Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

This is a confession.  I love peanut butter.  I like it on toast, on a banana and sometimes I just stick a teaspoon right into the jar and eat it without anything else.  However, the number one way I like peanut butter is in a cookie.  I saw this recipe in a magazine and knew I had to make it.  Not only does the cookie itself have peanut butter in it, but the cream frosting in the center of the sandwich also contains my secret pleasure.  They are delicious!  The recipe is also pretty easy.  Just mix, refrigerate, slice and bake.  I hate recipes that are complicated and take all day.  Join us here on Acorns On Glen as we make these peanut butter delights. 


For the cookie:

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 large egg

For the filling:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, preferable natural
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream


In a bowl, whisk together baking soda, salt, and 2 cups flour; set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter until light and fluffy; beat in egg.

 With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined (do not overmix).

Form dough into two 8-inch-long rectangular logs. Wrap each log in waxed or parchment paper; freeze until firm, about 1 hour.  I made mine late in the evening and chilled overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. With a sharp knife, slice dough 1/4 inch thick; place on two baking sheets, 1 inch apart.

Bake until cookies are puffed, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to wire racks; let cool.

Make filling.  Beat all ingredients with an electric mixer on medium until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down side of bowl.  Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.  Bring to room temperature; stir with a flexible spatula before using.

Spread about a tablespoon of filling onto the bottom part of one cookie.  Place another cookie on top placing the bottom part on top of the filling.  Finish filling the remaining cookies and then dive in and have a couple.  The recipe makes 30 completed cookies.  What food item (like peanut butter) can’t you get enough of when it is in the house?

Friday Dance Party

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party here on Acorns On Glen.  Why do we do this every Friday?  I think we all need time to celebrate another week of LIVING through reflection and dancing.  Let’s start by giving thanks that we have survived another week.  We’ve gotten through work, taking care of our families, checking up on friends.  We’ve even gotten through the “Spring ahead” time change.  We were a little fuzzy after the time change, but we survived it.  However, the best thing to celebrate–we are alive and kicking.  This week we need to be especially grateful about this fact given the tragic events our poor friends in Japan have been enduring.  Be strong, Japan!!  So take a minute to reflect about your great life and getting through the challenges that faced you this week.  Also say a prayer for the people of Japan.  You are truly lucky, especially after the devastating events we’ve witnessed this week.  Did you do that?

Good….now let’s dance.

It needs to get warm here.  I don’t think my hands or feet have been warm since mid-December.  We’ve had some sun, but will it last?  Earlier this week, I wrote about Spring and how it needs to get here…NOW!  I am sick of snow, of clouds, of gray sky…..OK, I am sick to death of Winter.  Spring needs to take charge now and send Winter packing!  I need some full-time sun to warm me.  So how can I get warm until the sun decides to show up for the long haul?  Well, we can start by going to a place that has a weather forecast for the next few days in the low 80’s.  So I’m going to ask my Baby to smile at me and we’re going to RIO…..DE JANEIRO!  Yes, Rio.  So turn up your speakers and join my Baby, Peter Allen, some Rockettes, a camel and me on an imaginary trip to Rio De Janeiro.  At least the dancing will help warm me up until Spring decides to become the boss.  Samba, anyone?  Enjoy the video show and remember to shake it hard…you’ve earned it!!  Do you have any ways that you celebrate life on a regular basis that you would like to share?

