one of the very easiest and quickest meals I make, which is why I love whipping it up during the work week. It's also incredibly warm and comforting, perfect for those cool Fall nights that are right around the corner.
First, cook white, brown or jasmine rice according to package directions. I like to use jasmine rice in my mini rice cooker.
While the rice cooks, start the stew by browning bacon in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat until it becomes crispy and the fat renders out a bit. Add the onions and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1-2 minutes.
 Turn the heat down to low and add the tomatoes, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, spices and broth. Add the black beans and then turn the heat up to a boil before bringing it back down to a simmer.
 Simmer the stew for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up the cilantro.
 Add the cilantro and lime juice to the stew and then simmer for a few minutes more. At this point, you could serve the dish right away or cool and reheat it for later.
 Layer the rice on the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle a bit of cheese over the rice, then scoop a ladle of stew on top. I like to spoon some sour cream over the top with more cheese and a dash of cilantro.

Spanish Style Black Bean Stew
Adapted from Dave Lieberman

2-3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced 
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 C chicken broth
Heaping T of ketchup
1 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 T chili powder (or more if you like spice)
2 cans low sodium black beans, drained
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lime
About 3 C cooked rice (1 cup uncooked)

In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan, brown the bacon over medium heat until the fat renders, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent and tender, about 5 minutes more. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell it, 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat down to low.

Add the canned tomatoes, broth, ketchup, worcestershire sauce and chili powder. Stir then add the beans. Bring the stew to a boil and then turn it down to simmer for 10-15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, chop the cilantro. Add the cilantro to the stew with the lime juice and stir. Add salt & pepper to taste, being careful with the salt, as both the beans and the bacon will already be salty.

Place about 1/4 C cooked rice in the bottom of your bowl, top with cheese and a ladle full of soup. Garnish with more cheese, a spoon of sour cream and more cilantro if desired. 


Saturday, September 22

The Week-Cap - Happy Autumnal Equinox!

It's here! Fall is here! And after what had to be one of the hottest summers in quite some time, I am so excited to celebrate autumns arrival. And though days will be shorter, so many great holidays and events are around the corner. Maybe you will celebrate Fall by decorating your home with pumpkins and leaves, or doing 108 sun salutations in your yoga class. I recently read somewhere that Ginger is traditionally served on the Equinox, so perhaps you could make some Gingerbread today. Any way you decide to welcome Fall, use it as a time to be grateful for where you are and even more grateful for where you are going. 2012 is three quarters done already...doesn't time just fly?
  • Monday - The first morning and evening that really started to feel like the season was changing to crisper air and earlier sunsets. 
  • Tuesday - Some time back I posted a method for roasting veggies by broiling them. This week I made a variation on that for a side dish to go with BBQ chicken. I combined zucchini, onion and frozen corn with salt, pepper, paprika and olive oil and it came out amazing! Proof that you can really combine whatever is in your fridge to make a quick and healthy addition to your meal.
  • Wednesday - Remember that super easy Sausage recipe I posted last week? Well I found another delicious use for it when I made a salad for lunch and sliced the cooked sausage really thin over it. I added some goat cheese, avocado and balsamic vinaigrette and it was my highlight lunch of the week!
  • Thursday - If you like running, ellipticalling (is that a word?), or aerobicizing in any way, you must download my new favorite song to run to. Its not a new song, but has been recently featured on a commercial for something I can't remember right now. It's called 'In My Mind' and I love the rhythm and ups and downs of the music. Even if you don't typically like 'house' or electronic music, try using it when you exercise, the beat can help motivate you through the more unenjoyable parts of working out. :)
  • Friday - Work was made WAY more exciting by the coverage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour making its last journey by flight to where it will be on display in Los Angeles at the California Science Center. It passed over Disneyland at one point and I was able to snap a (albeit faraway) shot of the shuttle from where I work. It was a really cool experience to have seen it flying by and I felt priveleged to be able to take part in such a historical moment. You can visit the Shuttle at its new home starting October 30th.

