Friday, June 22, 2012

Iron Skillet Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Good Morning!
The weekend is almost here!  Tonight we're having friends over for a potluck style dinner.  It's going to be relaxed, and we're going to eat outside on the patio!  I've already got the mosquito stuff ready to go--they're so bad this year--flowers watered, umbrella sprayed off, and cute new patio pillows that Mom made!  I'm going to make fried chicken, a couple of desserts, and iced tea with mint.  My friends are bringing the sides.  I can't wait....but between extra cleaning in the house and cooking I'm going to be a little busy! 

It's a good kind of busy!

Right now, I want to introduce you to the brownies I made Mr. Cozy a couple of nights ago when he came home from his first day of orientation!  I had him a (favorite!)country style meal of Sticky Drumsticks, fried green tomatoes, buttermilk cornbread, salad and iron skillet peanut butter cup brownies for dessert.   It was quite the meal!

This recipe Iron Skillet Brownies come from Paula Deen's Just Desserts cookbook, which I love!  They're called that because you melt together the butter and chocolate in a cast iron skillet and then mix everything else in there, too.  I didn't have pecans so I substituted them with chopped up peanut butter cup (Reese's) candy bars and crumbled the them over the top.  Ahmazing!!  The brownies are actually baked in a 8x8 baking dish not the cast iron skillet, although it was kinda fun to mix the ingredients for a dessert over the stove top.  Only Paula would think of get out her cast iron for dessert, Ha!  I love it! 

The warm chocolate aroma was wafting through the house as our anticipation was building to take a bite!  With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a cold glass of milk, we each ate a piece that left us wanting more!  If you have a chocoholic in the family or are just having "one of those days" I hope you try this easy comforting recipe!  There's nothing better than a rich, fudgy brownie to give you that warm-fuzzy feeling we all need sometimes!

Iron Skillet Brownies
2 -1 oz. squares unsweetened chocolate

1/2 c. ( 1 stick) butter

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 c. unbleached flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. chopped pecans
(I substituted rough chopped peanut butter cups)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 baking pan.

Melt chocolate and butter in an iron skillet over medium heat.  Stir to prevent scorching.

Remove from heat and stir in sugar.

Add eggs and vanilla.

(Here's where I did things a little different than Paula.  I was leery about just adding eggs to a hot mixture, so I did temper the eggs first.  I cracked them into a small bowl and beat them with a little of the melted chocolate mixture.  Then I put all of the tempered eggs into the pan and everything turned out fine!)

Stir in flour, salt, and pecans. 

Mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 40 minutes.  Let cool for a bit and cut into squares.

Yields 9 large or 16 small squares.

You'll have a happy tummy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Sitting Room

Why don't you follow me with your cup of freshly brewed Swiss chocolate-orange coffee and have a seat in my new sitting room!  We also call it "the parlour" or my "nook".

This room is still a bit of a work in progress.  We painted the moulding and trim a gorgeous, glossy, antique white.  We had the color matched at Sherwin Williams.  Mr. Cozy actually took a closet door off the hinges & down to the store for them to match it up!!  Ha, their faces when we walked in with this door!  They matched it up nearly perfect, nearly.  It's a bit different, but I think actually like it a little better because the dove white hue makes it appear more historic.  I'm going to gradually paint the rest of the trim in the house this color.

The walls are still the bright white they were when we moved it, but I'm going to paint them a soft color.  Maybe a very pale sage green or a buttery neutral??  At least now with the mouldings painted, I think the white is fine for now.  Bright and airy!

My grandparents just gave us this beautiful little sofa as a house-warming gift, and I LOVE it!  It's perfect in my sitting room, isn't it?  I'm not sure what I would've put in here to sit on it they hadn't given this to me.  It looks brand new, although it's not.  It sits really well, and the fabric is soft with a delicate pattern that I think is lovely!  It's an Ethan Allen piece.  Thank you Grands!

With this room being in the front corner of the house facing north-east, it gets beautiful sunlight in the morning and evening!  I just had to snap some pictures of the light streaming in through the windows.  These photos don't seem to give it justice, but you get the idea. 

I'm thinking about painting and distressing this coffee table.  For now I draped it with a vintage-patterned (curtain, don't tell!) fabric, and placed a tray topped with pretties.  Of course a girl needs her chocolate!

