Friday Night Lights Dinner with Knock You Naked Brownies

Installment Two of the Pioneer Woman Cookbook Challenge.

Knock You Naked Brownies Recipe No. 2

TW and I were in our apartment for almost two months before our neighbors to the right of us moved in. The family consisted of a single mom with a teenage daughter. Occasionally we will hear laughter (which is nice) through our walls from them, especially when the daughter has her friends over. For the most part though they are quiet and stick to their own business. I cannot express how much TW and I appreciate that because country living you get used to not having people around or poking their noses where they don’t belong. Anyway. About a month into having our new neighbors to the right moved in is when we started to notice a stench coming from our half bathroom. It wasn’t quite like a sewer smell but it reeked so bad, and at the time which was unbeknownst to me it was also the cause of my headaches.

Before I finish telling you what that smell was that caused my headaches, I am going to tell ya how I first heard about Knock You Naked Brownies.

One night I was scrolling through YouTube videos while on the search for episodes of The Pioneer Woman and happen to come across one that said, Touring The Pioneer Woman’s Lodge. I am going to be honest to say that I was very much intrigued. The video was filmed by the Alban family who were out on the atypical American family road trip. I ended up watching the majority of the video until the man of the family Mr. Alban allowed his curiosity and excitement to take over while panning a few areas of the lodge with such unaware gusto (filming too fast) resulting in me becoming sea sick or motion sickness by sight and turning off the video completely. My daughter tells me that motion sickness is a common thing while watching YouTube videos.

In the Alban’s video they started out their day at The Mercantile discussing various things and eating breakfast. They, like every other guest at the Merc they received a flyer invite to partake in a tour of the lodge, in which they did sign up for after their breakfast. During this breakfast Mr. Alban raved about how his wife makes the best Knock You Naked Brownies (Book: PWC; Food From My Frontier, pages 260-62) and her reply was, “I follow directions well!”

*—I just wanted to note that you will see Ladd’s mom in the Alban video. Nan passed away in 2018. Nan is spotted walking around the Merc’s restaurant by Mrs. Alban and later on at the Merc’s bakery, Nan says hello to the family and makes Mrs. Alban’s day.

When I came across these brownies in the second book, Food From My Frontier I knew I had to try them. My only problem was when will I have the opportunity to do so? Well, that opportunity came around during this past Homecoming/Alumni game.

Ever since my oldest niece tried out for flags (color guard) and made it onto the squad in 2012, Friday night dinners became a family affair for my sister and my parents. Two years later my daughter and I would join in on this Friday night ritual. Dinners varied to my mom’s desire of what she felt was right to feed all of us, and you ate what she served with no fuss about it. This was a rule that was thought my life in our family. Mom always said that her kitchen was not a restaurant. Therefore you eat what she makes or go hungry. Anyway through out my four years of Friday night lights dinners with the family, I never volunteered to offer anything to add to the meal only because my mom had every thing planned down to the tee. Not this year. I surprised my family with bringing the Knock You Naked Brownies over for dessert.

Having my own kitchen and starting this challenge gave me the opportunity to make this Friday night dinner a little bit more special. Ya see this is my youngest niece’s senior year, and everything she does this year is the last of the last of her high school career. When the season ends this Friday night, it will be the end of Friday night dinners and so much more. Thinking about it puts a lump in the back of my throat and tears start to from just like I did for my daughter’s last of her last. Yep, its pretty emotional.

Football Season 2014
Oldest, mine, youngest!
All in birth order here and they still pose in birth order to this day!

Not to skip too far off the subject but I have to say of all of my daughter’s high school years I never considered myself a band mom. Because band moms were involved, and they were there for everything thing. They lived and breathed being a band mom. As for myself I found that photography was a way to get involved and it also helped heal some wounds along the way as much as it helped strengthen mine and my daughter’s relationship.

Now that my daughter is in college and no longer has to deal with the regiment of Friday night lights, I really don’t miss it. I told my daughter a couple of months ago that I was glad that she was in college and done with high school. She agreed with me.

