Let me just say these will satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether your in a pinch or just want to spend less time in the kitchen, these simple brownies will be a hit, and no one will know if they are homemade or boxed mix. Dress up plain brownies ready for a special feast or potluck in 5 minutes.
~Start with you favorite brownies. Here is a from scratch recipe, I doubled it for thick chocolate lover brownie in a 9 X 13 (deep) pan. Otherwise have a 9 X 13 pan of brownies cooled.
~First, with 1 cup of softened butter, cream in 1 cup of peanut butter.
~When creamed together, add 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.
~ Add 3 tablespoons of milk to get frosting at the appropriate consistency. You can add up to 2 more tablespoons if you really just want a thin layer of peanut butter frosting.
~Top cooled brownies with frosting.
~ Gently sprinkle 1 Cup of Reese’s pieces candy overtop the frosting. Let sit.
~Locate one 9 X9 baking pan. Grease or line with parchment paper.
Fudge Brownie Recipe
~In a warm glass bowl, place (10) Tablespoons of unsalted butter that is softened. Add 1 & 1/4 Cups of sugar, 3/4 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir and blend. Warm if needed to blend cocoa and butter better.
~Next, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 eggs. (Whip in 1 at a time.)
~ Lightly over the top, sprinkle in a 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour. Beat thoroughly.
*The batter should begin to look well blended, but thick and shiny. If you are adding nuts, now is the time. (Optional nuts- 2/3 Cups)
~BAKE. After 22 minutes of biking the brownies at 325 degrees, you should have beautiful fudgy brownies. (You can test with a toothpick to see if they are finished.) Remove from oven and ENJOY!
Tamatillos are one of the favorite items to plant in our garden. I say one, because they are up there among the tomatoes, peppers, onions and eat before you get to the house fresh produce!
Many people consider staples to be only their rice, sugars, flours, etc. In our household, I believe ketchup and salsa are staples too. Salsa, pickles and applesauce take the majority of our canning shelf in quantity. One year we decided to branch out with some tomato experimenting of varieties, kinds, flavors and their relatives. Ground cherries and tomatillos were a hit! Unintentionally, the following year, we found they reseeded themselves and we had load of tomatillos, hence the search for a deliciously canned Salsa Verde. Here is a simple recipe that may be easily converted to your pantry canning section. Even better, it takes less that 10 minutes to make. This recipe is for either 1 (28oz) can of tomatillos OR about 20 freshly prepared tomatillos.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
~1 (28oz) can of tomatillos OR **about 20 freshly prepared tomatillos
~3 Tablespoons of diced jalepenos ** 1-2 fresh from the garden (washed & seeded)
~1 medium bunch of cilantro
~ 1/2 to 2/3 Cup of Sugar (your preference)
Add all the items to your blender or food processor. (If you are adding canned items, drain the juice first). Blend until smooth. Add more peppers or sugar as desired to your taste buds.
Best with tortilla chips, tacos and your favorite Mexican dishes, AND fry bread. I store in mason jars in the refrigerator. However, it is not shelf stable as is, check your USDA canning guide (NIFA) for instructions.
Happy Homemaking! Enjoy!
*As with any recipe you can very finely dice your items if you do not have a blender or food chopper/ processor. (We actually prefer it this way.) You can also do what my children love to do… take a 1/2 cup of guacamole and add 3 large spoonfuls of the fresh Salsa Verde and use for toppings.
*A wonderful recipe for a quick dip or last minute gift idea. It is delicious as is, unique and healthy.
However, if you are not in a hurry, whether gifting or canning; consider roasting your tomatillos and jalapenos first for the best flavor. Also maybe add some garlic, onions and lime juice to flavor it up a bit. 🙂
Hand in all your paperwork prior to the first day. Whether we are talking childcare center, an in home daycare, the YMCA services, a new babysitter or private school; HELP by submitting a thorough child information form and other paperwork. Overall it helps those providing support and care to have an idea of your child, a peek into their personality or likes/dislikes, etc. Any good teacher or provider, will really look at this if you hand it in prior to your child coming to help them have a great first day! (Even down to a favorite snack or food item.)
Make accommodations for the drop off time. For example, if it is usually 6 A.M. and all the other kids get there at that time, ask your teacher or provider if you can come 15-30 minutes earlier or later. This will allow the teacher or provider to have the other children settled and their day to begin, in return, giving him/her the ability to have the child’s undivided attention.
Talk about it. Encourage your child to pack a back pack! Help them be excited about going to a new place, new friends and how much fun it will be! Leaving your precious one is hard, don’t make it harder on yourself by leaving a screaming child and wondering how long he/she cried. Your new program, teacher, and/or provider wants you to have a great first day back ALONG WITH your child, they really do care!
