Squash brownies, planning for shade & kittyness

I’m a pig when it comes to sweets.  Yeah sure, I’m a pig when it comes to savouries as well, but let that be another post.  Since I’ve been trying to actually *use* my kitchen, instead of leaving it as an untouched masterpiece for consideration at the Smithsonian should Julia Child’s workplace of awesome ever grow tiresome to the huddled masses, it’s been seeing a fair share of abuse.  Crockpots mostly, a bit of cornbread here, some roasted chicken there, and the Great St. Patty’s Day Soda Bread Debacle of 2011 is best left unsaid.  Uh, oops.

Anyway, after paging through a housekeeping for dummies magazine, I found a brownie recipe that seemed like the perfect fit for my love of sweets and my psychotic need to keep it all healthy, even if the results are crap.  Brownies with butternut squash puree and whole-wheat flour, to keep ’em all healthylike.  What could go wrong?  Besides them sucking. The recipe doesn’t even require baking powder or soda!  I imagined a week of scouring burnt, fallen sludge out of my last brownie pan, but hey, it’s trash day; I could always throw out the evidence if need be….

But they don’t suck!  I am, in fact, licking the pan in-between typing.  All the while trying to pat myself on the back for eating something healthy.  Yeah; cover anything in chocolate and I’m on it like an awesome thing somebody would get on.  Go me.  But I am giving myself points for not only making something yummy, but making myself happy enough with the outcome of a recipe that I’ll actually try something else instead of scrapping the whole cooking thing ’til Thanksgiving.

Spending that much time in the kitchen cooking/eating/going back for another piece has given me ample time to stare out the back door.  And as the cats bask in the sunshine (more on them in a tick), I remember how friggin’ hot it was last summer, and how I swore to shade that bugger.  So?  I’ve been researching arbors, trellis (trelli?) and pergolas, which, I’m absolutely certain, is French or Italian for “more expensive arbor ’cause the name sounds fancy”.  I also like the idea of this “Easy arbor”, mostly because the word easy makes me all happy inside, but I also love the bench.  I may have to sniff around their Web site for more info.  And try to rope in a friend’s fiance for help and/or advice.

Meanwhile, away from the deck and kitchen, the kitties have been fine.  Well, there’s still wee, but I finally found that Our Miss Lily has been the one doing all the work, while Zoe has been resting (on top of the cable box.  Like that’s safe.  Best cat parent ever!)  A trip to the V.E.T. shows that Lily has crystals in her wee, probably a by-product of all the cheap crap she craves.  See, wet food = good.  But cheap crap = bad.  Why?  Because if a cat gets too much magnesium, there’s a chance that s/he may develop crystals, which can lead to big time problems, including a total blockage of the urinary tract, and death.  Keeping a low magnesium level is paramount for some cats, and by some cats I mean 1% of the population.  Yep, 1%.  Won the lottery, hooray?  Don’cha know that I had just bought a huge bag of Iams Guess What We’re High In Magnesium cat food, that I now have to get rid of.  Oh sure, Petco said they’d take it back if I had the receipt.  But do I?  Yeah, you’d be right.  I have receipts for Slurpees from 7-11, but not this one.  Note to self: get a better budget system….

But first?  Another brownie.

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