Fudgy Brownies

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃTreat yourself to some fudgy, chocolatey brownies! Not only that, but they are also perfect for sharing with family and friends โ™ฅ

โ˜…ๅฝก[แด…ษชแด… ๊œฑแดแดแด‡แดษดแด‡ ๊œฑแด€ส ส™ส€แดแดกษดษชแด‡๊œฑ?!?!]ๅฝกโ˜…

Okay, so this recipe isn’t exactly the healthiest but kids love them. I do plan on posting a healthier brownie recipe in the future, but for now, this is the one that I am using. Because these brownies are made with simple, standard ingredients, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be a show-stopper!

If you’re looking for a healthier, plant-based dessert recipe, then I recommend checking out this chocolate cake recipe by Peppa Pig. Kids love Peppa Pig so you really can’t go wrong with this healthier alternative.

Anyways, back to the brownies. The fudgy brownie recipe is fairly simple and straightforward. To make the brownies extra special, you can dust them in confectioner’s sugar or add a few chocolate chips. Another advantage of this recipe is that it’s simple enough for children to help. Let’s get started, shall we?

FUDGY BROWNIES

Servings: 12                          Time: 40 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ยฐF (175ยฐC). Grease an 8-or-9-inch square baking pan.
  2. Using a mixing bowl, mix together the cocoa and sugar. Add in the melted butter and stir again. Finally, whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add the flour and salt, and mix just until smooth. Gently incorporate the chocolate chips (optional). Don’t overmix it.
  4. Scrape the mixture into the pan and spread it out n an even layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  5. Take the pan out of the oven with oven mitts, then let it cool on a heat-proof surface before cutting. Sprinkle confectioner’s sugar to decorate (optional). Enjoy!
Just so you know, Rebecca is the one who approved this recipe.

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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Salad Dressings ยป3 Waysยซ

Here’s a funny joke:

Q: Why did the tomato turn red?

A: Because it saw the salad dressing!

*cue laughter*
โ™ก Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

The Art of Salad Dressing

I typically don’t make salad dressing, as my mom makes better salad dressing than I do. I purchase Kraft salad dressings only when I am lazy or busy because they are easily accessible and convenient. However, homemade salad dressing is way better than store-bought ones – even my mom agrees. My mom lives halfway across the country, so I can’t show up at her house every day for freshly made salad. So that leaves me with two options: a) keep eating the Kraft salad dressings or b) learn how to make my own.

Iโ€™ve compiled these recipes so that you can enjoy more freshly made salads, and make salad a part of your diet. Many salads are healthy, but people don’t always like them because they’re so bland. If you dress the salad up with an interesting dressing, not only will it be more appealing to people’s taste buds, but it can also give their bodies all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. The best thing about this recipe is that it is all ready for you to use in just a few minutes and can be made using ingredients that are probably already in your house. I’m confident that these salad dressing recipes will be helpful to you, as they have been to me.

Salad Dressing Science: Salad dressing is a process where two liquids – oil and water or vinegar – are mixed together. Normally, liquid drops of oil and water remain separate from each other. If you start with just the oil and the vinegar, they won’t mix well until you add an emulsifier, which helps them to combine more smoothly. You can mix and match ingredients to create your perfect salad dressing.

๐—›๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด!

SALAD DRESSINGS ยป3 WAYSยซ

Servings: 1 mason jar each                         Time: 10 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

1. BASIC B* VINEGARETTE

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

2. CITRUS SUNSHINE DRESSING

  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

3. SWEET HONEY VINEGARETTE

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • pinch of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a mixing bowl, add the ingredients and mix them well using a whisk.
  2. Slowly add a little bit of oil while continuously whisking the mixture. Once you have added a small amount, start to whisk faster.
  3. Toss the dressing with a green salad, or add it to a mason jar for storing in the fridge.

โ™ก Image #1: Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

โ™ก Image #2: Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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Easy Hummus Dip

Continuing on with the challenge from yesterday, you probably have a can or two of chickpeas in your cupboard, right? I sure do! To accompany the guacamole dip, why not try some hummus dip? It’s just as tasty and quick to make.

While I usually can find store-bought hummus for a cheap price, I think it’s important to remember that it’s not always the best idea to buy something just because it is cheap. Store-bought hummus can be of lower quality than homemade, and sometimes you don’t get the same true taste. With my recipe, though, I’ve found that even though you might have to spend more time making your own, it will be worth the effort because this homemade hummus usually has a better taste.