Wednesday, September 19

Perfectly Grilled Sausage

Fresh, handmade sausage is a fantastic and easy way to change up your weeknight meals. I always buy sausage from the butcher counter that has been made in house and if possible, using organic meats. I prefer chicken sausage over pork because I feel like the flavors go with absolutely anything and they are slightly lower in fat. These days you can get sausage that has been flavored with everything from herbs and parmesan to apples and bacon. Choose your favorite and build your meal from there. 
 First step is to boil the raw sausages in a bottle of beer. Pre boiling the sausages helps to trap the juices inside and ensure even cooking on the grill. I've used Stella Artois and Blue Moon, but you can use whatever beer you have on hand as long as it is somewhat light. And remember, the better the flavor of the beer, the better the flavor will come across in the sausage.
 You want the sausages to be covered by liquid, so if the bottle of beer doesn't do it, just add a little water. Boil the sausages for about 10-15 minutes, or until they begin to look opaque and the juices inside are visibly running.
 Place the par cooked sausages on a grill pan or BBQ and cook for another 10 minutes or so, flipping mid way to get the grill marks on either side. Once finished, you can keep them in a warm oven until your meal is ready, or serve them immediately. Just be sure to let them rest for a few minutes before cutting.
You can serve these sausages however you like, sliced in pasta or soup, on a good crusty french roll or with your favorite side of vegetables. This was our meal and it was amazing! I'll share the recipe for the Grilled White Peach and Goat Cheese salad soon too.


Sunday, September 16

The Week-Cap - Is it Fall Yet?

I adore summer. It's my very favorite time of year. Sporting tank tops and flip flops and leaving my 'just in case' jacket at home makes me happy. Yet, as September rolls around, kids go back to school and Halloween goodies start popping up way too prematurely, I find myself getting ever more excited about the autumn things to come. Shorter days, knitted beanies and my favorite pair of boots keep calling my name. As much as I hate to say it, I'm really looking forward to some cooler weather getting here ASAP. Did I mention it's been 100 degrees all week? At the beach. I will soak it up for as long as I can, because come December, I'll most likely be bundled up like an eskimo.
  • Monday -Taking advantage of the still warm nights, we went for a walk around one of my favorite places, Balboa Island. Yes I ate a chocolate banana dipped in butter brickle. I was simultaneously walking it off after all. 
  • Tuesday - You should try bamboo rice. My husband found it for me at Whole Foods and I LOVE it! The grains are short and puffy and come out slightly chewy when cooked. I was a huge fan of the lightly floral tea flavor, my husband...not so much. The bag claims many health benefits from the rice being soaked in bamboo juice during milling, which also gives it a pale green color. I thought the rice was a lovely way to change up any meal.
  • Wednesday - Oh Fiona Apple, you kill me with those lyrics. Just go listen to Valentine. 
  • Thursday - I made one of the best dinners yet. Beer Boiled Chicken Parmesan Sausage, Grilled White Peach and Goat Cheese Salad and Buttered Whole Wheat Penne. I can't wait to share these recipes! My method of cooking the sausage is super simple and comes out perfectly moist and delicious everytime.
  • Friday - We celebrated a great friends birthday with a beach BBQ. Burgers, salad, my homemade brownies and lots of beer and wine made for one awesome evening. The charcoal grill became a fire pit at the end and all that warm summer weather made for a balmy 80 degree night. The perfect way to end the week. 

Saturday, September 8

Red Velvet S'more Brownies

Let me explain myself.  I did not make this recipe up. Well I did, or at least I thought I did until I googled the words "S'mores Brownies". Turns out putting a graham cracker crust and charred marshmallows on brownies is a pretty popular thing to do. This, however, does not lessen the fact that these incredibly gooey, and over the top sweet treats are a must try.

You've heard me talk about Red Velvet and my love for it before, but let me tell you, the marshmallows and graham only make it better. So grab a glass of milk and a another glass of milk, cuz you'll need to drink both for this one, and get baking.

Red Velvet S'mores Brownies
From How Sweet It Is

For the brownie recipe, click here.

Graham Cracker Crust
1 package graham crackers (about 9 crackers), processed into crumbs
6 T unsalted butter, melted

1 C marshmallow fluff (or enough to cover the top of the brownies)
about 1/2 bag mini or jumbo marshmallows

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs and press into the bottom of an 8x8 dish or pan that has been greased on the sides.

Make the brownie batter from the recipe link above. Pour the batter over the graham cracker crust, being careful not to spread the crumbs too much.

