Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Chocolate Peanut Butter Love Bars
Slightly Adapted Recipe
2 cups unsalted peanuts
2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 cups tightly packed brown sugar(light)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (I used chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Toast the peanuts on a baking sheet in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool the nuts to room temperature before chopping by hand.
Use a stiff whisk to blend together the peanut butter and brown sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly blended. Add the peanuts and the chopped semisweet chocolate, mix well. Transfer mixture to a 9X13X2 inch pan. Use your fingertips to press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan and into the corner and sides, creating an even layer. Place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes until set in the center. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour before cutting.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
1. 4 hour plane ride during which, I assume, he was able to listen to, read or watch whatever he desired. Likely the only interruption was by someone asking him if he wanted a snack or drink.
2. He is in a part of the country were yesterday the average temperature was 85 degrees. It was 25 degrees here yesterday. He would argue that he wasn't able to enjoy this warm weather because he was in a conference room all day. I would argue that it doesn't matter because I was inside all day with a three year old and a dog with anxiety issues - and it was cold.
3. He is sleeping in a fancy hotel room, which I imagine has room service - more people to bring him snacks and drinks. I also imagine the hotel doesn't ask him to clean up the kitchen, take out the trash and the dog and bath a small child.
Sounds like a vacation to me.
In the interest of full disclosure I do have to admit that he did miss out on some fun things:
1. Another trip to aquarium where Hollis saw his first 3D movie.
2. Free inauguration donuts at Krispy Kreme.
3. Hugs, kisses, I love yous and construction work.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
And now, the obligatory Hollis picture.
Hollis and John taking their "mini nap".
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Martha Stewart's Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.
- Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
- Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.
- With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect. Sprinkle with nuts.
- Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I didn't pick Hollis up from school today until 1:00pm. Don't worry, I didn't forget about him, again. Today was his first day of lunch bunch. Basically he eats lunch at school and plays for an extra hour. Whee an extra hour! What will I do with myself. Let me give you some reasons why this didn't pan out has planned
First of all, an hour is not that long and his school is 20 minutes from my house. If you figure an hour at the gym, an hour for grocery shopping and driving back and forth, I basically had time to throw the milk in the fridge before I had to head back out. Yeah free time.
Secondly, I have to send lunch with him. This is a problem because there is not much I hate more than packing lunch. I don't know why...but it is quite anxiety provoking for me. I talked about packing lunch all day Sunday just so I won't forget. Guess what? I forgot. In my defense, I told everyone in my house to remind and no one did. I remembered on the way to bed. I also have issues about what to pack for lunch. Maybe I just have issues. Anyway, no peanuts. Hollis eats peanut butter and jelly EVERYDAY. I offer him other things, but he always says, "peanut butter and jelly, of course". I don't know where he gets it from.
Maybe next week will be better.
Lastly, and completely unrelated, scroll down to the bottom of the page. See that new banner down there? That link will take you to Hopeline.com. Through the Kristen Brooks Hope Center, the Hopeline operates as a national crisis hotline number for people who are depressed or suicidal. The hotline connects callers 24 hours a day with a certified crisis center in their area within 20-30 seconds of the call being received. They also host conferences, community programs and education and a college music tour in order to increase awareness and decrease the stigma of mental illness. It is a worthy cause that I hope you will consider when making your charitable gifts this year.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Weight Watchers Chocolate-chip Blondies
2 cups all-purpose flour (or a combination of whole wheat/white)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 1/2 cups unpacked brown sugar
6 Tbsp. light butter, softened
2 large egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
6 oz (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt
-In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy
-Add egg whites and vanilla
-Gradually beat in flour mixture alternating with water
-Stir in chips
-Spread into a foil lined 9x13 pan
-Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes
-Cool on a wire rack
-Remove foil and cut into 24 two-inch squares
Friday, January 02, 2009
January - It snowed! You'll just have to trust me that that is snow, some people would call them flurries - we stocked the pantry.
February: Puddle jumping
March: Meeting the Mouse
April: The Easter Bunny brought his first bike!
May: The Braves game
June: We take a bite out of the Big Apple. On the ferry to the Statue of Liberty
July: Fourth of July parade
August: Hollis turns three - and starts school and goes to the beach (it was a busy month).
September: Trying on the firefighter pants
October: Halloween and his own firefighter outfit.
November: One little Indian Boy
December: Merry Christmas!
Christmas #1: Hanging upside down and (nerf) firearms.
Christmas #2: Stories, snacks and Army shirts
Christmas #3: Ice cream and Krispy Kreme donuts, Mimi and G-dad and Santa brings trucks - what else?
Christmas #4: One more present for everyone, another truck (!) and wrestling with the big boys.
I hope yours was equally exciting!