EASY HUMMUS DIP

Servings: 5-6                         Time: 40 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1.5 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • optional: sliced veggies, pita bread

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add a few inches of water to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  2. Add the cloves of garlic (still in the skin) and cook them for 10-12 minutes, or until the cloves are tender.
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and run cold water over the garlic to cool it down. Once the garlic is cooled, peel the skins.
  4. Add the peeled garlic and canned chickpeas (drained) to the food processor. Add yogurt, olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt, and water to the mixture.
  5. Process the hummus for approx. 30 seconds, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
  6. Scoop the hummus into a serving bowl and add a drizzle of olive oil.
  7. Serve with sliced veggies, pita bread, tortilla chips, etc. Enjoy!

Image source: https://www.dreamstime.com/

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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Easy Guacamole Dip

๐’ฉ๐‘œ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’พ๐“ƒ๐‘” ๐’พ๐“ˆ ๐’ท๐‘’๐“‰๐“‰๐‘’๐“‡ ๐“‰๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“ƒ ๐’ถ ๐’ป๐“‡๐‘’๐“ˆ๐’ฝ, ๐’ฝ๐‘œ๐“‚๐‘’๐“‚๐’ถ๐’น๐‘’ ๐’ท๐’ถ๐“‰๐’ธ๐’ฝ ๐‘œ๐’ป ๐‘”๐“Š๐’ถ๐’ธ๐’ถ๐“‚๐‘œ๐“๐‘’!

I have a challenge for you! Using everything you have in your cupboard, come up with a recipe and actually make it. You can โ€œcheatโ€ by referencing google for inspiration if you need some ideas. Tomorrow, do the exact same thing. I bet that you will come up with two different recipes without the need to buy any new ingredients. Keep repeating this process and make a mental note to add your recipes to a database for easy access. If you do this for 30 days, then you should end up with ~20-30 unique recipes for your family.

With the avocado craze dying down and Canadians finally being able to find avocados for a reasonable price, it is easier to use avocado in my dishes. I love avocado toast, but guacamole is way better! ๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ˜‹ Guacamole pairs well with fresh tortilla chips and I no longer have to resort to store-bought guacamole on days when I am craving this healthy snack.

EASY GUACAMOLE DIP

Servings: 4-6                         Time: 20 minutes                          Difficulty: easy

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 green onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 ripe avocados, halved
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bag tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Chop the green onion and tomato into small pieces.
  2. Slice the avocados in half and use a spoon to remove the pits.
  3. Scoop the avocado sections into a bowl. Add the garlic powder and lemon juice. Mash it all up with a fork.
  4. Add the chopped onion, tomato, and salt. Mix everything together.
  5. Serve with a generous portion of tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Cute kawaii smiling avocado. Source: https://www.vecteezy.com/

Thanks for stopping by! โ™ฅ

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6 Subtle Signs of Loneliness

(ใฃโ—”Vโ—”)ใฃSerious Question: Do You Struggle with Loneliness?

๐’ด๐‘œ๐“Š ๐’ถ๐“‡๐‘’ ๐“ƒ๐‘œ๐“‰ ๐’ถ๐“๐‘œ๐“ƒ๐‘’.

Photo by Clรฉment Falize on Unsplash

It is never good to be lonely and it can even lead to feeling vulnerable. There are times when you may feel like you donโ€™t need anyone, even though we all need people around us. I know how it feels and I want to reassure you that you’re not alone.

You might not be aware of how lonely you are. People have different ways of showing the warning signs, but if you ever have the sense that you’re lonely, it is best to deal with it as soon as possible. Knowing these early warning signs can help prevent feelings of isolation. Here are 6 signs to help you determine if you are struggling with loneliness.

Disclaimer: The same article can be found on Medium, but is behind a paywall. If you are still interested in checking it out, then you can do so by clicking on the following link:

โ™ก Medium Article: 6 Subtle Signs of Loneliness

6 Subtle Signs of Loneliness

1. You often feel bored.

Do you often feel lonely and bored? Do you have days where you have nothing to do and no one to hang out with? Is your social life a little dull?

It may surprise you to know that these feelings are not uncommon. Humans are social beings whose brains are designed for connection. People need connection and it doesn’t matter if we’re trying to connect with friends, family, or strangers. But if you don’t have many friends or if you’re not close to the ones you have, your life may start becoming monotonous. You spend every day doing tasks by yourself, eating meals alone, and scrolling through your phone without really paying attention to it. In this case, the boredom you feel could mean that youโ€™re feeling lonely.

