Lunch Lady Brownies

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Oh so chocolately, oh my!

 

 

 

When I mention lunch ladies, what comes to your mind? Long ago memories fleeting by of hairnets and flowery aprons? Sometimes kind and sweet ladies but many times grumpy stressed ladies stood before you to serve what you thought was food but you weren’t really sure  of it’s contents. I remember one lunch lady from elementary school, Mary Allbee. She always smiled at me and made me feel warm inside. I sure appreciated that during a hectic day of school and peer pressure, even in fifth and sixth grades.

 

 

 

When I remnisce about Mary, I think of the plain white bread she served with smooth and sweet peanut butter topping. It just was bread but the peanut butter sure tasted much better than ours at home. What was her secret? To this day I don’t know but it was delicous and that ‘s one of the few elementary lunch memories I have, besides the soggy limp carrot sticks my mom lovingly packed in my brown paper sack.

 

 

 

This Lunch Lady brownies recipe was shared on Facebook a few weeks back in the depth of summer. At first I thought, hmmm, I never remember great brownies baked by the lunch ladies, but maybe there were at other schools. The recipe intrigued me and I read the ingredients with a restrained awe. Then I tried them, baked them for my family and frosted them with the yummy chocolate buttercream frosting. I think the frosting made them even more delicous but I refrain from thinking that they would be good bake sale items. The frosting may be too messy to sell but great at home. The brownies are just as delicious without the frosting as well!

 

 

I share this recipe with you in hopes that you have good lunch lady memories and if you don’t, perhaps these delicious brownies can soothe your wounds. I stumbled upon this delicious recipe on Life-in-the-Lofthouse.com. Holly Lofthouse is the owner, wife and mother and has a great collection of recipes. Check it out!

 

Lunch Lady Brownies

 

1  cup butter, melted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

4 teaspoons vanilla

 

Chocolate Frosting, if desired
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup milk ( I used Lactose free but you could use 1 or 2%)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar

 

 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Combine  melted butter and cocoa powder. I mix them together with a hand mixer.

Add the flour and sugar. Beat together then add eggs and vanilla. Mix just until combined. Don’t over mix. (Batter will be thick)

 

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Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread out evenly.

 

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Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove brownies from oven and let stand 15 minutes before frosting. You want the brownies still warm when you frost them!

 

Chocolate Frosting:

Beat together all the frosting ingredients until smooth. Pour and spread over warm brownies. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Enjoy this little dose of chocolate…for we all know that women have to have their chocolate!
All My Best,
Heart and Soul

 

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The Secret to Life

Hello everyone! It’s been about two weeks since I’ve written a post. Every time I think of it something comes up and the moment rushes by. Even so, my thoughts have been with you, my fellow bloggers, friends and family who invest your precious time in my writings.  This weekend I plan to catch up with other bloggers’ posts and comment for I feel that’s just as important as writing my posts. Being a part of the blogging community has become very special to me. I love to share my thoughts and life with you all, but I also love to read what is going on with you. Keeping up on your posts  is one way I can honor this connection. It’s fun reading what you have to share including poetry, artwork and family moments. 

 

 

The next few weeks I hope to write more and post on some ideas and happenings in my life. Be on the look out for fall posts, my newest adventure in walking and a comical incident on our beach weekend. 

 

 

 

Recently Tom and I watched a funny movie, a flick we had watched many years ago but revisited it once again, City Slickers with Billy Crystal and Jack Palance. It kept us laughing and after working hard all week it’s great to sport a belly laugh whoop! Currently it’s playing on Netflix and is worth the time as the light hearted comedy soothes the soul.

 

 

 

 

city slickers
Shared from Rolling Stone.com

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever noticed when you read a book twice or repeat a movie that you notice a new detail or scene? It happens to me all the time! I want to share with you a little about the movie and the scene that struck me. Billy Crystal’s character lives in the busy hustle of the city with his wife and son. He is going through a rough patch on his 39th birthday and experiencing problems at work. It seems that he’s depressed and weary about his future. His good friend plans a cattle drive trip with Crystal and two other friends. Crystal’s wife encourages him to go and says that it would be valuable time to think about his life and what he wants.

 

 

 

 

On the Cattle drive Crystal meets the cowboy Curly, played by Jack Palance. If you have seen him in action then you know that he’s the perfect fit for the role. With nonchalant coolness coupled with a rough manner, Palance plays Curly with convincing expertise.

 

 

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Shared from Patheos.com

 

 

 

 

While Crystal gets to know Curly on the cattle drive, they share an intimate conversation regarding the meaning of life. Leather skinned Curly shares that driving the cattle with the rolling fields and the peace is his meaning in life. With a cigarette wedged in the crook of his mouth, Curly tells Crystal that there’s one secret to life and that he has to discover what that is. Once you know that secret , everything else falls into place.

 

 

 

I chewed on this thought for a few days, asking myself what was my secret to life? Sometimes you have to dig deep in your soul to answer this enigma. Other times it’s so obvious that it lies right in your lap! My secret to life was born as a simple idea in high school, family. I would doodle in my least favorite classes and dream of my husband and children. That’s where it originated and it’s  evolved as time has marched on.

 

 

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My two sons on Dylan’s high school graduation

 

 

 

I say this with complete confidence, that family has structured my life and has filled my cup overflowing. I came from a big family of four children and two hard working parents who divorced after 21 years of marriage. Our family was far from perfect, we fought like most. Despite this, we built relationships that will span our lives. Being in a big family taught me about coming together, forgiveness and what family really is all about. It’s not always perfect or ideal but it’s all we have. It’s our roots that stabilize our life and holds us to that one constant.

