“Gotta have it or I might die” fudge recipe

Since you guys seemed to enjoy the macaroni salad recipe (except Mondrak who doesn’t like macaroni–WTF my friend!? ;) ) I thought I’d give you another one. We’ve had the appetizer and now it’s time to go straight to dessert!

Below is my all-time favorite fudge recipe. I made a double batch for Christmas and gave my mom a ton of it. She was in her 7th heaven.

Again, this is straight from the cookbook as I ain’t retyping all that! ;)

Best Damn Chocolate Fudge on Earth

This recipe used to be on the side of the Domino’s™ Powdered Sugar box when I was a kid. For some dumb reason they stopped putting it on there years ago. Luckily, my mom found a copy of it that I’d jotted down in 1980 and we all get to benefit from that cheat sheet. I hope I’m not violating some horrible recipe copyright law here, but this recipe is too good to not pass along.

Oh, and the paper this recipe is written on is the same paper my mom used to write our absent-from-school notes on and the same paper on which I used to use to forge those same notes when I was a teenager. Ahh…the memories this little pink piece of paper brings back.

Fudge Recipe

Goodies from the store:

  • 1 pound box of Domino’s™ Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of REAL vanilla extract (no imitation allowed!)

Whipping up the fudge:

  1. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.
  2. Using a double boiler, add all ingredients and cook on low to medium, stirring until the fudge is smooth. If you don’t have a double boiler, use a non-stick pot on the lowest heat setting, stirring constantly.
  3. Pour into the pan and refrigerate.

One reason this fudge is awesomely perfect is because it’s not like any other fudge you can buy. This fudge is more crumbly and velvety. Now, if you are thinking that doesn’t sound as good as smooth, creamy fudge, you will change your mind after eating this. It is amazing. I like to keep it refrigerated as I think it tastes best when it’s cold. I take a piece and let it sit on my tongue and dissolve. If I could live off of this fudge, I would. Were I single and didn’t care about prematurely meeting my Maker, I’d eat only this until I died of malnutrition.

Enjoy everyone! XOXO

Someone PLEASE take my mom’s smartphone away from her! PLEASE!!!

Oh my good God. Nothing is more entertaining than trying to watch my mom manage a smartphone.

Image credit: http://joyreactor.com

Image credit: http://joyreactor.com

Bless her septuagenarian heart, but I’m thinking a flip phone is really all she can handle without giving me gray hair. (Which, by the way, I got my FIRST FUCKING GRAY HAIR LAST MONTH! WHAT THE SHIT?! I’M STILL YOUNG DAMMIT! Of course, Mom told me to keep that fact to myself and never tell anyone, but I just had to share my horror. It was only one, so I’m going with the thought that it’s an aberration. Yep. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) :)

Okay, so back to Mom. When she got her Samsung Galaxy 4 (my sweet sister got it for her) I knew she’d be overwhelmed, so I removed every possible button that she could touch that might have her accidentally ordering a car or creating a twitter account. God forbid!

I also taught her how to use only those things that were relevant to her daily life (calling, texting and emailing). She wanted to know, “What does that button do? What about that one? That button looks pretty…” Me: “Don’t look at the pretty buttons Mom. You don’t need them. They are bad and will immediately electrocute you and cost Becky (my sister) $3,000 if you touch it.” Honestly, I removed every dang button I could and got her down to one homescreen as swiping is such a foreign concept to her that it hurt my brain.

Now, keep in mind that for a great deal of my life I’ve been a trainer in one way or another. Whether it was via live TV, in person, on video or writing training documentation, I can train like a MO FO. I can pretty much train anyone on anything. Seriously, it’s one of my few talents. But nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, can ever prepare one for training their 74 year old mom how to use a smartphone.

To show you how adorable and tech-challenged my mom is, I want to share with you the first texts she ever sent me on her new Galaxy. Knowing that she wouldn’t like typing out a text I taught her how to use the voice recognition. This phone has the best voice recognition of anything I’ve ever experienced. I love it and use it all the time. Occasionally it’ll come up with something whacky, but usually it’s spot on. Except with my mom.

