It's time for the second round of the Baking in a Tornado October Secret Subject Swap, and my recipe for Best Ever Brownies!
This week, there are 12 bloggers participating in the swap. We all submitted a topic (or prompt) for someone else to interpret in their own style and write a blog post about. The subjects were kept confidential and we were randomly assigned one to write about. Today we are all simultaneously submitting our posts.
Here are links to all the sites featuring Secret Subject Swap posts this today. Remember, everyone has a different topic to write about, so sit back, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, and check them all out!
Baking in a Tornado
The Sadder but Wiser Girl
Evil Joy Speaks
Follow Me Home
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Stacy Sews and Schools
Dates 2 Diapers
Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom
The prompt I was assigned to came from Evil Joy Speaks. Here it is:
WHY DO YOU BLOG, AND WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Why do I blog? It's simple, really. I love to create happiness for myself AND for other people. My creativity flows in multitudes as I dream up recipes, cook them, photograph them, and write a story with them. I do have to admit that when I first started blogging, it was merely to appease the hand full of people in my life who would beg (almost to the point of harassment!) for recipes to things like my famous Snicker's cupcakes. I just got too lazy to keep writing them down for everyone, so I posted them in a convenient space here.
The other reason I blog is because when my creativity is stifled, I get fidgety. DANGED fidgety. I'm not sure if it applies for you, but for ME fidgety = fat. Case in point. I was too busy
catching up on recorded episodes of Young & the Restless and NCIS cleaning bathrooms and dishes and folding laundry the other day to write a blog post for my favorite brownies in the known world. Know what happened? I ate over half of the pan full of these bad boys before I realized what I had done. I should have baked them, styled and photographed them, licked the powdered sugar off of one (or two) and then sat my big butt down to write the post. Instead, I got fat. True story. I gained 2 freaking pounds. Umm... HELLO. Will someone please smack me in the face now? At this rate, #FitBy50 will NEVER happen. It'll be more like #EightBy80
Have you ever had a day where nearly everything you touched turned to the proverbial gold? You know, a DREAM COME TRUE day...your favorite groceries were on sale AND you had coupons for them, the cat didn't puke a hairball onto your clean carpet, the kids did their homework without being nagged, and your significant other said and did ALL of the right things (like the dishes!), proving once again how brilliant you were for selecting him/her as a life partner. Crazy stuff like that
Whatever the source of your happiness was on that perfect day, it likely produced an ear-to-ear grin across your face. That's ALWAYS a good thing! I've had a similar smile plastered across my face for the past TWO WEEKS!
Yup! I didn't just have a single DAY of awesome good fortune. I had an entire two weeks where awesome things happened in my life!
That kind of happiness is worthy of a celebration, so I baked up my favorite brownies! Grab one or two of these fudgy, chewy, dark chocolate chunk bits of goodness and allow me to share my good news with you!
Boo's Best Ever Brownies
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom AND up the sides of a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a hand or stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
- Stir together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix in the baking soda.
- Mix in the chocolate chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Pour the thick batter into the prepared dish and spread evenly.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until brownies begin to pull away from the side of the pan. If you like your brownies less fudgy, add 5-7 minutes of additional baking time.
I still can't believe that all of these things happened to me in less than a month's time. CRAZY goodness
- GIFT CARDS - Happy days are here again! Retail therapy at Target, Amazon, and Jo-Ann Fabric. I won them through various contests... Twitter parties, Facebook fan pages, giveaways on blogs, etc. It's been so much fun to walk into a store and spend money on some fun items!
- FOOD - In yet another online contest, I won a $100 gift card to our local grocery store. CHA-CHING! Then things got better. Just a couple of days later, I learned that I had won a photo contest that Kerrygold was holding over on Instagram. The prize? Free Kerrygold butter and cheese for an entire year! I nearly fell off my chair when I learned that news!
- BUSINESS BUILDERS - Last month, I was contacted by a very large, very wonderful food website called Kitchen Play. I was invited to attend my first food-related conference/convention. It's a HUGE one... The PMA (Produce Marketer's Association) Fresh Summit. Over 1,000 GLOBAL exhibitors from the produce and floral industries, all on one venue, for 3 full days, in NEW ORLEANS! The conference starts next Thursday. It'll be my first time visiting NOLA, so I'm really thrilled about this trip! Brian's taking time off work so that we can make a mini vacation of it. Thanks to the INCREDIBLY generous folks at PMA and Kitchen Play, my conference ticket cost = ZERO dollars. WOWZA, right?!
- BIG NEWS - After almost 7 years of pea-in-the-pod life and love, Brian and I are finally getting married! We're making it official in just 20 more days Because we've both been married before, we don't want to fuss with a formal wedding and reception. Instead, we'll be having an intimate ceremony with our pastor and two close friends to serve as witnesses. We'll be joined in wedded bliss while overlooking a really pretty nature reserve right here in town. We're both pretty casual people anyway, so a casual, autumn themed event is just perfect for us. I don't think God will disapprove of my choice to wear a sweater dress instead of a ball gown
On top of all of that news, I have a close group of the best blogging friends that I could have ever hoped for, and two of them are throwing me a virtual bridal shower. *SQUEEEE* I can't even begin to tell you how touched I am by their sweet spirits in even THINKING of doing something like this. The virtual event will be held on October 28th. That's all I know right now, but I'll be posting more information about it after it's been revealed to me. The girls are being awfully secretive, but I guess that's part of the reason that I'm so excited. Surprises are so much fun!
So now that you've heard my great news... I'd love to hear what great things have happened in YOUR life lately. Bake up a batch of my best ever brownies and sit down...let's chat!