Whats Cooking Wednesday: S’mores Brownies!

Y’all!

Oh. My. Lawd!

Ok, first some backstory: About 2 months ago, as I was scrolling through facebook I saw this amazing food video about s’mores brownies. Of course I shared it to my wall and tagged my brother-in-law who LOVES brownies. When i say LOVES, I mean if he could live off Dr. Pepper, white bread, beer, and brownies…he would, and pretty much does. I had seen it a few times from various shares but put it in the back of my mind of my “foodie back burner”.

Fast forward to present day: While i  directwas at work I got this overwhelming craving for s’mores and my foodie brain remembered “S’mores Brownies!!”. So off to the store i go for supplies and as soon as I get home I get started on this delicious adventure to make these brownies.

It was fairly easy and straight forward. The video directions were actually really good!

Here’s the original video:
Smores Brownies

Here’s what I did:

S’mores Brownies

Ingredients:
1 Box (13×9 family size) of Brownie Mix
Vegetable Oil (as box instructions direct)
Water (as box instructions direct)
Eggs (as box instructions direct)
6-8 Regular Size Hershey Chocolate Bars
20 Jumbo Size Marshmallows (or as your preference directs you, i used a few more)
Graham Crackers (as your preference directs you)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F
Grease 13×9 cake pan (trust me, you don’t want to forget this step!)
Mix brownies as the box instructs (mine said 1/2C Oil, 1/4C Water, 2 Eggs)
Pour 1/2-3/4 of brownie mix into greased cake pan
Place graham crackers in layer over brownie mix
Lay Hershey Bars over graham crackers
Put Marshmallows on top of Hershey Bars
Pour remaining brownie mix over marshmallows
Bake for 30 minutes. Marshmallows will be toasty brown, and it may look like you have a marshmallow/chocolate lava thing instead of s’mores brownies, but that’s ok…it will all cool and settle and be delicious!
Let cool until chocolate and marshmallows are set, maybe about 15-20 minutes (you dont want to eat it right out of the oven, you will get burned from the molten sugar!), cut and enjoy!

Here’s how mine turned out:
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This was taken after it has cooled (notice how the marshmallows have settled/sunk)…right before i cut into it! yum yum!

What does yours look like? How did yours turn out? Let me know!

Happy Eating Friends!!

~Deborah

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A Letter to My Mom on Mother’s Day

Hi Mom,

Happy Mother’s Day!

How are you?

How are things going?

What are you up to?

Anything new going on?

I miss you.

It’s Mothers Day. Its my 10th without you. You would think I would be better at this by now…better at being without you… At this point I don’t think I ever will be. I don’t know if i will ever simply “get use to it”. Or maybe its just the past few years…

Three years ago I was planning my wedding, and preparing to move in with my fiance (now husband) for the first time.

Last year I had just found out I was pregnant with our first child (what would have been your first grandchild).

This year I have a beautiful daughter, a wonderful reason to celebrate Mother’s Day!

…and all I keep feeling is this gigantic hole in my soul because you would have been here for all of it. You would have been here every step of the way. You would be here to answer my call at 2am when I cant get her to stop crying and I don’t know whats wrong. You would call after every one of her check ups because you would remember when they were and would want to know how much she’s grown and how perfect the pediatrician says she is. You would be here enjoy her coo’s, her playful smile, and all the beautiful things about her that make her unique and amazing! You would be here every step of the way.

Its been a bittersweet day. As much as I love her, as much joy and light as she brings into my life… I also miss you. Its strange to be a mother and an adult, but still feel like a girl who just wants her mom. I still want to pick up the phone and call you. I still want to make plans for our next visit together. I still want learn from you. I still want to learn about you. I know I said I would be OK, but I wasn’t done yet. I still needed you, and I still need you. Does that ever change? I’m beginning to think not… But I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m navigating this foreign territory of motherhood the very best I can. I wish you were here to help guide me, but I have a wonderful fist mate (my husband), and an excellent navigator (my mother-in-law) I also have several people at the ready should I need assistance (and I know I will!).

