Day to Day Life: Week Seventeen

The last week looked a little like this:

Spring time around here… So bright!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Homemade Chicken-grub.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Southern Oregon dogwoods are blooming everywhere. (My favorite and a definite sign of Spring.)
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Afternoon smoothie snack. Açaí berry purée, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, vanilla yogurt, coconut milk, and Aloha green juice powder.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Chicken’s parents had more babies (OUTSIDE! Like normal pigeons!) yet they seem to be managing to find their way into the house whenever the hell they want. This is one of Chicken’s new siblings. Vincent’s named her/him New Vincent Chicken.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Homemade spanakopita, crispy Greek potatoes with lemon and parmesan cheese, and a Greek salad with the kalamata olives on the side, since my husband refers to them as “little nasties.”
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

A midweek baseball game this past week…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

When I saw this kite out of the corner of my eye, I most certainly thought it was a real bird.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Did you take Google’s Earth Day quiz? Apparently I am a woolly mammoth.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

A late afternoon snack for the purpose of curing hangry-lady-syndrome.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Our white dogwood tree blooms once a year. ‘Tis that time of the year.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Pizza night.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Flowers everywhere…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Including on the French lavender plant I planted last year.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Some days require stovetop espresso.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Wisteria.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Crazy skies with approaching rain.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Blueberry pancakes!
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Yesterday included an impromptu adventure to the acid castles in Ashland.
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

This little town…
Forbidden Rice Blog | Day to Day Life Week 17 | 2015

Saturday Sites: Week Seventeen

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1.) I love a good eggy-cheesy sammich at all hours of the day. This is how I shall make them every day from here on out!

2.) My newest favorite instagram account to follow!

3.) Pretty much all of these things were accurate when I moved from Kaua’i to Oregon.

4.) Bringing eye contact back to the 21st century… This is funny. And sad.

5.) I’m looking forward to trying these tortillas.

6.) Also, even though I am not from Oahu, this video makes me homesick.

7.) What it feels like to try and go to sleep.

8.) This post makes my OCD brain want to go organize the fridge… immediately.

9.) I’d like to make… but mostly eat… this bread.

10.) I forgot how much I love this song.

11.) Have you ever heard of cat plants?

12.) Let’s drink lots of Brazilian lemonade.

13.) This is how I feel about being in my garden.

14.) Some of these made me laugh so damn hard.

15.) Having been to numerous music events and festivals (seeing as my hubby’s a musician), Coachella isn’t one we’ve gont to yet… But I would like to eat all the food there, thanks! (Except maybe #11.)

16.) A reminder for all of us.

Day to Day Life: Week Sixteen

The last week looked something like this:

In the course of a single day, we saw snow, rain, hail, overcast weather and sunshine. Welcome to Southern Oregon! ;)
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This is just one of 5 pans of empanadas I made early in the week for a dinner/board meeting my husband held at our house… these were my favorite: fresh spinach, ricotta, artichoke hearts, and feta.
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Miss Nikki.
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I made a questionable bean dip for lunch one day, consisting of random ingredients we happened to have in the fridge. (It was actually really good. And an excuse to have chips for lunch.)
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A conglomeration of veggie meats…
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For my favorite night… PIZZA NIGHT.
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To continue our weather shenanigans, we had many days of warmth and sunshine this week. So I got my little hippie garden ready to plant! So far all I have put in the ground are nasturtium and spinach seeds.
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Maki sushi Hawaii style for the hubby and I one afternoon. (I might’ve ate 2/3 of that plate.)
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Somebody said he wasn’t tired, but took an accidental nap before baseball practice one afternoon…
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On an evening walk.
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I love book covers.
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This may not look like much, but I taught myself how to take apart our oven door, then deep cleaned it, and even put it back together… I can see in the oven now! Holy crap!
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Taco night is another good night…
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And the night after taco night, when you have leftover taco night… with fresh homemade corn tortillas.
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This kid had a great game on Saturday!
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Hope you’ve had a fantastic week!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

I am not a huge sucker for sweets. Generally, treats for me center around saltiness, crunchiness, and perhaps bourbon or a good beer. Some days, though, a wild hair tickles my fancy and dark chocolate dessert concoctions say please make me. However, I live with three dudes who are in ever constant request of something sweet. My unstated rule of making desserts no more than once a week sort of got thrown out the window over the last few months. One of my go-to dessert options are homemade brownies. They’re easy, quick to mix up, and especially simple if you have the basic ingredients on hand (butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs).

