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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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 ❤

An Ice Cream Cake

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Look out, Carvel! I’ve found an ice cream cake recipe and with my family’s approval, I’m deserting ( haha, what a pun) the expensive store bought cakes and making my own! I’ve made similar recipes before by simply placing layers of ice cream in an Oreo crust with whipped cream on top. This time is just a bit different because of the added toppings.

 

 

 

This time I chose my recipe from Dashingdish.com where the author provided a low fat version. I doctored it a bit to include regular cookie dough ice cream ( one of my husband’s favorites) and original Cool Whip. I figure if we are going to have dessert then it doesn’t need to be a low fat version. If I wanted that, I’d throw together a fruit salad. No, we’re going all the way with this one! I’m not generally a fan of whipped topping so instead I make real whipped cream.  This time I tried it and it came out great!

 

I- premade Oreo pie crust

½ gallon ice cream of your choice, softened

1- 8 oz. Cool Whip topping, thawed

Fudge sundae sauce or topping

8-10 Oreo cookies crushed, with rolling pin

Chopped candy ( I used Reese’s Cups)

 

 

 

Set out ice cream and whipped topping at room temperature. It took about 15 minutes for the ice cream and 30 minutes or so for the Cool Whip. Then combine the two, stirring until mixed together. 

 

Take Oreo crust from pie pan and crumble in a 10” springform pan tightly closed. Press down and flatten so it’s  even. I know what you’re thinking…what a shortcut! If you wish, simply buy Oreo cookies and crush to flatten in pan. 

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Put 1\2 of soft ice cream in pan spreading around so it’s even.

 

 

Sprinkle crushed Oreos over the ice cream layer.

 

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Get rid of that housewife aggression and crush some Oreos today! Haha

 

 

Top the cake with swirls of fudge topping, chopped up candy or chocolate chips and nuts if desired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The finished product and oh, boy was it yummy!

 

 

 

When I served this cake, I left it out on the counter for about 8 minutes just so that it was easy to cut through and it worked pretty well. This cake was for my husband Tom’s birthday, he turned 57 over a week ago. It was super easy and delicious for any occasion. 

 

 

I hope you are all having a great start to your week! I’ll probably have another post or two this week so be on the look out!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

 

Rhubarb Custard Bars

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Shared from thelocalbeet.com

 

 

Recently I read a post from Plainsimplelivingblog.wordpress.com The author’s post was focused on rhubarb and how many rhubarb recipes are riddled with sugar. It brought me back in time…years ago when the boys were little and Tom took Dylan and his dad to Maine for a special fishing trip. I made rhubarb custard bars to welcome them home. I remember vaguely that the recipe had sugar but wasn’t overly sweet.

 

 

 

 

It was early spring, in May and the rhubarb patch was thriving and ready to pick. I picked the smaller stalks, as they were deep red and I knew were rich in flavor. I stumbled upon a recipe online and decided to surprise Tom with a yummy dessert.

 

 

 

Here is the recipe I made so long ago and I believe that within a day or two, they were long gone but not forgotten. What I love about this recipe is the subtle orange juice sweetener. It does have quite a bit sugar but you could experiment with it to find a balance that would work.

 

 



Rhubarb Custard Bars
shared from twosisterstherecipes.blogspot.com

 


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
lightly oil a 9×13 pan
For crust:
in stand mixer, or by hand:
2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup cold butter cut into pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

mix together until the texture of frozen peas. press firmly into pan and set aside.

for filling:
6 eggs
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup flour
whisk all above ingredients together well… then stir in 3 cups of fresh rhubarb- chopped
pour over crust. bake 45 minutes to 1 hour until center is firm. Cool completely before cutting.

 

Hopefully your growing rhubarb hasn’t gone to seed so that you can try this! If you try baking these, let me know if you enjoyed them or if you cut the sugar and your results.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

 

Hello Readers,

I came across this post that I posted last summer and want to share it with you again. This Blueberry Lemon Bundt cake was beyond delicious! Moist, full of plump blueberries and served as dessert and we even treated ourselves to a piece for breakfast one day! Who said you couldn’t have cake for breakfast…why not indulge in this scrumptious treat? I’m going to make it again real soon and look forward to seeing Tom’s face when he tastes it.

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My Blueberry Lemon Bundt cake, much more delicious than its picture! Taken from Chew Out Loud.com, found on Pinterest

 

 

 

This particular day I decided to make a recipe I found on Pinterest for Blueberry Lemon bundt cake. This recipe came from Chew Out Loud.com. The author comments that it could easily serve for breakfast, a snack or dessert. I agree with her  whole heartedly, as we had it for dessert but enjoyed it’s rich flavor for breakfast a couple of mornings.

 

 

 

I had planned to buy two pints of blueberries and two fresh lemons at the local fruit/ vegetable stand. All the other ingredients seem to be items bakers usually have on hand. I was ready to create this fantastic cake!

