Brownie Bites

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These are actually called “Crinkle Cookies” but I think they tasted like Brownie Bites to me.

Recipe from Carla Hall of “The Chew,” which is in my opinion a quite dreadful name for a cooking show. I’ll let you have this one straight, since I pretty much followed this recipe as written.

4 tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Microwave butter and cocoa in a glass bowl on high for 45 seconds. Whisk mixture until smooth; set aside.

2. Whisk together egg, sugars, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add egg mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until well blended.

3. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until dough is firm enough to handle easily.

4. Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop dough and form into 3/4-inch balls;  roll in  powdered sugar. Arrange cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. Cool cookies 1 minute on baking sheet; transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

This came out pretty well.

I liked that they only took five minutes to bake; I didn’t like that I had to chill the dough in the middle of preparation.

I’m an impatient person.

Puddle Cake

I made a delicious chocolate-chip bundt cake topped with chocolate ganache.

Kikkoman Chocolate Ganache Sauce for Favorite Chocolate Cake
kikkomanusa.com

Unfortunately, it did not resemble the lovely picture on the ganache recipe.

(I know. A real shocker, right?)

Still, it tasted GREAT and had a surprise ingredient!

Wait until you see what that was!

(Hint: the recipe for the sauce came from Kikkoman…)

 

I started with my mom’s recipe for chocolate-chip bundt cake:

  •  1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 pkg mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan. Combine the first five ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips until just mixed in. Pour it into the pan. Bake 50-60 minutes.

After the cake is done you can make the ganache:

  • 12 oz Heavy Cream
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolates
  • 2 Tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce (SURPRISE!!)

Chop up chocolate.  Heat heavy cream.  Pour heated heavy cream over chocolate and let sit for a minute.  Whisk until smooth.  After the ganache is completely melted remove from the heat and whisk in Kikkoman Soy Sauce.  Pour Sauce over Cake.

Okay, here’s where I recommend: Make sure your cake is on a plate with a good-sized rim all around.

Otherwise, you get this…PUDDLE CAKE!!!

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I tried to transfer the spilled chocolate sauce from the waxed paper back onto the cake but it was super-messy.

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Still, the cake was delicious. The soy sauce really added something great, surprisingly enough.

Mayonnaise Chicken

I just had a little argument with spell-check over how many “n’s” are in mayonnaise. Also over how many “e’s” are in argument.

(The answers are 2 and 1, respectively.) But I digress…

The REAL Housewives of Riverton: Parmesan Mayonnaise Chicken Recipe

My point was, I made baked chicken with mayo.

The above image is from “The Real Housewives of Riverton.” Isn’t it pretty?

My chicken was decidedly less attractive.

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Still, it got two thumbs up from the kids and the husband, so I recommend the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 4 Tbsp Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  1. Combine the mayo and cheese in a bowl.
  2. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet.
  3. Top with mayo mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake 20 minutes at 425.

Seriously, it was that easy!

Graham Cracker Cake

Graham Cracker Cake :-)
image from pinterest.com

This is a little but of a Pinterest Monday cheat, since I searched this recipe out on pinterest instead of finding it there originally.

But my neighbor told me her grandma used to make graham cracker cakes and it sounded delicious and fun. Plus my five year old daughter loves graham crackers with icing.

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Well, mostly the icing part.

Basically you just spread icing on graham crackers in a stack to make the shape of a cake, and then let it set overnight in the fridge so it gets soft and cakelike.

We used cinnamon grahams and alternated layers with white icing and cinnamon flavored icing.

<<< Here’s Little Girl being in charge of the white icing.

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Little Boy spread the cinnamon icing.

This is the first time I’ve ever used “Frosting Creations.”

I’ve seen it at the store and thought it was stupid to buy the icing and the flavoring separate. I mean, the icing WITH flavoring in it is the same price as the plain base icing, and it’s right next door on the shelf! Why would I pay double?

Well, call me a sucker because I bought it and it was really good.

image from thriftytexan.com

The thing is, they have a huge variety of flavors to choose from, including CINNAMON ROLL.

If you’re interested, you can get a coupon from The Coupon Gal.

Not that I did that, since I can’t plan ahead enough to print out a coupon in advance.

Anyways, going back to the cake… It turned out pretty well.

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The only problem was, we didn’t want to let it set overnight. I mean, once the twins had frosted all those graham crackers (accompanied by me yelling DON’T LICK THE KNIFE! every five seconds), they really wanted to eat the cake.

The directions I read said to wait at least two hours.

We waited one hour.

It wasn’t long enough. The cake was still quite crunchy and crackerlike, not like a cake at all. And it fell apart when I cut it, even though I sliced it diagonally as I’d been instructed.

But still, the twins loved it, and so did the other kids we shared with.

After all, who doesn’t love a straight shot of sugar in the afternoon?

A Question

yourtownnews.ca

I just watched a cat video on facebook….

(TWICE! And I made my husband watch too!)

…Does this make me OFFICIALLY the most boring person on earth?

Interestingly, according to this article, this is biologically not my fault. QUOTE:

“A new study out of Yale found that when we see something CUTE, our bodies are wired to LOSE CONTROL and become OVERWHELMED by our desire to share the cuteness.”

I don’t know if this is true, but I’ll take it.

So the answer is… I’m not boring! The cute kitties are irresistible to everyone!

Dodged that one! SCORE!

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We went to the fall festival at the elementary school over the weekend.

<<< Here’s Little Boy playing “product placement” at the fair.

After this event last year, I got stuck with a couple of goldfish. (Read that story here if you’re interested.)

I wasn’t about to let that happen again this year. The twins tried in vain to “win” a fish, but I refused.

Every time we came near the live-fish game, I steered them in a different direction. Unfortunately, the diabolical festival-planners had placed the goldfish booth right next to the balloon animal booth, which we had to go to.

And wait in a long line for. While staring at the fish next door.

  • Little Girl: Look Mommy! Fish!
  • Little Boy: Oh I see the fish too. Look!
  • Me:  No.
  • Little Girl: I want a fish!
  • Little Boy: Me too! I want a fish!
  • Me: No. No fish.
  • Little Boy: I think you can win the fish. Look Mommy!
  • Little Girl: That girl won a fish! Look! I want to win a fish!
  • Me: No.
  • Little Boy: No really. You can win a fish. I see the kids winning a fish.
  • Little Girl: Yay! We can win a fish!
  • Me: No. You can’t.
  • Little Girl: Yes we can! Kids are winning fish. Right there. 
  • Little Boy: Yeah. I see them. We can win a fish too! Right there!
  • Me: No. You are not getting a fish. No.
  • Little Boy: But–
  • Me: No.
  • Little Girl: Mommy–
  • Me: No.

I think you get the picture here.

Festival Organizers, when will you learn? Live animals are NOT prizes!

At least…not to me…

fishyfishyfishyfish

Peanut Butter Cheese Ball

I pinned three different versions of this recipe over the course of the last six months.

Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball".   1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature   1 cup powdered sugar   3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)   3 tablespoons packed brown sugar   3/4 cup milk chocolate chips   3/4 cup peanut butter chips   Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, and/or apple slices for dipping
image from the-girl-who-ate-everything

I guess I like peanut butter and chocolate, huh?

Anyways, when I finally made it for my book club, this was delicious. I thought it might have been better as a cheesecake or brownie than as a cheese ball. I mean, why bother dipping stuff in it when you can just bite right into it, right?

Here’s the version I actually made:

Reese's PB Cookie Dough Dip
image from shugarysweets.com
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 8oz pkg Reese’s peanut butter cup Minis 

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  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in the sugar and heat until sugar dissolves (about one minute). Remove from heat immediately add vanilla and allow to cool to room temperature (very important).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and peanut butter until creamy. On low, add in brown sugar mixture (that has cooled to room temperature). Mix until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips and mini Reese’s cups. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy with pretzels, animal cracker and graham sticks.

…or…JUST EAT IT STRAIGHT!

I read a scary book

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image from goodreads.com

I realize this doesn’t look like a scary book. But that’s because it’s specifically designed to frighten ME personally.

(The book is Calling Invisible Women by Jeanne Ray.)

In this story the protagonist, a doctor’s wife and mother of nearly-grown children, suddenly turns invisible. And no one in her family notices.

 As long as they get their dinners cooked and laundry washed, they don’t care if Mom is there or not. Wow, huh?

I’m pretty sure this could happen in my house rather easily. 

This idea REALLY scared me, so I asked my husband and daughter:

  • Me: Would you notice if I turned invisible?
  • GG: What?
  • Hus: Are you kidding? What are you talking about?
  • Me: Well, there’s this book I’m reading. I wondered… Like if you kept getting your food on time and stuff, would you notice if I just disappeared?
  • GG: Of course I would.
  • Hus: Where’s the food coming from?
  • Me: Well, from me. I’d just be invisible.
  • Hus: That’s stupid.
  • Me: But would you notice?
  • GG: I mean, it might take me a while, but by nighttime I’d be like, Where’s Mom?
  • Hus: I’d call the police. I’d say, Hey, my wife is gone and some stranger freak is putting out food.
  • GG: Yeah that’s creepy.
  • Me: But, I mean… would you notice? That I wasn’t there?
  • Hus: What kind of books are you reading anyways?
  • GG: So…what’s for dinner?

Needless to say, these were not reassuring answers.

But I guess it’s about what I would have expected.

So I guess I’ll go make dinner now…