Friday, August 29, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Ann's not Theresa's chocolate comfort cake

Also known as Texas Sheet Cake, today's Chocoholics Anonymous was inspired by an act of kindness and a sister in the deep love of all things chocolate. *Ann notTheresa from ballet sent home this moist, chocolaty, delicious, chocolaty, yummy, did I mention chocolaty sheet cake that I will share with everyone today. You can also visit The Pioneer Woman for a step by step and some great pictures of this yummy cake.
*Blogging 101- check your sources. A 13 teen year old is not always reliable. Sorry about the mix-up Ann, you truely are a dear friend.

Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

2 c flour
2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
2 sticks butter
4 heaping T cocoa
1 c boiling water
1/2 c buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla

Combine in a mixing bowl, flour, sugar and salt. In a saucepan, melt butter and add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water and bring mixture to a boil, cook for an additional 30 seconds. Turn off heat and pour over flour mixture, stir lightly. In separate bowl stir together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Add to flour/chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

1/2 c pecans, finely chopped
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping T cocoa
6 T milk
1 t vanilla
1 lb minus 1/2 c powdered sugar

In a saucepan melt butter and add cocoa to combine. Turn off heat an add milk, vanilla, and sugar. Stir together add pecans, stir and pour over warm cake.

Cut into squares, eat, and enjoy your chocolate fix for the day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Little Chuckles

After a long and emotional day, I came home from picking Molly up from ballet and saw this sweet, creative and dorky child waiting for me in the driveway. What more can I say about Katie, she has a cub scout kercheif on! Then after I took the picture and looked at the product(don't you love digital) I noticed a little Grace pop-up like a "find Curly the pig" in a book she loved as a baby. These moments keep me going, keep me smiling, keep me from eating my weight in chocolate.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Attack of the Oompa Loompa's

After a weekend of worrying and crying, crying and worrying about what has gone amiss in my dear husbands innards, I needed a little laugh(at his expense unfortunately). Today he is off to the doc to help find out why he is orange with jaundice. A number of reasons can cause jaundice, since he has a cancer/liver connection that is our first path of thought. But another reason just keeps creeping into the back of my mind, was Duane attacked by an Oompa Loompa? That might explain his recent outbreak of song and dance and an uncontrolable need for chocolate! Wait, that's me not him. Oh well, in the meantime, say a prayer, hope for the best, and go watch Willy Wonka.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mrs. Mom

Today my life was straight from a movie. Oh how I wish it were a sappy one like It's a Wonderful Life or a breathtaking romance like The Notebook. Today I experienced a scene from Mr. Mom, just call me Mrs. Mom. Have you seen the movie? 1983 flick with Michael Keaton, pretty funny, but my favorite scene, which is the one I lived today is the school car pick up lane. Seriously people how hard is it to pick up your kid? I caught a glimpse of my friend Lisa attempting to claim her children, even though I couldn't hear her or even see her face, I knew how her conversation with the little 5th grader went. It was something like this:
Lisa: Those are my kids!
5th grader: I know Mame but your not past the cones yet
Lisa: But there two stinkin' feet away!!!!!
You get the picture. Hey Lisa am I right?
So to add humor to this oh so not humorous situation here are 5 things in honor of the poor 5th grader just obeying the rules that I would rather do instead of picking up my kids after school.
1. Dig out a hang nail
2. Step on a slug
3. Listen to Duane barf
4. Argue with Molly about why it's OK to sell Bash Union t-shirts
5. Clean up curdled milk and hot dog barf, thanks Emma!
Wait a minute I did do all those things today, crap! Someone get me a coke.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Muffin Tin McDonald's-Breakfast deconstructed

So you caught me! I have a lazy streak, I admit that whole heartedly. When I saw the theme this week from Sycamore Stirrings for Breakfast Muffin Tin Monday I was sooo excited. I love breakfast, who wouldn't, I mean you've got pancakes and sausage people!
Anyway, Monday morning rolled around, the school kids were off, I was relaxed and did not want to make pancakes and eggs. But do you know who does? McDonald's. That's what they're there for.
Deluxe breakfast had it all, pancakes, sausage, eggs, hash browns and a biscuit, bingo, I'd like one to go please plus a coke. Take it home, cut it up, put it into a muffin a voila, Muffin Tin Monday! To ease some of my guilt I added chopped up apples and made a peanut butter syrup to dunk the pancakes and apples in, oh sorry about the ketchup, in our neck of the woods that's how we eat our eggs and sausage.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous-Baked Fudge