A Miracle Turns Ugly

This is a waterfall that I never knew existed.  In a recent post about Spring, I had mentioned that I had taken a long walk on Glen Road.  Our dog, JoJo, joined me as well.  It was a nice feeling being out on a beautiful Spring-like day and it was the perfect opportunity to get JoJo out for a walk.  She loves the out of doors and this Winter has not given her much of an opportunity to get out and about.  After a few new twists and turns from the path we normally take, I began to hear the sound of splashing and running water.  As I walked towards the sound, the water noises began to get louder and louder.  Rounding the corner, I came across a little miracle….a waterfall.  Maybe water from the swollen creek coming over a dam built by some busy beavers?  I had no idea that this waterfall existed.  Maybe it was just created by the melting winter snow and rain?  I stood there taking these pictures thinking about how something so lovely and peaceful could just pop up out of nowhere.  JoJo stood there in silence as well.  I think she was as surprised as I was that something so beautiful existed so close to home.  This is like a story about life, really.  The fact that you never know what you will see when you round a corner or start a new chapter in your own life.  Nature, in particular for me, gives me miracles almost every day if I look for them.  A sprouting seed, a tomato on a vine, a butterfly, a waterfall.  All signs that wonderful things are out there if you are aware and in the moment.

As JoJo and I ventured closer to the dam itself, it did indeed appear to have many traits that told us this was the work of a beaver.  Beavers are known for their natural trait of building dams on rivers and streams, and building their homes (known as “lodges”) in the resulting pond.  Beavers also build canals to float build materials that are difficult to haul over land.  They use powerful front teeth to cut trees and other plants that they use both for building and for food.  In the absence of existing ponds, beavers must construct dams before building their lodges. First they place vertical poles, then fill between the poles with a crisscross of horizontally placed branches.  They fill in the gaps between the branches with a combination of weeds and mud until the dam impounds sufficient water to surround the lodge.  This dam and the waterfall over it was spectacular.  A couple more shots from the path and then JoJo and I would be ready to walk again knowing that we would absolutely come back soon.  I picked JoJo up and we began to walk.  Then it happened…………

There was a slapping noise on the water and then the sound of feet crunching on dead leaves and grass.  I could not believe what was crawling towards us.  Before our eyes was a brave beaver now standing right by us.  You know I do not like critters, especially ones that drop by without an invitation.  I’m not sure what size a normal beaver really is, but this one was huge (in my mind).  Wet, dripping, redish-brown fur, black beady eyes and five inch razor-sharp claws.  I even think I caught a whiff of hot, steamy, foul-smelling breath coming from its nostrils and mouth.  I was terrified!  How could this be happening to me?  In my mind, I could see the beaver attacking me.  It has teeth that can cut down trees, so I knew that this beaver could easily take me with one bite.  It would knock me out with one slap of its tail on my head.  It would chew me up and store me for future meals.  Future explorers to the dam would look down to find a dirty leg bone (mine) that was used to hold back the water.  The Coroner would confirm on the news a week later that the bone did indeed belong to the man from Glen Road that went missing in the woods.  Thank God I had JoJo in my arms.  The beaver just survived a punishing winter and had to be hungry.  Maybe it was thinking that JoJo looked like an appetizer?  Do beavers have a taste for Yorkies?

I did the most manly thing I could think of while standing there paralyzed with fear.  I let out a high-pitched scream.  This scream was so loud and shrill that it could be heard by animals within a seven mile radius.  No human would ever be able to hear my scream due to the high decibel level that came out of my mouth.  Human ears just aren’t capable of hearing at this pitch.  I turned around, Yorkie in hand, and ran for my life.  I made some zig zags in my course in case the beaver used its strong legs and lunged at me.  It might miss me if I keep going to the left and then to the right.  I quit running about a hundred yards away.  I turned around to see the beast, but it was gone.  Back into the water it loves so well.  That damned dam….why did my miracle have to end so ugly?  What are some of your real-life critter stories that you can share on Acorns On Glen? 

The Seeds Have Arrived! The Seeds Have Arrived!

