Valentine’s Day Brownies

They say that food is love, and this Valentine’s Day I’m expressing my love in the form of heart-shaped brownies.

heart-shaped brownie recipe

Of course, there’s no way cocoa and icing sugar can adequately express the deep love that I have for Dave: my husband, my valentine, my best friend. There’s no way I can pour the love that flows through my wild, beating heart into brownie batter. He’s already got my heart, so presenting him with a plate of heart-shaped brownies is just one of the small ways I can show him how much he means to me. A sugary way to say I love you.

brownies_multipleValentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all forms of love–not just the romantic kind, but the love from friends and family that makes life beautiful. While they might not have been heart-shaped, these brownies were a staple in my Grandma Murphy‘s house when my mom and her four sisters were growing up. They, too, were an expression an of my grandma’s love for her daughters–especially when she iced them with chocolate frosting!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Crisco 
2 squares chocolate or 1/3 cup cocoa
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup sifted flour
1 cup walnuts 
2 teaspoons vanilla 

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Melt the chocolate squares in a double-boiler. Cream together sugar and Crisco using an electric mixer. Add eggs and beat until light. Add flour and melted chocolate or cocoa. Stir in salt, nuts and vanilla. Pour mixture into a 9-inch square pan and bake for 20 minutes. 

2 cups icing sugar 
1/2 cup cocoa 
1/4 cup butter 
Dash salt 
1/4 cup boiling water 

Thoroughly mix first four ingredients in a medium bowl. Add hot water very slowly while beating until it reaches a “flowing” consistency, much like a ganache. 


Bursting With Holiday Cheer

champersI am overflowing with holiday cheer. My belly is as jolly as old St. Nick’s, and my cheekbones are escaping winter’s chill by hibernating deep below the surface. Burst seams are to be expected when “celebrating” is synonymous with overindulging on nippy cheddar, Zinfandel and hot turkey sandwiches. It happens every year, this holiday plump, and I guess growing round and soft like a cheese ball over Christmas makes my New Year’s resolution obvious. And I’m up for the challenge! Just let me finish this creamy coffee and homemade biscotti first.

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Top 5 Reasons Why My Mom Rocks

It’s my beautiful mother’s birthday today, so I thought I’d honour the occasion with a post highlighting her awesomeness. Obviously, there are a gajillion things that I love about the amazing woman who brought me into this world, fed me and changed my diapers and didn’t give up on me during those awkward teenage years, but since this is a blog entry and not an eighteenth century novel, I’ll stick with my top 5 favourites.

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Love You, Dad

Words cannot express how deeply I love this shot of my mom and dad. (Same thing goes for the two incredible people in it.)

It was taken in 1976, before they were spouses or parents or homeowners. I love their goofiness (totally inherited some of that). Their proto-hipster cool. Their closeness.

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