Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WFMW: Beautiful Brownies

I've been looking for a brownie with fudgy icing, but not donut glaze type icing or canned frosting. After a bit of searching I found a great recipe from These brownies are like the ones they sell at Chick-fil-A or the ones I remember my mom buying from the Publix bakery when I was a kid.

To display the brownies attractively I made sure to cut them evenly. I removed the whole pan of cooled brownies and cut the slab in half the long way. I then cut each long half into another half (for four long pieces). Next I turned the whole batch sideways and cut the whole thing in half. Then I cut each half into thirds (24 even pieces). (It may sound complicated, but it isn't. Cutting the whole batch at once is much neater then cutting a piece off at a time!)

In a moment of brilliance I nestled my evenly cut brownies in white cupcake liners before putting them on the tray. It sure made them look like expensive brownies from the bakery!

Beautiful brownies are What Works for Me! Leave a comment and then head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW tips.

Printed from COOKS.COM
1 c. butter, melted

1 c. flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. milk

1 c. chopped walnuts

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

2 c. sugar

2/3 c. cocoa

2 eggs

3 tsp. vanilla

1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, eggs, milk, and 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla; beat well. Stir in nuts. Spread into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake 40 minutes. Just before brownies are done, melt chips in a saucepan with 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and condensed milk. Spread fudge mixture over hot brownies. Cool. Chill and cut into bars. (The icing cools very quickly, so if you want to add swirls or fork lines to the top of the brownies work quickly! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Little Bit of Fun!

I picked up this fun meme at Between the Worlds.I thought it would be fun for my 7 year old, A, to fill this out since he is feeling a whole lot better than me. :)

His answers were amusing, especially the part about the trigger on the recliner.

If I were a shoe, I'd be... sneakers. Comfy ones with velcro.
If I were a city, I'd be ... a city in Ohio because that is where I was born.
If I were a season, I'd be ... winter because I like to be cold and I am hot the rest of the year.
If I were a car, I'd be ... a blue mustang because mustangs are cool.
If I were a vegetable, I'd be ... buttered corn because that is the best vegetable.
If I were a fruit, I'd be ... bananas because I'd be appealing! LOL!
If I were a color, I'd be ... blue, 'cause I just like it.
If I were furniture, I'd be ... a lazy boy chair... you pull the trigger and it goes up!
If I were a country, I'd be ... Mexico because I like Mexican food.
If I were a beverage, I'd be ... soda... I like the fizz and the sugary taste.
If I were clothing, I'd be ... a bathing suit so I could go swimming.
If I were weather, I'd be ... rain because it isn't hot.
If I were a dessert, I'd be ... that dessert with the pudding and cake and whipped cream and candy and crushed Oreos. (*I have no idea what this is... he insists I made this and served it for refreshments at church one time. A take off on a trifle, I guess.*)
If I were a plant, I'd be ... a cactus, I'm not pokey, but I like cacti.
If I were a word, I'd be ... smart. Yeah, 'cause I always finish my math first.

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Fevers...

Last Monday A came home from school with a fever. Monday night I went to the library and had to sit on the library floor I was so tired. Tuesday A, D and I all stayed home from school with low-grade fevers. Wednesday I went back to work, but A and D were still feverish. Thursday Hubs stayed home with D while A and I were at school. Friday was a day off of school, which is a good thing. Hubs, S (I almost thought he wouldn't get it!) and I were all sick. (And D was returned to health, but totally ill with cabin fever!) Today it is quite possible that Hubs and I are dying, but the kids are restored! How unfair is that??!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Chocolate Pound Cake of my Dreams

Before moving to The South I never needed pound cake. Oh, sure. I would occasionally invite Sara Lee over if I had lots of strawberries or if I had some chocolate fondue that needed dipped into. But, I'd never needed pound cake.

Last October I invited my church over for a Marty Party to celebrate Reformation Day. One of the ladies brought a chocolate pound cake. When the dinner was over she insisted that she leave behind at least half the cake.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I fell in love with that cake. Sliver by chocolate pound cake sliver we developed a relationship. Well, eventually my heart (and the seams of my pants, but that is another post) was broken when the last tiny crumb was devoured.

Now, I did know where I could go to get another chocolate pound cake (read: fix). Afterall, the pound cake had been purchased from a bakery in a neighboring town. But I just couldn't bring myself to drive all the way over there and PAY for cake when I was fully capable of baking my own delights. If only I had a recipe.

Thus began my hunt for a chocolate pound cake recipe. I new I didn't want a wet, heavy cake. I knew I didn't want a cake that required a frosting or glaze. (Not that I am oppossed to frosting or glazes, or wet, heavy cakes for that matter. I just didn't want that for my chocolate pound cake.) The chocolate pound cake of my dreams was light, big, "delicate-ly" chocolate-y, and with a bread-like texture. And, hey, I was going to give bonus points to a hint of cinnamon.

Well, over at I found the chocolate pound cake of my dreams. And I am willing to share the recipe. Just remember... I warned you... addictive little piece of Heaven.

Baked in a bundt pan this chocolate pound cake was a dream. She danced with vanilla ice cream. She shared the plate with a swirl of whipped cream. She broke my heart when the last teeny crumb was squashed onto my finger and licked into oblivion. But she remains The Chocolate Pound Cake of my Dreams!

Proof that I did share my delightful cake with the family. Three little pieces, anyway.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Tale of Three Mailboxes

So, my friend, Susan tells me that if you go to Lowe's on certain Saturdays the kids can build "projects". Oh, yeah, and it is free. I call over there and they do indeed host a kids' project and the next project is a valentine mailbox. Yippee! We mark the calendar and can barely contain ourselves.

So the big day arrived and the boys and I piled into the minivan with visions of wood, hammers, and valentine mailboxes.
We find our way to the end of aisle 9 and the boys were given a very cool Lowe's apron, a project kit and a darling little hammer.
And then I felt a bit overwhelmed. Hammering in nails is somewhat intimidating for me. Putting in nails feels so permanent. What if they aren't straight? What if they are the wrong size? And, remember there are three of THEM and one of me. Let's also mention that I really hate small repetitive noises. I don't appreciate humming, whistling, tapping or small children hammering!

I tried to look brave and somewhat capable. I tried to tune out the tap, tap, tapping with amusing comments about Excedirin. Obviously, though, everyone could tell I'm better at purse shopping and the salesladies helped A and D while S and I did our best.

In the end we were all victorious and left Lowe's with our handsome aprons, three project iron-on patches (for the apron) and three cute valentine mailboxes.
At home I piled up the mailboxes to show you, only to notice that it is very obvious which one S and I made.
Next weekend the project is a bird feeder. We'll see if I'm any better.

Love Your Enemies

This morning A was at the Pinewood Derby with The Husband. D and S were playing with Kid K'nex while I was getting dressed so I could take D to soccer practice. The boys were busy making a fine collection of swords when I overheard this...

D: S, A isn't here, so you will have to be my enemy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Dieting Tip

I've never been "into" reality tv, but I've loved "The Biggest Loser" since the get-go. My walking buddy also loves the show and we review the show while walking.
This past week she mentioned that she purchased some gum they are promoting on The Biggest Loser. Hmmm. There might be something to the gum chewing. Perhaps I might be less tempted to sample and nibble if I chewed gum while cooking. (Good strategy.)
So, this afternoon I purchased a pack of gum and put the gum chewing idea to the test. I was baking "The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever" and I started chewing gum. I pulled the gum out of my mouth to sample the frosting.
I guess it isn't the best dieting tip ever.
But here is the recipe if you are interested. Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Sheet Cake Ever