However, coming back home is a good thing. Especially when your family is waiting for you at the dinner table and old friends waiting for you to reminisce with once you arrive to your old high school. Our girls are lucky to have just that. Because I honestly thought once my daughter was in college that she would not ever return back onto the field or ever walk the halls of our high school again. I know it took me over twenty years to come around, which means my daughter had the better experience of her high school years than I did. I am glad that she did.

I can safely say that out of all three girls my youngest niece had the best high school experience. She started marching band in the seventh grade as a banner carrier and at last band banquet she was voted president of the band. That a pretty big honor to hold. It means your peers like you —a lot! I hate to say that I missed it. She did ask me if I was going to attend the banquet and I told her that I wasn’t. It just didn’t feel right without my daughter around. She looked a little disappointed as she walked away. Later on I found out that she was holding out on me about her newly elected office as president, which is a big deal. Sadly I’ve missed a lot of her last of the last this season. I know bad auntie!

The one thing I didn’t miss out on was being there to do her senior pictures.

I photographed my daughter for her senior photos, and my family loved them. My mom asked if I would do my niece’s and I said yes. Over the span of two weekends I went wherever my niece wanted to go to be photographed. She had things in her mind inspired from Pinterest that she thought would be amazing. We tried them unfortunately like all things on Pinterest, those ideas just belong on Pinterest. Every idea turned out to be an epic fail and that’s when I told her, “Forget Pinterest!!! Let’s get the pictures that are just uniquely you!” And when she abandoned the Pinterest train, that’s when we got the best photos. One of the places we ended up going to was the beach. It was 47 degrees outside and this beach shot was a one shot deal. No double takes, no do overs. She nailed it one the first shot. Nope the kid is not a model, it was really cold out that day. She just wanted to get it done and so did I. By the was it was her idea to take off her shoes. So please I beg you, don’t yell at me for being a bad auntie.

Now I am sure some of you have guessed what the smell was that was the cause of my headaches which I was unaware of what the actual cause was. Now say that ten times fast. That will get ya tongue tied!

In our apartment we share the same mirrored layout as the family on the right. Our stair cases share the same wall as well as our half bath, linen closet, etc. So every time I would open the linen closet or the half bath, or climb the stairs I would smell that stench! It was so bad one day that when TW and I arrived home, that stench greeted us at the front door when we opened it. It literally knocked us back a few steps.

We happen to notice something about this stench. It had a pattern. It only happened when the mom left for long periods of time. The daughter whom I believe is about seventeen or so would be left on her own until her mom returned back home. Well, when the mom was away the daughter would have a few friends over, and that is when this stench would make its presence. Because all of a sudden I would get a headache out of nowhere and then, yep, there it was in all of it smelly glory. —Trust me when I say that there wasn’t enough Fabreese to make this stench disappear.

After a month went by we finally figured out what the stench was. A month after that the mom figured out what was going on in her apartment and put a complete kabosh to it, and the smell disappeared altogether. In between that time is when I was making the Knock You Naked Brownies for my family and that’s when TW made a joke that maybe we should knock on the neighbor’s door, ask if we could borrow some of their stinky stenchy herbs to put in our brownies, “You know to make them into “special” brownies!” TW laughed.

Even though I opted out of making these “special brownies,” you’re not going to believe who ate the rest Knock You Naked Brownies day after day until they were gone??? Yep, our madam band president and TW ate the rest of them. As for the brownies over all everyone else loved them. They were super rich on the first day but as time wore on the taste and texture became more of what I know what a brownie is. You know, the stuff you make from a box and bake off. Yeah, those brownies!

Lastly, I love that this recipe came from O-H…. I-O! Springfield, Ohio to be exact. According to Ree’s insert about the recipe, these brownies adapted from a tin which was shipped to her as a Christmas gift from a small grocery store in Springfield.

Love ya Victoriously,

Alex Victoria

Knock You Naked Brownies Notes:

  • Out of an 11 oz bag, you only need a bag and a half of caramels to get the 60 needed.
  • Start melting the caramel first before anything else.
  • Brownies get better the longer they sit. The first day they are more cake like. As days go on they start being more of a brownie.
  • They were such a knockout hit with my family that everyone in my family loved them!!!!
  • TW wants more made in the future. Future being now!!!
  • I love that this recipe originated from Ohio! Go Bucks!

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