Boozy Brownie Shakes

Happy Hump Day!

Boozy Brownie Shakes | via Midwest Nice Blog

We’re halfway through the week! We deserve a drink. And dessert. Together. Forever.

With ice cream.

Boozy Brownie Shakes | via Midwest Nice Blog

Because indulgence shouldn’t just be for the weekend. It should be for good days and great days and Wednesdays.

If you’re not like me and don’t have brownie edges lying around (which can be a blessing and a curse), store bought is fine (Ina Garten’s voice just flew out of my fingertips apparently, oy).

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Layer Cake Monday

Golly! Where did the time go?!

Rustic Swirl Wedding Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

I cannot believe that it’s been two months since I started Layer Cake Mondays. And I cannot believe that the wedding I started the whole thing for came and went this weekend.

However, I can believe that in the midst of all that hubbub, the March Madness tourney being held in town, and Northwestern’s nail-biting defeat during a particularly hectic shift last night that I completely forgot to whip up a new layer cake to share with y’all. Whoops.

Rustic Swirl Wedding Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

Instead, look at these photos of the cake and cupcakes I made to celebrate Annie and David’s union!

Wedding Cupcakes | via Midwest Nice Blog

Their layer cake was my lemon raspberry recipe, as were 100 of the cupcakes and another 100 were chocolate coffee stout!

Happy Monday, everyone! Here’s hoping for a fantastic week!

Rustic Swirl Wedding Cake | via Midwest Nice Blog

S’mores Brownies

Happy Friday!

S'mores Brownies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

S'mores Brownies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Happy new episode of Meet Me At The Bronze!

S'mores Brownies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Like I said yesterday, my friends Bunny and Justin have started a new podcast where each week they watch an episode (or two) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and discuss it. If you listen to the first episode (and you should!), they explain the whole premise. And I’m in love with it. Because I’m in love with BTVS. I have been for years!

I remember I first watched it in syndication on FX when I was in middle school. I was going through a very “magical/mystical” phase (let’s be real, I still am) and connected with Buffy like nobody’s business. I loved Buffy’s attitude, Xander’s humor, Willow’s optimism, Angel’s face. Then Spike’s face.

S'mores Brownies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Then in college, during a particularly bad bout of depression (hey, it happens, it’s real, it’s nothing to be ashamed about), I rewatched the entire series. I would get up in the afternoon, make my bed, then crawl right back into it with my laptop and disappear inside of Sunnydale for a few hours. I firmly believe that watching Buffy and the Scoobies kick evil’s ass on the regular helped me find the strength to get out of bed. For real. Good TV can do that. When the characters are so beautifully written and humanly flawed. When the love feels real and the loss does too. When the strength inspires and the story gives hope. That’s Buffy.

S'mores Brownies | via Midwest Nice Blog

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Thursday Things

S'mores Brownies Sneak Peek | via Midwest Nice Blog

  1. NORTHWESTERN IS GOING DANCING TONIGHT.
  2. My body is still healing from Monday’s mayhem – I look and feel like I got into a bar brawl and aside from the pain and annoyance…I don’t entirely hate it? Is that crazy? Yes.
  3. The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2 soundtrack is now available on iTunes! You’re welcome.
  4. 100 Harry Potter jokes to add a little lumos to your day. (Get it?! I’m sorry…)
  5. Had a discussion yesterday regarding name brand vs. generic foodstuffs. Namely, the difference between Dean’s French Onion dip and any other imitator. They just don’t measure up. What is something you refuse to compromise on?
  6. My friend Bunny and her husband Justin started an amazing Buffy-verse podcast called Meet Me At The Bronze! Give it a listen! It’s amazing and wonderful and entertaining and combines my love for Buffy with witty banter and I’m in awe of them. Also, you should subscribe so you don’t miss anything. *hint*hint*thebrowniesabove*hint*hint*
  7. The Try Guys Try Sexy Drinks. And I’m dying.
  8. Have you ever had Tangy Zangy’s? They’re a candy I first had when I worked at a candy magazine in Chicago and I’ve only found them at one grocery store here…meaning I make special trips just to get them! Do you have anything like that? A special item you can only get at one store and you totally think it’s worth the special trip?
  9. GO ‘CATS!!! #poundtherock

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies

I’m a bit high-strung. (My friend Danielle is probably going “What? You? Nooooooo.” in a way only she can as she reads this.) You could say I’m Type A. I like to plan and organize and be prepared and feel accomplished.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

And when I can’t do that it makes me feel a bit out of control, a bit frenzied and harried. When my to-do list doesn’t get done, or I fail to plan something, or something doesn’t go as planned, it generally sends me into a tailspin that is dizzying and defeating. I’m left feeling overwhelmed and/or underachieved.

Yesterday was an exercise against that. Monday was too. Today will be again. As will the rest of the week, I’m sure.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

It started Monday morning when I ran over a nail. I spent two hours struggling, straining, and swearing (sorry, Grandma) while patching my tire. My hands are scraped and scratched to the high heavens. I have bruises on my elbows, knees, shoulders and shins. There were a lot of tears, a weepy phone call to my dad, and a lot of moments when I wanted to give up.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

But I didn’t. I kept going. I got the damned thing patched and made an appointment to get new tires put on my car (something that was due, anyway). Even if that was a detour my day couldn’t recover from, the accomplishment of knowing I was strong enough to do it stymied any feelings of inadequacy I felt at not checking items off my little list. It was enough to not do it all.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Tuesday was the same. I went to the mechanic, prepared to spend both time and money (for which I’m in short supply of both) getting new tires put on. Only to find out they had ordered the wrong tires and wouldn’t be able to get them in until the following day. I wasn’t entirely upset about it…less time at the mechanic meant I was free to go home and whip up a pie treat for Pi Day. BECAUSE I HADN’T PLANNED SOMETHING AHEAD OF TIME. It hadn’t made my list or been prepared in advance. In truth, when I was reminded Monday night of Tuesday being Pi(e) Day, I felt like a bit of a blogging failure. What was I doing with my time if not being perfectly prepared with pie? (Aside from fixing a tire and beating myself into a bloody pulp in the process, working, taking care of my dog, buying 8 pounds of butter, etc.) Luckily, the mechanics tire mess-up meant I had extra time I didn’t think I had.

Mini Mixed Berry Balsamic Hand Pies | via Midwest Nice Blog

Meaning now you’ve got a recipe you didn’t think you’d get. Even if it is a day late. Because, even though I managed to make these delicious, easy, flaky, gorgeous, scrumptious, mini mixed berry balsamic hand pies (what a mouthful…literally) yesterday in celebration of Pi Day. And even had time to take pictures afterward too, I spent the rest afternoon delivering them to my friends and taking Edgar for a nice long walk downtown before enjoying a delicious pizza date with my man. And I’m better for it.

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