WIAW: Sweet Tooth

Do you have a sweet tooth or a meat tooth? Since pregnancy, I’ve definitely been craving sweets. Even when it comes to veggies or fruits, usually I’m team veggie but I can’t get enough fruits it seems!

For those of you that are new to What I Ate Wednesday, it’s a time for sharing and checking out a random day of eats. I love seeing everyone’s eats and sharing my own! These were my eats from earlier in the week – you can see that I had dessert a few times during the day 🙂

Breakfast was a leftover decaf coffee with milk from Sunday (I had bought some coffee when Starbucks had double the star awards going on .. and of course I didn’t finish it. I’m awful with drinking coffee!), egg whites, veggies, and a clementine. Yum.

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And a mid-morning snack – an apple. I like to cut it up into pieces and eat it while working.20160307_131947

Lunch was a veggie burger, along with some roasted sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. I don’t know why – but it REALLY hit the spot! 20160307_124816

I made brownies over the weekend and couldn’t help but have one for dessert after lunch. I never really liked chocolate or brownies pre=pregnancy, but fudge brownies are good to me these days. Not cakey brownies or chocolate cake – they have to be fudge. 20160306_130525

Later in the afternoon I also had some fruit salad and yogurt. Have I told you how much I love Siggi’s? The pomegranate and passion fruit is SO GOOD.20160307_154550

I also had some hard candy throughout the day. Some Werther’s, ginger coconut and some candy I had from Cambodia20160307_145025

B made me dinner! We had some red snapper, roasted cauliflower and sautéed bok choy and onions. It was SO GOOD.

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And for dessert? Girl Scout Cookies! I had a tagalong and a Do-Si-Do. Peanut butter cookies FTW!20160307_202350

And in case you didn’t see it – we have a lot of Girl Scout Cookies in our house right now 🙂20160306_175416

And that was it! A delicious day 🙂

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie? Mine are likely Samoas or any of the peanut butter ones.
  • Were you a Girl Scout? Yes! And my mom was cookie manager one year. 
  • Sweet or savory? Fruit or vegetables?

Perfectly Ordinary Weekend

I had the perfect weekend. It may have been just perfectly ordinary, but it was perfect. It was a great mix of relaxing (definitely needed – I still feel like I’m playing catch up from last week!), catching up on work (again, still playing catch up), seeing friends, being productive and enjoying the outdoors. The only thing missing? Maybe some family time and a long run, but it will be a while until I’ll get in either of those!

Friday night started out with dinner/drinks with friends. One of B’s coworkers who moved to Seattle was in town and we were meeting up with her and some other people at 8 for dinner and drinks. Let me admit something – I haven’t met at 8 for dinner in a few months. Since being pregnant, my 8 p.m. often looks like PJ and TV time. But it was GREAT to feel like an almost normal person and meet up! We went to Bar Cento for some meatless Friday eats (pomme frites with their dipping sauce and pizza) and a few drinks (obvy none for me). Note – I didn’t take the pics below, I was actually not on my phone most of the night!

Not our pizza. This is from their website. And ours didn’t have meat. (Friday Lent)

Image via cleveland.com

Saturday morning B and I decided to be productive and start our baby registry. I’m not going to lie – setting up a baby registry is not as fun (at least for me) as a wedding registry. Mostly because the entire time these are the thoughts running through my mind:

  • Do we even need that? I don’t think those existed when I was a baby.
  • HOW many options exist for that?
  • Wait, that costs how much?
  • Half of the reviews say this is a life changer and the other half say DO NOT BUY or your baby will end up mangled, blind in one eye, allergic to every single nut, seriously traumatized, etc.

And there went our Saturday morning. Seriously, I think we spent four hours at Starbucks and registered for four things. Before we knew it, it was time to go view some houses. No – we’re not moving; but we’ve been looking at houses for several years now. We decided to go for a walk after looking at houses and came across the A Christmas Story House! (confession – I’ve lived in Cleveland for almost 10 years and I still haven’t seen the whole movie AND this was my first time seeing the house)

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We then hit up the West Side Market for the first time in a while and I was SO happy. We have been either out of town or busy on Saturdays and it was great to pick up some things again. I ❤ the Market!

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And it was already around 3:30 pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so we made a quick stop to Souper Market. Their curry cauliflower and chickpea soup hit the spot! Large chuck of bread not included.

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After Saturday afternoon Mass, B had plans to go to a high school basketball game. I decided to stay in and do some baking. Double fudge brownies. Yes, please!

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Sunday morning started off a little early – I couldn’t sleep Saturday night (is this going to become a normal pregnancy thing?) because I couldn’t get comfortable, so I spent the morning cleaning a little and catching up on some work. I dilly dallyed until B got up and then finally got off my butt and went for a run.

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It was the first run in a while that I’d run outside by myself. I don’t know why, but since I started to seriously show, I’d been a little anxious about running alone outside. But today, B didn’t feel like running and I knew I could do it on my own. So I did. Yup, it’s the little things – I’m proud.

The afternoon included some meal prep and grocery shopping.

My grocery store is prettier than yours, isn’t it?

