Peanut Butter Blondies, and Summer

I’m gearing up for summer.  Primping the lawn, planting my favorite veggies, looking for more flowers to brighten up our spaces, and trying to figure out what kind of furniture I want for our deck.  I’m anxious to BBQ, invite friends over, and have campfires.

A couple of years ago I decided we were going to celebrate my husband’s November birthday in the summer.  I invited a few couples over for an evening of fun on our deck.  To create an inviting atmosphere, we put up a canopy, decorated it with white lights, put candles on the tables, used china plates, real silverware, and glasses.  To make this an extraordinary  party, we moved a small deep fryer, and slushy machine out by our grill.   Hubby, who loves to cook and entertain, had all of the important tools right at his fingertips.

We made deep-fried foods as appetizers, and offered ribs, salads, baked beans, and rolls for the main course.  I made his favorite cake for dessert.  We whipped up wine slushies with Sangria and lemon-lime soda.  As you can imagine, they were a hit.  People relaxed, we chatted, laughed, enjoyed the outdoors, and ate, ate, and ate some more. 

Hubby and I are not bashful when it comes to planning parties and feeding people.  When we got married we catered our own reception.  Not only did we save a ton of money, but we offered our guests lot’s of good food that made them very happy.

Since I’ve been giving another summer BBQ some thought, I decided to work on a crowd pleasing brownie.   Warning – these brownies are delicious, but they are messy.  If you’re going to serve these to company make sure you have lot’s of napkins on hand.

puddles 019

The recipe:

2 eggs, room temperature

1 stick of margarine, softened

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 7”X11” pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add the first (7) ingredients.  Beat with electric mixer until everything is creamy. Stir in vanilla extract.  Add flour, one cup at time, mix thoroughly.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted in the center.  Cut when cool.

The only thing I can think of that would make these a little better – vanilla ice cream! 

Are you party goer? Or, thrower?

 

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Quacks and clucks

I’ve said it before, it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.  Our ducks and one of our roosters enjoyed the nice weather today.  They are took turns bathing in their water dish.   We are raising them for fun and eggs, not meat.  I have to admit they are much more entertaining than I ever thought they would be.

 

This little guy we call Foghorn Leghorn after the cartoon character created by Robert McKimson.  He is the only rooster  that has shown any interest in crowing so far – and when he does crow, he puffs his little chest out like he’s a big bad chicken.

Berry Good – I hope

This weekend was a busy one.  Mowing, trimming, mulching, planting, painting, baking, and entertaining.  And somehow, aside from all the work, it was relaxing.  We even managed to find time to fit a couple of movies in too.  If every day could feel as productive, yet as relaxing as this weekend was, I’d be happy.  

I really enjoy the simple things in life and there is something that feels great when you can accomplish tasks without feeling the stress of having to do so.  I took a few minutes today to look at our strawberry, red raspberry, and blueberry plants.  They are looking fine…  I hope they produce large quantities of big, ripe, delicious berries.  And, hopefully we can harvest them before the deer, rabbits and birds beat us to it. 

Strawberry Plant
Red Raspberry Plant
Blueberry Bush