Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Caramel Coconut Fudgy Brownie - Blogiversary

Welcome! Who would have thought that six years ago when I started this that I would actually have followers, readers and fans. I am humbled and very thankful. Six years! WOW

June is a huge celebration month.
June 1st my youngest son's wedding 5th anniversary 
6/2 the anniversary of my Daddy passing RIP 5 years
6/8  my birthday the big 29 cough...with 23 experience
6/9 my oldest son's birthday..31
6/11 oldest friend's (oldest because we've known each other our entire lives) birthday..52
6/12 my blogiversary..6 years
6/23 Sissy's birthday...we'll leave that year blank
6/26 Sissy's daughter, my heart daughter, 28th birthday
Add to that a dozen friends who are celebrating either birthday's or anniversarys AND 6 blog challenge post. A busy month as you can see.

To make it even more special...my dear friend and fellow blogger Tamara from Part-Time Working Hockey Mom aka The Three Gerbers, is also celebrating her blogiversary. We have been at this for SIX years. I mentioned to her that we were both celebrating in June and she suggested we post together as a party/celebration. I thought it was a great idea. So this post is dedicated to 'us'.

Let's take a look back...my very first blog post. HERE
My favorite post...HERE
Your favorite post...HERE (based on statics from my blog)
My 2016 birthday post HERE because it is one of my favorite cakes!
My birthday post for this year. HERE
HERE
For this post, I'm sharing and celebrating lots of milestones and this killer recipe. I was walking around the grocery store and my husband's words ringing in my head. He wanted me to pick up something sweet. Wasn't I enough? LOL but seriously, I was thinking what junk do I want to buy. Nothing. Then I thought, chocolate, brownies, oooh wait! I LOVE the GS cookies, you know the ones, with caramel and coconut. Mmm mmm good. What if I made a brownie to replicate or resemble the cookie? Oh yeah that sounded good to me.

Here is what I came up with. Doesn't that look decadent? Oh it is.
I purchased a family size dark chocolate fudge brownie mix, the reason is because I rarely bake anymore and didn't want to purchase all the ingredients to make brownies from scratch.

Dark chocolate Fudge brownie mix, prepare according to package
I baked mine in a pie pan but you can use whatever pan you prefer.
Once it was in the pan I sprinkled on graham cracker crumbs to resemble the cookie.
Then raw unsweetened coconut sprinkled on the crumbs.
Last I drizzled caramel sauce all over the top.
Bake
Topped with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with more caramel sauce.
When it was baked and cooled, the top had formed a crust, so the top was crunchy and the brownie soft moist and fudgy. Oh man!



Part of the celebration in this post includes the Liebster award. Tamara was nominated and she nominated me! How cool is that? Confused...here's the details.
Liebster Award
"Liebster" is a German word meaning beloved or dearest. It is an online recognition in form of virtual award which started in 2011 passed on by bloggers to fellow bloggers for enjoying and valuing their work. The idea is to recognize the effort and give credit.

The Liebster Award is interesting in that anyone nominated for it receives it by writing an acceptance post. The rules for accepting the award are straightforward:
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
  • Nominate 11 people and ask them 11 questions.
  • Notify each of the nominees on their blog.
Through the years, the logo has changed as well as the suggested requirements to participate. Here is the LINK to my old acceptance, with its requirements and here is the new logo...
Nominees, should you choose to accept your award, here are your questions:

1.How did you decide to start your blog? 
In June of 2012 my friends encouraged me to write a blog. They were always after my recipes and this would be an easy way for them to find them when needed. Being a new empty nester it also gave me something to do.
2.If you were to start over, what would you do differently?
I would purchase my own domain and hire someone to do updates.
3.If you were a fruit, which would you be and why?
An apple because they come in so many different varieties, shapes and colors plus it is a very versatile fruit.
4.What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?
Oh well don't you look nice today is it a special occasion? To me this says you normally look like crap, what made you look decent today?
5.Show me your favorite purse / bag / backpack!
Michael Kors - I love the classic timeless look of this bag.

6.What is the worst purchase you’ve ever made?
1995 we purchased a used Pontiac LeMans, it was a lemon, the worst purchase ever.
7.Chicken or Beef?
I love a good steak but when it comes to what I cook at home, chicken wins over beef.
8.What are three of your best traits? 
This could be interrupted two ways. Personality traits or physical...let's go with personality: loyal, dependable, funny
9.Have you ever impersonated someone else?
Yes and no. I can imitate most anyone if I am around them for very long but as far as doing an impersonation and dressing up as them, no.
10.What was something recent that you messed up and got away with?
Nothing that comes to mind.
11.After you survive the apocalypse, what will your job be?
Supply organizer, I'm very resourceful at finding things and I'm organized, so it just makes sense.

I am nominating the following, and I have to let them know. I know it says 11 but there were a few that I contacted first and they declined. I was a little shocked, hopefully these ladies will feel honored and accept.