 

 

 

Having my husband and two sons has completed me and taught me that this unit is the strongest and the most vulnerable. Family is sharing together, trusting during easy or trying times. It is the one entity that is the glue in my life. It’s allowed me to explore motherhood, something I’m pretty good at and enjoy with all my heart. Being a mother is part of this secret of life and will stay with me until I die. Secondly I cherish being a wife and sharing my life with my husband. As we explore life without the boys here, we have become closer in a new way.

 

 

 

 

What’s that one special thing…your secret to a good life? Everyone has the one secret to living a life of their dreams. Maybe it’s your family, your growing career or service to others. I encourage you to ponder over this question. Maybe it’ll be an instant no brainer answer or it may take you awhile to realize what that one secret of life is. Once you know, hold on to it and cherish it.

 

 

 

My sons a few years back….in their cool phase!

 

Blessings to you all as this day marches on. I hope you all enjoy your day!~

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

A Little Sign

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Have you ever been on vacation or a get away and stumbled upon a surprise, a gentle reminder of God’s love? I have,  on my camping trip with Theo, my mother in law and friend. As far as I’m concerned the gift was no coincidence…

 

I sat on a metal folding beach chair when my right foot skated across a smooth surface, a rock. It was partially hidden in the shallow depths of the sand. I love finding special rocks and the few times that they are unique, they are secretly stashed in the folds of my pocket for the trip home.

 

This particular rock was not only smooth and beautiful, but a heart shape! It’s not the only heart shaped rock I have stumbled upon, for years ago I found a big rock that my mom painted for my garden and last year a pinkish heart rock that decorates my shady garden. It seems that I’ve started collecting heart shaped rocks simply by fate. 

 

This heart was a sign from God for a few reasons. I believe he coaxed me to find it so that I was reminded of his presence and His love. It also served as a reminder to drop anxiety and relax during the trip. I’m grateful for these signs, for they just appear suddenly when I seem to need them. I’m always on the look out for them, for if I’m not paying attention it may just pass by without meaning. Be on the look out for little signs from Him, however how small. There’s always a reason and you must figure that out for yourself.

I must mention in the wake of Charlottesville and recent terrorist attacks, I’m thinking of how the news focuses on all the evil in the world. Please remember to focus on the love that people freely give to each other instead of the evil and hate that occurs! Our steady army of people who refuse to give in to hate stand strong with an unwavering faith in good. God’s love lives in all of us who believe and fight for love and peace! Blessings and peace to you all.❤❤❤

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I think an amazing sunset is one of God’s pure gifts!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

What is This?

Does anyone know what this rusty object could be? A few weeks ago I was weeding around a stump in our front yard. I planted flowers there and wanted to clean it up. As I pulled grasses and weeds, I pulled on this object that was immersed in the core of the rotting  stump. At first I guessed that it was a type of bottle opener but the more I study it, it doesn’t seem to be. It was made in Taiwan and almost looks like the narrow end was broken off of something. Perhaps this object was part of a machine but how did it get in a rotted stump?

 

 

 

 

I love a good mystery that’s why I enjoy ancestry immensely! It’s fascinating to wonder about what people did long ago,  especially in our house that was built around 1890. Once I found a few pieces of old China dishes buried underneath my garden. Long ago families dug trenches on their property to dump discarded items and apparently there are several on our property. Last summer Tom found a site where he was building his garage. Coincidentally the old barn stood on the same spot and when it was torn down, many objects were buried there. Tom found old chains, tires, milking instruments, animal bones and a rusted jewelry box to name a few.

 

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I’m keeping this piece of history, even if I may never know. It’s a curiosity that will rest in my garden, keeping me wondering and connected somehow to the past. Let me know what your guess is.

 

An update…I just googled ” old bottle opener” and found this image. Could this be the same?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Delicious Apple Carrot Zucchini Muffins

 

Pour a second cup of coffee with these yummy muffins!

 

Every year I bake zucchini muffins for my family. They are easy to put together and my family loves them. Just yesterday I was browsing zucchini recipes on Pinterest and found a new muffin recipe that sounded good, so I had to try it.

This Apple carrot and zucchini muffin recipe is borrowed from the blog at wineandglue.com. Lisa is a mom “ with a glue gun in one hand and a glass of wine in the other”. That’s my kind of mom, honest with a sense of humor! Check out her blog.

Apple Carrot Zucchini Muffins
Yield: About 18 muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup shredded zucchini (about half a medium zucchini)
1 cup shredded carrot (about two carrots)
1 cup shredded apple (about one apple)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with Pam.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and oil.

3. In another large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.

4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar and egg mixture. The batter will be very thick.

5. Mix in the zucchini, apple, and carrot.

6. Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full.

7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Enjoy! My family ate these for a snack or breakfast. Either way they are moist and delicious!

 

I want to share with you all how I store muffins, cupcakes, cookies and other baked goods. About six years ago I saw these snap it plastic storage containers on QVC. They were selling a set of two and I don’t remember what I paid for them but they are handy and convenient to own. I have a handy deep one with a traveling handle and a shallow one without the handle. I’ve also seen similar containers at T.J. Maxx.

They keep baked goods fresh for me. I also store veggies like lettuce and beet greens in the refrigerator in them. Look them up if you need great storage containers for your kitchen.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