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6/20/17

Peppermint Brownies

This is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE Recipes!
Click HERE for a link to the Recipe.


Peppermint Candy Cane Brownies
Recipe by ourbestbites.com

Brownies:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 C butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Frosting:
2 C powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 T milk
pink food coloring

Chocolate Glaze:

6 oz (about a cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips ,you could also use dark
6 tablespoons real butter (I suggest unsalted just for this step)
Additional:
1/2-1 C crushed candy canes (Use Bob’s or Brach’s, I don’t recommend Spanglers)
First, the Brownies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roughly chop baking squares so they’ll be easier to melt, then place them in a microwave-safe bowl along with the 2 sticks of butter (also chopped).
Melt in 30-45 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set aside. Don’t accidentally stick your finger in the melted butter and chocolate combo because it will laugh at you for forgetting that it is unsweetened.
In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat eggs for about 3 minutes until thick and frothy.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat to combine. Then add in the melted chocolate and butter that you set aside. Combine flour and baking powder and whisk into brownie batter by hand until just combined. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13 pan. If you want to make the job much easier, line your pan with foil first.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness and don’t over bake! When brownies are done, cool on a cooling rack. When completely cool, pop in the fridge to chill. (makes the frosting spreading easier).
Next layer is the frosting:
Combine all frosting ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Add extra milk by teaspoonful if you need a little more. Spread evenly over cooled/chilled brownies and place back in the fridge to chill again while you do the final step.
Chocolate Glaze:
Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and cook in 30 second intervals until smooth.
Set aside for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, so it can cool off just a bit. Remember in the first step when I told you to not accidentally let your finger fall in the chocolate butter mixture? Totally doesn’t apply to this chocolate butter mixture. Quickly spread on top of brownies. I say quickly because the frosting is cool and the chocolate is hot. If you take your sweet time and over do it, you’ll make a big gooey mess. Just spread it on quick.
Sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and return to the fridge until chocolate is set on top.
Remove from fridge a few minutes before serving. Cut into squares.

recipe and photo credit: www.ourbestbites.com

3/26/17

Sugar Cookie Bars

Anyone else like the big, pink, sugar cookies at Sodalicious! YUM!! Reminds me of the cookies I used to buy back in college at Hart's Gas Stations. So moist and scrumptious. I love to eat cookies, but I'm NOT a fan or rolling and cutting out sugar cookies. TO MUCH WORK. So these cookie bars at the bomb diggity. SO EASY and every time I make them, someone asks for the recipe.



Sugar Cookie Bars

For the cookie base:
1 cup butter, softened
8 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
For the frosting:
1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons fat-free half and half or milk
sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 9x13 jelly roll pan or baking dish by lining it with parchment paper or foil and lightly spraying with cooking spray.
Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar, and be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Mix in the egg and the vanilla.
Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until soft dough forms.
Spread the dough evenly in the pan or dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting (recipe follows) and cutting.
For the Frosting:
Use an electric mixer to whisk the butter until it's smooth.
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time with 1 tablespoon at a time of the vanilla or the heavy cream until all the ingredients have been added and the frosting is smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
Frost the cooled cookies and add the sprinkles.
Recipe and Photo credit: http://www.somethingswanky.com/lofthouse-sugar-cookie-bars/ 

9/28/15

Jake's 16th Birthday!

Jake turned 16 when we were in Utah. He got the BEST.CAKE.EVER, a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake front the BYU Creamery. We planned to tube down the Provo River the day after. But when we got up to Vivian Park it started POURING! To top it off, he had a really bad sore throat so mom ended up taking him to urgent care that night. Well, hopefully this will still be the best year ever for sweet Jake.






BUMMER!!! :(







4/28/15

Josh Harden...We will miss you!

To all, thank you in advance for all your prayers and considerations. I feel very blessed to have such great friends and family helping me get through this. 

First of all, I wouldn't  wish this journey I am on on any of you. Several of you know first hand how terrible this disease can be and how painful it is to go through. It is a tough struggle every day just dealing through the pain but I will not let any of that hold me down.  

Just a little background for those of you who do not know, at the end of December I developed a very small marble sized knot on the left side of my neck. I thought I might have slept on it wrong and figured it would just go away at some point.  It turned out to be a very rare, very aggressive sarcoma cancer. In 30 days it went from nothing to 10 inches long and 7 inches wide. The pain was so bad I finally had to leave work which bugged me more than anything. 

The biggest lesson I learned here is that family and friends matter a whole lot while dealing with this process. I was blown away by the support I received from each and every one of you while I was in the hospital going through my first set of Chemo. Thank you,  you guys truly are amazing and helped me through a lot of the tough days.  I have had many prayers coming at me from almost every religion on the planet and they must be working because I am now at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. This is the number one cancer center in the country and I feel so blessed to have made it out to this place.  The staff is amazing and so supportive and all about getting people better.  I will be back there on the course soon as I will not let this disease prevent me from doing what I love and what makes me happy. I miss and love all of you and I thank you for your support!

Hit em Straight 

Josh Harden

5/18/14

School's Out

This year has been FULL of changes in our lives. Just last February, we were in the Reno airport flying down to Arizona for Danielle's wedding. When we began checking our baggage in and Tim couldn't remember where his ID was, I knew something wasn't right. After 2 trips to the hospital over the next 2 days, we finally found out Tim had a stroke. It was caused by the damage to his blood vessels when he had radiation for his brain tumor. Making a LONG story short, we made it to Danielle's wedding and it was the start of our move to Arizona.

I know the Lord prepared a way for us to be here, but truthfully many days I wonder why. I thought it would be so much easier and we would have so much more help here from family and friends. Yet many things I just have to do on my own. Things like setting up all new doctors, dealing with new job, house, medical insurance, schools, finding rental, then buying a house. It's OVERWHELMING! On top of it all, I was in the final stages of my Master's degree...which I can proudly say is done. But taking 3 classes for my Az teaching license and finishing and defending my thesis was pure insanity. At school, nobody even congratulated me on finishing my thesis. In fact I got a scathing email basically telling me to rearrange my defense because it was the same day as the school carnival. This weekend is also bittersweet because I'm not in Reno to attend my graduation and celebrate with all the friends I attended college with for so many years. I know that's not what's important, but it makes me sad. So I've got to pull it together, move on, and try to figure out why I'm supposed to be in Arizona. Here are some quotes I found some time ago...and I love quotes so wanted to post so I'd remember the small things are just small things.


















11/20/13

Tahoe Family Photos

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