Storm Update and Cake Recipe

This is a few days past true relevance since we really weren’t affected by the storm as much as others, but here goes anyway. (Do continue to pray for those affected by the storm, I can’t begin to imagine the emotional/physical/logistical state they must be in.)  So, anyway, we’ve been very fortunate since the storm hit.


We did have a moderately exciting night in which I attempted to cook some scrambled eggs for dinner but lost power mid-scramble. Luckily for us, we have a gas stove. So never fear, my sweet family was lucky enough to get their dinner, albeit late and lukewarm. Aren’t they so lucky to live with such a classically trained chef who whips up such delicacies in such trying circumstances? I mean, really!


The worst part of losing power was that Maggins was in the other room when we were plunged into darkness and it took us a minute to locate her. If you’ve seen my level of “housekeeping,” I’m sure you can imagine the difficulty in navigating through the garbage to find a panicking two-year-old. Luckily for us, we didn’t lose our connection to the interwebs and I was able to show Mags the hurricane videos from Sesame Street that my dear friend, Kate, shared with me earlier. It really helped with her anxiety. Seriously, I just love Sesame Street and if you haven’t seen the hurricane episode you have to. I’m constantly amazed that they’re able to deal with such big scary things with such sensitivity and poise. Sesame Street never panders or condescends and that, that is why you should support public broadcasting!! (And off of my soapbox.)


Anyway, we lost power for about a day, but were fortunate enough to be able to have the safe haven of Nana and Papa’s to retreat to. On our drive to said haven we saw  tons and tons of uprooted trees, which always makes me sad. It really was crazy though. I think due to the fact that we had about four days straight of rain and then got the high winds, those poor trees literally fell over, roots and all. At one point we saw a few old, old oak trees completely destroyed, roots in the air, lawns still clinging to their bases, truly a sad, sad sight. But, DO NOT WORRY. All, and I do mean ALL four hundred political signs across the street were unharmed. So you can rest easy that, despite inclement weather, Northeastern Ohio residents are still reminded that Josh Mandel and Sherrod Brown exist. Thank goodness! Without our televisions broadcasting their dueling puppet commercials 24/7, we might forget about them!!


Aaaand segway…So, if you’re stuck inside due to horrible weather or just have someone you’d like to send into diabetic shock, I recommend baking this cake!



So. Good.



So here are the ingredients you need to make this lusciousness:

  • 2 boxes of brownie mix, whatever brand you prefer. I told you I’m a chef!
  • 1 recipe of rice crispy treats (1 stick butter, 4 cups mini-marshmallows, 5 cups rice crispies, a bit of vanilla…melt, mix, combine, etc.)  *Note: Make your treats on the thin side so you’ll be able to cut the cake easily, and so you’ll have extra left over to eat later. I’m always thinkin’…
  • One recipe of buttercream frosting – I think I did, like, a stick or two of butter, whipped with some milk and then added a package of powdered sugar, as per Betty Crocker’s recipe. This is where I think I’d do something completely different next time. I may experiment with a saltier frosting, something with peanut butter or caramel, perhaps, because the cake is really just too sweet otherwise, said the woman whose family managed power through and eat the whole thing anyway.


Here’s how you do it:

  • Use your brownie mixes to make two round layers. I used a 9 inch round cake pan, which was perfect.
  • Using the cake pan as a guide, cut a 9 inch circle out of your rice crispy treats.
  • Assemble the cake by sandwiching the rice crispy layer between the two brownie layers. I put icing between the layers, as well, just to make sure nothing slid around. I don’t really think that’s necessary, though, since the marshmallows do a good job of keeping everything together.
  • Ice the outside of the cake however you like.
  • Say to yourself, “The Pioneer Woman would eat this!” and consume without guilt.


I still have no name for this cake, so any suggestions would be welcome! Have a great Friday, y’all!


Still Here and Seven Things: Part 3

Hey, folks! I realize I’ve been horridly absent as of late. Things have been busy! Dryers have been delivered (thanks SO much, Mama!), which meant that basements had to be cleaned, brothers-in-law visited, birthdays have been celebrated, I’ve been hacking through the mountain (literally) of laundry that piled up from when we were dryer-less, aaaand the weather has been gorgeous so we’ve been outside playing a lot…which means that I really haven’t been doing that much laundry. Maybe someday my family will have clean underwear. Maybe.


But I’m still here and I hope you are, too!


Here’s a real quick Seven Things update to get you caught up!


1.) This will change your life.

It’s a Brownie Rice Crispy Treat Cake…or something to that effect. I need to come up with a better title, like “Cavity Cake” or “Better Than ‘Better Than Sex Cake.'” The hubz is responsible for imagining this ingenius dessert. I am responsible for the realization of the dream…and most of the consumption. A recipe post will follow.


