Heartbreak Virgin

(This is a reprint of a post I wrote in Spring 2012)

I love Spring!  It is my favorite season!

Birds chirping, trees budding,  flowers blooming,warm days and nights with the windows open.  What is not to love?  Well, if you ask Joe Cool there is NOTHING to love right now.

I recently talked about Joe Cool and the quips he comes up with.  However, right now he has no quips.  He is mopey, and moody and downright droopy.  Why you ask?  How is it possible to be droopy during this fabulous beautiful season?
After all, this is the season of LOVE?  Spring fever, when everyone comes out of their little boxes called houses and starts to enjoy the warm weather.  Humans, animals, everyone gets in on the  emergence.  Bears hibernate in caves, and I think sometimes humans hibernate in our houses during the winter. When the weather gets cold we hunker down and sit tight.  Until Spring, then we come out of our caves blinking our eyes and shedding our layers.

But that is not this story.  This story is about Joe Cool and why he is so mopey. He is mopey because he has recently suffered his first heartbreak.

Yes, my own sweet son is just plain heartbroken.  Sad, mopey, droopy and just plain moody.  In a word, he is just toefog.

He and his girlfriend (I will call her Ginger) of 16 months broke up the weekend after Valentine’s day. Although it was a mutual decision (according to Joe Cool), he still has feelings for Ginger and he just can’t seem to shake them. On a good note, I have raised a kid who is NOT a player and is true blue.  On a downward note, this means he has a hard time letting go.

This is my first time dealing with teenaged heartbreak that isn’t my own. I have two biological children.  Joe Cool who is almost 15 and The Genius who is almost 13.  Lovely Bluebell has two biological children, The Girl, who is almost 20 and The Hunter who is 17.

Neither The Girl, nor The Hunter have had relationships while living with us (The Girl moved out on her own last summer after graduation).  The Hunter is shy and hasn’t had a girlfriend yet.  So we have not yet had to deal with our kids having a broken heart and the angst it brings.

I have tried to be supportive and explain to Joe Cool that yes it sucks, but in time he will feel better.  I have encouraged him to invite friends over to play video games and have promised to feed them pizza and brownies.  I have tried to keep him busy to keep his mind off of his broken heart, all to no avail.  Yesterday when he came home from school he was particularly mopey.  On the drive to guitar lessons I was able to pull out of him what was bothering him.  He is very upset because Ginger apparently is interested in a new dude.  Joe Cool has been “hanging around” her hoping that she will give him the time of day, but apparently she has moved on more quickly than he has…..

I remember being a teenager and all of the drama, angst and difficulty it brought.  I remember having my heart broken.  I remember being in love.  I am one of those adults who believes teens can love each other and be in love.  Granted it may not be a mature love, but I believe it is love nonetheless.  Think about it those of you who are naysayers….your teen knows how to love you, and family members. So they know how to love.  Why can’t they have those same deep feelings for a boyfriend or girlfriend their own age?????

I shared with him the story of my “first love” and how that boy had broken my heart and dumped me for a girl named Jill.  (Those of you who went to school with me get three guesses who I am talking about).  I told him how I had my “revenge” when after I graduated I ran into First Love boy and he wanted to date me again.  I had the karmic joy of telling him, “dream on buddy.”  That felt good.  (He liked that story, he even had a little gleam in his eye.)  His response was, “Yeah, when I am an Aerospace Engineer making the big bucks, she will be sorry.”  I did NOT dissuade him, who am I to steal his dream?????  (Ummmm, if she even remembers you dude, but okaaayy)…..

Using my most encouraging tone I talked to him about “giving Ginger her space”, and “hanging out with his bro’s instead”, and even “give it some time and it will get better.”  He did seem to perk up.  Especially when I pointed out all of Joe’s cool points and reminded him that “karma is a bitch”, and one day he would be on top of the world and Ginger might not.  However, in my Glenda the Good Fairy way, I reminded him that if he truly is Ginger’s friend when she is down he will be there for her in a “friend” sort of way.  He liked that.  I think he liked the part where in his mind he had one up on Ginger, and she received her “comeuppance”, but whatever works…..he is only almost 15.

Cross your fingers this awesome weather and the sheer joy of Spring brings him out of his blues……..  I will let you know how it goes…….

Pudding shots!! YUM!

One of the things I am most thankful for is sugar free pudding.  I am thankful for sugar free pudding because if you have a bad day you can knock back two or three of those bad boys and not feel guilty.

So one day when I had just finished consuming my second 60 calorie sugar free pudding and was about to reach for a third, Bluebell said to me…..”you know, you could drink them like shots”

…..to which my brain said

…. “PUDDING SHOTS……….YEAH!!”

