Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blackberry Brownie Delight

Welcome to the first reveal of my Pillsbury BakeOff creations! This one is Grant's favorite - one he declared a "million dollar winner" as soon as he tasted it. Of course, he's awfully partial to blackberries, so that may have skewed his opinion a bit. It is really good....and my friends that have tasted it all wanted the recipe, so maybe it will have a shot. If not, that's okay, because I'm happy to have made a dessert that my husband loves so much.


1 (19.5 oz) brownie mix (for the contest, I used Pillsbury Classic Fudge - use whatever you want!)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 (8 0z) package cream cheese, softened
4 oz whipped topping, thawed
1 (21 oz) can blackberry pie filling
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1 t. shortening

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, using eggs, oil, and water. Spread in a greased 13 x 9 in. pan and bake for 28-31 minutes. Do not overbake! No dry brownies here!
Cool completely - if necessary, stick in fridge or freezer to hasten the process.

Melt the 1/4 cup white chocolate and stir until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat well. Fold in the whipped topping and stir to combine. Spread over top of brownies.

Top with blackberry pie filling and toasted nuts.

Melt 1/3 cup white chocolate chips with shortening. Scoop into a sandwich bag and snip off one tiny corner. Drizzle over dessert. Chill until serving. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monkey Bread

Another winner of a recipe from the Pioneer Woman here. Well, the recipe isn't hers, it was submitted by her occasional guest poster, Pastor Ryan. Anyways, it's still a winner. I made it for my recent MOPS meeting and was delighted that it wasn't all eaten, because that meant I could munch on it at home. Grant saw it on the counter when he got home from work and initially thought it looked unappealing, but when I convinced him to try it, he didn't want to stop eating. It's that good. In fact, when I mentioned that I might make it for Christmas breakfast, he commented, "So what are you going to make for everyone else?" Smarty pants.

I'm posting the recipe exactly as I read it, but I'll note that I did not follow instructions all the way. I ran out of time to let it sit for 15-30 minutes before removing it from the pan, and I ended up with a pool of butter on my counter and on the dish. I don't know if it would have sunk in more if it had sat for awhile, or if the recipe would just be better with a little less butter. I'll tinker around with it. Regardless, I WILL be making it again, probably many times. Personally, I would love to add some chopped nuts, but a couple of people in my family aren't big nut eaters, so maybe I could just do nuts on half. Works for me! Maybe that would keep Grant from eating the whole thing.....


3 cans buttermilk biscuits (non-flaky regular size biscuits, not Grands)
1 cup sugar
2-3 t. cinnamon (I used 2.5)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Remove biscuits from cans and cut each one into quarters. In a gallon size ziplock bag, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Toss the biscuit quarters into the bag and shake well, coating each section. Pour into a bundt pan. Don't worry about greasing it.....all that butter will make it come out just fine. In the microwave or on the stove, melt the butter with the brown sugar. Stir until it's all one color. Pour over the biscuits. It will look like a lot, but don't fret.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until nicely browned on top. Allow to cool in pan for 15-30 minutes, if you can. Invert onto a plate and eat up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Back!

Thank the Lord, life is somewhat getting back to normal around here. The past two months have been very challenging but full of blessings, to say the least. In a nutshell, I went through three medications before settling on just one that was helpful; I ended up losing 9-10 lbs at my low point and the very next day, had to get IV fluids in the hospital (that was the Friday before Easter); I gained back 3 lbs that weekend and my weight stabilized there, but I was still sick pretty much all day and night; we were tremendously blessed by thirteen - yes, thirteen - friends bringing us dinner over a period of 3 weeks before my mom came to visit - we've never had so much food or felt so loved; my wonderful mom came to stay for 3 weeks and took care of everything for me, which was even more amazing because Grant was out of town for work the entire time (minus weekends); my in-laws arrived a couple of days before my mom left and have been an incredible help as well. We had Corban's first Pinewood Derby Race, in which he placed 5th out of 16 in his category; and that was the last day I threw up - just 2 days prior to turning 12 weeks. I still don't feel great all the time, but I am SO much better, even cooking now. I still don't like the smell of coffee, and a few other choice things, but I'm able to go for walks, spend the majority of my time OUT of bed, and can actually enjoy some outings!
Hopefully I'll be back on here with much more regularity, and maybe I'll even get some recipes up, now that I'm back in the kitchen!

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few shots of the past month.

My mom (Nonny), reading to the girls. They read a LOT.

One of the highlights of the girls' days was sitting on Nonny's lap and watching her take vitamins every morning. Who knew that could be so exciting?

We got to celebrate Nonny's 61st birthday - although she had to make her own dinner and cake. I felt pretty bad about that, but it was delicious! Corban and I did put up some balloons and streamers to surprise her.

Corban has been working on reading little books and completed his first reading chart of 20 books. His prize was his first watch, which he had been wanting for quite awhile.

Very proud boy!

Annika enjoying popcorn while watching a movie cuddled up with Grandpa.

Mother's Day - my first time back at church since March.

Mother's Day

The kids and I with Grandma

Corban collecting a specimen for his nature badge for Royal Rangers. He and Grandpa worked very hard on the project.

The kids and Grandma checking out some frogs in a little pond.

Little Marissa trying to pose for me.

Too cute.

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