Monday, February 18, 2013

A Brownie Bar

Happy Monday!  
Goodness, time has been flying by so fast.
Can YOU even believe that we are this far into February?  Spring can not come soon enough this year! :}

Parties are great!  However, keeping the food easy seems to be a problem.  
I am finding that less is more.

Making a dessert that everybody likes can be a bit tricky, but for the most part everybody LOVES chocolate.  Chances are, if they don't like chocolate, they probably like vanilla ice cream, which can also be stashed away in the back corner of your freezer.

For those of you who know me well,  know I am a semi-newbie to boxed cake mixes and brownie in the past 10 years...but if there is one thing I have learned {who am I kidding?} when it comes to having guests into our is NOT worth the stress of spending on a chocolate mousse or a "24" tiered crepe cake made from scratch!  It is BEST to keep it simple and sane {my version of KISS!}.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a boxed brownie mix...especially when it is on sale for $.68!!!  
Anyhoo, I like to keep frozen brownies in the freezer so that they can be pulled out for a last minute dessert.
A few weeks ago, the brownie supply was low, so I baked up a batch and froze the "cupcake brownies" without the papers so they could be placed in mini mason jars for a brownie bar.  Talking about simple and MUST try it!  :}
About an hour before guests arrived, I plopped them into the mason jars and stuck some already made cupcake toppers into them.

I kept the toppings simple as to avoid a cluttered table.  I had chopped pecans, bright red Maraschino cherries with their stems...for those who are talented enough to tie the stems into a knot with their tongue!!!!, the three sauces and fresh whipped cream.
No Muss.No Fuss.
It can all be baked, chopped, poured and dished out ahead of time.  That way, you are sane and calm and a FUN.FUN hostess!

Sorry about the pictures, but I have resolved to the fact that I am not a photographer...and I can't always wait for the lighting.   For heaven's sake we live in OREGON!!! :}
Do you like my excuses?

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Simplicity of Oatmeal

Celebrations are upon us! Easter is next, but I think there is something to celebrate every day...even if it is a sunshine-y DAY!

Although a "throw and go" quiche is great and crepes and waffles are divine, there are times that you need something even simpler.

Oatmeal is nutritious, yummy and best of all requires no fridge space, no cheese shredding,  veggie dicing OR baking!!

A couple of days ahead of time, line up your containers on the kitchen counter.

Place 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats into each container.

Sprinkle a couple shakes of sea salt onto the oatmeal.

Top with 1 Tbsp. brown sugar.

Mark each seam with a sharpie about a thumb's width from the lip of the container.

Place lids back on top and store.

You can leave them plain or add some fun touches...only if time allows!

Place directions into a frame and that is it!

The containers may be placed onto a tray or in a basket along with fresh cream and dried cranberries, raisins, walnuts, coconut, dried pineapple, etc.!

OOOPS! Don't forget the boiling water in a large carafe or tea kettle!!

ANNNND, if you are not planning on hosting...they are fun to pack up for on-the -go mornings, spring picnics or to take to a friend for breakfast!

When time is short and I have wanted to take a meal to a new momma, I have taken this on several occasions. I think it was almost liked better than the chicken pot pie meal! :}

Okay. I think that is about it! The ideas are endless. Just keep it simple!

Have a lovely Monday...even if it is laundry day or the beginning of your work week!