The last time I decided to make brownies was for a little dinner party we hosted. I decided to do a little hunting for something more elaborate. I vaguely remembered a peanut butter swirled brownie that failed miserably… Then I remembered a peanut butter swirled brownie I’ve been wanted to try for years, one topped with pretzel sticks. Yes. A smash-bang-concoction of chocolate, peanut butter, and pretzels. How can a girl go wrong?

These brownies are delectable! They’re quite a bit more cake-y than fudge-y, but just go with it. The peanut butter swirl is rich and delicious, atop a not-overly-sweet brownie, and the added salty crunch of the pretzels is perfect. You can also half this recipe and make it in an 8″ square pan.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Make a large 11 x 17-inch pan of brownies.

adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingerdients:
For the Brownie Batter:
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces extra dark chocolate (75-85% cacao), coarsely chopped
8 ounces dark chocolate (60-70% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Peanut Butter Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

a large handful of pretzel sticks

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 11 x 17-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper so that it overhangs on two sides, then grease the parchment paper.

Boil two inches of water in a medium saucepan. Combine the butter and two types of chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Place over the simmering water, making sure no water gets into the chocolate mixture. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted together. Remove the bowl from the double boiler and let mixture cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk granulated sugar into the chocolate and butter mixture. Make sure the chocolate mixture isn’t too hot, then whisk the eggs in one at a time.

Fold in the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and pour into your prepared pan.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Make the peanut butter mixture: whisk together peanut butter, melted butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract until smooth.

Pour the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter and use a butter knife to swirl the two together. Arrange pretzel sticks on top of the brownie batter however you’d like. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes our mostly clean (a few crumbs are alright).

Let the brownies cool for about 30 minutes before slicing.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Forbidden Rice Blog | Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Brownies

Day to Day Life: Week Fifteen

A glimpse at the last week:

Spring time means lots of greens and blues…
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Empanadas one night (and lunch the next day!).
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Crazy-face.
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Panko crusted eggplant burgers with roasted piquillo peppers, fontina, garlic basil parmesan mayo, fresh spinach and onions…!
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Blues and greens, blues and greens…
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Necessary.
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Silas stayed home from school one day. For lunch, he said, “Can I have mac and cheese… the box kind… and maybe some tofurky dogs?”
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Veiny.
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An almondy, buttery treat one morning.
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Color, texture, and ivy!
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Silas Henry Nugget.
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Our friend Gary built me a fence out of recycled lumber and chicken wire. Now onto planning my garden…
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It had been quite some time since I last made pizza crust with my now three year old started… Happy dough ball.
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And happy pizzas!
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Silas had a mid-week baseball game, which meant we weren’t home until nearly 8PM. Ahh, spring-kid-scheduled-life. He got to pitch and had five strike-outs in less than two innings!
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Brought to you by National Siblings Day… My older sister, two younger brothers and I, circa the late 80’s and early 90’s.
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Silas’s second baseball game got rained out after they’d batted one inning. This photo is precisely what the game looked like.
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After “the game” we asked what he wanted for lunch? “Cheesy tater tots (which was brilliant, BTW!) and… a salad?” Salad while the ‘tots baked.
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What to do when both kids have a sleepover at your house? WAFFLE SUNDAY.
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Ashland hills in the spring are beautiful…
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Hope you’ve all had a wonderful week!