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Oh and my favorite yogurt was on sale. Little things make pregnant me super happy 🙂20160306_140933

Speaking of being pregnant, I’ve really really popped. I’m a little more than 6 months now and can’t imagine 4 more months of this!

24 weeks 5 days

Our Sunday ended with a walk and Sunday dinner at B’s parents’ house.

chilly but nice day for a walk

chilly but nice day for a walk

Spaghetti, meatballs and gelato!

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Some questions for you:

  • Do you have any Sunday night dinner traditions?
  • What’s your favorite yogurt? Do you like yogurt?

I’m linking up today with Erin for my weekend snapshot post, Katie for MIMM and the weekly wraps.

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

I know, I know – I’ve been on a peanut butter chocolate kick lately. It started with the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars, then with the cookies, and now these. But THESE I assure you are worth it. If you’re a fan of fudgey brownies and creamy peanut butter – all combined – then you MUST MUST MUST make these. I made them a few times, experimenting with a few different things, but I think this is the perfect combination. They are addicting, rich and sinful – so make sure you have some friends to share these with!

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Inspired by this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

for the peanut butter layer 

  • 1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 10ish mini Reese’s peanut butter cups

for the brownie layer

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cup (or other peanut butter candy – feel free to use festive peanut butter M&Ms – I used spring ones in one version of this)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish – I lined with foil and sprayed with my Pam non-stick cooking spray.
  2. First, make the peanut butter layer: Mix together the peanut butter, sugars and egg until smooth. Press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Make sure to press well – do not leave it loose or it could crumble after baking. Lightly press Reese’s cups (not chopped) on top of layer, evenly throughout.
  3. Then, make the brownie layer: Melt the baking chocolate and butter together in a saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl – if you microwave,  nuke for about 45 seconds, checking and stirring often until completely melted and smooth). Once melted, gradually add in sugar, then vanilla, then eggs. Then, carefully mix in the flour. Once combined, pour the batter into the pan over the peanut butter and Reese’s layer spread layer evenly to the edge of the pan. Sprinkle chopped Reese’s on top.
  4. Bake about 35-38 minutes until the top is slightly cracked around. Cool completely before cutting.

Layered peanut butter chocolate brownie bars

Groundhog Day Cookies!

Today is Groundhog Day! It’s a holiday that my employer celebrates (no, not with a day off, sadly) with pancakes, games, and more. Last year we watched Groundhog Day (probably one of my favorite movies) and played pin the tail on the groundhog (I didn’t win). Anyway, I’m celebrating with these cute groundhog day cookies. The’re super easy (all you need is brownie mix an some frostings) and come out looking super adorable. I used the same brownie cookie base as these football brownie sandwiches and they came out perfect.

groundhog cookies for groundhog day - i crashed the web

Groundhog Day Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • Ingredients required to make brownies (according to the box) minus the water, I ended up needing 2 eggs and 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • Vanilla/white icing for the eyes and teeth
  • Chocolate frosting for cheeks
  • Black icing for nose and pupils

Here’s what you do:

  • Mix together ingredients for brownie batter according to package, WITHOUT the water. If your brownie box has options for “fudgelike” brownies v. “cakelike” follow directions for “fudgelike.” Place brownie batter in a piping bag, and cut  a small slit at the end of the bag.
  • Create a round-shaped stencil, or use a cookie cutter. Draw a circle, or the outline of groundhog’s faces on parchment paper. Be sure to leave space between each circle so that the circles don’t run into one another – they will spread some when baking.
  • Line cookie sheets with the parchment paper.
  • Pipe the brownie mix to fill in the circles (see photo).
  • Bake brownies at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Since they are thin, watch to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Cool completely before frosting! Use the white frosting to make the eyes and the teeth. Then use the black icing to draw on pupils and the nose. Then use the chocolate frosting and make the cheeks. I used a piping bag to make them extra cheeky. Get it? Hehe.
  • Makes about 2 dozen groundhogs.
  • Enjoy!
groundhog cookies for groundhog day - i crashed the web

batter on the cookie sheets

groundhog cookies for groundhog day - i crashed the web

finished product

groundhog cookies for groundhog day - i crashed the web

Aren’t they super cute?

Rolo Stuffed Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting (a.k.a. You Haven’t Lived Yet)

A few weeks before Christmas, my cousin posted on my Facebook wall, “So I heard your looking for cookie suggestions.. well I have a BROWNIE suggestion – fudge peanut butter caramel brownie.” Um, fudge + caramel + peanut butter? Challenge accepted!

Instead of scouring the web for what I’m sure already exists (I know there has to be a Peanut Butter Caramel Fudge Brownie Recipe out there) I decided to just make up something pretty similar. Okay I’ll admit it – this is a semi-homemade recipe. I happen to love brownie mix brownies. Yes, I have a few favorite brownies recipes (including this one), but when it comes to brownies that have frosting and other goodness, I find that I rely on good-ole brownie mix and nobody is any wiser. Add Rolos and homemade peanut butter frosting? Even better.