This is a picture to confirm that the seeds for my 2011 garden have arrived.  If you remember my last seed post, I had narrowed down my search for the right seed company to Johnny’s Selected Seeds out of what seemed to me to be hundreds of seed catalogs that came to Glen Road.  Right after that earlier seed post , I sat down and made my order and now they are here.  It is perfect timing since this coming weekend will be about the right time to plant these seeds and place them under the grow light in preparation for planting when the soil gets to the right temperature.  I am estimating this will be mid to late-May.  While most of my seeds came from Johnny’s, I did buy some heirloom seeds from a runner-up, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  Let me share with you what seeds I have ordered for the 2011 garden.  Let’s start with the order from Johnny’s,

  • Skywalker F1 Organic Cauliflower – best organic variety for fall harvest.  Uniform, medium-sized, self-wrapping heads.  I will start this one indoors under my grow light and place outside in mid to late-May.
  • Tendersweet F1 Cabbage, Early Green – midsize, flat heads stand well without splitting.  Leaves are thin, sweet and crisp.  I will start this one indoors under my grow light and place outside in mid to late-May.
  • Celebrity F1 Tomato, Red Short Vine – my father’s favorite tomato to grow.  Medium-large, 7-8 ounce tomato.  Flavorful, globe-shaped, firm red fruits that ripen mid-season.  I will start this one indoors under my grow light and place outside in mid to late-May.
  • Granadero F1 Organic Tomato – wanted a great sauce tomato.  Produces a uniform, attractive, bright red fruit, 4-5 ounces in size.  Thick-walled construction makes it good for sauce.  I will start this one indoors under my grow light and place outside in mid to late-May.
  • Allstar Gourmet Lettuce Mix Greens, Salad and Braising Mix – Johnny’s most popular brand of salad greens.  Able to hold its color and resist mildew.  Made up of Green Oakleaf, Red Oakleaf, Green Romaine, Red Romaine, Lollo Rossa, Greenleaf and Redleaf lettuces.
  • Rover F1 Radish, Small Round Red – a great round red radish.  Smooth, round, dark red roots with a crisp, snow-white flesh.
  • D’Avignon Radish, Speciality – a traditional variety from Southern France.  3-4 inches long with a mostly red root, but with white tips.
  • Bull’s Blood Organic Beet, Heirloom – this beet shows a candy-striped root and the leaves are dark red and can be used to jazz up your salad.  This variety is often listed on different garden websites as one of the best.
  • Touchstone Gold Organic Beet, Specialty – this beet shows smooth roots that are golden in color, even when cooked.  Sweet flavor.  Leaves are green in color.
  • Nautic Organic Brussel Sprouts – a full-season sprout for late fall harvest.  Medium sized sprouts with an excellent taste.  I will start this one indoors under my grow light and place outside in mid to late-May.
  • Purple Top White Globe Organic Turnip – this is a traditional American turnip.  Smooth, round roots, 3-4 inches in diameter, that are white below the soil line and bright purple above.
  • Copra Organic Onion Plants F1 – onions are easier to grow from pregrown, spring dug plants.  These will be live onion plants delivered in May.
  • Traviata F1 Organic Eggplant, Italian – traditional Italian eggplants from organic seed.  Glossy black fruit in classic bell shape.  I will start this one indoors under my grow light and place outside in mid to late-May.

Here’s a little glossary of some terms used above or some notes I have made that are relevant:

F1: F1 refers to “first filial” or first generation offspring. Hybrid varieties of vegetables and flowers are typically F1 hybrids.  Hybrids are the offspring of a cross between two or more varieties, usually of the same species.  Hybrids are developed by the long, slow process of traditional plant breeding, which relies on natural reproductive methods. Hybrids are crosses between two or more parents with different desirable traits. Pollen from one parent plant is transferred to the flowers of the other parent plant. The seeds that develop are an F1, first filial generation, hybrid.

HEIRLOOM: An old variety that owes its present availability to the seed-saving efforts of amateurs.

UNTREATED: Seeds that have no chemical treatments. All seeds in my order were specified to be untreated.

Here is my small order from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds,

  • Blue Lake Bush Bean – this dark-green bean has been a standard for over 40 years.  The bush plants set heavy yields of flavorful pods that are tender and crisp.  Developed in 1961 from the Pole Blue Lake.  I ordered these because they are listed on many garden websites as one of the best bush bean to grow.