Let me set the stage for this text: I was out of town on business and needed her help with some deliveries that were coming to the house.

This text exhange had me rolling on the floor laughing.  I hope you enjoy it too. :)

ME: Hi Mommy!!!! I just got a notification that I got a delivery at the house today. If you go out tomorrow would you mind swinging by the house and putting the delivery inside for me? I sure would appreciate it. If you can’t though, don’t worry about it. :)

I love my little mommy. :)

I would call you but I’m still out at a late working dinner with my coworkers. LOVE MOMMY!!!

MOM: Jedi I just got your message I had my phone charging that I will absolutely get your package in your house tomorrow I love you I’m talking this out I hoe it is readable I love you BB T Queen Anne have a wonderful night and day tomorrow love you

MOM (two days later): Jedi I don’t know if this is working it keeps coming up and telling me that Google is up not working so anyway I’m trying to let you know that my rest cme out at 6 o’clock and it was so tough after even after 4 hours of cooking that I could not even hardly cut it with a knife to take a little tip piece f s*** and I took that little piece and stuck it in my mouth it was so test that its cleat when I get out Judit s like a noise that you could bake if yo were doing and research I wanted to let you know that there would be no its tomorrow but I can bring you a pizza

ME: You are so dang adorable.  I love you for trying to make a frozen roast tender and yummy. Sweetest mommy ever. We would love a pizza tomorrow. Thank you. You are such a loving mama.  :) I have your Humectress. :) Love you!

MOM: Baby jedi!  That message is crazy and cut off before i finished!  W

MOM (separate text): e’ll talk later in english ♡ !   Love mommy

ME: I love your crazy text. I giggled myself silly! Sweet dreams.  Love mommy!

That woman is so damn cute and adorable I could hug her til she pops!!! The great thing here, and what humbles me, is that she knows how to make a heart in a text and I don’t even know how to do that! Now I’ll have to ask her to teach me something new.

Mommy and me a few months ago. She's so dang cute!

Mommy and me a few months ago. She’s so dang cute!

It’s texts like these (and she did bring us a pizza the next day because she rules) that remind me how much fun my mom is. She may be 74, but she might as well be 30. She is sweet and loving and has such a good sense of humor about herself. Thank God for my mommy.

Well, off to bed I go! I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoyed my little mommy story. :) HUGS!

Musings of an Old Hag on her Birthday, part deux

So, I went back and reread my Musings of an Old Hag on her Birthday, part one from last year and I must say that it all still holds true.

For those of you new to my blog since June of last year, you can read it here: OLD HAG. I really hope you enjoy it and/or identify with it because I have to tell you that I’m happier in my 40s than I’ve ever been before and it’ll tell you exactly why.

As I don’t want to repeat what I said last year I’m going to list a few things that I’ve learned and a few things for which I am thankful.

Things for which I’m thankful:

  1. I have a loving family who always makes me feel special
  2. My husband kicks so much ass that it hurts my brain sometimes
  3. I have wonderful blogging buddies that add so very much to my life
  4. My 2nd toe is shorter than my big toe and that makes me very happy
  5. I’ve added about 15 new teddy bears to the Sofa Teddy collection and I have fun with them all the time
  6. Getting emails from people who’ve been helped by my sassy mouth–such a wonderful feeling
  7. I’ve managed to stay a non-smoker for approximately 6 months, 13 days and 2 hours (not that I’m counting)
  8. I’ve managed to only gain 8 pounds since I quit–really, that sucks, but it could have been 20, so I can’t complain
  9. I’m healthier since meeting the hubby than I’ve ever been in my life and he loves me even if I’m covered in scars from head to toe
  10. I still think that aging gracefully is a wonderful thing

Things I’ve learned:

I recently went back home for a visit (last week) and while I was there I saw two old friends who are so very dear to my heart. One I’ve known for 29 years. The other I’ve known for 22. Both of them have made such a great impact in my life–I wouldn’t be who I am today without either of them. One taught me what true friendship is. One taught me when to cut and run, how to heal and how to forgive. It was really quite emotional being back there, but I’m so thankful I went. Here’s what I’ve learned over the the last half of my life from knowing those two people:

  1. Friendship doesn’t need to be constantly reminded of itself. True friends can go years without seeing one another and then fall back into place like only a day has passed in the meantime.
  2. Friendship isn’t full of bullshit and fear. True friends love you enough to risk telling you when you are being a dumb ass and are loyal enough to hold your hand through the worst and best of times.
  3. Bravery is a beautiful thing, even if it means facing something you worry will cause you great pain. There is something about just the facing of it that can give you such great relief.
  4. Faithfulness and loyalty are the greatest gift you can give the one you love AND the greatest gift you can give yourself. Being able to look in the mirror in the morning and not shudder from disappointment in yourself is truly a blessing.
  5. Separating your heart from your mind and saying, “Enough is enough” is a skill that I’m so very happy to have, even if it is a bitch to put into practice.
  6. I have so much room in my heart for love that it astonishes me sometimes. Often I worry that I’m a little bit hard–things that make others cry often don’t really affect me. But I think that what it really is, is that I love those close to me so very deeply and completely that there isn’t a great deal of room left. That may sound bad, but I mean it in a good way. I love fully and with abandon. I don’t love with fear. I don’t love with regret. I love openly and I’m so very happy and thankful for that.
  7. And finally, forgiveness is truly the most glorious of all human abilities. It may take 10 minutes or 20 years, but forgiving yourself for your own mistakes (be they intentional or not) and forgiving others who have harmed you (again, whether or not they intentionally harmed you) will not only make the world a bit brighter, but will reduce the ache of that pain at least down to a very tiny pin prick, if not remove it completely.

As you can see, these two old friends have helped me achieve the beautiful life I have now and I thank God every day that they not only came into my life, but that they stayed.

On an entirely different note: Did I go an entire post without using the word “fuck”? Holy crap!  ;)

Last but not least, here is a pic of my Mommy and me last week at the beach. I’m 5 days shy of being 43 in this pic and my mom is 74. We both embrace our age, though we also both still feel 22 (and often act it too!). I am most grateful that my mom is not only still around, but that she is for the most part happy and healthy. She is a true gift from God and I’m forever thankful to have her.

Mom and me at the beach

Vacation Time!!

I’m goin’ on vacation!!! Woo hoo!!!

As a Christmas present for my mom, I told her I’d treat her to a vacation back home on the east coast. And we’re heading off tomorrow! Yay!!!

Luckily, I was able to save enough airline miles to get us there first class for free. My sweet little 74 year old mommy should be able to enjoy a nice, wide seat and good food, so I did everything but hook on the corner to get airline miles saved for the last year (I plan my Christmas presents WAY in advance). Thankfully, I was able to save enough with 300 miles to spare!

We’re going to hang out in our old home town and then head to the beach. I’m going to eat more blue crabs than anyone on earth. I can’t wait. :)

Mom and Jodi at Christmas

I hope you guys all have a wonderful long weekend (for those of you in the States)! I’ll be back in the next couple of weeks.

Love ya!

R.I.P. sweet little hamster

 

Well, dammit.

Less than 24 hours ago I was counting my blessings, including the fact that my old ass hamster was still amongst the living. Little did I know he only had 8 hours of life left.

I love you Hamster. Mommy and Daddy miss you tremendously. There will never be a fuzzy-butted little hamster anywhere near as wonderful and sweet as you.

Little Hamster’s first day with his new family. SWAK!

Daddy, after a hard day’s work, playing with the little guy. He loved little Hamster too.

Our sweet little baby his first night in his new home.

 

Things for which I’m forever thankful…

 

My goodness. Where to even begin?

First and foremost, I hope all of you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. While family can sometimes make us wanna go sit in the garage with the door closed and the car running, I hope that none of you have that feeling today. May all of your friends and family take their happy pills so that everyone has a delightful day. :)

I think this was 1979. Check out that wallpaper!
Mmmm…yummies!

Now, on to my list of blessings for which I truly am grateful.

