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Salt Scrub

Hello, all!

How is everyone doing so far this weekend?  The sun is finally out here!  Woohoo!  Don’t get me wrong, I love rainy days, but I was getting a little cold.

Although, I have to say, nothing makes you more in the mood for chili and cornbread than a nice, cool, rainy day.  Mmm.

Now that the sun’s out I’m hoping it’ll stick around for a while, but we do have quite a bit of rain in the forecast.

Sometimes, though, you just can’t wait on the sun, can you?  You have to make your own sunshine instead.  Paint a picture, write a poem, do a little dance…

And maybe, just maybe, make yourself a lil’ somethin’ somethin’.

So here’s a little something that’s going to leave you feeling pampered and happy.  And hey, look at that pastel yellow.  It really is like you’re making your own sunshine!  😀

This scrub is so easy you could do it with your eyes closed…but just to be safe, you probably shouldn’t do it with your eyes closed.  Because it involves olive oil, and I’d hate to have you pour it with your eyes closed, spill it all over your shirt, all over the floor, trip, fall, have the dog rush over and lick you, have the dog lick the olive oil, have the dog slip, have the dog fall on top of you, have the cat come to the rescue of the dog…Do you see all the things that could happen if you close your eyes?  ;D

So open your eyes, let the sun shine in, pamper yourself, and put a little skip in your step!

Enjoy!

(From a salt scrub recipe on Simply Stacie.)

Salt Scrub
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup epsom salt or sea salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix together and store in an airtight container. Enjoy in the bath!

 

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Chex Bars

Hey, hey, everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying their week so far.  My cat Oliver definitely seems to be having a good time.  He got a good brushing the other day and now he’s trotting around the house like he’s seriously hot stuff.  😉

The weather around here is staying pretty moderate.  The epic snow is completely gone and now it’s supposed to rain toward the end of the week.  I’m so in the mood for spring, planting flowers, and walking around in the woods.

And with being outside more, that means less time is spent in the kitchen.  But of course we still want a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ sweet to eat.   We just maybe don’t want it to be a time-consuming three layer chocolate cake that takes hours to assemble.

Enter Chex bars.  They are pretty much Rice Krispy bars, but with a different cereal.  And they are pretty much the fastest thing you could ever assemble and call a snack.  I’d call this one a non-recipe.  But we all need those from time to time, right?  And sometimes the easiest recipes are the ones that people keep coming back for.

And since this sweet treat isn’t drenched, drizzled, or submerged in chocolate, I’m going to call this a “healthier” option.

I know it has butter.

I know it has marshmallows.

Give me my little victory here, all right?  😉  I was *this* close to posting ooey, gooey fudge cake.  😀

Happy snacking!

(From a Chex bar recipe on Chex.com)

Chex Bars
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 8 cups Rice Chex
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
  3. Once melted, add the marshmallows and return to the microwave. Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until marshmallows are completely melted.
  4. Remove the bowl from the microwave and add in the cereal. Stir with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
  5. Pat out into prepared pan and allow to set for fifteen minutes.

 

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Chocolate Mint Poke Cake

Hello all!

Are you having a great weekend so far?  Here’s hoping you’re all walking on sunshine!  🙂

So, did everyone have a great St. Patrick’s Day yesterday?  Was any corned beef eaten?  Did you wear a lil’ green?  😉

I am not Irish.  Not a single drop.  Nope.  My ancestors were just about as German as you can get.  But my favorite color is green, so give me a little credit, right?  😀

One thing I do love is that around St. Patrick’s Day there seems to be an abundance of mint foods everywhere.  And this kind of makes me wonder if minty foods are a thing in Ireland this time of year.  I have a sneaking suspicion that mint and St. Patrick’s Day is a watered-down American way of celebrating the holiday.  Ireland as a country is probably collectively shaking its head and saying “Nope.”

But that’s OK, because I like mint all throughout the year anyway.  It really spikes around Christmas, but to be fair there is nothing like a nice, cold minty milkshake in the middle of July.

So just to get the mint impulse out of my system I’m bringing you a minty cake today.  And not only is it a minty cake, it’s a minty SUPER EASY cake.  And there is fudge.  Because mint and chocolate go together like cookies and milk, like coffee and rainy days, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid!  😀

This is a poke cake, which means that the recipe really pretty much makes itself.  You just have to poke a lot of holes in it, and pour on your happy filling.  And once you make enough poke cakes you realize that the poking of the holes is very similar to popping bubble wrap in terms of therapeutic benefits.

Just give me a cake and let me massacre it!  😛

Mmm, mint and chocolate.   Now just grab some coffee and you’re set!

Enjoy!

(Adapted from a Mint Chocolate Cake on Like Mother Like Daughter)

Chocolate Mint Poke Cake
 
Ingredients
  • 1 16.25 box white cake mix
  • 1 11 oz jar hot fudge
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract, divided
  • 1 8 oz container whipped topping
  • 3-4 drops green food coloring
  • ⅔ cup chopped Andes mints
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to the temperature specified on the box mix for a 9x13 pan.
  2. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
  3. Prepare cake according to box directions and bake. Once baked, allow cake to cool for five minutes.
  4. Use a knife, a fork, or a thin wooden dowel to poke holes all over in the top of the cake.
  5. In a medium bowl combine hot fudge, sweetened condensed milk, and peppermint. Pour this mixture all over the top of the cake, spreading it so that it seeps down into the holes.
  6. Cover the cake and allow to chill for at least one hour.
  7. When the cake has cooled, fold together the whipped topping, remaining peppermint extract, and food coloring.
  8. Spread the whipped topping evenly on top of the cake, then sprinkle with mint pieces.
  9. Chill for another 2-4 hours.

 

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Hi, all!

I feel like I should start this post in that sort of voice you hear narrating action movie trailers.  In a world where winter won’t let up…or maybe…Just when you think spring is coming, winter returns, seeking revenge!!

😛

A few weeks ago when you looked outside it was dry and…dare I say it?…almost green.  But then, in that action-movie voice…Sunday came and things GOT REAL.

That’s right.  The snow came down.  First, just a tiny flake or two.  And people joked.  “It’ll have to snow forever for this to amount to anything.”  After all, we were supposed to get upwards of EIGHTEEN inches a couple weeks ago and we got A DUSTING.  So sue us if we were a little skeptical.

But then a few flakes turned into a sudden steady downfall.  Then it got a little faster.  And then it got a little heavier.  And that’s when you realized that the weather forecasters were right this time.

Not only did it snow, it snowed ALL DAYfrom about nine in the morning all the way past midnight.  And when it was all said and done we got about eleven inches.

Eleven inches!  I can’t remember the last time it snowed so much.  This is the most it’s snowed this winter, and definitely more than we got in any one storm last year.  It’s finally a traditional Minnesota winter…and it’s March.

Oh well, I’ll take what I can get.  😉

So now the sun is out, the the ground is a beautiful white, and all the flakes falling from the trees are delicate and diamond-like.

Kind of makes me want to put up the Christmas tree again!  😀

On days when it’s snowing and cold, isn’t that just when the urge to bake comes out?  And here’s a great bar to have with coffee while you read a book or look at this shimmery, idyllic beauty of the late-winter scenery.  These bars are soft, chewy, and filled with chocolate chips.  Mmm.  Didn’t I say they were good with coffee?  😀

And the best part?  They have browned butter!  Yep!  So they have that delicious toffee thang going on.  Gotta love that toffee thang!

Time to put on the winter classical music one more time!

(From a recipe for browned butter blondies on Serena Bakes)

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups butter, divided
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan cook 1 cup of the butter on low heat until it is browned and has a nutty/toffee smell, stirring constantly and making sure it doesn't burn.
  4. Once browned, pour the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  5. Add the remaining ¼ cup butter cut into small chunks to the melted butter and mix until melted and combined.
  6. Add both sugars, vanilla, and salt to the mixing bowl and beat until incorporated.
  7. Add eggs and egg yolks and beat on high for thirty seconds, then let the batter rest for three minutes. Beat again for thirty seconds, then let rest again for three minutes, until batter is thick and pale.
  8. Add the baking soda, beat for thirty seconds, scrape down the side of the bowl, and allow to rest again for three minutes.
  9. Add flour on low speed, mixing until combined.
  10. Turn the mixer off and add in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  11. Pour the mixture out into the prepared pan, and spread evenly.
  12. Bake for 27-30 minutes, until lightly brown on the outside edge, and still slightly jiggly in the center.

 

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