Tag Archives: brownies

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’, Miss Toni? Que Se Esta Cocinando, Señorita Toni?

5 Aug

“ It doesn’t matter what language you speak, an awesome brownie pretty much translates everywhere.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This afternoon, I made a double batch of my “bad ass brownies.” Forgive my vernacular, but they were given that handle by a good friend, and it’s stuck. (Thanks Mr. Jerry.) I can make these delicious brownies in my sleep and pretty quick, but sometimes I have to make a funny face in the mix, just to liven things up a bit, and for a little chuckle.

Isn’t she cute? Señorita Brownie.
For those of you unfamiliar with my secret ingredients, I add mini marshmallows to the batter then sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
I added a dollop of my no-bake peanut butter cheesecake and a little Nutter Butter Cookie.

I took these over to our first “Charla” gathering at a friend’s house This afternoon. We’ve been trying to get together to practice our Spanish/English since 2019 BC (Before Covid). Charla is Spanish for CHAT. Oh boy, my Spanish is SO rusty. How rusty is it, Miss Toni? It’s so rusty….I felt like an old iron gate in a rainstorm. “ Me sentí como una vieja puerta oxidada en medio de una tormenta. (Don’t be too impressed. I looked that up on the English/Spanish translator. The only words I knew were puerta and vieja.) I ought to know VIEJA very well. Soy una VIEJA.

Desearía poder hablar tan bien como hornear. (I wish I could talk as well as I bake.)

Wish me luck. Buena suerte. I think I’ll go have a brownie.

Toni’s Taco Tuesday and My Firemen

7 Jul

“It’s funny how sometimes things just fall into place when brownies are involved.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I had one of those baking urges again this morning. I was meeting Helene at Nom Nom’s for our usual Taco Tuesday at 1 pm, but I decided That I had enough time to make some brownies before I left. I haven’t been by the fire station in a few weeks and they’re probably getting all skinny.

I decided to make a double batch so I could take some to Station 9 on my way to lunch and drop off another at Station 5 on my way home. I also made a couple of smaller containers to give Helene to share with her neighbors.

When I arrived at Station 9, there were several other trucks from others stations In the parking lot, and a whole bunch of firefighters were shuffling in. Uh oh. I decided that they were probably having meetings or something, so I grabbed both containers and asked one of the guys to take them inside. He said they were having a training meeting today and thanked me.

Well, I guess I wasn’t going to stop at Station 5 after all.

I drove off to Nom Nom to meet Helene for tacos. When I arrived, two trucks from Fire Station 5 were parked in the lot. Hmm? They were probably having lunch at Nom Nom too. So, I grabbed the two containers that were intended for Helene and friends. There were four or five firemen eating lunch. I walked over, placed the brownies on their table and said, “Ah, you saved me a trip. Now, don’t feel like I’m showing you guys favoritism. I already stopped at Station 9.”

Helene was already waiting for me in line. I told her that she sacrificed her brownies for Station 5. She just laughed because she was trying to cut back on her sweets and bring her cholesterol and sugar down. She said they did her a favor.

A few minutes later, the guys were leaving and one of the firemen came over, showed me a half empty container and said, “Thanks again, Mam. As you can see, we got a head start on your brownies.” That made me smile. It was all meant to be. Station 5 didn’t miss out after all.

Thus was my exciting Taco Tuesday adventure.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

18 Feb

“When the going gets tough, the tough get cookin’ and bakin’ and eating junk food.” ~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Well, we’re still in a terrible deep freeze here in North Texas. I stayed under the covers till almost noon. No place to go, nothin’ exciting to do. Just an update… I’ve been very fortunate with no loss of power, not like the majorly of my friends and neighbors. I’m just hoping to hang in there for a few more days. Feeling blessed.

When we got our first layer of snow and arctic blast a couple of days ago, the dog started barking by the front door. Strange? When I looked out the window, the two neighbor kids nextdoor were shoveling my driveway and sidewalk. It was such a kind gesture, and I’m sure the two teenagers were freezing out there.

Before and after.

I decided to bake a few brownies for my kind neighbors. Nothin’ says thank you like my famous brownies. I have been blessed with the kindest neighbors and friends.

Seeing as I wasn’t going anywhere today, or for a few more days, what to have for lunch? Hmm? Pretty much whatever I want. Let’s see what’s in the fridge. Spicy Curly fries and grapes. Sounds good.

