Monday, February 24, 2014

Brownie Delight

There's nothing I love more than a brownie sundae. A warm brownie, cold vanilla ice cream (or any flavor, really!) and some homemade whipped cream can transform a ho-hum night on the couch into a fancy dessert date with my hubby! Who am I kidding? I will devour this in my jammies so nothing fancy about it. But homemade whipped cream will put you over the edge! It all begins with the star, a rich, chocolaty brownie! So, grab your favorite brownie recipe, borrow mine (below) or grab a box and whip up a batch. Then turn them into a sundae or mix in some peanut butter cups or other favorite candy like I did. And let's be real, peanut butter and chocolate is always a winning combo!!! Enjoy!

Fudgy Brownies:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Optional: Stir in a cup of chopped candy bar or whole peanut butter cups!!
Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 8X8 pan. Place in a 350-degree oven and allow to bake about twenty minutes or until just set (you want them a little gooey!). Let cool and serve. Or, enjoy piping hot, burning your tongue in the process like I do!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

...And the Greatest of These is Love

Hey guys? Have you noticed it's already February and that Valentine's Day is quickly approaching?? Since Christmas passed, I've been looking forward to the next holiday, as I do with most. Once one passes, I gear up for the next. It feels like whatever holiday is approaching at the time becomes my favorite holiday. But Valentine's holds a special place in my heart, especially after having kids. I mean, what better excuse to lavish love on those little ones (and your hubby too, I suppose..) than Valentine's Day? It's a whole day devoted to LOVE!!! Right? Are you with me?? So with no further adieu, let's plan!!!
Of course, nothing beats heart shaped everything and all items made of red, but what are you planning this year? With endless recipes, "pins", and decor to choose from, it's hard not to go crazy. Try and restrain yourself though, and create a game plan for the big day. I went to the dollar store recently to find items for a Valentine's day party for my mom's group and let me tell you, I went a little cookoo trying to sort through all the loot. Treat bags! Cupcake papers and sprinkles! Table decor and stickers! At least it was the dollar store but still, that cart filled up fast! Decide where you'll get the goods, make a list and stick to it or you might end up with items you really don't need. Spread the love, don't forget about yourself and make it fun! Here are a few ideas to make the most of the big day!
- Start the day off with a fun breakfast. Red velvet or heart-shaped pancakes, bagels with strawberry cream cheese or even store-bought donuts served on Valentine paper goods set the tone for the day.
- Send a heart-shaped sandwich in your kid's lunch box and serve with anything pink, red or white like yogurt raisins or strawberry applesauce.
- Create a treasure hunt and hide heart-shaped items, dollar store finds, gold coins and other small trinkets around the house. Your kids will love searching and you will love them being busy for that few minutes. Make it really hard and maybe you can catch up on that stack of magazines on your kitchen counter? Paint your nails? Have a cocktail? Moving on.
- Go out for dinner and get dressed up for the fun of it! A few of our favorite kid-friendly places to eat are In-N-Out, Chipotle and Five Guys and Fries. Or, if you prefer cooking at home and/or it scares you to take kids out to eat because they get antsy, (been there!) then make something festive at home and indulge in a fun dessert like chocolate fondue, decorate-your-own cupcakes, or an ice cream bar with all the toppings. Kids LOVE serving themselves.
- Don't forget about you! Hopefully, your hubby will spoil you and remember that while this is mostly about making fun for the kids, he's obligated to bring you flowers. Or chocolate. Or that book you've been wanting...but do something for yourself. Paint your nails or get a manicure, meet a friend for coffee, take a long bath or savor that glass of wine. Show yourself the love too! You deserve it!
- Speaking of that hubby of yours...don't forget about him! With little ones consuming your time and thoughts, it's easy to forget about that big lug so do something for him you know he would appreciate. It can be as simple as putting together a gift basket of his favorite snacks or renting a movie of his choice or wearing something cute and frilly. He will appreciate it and you will feel great! Have a wonderful day and show the love!
How will you celebrate?