Last week I was happily surprised to find out Life Beyond Graduation nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award. How sweet and unexpected! Thank you J I’m so glad people are reading and enjoying my work.
There are a few guidelines, however, that come with accepting this honor:
- Thank the person who nominated you for the blog.
- Display the One Lovely Blog Award on your blog.
- Share seven things about yourself.
- Nominate fifteen bloggers you admire. Inform them by commenting on their blog.
Now on to the seven things about myself:
- I have the same breakfast almost every morning: Plain Almond Dream yogurt, raspberries, homemade granola, and tea with vanilla almond milk.
- I never miss an episode of Pretty Little Liars.
- I love the summer, but get cranky if the temperature is over 75 degrees.
- My phone is currently without a case. So I’m pretty much the ultimate rebel.
- I prefer Pepsi to Coke.
- I love the smell of gasoline.
- Flying on airplanes makes me bloat and puff up like a balloon.
The fifteen bloggers I admire are:
- 3 Kids and a Breakdown
- A Beautiful Mess
- A Cup of Jo
- Advice from a Twenty Something
- All & Sundry
- Better By Dr. Brooke
- Broke & Beautiful
- Brown-Eyed Baker
- Girls Gone Strong
- John Lee Bell
- Mollie in Seattle
- Putting Me Together
- Rouge 18
- Taryn Cox The Wife
- Tipsy Writer
I’ve been a very bad blogger, my apologies. I’ll make it up to you, I swear.
Here’s what’s been keeping me away from the blog lately:
- Finals – My poetry class has required a lot of reading (duh), and it’s almost over. I’ve been studying like crazy and preparing for that.
- Breaking Bad – M and I started watching a little while ago and we cannot. stop. watching.
- Summer – It’s nice out, and I’ve been spending time enjoying it.
That’s all, really…. But like I said, I’ll make it up to you and be much better about updating from now on. In the meantime, here’s a picture of cuteness.
I haven’t posted anything related to my Brownie Face-Off in quite some time, even though I’ve made brownies since posting about the Supernatural Brownies – though most of those brownies were just Supernatural ones. I have tried making black bean brownies recently, though, which I will be sure to post about soon.
Anywho, M had been “gently suggesting” that I bake for him recently. I have a whole cache of brownie recipes on my Brownie Face-Off Pinterest board, so I thought I should start getting to work on that.
As you know, if you follow my blog with ardent regularity (I’m looking at you, no one!), the bench mark upon which I grade my brownies is the Supernatural Brownie. It is uh-maze-ing. Life changing… that is if your life revolves around chocolate, which, lets be honest, mine pretty much does. Here are my Brownie Face-Off parameters:
- Moistness – I don’t like cakey brownies. The denser, the better!
- Chocolatiness – Must be ultra chocolatey to win my seal of approval.
- Lack of coffee – SO MANY recipes call for espresso powder in their brownies. I don’t like this.
- Ease – I don’t want anything ridiculously hard to prepare.
Being the organized lady I am, I am going in order down my Pinterest list. So, without further ado, I give you: Fudge Brownies.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (I omitted this because blecky)
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (I also used some semisweet)
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- Line a standard 9 x 13 inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and
espresso powderinto a bowl and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate with the sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a double boiler or heavy-bottomed pan until completely melted.
- While still warm, transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low for 30 seconds, then add the eggs, one a time, beating after each addition until well combined.
- Mix in the flour mixture you set aside, then raise the speed to medium and beat for another 30 to 45 seconds until the batter is shiny.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. If the batter is still warm, it will ooze into the cake pan. If it has cooled, use an offset spatula to smooth into place.
- Bake the brownies until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pan or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let brownies cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
- Ideally, cut them while still a tad warm, so as not to break the brownies too much. Serve immediately or keep in airtight container for up to 1 week.
At this point, I was too busy eating them that I forgot to take a picture of the final product, so here’s what they look like from the website I got the recipe from:
These brownies were really, really delicious. These are legit fudgy, too. But, are they are good as the Supernatural Brownies? M didn’t remember, but he liked that these had a bit of a crust on top, which he didn’t remember the Supernaturals having. I think the Supernatural Brownies are a tad better. So I will rate these a 19/20. Just cause they aren’t quite as amazeballs as the Supernaturals.
But still, go make these. TODAY. RIGHT NOW.
It’s almost Christmas! Can you even believe it? It seems like it came out of nowhere.
Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I have very fond memories of Christmas going way back. One of my favorites is picking out what I thought was a very glamorous pin for my mom at Lamont’s (remember when that was a place? Me neither.) with my dad’s supervision. It was a hideous fake gold and sapphire thing, but she wore it proudly many times and still keeps it in her jewelry box.
On another Christmas my dad ran out of wrapping paper, so he found newspaper that had photos of Santa Claus on it and wrapped my mom’s presents in that. I also remember he was able to curl wrapping paper to make ribbons. I still have no idea how he did that.
One memory/tradition my mom and I have that we carried on after Dad passed away is watching the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sim. When I first saw it with my parents when I was very young, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come scared me and we had to turn it off. I got over that, and Mom and I have watched it every Christmas Eve since. We also include a fun movie, like To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar or The Devil Wears Prada. Now that M is along for the ride, we get some eye rolling about the chick flicks, so this year our additional movie is the M-requested Scrooged.
One last thing: I used to make very long, very detailed Christmas lists. My siblings still tease me about the indexes I would hand out each year, complete with catalog page number (remember the Sears/J.C. Penney holiday toy catalogs? Those things were the BEST.), size, price, etc. In a similar vein I have created my current Christmas wish list in the form of this month’s Lust List. Feel free to get me everything on it, and some other stuff. Like jewels.