Well, Must be time to make some more brownies and my favorite peanut butter no bake cheesecake to top it off with. That should last a few days… maybe…

Sending warm thoughts to you and yours. 🤗🙏

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

4 Feb

“If baking is any labor at all, it’s a labor of love. A love that gets passed from generation to generation.”

Regina Brett

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It’s been a lovely few days here, but my knee was not cooperating enough for a long walk. Instead, I did a little cooking and baking.

I made some brownies yesterday and took them over to the fire station. When I pulled up, I heard a loud speaker mumbling something. Hmm? Did they get a call? I walked inside and picked up the hall phone. There was a quick answer, “Station 9, can I help you? “Miss Toni, I was dropping off some brownies. Did you just get a call?” He said yes, and I said that I’d leave them out by the phone. A minute later, the fire truck screeched away and the ambulance followed close behind.

I had some brownies left over Today obecause I made two batches, of course. So, today I decided to make some of that yummy peanut butter no bake cheesecake filling to add to the top of the brownie squares. This is the only time I actually lick the beaters.

1 package cream cheese, 1cup powdered sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, 1 container whipped topping. (I just estimate) Beat together, chill, and lick the beaters.

Remember, when I make my brownies, I add mini marshmallows in the batter and sprinkle chocolate chips on top before baking.

Voila! A yummy little bite sized dessert.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

28 Jan

“Nothin’ says thank you like a freshly baked batch of brownies.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I was at the grocery store today picking up some great sale items for myself and some for Holy Family School. They had some cool 99c sale items. Baby wipes and Mickey Mouse Goldfish crackers, can’t pass that up. I noticed three McKinney firemen in line, paying for their groceries. Of course, I went over to say hi and asked if they were able to accept my homemade brownies yet. Well, they said yes. They just started accepting items from friends and neighbors. SAY NO MORE! I went home and made a batch of brownies and drove over to Station 9 while they were still warm. I added a note… “Thanks for all you do. You guys are looking pretty skinny.”

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries:) T.E.D. Talk/ Bake Tips~ Day 12: A Dozen Days

5 Apr

“Believe me, it doesn’t always get better with time. Sometimes it just gets longer and more depressing. Wine helps!”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I didn’t get moving until way in the afternoon. Nowhere to go, nothing I needed to do. A few phone calls were made to friends and family, and I did make a plan to FaceTime Messenger with some friends at 5 pm, so I had something to look forward to. We chatted and laughed and told funny stories. Oh, and some of us had an adult beverage on hand to toast our friendship and shelter in place incarceration. (Note to self- two glasses of wine is way too much, or not enough.)

I wanted to share my tips for making yummy brownies and keeping them moist for days. But, also I wanted to share how I repurpose all those empty brownie and cake mix boxes for craft projects. You’re welcome. (Crafters/artists don’t throw anything away.)

If you watch the video, yes, I had a couple of glasses of wine to encourage my creativity. 🤦‍♀️

Happy Saturday, my friends. ❤️👩🏻‍🎨🍷

Tuesday:) Toni’s Brownies and Those Terrific Firefighters

29 May

“Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over.”

~ Unknown

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Today is Mr. Mike’s birthday, so I decided to make some brownies. He’s trying to be good and not eat sweets, but it’s his birthday. Not a day to be good. I just took him one big square brownie with a candle. He also doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday, but I don’t follow directions.

When I bake, I always make a double batch so I can share with my local fire stations. I also wanted to take some next door to my neighbors. Their son Jack came over yesterday to unload and spread ten bags of mulch for me. So, I had a lot of brownies to share.

After stopping to thank Jack, I drove over to Station 9. Firefighter Williams answered the hall phone and came to the door. She even had my other container to swap out from last time. She said they just got in from working the pass the boot fundraiser so the brownies would be well received.

My next stop was Station 5. This is the first station I visited regularly when I first came to McKinney in ’04. Even though I’ve moved a few miles northeast, I still stop by the 5 every now and then.

When I go to Station 5, I usually use a disposable container. I wouldn’t expect them to save my nice containers, as I only get over there once a month or so. I wrote on the container, Thank you. Miss Toni with a smiley face. Firefighter Yervasi must be fairly new, as he didn’t recognize me, but was thankful, none the less.

I walked back to my car and started up my car when I saw someone run out the door. The sun was glaring in my eyes when I rolled down my window and saw the navy blue shirt and the name Blount. I jumped out of my car and gave Quincy Blount a big hug. Quincy was the first fireman that I met when I started taking brownies and cookies over to Station 5 all those years ago. We are Facebook friends too. I love watching his young family grow and keeping up with their adventures. But, over the years, he was transferred to Station 2. I would stop by there after he got transferred. Then, he got transferred to and is still at Station 7, way on the other side of town. I’m bad, I don’t drive over that far.

Boy, was I surprised when he ran out the door to greet me before I drove off. He was assigned to the 5 for just a few days and Yervasi must have mentioned that a lady dropped off some brownies, so he knew who it was.

After a big hug and talking about his kids and family and plans for the future, I said, “Wait…we have to get a selfie.” So good to see my old young friend Quincy.

On my way home, I had to pull over in a school parking lot when I saw a faint rainbow out in the distance. A very beautiful, fun and lucky day for Miss Toni.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day:) Keep Brownies Moist for Days

3 Apr

“When you make as many brownies as I do, it’s nice to share your tips and tricks with other bakers.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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To say that I bake a lot of brownies and cupcakes would be an understatement. Sometimes I need to bake the night before an event, and I learned a long time ago the trick about putting some fresh bread inside or along side the baked goods to keep things moist. In a pinch, when I’m out of bread, I’ve used a slice of apple to keep the moisture in. Just keep the container covered. It really works. It also keeps the frosting on cupcakes from getting crusty and hard.

Here’s my tip for today…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93eljDKepT0

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

8 Nov

“When the going gets tough, the tough bake brownies. That pretty much cures anything.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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My friend, Miss Pat, posted on Facebook last week that Kroger had brownie mixes on sale, with store card for… wait for it… 79cents a box. Be still my heart. She also posted that everyone better get to the store before Toni buys them all. Hmm? Why would she say such a thing?

Funny, as I’m writing this, I have two more batches in the oven. Hold on. I’ll go take a picture…. I’m back…

I’m going to take some for my church group tonight at 7. They’ll still be warm. It’s after 6 already. Then, I’ll have some for tomorrow’s karaoke potluck at the VFW.

I think I’ve gone through 8 boxes in the past week. Every time I bake for an event, I bake an extra batch for my firemen at Station 9. I asked them yesterday if they were getting tired of my brownies yet. They said, “NO MAM!We gobble them up and we don’t leave any for the next shift.” Aw, high praises. I also asked them if they’d save my container, and that I’d swap it out for a new one with more brownies or cookies. I go through a lot of containers too. They were happy to oblige.

Now, you see why I was so excited about the sale. I didn’t buy all of them on the shelf. But, I did take all the dark fudge chocolate boxes, leaving the milk chocolate ones for the less discerning bakers.

That should last me till Christmas…I hope.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

11 Oct

“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.”

~Maya Angelou

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Many of you already know that I’m better known as the Brownie Queen of McKinney. People always ask me for my secret recipe, and I always swear them to secrecy. (Not really) When someone asks me if I make them from scratch, I say, “Of course. I scratch open the box of brownie mix.” When they ask what kind, I always say, “It has to be on sale. When you bake as much as I do, brownie mix better be on sale. I always buy at least ten boxes at a time.”

I never thought there was a big difference in mixes, but I recently made a huge discovery. There is a difference. I have a preference.

On Sunday, I made two batches of brownies for the church picnic using the Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate mix on the right. SORRY BETTY! Your mix is not as dark and rich. The result is more cake-like and less chewy. And, I oughta know. I am an expert. It was just OK.

So, on Monday, the next day, when I needed to make another two batches of brownies, some for the senior center potluck and some for Creative Community and some for the firemen, I decided to use one box of Betty Crocker and one of Duncan Hines. As I poured them into the large bowl, I could see the difference in color. Duncan won out. That is my usual brand anyway. Duncan Hines gets a thumbs up, Betty Crocker, sorry, thumbs down.

So, my secret is, if you’re stuck with several boxes of mediocre mixes, just combine it with a really yummy mix. Yes, you have to use two boxes and make twice as much, but that just gives you more to share with neighbors, friends, and cute firemen.

Also remember to make a funny face before you mix. Oh, and add mini marshmallows in the batter and top with chocolate chips. Yum!

Mix, make, bake and share.