Today I had the most divine dessert at The Olive Garden(thanks Jessie), really can't tell you what it's called, let's call it Chocolate I Could Devour Daily. Who knew besides yummy bread sticks and pasta they would have such killer chocolate. The warm, chocolate lava just melted in my mouth. It reminded me of today's recipe I found in our local newspaper a few years ago. Baked Fudge, best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream, is part chocolate cake/fudge/hot fudge sauce. Enjoy!
Baked Fudge
4 eggs
2 c sugar
1 c butter, melted
1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1 c chopped nuts
2 t vanilla
Cream eggs and sugar. Add melted butter. Sift flour and cocoa together and add to mixture. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour into 9x12 greased pan. Set in a pan of hot water and bake at 325 for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until crusty on top and soft inside.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Days-without The Fonz

The first day of school has arrived and happiness is in the air. I do love all my monkeys don't get me wrong but public school was invented to keep this momma's sanity intact.
We had a great summer full of family vacations, fun and of course staying up late and sleeping in. All of us made a bad habbit of sleeping until atleast 9:00 most mornings, some monkeys made the habbit of 10:00! So to help kick the habbit we made a sweet and tasty insentive to rise and shine the day before school starts and in the process made a few memories and a new tradition.
Krispy Kreme! Am I training Jack in the finer things in life or what. That child is a purest, only vanilla ice cream and only plain glazed hot off the line donuts.
And of course you need to start 'em young. Emma so enjoyed her donut that Molly feed her. Actually I think Hannah was the earliest of the donuts consumers. When I was pregnant with the Hanster she was cooked on Krispy Kreme. I could not get enough of the doughy goodness.
The first day of school arrived without a single problem. No sleepless children(except Miss Em). Everyone had clean socks, shoes, undies(and the boy did change them), brand spankin' new clothes and big smiles that they wore to school. The middle schoolers,Molly and Ben, coordinated nicely for not consulting what each other was going to wear. Can I just gush as a mom, pretty darn good looking kids there, huh?
The elementaries bathed, ate, dressed, and primped without a single whine, complaint or arguement! Can this be my Groundhogs Day? I love that movie, Bill Murray at his finest. Back to my original thoughts, time goes way too fast! Six years ago that was Molly holding baby Grace and know she's going into 1st. Can I just bottle them all up, save them forever as they are, my seven little monkeys. That's what pictures are for, thanks Kodak!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Muffin Tin Monday-Orange all over

Muffin Tin Monday meet orange. This week we dined on all things the lovely shade of orange; carrots, orange bell pepper, apricots, hummus, goldfish crackers(the only fish we like right now), and of course cheddar cheese. The hummus was to say the least a flop with the monkeys, but I loved it, they need to be more adventuresome, oh well.
Monday's feast was inspired by the cuteness of my littlest of monkeys Emma all covered in Sunday nights dinner. She wears her dinner well, I think she ingested some.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love the color orange. Not to wear so much(does pumpkin come to mind) as I just love how bright and cheerful it is. My purse is orange, thanks Joni. My favorite season is fall, pumpkins again. My favorite food group, CHEESE, is full of orange goodness. And who could forget the bestest most wonderful candy, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, in a bright orange package.
Let us not forget these babies, maybe a fashion faux pas, but who cares they're bright orange! Sorry about the toes, hope no eye sockets were burned in the process of viewing this post.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous: Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies

How is your relationship with your weather man? Mine is a love/hate relationship. Of course nothing he does personally to me just the forecasts he delivers. Today I love him! The temp has drastically dropped since last week, still hot, but not Africa hot. So today's Chocoholics Anonymous we will have a yummy, gooey and just delightful recipe I got from Pampered Chef.

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies

12 oz pkg chocolate chips

18-21 oz brownie mix, plus all ingredients to make cake-like brownies

3/4 c brown sugar, divided

1 c salted mixed nuts, divided

40 Rollos

1. Preheat oven to 375. Chop 1 1/2 c of chocolate chips. In large bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs, and 1/4 cup brown sugar; mix well. Fold in chopped chocolate; pour batter into jelly roll pan, spreading evenly.

