Yesterday I woke up to cold weather and I was so confused. Not just because it's April, although that should be reason enough, but because last week was unseasonably warm. 96° warm. How on Earth do we go from 96° to 47°? In April?
We took advantage of that warm weather though, and now that winter has returned I'm especially glad we did.
We had an unexpectedly quiet weekend, with no plans except for a baseball game. We spent Saturday around the house, catching up on the cleaning and housework that piled up while we were traveling.
Sunday however, I took advantage of our lack of plans...and made plans!
Last year we skipped our annual trip to the Flower Fields, opting instead to drive to the desert and see the desert blooms. This year we have no super bloom and so we returned to our regularly scheduled flowers.
I forgot how much I love the Flower Fields. They're so bright and colorful, but being surrounded by acres of flowers also gives me such a feeling of peace.
The boys also loved running around the flowers. Thatkid kept asking me to take his picture, or a picture with him and his brother, getting annoyed when Thatbaby goofed around and didn't take the pictures seriously.
The Flower Fields have a special passport for the kids to get stamps from the different areas so we went to ask the areas - the poinsettas, orchids, we wandered through the sweet pea maze for a long time, and ended up at Santa's playground where the boys spent quite a long time. Because, playground. Playground, flowers, maze, there's really something for everyone. And even though it's always crowded, it feels like my little secret.
I'll let you in on another secret, I'm pretty good in the kitchen, but I can't figure out brownies. Or rather, how long to cook them. They're either too dry, or not quite done. The solution? Top them with ice cream. Ice cream adds moisture to dry brownies, and those slightly underdone ones? Super fudgey always works with ice cream.
Chocolate Turtle Brownie Sundaes (From Cooking Light)
Fudge Sauce (see below)
3 Tbsp butter
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 egg white
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp fat free milk
10 small soft caramel candies
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped pecans
4 cups vanilla low fat frozen yogurt
- Preheat oven to 350. Coat bottom of an 8-inch square metal holding pan with cooking spray. Combine butter and chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until melted.
- Add egg and egg white, stirring with a whisk.
- Stir in 2 Tbsp water and vanilla.
- Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking powder.
- Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Spread half of batter in bottom of prepared pan.
- Combine milk and candies in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1.5 minutes. Stir until melted.
- Drizzle caramel over batter in pan.
- Sprinkle with pecans.
- Drop remaining batter by tablespoonfuls over pecans. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into `16 squares.
- Top each brownie with 1/4 cup frozen yogurt and 2 Tbsp fudge sauce.
2 Tbsp butter
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine butter and chocolate in a saucepan; cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally.
- Combine sugar and cocoa in a bowl.
- Add corn syrup and milk, stirring with a whisk until blended.
- Add cocoa mixture to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla.