September 30, 2015

How about some Buckeye Brownies?


I've decided that the combination of peanut butter and chocolate
is one of my very favorites. A match made in Heaven!
So, I have a recipe to share with you - Buckeye Brownies.
Who doesn't love brownies? Peanut butter really kicks them up a notch!

You may know that "buckeyes" are a yummy confection
featuring a creamy peanut butter center dipped in chocolate,... 

shelterrific named because they resemble the nuts of the Ohio Buckeye tree,
which, by the way, are similar to chestnuts but are not edible.


Of course this brings to mind the Ohio State University Buckeyes...


...and their mascot Brutus.

While I was in Ohio visiting my wonderful Ohio family 
which consists of OSU students, alumni and fans,
I decided, hey, when in Rome, bake Buckeye Brownies!


Buckeye Brownies

brownie layer~
one boxed brownie mix

peanut butter layer~
3/4 C melted butter
1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
3 C powdered sugar

chocolate ganache layer~
1 10 oz. package dark chocolate chips
6 T heavy cream

Bake brownies according to directions.
Be sure to use a 9 x 13 pan, sprayed with cooking spray.

While they're in the oven, use a mixer to combine all the ingredients for the peanut butter layer. 
When the brownies are done, gently drop the filling onto the warm brownies. 
Use your fingers -really the best tool for this!- to spread it over the entire surface.

Combine chips and cream in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute.
Stir until smooth. Spread evenly on top of peanut butter layer.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Best to cut them while cold.
(Use a sharp knife dipped into hot water to make clean cuts.)


I think Aunt Lu really scored some "brownie points!"


With thanks to

September 28, 2015

Livia Marin’s “Melted” Ceramics

Chilean-born Livia Marin, now based in London,
creates these ceramic pieces that seem to have
melted into a puddle, pattern and all.
Now that's imagination added to talent!
Here are some examples of Livia's works of art.

Here's Livia's website.

Images used with direct permission from Livia Marin.

September 25, 2015

The September Gardens of Stan Hywet – Akron, OH


This is the Akron, Ohio country estate of F. A. Seiberling, a self-made man 
of the Industrial Age as founder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
Because of a quarry located on the property, the home was named
"Stan Hywet" (HEE-wit), Old English for "stone quarry."
Built from 1912 to 1915, it is a National Historic Landmark,
the 6th largest home in the United States that is open to the public as a museum.

On a recent trip to Ohio, we spent an afternoon here,
by happenstance in the year of Stan Hywet's 100th anniversary!


We chose not to tour the Manor House itself, but instead to take full advantage of
the warm autumn weather and explore the estate's renowned gardens.

Slowly meandering along beds, terraces and pathways, we enjoyed a day of calm.
It was easy to appreciate the landscape architecture,
and the unlimited varieties of flowers, plants and colors!
We reveled in the breadth of God's imaginative, glorious creation!



The tranquil Japanese Garden.











This is the Birch Tree AllĂ©e. 
Over 100 birches line up to form a 550 foot natural alley
under a cozy canopy of leaves!







The Grape Arbor with The Corbin Conservatory in the distance.


Stan Hywet is located at 714 N. Portage Path, Akron, Ohio.
Learn more at their website.

Also view this Stan Hywet post:
Glass Garden Sculptures by Craig Mitchell Smith

Love ya, Sis!

September 23, 2015

Lunch at JoBoy’s Brew Pub - Lititz, PA


I met a dear friend for lunch in Lititz, PA.
We chose JoBoy's Brew Pub,
known for their excellent barbecue and handcrafted beer.

While driving to Lititz that day, I had stopped to confirm directions a half hour away.
When I'd mentioned to the young man that I was heading to JoBoy's 
and asked if he knew of it, he nodded enthusiastically, saying, 
"I love that place!" I asked him what his favorite dish was, and he answered, 
"The barbecue - you name the meat and it's delicious!"
Such a super recommendation, right?
Sure enough, JoBoy's offers pulled pork, chicken or brisket barbecue,
or a sampling of each on slider buns.

It was a treat to meet the husband & wife owners, Jeff & Jo Harless,
super friendly and happy to share a bit of their story with me.
Getting their start in barbecue competitions, they honed their recipes 
for sauces and rubs until they knew they had a good thing going!
With Jeff's North Carolina roots, he was able to bring a southern flair.
They competed under the name JoBoy, a combination of their middle names:
Maria Jo and Jeffrey Boy, and so they carried that over as the title of their eatery.

The second floor of their establishment is an events hall
that can be rented for meetings, receptions or dinners.


Really nice atmosphere.



They were brewing a pumpkin beer while we were there.



Lisa got a big avocado burger.


I chose a southern specialty - shrimp & grits.
It was oh-my-goodness cheesy delicious!


I highly recommend this place for lunch or dinner
next time you're in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania!

JoBoy's Brew Pub is at 27-31 East Main Street, Lititz, PA.

Here's where you can learn more & keep in touch:


September 21, 2015

Felted Goodies by Milkfly

I had to do a double-take.
This is not real food; it's felted!

Huong Huynh, born in Malasia and raised in Houston, Texas,
is the owner of a fun, creative shop called Milkfly.
As you might imagine, Huong has a lighthearted view of life
and really has a good time experimenting with her craft.
Such imagination and talent! 
See for yourself and don't forget to bring your sweet tooth!

You can find Milkfly on Etsy.

Images used with direct permission from Huong Huynh.