Peanut Butter Lover’s Day: Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

peanut-butter-cookiesFebruary is almost over! We’re excited — not just because we’re that much closer to warm weather and sunshine, but because we’re one day closer to Peanut Butter Lover’s Day! That falls on March 1, so we’re making anything and everything we can with peanut butter! Today we kept it simple and made our best peanut butter cookie recipe.

peanut-butter-cookiesPeanut Butter Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky is fine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Bowl of granulated sugar to roll your cookie dough in (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375℉.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt (you can use a fork). Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl fitted to a stand mixer combine, the brown sugar, butter and peanut butter. Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream together the ingredients until they are well-combined. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until it’s smooth. Reduce the mixing speed to low. Slowly add the dry ingredients until it’s all incorporated. peanut-butter-cookies

Scoop the batter into 1” balls. Roll each ball in the bowl of sugar so they’re coated with sugar. Place each ball on a cookie sheet about 2” apart. Smash down each ball with a fork twice so it makes hash marks.

peanut-butter-cookies

Bake for 7 minutes. Let stand for about three minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack. Makes about 34 cookies.

These are classic peanut butter cookies — they’re perfect the way they are but you can add your own twist to them by adding chocolate or butterscotch chips. And if you’re a serious peanut butter lover, you can add peanut butter chips!

Enjoy your peanut butter cookies! Check back with The Lakeside Collection for more recipes, ideas and products for all your favorite quirky holidays!

peanut-butter-cookies

National Cherry Pie Day: How to Make Cherry Pie

Cherry-PieFebruary 20 is National Cherry Pie Day — you don’t need to twist our arms to celebrate this one! To celebrate, we are sharing our cherry pie recipe. It’s all from scratch, but there are shortcuts you can try and still call it homemade. Here’s how to make cherry pie:

Cherry-PieCrust: This recipe is for a 9” double crust.  Nora Ephron (she wrote When Harry Met Sally… Sleepless in Seattle, and Heartburn) was quite a cook and always said there is no reason to ever make pie dough from scratch. We don’t believe that’s true (you can use pie dough for so many things), but in case you don’t feel like rolling it out yourself, there’s no shame in using a store-bought crust. 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed (you can also use ¾ shortening)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (milk or water are adequate substitutes)

Cherry-PieWhisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter. With your hands, squeeze the butter and dry ingredients together until the butter is coated with flour and the pieces are about the size of peas. Make a well in the mixture. Pour all of the buttermilk into the well.

Cherry-PieWith a fork, mix it all together. When it’s all moistened, form two balls of dough equal in size. Don’t knead it yet — it should be a bit messy. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them for an hour.

Cherry-PieFilling: Cherries are not in season — they have a short growing season in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cherry pie in the middle of February — you just won’t have fresh cherries in your pie. We used canned cherries packed in water — they still make a fabulous pie. Alternatively, you can use two cans (14.5 oz) cherry pie filling.

  • 3 cans (14 oz) of tart or sweet cherries in water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cherry-Pie

In a saucepan over high heat, combine all your ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for ten minutes. Set the pan aside to let it cool.

Preheat oven to 375℉.Cherry-Pie

Roll out one ball of dough to about ⅛”. It should be a little bit bigger than your pie plate. Fold it in quarters and place the corner in the center of your pie plate and unfold the dough.

Cherry-PiePress the dough into the pan and pierce the bottom in random spots with a fork. Roll out the second ball of dough, fold it in half and set aside.

Cherry-PiePour the filling into the pie plate lined with dough. Unfold the reserved dough on top of the filling. Press the two layers of dough around the edged. With kitchen shears, cut the excess dough around the edges leaving about an inch hanging over the edge. Fold the edges under to seal the pie.

Cherry-Pie Crimp the edges. With a paring knife, pierce three slits in the middle of the pie. Whisk together one egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the top of the pie and edges with the egg wash. Refrigerate your unbaked pie for about 30 minutes.  When you’re ready to bake, cover the edges (without touching them) of the pie with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and lower the oven temperature to 350℉. Bake for another 20 minutes, occasionally checking to make sure the crust doesn’t get too brown. When you can see the filling bubbling up through the slits, it’s ready.