2. Chop nuts. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 c brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut 16 Rollos into quarters. Melt 1/2 cu chocolate chips; spoon melted chocolate into ziploc bag; set aside.

4. After removing brownies from the oven, immediately press remaining 24 Rollos evenly into brownies. Sprinkle quartered Rollos and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate filled bag; drizzle chocolate evenly over brownies. Cut into squares; serve warm and with ice cream. Yum!

A funny thing happened while I was in the car the other day. I was listening to the radio and heard an ad for CA. org. Knowing there really couldn't be a real chocoholics anonymous I listened on in anticipation to what CA really stood for. Well long story short I will no longer abbreviate my post for Chocoholics Anonymous, CA stands for cocaine anonymous. Yikes!!! We are a clean and sober house, except for the occasional Mountain Dew.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Accidental Gardener

For the month of August the Recipe Box Swap is Garden Fresh. We have one plant in our accidental garden, a tomato plant that has gone hog wild! So this summer we have made several times this yummy recipe I found on Pioneer Woman's site, it calls for zucchini and tomatoes (which we have in abundance). To find the recipe click here , trust me you'll love it!
Two summers ago we thought creating a compost area would be a good idea, well we have lots of good ideas around our house. We were dedicated for a while, but alas we lost all ambition to compost. The following summer we noticed a tomato looking weed growing in the old compost pile. We let it grow and sure enough it was a Tomato! It actually grew many yummy tomato's.
This year instead of waiting for fate to plant us a garden we planted our own tomato plant and have been blessed with oodles of yummy little tomatoes. My type of garden.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finding Nemo Live!

Hannah is such a versitle child. One week she is Helga from Hey Arnold or a french ballerina. This week she has decided to act out a scene from Finding Nemo, of course she will play the part of Darla, the not so gentle niece of Nemo's capture. I'm so proud of my aspiring actress, if only we could put the disclaimer at the bottom of this post: NO FISH WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS MEMORY!
Introduce this chemical balancer. Meant to keep your fish healthy, in appropriate doses. Unfortunately a whole bottle does the complete opposite.
Sorry Goldie, Fishie, Bubbles, and Pumpkin, Darla was just trying to help. You survived the whole tank full of fish food on your first day at our house, maybe you can pull through her second dose of love.
If not, maybe we should just stick to purchasing this kind of Goldfish, yum .

Monday, August 4, 2008

Muffin Tin Sundae, a reading party on Monday

Every summer since our oldest were little we have had a reading challenge with a sweet treat at the end. This year we've added a fun twist to our Reading Challenge Party. Muffin Tin Monday, with a challenge from Sycamore Stirrings, has turned into Muffin Tin Sundae Party!
In our muffin tin this week we have all the party fixings for a fabulous and scrumptious ice cream treat; bannanas, cherries, cookie pieces, sprinkles, m&m's, peanuts, gummy worms and two sauces. Plus you can't have a sundae without whipped cream and of course the ice cream!

All my monkeys gathered around to fix up some interesting looking sundaes. They might focus on the sweet treat at the end but I love the treat of enjoying some great books this summer. We as a family have read Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague and Candy Shop Wars, it was a Brandon Mull summer (we miss Harry Potter).
Some of our favorites were Alexander and the Terrible Horrible no good very bad day, The Hatchet, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Bunnicula, Nate the Great, Tikki Tikki Tembo, Elmo can use the potty(Hannah's fav) and the list could go on and on. Really to me some of my favorite memories with the kids are reading together, whether it's make silly ka-hon noises as you read the Trumpet of the Swan or eating chocolate as you read about Dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Chocoholics Anonymous: Yummy Discovery!

Well thank you Jessie for introducing me to the newest love of my life, the Chocolate Lovers Champ! Not only does this bad boy combine one of my favorite summer time treats drumsticks with chocolate, but you can indulge in pure chocolate bliss without turning on the oven. No recipe this week, the weatherman just made me depressed with all the 100's in the forecast, I've put a ban on the oven. But what I will do and suggest all you chocoholics to do is run to your local supermarket, grab a box of these bad boys, sit under a ceiling fan, eat x 6 (6 per box), and never speak of it again.

Each day to live....

Finding the little things in the day that make me smile.

Duane's last Dance

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