Monday, January 25, 2010

brownie mix and brownies

Today was the day! I have this little obsession of getting a pretty good recipe and then adjusting it (taking out as much sugar, fat, etc. as possible and then making it as simple as possible) until it is perfect. I have been working on this one for a year or two and it may still have plenty of the make it taste great stuff but it is simple, easy and today, finally perfect.

It starts by making a mix. This simplifies the whole process by making half of a few batches of brownies all at once.

Brownie Mix
6 cups flour
8 cups sugar
2- 2 1/2 cups cocoa
2 tsp. salt

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk. Store in an airtight container. A Zip-lock bag works great but remember to label it or it may turn into a bag of brown mystery powder in the pantry. And, yes I may be talking from experience.

Preheat oven to 350.
4 cups brownie mix
1/2 cup butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt the butter and then cool to room temperature. Mix the four eggs, water and vanilla into the butter. Add this liquid to the brownie mix and stir. It will be fairly thick. Spread into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 30 to 33 minutes and, as with anything chocolate, ENJOY!

Friday, January 15, 2010

fun felt birthday cake

My girls love to play birthday party. They were always stacking up cups for the birthday cake so when I saw this cake at ikat bag I thought I would give it a try.
You first start with three foam circles. My nice husband was kind enough to cut these out with our electric carving knife. We probably only use this knife once or twice a year but it sure does come in handy. Mine were about a 4,6,8 inch circles.
I left the top two circles whole and covered them in felt but I cut the bottom piece into six pieces and then covered them individually. This way they could serve one piece cake to party guests.
The decorations and candles are the fun part. Everything sticks on with velcro. I cut out polka dots and hearts for the cake decorations.

Cut a rectangle shape out of felt.
Embellish with ribbon.
Sew in a tube shape
Cut two circles for the top and bottom.
Make a flame shape and hot glue together.
Cut a slit in top circle and insert flame and hot glue under side so it won't pull out.
Glue a small piece of velcro to the bottom piece.
Stuff and sew on top and bottom with a blanket stitch.

Make a Wish!

Monday, January 11, 2010

we LOVE birthdays

Is there anyone under that hat???

We LOVE birthdays at our house. Who doesn't? I bought this birthday hat at the dollar store a few years ago and it has become a great tradition at our house. This hat is always waiting for you at breakfast when you wake up on your birthday morning and it can be worn where ever and as much as you would like only on that their day. (We found one at Oriental Trading Co. in primary colors for Dad so he would have to wear a pink one.)

Family traditions are what make fun memories even if they are simple like this.
The other birthday traditions that our girls love are:
*Choose the menu for the day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My mom did this when I was little and I loved it.
*Other family members pick up your jobs for the day.
*You can stay in your pajamas all day if you would like.
Here was the outfit of choice for this year. Great for dancing!!!
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