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Tag Archives: food
Dress up a boxed dessert for an extra special treat!
While raiding our pantry, I found a boxed brownie mix. I wasn’t in the mood for just an average brownie so I dug a little deeper and added some friends to the party!
Who doesn’t love extra chocolate, marshmallows and chopped walnuts?
After mixing the brownies as directed, I added in the extras. Once combined, I poured and baked.
The brownies are done once you do the toothpick test! My brownies took a little longer, about 5 minutes more that the box said.
I didn’t have any vanilla ice cream in the freezer, but these would be amazing a la mode! The marshmallows add a little gooey-ness that makes these treats irresistible!
Mix 1/4c flour and 1/3c brown sugar.
Mother’s Day coming up, I thought this would be a great time to test a new version of banana bread before serving Mother’s Day brunch!
I started with my usual banana bread recipe. Usually, I just add the 1/4c chopped walnuts. The special twist this time is adding a 1/4c of milk chocolate chips along side the walnuts. I love chocolate! To make this extra special (as if chocolate wasn’t enough), I topped off the banana bread with a streusel topping before putting it in the oven.
The streusel is as follows:
Mix 1/4c flour and 1/3c brown sugar.
Cut in 2tbsp cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
I stopped there and sprinkled it on top of my bread mixture. You could add 1/3c chopped walnuts to the streusel for added crunch.
The crunchy, sweet streusel creates a great layer of contrast to the moist, delicious banana bread. I absolutely love the little pockets of melted chocolate throughout! So tasty and surprisingly, not to sweet! Anyone else try a banana bread makeover? What changes do you make?
Around here we’re preparing for my son’s school’s largest fundraiser of the year–the St. Paddy’s Day Bash! Last year it was great and most importantly it was successful in raising money to benefit our kids.
I’m getting into the mood again and made some four-leaf clover pancakes for breakfast this morning. I made my favorite pancake batter and dyed it green. I poured it into this squeeze bottle. I’m sure that somewhere out there someone makes and sells an appropriately festive pancake shaper, but I haven’t had much success with them in the past. The pancake always sticks and I end up frustrated and eating pancakes that look like a T-Rex had his way with them first. I’m in love with the squeeze bottle now. Lots of possibilities!
My baby is 7. SEVEN! Where has the time gone? He is pretty special–and not just because he’s my first-born. Although in all fairness I too am the first-born and I think we’re all pretty special.
He is funny, loving, incredibly empathetic, and a great big brother. We’re lucky to be his parents. Ugh…tears.
Okay, well the most important part of any birthday is the cake! Since his birthday fell on a Saturday, I brought treats in to his class on Friday. Life is more chaotic now so I wanted to make things on easy on myself. I went to Vons and purchased two boxes of Madeleine/Brownie Bites. Whaaat?! Yes. They are half Madeleine and half Brownie, swirled together. Both light and rich and bite-sized, they are the little treat to hit the spot.
I added a personal touch by piping some white frosting on top, a dash of festive sprinkles, and a piece of Cake Batter Bark. The kids thought they were amazing (one asked that I e-mail his mom the recipe–seriously). Since I had extra, the teachers and office staff got to have some as well and they too thought they were just right and thanked me for bringing in kid-sized treats.
Riding the wave of Friday’s success, I planned Saturday’s birthday cake with the left over bark pieces in mind. I made a basic chocolate layered cake with white frosting and added sprinkles and Cake Batter Bark as a decorative edging.
It was fun and cute…and most importantly, tasty! Also, I love a good dual-purpose anything and the pieces of bark can kind of be used as spacers for slicing the cake.
This particular birthday carried over into Sunday as well when we celebrated with his schoolmates at a local Pump It Up. I cut myself some slack though and ordered a cake for that celebration.
Now that I have a 7-year-old, I have come to the following conclusions:
- My days of cool are numbered;
- His increasing age doesn’t seem to make me feel older. I don’t quite feel young. But, I don’t quite feel old [or mature] enough to have a 7-year-old; and
- Thank God for cake. No matter what is going on and how stressful life (or party planning) can be, sitting down and having a piece of birthday cake is such a relief.