This is one of a set of nesting tables that Grands also gave us.  I rolled up a quilt at the bottom in case I want to snuggle under something while I read my Little Women collection. :)

My sweet, eyelet pillow I just found at an antique store in Glendale, Ky.
(I love that little town!!)

Here's the narrow door (that recently traveled to Sherwin Williams) that goes into a very small, but useful closet. Through the doorway you can see a peak into the guest bedroom.  That's for another time!

Here's my make-shift desk space.  I said this room is a work in progress, but that doesn't mean it can't look pretty in the meantime.  Here's where I'll do much of my downloading pictures and blogging.  I have my cards and stamps organized and ready to write!  I love sending people a card in the mail!  I'm sure my book shelves in here are going to grow.  I can see myself spending a lot of time drinking tea and indulging in  good novel!  It's a tranquil space.

The pair of these pictures were gifts to Mr. Cozy for graduating from medical school.  He is now a pediatric resident, and my Grandaddy picked them out because they have sweet pictures of children!  This one has a scripture, a wonderful passage of promise from the Lord!
"Ask, and it will be given to you
Seek and you will find
Knock and the door will be opened to you"
Matthew 7:7

These prints are dear to me, and I'm so glad to have them in the sitting room!  The colors and illustration remind me of another time.  (There's something about this one that reminds me of Anne of Green Gables.) That's what I want my sitting room to portray, a feeling of yesteryear!  

I love that this picture looks like a mother and daughter together, and it reads "Love Never Ends".

Isn't there something about the Victorian era that's fascinating?!  Speaking of, the show Downton Abbey reminds me of that era.  I am in love with that show!!  I laugh and cry and gasp my way through every one!  The clothes are also beautiful, the manners, the proper English accents, gorgeous English countryside....*sigh 

There's still a little ways to go in this room, but it already has the warmth and serenity that I wanted to create!  I've already had prayer time in it, read, written cards, and Mr. Cozy has played the guitar to our singing in this room.  Just in the past couple of weeks we already made a few memories here! 

 My kitchen is smelling good with Sticky Slow Cooker Drumsticks in the crock pot, and I have an itch to bake something, too!  I'll let you know how that goes.  Enjoy your own home, sweet Friends. The beautifully decorated rooms and the small nooks.  They all tell a story! 

(Not sure what font you're seeing on my blog title and posts right now. I changed my fonts about a week ago and today the new one isn't showing up the right way.  I'm going to try to figure this out!  The woes of blogger!) 

I'm linking up with:

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Taste of Home

This precious cape cod house is our new home!  Mr. Cozy just put a fresh coat of black paint on the shutters last week.  They are working shutters that are probably original to the 1945 house.  I love that they can actually swing open and close!  I think it just adds to the character.  Oh! actually the shutters on the window to the left were completely missing when we bought the house.  We found them behind the shed in the back, and they looked well worn and one was broken in half.  My hubby knew just what to with a little time, wood glue and a clamp, they were good as new within just a few hours!  I'm really glad they're back on the house, because I think they help to show off the pretty windows.  Thanks, Honey, for all of your hard work on the house!

The shrubs were very over grown, but we've trimmed them back so you can see the windows much better.  We also planted a pink pincushion flower right beside the steps.  We hope to eventually add to the landscape more with perhaps some red knock-out rose bushes and other perennials!  There's so much potential here!

The two trees you're looking through in the picture are dogwoods.  The one on the right blooms pink and the left white.  By the size of the trunks we know they're very old, and they're some of the largest dogwood trees I've ever seen!!:)  I'm very proud of them.  I also love the Japanese maple in the front corner of the house, although we need to trim that one branch of the large maple tree that is hiding the Japanese maple and the house a little bit. (Not sure if you can see that from this picture.)  I thing at a time, Leslie!

*Sigh*  I'm so happy living here!  So many things to be thankful for.  It feels as though I have a little piece of Heaven in the middle of the city!  It's all my own...wake me up...and I really a homeowner?!?

I wanted to show you my bounty from the farmers market Saturday, that we can walk to!  Look at how pretty the bunch of carrots are, and the ripe tomatoes came from an Amish stand.  The pretty green tomatoes are from Mr. Cozy's parents' house.  I can't wait to make some fried green tomatoes with those!!  (It can be hard to find them still green like that.)  I thought it was pretty to place everything in my colander, at least for the day!  My friend Shareen does that, and I like the idea.

