I’m Making These For Thanksgiving This Year

Toffee Brownies

Ingredients:
3 (6-ounce) candy bars with almonds and toffee chips (recommended: Symphony brand)
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (17.6-ounce) package brownie mix with walnuts

Directions
Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions.

Line a 13 by 9-inch cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil cooking spray. Spoon in half of the brownie batter and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the candy bars side by side on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter.

Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely, then lift from the pan using the edges of the foil. This makes it easy to cut the brownies into squares.

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Servings: 24 large/48 small brownies
Prep Time: 8 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Difficulty: Easy

Because they have these in them:

My husband is a bonafide Chocoholic…and he loves Symphony bars.  So when he saw Paula Deen make these on TV he drooled and begged me to make them for Thanksgiving.  Well, those, plus a pecan pie…oh, and a pumpkin pie…and an apple pie (yes, I know, he has a problem).  Who needs turkey anyway? 

I told him I would make them but he’d have to wear his Joey Tribbiani Thanksgiving pants…

How you doin’?

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This Is What NORMAL Feels Like – Cross Post

I posted this over at I’m Being Bypassed this morning but it’s an important one and I want to share it here as well.

Every now and then, I’ll catch a reflection of myself – either in a mirror, or a window – and am surprised to realize that it’s me. Once in a while, I’ll glance down at my lap while seated and actually see a lap. Occasionally, I’ll look down at my feet and legs and marvel at how, well, “normal” I look.

Mentally, that fat girl is still there poking fun at me. Sometimes it’s hard for my brain to digest the fact that my boobs (which even when I was fat were a small C cup) actually stick out farther than my stomach does now. It’s completely wild for me to see collar bones, or the tendons in my neck, hands and feet. It amazes me to see that I actually have slender fingers.

It makes me feel normal. I’ve never felt normal.

Things are so different for me today than they were one year ago. I can sit on the bus and instead of spilling over into the seat next to me having to sit with one cheek on the seat and one cheek hanging in the aisle, now I don’t even take up an entire seat. I can walk the six blocks from the bus stop to work without getting winded. In fact, I don’t feel the strain at all – it almost feels as if I’m floating. I don’t feel as if I have to apologize to people for taking up more than my allotted space on the sidewalk, elevator or bus. I can go up the stairs in my house without feeling as if I’m going to pass out. When I go to the gym, I no longer feel as if everyone is staring at me wondering what in the heck the fat chick is doing there. I’m no longer the largest person in the room. I’m smaller than my husband. I have bones and muscles. I have self-confidence.

When I set out on this journey in April of 2009, I honestly felt deep down that even this wasn’t going to work. I was doomed to be fat – destined to be ridiculed, to be sick, to die young. Now, even with all the possibilities that lie ahead of me, what feels best now is feeling NORMAL.

Over the weekend, my mom had asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told her that she didn’t have to give me anything – we’d like to keep our Christmas spending to the children this year – which is still expensive seeing that we have eight grandchildren and a brand new great nephew that I lump in with the grandkids. But she said she’d already gotten my sister something, and felt it was only fair. I told her I honestly didn’t need or want anything, but I’d think about it. So two nights ago, she called me and with great pride said she’d figured out what she was going to give me for Christmas this year. $100 to spend on a pair of “sexy” boots. I had mentioned that I’d like to get a pair, since they never fit on my calves before. She said she wanted me to pick them out, but that’s what she wanted to give me. Then, with a catch in her throat, she said that she was sorry that all my life I’d had to dress like an old woman. I deserved to have some sexy things.

THIS is what normal feels like. And it feels pretty damned amazing.