Monday, February 24, 2014

My Funny Valentine

Hello Sweets,

I have again been a bad blogger :(.  I haven't been writing at all, or baking for that matter and this makes me sad!  Then last night I realized something, baking and cooking makes me happy so I best get my butt back into the kitchen.  So that is what I did, I even went as far as to schedule a dinner for my grandparents :)  The other reason I haven't been writing as much is because I've been painting, and I am loving it!!  When I'm feeling down or grumpy, I pull out one of the paintings I'm working on and just dive in.  I never realized that I had such a passion for it until I went to Painting with a Twist, and it just stumbled into my everyday life. I honestly didn't think I had the artistic capabilities, but I guess I was being too judgmental.  I have accumulated a few supplies; I have a bunch of paints (acrylic only, for now) and a full range of brushes.  I even have a few different canvases, all in different sizes, and even a cute little paint pallet.  There are only two things I am lacking, the first is a full size easel (I have a mini one lol) and the second is a stool so I can paint near my window with natural light.  I am slowly gaining more confidence, and not being so hard on myself.  The latter is harder than it should be lol, but all in all I am enjoying every minute of it.  I am particularly proud of the current project I'm working on, once it's complete I will share with y'all too!

Since I didn't post on Valentines day I thought today would be perfect.  Unfortunately Nathan and I could not be together this year :(, but as he always says "our Valentines hasn't happened yet, not until we're together".  He did send me a lovely bouquet of flowers, well they would have been if the delivery company was competent :(  The delivery got all messed up, then I couldn't pick them up like I was supposed to.  By the time I actually had them, they were wilted and died a few days later :(  Of course Nathan felt awful (even though it wasn't his fault), but thankfully they not only fully reimbursed him but offered him a free replacement bouquet :D  He hasn't ordered them yet, but I am super excited to get some purdy flowers.  I ended up spending quality time with my grandparents, I gave my grandmother a valentine with word search book and that made her happy.  My grandfather however, was more difficult to figure out what he'd like.  So I did what I do best, I baked him a treat!  Of course I sent enough over so my grandmother could enjoy them too ;)

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies (via Hershey's)
3/4C cocoa
1/2tsp baking soda
2/3C butter, melted and divided
1/2C boiling water
2C sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3C flour
1tsp vanilla
1/4tsp salt
1C semi sweet chocolate chips
6Tbs butter, softened
2 2/3C powdered sugar
1/2C cocoa
1/3C milk
1tsp vanilla

1)  Heat the oven to 350F.  Grease 13"x 9"x2" baking pan or 2 8" square baking pans.

2)  Combine cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl; stir in 1/3C butter.

3)  Add boiling water; stir until mixture thickens.

4)  Blend in sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3C butter.

5)  Add flour, vanilla, and salt; blend well.

6)  Add chocolate chips.  

7)  Pour into prepared pan(s).  Bake for 35-40 minutes for the rectangular pan, and 30-35 minutes for the square pans.  Or until the brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.

8)  While brownies are baking, prepare the frosting.  Beat butter in medium bowl.

9)  Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Additional milk may be needed.

10)  Stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2C.

 11)  Cool brownies completely in pan.  Frost with prepared butter cream.  Garnish with additional chocolate chips, if desired.  Cut into squares.
I may have taste tested it lol

 I thought I would try to be fun and cute by cutting out valentine themed brownies.  This was easier said then done lol, I don't think this particular recipe is solid enough.  However, I will share what I attempted lol :p
A penguin, because they only have one mate for life.  So frickin' adorable lol

Two hearts, lol that needs some additional shaping.

 This recipe, although may not be solid enough for cookie cutters, it is very yummy.  They're very moist, and deliciously sinful with chocolate.  I don't normally care for anything overly chocolatey, but these are so delicious that I may have ate more than one.  Okay, okay more than two :(  It's not my fault, I was sad because I was without my soul mate on a day meant to celebrate love.  Although as I'm writing this I realize that Nathan and I don't need one day, because he try to celebrate each other and our relationship all the time.  I know I'm cheesy, lol but y'all love me and therefore my cheesiness ;)

Tomorrow I've got a non dessert recipe to share with y'all, but something savory and equally delicious!  Until next time....

Stay sweet,

Jennifer xoxoxo 

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