Back to School, Donations, Roasted Apples & #NaBloPoMo

Although I love Connor dearly, and he is my cuddle-bug, today I am ever so thankful that he went back to school! It’s great having him around the house, but with him at school, Kyle will actually take a nap (God forbid he miss anything his big brother does!), and since he’s on inhaled steroids for the pneumonia, he talks NON-STOP. Seriously. Every. Minute. Of. The. Day. Peace and quiet are definitely under-rated!

We also donated a large play kitchen to The Epilepsy Foundation along with some toys that go with it today. Some child is going to love that kitchen as much as Connor did, and I hope they pass it on when they’re done playing with it like we did.

And as a bonus today, I’m going to give you a super-easy recipe for Roasted Oatmeal Apples!

  • 1 Apple per person
  • Quaker Instant Cinnamon Oatmeal (1 package makes around 2-3 apples, depending on how much oatmeal you want)
  • Butter
  • Raisins (if desired)
  • Brown Sugar (if desired)
  • Aluminum Foil
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Peel and core apples – do not slice.
  3. Tear pieces of foil large enough to wrap each apple.
  4. Pour oatmeal into apple centers, top with a small pat of butter. Cover butter with more oatmeal and brown sugar if desired. (I didn’t use brown sugar, and they were still delicious!)
  5. Top with raisins (they aren’t necessary, but boy are they good!).
  6. Bake until the apples are soft (usually around 10-15 minutes for red apples, longer for green apples).
  7. Enjoy!

The beauty of the recipes I’ve been giving you is that not only do they minimize the number of dirty dishes you use, but they can also be prepared over hot coals if you enjoy having backyard campfires!

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These are So Good they Should be Illegal!

Since I’ve been feeling so depressed about our kindergarten start, I decided to make one of my favorite comfort foods.

Tri-level Brownies!

They’ve got all the yummy goodness of not-too-chocolate brownies with an extra helping of orgasmic chocolate fudge frosting and crunchy granola on the bottom. They’re relatively easy to make, too.

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:

  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark – it’s your choice)
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbs. butter or margarine, melted

Middle Layer:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 1-oz square unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (if desired)

Fudge Frosting:

  • 1 1-oz. square unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • hot water

For the bottom layer, stir together oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in melted butter. Pat into an 11″ x 7 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ pan (or as close a size as you can find – I’ve never seen one this size! I use a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ glass pan.). Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

For the middle layer, combine sugar, butter and chocolate. Add egg and beat well. In a separate bowl, mix milk and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add alternately to chocolate mixture with milk mixture, mixing after each addition. Fold in nuts. Spread batter over baked layer. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Make sure you don’t pour the milk and vanilla directly into the flour mixture, like I just did. It makes blending everything together with no lumps take way longer.

For the fudge frosting, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla. Blend in just enough hot water to make pourable.

Once the baked layers are cool, frost them and cut them into bars. These are OMG yummy! Just a side note: I used semi-sweet chocolate because I didn’t feel like going to the store and wasting 1/4 tank of gas. The only difference is the color is a little lighter, and they come out a little sweeter. Click here to download this recipe as a .pdf file you can print (formatted to fit into a binder!).

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