Friday, May 18, 2012

The Happy Couple

So, this has nothing to do with food or cooking, but I wanted to blog about the happy couple anyway!  Here is the picture (well, one of many) I took of them a couple of weeks ago when they home for a weekend of engagement parties.

See that handsome young man? That's my son, Jack. And that very pretty young woman beside him is his fiance, Courtney. They  have known each other for almost eleven years, having met at freshman orientation at the university they attended. They were friends throughout college, but never dated. Upon graduation they went their separate ways, Jack ultimately in the Army and Courtney to Seattle where she is a mechanical engineer for Boeing. In October of 2010, Jack was in Seattle with some of his Army friends and called Courtney. They spent one day together before he had to head back to Ft. Bragg, NC. He returned to Seattle one month later and well, as they say, the rest is history!

They have endured not only the separation of the miles across the United States, but a ten month separation while Jack was deployed to the Middle East. Jack proposed to Courtney in July of 2011 while on home leave. What an exciting time!

Never doing anything easy, they are still on opposite coasts planning their wedding. They will be married on September 8 of this year at the Wedding Chapel on Tybee Island, Georgia, near the beautiful city of Savannah.

What a fun it's going to be!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bully's Brownies

My hubby's grandmother, Veronica Boquel, was called Bully by her grandchildren, not because she was, well, a bully, but because she was born under the astrological sign of Taurus and wore a bull on her charm bracelet. His grandfather, Pierre, went by Happy Days, which had to do with martini's, but that's a story for another day. I did not know Bully, having only seen her twice before she passed away.

I acquired her recipe for brownies through one of my six sisters-in-law in 1993. The recipe came from a 1950 issue of Family Circle. It's quick and simple and good!

Bully's Brownies

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 -1 ounce cakes unsweetened chocolate, melted.
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flower
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease a 11x7x1 1/2" pan

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored; add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy

Stir in vanilla, melted chocolate and butter

Fold in flour, salt, and 3/4 cups nuts; stir just until blended.

Pour batter into pan - sprinkle nuts on top

Bake 20 minutes, or until top is firm.

Cool 5 minutes. Cut and remove at once.

I made a few changes to the recipe. Instead of two eggs I used four egg whites (I used the yolk in an ice cream base earlier). I hand whipped the whites until they were thick and then added the sugar.  I used four tablespoons of cocoa powder instead of the chocolate cakes. I stirred the cocoa into the melted butter and then added it to the egg whites. I also let it cook 3 minutes longer.I let the brownies cool completely in the pan before cutting and removing them.

The outcome was a very nice light, but rich brownie, albeit thinner than I am used to.

The hubby gives them a big thumbs up!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

My New Compost Bin

Last weekend I convinced the hubby to finally build a new compost bin. The old one was rather unsightly and I was always concerned what my back yard neighbors view of it was. I always want to be a good neighbor and I certainly didn't want to get a nasty letter from our homeowners association about it's unsightliness!

Here's how it turned out.

And here's the hubby loading it up.

And here's what the compost looked like.

And here was a visitor we found.

And this is our Koi pond.

Think I'll go and make the hubby and me a bite of lunch and we can enjoy it outside by the pond.

Happy Saturday!