You might see some obvious exclusions in my orders.  No peppers, squash or broccoli–I’m not really a fan of these popular vegetables.  Sweet corn, peas or cucumbers–not sure I have enough room in my garden.  You need a lot of these to get enough to eat and I have some space limitations.  Carrots–a lot of gardeners I talk to say it is just easier to buy organic carrots at the supermarket.  I take orders well, so I’ll believe them.  As Spring gets here, I have so much to share about my 2011 garden in the next few weeks.  I am busy!  I would imagine you are as well with your gardening chores.  What are you doing now to get ready for your 2011 garden?

JoJo’s Journal

This is another edition of JoJo’s Journal….bark!  This week I can’t wait to show you my new toy.  Actually, it is not really a toy, although I have a lot of fun with it and play with it almost every day.  It is actually a piece of equipment that I have fallen in love with since my roommates here on Glen Road brought it home for me.  What is it?  You all know my love for diamonds, pearls and treats, but it’s none of these.  Here it is…the big reveal.  It is a doggy high chair and here I am sitting in it!

I mainly sit in my high chair during meal time on Glen Road.  It took my roommates some time to figure out that I was not running under the table and barking at them during meal time because I wanted to eat.  That is just silly as I have my own food and treats.  I don’t want their food as well.  I just wanted that eye-level boost that keeps me from feeling left out.  I want to see everyone at eye level and be able to listen and join in on the conversation.  This clip-on high chair is a great alternative to having to pick me up and sit me in your lap while you are trying to eat.  That’s not comfortable for anyone involved.  My high chair makes me feel a part of the dinner crowd and now I don’t have to make a nuisance of myself in order to be a part of the action.  I love it! 

Let me tell you how my high chair works.  My high chair clips on to tables or counter tops up to two inches thick using the same rubber-grip technology used in child clip-on booster chairs.  Easy-slide straps help to adjust the height of my high chair without tools.  That’s good because Glen Road is not known to be very good with using tools.  There are two inner tether straps that can connect to my leash to keep me safely inside the high chair.  I have to tell you that we don’t really use this feature as I am thrilled to be in my high chair and would never jump out.  Recently, I’ve wanted to take several of my daily naps in the high chair.  It is so comfortable.  My high chair is made of easy-clean nylon with an inner, removable cushion for my comfort.  You know that I am the Queen.  The best part–it is machine washable for those rare times I eat a little treat inside of it and get it a little dirty.  I do need to tell you this….it is only for small pets up to 10 pounds.  Big dogs need not apply.  Thank god because there would be nothing more ridiculous than seeing an 80 pound dog hanging off your counter top.  🙂  You can find my high chair and other pet items at a great website called Doctors Foster and Smith,  Feel free to see more pictures of me in my high chair in the gallery below.  I’m glad you stopped by again at Acorns On Glen and caught up with me….bark.  I’ll see you next time!  What crazy toys or equipment do you have in your home for your furry pet?

Spring, Are You Playing With My Emotions Or Not?

This is a sign that Spring is near.  After setting the clock ahead one hour last night except the one by my bed, I woke up this morning at 9 AM only realizing about a half an hour later that it was really 10:30 AM.  Talk about time flying by, right!  Given that the weather here in Connecticut is pretty nice today, I decided to celebrate my extra sleep with a little walk around the yard and forest here on Glen Road.  I quickly found these little crocus poking their heads up telling me that Winter is almost done.  Said another way, Spring is near.  This revelation made me more alert and I could see that life was starting throughout the garden and woods.  Proof was there if you paid close attention.