I'm off to start supper now. Although I'm not sure yet what I'm making, it's going to involve fried green tomatoes!

Blessings! :)

I'm linking up with my friends at:


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

I could talk and talk to you about this delicious strawberry dessert Mom and I made a few weeks ago when strawberry season had began! Why would I have so much to say? To start, probably because strawberries are my favorite berry....

Strawberries in season are even more reason to celebrate the late spring/early summer season.....

Because the only thing that could possibly enhance the taste of a strawberry would be freshly whipped cream....

I love to watch the frothy goodness turn into decadent fluffy cream...

"Pile it on high!" Mom said to me. :)

And the best thing about this dessert is that it was made in Mom's kitchen, amongst laughter and licking spoons with a view out the kitchen window of countryside paradise.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Sour Cream Pound Cake, cubed
Fresh Strawberries, chopped

For the whipped cream:
Heavy Whipping Cream, very cold
 Real Vanilla Extract
 Spoons for Licking (important!!)

This can't get any easier!

Assemble in layers like you would any shortcake, but in a large trifle dish. I started mine with the strawberries that sat with sugar for at least half an hour to get juicy. Next add cubes of cake, more strawberries and then whipped cream. Start over again with the strawberries. I ended the trifle with strawberries, but made a huge mound of the whipped cream in the center for a grand finale! Delicious!

As a yummy variation, I have toasted sliced almonds and layered that with the whipped cream. If you do that, also add a dash of almond extract to the cream. This variation is unreal!
Serve on a hot day to a relaxed crowd. This is a classic summertime dessert that will be sure to please all!

Don't you love when you serve something so easy, yet beautiful?
I don't have time to chat, unfortunately, but I had to share this with y'all today! We're going back home to visit for a couple of nights. Pa (Mr. Cozy's grandad) is going to look at our antique table. Unfortunately it was hurt in the move. He's a carpenter by trade, and he's the best! Back to the country we go for a bit.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Our New Home!

Hello Dear Friends,  I've missed you!!!

It's been a couple of months since I've actually posted anything on The Cozy Little Kitchen, though there's much to share.  We've moved!  We now live in Louisville, Ky. in a beautiful, vibrant neighborhood full of historic homes with lively restaurants and shopping only a couple blocks away!  Thanks be to God, we found a cottage that's perfect for Mr. Cozy and I to make into our home!  This is our first house to buy, and I know that it's a gift from the Lord.

I have to interject, Mr. Cozy graduated from Medical School....Woowho!!!

He's going to start working at Kosair Children's Hospital July 1st, and the madness of residency will begin.  In the meantime, we've spent every day together.  It's been wonderful, especially after 4 stressful years of not much quality time at all!  We've been working on our house, painting, cleaning, painting, gardening, painting and decorating galore.  It's so much fun to pour yourself into a place that's your own.  It's so satisfying! 

I cannot share with you enough how many prayers God has answered over the past couple of months.  My hubby graduating from medical school is HUGE!  He will tell you that he couldn't have done it without the Lord to sustain Him.  Also, this house we live in is in a neighborhood that we didn't think we could afford!!  It's a miracle the previous owners dropped the price enough-- right before we were going to give up on it-- for us to have a chance at purchasing it.  God orchestrated the entire thing!  We've looked at this house for a year online, drove past it when we were in town, and prayed over it; all the while it was out of reach for us.  Like I said, right before we were going to give up on it, the price dropped pretty significantly and we were in!  We could make an offer and eventually we got it.  Thank you, Jesus!

(This picture was taken before we actually closed on the house on a very chilly, rainy day in early April.  Notice we have 2 dogwood trees in bloom!)

We knew it had work to be done since it had been vacant for almost 2 years, but the house is full of the historic character we desired and charm that you can't seem to find in newer homes.  (Did I mention it was built in 1945?)  I love that!

....(I feel like I have so much to say, but I can't do it all right now. I just have to touch base with you all!)....

I've got to go get my walk in, then start up again by helping the Hubs paint the shutters with a fresh coat of glossy black!  Have a blessed day my Friends, and I'll be back so very soon!