  1. I am blessed to have the world’s most amazing mom. At almost 74 she is still peppy and fun and healthy and sweet. May she live another 50 years.
  2. I am blessed to have a wonderful sister. We may have pulled each others hair more than once while growing up, but we’ve always been there for one another through the years and I’m so very thankful to have her as not only my sister, but as my friend.
  3. I am blessed to have my aunt still with us even though she has been fighting stage 4 cancer for the last year. Her courage is simply amazing and God has blessed her with more time than we ever could have hoped for.
  4. I am blessed to have married the most wonderful man on earth. He is kind every day. He shows his love for me every day. He is encouraging, supportive, thoughtful, has amazing biceps and a smile that lights the world.
  5. I am blessed to have 2 awesome kitties (one of whom is licking my arm right now), 2 precious chickens and an old ass hamster that is somehow still amongst the living.
  6. I am blessed to have survived many a physical challenge and am still around to annoy and pester people on a regular basis.
  7. I am blessed to have been raised in a way that gives me peace every day of my life. Thank you, Mom, for helping me see how wonderful God is (I know–shocking coming from someone with a potty mouth like me!).
  8. I am blessed to have been raised to be strong, independent, kind, smart-assed (Mom does NOT want to take credit for that last one!) and cheerful.
  9. I am blessed to have friends that put up with me. I hibernate often and hate the phone more than chicken pox, and my true friends understand that my hibernation does not spring from a lack of love. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
  10. I am blessed that God gave me a brain with which to think, a voice with which to speak and fingers that can fly over a keyboard with only a few typos per minute.
  11. I am blessed that I have a day job which allows me to help kids become better readers and understand math in a way that I never did. A little giving back is a good thing.
  12. I am blessed to have a life that is more satisfying and wonderful and deliriously happy than I ever thought possible.

Beyond all of that, there are just a few other things for which I’m thankful.

  1. I am thankful that I have cute toes and don’t have some giant piggy-that-stayed-home finger-length-toe that is an inch longer than my big toe.
  2. I am thankful that I have a billion teddy bears that my hubby loves and makes sing and dance and talk (and hump sometimes–it’s gross but funny as hell).
  3. I am thankful that I have almost no hair on my legs–man, shaving those suckers always sucked. Now it’s not really an issue. Whew!
  4. I am thankful that my hubby lets me decorate the house. If I had to argue about what to buy every time I wanted to buy something, I’d pull my hair out and/or kill him with a hammer.
  5. I am thankful that my books are doing so well (you guys have helped with that tremendously and I love you for it!!!).
  6. I am thankful for all of our outdoor kitties that have adopted us. I love all of them: Extra cat, Little gray kitty, Vest kitty, Mittens kitty…
  7. I am thankful that my friend Brenda introduced me to the “F” word when I was in 4th grade. I simply love that word, as you all well know!

Last but not least, I am thankful for all of my wonderful blogging buddies. You guys always bring me such joy and your comments and support and sweetness mean so much to me. Tons of love to all of you and may your lives be blessed every day and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.

HUGS!!!

PS: For those of you who read my sweet potato blog, the foil container in front of the cans of soda contains the Salmonella turkey leg that just about killed us all. We just tried to cook a leg, not even a whole turkey, and about died. Oh, and we were, well…ummm…not of sound mind while cooking (as you can tell by my very screwed up looking face) so it’s no wonder food poisoning was also on the menu! :)

Yep, I’m a little “goofy” in this pic. Where are my eyes??
Shockingly, I used to be quite naughty. :)

 

 

YAY!!! I finally have the cover to my new cookbook! YAY!

Woo hoo!!! After much trial and error, the cover for my new cookbook is ready. I’m so excited! I wanted to show it to you guys to see if you like it (fingers crossed!).

Yay! My new cookbook cover!!

I must share that I had more than a little help with the book. My hubby, sister and mom were instrumental in getting this book written. Their kitchen skills and my sister’s editing skills made this book what it is. It’s got my sassy mouth in it (sans cuss words, believe it or not) but it’s got the love and dedication of my wonderful family on every page too. I’ll never be able to thank them enough!!

