Today hit a high of 50 degrees. You’d think it was spring, based on all the people I saw wearing shorts and sweatshirts around downtown Portland. It almost will be, since we dealt with freezing temperatures for about a month now. 20 degrees warmer and we’re pulling out the lighter gear and sunglasses! (Haha. Seriously though, who are these people?)
The warmer weather must be messing with my brain, because I have had sudden urges to clean out my linen closet, pantry, and deep clean the laundry room. That is where I remembered, as I was reorganizing and de-cluttering my pantry, that I had all the ingredients to make 7-layer bars. It seemed fitting, and rewarding, after all the hard work to make these simply irresistible, and super addicting, bars. Continue reading
At the school where I work, it is tradition to have a chili cook-off on the first teacher grading day of the year. It works a little something like this. You make a chili. You bring the chili to school in a crock-pot. You drop it off and someone gives you a number; that, hopefully, will be the lucky number of the day. You let it simmer all morning. You then wait for the announcement that lunch is served and the blind tasting begins. You taste all the other chilies–the traditional ones, the non-traditional ones. And then you vote for your own chili and pray you win, getting all the glory–and the silly trophy–that comes with it.
Actually, even though this tradition is all fun and games, it was a little more stress than I could handle on a grade day. It’s enough for me to agonize over giving final grades; I can’t agonize on how my chili will be stacked against others.
Well, it’s officially autumn. The leaves are falling in droves, the air is crisp and cool, and the gourds are out in full swing. The weather today has been cool and cloudy, and all I want to do is curl up with a blanket, a cup of coffee, and a good book. I wasn’t able to get in a lot of reading time today (a.k.a I-have-young-kids-and-they-don’t-sit-for-very-long), but I did make these a-m-a-z-i-n-g bars. My aunts have made them for decades and I finally asked for the recipe. Not sure what took me so long. They have the right amount of coffee flavor to chocolate chip flavor. Just perfect, if you ask me.
When I gave some to my son, he said, “Mommy, I love coffee!” Ah, yeah, let’s wait on the coffee part a little bit longer. I’ve heard it stunts your growth. Or maybe that’s an old wives’ tale, so that kids wouldn’t drink all the adults’ coffee. Not sure. Continue reading
We went on a short camping trip this past weekend, albeit the weather was windy and a bit drizzly. For me, camping is a time to relax, be with family, and eat a bunch of junk food we normally don’t eat. In fact, I take the kids with me to the grocery store and choose candy from the bin and fill up a plastic bag. It’s honestly the highlight of the kids’ summer.
Four “note-worthy” things happened while camping:
1. Matthew learned to ride a bike with no training wheels.
2. Grace learned to sort-of throw a Frisbee. It’s like a tomahawk throw, actually. The kids are finally beginning to get the concept of Frisbee golf.
3. Eric finally beat my dad at corn-hole. It’s a silly game if you ask me, but they love it, even though their shoulders are very sore the next day.
4. Matthew lost his front tooth. It was the 5th tooth he’s lost, not a huge deal, but how he lost it was pretty funny. He and Grace were playing tag and he accidentally rammed his tooth into the backside of Grace’s head. He came back crying (not Grace, surprisingly) and 5 minutes later, out popped the tooth. However, the tooth fairy couldn’t bring him anything that night, because she didn’t know that he was camping. (Thankfully he fell for it! We made up for it when we came home the next day and he received an extra coin under his pillow. “She remembered! She remembered!” he kept saying.)
I decided to make these brownies to take camping with us. Continue reading
Every year, our neighborhood has a 4th of July parade and party for the young children. It starts with a community bike ride at the end of the cul-de-sac, and ends at the local park with games and food. The kids bikes were packed (as we were going camping a few days later), so we instead we walked in the parade over to the park with the entourage of kiddos.
The weather this day was pretty cold. Last year it was in the mid 90s, which is extremely rare early July in the Pacific Northwest, but this year it was in the mid-60s. However, you wouldn’t know that based on what Grace is wearing! Kids…
Matthew and Grace participated in a three-legged race (which was a very hard concept for a 3-year-old to understand) and a gunny-sack race.
Grace fell on early in the race (sadness!) and refused to get up and continue, but Matthew was all about trying to win. (Wonder where he got that from…) Just look at that face! Continue reading
I have the lucky privilege of having my parents and my husband’s parents living close by. And I love it, because my kids get to spend time with both grandparents, something I wish I had growing up. This Mother’s Day, I had the pleasure of having my in-laws over for dinner and I decided to make this for dessert.
If I were to create a family tree with desserts, I would say that blondies are brownies’ cousin. They have so many similarities–from their chewy and fudgy texture to the unlimited add-ons and mix-ins. And, of course, they are made in a bar pan. (I have seen brownies in cupcake form, and you can try them here, but most are not. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen blondies in a cupcake. Hmmm….an idea to try another time for sure!)
Anyway, what I love about these blondies is that they have EVERYTHING–nuts, chocolate, white chocolate, coconut, and caramel. You can’t go wrong with this recipe. Continue reading
The weather in the Pacific Northwest has been unusual, to say the least. Sunny and in the 70s and 80s off and on for the past two weeks–this is not April weather people! Where’s my rain? And my cloudy, 60 degree weather? I am feeling a bit gypped by Mother Nature. It’s like winter jumped right into summer. Okay, I am beginning to sound like a whiny toddler, and I already have one of those, so two isn’t needed.
My husband and children love lemon, and, well, since it’s summer here I thought I’d make a lemon dessert. What I love about this recipe is the raspberry jam sandwiched between the crust and the lemon cream cheese layer. It adds a nice contrast. These bars are rich, so a little goes a long way. Continue reading