Let your pie cool on a wire rack for at least two hours. If you just can’t wait to dig in, you can, of course, serve a slice earlier than that, but the filling might be a little soupy — it thickens while standing.

Cherry-Pie

10 Of History’s Most Beloved Pets

dogandcatWhether you share your home with a dog, a cat, a hamster, or a bird, you love your pet as much as you love the human members of the family—sometimes even more! But a few times in history, pets—some real, some fictional–have risen to a level of fame that made them the companions of entire nations and cultural icons. Here are 10 of history’s most beloved pets.

Unsinkable Sam For centuries, the British Royal Navy took cats along on sea voyages. In addition to providing companionship, the “Captain’s Cat” kept mice and rats away from food. One of the luckiest was a cat known as “Unsinkable Sam”. Supposedly, he started out on the German side of World War II aboard The Bismarck. It sank in battle on May 27, 1941. Sam was one of the ship’s few survivors, picked up by the British battleship the HMS Cossack. Later that year, that ship sunk, too. While 159 sailors lost their lives, Sam survived again. He then moved on to the HMS Ark Royal, which was later torpedoed. Sam was found “angry but quite unharmed” on a floating plank. The cat was then retired from shipboard service, and he spent the rest of his days a pampered pet in a home for retired sailors.

hachicko

Image source: Wikipedia

Hachiko Hachiko became a national symbol through an act of extreme loyalty. The dog was the pet of Japanese Professor Hidesaburo Ueno. He met his master at the Shibuya Train Station in Tokyo at the end of every day. In May 1925, Ueno died while teaching, and he never returned to the station. Hachiko never stopped waiting for him. Every day for the next nine years, the dog sat outside the train station, appearing precisely when Ueno’s old train was due at the station. A year before his death in 1935, a statue of Hachiko was placed outside the Shibuya train station, where it still stands. Bronze paw prints mark the exact spot where he stood every day.

Able Seacat Simon Able Seacat Simon was another feline of the British Royal Navy. He was the official ratter of the HMS Amethyst. In 1949, the ship came under fire in China, and Sam was seriously injured. With the help of the ship’s medical crew, the cat survived, raising the morale of his shipmates. In recognition of his gallantry under fire, the Royal Navy awarded him the Dickin Medal. He was the first and so far only cat to receive it. Sadly, Simon passed away shortly after his ship returned to England. He was buried with full military honors.

Rin-Tin-TinRin Tin Tin  He began life forgotten in a German bunker in 1918, but Rin Tin Tin ended it a star. The German Shepherd pup was found in an abandoned German military kennel in France by U.S. Army Corporal Lee Duncan. When the war ended, Duncan took his trained dog to Hollywood and got him movie parts. “Rinty” became popular with audiences and starred in his own films. The first Rin Tin Tin passed away in 1930. His son and other descendants continued performing in movies, radio shows, and television.

Greyfriars Bobby Beloved of Scotland, Greyfriars Bobby was a terrier who became a symbol of enduring loyalty. His owner John Gray was a member of the Edinburgh police force. When he died in 1858, Gray was interred in the Greyfriars churchyard. Soon afterward, Bobby was seen sitting on the grave. The dog spent most of the rest of his life guarding the gravesite. Shortly after his own death in 1872, a statue of Bobby was placed near the church.

Old-Abe

Image source: Wikipedia

Old Abe Cats and dogs are not the only animals that win our hearts. Old Abe was a female bald eagle who was the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Old Abe saw battle in Vicksburg and Memphis. After the war, the regiment gave her to the state of Wisconsin, and she lived the rest of her life in a special room in the Capitol. Today, a statue of Old Abe keeps watch over the Wisconsin State Assembly Chamber, and her likeness graces the insignia of the 101st Airborne Division “The Screaming Eagles”.