This Winter was very hard here on Glen Road.  Record snow and more ice than I can ever remember.  We bought a new snow blower at the beginning of Winter and decided that we could shovel and plow on our own now.  Let’s save money and cancel out of our plowing service.  Little did we know what we were signing up for with the record snowfall this year.  The worst was when we had to plow and shovel thirty inches of snow that fell during the night.  We also decided to do an addition over our garage during the Winter months which meant that we would need to park our cars outside for the Winter.  Snow on a car is hard enough, but getting an inch of ice off a windshield is beyond crazy.  The office I work in was closed five times this season due to the weather.  I never remember our building being closed.  This year’s Winter seemed to take a heavy emotional toll on all of us as well.  When you don’t see the sun for most of the season and can’t leave the house due to the crazy conditions outside, it’s easy to get a little stir crazy.  A little depressed, I guess.  I am so happy that Spring is ready to arrive.  I need to see the sun, the grass, leaves on trees, a tulip.  Then I walk a little further and a rude reminder hits me smack in the face.  SNOW!!  You are still here.  You could easily come back for one more visit, maybe more.

Is Spring playing with my emotions?  Is Spring teasing me or is Winter just being a bully?  Spring needs to get here NOW.  I need you to arrive.  No little hints.  JUST DO IT!  I know that it could still snow again.  I can’t take it.  Sign me up for a straight jacket.  I will go crazy if I see one more snowflake.  How sick of winter are you? 

Friday Dance Party

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen….live concert edition.  Before we dance, let’s give thanks for another week.  We are here, we are breathing and we are finally approaching Spring.  If you are flexible enough, give yourself a hug or pat yourself on the back.  We made it through another one, and now….let’s dance.

If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know this has been somewhat of a hard and strange week for me.  I’m not really in the mood to dance hard.  I just want to do a little sway back and forth and enjoy some slow music.  An earlier post I made this week was a sadder one than usual for Acorns On Glen and in it I mentioned my high school trip to French Canada in 1979.  After writing that and thinking about my trip to French Canada, I remembered that before, during and after the trip I had listened (over and over and over again) to Gino Vanelli’s “I Just Want To Stop”.  Remember the first line?  “When I think about those nights in Montreal, I get the sweetest thoughts of you and me”.  You know, Montreal>>French Canada.  You get the picture.  The song reminds me of a great trip and a trip that was the first time I traveled without my parents and the first time I left the U.S. (remember, my troubles started when I returned home!).  I worked hard for some live concert footage of Gino and found this from a concert video from 1979.  Sorry, I’m not sure what the angry part is all about at the beginning.

So, chalk up another week.  Get ready to sway back and forth.  I’ll be imagining I’m one of Gino’s backup singers that you see in the video.  Feel free to shake it if you want to do it.  I don’t care.  You deserve to dance to this song in any way you like.  I’ll be listening to this a lot over the weekend and trying to pick my hair out to get Gino’s stylish long afro in place on my own head.  Thanks for sharing another great week here with me on Acorns On Glen.  Are you enjoying your time here with us and do you have any feedback for us to make this site even better?

When The Lid Blows Off The Pot – Another Way

This is an old-fashioned pressure cooker.  I had to laugh at a comment made by Kathy D yesterday about the title of my post.  She said she thought  the story would be about a failed pressure cooker experiment.  This reminded me of the things my mother told my brother and I when we were young.  The things that we were not allowed to do.  Only in my mother’s case, she would tell us not to do something, followed with a reason that would scar us for the rest of our lives.  Let me give you my top three “do not do this” warnings given to my brother and me from my mother which include her special twists for child terror.

“Don’t play with matches”.  A simple request from any mother, right?  My mother started out right, “Don’t play with matches”, but then she would scare us to death with the rest of the story, “or you’ll end up catching on fire like I did”.  OK, it’s true, my mother did fall into a fire at a young age and was burnt very badly.  However, after we were warned, there was always a threat to whip up her sweater or blouse and show us where she was burned.  She’d come at us lightly tugging at the bottom of her top for added drama.  Although she didn’t say it, we knew what she was thinking.  Don’t you two even talk back and make me pull this up and show you!  It worked–she had experience with acts of fire….why would we go against her.  What kid wants to become a human torch?  My brother and I could not strike a match until we were taught around eighteen years of age.  Up until that point, the site of a match would terrify us.  We would tell everyone, “Sorry, we are not allowed to use a match, we don’t want to ignite”.  I’m still not good at lighting one to this day and can feel my hair melting off or my clothes going up in flames every time I light a candle or, god forbid, a bonfire.  That’s how much matches scare us, thanks to our mother.

