Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Treats: Good Housekeeping's Fudgy Brownies {Good Housekeeping}

I love brownies because they are so easy.

You don't need multiple bowls or fancy gadgets.

All you need for these brownies is 2 {small} bowls, a wooden spoon, whisk, and a saucepan.

Unless you're me and you don't use a big enough saucepan...than you will need another {big} bowl :D

Oh, and if you use the normal 8"x8" will have to double your baking time.

Just in case you guys don't read this recipe right.

I really hope I'm not the only one who does that!!

The brownie is not too sweet--you use unsweetened and dark chocolate--so its a perfect base to jumpstart your creativity.

It is delicious on its own...

topped with mini chocolate chips...

sweetened coconut {this is for my Pastor's wife--she loves coconut. Me? Not so much!}...

or M&M's :D

Oh, and underneath the toppings? Fudgy chocolate frosting!

And, it all works because the brownie isn't sweet, but has a rich chocolate flavour that is quite delicious on its own, or topped by frosting and goodies!

Good Housekeeping's Fudgy Brownies
Good Housekeeping

1+1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1+1/2 sticks {3/4 cup} butter
4 squares {4 oz} unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 squares {4 oz} semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 tblsp vanilla
5 large eggs, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 13"x9" baking pan with foil; grease. In a small bowl, blend flour and salt.

2. In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, melt butter and chocolates over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs; stir until well mixed. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture just until blended. Spread batter evenly into your prepared pan.

3. Bake until toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

4. When cool, lift foil, with brownie, out of the pan; peel foil away from the sides.

Cut and serve. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Timeless Treasures: A Rant & Rave

This about sums up how I feel today.

My muscles are screaming at me for slipping on our icy roads. After about 6 weeks of doing the balancing act trying to stay up on my feet, I fell 3 times before I got to work this morning. My back hurts. My hips ache. My wrist and knee both are telling me to relax.

My pride too. I'm just glad no one was around to see me this morning :D

Later, I found out my car battery died. I'd forgotten to turn off a light. Oops. Anyway, a friend of mine said he'd jump it, so I started cleaning the snow off. I lost my footing and fell yet again. I can just see myself turning shades of blue :P

I just hate the irresponsibility of those in charge of our city.

I personally know of several people who have severely injured--a couple to the point of surgery--themselves because of the conditions of the sidewalks.

So, we are told that the problem of not having enough snow equipment and workers prohibits the city from doing their job.

Here's the thing though. We aren't next to the Pacific Ocean, like our neighbours to the West of us. We don't live in Texas. Or Arizona. And, most definitely do not have the balmy, beautiful temperatures of Florida.

We are in northern Alberta...where, get snows. And, we get freezing rain. And, once in a while, we are blessed with a Chinook in which we get a taste of future spring weather.

So, if you, as a native northern Albertan, knows what an average winter is...wouldn't you *gasp* prepare for it??

We've been discussing this at work for the last several months. The weeks it takes to get roads plowed. The piles of snowdrifts as "medians"{which by the way is so incredibly dangerous because you can't see the oncoming traffic unless you pull out and are practically IN the lane}. The unusable sidewalks.

I mean, we are paying taxes for a reason, right? And what more of importance than public safety? I'm all for being a responsible citizen and doing my part to help and being patient while they do theirs. Only problem, they aren't doing their job.

And I really wish they would.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Moments: Flashbacks, I

About 2+1/2 years ago, I found myself driving back to Canada with my good friend, Lore.  This was one roadtrip that I wished I didn't have to make. You see, I had just spent the last two years teaching the most precious children a teacher could ask for.

Sweet children who were my inspiration of being a better teacher.

I fell in love with these guys as soon as I met them.

They were crazy and wild at times. There were days when I wished the clock would tick a little faster. But, no matter what, I just had to look into their eyes and my heart would melt.

Their quirky habits will always stay with me.

I also got to meet and become friends with some amazing people in the church.