Bake for 35-45 minutes depending on your oven, my brownies are pretty thick and tend to take longer. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Once baked, remove from the oven and top with the marshmallow fluff and marshmallows. Place under a preheated broiler to create that campfire crunch. I like mine pretty dark, but you can choose to take them out sooner if you'd like. You could also use a mini torch instead to control exactly where the browning shows up.

Let the brownies cool for about an hour or two before cutting (if you can wait that long). They are VERY gooey, so either wet or spray a knife with cooking spray to help slice through them.


The Week-Cap - I heart September

Happy September! I'm happy to see Fall approaching while simultaneously rueing the fact that I'll be putting away my flip flops and shorts in just a few weeks. We've had an exceptionally warm weathered summer and I've soaked up as much of it as I can. Now I'm ready for all things pumpkin spiced and leaf shaped. But first, here's what has been going on this week.

  • Monday - Labor Day was great. It's always great to have a day off, but it makes it especially better when you get to spend it with wonderful family and friends. It was a little relaxing and a lot of fun. There was Air Hockey, Crazy Cocktails, and Disneyland. A lovely way to wish summer would never end.
  • Tuesday - Ever have one of those days at work? The kind where you find yourself just kind of staring at nothing? Wishing that people lived up to the kind of moral standards you hold for yourself? Tuesday was that kind of day and ended with a serious need for one of my new favorite drinks, a Whiskey Sour. It did the trick and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep at 9 that night. 
  • Wednesday - Muse has a new album coming out at the beginning of October and I'm currently obsessed with the first single, "Madness". It's pretty addicting, get into it
  • Thursday - I just realized that there's no more Breaking Bad to look forward to this Sunday. How in the world am I going to make it 10 months without W.W.?? 
  • Friday - Gets here much quicker when you have a Monday off. Make this weekend great. Be appreciative of what you have and who you are and remember that no matter what race, religion or political party you identify with, everyone deserves love and respect!

Monday, September 3

Get this....

My New Favorite

Cutting Board! 

I've never really liked wood cutting boards since you cannot easily sanitize them in the dishwasher and they often show wear quickly. For the past few years I've been using a standard white plastic boring same ole, same ole board that would stain whenever I cut carrots or red peppers and showed every mark of the knife. 

Until now! A few weekends ago, while shopping at Sur La Table, my wonderful husband found what is now my ALL time favorite cutting board's only $19.99! and.....bonus's good for the environment!

It's called the Architec Eco Smart Poly Flax Cutting Board and is actually made using the husk of the flax seed. As the label says, it's like having nature in your cutting board! It's made in a zero waste facility and is 100% recyclable. Plus, it is dishwasher safe, made in the U.S.A. and free of any harmful chemicals often found in other plastic materials...which means you won't be getting any hidden radicals rubbing off onto your chopped onions. I really love the way this board looks in my kitchen and I have yet to see any stains or knife marks. Yay!

Sur La Table had three colors to choose from, a rusty red, a very spinachy green and the color I chose, brown, which looked most like a flax seed to me :).

As I said, I got mine at Sur La Table, but I also found them on Amazon right here. I highly recommend you check this board out for you or even as a super great gift for someone who loves to chop.

Wednesday, July 11

Visiting the City by the Bay

Untitled #7

This last weekend, my husband and I went on a little road trip 8 hours up the coast to one of my favorite places in the world, San Francisco, California.  
Visiting S.F. doesn't mean you actually have to stay in the city. There are countless surrounding towns that are interesting and so much fun to visit. We actually ended up staying right at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge on the Sausalito side of the Bay in a hotel called Cavallo Point. The hotel sits inside of Fort Baker, where rooms are adorably refurbished military barracks. The morning fog rolls away to reveal a serene scene where birds are all you hear and dear are visible munching away at the grassy meadow that the rooms encircle. 
We spent a day across the bridge walking, eating and enjoying the beauty of the city. This amazing dessert of creme filled donuts with vanilla bean ice cream was a foodie highlight that we enjoyed at the Four Seasons Hotel restaurant on Market Street in S.F.  Can you tell I like donuts?
If you're in Sausalito, eat at the Lighthouse Diner. This breakfast was so delicious and kept me full for hours, as if thats hard to believe! The huge raspberry filled, chewy, bubbly pancake was one of the best I've ever eaten. Somehow I will figure out a way to duplicate this treat. 
On our last day in the city, we headed over to the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park to view the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit, which was fantastic. Afterwards, we visited the Japanese Tea Garden, a tranquil collection of trees, flowers, koi ponds and pagodas. You can also have an authentic cup of tea inside a traditional tea house within the gardens. 
After a busy weekend in the city, we decided to stop off in Monterey on the drive down south. We had just enough time left on Sunday evening to make our way to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. My favorite part was the Jellyfish exhibit, with multiple species to gawk at. I highly suggest going to the Aquarium late on a Sunday like we did, when there is hardly anyone left and you have most of the exhibits to yourself. 
The nighttime view from Cavallo Point. Could it get any better?? 