Snoopy Perhaps no pet—real or fictional—is as beloved as Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy. Inspired by his own childhood dog Spike, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz created a beagle with a vibrant imagination. When he is not hanging out with Charlie, Snoopy often can be found on top of his doghouse writing novels, pretending to be a WWI flying ace, chilling out as “Joe Cool”, or spending time with his birdie friend Woodstock. In addition to being a cultural icon, Snoopy has served as the mascot of the NASA safety program and several armed forces flying units. He is currently the corporate mascot of a major insurance company.

winnipeg-the-bear

Image source: Wikipedia

Winnipeg the Bear Winnipeg’s story starts in World War I. She was an orphaned cub that Lt. Harry Colebourn, a Canadian army veterinarian, purchased from a hunter. His regiment adopted her as a mascot, and Colebourn named her Winnipeg or “Winnie” after his hometown. When the regiment was deployed in 1915, it managed to smuggle her all the way to England. Before leaving for France, Colebourn left Winnie at the London Zoo. After the war, a writer named Alan Milne and his son Christopher frequently visited Winnie. The little boy named his teddy after the friendly bear, and thus, Winnie-the-Pooh was born. Winnie the Bear lived at the London Zoo until her death in 1934. She is remembered in Winnipeg with a statue.

Garfield Star of the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, Garfield is a cat who knows how to live large. He lives the way most humans wish they could—days full of laziness, rich food, and disdain of Mondays and diets. Garfield’s laid-back approach to life frequently conflicts with the more outgoing attitude of his owner John Arbuckle and the limitless joy of the dog Odie. While the cat is frequently cynical, Garfield has a major soft spot for his teddy bear, Pooky. Garfield and his friends have starred in countless comic strips, books, an animated television series, and a pair of live-action films.

trigger

Image source: Wikipedia

Trigger Known as “The Smartest Horse in the Movies”, Trigger was the faithful mount of film and television cowboy Roy Rogers. Originally named “Golden Cloud”, the clever horse mastered an almost endless list of tricks, including untying ropes and even shooting a gun. Starting in 1943, Trigger appeared in over 80 movies with Rogers, as well as 100 television episodes. Within a few years of his debut, he was so popular, he needed a body double to keep up with all the demands for personal appearances. The original Trigger passed away in 1965. The statue of a rearing horse that decorates the Denver Broncos home scoreboard was cast in Trigger’s image.

Groundhog Day: 8 Facts About Our Favorite Groundhog

Groundhog-DayIt’s February 2 — Groundhog Day. We’ve been through six weeks of winter so-far and today is the day our fuzzy friend in Pennsylvania tells us that spring is still a ways off and we have to endure winter a little longer. Chief prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, is the groundhog we look to for that answer every year. Whether he has any authority on the matter is irrelevant, it’s a tradition we love to celebrate. Here are 8 facts about our favorite groundhog and his most important day of the year.

  1. Every February 2 since 1887, a ceremony has been held to watch Punxsutawney Phil as he emerges from his home. If he sees his shadow and is scared back into his burrow, there will be another month and a half of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, we can expect to have an early spring.
  2. Punxsutawney Phil lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to a poll of Pennsylvania residents 59 percent like Punxsutawney Phil, but only 8 percent believe his predictions.
  3. Groundhog-DayAccording to the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, there has only been one Punxsutawney Phil even though groundhogs have a life expectancy of 9 to 14 years. The Inner Circle claims Phil drinks groundhog punch every summer and that’s what has given him a long life.
  4. The Groundhog Club started in the 1800s. They went out in the woods of Pennsylvania looking for groundhogs coming out of hibernation as an adaptation of a German tradition. That’s how Punxsutawney Phil was found.
  5. Phil’s full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.”
  6. Though the Groundhog Club believes Punxsutawney Phil is the only groundhog who can make the prediction, there are a few other groundhogs people look to for weather guidance. In Canada an albino groundhog named Wiarton Willie makes the prediction, New York City relies on Pothole Pete, and Atlanta looks to General Beauregard Lee.Groundhog-Day
  7. The movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, is centered around Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The movie was actually filmed in Woodstock, Illinois. Woodstock now has its own Groundhog Day ceremony every year with festivities starting the week before Groundhog Day.
  8. The screenwriter and director for the movie Groundhog Day was Ghostbuster Harold Ramis. Ramis died in 2014 and the town of Woodstock will honor the funny man as a part of the Groundhog Day festival.