“Don’t eat that fish until I check for bones”.  We would look up and then it would come “because if you get a small bone in your throat this will be the last dinner you see before you choke to death”.  Make mine a hot dog please!  Until almost fourteen or so, my brother and I would never begin to eat fish until my mother pulled it apart piece by piece and ensured that it was bone free by pinching it between her fingers.  To this day, I can be at the most expensive restaurant with a piece of fish in front of me and when I feel a bone in my mouth I panic knowing that this small blade is going to slide down my throat, ripping it to shreds until it lodges, and then end a pretty good life in a tragic fashion.  When they tell my mother of my demise, she would lift her head, wipe her tears away and say to my father “Didn’t I warn them?”

Now comes my favorite.  “Don’t ever use a pressure cooker and if you are around someone who is using one, leave immediately”.  Then the rest of the story, “You know that Coleen Jenkins (name changed to protect the innocent) was never right after her pressure cooker lid exploded in her face”.  In my home town, women cooked their asses off to please their man.  They baked, broiled, steamed, fried, roasted and pressure cooked.  Whatever it took to put a meal on the table.  What could be bad with chili in a minute or a 20 pound turkey in less than an hour?  I’m not sure that my brother or I ever met or knew Coleen Jenkins, but we could imagine her plight.  How could you not be damaged in some way by having a red-hot steel disc with attachments hit you smack in the face while it was traveling at the speed of light?  We would imagine her twisted mouth, dent in her forehead, slurred speech, one crossed eye.  That mental image was enough for my brother and I to picture in our minds to make sure that anything with a valve was not our friend.  I have a pressure cooker now.  When we use it here on Glen Road, I break into a cold sweat and run into the other room thinking out of sight, out of mind.  I pray, “Oh God, please don’t make us like Coleen Jenkins, I beg you!”

What can I say?  It worked with my mother–no matches, no un-pinched fish and no pressure cookers for my brother or me until early adulthood.  She did her job…..well, in a different manner than most shall we say, but she did her job.  What crazy things were you told not to do by your mother when you were younger?

When The Lid Blows Off The Pot

This is me, circa 1979.  I was 15 years old and on a class trip to Canada.  I vaguely remember this photo being taken.  These were my friends at the time, but all that would soon change after we got back to the U.S.  I blurred their faces to avoid trouble and so I didn’t have to look at them.  This is my first serious post.  No one can be happy all the time.  Let’s start at the beginning……..

I have never liked Facebook.  I don’t get the walls, friends, saying you can or cannot be my friend–the whole process.  However, my number one reason for not liking Facebook is that I think it is a bit too personal for me.  You have to give too many specifics it seems–your name, where you live, etc.  Then the people start finding you.  Quite frankly, there are some people from my past that I do not want to communicate with no matter how many years have gone by since I saw them last.  Most of these people are from high school, which was a very hard time for me.  I struggled to fit in with the other teenagers.  I don’t want them finding me and then wanting to chat as if nothing had happened all those years ago.  Therefore, I am not a member of Facebook.  However, my mother did join.  She is not really active on the site but she does look at pictures of her current and past friends, classmates, etc.  She rarely writes to any of them.  She also has gotten some updates on my old high school classmates.  She was surprised at how some of them turned out and how some of them looked.  So, she and I thought it would be fun if I used her login and password to look around and see how my fellow classmates were doing and, not that I’m proud of this–what they looked like almost 30 years later. 

Big mistake!

