Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Power of Gratitude

Thank you - two very simple yet powerful words but also the words taken for granted the most. How often do we say thank you really?  The things that we take for granted are also the very things that most deserve our gratitude.

Sometimes we complain about the silliest, mundane things in life. We focus more on the things that are going wrong or the things that we lack rather than on the things that we should be grateful for. We compare ourselves to other people, never content with what we already have.We forget that there are other people out there who would be very happy just to eat one meal a day or have some shelter to sleep at night or have eyes that can see or feet so they can walk.

Life IS full of blessings and the world is full of abundance if we choose to see them around us. So I'm taking a moment to write down the things that I am thankful and grateful for.

My Top 10 Gratitude List
1. I'm thankful for my life and good health, that I can wake up everyday with the sun shining outside my window.
2. I'm grateful for my family, to have my parents with me and for my brother's support. They may be getting older but they are safe, alive and healthy.
3. I'm grateful to have a wonderful man in my life who accepts me and loves me for all that I am, who stays loyal in spite of the distance.
4. I'm thankful for people who have remained good friends my whole life.
5. I'm thankful for my job, the easy work environment and nice colleagues.
6. I'm very grateful for the wonderful opportunities I had to travel and see the rest of the world. They are some of the best memories I have and I will never forget them.
7.I may not be perfect. Sometimes, I may make mistakes. I may not know everything and I may not have everything but I'm grateful for that because it gives me a chance to learn, to grow and it gives me something to look forward to.
8. I'm grateful for my past for it gave me strength and made me who I am today.
9. I have been rejected many times but I'm very grateful to Foodgawker for always giving me a chance and allowing me to share my posts with others.
10. And lastly, I'm thankful for everyone who took the time to visit my blog, especially to everyone who joined (so pleasantly surprised!). It means a lot to me and I truly  appreciate it! Thank you!

"Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good, even in unpleasant situations. Start bringing gratitude to your experiences instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful."
-Marelisa Fábrega

Give your brownie box mix a makeover with these ultra rich and decadent brownies! The crushed Oreo cookies make it extra fudgy and moist even if you store it in the fridge overnight. Make it even more irresistible with cream cheese frosting with the extra Oreo cookies on top! 

1 box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix (or any brownie mix)
2 eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
14 Oreo cookies, crushed coarsely

Cream cheese frosting (below)
7 Oreo cookies, chopped or broken into chunks

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with non-stick baking paper.

Stir the brownie mix, eggs, canola oil and water in a bowl until well combined. Fold in the crushed Oreos. Spread the batter into the pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few crumbs. (When in doubt, it's better to underbake brownies than to overbake. Nothing is worse than dry brownies.) Cool completely before frosting for 1 hour or longer. Frost the brownies and sprinkle chopped Oreo cookies on top. Refrigerate brownies overnight. Best served cold from the fridge. 

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz (1/2 of a block) cream cheese, straight from the fridge and cut into cubes
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the butter in a bowl on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese. Beat until well combined. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar gradually. Add the vanilla extract. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy.

Here's a close-up shot: see the dark Oreo bits baked in the brownie?YUM!