Looking for an easy, pretty delicious sweet recipe for your next get-together? Want to please a chocolate lover? Here you go!
rolo stuffed brownies with peanut butter frosting ~ i crashed the web

Rolo Stuffed Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting 

Here’s what you need:

For the brownies (makes 12):

  • A box of brownie mix (see, I told you it’s easy! I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix… but if you must, feel free to use your own favorite brownie recipe)
  • Ingredients required per brownie mix box (mine had oil, water and eggs)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 20 Rolos

For the peanut butter frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbs milk (I used original almond milk, because that’s what I have on hand)
  • 2-3 Rolos, chopped up

Here’s what you do:

For the brownies:

  1. Prepare brownie batter per directions on box.
  2. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  3. Pour batter into a 9×13 prepared pan. I lined mine with parchment paper.
  4. Unwrap the Rolos and place them evenly into batter softly, about one inch apart so that there are about one Rolo per brownie when cooked.
  5. Bake according to package directions.
  6. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Beat peanut butter and butter until well blended.
  2. Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup or so at a time until frosting stiffens.
  3. Add milk.  Continue mixing until creamy.
  4. Frost brownies! Chop up the remaining Rolos and sprinkle on top of frosted brownies.
rolo stuffed brownies with peanut butter frosting ~ i crashed the web

enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

This week, our office is participating in a few fun activities in honor of our Operation Feed Week – our effort to support local food banks. One of the awesome things we’re doing is hosting a bake sale – with donations going to the local food bank. Of course I was SUPER excited to participate – and decided to make some cupcakes (surprised?) that combine two of many people’s favorite ingredients: chocolate and peanut butter.

Wanna wow your friends with some delicious AND easy cupcakes? The cupcakes feature a homemade peanut butter cream frosting, a chocolate cupcake using (shh!) brownie mix AND a surprise inside – a peanut butter cup!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

(inspired by Betty Crocker)

Here’s what you need:

For the cupcakes (makes 12):

  • A box of brownie mix (see, I told you it’s easy! I used Betty Crocker’s Supreme Brownie Mix with fudge packet)
  • Ingredients required per brownie mix box (mine had oil, water and eggs)
  • 15 Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – 12 for baking in your cupcakes, 3 to chop up for topping frosting

For the peanut butter buttercream frosting (frosts 12 cupcakes):

  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ÂĽ – ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Here’s what you do:

For the cupcakes:

  • Prepare brownie batter per directions on box.
  • Pour batter into a muffin pan, prepared with cupcake liners.
  • Unwrap the Reese’s peanut butter cups and place one cup softly on top of each brownie cupcake.

Peanut Butter Cups in the Brownie Mix!

  •  Bake, at 350 degrees, until done, about 15-18 minutes
  • Cool completely before frosting. I put mine in the freezer so I could frost them sooner : )

For the frosting:

  • Thoroughly beat peanut butter and butter until well blended.
  • Gradually add sugar, 1/4 cup or so at a time until frosting stiffens.
  • Add milk and vanilla. Continue mixing until creamy.
  • Frost cupcakes! Chop up the remaining Reese’s and sprinkle on top of frosted cupcakes.

Enjoy~

Football Brownie Sandwiches

Tomorrow B and I are having friends over to watch the Super Bowl. While we have the food and appetizers planned, I wasn’t sure what we were going to do for dessert. I thought about Football Brownies or Cheeseburger Cupcakes, but wanted to try something new.

Then, I came across this recipe for what the blogger called “Football Whoopie Pies” – while I don’t consider them actual whoopie pies, they still looked perfect for the big game. Below, the recipe, borrowed with minimal changes, from Created By Diane.

Football Brownie Sandwiches

Here’s what you need:

For the footballs:

  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • Ingredients required to make brownies (according to the box) minus the water, I ended up needing 2 eggs and ÂĽ c vegetable oil
  • Cookie icing (here’s what I used) to draw the laces

For the buttercream sandwich filling:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons milk

Here’s what you do:

  • Mix together ingredients for brownie batter according to package, WITHOUT the water. If your brownie box has options for “fudgelike” brownies v. “cakelike” follow directions for “fudgelike.” Place brownie batter in a piping bag, and cut  a small slit at the end of the bag.
  • Create a football-shaped stencil, or use a cookie cutter. Draw the outline of footballs on parchment paper. Be sure to leave space between each football so that the footballs don’t run into one another – they will spread some when baking.
  • Line cookie sheets with the parchment paper.
  • Pipe the brownie mix to fill in the football shapes (see photo).
  • Bake brownies at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Since they are thin, watch to make sure they don’t burn – mine were done at exactly 12 minutes. Mine made 18 brownie footballs, or 9 sandwiches.
  • Cool completely before frosting!

  • While the brownies are baking and cooling, prepare the buttercream sandwich filling:
  • Beat butter until creamy.
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time.
  • Add vanilla and milk and continue to mix until well mixed.
  • Once cooled, decorate half of the footballs. Use the cookie icing to draw laces on half the brownie footballs. These will be the top of the sandwiches.
  • Top the remaining footballs with 2 heaping tablespoons of the buttercream. Spread evenly and top with the laced sandwich half.
  • Enjoy!