I know you had to go. If I could have you back but you had to be as sick as you were before, I wouldn’t do it. I know you’re in a better place. I know you are no longer plagued with sickness, immobility, or the weight of a disease you had no control over (which really pissed you off), and I would never take that from you! You raised me to be independent, self-sufficient, and strong! That’s what I have been trying to be. That’s what I will continue to be.  That’s who I will teach my daughter to be. But I still miss you. I still wish you could be here. I still mourn not only for my loss, but the loss she will endure because she will only know you through someone else’s memories. I hope that’s enough for her, some days it’s not enough for me.

I guess what it all boils down to, in my very wordy and sporadic way, is I miss you Mom. I love you. I hope I’m turning out to be a daughter and a mother you could have been proud of. I did, after all, have the best example. As much as we (my brother and I) know we were loved, I hope you know you were/are as well. You were our biggest fan, loudest cheerleader, teacher, helper, counselor, activities director, motivator, our best advocate. You were my best friend. You were, are, and always will be my mother. My only hope is that I can live up to your example, and the example set by all the wonderful maternal figures I have been blessed with.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

I miss you. I love you!

~Your Deborah

 

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Bacon Wrapped Ranch Chicken

Hi Friends!

It has been a very long time since my last post, and I apologize. Life took a very interesting turn last year when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child! In September we found out we were expecting a little girl, and in December she was born! We could NOT be more thrilled and parenthood has settled in with us just fine. Our daughter is healthy, strong, and beautiful!!! Alas, that is not the subject of this post (although I’m sure it will be the subject of many other posts). Today I want to tell you about Bacon Wrapped Ranch Chicken.

Here’s the link to the original recipe: Tasty Bacon Ranch Chicken

I tried the recipe exactly as it is, and I could barely taste the ranch dressing, so I got a dry ranch seasoning packet and coated the chicken in that before I wrapped it in bacon and grilled it. Oh yeah, I grilled it instead of baking it (indirect medium heat for 30 minutes, or until bacon is cooked).

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This is how it came out! It was very good. I think next time I will put MORE cheese on top and put it in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese and make it extra gooey! As always, make changes, play around with the recipe, make it your own, and have fun!

Let me know whats been cooking at your place recently, if this worked for you, or how you made this recipe your own.

Happy Cooking Friends!!

~Deborah

I Miss You

I miss you.

I miss talking to you for hours at a time about absolutely nothing.
I miss knowing you”re only a phone call away.
I miss your voice and the sound of your laugh.
I miss your words of advice and comfort when life takes unexpected turns.
I miss your hugs, and the way you held on no matter what.
I miss your tenacity and stubbornness.
I miss the way you stood up for those closest to you.
I miss not getting to ask you questions.
I miss your encouragement, and support of the choices I made/was making.
I missed you at your sons graduation.
I missed you while planning my wedding.
I missed you being there next to me on my wedding day

I will miss you not being there to find out I’m expecting.
I will miss you when I have questions about expecting.
I will miss you when youre not their for the birth of your grandchildren.
I will miss not getting to hear them call you “Grandma”.
I will miss getting to see you spoil them.
I will miss all the lessons they will never get to learn from you.

Mostly though Mom, I just miss you. I really miss you.

The MS Walk is tomorrow and I am not able to go. It was a last minute decision to even sign-up (literally, I found out about it 2 weeks ago and signed up on a whim), but since I haven’t raised any funds for the event, and I hate going to things empty handed, I’m not going to go this year…

However, i have decided to really put some effort into the event for next year. I want to get involved with the local MS Chapter, and do this thing next year. Actually TRY to be part of this thing. For so long I have avoided anything to do with MS. After losing my mother to MS, I couldn’t be around people who had been dealing with MS for years and still had their mobility, their health, their lives. It made me so ANGRY! Why do they get to have it for 20, 30, 50 years and only have some blurry vision and balance issues, and my beautiful, smart, vibrant mother lost everything within 10 years. My brother and I lost everything within 10 years. I couldn’t deal with anger, grief, sadness, and ENVY of seeing others living active lives with MS.

I won’t lie, I still get angry. I still am dealing with the grief and sadness. And I’m still envious of those who get to keep their loved ones, and those who can maintain their independence and mobility with such a debilitating disease. All those feelings dont feel as crushing now. I can handle it all now, at least I feel like I can. My mothers experiences were life changing for my whole family, but if I can help someone else get thru something similar, if I can help someone else see a bit of silver lining, them it will not be in vain. My mothers life with all mean something to those who knew and loved her, but by sharing her battle with MS, her struggle would not have been in vain. For her, I can do this.