I already knew Jordyn from college, and it was really neat to be in "her" church.

I think this was during one of the teen camping trips.

And these next ones of the spectacular banquets held for Valentine's Day :D

A mother + her daughters. Sweet


Siblings :)

Celebrating the First Thanksgiving.

Class Pictures!


{Ps. I'm not sure why the quality of my photos is so poor. It's not like that on my computer, and if I figure out how, I'll change it. Poor quality or not, these photos do bring back lots of memories. :}

Friday, January 24, 2014

Baby R's First Birthday Bash

My two most favourite parts of this boy's birthday. His love of hats & his obsession with cake.
{Actually, that'd be any kind of food :}

:::The Party Hat Saga:::

"Seriously guys? This is the 4th time you've tried putting this cone-shaped hat on my head."

"It's not where it belongs! I'm pretty sure the manufacturers intended it to be for gnawing purposes. There is, after all, bananas on it!!"

"Oh, please not again!"

Momma had to hold his arms down. Something tells me he is not happy wearing his party hat...

...but tickled pink eating it!! :D

:::The Cake Eating Saga:::

"Oh? What did you say? What do I see?? Is that CAKE?!?"

Patiently waiting while we sing happy birthday. 

Tentatively exploring the texture...

2 Hands now!


I don't know what it is about Baby R...but he is totally fascinated by things oozing out between his little fingers. He loves squishing!

I thought he'd just play with his cake the whole time, but he finally put some in his mouth.

Then there was NO stopping him!

He figured out the fastest way to get it in his mouth and into his belly: suck it down like it was a bottle :P

"Mmmm....nom, nom, nom"

I had to hold the cake stand because he kept wanting to tip it. Finally, he just stuck his whole face in to grab a bite :D

Makin' a FUN mess!!

Happy Birthday, Big Boy!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday Treats: Drop Sugar Cookies {Good Housekeeping}

I was quite skeptical that these cookies would turn out. They just seemed...too easy.

Just flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, an egg and vanilla. Simple ingredients. No chilling. No cutting out.

And, they're soft and chewy.

These cookies taught me two things. I need glasses and the need to correctly read recipes :D

I only needed 1+1/3 cups of flour, but I thought I was supposed to put in 1+3/4 cups. I was so confused when my dough didn't form, but separated into thousands of dry little balls. After I figured out I had put way too much flour in, I threw an extra egg and 1/4 cup of butter in to even things out.

Whew. An easy, but unnecessary fix if I was but paying attention :P

Drop Sugar Cookies
by Good Housekeeping

1+1/3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
M&M's and chocolate chips: optional mix-in

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy--your mixer should be on medium speed. Beat in the egg next as well as the vanilla. Reduce the speed of your mixer and add the flour mixture just until combined.

3. Drop dough by heaping teaspoons {I use a small ice cream/cookie scoop} 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake until edges are brown--10 minutes or so--and make sure to rotate your pan at the half-way mark. {Unless you have a convection oven, in which case you can disregard the rotating instruction.}

4. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. You can store cookies in a cookie jar for 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.

So, since I'm not a huge fan of plain cookies {ie, sugar or shortbread cookies} I threw in a handful of M&M's and milk chocolate chips into the dough after I made 1 plain batch.

Both taste really good...but, the ones with the mix-ins are the bomb. I've been really, really, really wanting some M&M cookies, and these totally fit my craving.

Good thing the recipe didn't make a huge batch!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Timeless Treasures: Baby R's Birthday Week

Baby R is turning one this Friday.

It seems like it was just yesterday my friend T was calling my name...her water had broken, and we were headed to the hospital. About a month sooner than any of us planned :D

T had a party on Saturday, but I was sick so I didn't get to make it. But, it's ok, because we can just have another one :D

Besides, one can never have too much cake...

Or joyous celebrations!

Happy {almost} First Birthday, R!!

Love, Auntie E