2.) Mags is going to be Tinkerbell for Halloween, barring any Frankenstorm schedule changes. As long as the “pixie dust” (aka baby powder) holds out, I think she’ll be good. She’s been practicing using the “pixie dust” a lot…so much so that we’ve found baby powder and mysterious little footprints all over the stairs.


3.) Do you know how hard it is to clean up baby powder? Our stairs look like they belong in a crack den…


4.) Which reminds me of the weirdy-weird neighbor we had in Florida. The first night we met him, this guy kindly explained that he was the owner of a parrot, “So if you hear a sound like a woman being murdered, it’s just my bird!” Later he told us that parrots have terrible dander so his apartment looked like it was covered with crack cocaine. Convenient excuses?? Methinks so…


5.) There’s a nature preserve right by my in-laws house. Mags refers to it as “The Magic Woods.” I incorrectly called it “The Magic Forest” yesterday and was quickly corrected. Sheesh. What a loser I am.


I love this picture of Mags in the woods. It pretty much sums up my world right now.




6.) Lily Update: Ohmysweetgoodness that child is absolutely adorable. And sweet. And wonderful. And she laughs all. the. time. She is seriously a carbon copy of her father and I really have a hard time remembering what our lives were like without her.


Just meetin’ a horse…


7.) Mags on potty training accidents: “Mama, I had an accident yesterday. I pooped and I peed. But, but, Mama, I can’t give up!”


I admire her determination.

Birthday Round Two

So this is what I look like the morning after Maggie’s 2nd birthday.



I’m prepared to eat birthday cake for breakfast to rectify the situation.


Here are a few highlights from the celebration:


We opened presents!

Return of Elmo!!


Disney Princess ATV. You know you want one. You also probably know how to steer, a skill which Margaret has yet to master.


Hipsters beware.


We went to the zoo!

Elephants! (Siblings need not mention the fact that I almost completely block out the elephant in the picture. It has been noted. Also, those present all agreed that it was a rather small elephant.)


Telling her daddy all about the giraffes.


And then we went to see the cutest month-old grizzly bears I’ve ever in my life encountered. They were also the only month-old grizzly bears I’ve ever in my life encountered. These little guys were playing non-stop and they were incredibly fun to watch. They tumbled all over their environment and rolled around and played in water. It was precious!



And then my husband pointed out a little cub who he referred to as, “the Mary Susan bear.”

You can guess which one the hubz was referring to...


Yep. He’s the doofus twiddling his thumbs and eating mulch while full-fledged bear-fight carnage goes on behind him. Even I cannot deny the similarities.


And then we saw a polar bear who looked just like our dog, Banjo!

Except, Banjo doesn't have ferocious fangs or giant claws capable of mangling a human in one swipe. He does, however, enjoy lounging in the sun all day.


If you’re ever in Cleveland, please, please promise me that you’ll visit the zoo. It’s really wonderful and very well-done. There’s also a whole rain forest section that’s great, too! If you don’t live in Cleveland, please, please promise me that you’ll visit the closest zoo to you. Zoos are good for the spirit, I say!


After the zoo, we went home and played on the brand new “slide ground” that Nana and Papa had installed in the backyard! (And by “had installed”, I mean that my sweet husband spent hours and hours cursing, changing drill bits, cursing, and hammering. Then he spent hours and hours with his father, presumably cursing and changing more drill bits. Bless their hearts, the person who wrote those instructions obviously doesn’t live a life based on logic. Or chronological order.)


Perfect craftsmanship, I might add!


And, later, we went to eat noodles, the Birthday Girl’s favorite dinner!


A very dignified time was had by all. Especially that guy in the back.


Then we sang and ate cake!




Yes, that's my child eating icing directly off of her cake. Remember when I said it scares me when she copies me? Yeah...


It was pretty much the best birthday I could have requested for my little girl. I’m very much enjoying being on the giving side of the birthday magic. My own parents always gave us the best birthdays and I have a lot of really special birthday memories: slumber parties, trips to exotic Amarillo to spend the weekend with my big sis, my surprise 16th party that wasn’t supposed to happen because I had a C in algebra (still incredibly grateful for that one!). I’m really looking forward to many more years of birthdays with my girls!


So, in order to keep the birthday spirit going, I’d like to propose a question! What are your favorite birthday memories? Feel free to share your best childhood birthday or the best birthday you planned for your child. Where’d you have the best piece of cake and what was your favorite present? I’m anxiously awaiting your replies, as I plan to rip off your good ideas and claim them for my own. In the meantime, I’ll just be eating cake…