She always had a way of bringing out the best in me. I miss that part of me the most. But I miss her most of all.

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Impossibly Easy Chicken Pot Pie

As the weather turns colder (or as the cold fronts start to roll thru the South Texas area), its time to pull out all our “Cold Weather Favorites”.

Chicken Pot Pie is a favorite of my husband, and when I told him that’s what we were having for dinner last night, he was so excited he couldn’t contain a smile! As we started to smell it baking in the oven, his excitement grew. When we finally got to try it, he had two bowls of it!

I know a dish is successful when my husband goes back for more!

So here’s the Recipe:

Impossibly Easy Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 2/3 cups Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup cut-up cooked chicken
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup Original Bisquick™ mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Direction

  • Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased glass pie plate, 9×1 1/4 inches.
  • Stir together remaining ingredients with fork until blended. Pour into pie plate.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown

That’s it friends! I added some chopped up celery, used cream of mushroom instead of chicken because that’s all i had, and added some salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, and a dash or so of cumin for that warm flavor. It was super delicious, and my husband has already requested it again for a future date sometime soon!

The most important thing in a dish like this is to do what feels right, thats what cooking is all about. Let me know how this turns out for you!

Good Luck and Happy Eating Friends!!

❤ ~Deborah

Warmth

Today is a cold, wet, yucky day in the South Texas. When the weather gets like this I pull out my crockpot and Dutch oven and put them to work with soup, stews, and Chili!!! Chi is one of our favorites, and there’s nothing better than a steamy bowl of thick, hearty chili covered in cheese!

Yum yum!

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It may not be the best picture with lighting, it warmed the tummy, brightened our day, and made this married couple very warm and happy!

Natural World

There are 3 or 4 different areas I go to run. One is right by my house, one is on one of the pretties streets, right on the bay, another is on a local university campus where these lovely flowers grow.

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My favorite color is purple! Seeing this flower on the back half of my run was an encouragement that if this beautiful plant can grow and thrive, so can I…we just have to keep at it!

Landmark

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Thanksgiving First!

But, Christmas is coming! This is my favorite time of year! I love the Holidays! As I’m getting ready for the season, I’m starting to accumulate decorations for this year, and going they decorations from last year making sure everything is still intact, still in working condition, and if not starting to take steps to make sure everything is ready to go.
I love looking at old Christmas ornaments. It’s like looking at a roadmap of your life, each ornament is a landmark of a special time, event, place, or memory.

Last year was our first Christmas married, and the picture is our first ornament on our first tree together! It’s our first Christmas landmark, and I love it. The ornament may not be the most elaborate, brightest, or even the prettiest (I think it is) ornament on the tree…it’s ours, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Happy Holidays Friends!!!

Connection

My mother passed before I was married. Planning a wedding, and walking down the aisle without her there was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do (so far). As hard as all that was, I have a ring I wear everyday that was hers. I never saw her without it, so when she passed it was the one thing I wanted, and I got it (among other things).
My brother, does not have that luxury. He is autistic, and mentally handicapped. He is 22 years old and functions as an 8 year old (on a good day). The things I have of our mothers I guard closely because they cannot be replaced and he is known for his destructive tendencies when he’s having a fit. On my wedding day though, I knew he would be missing her as much as I was so I have him a piece of her for the day. He wore HER wedding rings on a chain all day. He had a tangible price of her to hold onto just like I did. He could feel it’s weight. He could feel it like a hug around his neck, like a life line she had thrown out to him that connected them together tangibly for the day.

We both cried, and hugged, and he wore them proudly for the whole world to see. And at the end of the day, he gave them back for me to hold and keep safe, knowing they would be there whenever he needed them again.

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Solitude

I have found that I really enjoy running…or as I call it, walking interrupted by slowly jogging. Bt I really enjoy it. I think I enjoy it so much because it’s just my dog and I, and the run. Whatever’s going on, whatever’s happening, I have that time where it’s just us. It’s my time to be with and work through my thoughts if I need to.
And I get one on one time with my very pretty dog.

So my picture for solitude was taken on my run at a new trail we found the other day.

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