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Archive for September, 2014

C & I both love to read and absolutely LOVE checking out eBooks from our local library.  Many books I have read in the last year or two were happy surprises I found while browsing the online selections.  Today’s book is one of those and it is “Mr. Churchill’s Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery” by Susan Elia MacNeal.

Here is the first line:

“Half an hour before Diana Snyder died, she tidied up her desk in the typists’ office of the Cabinet War Rooms.”

This book is set in England during the Blitz of World War II and tells the story of an extremely intelligent woman, Maggie Hope,  stuck working as a typist to do her part during the great war.  Needless to say, Ms. Hope finds herself in the middle of a mystery while working as Winston Churchill’s secretary. 

I am a sucker for historical fiction whether it is set in the 1740s, 1840s or 1940s and this was a great book.  This is also a series (Yay for series!) so I plan on reading more of the Maggie Hope books.

Please join me at Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings.

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September…

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Non-Menu Plan Monday

Well, how is everybody?  Me?  I am just fine and finally feeling like blogging again.  For some reason, this summer just took its toll on me and my inspiration well had run completely dry.  Thankfully, the urge to cook, take photos, and (most importantly for this space) write about it is finally coming back. 

I guess I can blame it on the hot weather, but that’s not really it.  There have been a few family health issues going on which thankfully are resolving themselves nicely.  Praise God!!  C & I also have a big personal project we are diving into and, hopefully, I can fill you in on that a little more in the near future.  It’s a wonderful opportunity but a BIGGIE!!!  In fact, if you want to say a little prayer for us, please and thank you, that would be just great.

Do you ever have the feeling that your brain is evolving into something a little different?  I guess that sounds weird, but I have been toying with the idea of changing my blog name to something that seems more “me”.  For some reason, PPC just doesn’t seem to perfectly match what I want this space to be.  I am far from perfect and even though (as my tag line says) cooking and photography are my perfect hobbies, I have never been really comfortable with the word “perfect” in the title.

Maybe I am being too sensitive, but I really don’t want to try to be perfect because I know I can’t be.  Only God and Jesus are perfect and I can only strive to be even just a tiny smidgen like them.  There may be a few changes in this little space, but maybe not.  Can you say, “Indecisive”? 

Thanks for sticking with me through my dry spell until I felt the proverbial rain filling my well again.  Stay tuned for some fun things to come!

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I was in a baking mood the other day and decided to try one of The Pioneer Woman’s decadent looking dessert recipes.  Brownies are one of my favorite sweet treats, but I am not the best at making them.  These looked pretty full proof so I decided to give it a go.  How can you go wrong with all of that butter and chocolate? Mmmmm, I wish I had one right now!

The Pioneer Woman Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies 1

1 cup unsalted butter

5 oz. baking chocolate (I used a combo of both unsweetened and semi-sweet.)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

3 whole large eggs

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the baking chocolate over low meat, whisking occasionally until smooth and melted.  Sprinkle in the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.  Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes.

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Stir in the sugar and vanilla until just combined.  Stir in one egg at a time.  Gently stir in the flour until halfway incorporated then add the chips.  Gently finish stirring in the flour and chips.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.  If the center of the brownies are still too gooey or messy, bake for another 5 minutes but don’t over cook the edges.  The brownies will firm up as they cool.  Allow to cool completely (important), then slice and enjoy!!!
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The Pioneer Woman Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies 2

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