Monday, July 25, 2011

First Birthday Party!

One year ago, I was sleepy. Like really, REALLY sleepy. You see, one year ago, I had a little boy who was only 1 day old. And one day old babies don't sleep for long. Therefore the mamas don't sleep for long. And if you are lucky enough to actually go to sleep... chances are you will be woken up by a nurse approximately 7 minutes after you finally fall asleep.

Hospitals + newborn = no sleep

Glad I could impart this wisdom to you.

Fortunately that was a year ago. Now I could get lots of sleep--if I wanted to go to bed early. But that would interfere with my copious amounts of TV watching. I mean, when else am I going to watch So You Think You Can Dance? Or Project Runway (returns Thursday!!! Wooo!).

Anyway, so yesterday we had a big 1st birthday bash for our little boy. And being the good mama that I am, I had a few desserts for our guests to choose from. Check them out below!

Hippo Cookies!

Chocolate cupcakes with "1" cookie stuck in it!

Hippo smash cake for the birthday boy!

And because I'm one proud mama, check out the birthday boy digging into his cake!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

My little guy has recently learned the word, "no." Or "no, no" to be exact. He says it all the time. Some examples:

"Let's go change your diaper." His response? "No, no."

"Please eat your green beans."
"No, no."

He will act like he is going to bite me, stop, pull back, and then say, "no, no." At least he has that one right. :)

Anyway.... recently, one of the wonderful bloggers I follow posted these brownies. Which are based on THESE brownies by my favorite blogger ever, Pioneer Woman. If you don't know who Ree is, get your hiney over to her site ASAP. She is amazing. I love, love, LOVE her site. I hope to one day win a cooking weekend at her ranch. But until then, I will keep reading her blog and anxiously await the start of her show on the Food Network.

Ree titled these brownies "Knock You Naked Brownies." And for good reason. They are spectacular. So, Kristan adapted those brownies and used Rolos in the middle. The Rolos in the middle make the brownies so scrumptious, that it got me wondering what else would be great stuck in the middle between two fudgy brownie layers.

I then spent the next day in the candy aisle at Wal-Mart for 15 minutes trying to decide what other candy I could use. So far I have tried 2 of the 5 varieties I bought. The first two batches I made I used Rolos. The next I used Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis! Below is a kinda-sorta step by step of how to make them. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
1 box Fudge Cake Mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 c evaporated milk
1 bag Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Mini (The wonderful thing about these is that they are already unwrapped!)
1/3-1/2 cup peanut butter chips

First, open your bag of peanut butter cups. Eat 3. Put aside for later.
Preheat your oven to 350. Either generously spray an 8x8 pan, or line it with foil (I did this-so much easier to cut up). Mix cake mix, melted butter, and evaporated milk until combined and the cake mix is no longer powdery. Divide dough in half. Press half into the bottom of the pan, making sure it is relatively even. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. After your 10 minutes is up (and you've snuck a couple more peanut butter cups...), put the peanut butter cups on top of the brownie layer. I believe it took me a little less than 60 to cover the brownies. Then sprinkle peanut butter chips into the spaces between the cups, as seen in the picture below.

 Then, on a piece of wax paper, shape the remaining dough into a square roughly the size of your pan-as shown in the photo below (I actually do this while the brownies are baking or cooling). Flip the brownie square on top of your pan, patting down gently and lightly reshaping if needed.

 Bake for an additional 25-28 minutes. Let cool in the pan before cutting. If you can wait that long. I usually can't. And enjoy!!!
Other variations I have yet to try, but the candy is taunting me in my pantry: Snickers, York Peppermint Patties, and Hershey's Cookies'n'Creme Drops. Can't wait to experiment more!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Flip Flop

It's officially summer. And summer means hot. Or at least it does here in the Texas panhandle. Like record breaking hot (111. For real yo. {I'm so street. Didn't you know?}). Stay inside the house and never want to leave hot. But it's at least a dry heat.... or so I'm told. Although I am a person that much prefers the dry heat to humidity. I'll take dry skin over feeling the need to take a shower every 10 minutes.

But you probably didn't need to know that.

Why was I talking about summer again??

Oh yeah. Summer = flip flops. Unless you're me. And then spring and fall also equal flip flops. Don't be like me. Wear weather appropriate shoes.

So flip flops, huh? Love 'em. Love 'em even more in cookie form. It took us a lot of cookies to determine how we like to decorate them best. We tried this design before I found these. The second worked SO much better. I'm not even going to show you the first attempt. No one needs to see those. Ever.