We’re still traumatized by Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of February 2, 2014 in which case he was correct about six more weeks of winter. Let’s hope this year is a bit different, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for lots of snow and cold for a few more weeks.

The 4 Most Memorable Big Game Halftime Shows

Halftime-ShowFor the NFL’s most important game, the halftime extravaganza is a show within a show. Even if the game itself is a snoozer, the halftime entertainment usually gives everyone something to talk about the next day. While it may seem like an institution as old as the big game itself, it was not until the 1990s that broadcasters realized it was an opportunity to pack some extra fun into the night. Many of the performances stand out for their excellence. Some others do not. Here are the 4 most memorable Big Game halftime shows.

patriots-flag2004—Janet Jackson & Justin Timberlake
“Memorable” does not always mean “best”. It can also mean “controversial”. That certainly was the case in 2004 when Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake teamed up for the 2004 Big Game show. This was the performance that introduced the phrase “wardrobe malfunction” to the American vocabulary. After some suggestive dance moves, part of Jackson’s costume was pulled off and “Nipplegate” began. Was it an accident or intentional? We may never know. We do know the half second of exposure led to a legal battle over censorship, thousands in fines, a five-second broadcasting delay for all future halftime shows, and the creation of YouTube.

seahawks-picture2005—Paul McCartney
Jackson and Timberlake were a difficult act to follow. The NFL wanted no surprises at 2005’s Big Game, but it still wanted a big show to draw in non-football fans. It found a safe choice in Paul McCartney. Sir Paul did not disappoint, opening with the Beatles song “Drive My Car”. He then treated viewers to a fireworks-laden performance of “Live and Let Die”. McCartney finished with the iconic “Hey Jude” and got the entire stadium—not to mention the crowd at home—to sing along.

packers-throw1991—New Kids on the Block
In 1991, broadcasters decided to have a big-name act as the halftime entertainment. In an effort to appeal to a wide variety of viewers including tweens, New Kids on the Block was hired to perform with characters from sponsor Disney. It sounded like a winning formula, but things went bad quickly. Most people did not see the performance at halftime. The Gulf War had just started, and ABC News preempted the halftime broadcast with an update on Operation Desert Storm. Viewers at home did not see the performance until after the game. When the television audience finally saw the show, instead of a medley of New Kids’ hits, it was treated to a salute to global peace and togetherness. Which felt odd, considering the aforementioned Gulf War. At least everyone got to see a mind-blowing version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Whitney Houston.

colts-ball1993—Michael Jackson
After some fumbles, broadcasters finally got the formula for a good Big Game halftime show: popular musicians and special guests performing for about 15 minutes in a huge, over-the-top spectacle, usually involving explosions. The first show of the new era was Michael Jackson, and some fans think it was last great TV performance of his career. He opened with drama, standing still for about 90 seconds before launching into a medley including “Jam”, “Billie Jean”, and “We are the World”. It was the performance of an artist in the middle of resurgence shortly before his ultimate fall, criminal allegations, and early end.

