Peggy & Judy were working on their book Hack Your Way to Happiness, based on neuroscience and decided to make a 2019 calendar with 12 of the book’s 22 Happiness Hacks. (They aren’t quite done with the book . . . they get diverted very easily . . . I have a hard time keeping them on track.)
If I needed a calendar, which I don’t since I prefer to live in the moment, I would get their calendar. HOWEVER, the calendar has pictures of the Curious Critters but not ONE picture of me so I wouldn’t pay full price and would buy it with a 60% off Zazzle coupon, which is often available.
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew But through it all, when there is doubt I eat it up, never spit it out So you too, can face it all standing tall
and if you’re smart
you’ll do it my way
You Humans ruminate, obsess, plan, plod and procrastinate. I’m here to give you guidance:
1. Get your nose out of the past and your tail out of the future
Live for now. Think about it. Now is all that exists. If all the stuffing comes out of your plaything, find another one. When someone won’t scratch behind your ears offer them your back.
2. Never lead with your butts
I never procrastinate or make excuses why it’s too late to go for a walk or put off dinner until my favorite program is over.
If you had to cram seven years into one year you wouldn’t procrastinate either. When you tell yourself “I want to go fetch BUT I have to check text messages text first” . remember to go at life head-first, not “BUT . . . first”.
3. STICK Your Head Out the Window (make sure it’s rolled down )
There are so many smells and so many blessings outside the window . . . take it all in wherever you’re headed (pun intended). You humans focus too much on the destination and forget to enjoy the journey.
4. Use Your Sniffer
BEFORE MAKING JUDGMENTS based on what others look like take a few sniffs and watch their behavior.
I can tell after 5 sniffs whether someone is trustworthy. You might need more than 5 since you aren’t as perceptive as I am.
5. Wag before you Speak
I don’t speak a human language (I write it but don’t speak it) I can’t give you a thumbs up but I can give you a paw. Only if I can’t get your attention with a nudge I use my bark. My tail never lies . . . and you shouldn’t either.
6. The Power of Pet
Scratch each others backs, rub bellies, pat heads. At the very least, reach out and touch others with kindness. Getting and giving pets feels really good.
Feeding Peggy and Judy brain healthy food is my mission. They are getting old . . .er and need all the encouragement they can get from me to eat healthy. I have a lot of recipes and let them pick which ones they want me to make for them.
I suspect they choose chocolate so they could have it all to themselves.* They insist chocolate is not healthy for me . . . just for them . . .
I tweaked the original recipe to make it even MORE tasty.
Espresso Brownie Cake
Brain Healthy Ingredients:
Cinnamon – contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.
Different groups of researchers have shown that cinnamon may prevent the formation of both the plaques and the tangles found in the Alzheimer’s brain.
Dark chocolate & Cocoa – rich in flavonoids compounds that have been linked to improved cognitive performance in older adults. Studies have shown that cocoa flavanols improve performance in healthy adults during sustained mental effort and may also protect against stroke.
Coffee – contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Many controlled trials in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function. This includes memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function
A single cup of coffee contains:
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (I didn’t have enough butter so I added coconut butter)
1/2 cup strong coffee (I didn’t have espresso coffee so I made it twice)
3 tablespoons unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk, so I made sour milk adding a tsp of white vinegar to the milk.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (I didn’t have enough dark chocolate so I added semi-sweet)
Heat oven to 400. Spray an 8 or 9 inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl
Heat butter, espresso, and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Pour cocoa mixture over flour and sugar and mix.
Add buttermilk, egg, baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix to combine.
Stir in chocolate pieces.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Garnish with powdered sugar before serving if desired.
P.S. Peggy and Judy said the cake was good but after eating several pieces decided it needed more chocolate chips. So they poured chocolate chips over the cake.
P.P.S. Peggy and Judy said the cake was good but after eating several pieces with the extra chocolate chips decided it needed ice cream. I’m afraid there wasn’t enough brain healthy cinnamon or coffee in the cake because they went to the store to buy ice-cream and haven’t been seen since.
*P.P.P.S. I found crumbs on the floor (it’s humiliating what I have to endure) and thought it delicious. You can eat it on a plate with a fork but I recommend using just your tongue.