Thank you all for a great 6 years and cheers to the next 6, may they be just as exciting.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Honey Bourbon Brine - Chicken KETO

Are you a fan of brine? You know the salty highly seasoned water solution that you soak meat in for 24 hours. I'm not. I have tried it, now three times. None of the three have I enjoyed.
The ONLY reason I'm sharing this is because someone might like it. Like I said, I'm not a fan of brine, but I thought this would be good. No. It wasn't, well not to me. My husband ate it but wasn't a fan either.
If you try it, let me know. Are you a fan?
Brine mix
4 cups tea
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup salt
2 bay leaves
1 lemon sliced
2 oz bourbon
Place all ingredients in a gallon size zip top bag and drop in your chicken, on the bone or boneless, whichever you prefer. Place the bag in a bowl, in case there is leakage, place in the fridge for 24 hours. Drain the chicken and cook or grill.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce and Chocolate Whipped Cream -Truth or Dare - BWF - June

Welcome to the June edition of  Blogging With Friends. Each month we choose a theme, always different and sometimes relative to the month/holiday coming up. Since we are all different "types" of bloggers our interpretation of the theme will vary greatly from one blog to the other.
I was out voted this month. Our theme is "truth or dare", which I honestly was not a fan of. You may ask why and I'll explain. Have you seen the commercial for the new horror movie? I had, and when I saw this as a potential theme I cringed. No way did I want to do it but alas here we are.
Also, truth or dare brought up some very unhappy teen memories. 

Dare I share? Well, that is the theme...when I was 14 I had a horrible crush on this guy. He was 18. One morning my friends and I were standing out front of the school, waiting on the bell. In pulls this car, music blaring and JJ got out. His brother, Roger, my crush was driving. He said "hey you girls want to have some fun?" My friend Kim ran to the car. The rest of us looked at each other. She was leaning in the window and talking to him. Then she turns around and says "come on!!" so we did. I have no idea what in heavens name possessed me that morning. But I got in the car and away we sped. OH MY GOSH I was skipping school AND with an 18 year old no doubt. My mother was going to kill me, I could see the newspaper headlines now. "LOCAL GIRL KILLED BY IRRATE MOTHER" or "LOCAL GIRL KILLED FOR SKIPPING SCHOOL, LET THAT BE A LESSON TO YOU ALL". 
We drove for what seemed like an hour, and it was close to it. He pulled in a local mom and pop store, and came out with beer. OH MY GOSH, yep, that did it, that sealed my faith. I was dead. Because if my mother didn't kill me, my dad would surely kill this guy.
Then we drove to his house. It was a cute house, surrounded by trees, perfect for a murder. Yes I've always had a dark mind. We sat around the living room, smoking cigarettes and being cool. He popped a top, drank it down and Kim grabbed one. She was the "cool" kid, daring, rebellious, my alter ego. She pushed a bottle towards me. "HERE Dawn, drink one", "no I'm okay." She laughed "oooh are you scared. I dare you." And so the day began. One dare after another. I "dare" you to drink a beer, I dare you to smoke a cigarette, I dare you to take a toke off this joint, I dare you to make out with Roger, I dare you to go in the bedroom with him and on and on it went.
The way the day ended is a horrible nightmare and one I'm not ready to share. But I will say this, NO I did not cower in every dare. I did not make out with him, I did not have sex or give him a hickie and yes Kim and the rest of my "friends" made fun of me. The goody goody girl. I was scared, embarrassed and then I was mad as hell. These were not my friends. Friends didn't treat friends like this. I did say no. I did not give in and "truth or dare" has always been a phrase that gets my dander up and brings on heightened anxiety because I see that scared 14 year old girl sitting in a house surrounded by trees and it could have very easily ended worse than it did. We were stupid to get in that car. Our parents had no way of knowing where we were or what we were doing. We didn't know him. We knew WHO he was but that's different.
Not long after that, just a few months, he shot and killed a man. His best friends father. The mom talked him in to it, offered him part of the insurance money. His best friend was an accomplice. He served 32 years in prison. So yes, it could have ended much worse.
So when I saw the movie advertise, all this came flooding back. THEN the group voted and this was chosen as a theme. Oy!

Can we talk about this for one more minute? Truth or dare, peer pressure, bullying there really isn't much difference. Were you the giver or receiver? How about your children? No I don't believe it's part of growing up, no I don't believe it's okay, yes I do think you can teach your children to be nice, kind and accepting without being door mats. It's called common decency and I believe it packed up and left. It all stems from one thing, low self esteem. If you bully someone, it is a deep rooted issue. The bully is vying for attention, self seeking, they are ultimately afraid of something. They may be receiving this at home, a dad who is trying to make him a man at 12 but really is just a mean old drunk. I'm actually going to stop right here because this is a major hot spot for me, a soap box issue.
I will say this. Teach your children kindness. Teach them to also stand up for themselves. Teach them that it's okay to be different and value their differences, strengths and stop focusing on the negative. The world will give them enough of that all too soon. Teach them to walk away even if it means being alone for a while. It is better to be alone than to walk with idiots.
Stop Bullying campaign...talk to your kids. Maybe read it and take it to heart yourself. http://stompoutbullying.org/

On to a happier topic and memory. How about this...a chocolate chip pound cake with fresh strawberry sauce and chocolate whipped cream!? Dare I? Yes this time!
The strawberry sauce you'll find HERE if you want the recipe. Yes the picture shows just chopped strawberries, I forgot to get a picture of the sauce over the cake, we were in a hurry to eat it. The down side of blogging, pictures MUST be taken first. LOL

Chocolate Whipping Cream
Homemade whipped cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup baking cocoa powder
Beat until light, fluffy and stiff peaks are formed. If you over whip, you'll end up with something close to butter and the cream will begin to break down and separate.

For the pound cake, I cheated. Yep I purchased a mix and added chocolate chips to it. You can bake your own from scratch. It will take about a dozen eggs but you will be able to control the other ingredients and less processed stuff.

That's it, simple, easy and super delicious.

Now be sure to stop by the other participants and see how they interpreted this theme.
Lydia Cluttered Genius : Survive the beach...with kids
Rabia from  The Lieber Family
 Tamara from Part Time Working Hockey Mom