Make Your Dreams Come True Day: 24 Inspirational Quotes

Make-Your-Dreams-Come-TrueJanuary 13 is Make Your Dreams Come True Day! We are all dreamers, but achieving those dreams can sometimes seem impossible. When it feels impossible, we need a little motivation. Today we’re giving you motivation in the form of quotes. Here are 24 inspirational quotes to help you make your dreams come true:

  1. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney
  2. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” –Harriet Tubman
  3. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” –Goethe
  4. “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” –Colin Powell
  5. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau
  6. “No one has ever achieved anything from the smallest to the greatest unless the dream was dreamed first.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder
  7. Make-Your-Dreams-Come-True“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” –George Lucas
  8. “When your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme.”  –Jiminy Cricket
  9. “I don’t dream at night, I dream all day; I dream for a living.” –Steven Spielberg
  10. “We should show life neither as it is or as it it ought to be, but only as we see it in our dreams.” –Leo Tolstoy
  11. “A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” –Oscar Wilde
  12. “I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.” –Mike Tyson
  13. “Strivers achieve what dreamers believe.” –Usher
  14. “It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.” –Erma Bombeck
  15. “Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
  16. “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” –Oprah Winfrey
  17. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot
  18. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” –Alexander Graham Bell
  19. “It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.” –Mother Teresa
  20. “It always seems impossible until it is done.” –Nelson Mandela
  21. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” –George Bernard Shaw
  22. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” –Zig Ziglar
  23. “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” –William Butler Yeats
  24. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” –Mark Twain

Make-Your-Dreams-Come-True

Food Safety Tips for Your Big Game Party

Super-Bowl-PartyWe’re all getting excited for football’s biggest game as the list for top contenders gets shorter and shorter! Of course the best part of the Big Game might not be football, but the viewing party — it’s certainly our favorite part! But we want to make sure we’re hosting a safe party — starting with the food. Here are 3 important food safety tips for your Big Game party

Keep Cold Food Cold… Bacteria grows fastest in food when it’s at temperatures between 40℉ and 140℉ — in the food industry, they call it the “Temperature Danger Zone.” If you’re hosting a party, make sure food like dairy-based dips, shrimp or deviled eggs are kept on ice to keep their temperatures under 40℉.Deviled Eggs

Quick tip: fill a cute baking dish with ice and place your bowls or platters with cold food on top of it.

…and Hot Food Hot If you’re serving hot dips — keep them in the slow cooker so you can maintain the safe temperature (140℉). If you’re serving meat, make sure it’s thoroughly cooked (beef and pork should be cooked to 145℉; chicken should be cooked to 165℉) and hot-held at 140℉. Any casseroles and ground meat of any kind should be cooked to 165℉ and held at 140℉. If anything needs to be reheated, it should be reheated to 165℉. If anything has been left at room temperature for more than two hours, throw it away.

Quick tip: Use your oven as a warmer. Set it at 200℉ to keep casseroles warm between plays and it’s not being served.bears-casserole-carrier

If you’re going to a Big Game party and you’re bringing the hot dip or a casserole, there are slow cooker carriers and NFL casserole carriers that will help keep your food hot while you’re traveling.

appetizer-standThink Small Serve dips and snacks in small quantities. There are two reasons for this: 1) you’ll have more control over the serving temperature to keep the food safe — and reduce the risk of it staying at room temperature for too long and 2) you’ll reduce the risk of contaminating items like chips and nuts by having too many hands in the bowls. It’s a little bit more work to continually refill everything, but it’s worth the work if no one gets sick at your party.

We’d all love to be able to serve the food and forget about it to watch the Big Game, but food needs monitoring. Following a few food safety tips will keep your guests healthy and your party successful!

Holiday Indulgences: Our 5 Favorite Holiday Treats

Tis the season for indulging in everything sugary and rich! We don’t eat this way all year (nor should we!), but as long as the holidays are here we may as well eat the best of the best. This week The Lakeside Collection is having a cookie swap so we’ve been scouring Pinterest for the cutest and tastiest recipes we want to try and trade. Here are our 5 favorite holiday treats from Pinterest.

donut-hole-snowmenDonut Hole Snowmen How adorable are these? This one comes from Danelle at Let’s Dish Recipes. They actually look like little snowmen! But the best part is, there’s no baking required! So even if you’re not a master baker, you can bring these to your next holiday gathering. Everyone will be impressed and all you have to do is build a snowman with sugar.

