Grace. And Triple Chocolate Brownies.
In full transparency, these days I often feel as if I'm on the edge of a cliff hanging on for dear life. My desk is a mess. My house is a mess. My car is a mess. My fridge is either bare or full of things I have no time or energy to cook. My family is living out of laundry baskets. And although I manage to keep a bright smile plastered across my face, my patience is short. I'm running on fumes.
The past several months have been beyond hectic and I've had to be intentional about giving myself credit for making it through each day and having the drive to wake up and do it all over again the next morning. Because during especially busy weeks like these, we may feel like we’re just keeping our heads above water… Just trying to push through. We feel mediocre. Like we're stretched so thin and doing so many things that we're not doing any ONE thing well. That we're not earning an "A" in anything. And for those of us who expect excellence from ourselves, it may be difficult to accept that sometimes “just making it through” is a noble accomplishment in and of itself.
Far too often, we view our lives through a lens of lack. When things get tough or don’t go the way we hoped they would, it can be difficult to see all of the other things in our lives that are absolutely beautiful and rewarding. What we focus on is what we see. Lately, I have been guilty of allowing imperfect situations to distract me from appreciating some amazing moments. If I am not intentional about being MINDFUL and PRESENT, my whole day can become consumed with feelings of 'not- enough-ness.'
But Y'all- We showed up every day. We went to work and did our jobs. We fed our families (even if it was from UberEats.) We took a shower and put on clean clothes. We smiled at someone. We listened to someone. We offered advice and encouragement. We made time for someone else even when we felt we had nothing left to give.
And during those tough days, weeks, and months, THAT IS ENOUGH. We learn to hold ourselves to a standard of Grace and not Perfection. We do so much and we give so much. We deserve to offer ourselves the same grace that we so freely extend to others.
So celebrate the fact that you made it through! Be proud of what you’ve done and give yourself permission to rest or bake a batch of my warm, fudgy, crackly-topped Triple Chocolate Brownies and eat them all while bingeing on some Netflix series you've been waiting to devour. Do it and don't you dare feel guilty! You deserve it.
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
What You'll Need:
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 2/3 cup melted butter (divided in half) ½ cup boiling water 2 cups sugar 2 eggs (room temperature) 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee 12 oz. package chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, but a totally scrumptious addition!)
What To Do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with oil, nonstick spray, or Baker's Joy spray (my personal fave.) Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder and baking soda.
4. Stir in 1/3 cup melted butter and boiling water until fully incorporated.
5. Stir in sugar, eggs, and remaining butter.
6. Carefully add flour, vanilla extract, salt, and espresso powder or instant coffee and mix well.
7. Gently stir in chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, and nuts (if using).
8. Pour batter into greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
9. Remove pan from oven and allow brownies to cool.
10. Slice brownies and serve alone or a la mode for a special Valentine's Day treat- Enjoy!