2. You have nobody to lean on.

Who do you have in your life who can support you during tough times? Do you have a friend that is always there for you to talk about whatโ€™s bothering you over the phone or in person?

Imagine that you had a long day that has gone from bad to worse. You finally get home and your mind is still racing. You want to speak with someone about how you are feeling but donโ€™t want to overwhelm them with your problems. You reach for your phone and scroll through the contacts, but you are unable to find even one person who would understand how you feel. Who do you call if youโ€™re having trouble finding someone to talk to? Not only are you feeling stressed but youโ€™re struggling with loneliness too.

Loneliness is not just about not being able to find someone to spend time with. Itโ€™s about not having a close friend that you can talk to, who can help you sort out the bad things that happen in your life. You might have people you see at work or school or neighbors with whom you talk about the weather. However, itโ€™s also essential to have someone who will be there for you when things get tough.

Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

3. You overshare when someone gives you the time of day.

Do you speak quickly when youโ€™re having a conversation? Do you speak in great detail, sharing lots of personal information that you might regret later?

Oversharing is another sign of loneliness. Lonely people might talk a lot just to fill the void, but not necessarily in person where they could connect with others. People have a deep social need to connect and when we finally find someone who listens, it can be hard to restrain our thoughts. The sudden outpouring of all that pent-up loneliness can often be overwhelming for both parties.

4. You are jealous of others having a good time.

How do you feel when you see a group of friends hanging out and you werenโ€™t invited? How do you feel when you see all those pictures on social media of people having fun? Do you feel indifferent or does it make you feel jealous?

If you are currently feeling lonely and left out, know that it is normal to want to spend time hanging out with friends rather than being alone. And even if nobody talks about it openly, it is obvious that many people share the same desireโ€”nobody likes to feel left out. As a result, it wouldnโ€™t surprise me that the fear of missing out (aka. FOMO) is directly related to this natural human desire to feel included.

5. You distract yourself with self-care activities.

Yes, you read that correctly! But please hear me out on this. If you find yourself constantly distracted by things that make you feel good, such as warm baths, bath bombs, or a hot cup of coffee, but your ambitions or goals arenโ€™t being fulfilled, then maybe this is a sign that you are craving comfort. There is nothing inherently wrong with self-care, but consider how much time (and money) you invest in these activities daily.

A while ago, I published an article on this blog, with self-care ideas that are free or inexpensive. Why not take a look and see if you can find anything that would be helpful to you?

โ™ก Related Article: Affordable Self-Care Ideas

6. You compensate by shopping and hoarding things.

Do you enjoy shopping a little too much? Does your home have an excessive amount of clutter? Do you feel like you can’t stop yourself from shopping and don’t know why?

As children, we find a sense of security and emotional support in our favorite teddy bears and blankets. When we feel unsafe as adults, it can be satisfying to buy our way back to safety. When we are feeling lonely, for instance, buying items that make us feel safe and protected can become addictive. We want things like clothes, trinkets, and jewelry that make us feel like the world knows we exist, even though they don’t actually solve the underlying problem. Being attached to objects might be an attempt to compensate for the loneliness you feel.

๐Ÿ‘‰You might be feeling lonely at the moment, but don’t let that get to you. Here are a few things you can do to start feeling better:

  1. Talking to someone can help you open up about what youโ€™re going through. Whether you prefer professional therapy or just want to talk to your family and friends, they must know how they can help.
  2. Engaging in social activities like volunteering or joining a sports club are all good ways of socializing with others and keeping a healthy mind.
  3. Taking care of our bodies is vital. It applies to both mental and physical health and ensures that we can live with a sense of quality in our lives. Drink plenty of water, get outside for some sun rays, and try to get your blood pumping!

(ใฃโ—”โ—กโ—”)ใฃ โ™ฅ FINAL THOUGHTS โ™ฅ

It is natural to feel lonely at some point, but don’t let it get you down. Reach out to friends, or try other creative ways to meet new people and make connections. Remember that you are not alone in how you feel and there are so many people who are going through the same challenges as you. You can ask for help and support when things get tough and it is okay to talk about how you’re feeling.

Did any of these points resonate with you? Let me know by joining the conversation below โ†“ Feel free to share this article with anyone who might be struggling with loneliness.

Thanks for stopping by! โค