Now I am very fortunate because I have some awesome ladies that live in my neighborhood who I have become BFF’s with over the past few years. Sooooo, a couple of days after Bluebell mentioned pudding shots to me, three of my BFF’s and I decided to drive together to go shopping at Trader Joes……ummmmm isn’t that what suburban housewives do???

Hey, none of us had to work or go to school that day….don’t be haters……
So as we were driving we were discussing life and I was telling the ladies what Bluebell had said about the pudding shooters.  As we were talking we realized we were all getting together (there are 7 families in this little BFF family group) to celebrate The Hunter’s birthday on the following Saturday So we decided we needed to try to make pudding shots so I could blog about it. (Yeah, nothing in it for them either huh…..snort….)    So Friday I went shopping for puddings and made sure we had some tasty liquor and liqueurs to mix with the pudding.

On Saturday night the families arrive and we decide to have a judging of different pudding flavors with different alcohols.  The two pudding flavors we used during the experimentation were dark chocolate and vanilla.  I think the Jello sugar free dark chocolate is the creamiest of the chocolates, so that is what I bought, and plain vanilla for a different flavor palate…..(I may have been watching too much Food Network….)

We used our resident fabulous mixologist M. to mix the alcohol and the pudding to make sure we had the right consistency and taste. He poured and whisked and tasted and poured and whisked and tasted to make sure all was right.  The first batch we made was chocolate with Baileys Irish Cream and Kahlua.
Then we had some tasters.  And the results were…………….. (insert drum roll)

Chocolate pudding with Kahlua and Irish Cream

and

Big N loved them!

and

Our mixologist thought they were yummy!

Now we didn’t leave out the others, but I was so busy tasting that I forgot to take pictures…..must have been the chocolate alcohol haze I was starting to go into……..


Round number two was dark chocolate pudding and Godiva chocolate liquer….and the results were:

S loved them!!

I have to say that one was my personal FAVE!!!


Then we tried:
vanilla pudding and Buttershots liqueuer

Buttershots and vanilla.

Results:

The NewYorRican loved them!

and

A. was slurping them back!

and 
THEN we got even more creative……do I need to mention that we had all had about 5 or 6 shots by this point……so, we got creative (wait I already said that), and mixed the chocolate and vanilla together:

Chocolate and vanilla in same shot glass….why not?
Tinkerbell had a huge shot glass. She didn’t let it out of her sight!

That was Tinkerbell’s shot glass, it was huge, and she DID NOT let it out of her hands……

Steelers fan loved them too!

Then we tried mixing choc and vanilla in the same glass: (does anyone hear an echo here?)
Then I decided to beatTinkerbell at her own game and pulled out a 9 oz cup……. I  just chucked the whole shot glass idea at that point.

My solo cup is bigger than your shot glass Tink.

But the Steelers fan had the best idea of all!

Who needs a glass anyway????

And the best part is if you get pulled over on the way home and the police officer asks if you have been drinking, you can say, “Why no Officer, just had some pudding with some friends.”

Just kidding, I don’t condone slurping and driving!!!  The good news is all of my friends could just walk home!

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

Yesterday I posted a recipe for a delicious low sugar cheesecake I just love. Today is a recipe that is NOT low sugar or healthy in the least.  But life is about moderation, and sometimes you just need to have the sugar laden chocolatey fudginess of an amazing brownie.  This is that day!!

I have a sweet tooth.  I LOVE chocolate!  And chocolate brownies are SOUL food for me! Seriously, I am not joking.  If I have had a bad day or dealing with PMPS (Perimenopausal syndrome-my own word…lol),  a fudgy delicious brownie can transform me from a maniacal person to a calm, happy smiling person.  Nuff said.  With that in mind, I have always searched for the fudgiest, yummiest brownie recipe, and I think I have found it!!!!

KING ARTHUR FLOUR FUDGE BROWNIES
•    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
•    2 cups light brown sugar
•    3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
•    1 teaspoon salt
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but recommended ( I did not use)
•    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•    4 large eggs
•    1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
•    2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
Directions
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan
2) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly, just until it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
3) While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
4) Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
5) Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
6) Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan.
7) Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.  ( I will reduce time to 25 minutes the next time I make these)

Amazing!!
Melt the butter in the microwave until melted

Mix with sugar in a pan over low heat until it is hot but not bubbling.

Mix eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla in a bowl.

Add the hot butter/sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Then add the flour.

And chocolate chips.

Put the batter in a greased 9×13 pan.

 

Bake for 30 minutes.  (I will reduce time to 25 the next time I bake them.)

Amazing!!
I could not take a photo that showed the amazing fudginess of these brownies, so I used a photo from an amazing baking website called Barbara Bakes.  You really need to check out her site.  She has recipes I can’t wait to try!