Should crying occur. (As you know, is very common!) Keep it low key. If you panic or “baby it” they will only respond. It could be to pour it on thicker so you’ll feel bad and take them home. Or just respond to you and your emotions.(You’re upset, so they will be too.) It’s natural! To have that bond AND your child’s heart, it’s beautiful! A good program, provider and/or teacher doesn’t want to mess that up, only build it up. (That takes parents understanding and involvement too.) Perhaps offer your child a quick support cue, then divert their attention to a neat toy, a fun project, breakfast, or whatever is happening in the room. Say goodbye and head out. Most children do adapt quickly. Yes, sometimes it does depend on the teacher and provider too. Each deals with it as they see “best” for you and your child. ***Personally, I want the children to know mom/dad/ or caretaker is leaving, BUT they’ll be back. It builds that trust for the next time that guardian/parent leaves. It seems to greatly reduce the “sadness period” too. This isn’t because of me, it is usually because of good parents. ~A child maybe little, but from birth they learn and develop trust. Whether or not they even talk, they are watching. If they’re hungry, you feed them. If tired, you put them to bed, etc. When dropped off in a new setting, it’s hard for both sides, teachers/caretakers KNOW, CARE and UNDERSTAND this fact! They are there to help build up this trust you have already started.
A personal item, toy or stuffed animal can also help. It can be packed in the bag or carried in. Now depending on the program, provider and/or teacher, this may be a violation of a “personal rule or policy”. It doesn’t hurt to ask though. Sometimes a simple squeeze of something from home is enough to help them continue their day.
Lastly, these seem simple. That is because we really do know what our children need. We know the things that help them have good days, or the things they really dislike-things we could possibly avoid. When utilizing these things we set a precedent, not just one day, perhaps how the whole school year will go… We want it the best, because that is the recipe for how our child will learn and develop the best!
Another thought, when looking at these points, if this does not describe your child’s current daycare, teacher, preschool, caretaker, etc. perhaps it is not the best option for your child. You and your child deserve the best. I understand sometimes options are limited, but also know you can tell or not if it’s a good fit for your child. Which, in return, will give your child every opportunity to grow and advance in his/her development at maximum capacity.
Are you ready for spring? It is such a joy when the seed catalogs begin to surprise us with their arrival. At last, there is hope for summer! Each year life seems to get busier and busier.
I do notice however, no matter how often we say, “Maybe we shouldn’t plant as big of a garden,” it seems to somehow get bigger. How is that? LOL!
We love the fresh garden produce, and even though it involves extra work in our busy schedule, we all LOVE it! It is such a blessing and so exciting to see the ground come to life again after a fierce winter. Well, enough excitement to keep us growing more and more.
We are now up to several miscellaneous growing patches around the yard and three extra large garden plots. Praise the Lord! For this, we are fortunate enough to put up a lot for winter and have plenty to share. With a bit of wiggle room to expand and explore together as a family a particular “project produce” for that year. So far we ave ventured into varieties of tomatoes, corns, beans, peppers, onions, root vegetables, and last year was loads of squashes. Okay, so a bit nerdy at heart, but still, it is SO MUCH FUN! We try a few new varieties, some new techniques or “tricks’ that may help produce a higher yield, and etc. We have learned so much along the way, maybe even a few cheats that allow about the same yield, maybe a “tad less” BUT with a lot less work! 😉
As the seed catalogs arrive, my young boy is the first to scour. Shortly he asked about specific seed, so he could have an entire garden plot. Specifically, so he can plant one entire field by hand with sweet corn. It is so sweet to see his excitement!
I absolutely LOVE that our children delight in gardening and help each year willingly. It is even more exciting to see them branch out AND to additionally want to embrace gardening more “independently”. (Beyond their tire or garden box beds.) By planting their own garden plot, they learn so much and love to “study” that particular plant. We all learn details!
Making a relate-able turn here, the post is to explain a new experiment we are wanting to try outside the gardens to expand and create more space for other vegetables. Our growing family puts up a lot of potatoes, and honestly it is a “no fail” great crop around us. Soil wise and weather, if it’s a poor year for gardening, the potatoes seem to always make the difference with their high yield as to not be a “bad season”. Also, because of this, it’s been good enough reason not to change our method. I mean why fix what isn’t broken?
This method is not new, in fact it is very old. Several different people have put their spin on it and claimed a similar method with a different name. However, I have to give credit to my first findings on this method and that is Ruth Stout.
We have embraced container, bucket, Kratky method, lasagna gardening and a few other methods to save space in our main gardens. All have been done small scale as trials and were successful. All of this allows us to grow more for our family, have fun and experiment outside the box a bit.
So, we have decided we are going to do an extra large plot of potatoes using the Ruth Stout method. Since this is our new yearly garden project, we are also going to try an additional 6 potato varieties (we usually do 2-3 main growers) and try to supply several hundred pounds of potatoes in our winter root cellar. A little ambitious, but I believe very achievable.
My thoughts to you are? Do you always plant the same things, same seed, same variety, etc.? Also, do you also do it the same way? Or do you use a different method for the crop and it’s varieties?
Along this journey we have found some amazing, “non traditional AND traditional” farmers & gardeners. I LOVE their shared wisdom!!! In the meantime, happy gardening! Happy Homemaking!