Cheesecake-BitesGingerbread Cheesecake Bites These tiny cakes have all the tastiness of cheesecake with a holiday accent! This recipe comes from Diane at Created by Diane. These are easy to make, but the recipe does require that you turn on your oven — if you can do that, you can make these tasty treats.

Reindeer-TreatsReindeer Treats From the crafty minds at Lil’ Luna, we have no-bake Reindeer Treats! This one might be a fun project for the kids — all you need are salty pretzels, sweet Rolos, red candies, and time for crafting. Whether you’re going to an adult party or you’re entertaining children, these treats add just a little more joy to the festivities.

wreath-cupcakesWreath Cupcakes Turn on the oven and break out the mixing bowls for these cupcakes! Cake, frosting, fruit by the foot and a few M&Ms are magically transformed into a wreath! This one comes from Your Cup of Cake where they know a little something about cupcakes. They’re simple to make, but it make take a little extra time to make these sweet treats.

reindeer-chowReindeer Chow Forget Chex Mix this season — Reindeer Chow is the snack of choice for crowds this season! The Budget Savvy Diva is the brains behind this brilliantly festive treat. If you have can run a microwave, you make this recipe!  Or, if you want to pass the activity on to your kids, it’s easy enough for them to make with just a little bit of guidance.

There are so many treats we are dying to try at The Lakeside Collection! Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas for fun treats and easy eats this holiday season.

The History of the Brownie

BrowniesNational Brownie Day is December 8th — it’s a day on which we should all take a moment to honor one of the finest chocolate confections ever invented. There are many versions of the brownie — they come topped with frosting, sprinkled with powdered sugar, filled with nuts, or swirled with caramel — but the alleged original recipe wasn’t quite like what we eat today. Because The Lakeside Collection is based out of Chicago, we hold a special place in hearts for the brownie as Chicago is the birthplace of the brownie, according to legend. Here’s a little history of the brownie.

The original brownie was conceived by a pastry chef at The Palmer House Hotel in Chicago’s Loop during one of the most significant events in the Midwestern mecca’s history — The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition (The World’s Fair). This particular World’s Fair celebrated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New World. The fair lasted five months and attracted more than 27 million visitors. The fair introduced major innovations in the world that we still use today: spray paint, fluorescent lights, the moving walkway, the Ferris Wheel, and Juicy Fruit Gum among others.Brownies

As legend has it, Bertha Palmer, the wife of dry goods salesman and owner of the Palmer House Hotel, Potter Palmer, was a legendary socialite in Chicago in the late 19th century. Every day was an event for the World’s Fair and Bertha needed a portable sweet snack to fit in boxed lunches for her lady friends as they attended the fair.

What the hotel’s pastry chef came up with is what they still serve at The Palmer House today.

Here is an updated twist on the original brownie recipe:

BrowniesBrownie Ingredients

  • 9 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cups chopped walnuts

BrowniesCherry Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder

BrowniesInstructions

Preheat the oven to 325℉.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (except the walnuts). In another bowl, combine butter and chocolate and mix well. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture.

Brownies

Pour the brownie mixture in a prepared 8”x8” pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the walnuts over the batter. Let them sit on top — they will sink during baking. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. It will be bubbly. Slide a paring knife around the edges and let it cool a little bit while you make the glaze.

browniesFor the glaze:

In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the water, cherry preserves and gelatin. Bring to a boil and let it bubble for two minutes. Remove from heat. It will be runny. Pour the glaze over the brownies while the glaze is hot. Cool completely. Place in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours or until it’s completely frozen. Let it thaw slightly before slicing and serving.

These brownies aren’t like the brownies we know today — they’re not as chewy, but they are certainly as delicious and they’ll satisfy a sweet or chocolate craving. But whether you want to know what 19th century socialites were eating at The World’s Fair or you just want to indulge in something chocolatey, Brownie Day is as good of an excuse as any to bake up sweet treats.