Wednesday, July 4

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July
What will you be doing on this holiday? I'll be spending mine eating, lounging and visiting family. Come back next week to see What I Ate. :) I hope you have a fun, safe and happy Fourth!

Tuesday, July 3

Getting ready for the Fourth

I LOVE the Fourth of July. Summertime is in full swing, BBQ's are on and grillin' and the pride of celebrating our Country is visually and emotionally everywhere. So here's a super fast, easy idea for a last minute cocktail you may be thirsting for to wash down that cheeseburger pre-firework display. You can combine a multitude of ingredients to accomplish this red, white and blue sparkler, just use this as a guide. All you need are:
grenadine, strawberry or raspberry puree
club soda or sprite
clear alcohol of choice (such as gin or vodka)
fresh blueberries
That's it! Pour the grenadine or puree into the bottom of your glass, top with ice, a shot of gin and finish with club soda. Float the blueberries on top. You could add lemon or lime juice if you'd like, but it's not necessary. This would also make a great virgin or kids cocktail, just leave out the alcohol and use the sprite instead of club soda.

And here are a few Pinterest finds to help inspire your celebration.
This is such a cute idea for a festive fruit salad or a garnish on the side of a cocktail glass. For a savory salad, mix watermelon stars with feta cheese and blueberries.
I love the idea of these delicious little fruit bites as a simple dessert or appetizer, and they're pretty good for you too. The white is just mascarpone cheese, a bit of powdered sugar (you could also use honey) and vanilla extract. Mmmm.
I need these shorts. 

Happy Fourth!

Wednesday, June 27

Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies

As a kid in school I remember anxiously opening my lunch bag to see what I was in store for that day. I always hoped for pizza, but that was a rarity. I always hoped for fruit roll ups, but again, I'd have to trade my string cheese for junk food that good. What I could always count on though, was a great sandwich, and my favorite was peanut butter and jelly. It was the only sandwich that I didn't mind being a bit soggy by the time I got to it.  I was feeling a bit nostalgic last week and wanted to indulge in one of my favorite flavor combinations in a new way.
I started thinking about how amazing a peanut butter blondie would be, but rather than topping it with chocolate (which frankly would probably be perfect as well) I thought it would be great to bake in some really good jam and create the flavor I had loved growing up. What resulted was one of the easiest, yet most delicious treats I've ever made. Kids will love this, adults will love this, you will love this.
Start with some all natural, creamy peanut butter. Try not to eat it straight out of the jar like me. 
This is the mixture of butter, brown sugar and peanut butter. Again, try not to eat this directly out of the pan with a handful of chocolate chips. Patience. It gets better.
Once the batter is placed into the greased baking dish, glob on whatever flavor of jam you happen to have on hand. I used strawberry, but next time maybe I'll try blackberry. 
Grab a glass of milk, and attempt to not to eat the entire dish of these. That was the hardest part of all. These treats are gooey, but that is how they are supposed to be. Think brownies. Only they're made of peanut butter. And called blondies. I would have taken this over a sandwich any day. 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

5 T unsalted butter, cut in half
1 C dark brown sugar
1/2 C creamy, natural peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and line an 8 x 8 baking dish. 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter, stirring to cool. Wait a few minutes and add the egg and vanilla (you don't want scrambled eggs in your batter :). 

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the peanut butter mixture and stir until the flour is just incorporated. The batter with be thick and grainy. Mash the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread to fill it out. Using a spoon, scoop about 9 tablespoons of jam onto the dough as pictured above. Then, using a knife or toothpick, spread the jam and slightly mix it in with the batter for a marbled effect. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool thirty minutes before slicing, if you can wait that long :) This would be amazing with some cold vanilla ice cream, but a tall glass of almond milk did me just fine. You could also double the recipe.