Also, two of my wonderful blogger buddies contributed to it.

Bernadette of Rants From My Crazy Kitchen blogging fame contributed 2 recipes to the book. They are so good they make me drool every time I read them!

Kimberley of Face Like a Frying Pan blogging fame created Sparky the Dragon for me. He’s a little surprise that you’ll find within the book.

Big thanks to both of them for their help!!! :) The book would be less without your amazing contributions!!!

The book is slated for release at the very end of October or the first few days of November. It’ll be in printed versions in both color and black & white and on Kindle. It’ll eventually be on Nook too.

Have I mentioned how excited I am???? A LOT of blood, sweat and tears went into writing this book (literally, not figuratively!), but it was worth it all. When I hold it in my hands it makes me so happy and proud. :) Yay cookbook!

My Sweet Daddy was a Military Bad Ass!

So, I’m at my mom’s today reviewing some old family folders full of stuff and she tells me a little story that I didn’t know about my dad.

Apparently, while serving in the military, an officer asked my dad and his fellow soldiers to volunteer for an undisclosed “something.” My dad, never one to sit by and let life happen around him, volunteered. As it turns out, he volunteered for the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles! I had no idea! I knew my dad had an incredible and scary time during his service, earning a Purple Heart and a couple other medals, but I did not know he trained to be a Screaming Eagle! How freaking cool is that?

It’s amazing that almost 32 years after his death that I still get to learn new things about my dad. I always knew he was brave, but to jump out of a plane? There isn’t enough money in the world for his wimpy daughter to do that.

I’m proud of you, Daddy. What an amazing man you were.

Daddy and me about 35 years ago

Father’s Day Love for a Daddy who Lives in Heaven

Dear Daddy,

I miss you. You’ve been gone almost 32 years now, so you’d think I’d be used to it. But some days, I just really miss having a daddy around.

I want you to know that I love you. It wasn’t always easy being your daughter. There were times it was downright hard. But there were also times that were joyful and wondrous. I remember how Becky and I would run up to you and maul you when you’d get home from work. Sometimes we’d hide in the kitchen to try and scare you to death when you walked in the door. BOO! How sweet that you indulged us.

I remember how you’d bring us home surprises. Just little treats to make us smile. You know I now ask the hubby (though sometimes he just does it on his own) to bring me home a surprise. It reminds me so much of you.

I remember taking Daddy Foot Rides where you’d let me sit on your big foot, wrap my arms around your leg, and you’d drag me all over the house.

I remember being so proud of you when you stopped drinking.

I remember how much happier everything became when you were baptized.

I remember how awful it was to get the news you’d been shot in the head.

I remember how horrible it was to watch you live on a ventilator for 3 days.

I remember how kind the nurses were; how loving their hands were.

I remember knowing that one day I’d see you again in Heaven.

Over the years, I’ve often not done naughty things (think sex, drugs and rock-n-roll) because I knew you were up there, looking down on me. I wanted you to be proud.

Over the years, I’ve missed having my big strong Daddy there to cry on, laugh with and be escorted down the aisle by.

Over the years, I’ve become a strong, proud, independent woman because being your daughter helped me see how important that is.

Over the years, I’ve discovered that I am like you in so many ways. Mom says I get my love of muscle cars, fast driving and cussing from you. I love that.

If you had lived I have no doubt that I’d still be a virgin wearing baggy turtlenecks and skirts down to my ankles everyday, as no boy would ever have been good enough and you’d have scared the life out of any man that tried. I’m sure that even up in Heaven you were chagrined when I married the exact man you told me to stay away from. “Don’t bring any of those long-haired hippies home!” Well, I married two of them. A girl’s gotta rebel a little. I know you’d love my sweet hubby though, Daddy. He treats me like a princess. You’d be proud to call him, “Son.”

I miss you Daddy. While I’m not looking to go to Heaven any time in the near future, I sure hope it’s you who greets me when that blessed day does happen. It’s been too long since I’ve seen your handsome face.

I love you. Happy Daddy’s Day.

Your little girl, always…