Brownies

7 Movies to Get You Excited About the Holidays

wreathThe holidays are almost here and at The Lakeside Collection we are excited to break out the garland, hot cocoa and candy canes! The guests haven’t arrived yet, so we still have a little bit of time to spend with the family — that means movie night! We have a whole list of movies that get us in the mood for festivities in the next two months — and we think they’ll work on you, too! Here are 7 movies to get you excited about the holidays:

Home-AloneHome Alone Who can resist the young, clever, towheaded Macaulay Culkin? In this 1990 John Hughes classic, he wins us over as Kevin McCallister — the youngest of a horde of children, who’s abandoned in his home while his family is off to Paris for Christmas. While the innocent little guy is trying to survive on his own, his calm, new life of solitude is disrupted by two brainless burglars. But our fearless youngster outsmarts the bad guys just in time for the family to return home on Christmas.

Elf While Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf is decades older than Kevin McCalister, he’s also more naive. This 2003 favorite follows Buddy from his home with Santa and the Elves at the North Pole to New York City to find his biological father — a grouchy man who didn’t know he had a 40-year-old son. To Buddy’s disappointment, his dad rejects him and he’s left to navigate the new city by himself. But Buddy is persistent and as his dad gets to know Buddy, he softens and welcomes Buddy into his family for a merry Christmas.

Muppet-Christmas-CarolThe Muppet Christmas Carol If you’re going to watch any version of the Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge this holiday, make it The Muppet Christmas Carol. Though it’s a dark story, the Muppets give it life and comedy with songs like “Christmas Scat” from Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. Though they are Muppets, the movie stays true to the story with Michael Caine taking Ebenezer Scrooge from mean old man to kind gentleman, you walk away from it feeling a little more generous.

A Christmas Story Rewind to a 1950’s Christmas in which a Red Ryder BB gun is at the top of 9-year-old Ralphie’s Christmas list. It’s his only fantasy and, despite the warnings he gets from everyone, he wishes and begs for the Red Ryder. Just about anyone can relate to his obsession with getting a toy, but few of us would persevere the way Ralphie does after being discouraged — repeatedly — from getting excited about the Red Ryder. After an awkward Christmas Eve dinner and disappointing Christmas morning, Raphie gets exactly what he wished for —  and way more than what he bargained for.

Christmas-VacationChristmas Vacation We went to Wally World and Europe with the Griswolds, but in Christmas Vacation, they take us us home — but with all the misadventure of their other trips. It’s as uncomfortable and difficult as any other family holiday, just more… wacky and dangerous. With Chevy Chase as Clark, he is as ambitious as ever and simultaneously failing masterfully at all his plans as the holiday arrives. Christmas might be disappointing for the Griswolds, but the Griswolds don’t disappoint us.

Gremlins The best Christmas present ever: a tiny, furry creature with all the charm of a two-week old kitten. The worst Christmas present ever: a tiny, furry creature that multiplies when it gets wet, turns into a scaly, slimy goblin when it eats after midnight and turns your town into a war-zone. That’s what happens when Billy Peltzer receives a “mogwai” over the holidays. This horror-comedy is more hilarious than horrific — it’s good for a laugh as the holidays approach. If you have doubts about its entertainment value, Steven Spielberg was the executive producer and the director was Chris Columbus of Home Alone fame.

GrinchHow the Grinch Stole Christmas Looking vaguely similar to a gremlin, the Grinch is only slightly less menacing as the mythical creatures. The bitter Grinch — annoyed by Christmas cheer, takes it upon himself to make the holiday as miserable for everyone in Whoville as it is for him. He dresses up as Santa Claus, sneaks into all the homes to steal presents before they can be opened. Despite the Grinch’s efforts to put a stop to Christmas, he didn’t destroy Whoville’s Christmas spirit but, in the process, made a change for the good in himself.

You only get so many weekend nights in before the family and guests start trickling in for the holidays. With gift shopping and holiday parties ahead, things are only going to get more crazy. Make the most of the calm moments before the storm for movies with the kids to enjoy the holidays before they get hectic.