Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brownie and Berry Dessert Pizza

We went to a BBQ for Memorial Day and I wanted to bring a dessert. I found this on Betty Crocker and thought it sounded amazing! Easy, fruity, and chocolate! What can be better than that?! :)

1 box of Brownie mix (oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box) I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix.
1 package of 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup apple jelly

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 12 inch pizza pan. (I bought a cheap pizza pan from Wal-Mart)
2. Make brownie mix as directed on box.
3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. About 1 hour.
4. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with mixer until smooth. I added some lemon juice too! Spread mixture over brownie. Arrange berries over the cream cheese mixture. Stir jelly until smooth and brush over berries. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. I cut it into little squares. It was simple and easy and super delicious! Great for a summer BBQ!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Life Lessons over Pancakes

I've learned a lot about life over pancakes. 

Saturday mornings might be my favorite day of the week. Especially if we have no plans early in the morning. I have gotten into the routine of making pancakes or waffles every Saturday morning. My son is too young to realize it, but give it a few months and he will expect there to pancakes. I think I do it more for me, than for him. Traditions are my favorite thing about my childhood and I want my children to have them too. Traditions help stabilize your family and your life. It might sound silly, but I want my children to grow up eating pancakes every Saturday morning.

With this fast paced life we are all living it is hard to eat around the table. Since having a child, we have been doing it a lot more. I love being in the kitchen in the morning with the sun shining through the windows. I love putting hot, little pancake circles on an Elmo plate with powdered sugar on top. I love pouring orange juice into a little cup. I love sitting down with my one year old and giggling, talking, and babbling over pancakes. Life seems so simple in this moment. 

I'm not sure what makes it so simple. The fact that there's a hot breakfast on the table or the fact that it is pancakes. I mean, who doesn't love pancakes? During the week we eat a lot of granola bars, cereal, and bananas. On Saturday morning we are sitting down and eating. I think children love to eat the table. It makes them feel like a big kid. It makes them feel part of the family. They are eating with you and they know they have all of your attention. Children crave attention and it's our job as parents to give it to them. They like to feel part of something special.

Sure, it's breakfast. But it sure is special to this mom. I remember the mornings my mom would make us waffles and when my dad would make us eggs. I'm pretty sure they thought they weren't doing anything special but if I've held on to those memories 20 years later, I would say those Saturday mornings were a big deal to me. Now that I look back on it, I realize how special those mornings were. My parents took the time on their day off to make me breakfast. Sure, they could have just handed me a pop tart or poured me a bowl of cereal, but they threw some flour in a bowl instead. My mom taught me that when a pancake had lots of bubbles that it was time to be flipped. To this day, that's how I know that a pancake is ready. I learned patience over pancakes. I learned that good things come to those who wait. I learned that love is in the kitchen and that a kitchen makes a home. I learned that memories are made in the kitchen. I learned that most problems can be fixed over pancakes, especially pancakes with chocolate chips. I learned that sometimes you just need a stack of pancakes to make you realize how great life really is.

They always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and now I'm finally realizing why.