Chocolate and a Sweater. Summer 2015.

Ah Summer. I love summer. Sundresses and sandals. Long walks on the beach and picnics. Warm nights with a cool breeze and mosquito bites. Salads and meat on the grill.  This may be true where you are right now. Today, I’m in a sweater and muddy sneakers. I mean, it’s warmer in Alaska than it is here.  What’s up Mother Nature?  Who pissed in your Cheerios this month?  We only get 3 months of summer! Get your shit together and give us some sunshine! The up side of this weather rant? There is no snow.

Good news!! Everyone is moving on to the next grade.  Well, with a little help from summer school for the oldest. Now let the childcare games begin! And may the odds be ever in your favor.  I’m going to start petitioning for year round school. Seriously, I have 6 weeks in the middle of summer break covered.  This year, one week prior to camp, and 3 weeks after camp, I will be frantically looking for childcare.  My sister takes her a lot, which is greatly appreciated, but still there is so much running around.  Selfishly, I’m finally in a gym routine.  Not that I’ve lost a single pound, but still the routine is there.  All the running around mucks it all up!  Who has time for all that?

The. Whining. Stops. Now.  Moving on…

On a much brighter note, I helped photograph a wedding last weekend. It was a beautiful wedding.  Yes, it rained. Luckily, all the outside shots were taken before the heavens opened up!  Editing give or take 800 photos is a lot of work. Creatively, it’s a lot of fun. But time consuming!

5861   5948x2

Since I have about 200 more edits to do, I leave you with this.  If you are experiencing any sort of summer and are looking for an easy ice cream treat, this is it.  If you are in need of a chocolate fix, this is perfect.  Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites. We all need a little chocolate now and again, even if you are on the wagon.  That’s the great thing about these babies!  They are small. And super chocolaty.   The original recipe is from Food Network Magazine. The idea is they resemble Snow Caps that you get at the movies, but you eat them at home while watching movies there. They used donut holes not brownies.  Well, I tried the donut holes, and they didn’t work out so well for me.  The mini brownies worked great!  I was, like always, short on time.  I purchased the already-made-for-you-thank-you-Danny-Wegman mini brownies.  Of course, you can always bake your own using your favorite brownie mix and a mini muffin pan.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites

  • 1 package Mini Brownies
  • 1/2 gallon Slow Churned reduced calorie chocolate ice cream
  • 1-12oz package semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Nonpareils, optional
  1. Set the ice cream out at room temperature just to soften (about 10 min)
  2. Cut the brownies in half.  Set in freezer for about 10 minutes, just to set a little.
  3. When the brownies are hardened, and the ice cream is soft, spoon about a tablespoon of ice cream on the bottom half of the brownie. Set the top part of the brownie over the ice cream, making a sandwich.
  4. When all the brownies sammies are finished, set in freezer again to set.
  5. Meanwhile, in a double boiler, melt chocolate chips. (I add a tablespoon of shortening in with the melty chips, it just gives it a shine)
  6. When the chips are melted, take the brownie bites out of the freezer; pour over chocolate sandwiches. Tip: if you set the sandwiches on a cooling rack, set cooling rack in a cookie sheet lined with foil, it makes clean up sooooo much easier.
  7. Sprinkle the nonpareils over the top.  Freeze.  Store in an air tight container in the freezer.

browniebites

 

Maybe if you eat one of these fantastical little babies, you will have a hot flash, and need not worry about a sweater!

 

 

Chocolate, Valentine’s and oh yeah Chocolate, yummmm!

Heeellloooo again!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I had a couple of drafts here and there, but nothing completed or posted. I’m stressed and I’m a slacker. Very important to note that I’m both, not one or the other. The last draft was in regards to the over-rated Valentine’s Day, in which my absolute favorite part is the chocolate. Definitely a chocoholic, and without a doubt, I have the hips to prove it. Circle back, stress.  See how that worked?

The kids were off this week, and we accomplished nothing. I supposed in their defense, the two that aren’t really mine, but sort of are since I give them shelter, actually spent time with their mother. The one that is mine for real, spent most of her time attached to my leg. Hard to get things done when you have an extra 60lbs hanging around. Gotta love them!

Well, my original plan was to blog about Valentine’s Day, give a little history about it, and end the post with some awesome chocolate recipes. As you can see, I’m about 2 weeks late. So we are scratching the history of Valentine’s Day, and heading right to the recipes! For my work party, I made Ree Drummond’s Dark Chocolate Brownies and from Pinterest made little heart candy white chocolate suckers. Which in theory could be used for Christmas since they are made with candy canes.  

Dark Chocolate Brownies

  • 1C            Butter
  • 5oz          Unsweetened Chocolate (like from a bar)
  • 1/4 C      Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2C            Sugar
  • 1Tbs        Vanilla
  • 3               Large Eggs, whole
  • 1 1/4 C    Flour
  • 3/4 C       Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Powdered sugar for sifting

1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over low heat, whisking occasionally until smooth and melted. Sprinkle in cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in sugar and vanilla, until just combined. (looks a little grainy..but that’s ok)

4. One at a time, stir in the eggs.

5. Gently stir in the flour until halfway combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just mixed.

6. Pour batter, and it will be thick, into a greased 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish. Spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, then check the brownies with a toothpick. If it’s still gooey, return to the oven for another 5 minutes, then check again etc.

7. Cool. Completely. I’ve made these twice. It’s important to let them cool. They will seem too gooey if you don’t let them chill for a while.

8. Enjoy with a glass of milk. They are so rich and delicious.

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