 

2 3/4 cup all purpose-flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking  powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup butter

1 cup buttermilk, I substituted almond milk for this because I’m lactose intolerant and you never would know the difference!

2 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

zest of one lemon

4 tbsp lemon juice

4 large eggs

 

For Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

zest of  one lemon

2 Tbsp milk, I used Almond milk

 

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 F and make sure oven rack is in the lowest position. Grease and flour a large bundt pan. In a bowl whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat until blended. Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract. Add buttermilk ( or almond milk if you’re lactose intolerant) to mixture. Fold in flour mixture until combined well. Do not over mix! Fold in blueberries gently. Pour cake mix into bundt pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes and insert sharp knife along pan edge to loosen cake.

While cake is cooling, make the lemon icing. Once the cake is cooled and popped out of pan, drizzle glaze on cake.

 

It’s that easy! A few minutes of your time equals a scrumptious fruity cake for all to enjoy! 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Cookbook

 

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About ten years ago I revamped my recipe collection in a big way. First I threw out my dilapidated recipe box and hauled out recipes that I never used. Second, I found a cute whimsical Susan Branch cookbook kit with scrap booking pages and stickers. The book was cheap enough but cheaply made too, as I found out this year.

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Like many housewives who cook everyday, my recipe book started to show wear and tear. Then one day after making a delicious meal for my family, the books’ binding fell apart.  I busily shoved it on my little shelf in the kitchen and soon forget it’s desecration. Every time I reached for my recipe collection, the broken book with pages falling out reminded me that I had been doing this awhile and my book couldn’t keep up.

 

Last week, on an energetic whim, I set my mind to repairing and giving new life to my book. I searched our file cabinet and found a 1 ½ inch binder that one of the boys had used for school. I recycled it at the end of that year and put it in my stash of “ maybe I’ll use that someday.” I’m grateful for that because sometimes I throw things out in an organization fit.

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Next I found plastic page protectors to slip all the handwritten and computer copied recipes in. I highly recommend this step because we all know cooking can be messy and can stain and alter our nice cards.

 

What I especially love about the Susan Branch cookbook kit was that it supplied folders with heading for extra recipes. What I’ve always done is displayed my favorites, family favorites,my mom’s recipes,  Tom’s mom and dad’s and meme’s staunch winners on the pages and others can rest in the folders.

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I bought the cookbook scrapbooking kit on Amazon but you could do it yourself, if you have the supplies needed. You would need a 1 ½ inch binder, scrapbook pages, stickers, recipe cards, pouches for the miscellaneous recipes and page protectors. If you do buy the scrapbook kit, try to find one with a sturdy binder or buy the binder separately.

 

Now I can’t wait to cook and use my cookbook, that I gave new life to. It’s the little things that make me happy in the kitchen.

 

Good luck scrapbooking and happy cooking!

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Twinkie Bundt Cake

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I made this cake for a special family dinner we had in January. We were preparing for our son to return to college and I wanted to make a special meal for the occasion.

Vanilla Twinkie Bundt Cake
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp vanilla bean paste, optional ( I didn’t use this)
2 cups sugar
½ cup vegetable oil, I used Canola oil
3 eggs & 4 egg yolks
1 cup buttermilk

1.Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare Bundt pan by spraying or greasing. Set aside.

2.In a medium bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3.In another bowl mix butter, vanilla and vanilla paste together until smooth. Slowly pour in sugar until well combined and fluffy. Mix with dry ingredients.

4.Add Canola oil and beat until incorporated. Beating eggs and egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.

5.Carefully add ⅓ of flour into wet mixture, alternating with ⅓ buttermilk until all flour and buttermilk is added. Mix just until smooth.

6.Pour batter carefully into bundt pan, smoothing over the top.

7.Bake 60 to 70 minutes or until golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean.

8.Remove and cool for 45 minutes. Then flip cake out of pan. You may have to go along the sides with a knife.
Marshmallow Cream

1 stick butter, softened
1 71/2 ounce marshmallow creme or Fluff
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until creamy. Transfer to piping bag or ziploc bag with corner snipped. This is a messy process so keep a damp kitchen cloth handy.
To Assemble Cake

This is messy, as well, so do it over a baking sheet to catch crumbs. Flip cake over. Cut 6 or 7 deep holes in the bottom of the cake. Be careful not to go all the way through. This is a challenge but after careful consideration, I successfully did this.

Once the holes are made, using your hands, burrow down and connect the holes to form a tunnel. Be careful not to puncture cake.

Clear the cake from the holes and discard.

Now start filling holes with cream filling. Do not overdo this because cake could burst open.

Once holes are filled, carefully flip cake over. Dust with powdered sugar.

Eat and enjoy!

 
Taken from the kitchenprepblog.com
http://thekitchenprepblog.com/2014/05/very-vanilla-twinkie-bundt-cake.html

 

 

 

This was a delicious cake! All the fuss and assembling was worth it in the end!

All My Best,

Heart and Soul 💗