High school was not an easy time for me.  I never felt like I fit in that well.  I’m sure I’m not alone with these feelings.  In later years, I would need to find myself and feel confident about the man I had become.  In high school, I felt lost.  Only a couple of close friends, feelings of isolation, feelings of being different.  I got picked on a little.  Thank god I had my brother around to protect me.  I couldn’t wait to graduate and get out of there.  I also think it didn’t help that in a small farming town, I didn’t like sports but instead was smart in school and loved to read books and play my trumpet in the band.  Think “Friday Night Lights” from TV, but I wasn’t on the football team.  In my mind, these feelings started after I returned from our Canadian school trip and the friends in the picture no longer wanted me in their group.  I used to call this event “Chapter 1 in Loneliness” when I was in therapy a long time ago.  I know they didn’t do it on purpose, but for some reason, they left me behind–they didn’t call to talk, they didn’t invite me to go with them to the movies, we didn’t hang out anymore.  Did I do something, did I have something they wanted or didn’t have something they needed, was I too strange or was I too smart for them…..What was now different?  Why didn’t they like me anymore?  I remember sitting outside and watching them gather and leave on a Saturday night without me and feeling hurt.  I would struggle to get over these feelings for most of my young adult life.  There are lots of “ideas” on what had happened from various “experts” who I have talked to over the years about these feelings and strategies on how to get over them.  God knows I have discussed it with clergy, discussed it with shrinks all over the country, read hundreds of self-help books and went to as many lectures.  I thought I had gotten over my feelings from high school.  I understood what had happened and I had filed it away and moved on to better things.  I got it already.  It was over!

Then the lid blew off the pot. 

When I saw this picture on Facebook, the same feelings that started over 30 years ago came back hard and strong.  Feelings of hate, loneliness, sadness, regret.  I felt them pouring out of my chest at a million miles an hour.  I wept for that little boy in the picture after those feelings resurfaced.  His life was about to drastically change.  He would be forever altered.  He didn’t even realize what was about to happen.

He is not who I am now, not even close, but he is a part of me.  He has always been there somewhere deep inside of me.  He must have been hiding.  I guess it was his time to be seen again and I now know that filing him away was not the right thing to do.  It’s time to deal with him once again and the feelings that he brings.  Life is a crazy game–you never know what it is going to hand out to you at any given second.  So here is what I want to ask you:  Do you think that we ever get over our issues, especially those that happened when we were young? 

iPad Brownies

This is a pan of cream cheese brownies right out of the oven.  I have never met a pan of brownies that I didn’t like.  What made these different is not the addition of cream cheese or any special chocolate.  What made these different is that this is the first time I found a baking recipe on an application from my iPad and used the iPad throughout the process to make the brownies similar to how I would have used a cookbook.  Just like it has for regular books, the iPad has brought cookbooks into  the digital tablet era. While I still like the look and feel of a book and a cookbook, a digital recipe is nice especially if you are looking for something to make in a quick fashion.  That’s the story of these brownies….I needed to make a fast dessert for dinner with friends.  Join me as I make these cream cheese brownies for my dinner party: 


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup plus two tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces room-temperature bar cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter.  Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides.  Butter paper, and set pan aside.  In a small bowl, whisk 1 cup flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  Place 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter and chocolate in a large heat-proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan.

 Add 1 1/4 cups sugar; mix to combine.  Add 3 eggs, and mix to combine.  Add flour and cocoa mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix).

Prepare cream-cheese mixture:  Whisk bar cream cheese with 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter.  Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Alternately spoon chocolate batter and cream-cheese mixture into pan; with the tip of a paring knife, swirl to marble.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool in pan for 30 minutes.  Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper).  On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Needless to say, my friends devoured the brownies.  Quick, fast, easy, delicious.  The way a recipe should be.  Try this recipe and also investigate the different baking and cooking applications available for the iPad.  Do you have a favorite quick dessert recipe you would like to share with us on Acorns On Glen?