The road ends, but the journey continues...

Kitty’s Virtual Brownie Sharing Circle

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Psalms 34:8

Yes, you read that right, this second VBSC post brings Kitty to the table. Her human of choice is writer and yarn (he)artist, L. Marie, a native Chicagoan. She earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and continues to write, submit manuscripts and encourage others pursuing the writer’s path.
Actually, she encourages others, period. Skilled in crochet and knitting, she often yarns-up gifts for those she feels need a little unexpected lift or surprise.
Case in point, a few days ago, I discovered the owl featured in the photos below roosting in our snail mail box. I’m sure Kitty is relieved that she has one less ‘friend’ she’s obliged to share brownies with, but I’m touched at the thoughtfulness of my blogger buddy.
However, ‘owlie’ does not yet have a name…heck, (s)he doesn’t even have a gender designation. Soooo…if any ideas come to mind, please mention suggestions in the comments below along with any other thoughts this post may inspire.  
UPDATE: L. Marie and I have decided that “Owlie” fits him just fine.

Don’t forget to take a peek at L.Marie’s blog and maybe try out the brownie recipe at the end of this, her guest post.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m L. Marie. My blog is El Space: The Blog of L. Marie. Many thanks to Laura for inviting me to participate in her Virtual Brownie Sharing Circle. And thank you to Heather who wrote the original post that inspired Laura.

Kitty and her friends. Not that she thinks she’s above them. But pictures don’t lie. . . .

Kitty and her friends. Not that she thinks she’s above them. But pictures don’t lie. . . .

Actually, Kitty, who is sitting here staring at me, feels she was the inspiration behind the sharing circle, because she’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Less crime, more altruism—that sort of thing. In fact, she thinks it should be renamed the Kitty and Friends Virtual Brownie Sharing Circle, since she coerced invited two friends to join her in a photo op.
Though she doesn’t consider me a friend (more like a slave, really) she expected me to do all of the brownie baking while she did all of the tasting.
When it comes to brownies, I’m not much of a baker. A year ago, I made a box recipe that was supposed to be kindergarten easy. But the brownies turned out dry and about half the height they were supposed to achieve after baking.
Picture 3

Ginger and her son, Johnny

My good friend Ginger makes great brownies. I’ve known Ginger for many years. Not only is a she a great wife, and mother to three offspring (two of whom are in college), she is also an administrative assistant at Covenant Classical School in Naperville, Illinois.
As if her life weren’t busy enough, Ginger also deals with Celiac disease. I’ll let her tell you about that.
El Space: How long have you had Celiac disease? What led to that diagnosis?
Ginger: Five years on February 21! I had a rash on my legs that never went away for over two years! I consulted many doctors and we tried many topical creams, but it never went away. Then I started having pain in my stomach that was constant, day and night. It was never sharp, but it was always there. The doctor ordered blood work and an endoscopy and I was diagnosed with Celiac disease.
El Space: How has having this disease changed your life?
Ginger: When I am not cooking at home, I have to make a plan of what I am going to eat. I have to read labels and bring food everywhere I go. I even have my own pans and toaster so there is no cross contamination in the kitchen. I feel so much better, so this makes it much easier to stay gluten free. I would say that the biggest change is a mental switch that social events are not all about the food. This has required a whole new way of thinking about meeting friends, holidays, birthday parties, and outings.
El Space: You’re one of the most cheerful, encouraging people I know. How has this life-changing event enabled you to encourage others?
Ginger: I have a greater sense of understanding what it feels like not fitting in and feeling left out. It points me first to Christ and remembering how my identity is in Him first. I am not alone. My compassion toward others has grown immensely. I have a greater understanding for others that may feel like they may not fit in for a variety of reasons.
I have had the benefit of having my family and friends include me in their meal plans or pick up something gluten free for me. Since this has meant so much to me, I have made attempts to do the same for others with a variety of dietary restrictions. This has challenged my culinary skills, but I have learned a lot in the process. I had some successes and failures, and most importantly, connected with others.

Thanks, Ginger. Now, here’s the recipe Ginger follows for making her brownies:

Picture 1

Yes, Kitty, you must share…

Ginger’s Gluten Free Brownie Recipe

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ heaping cup of gluten free flour

Add in if desired (I love making the brownies extra special with candy, nuts, etc.)

  • Pecans or walnuts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Andes mints


  • Spray an 8×8 glass pan with cooking spray.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix together melted butter and cocoa powder until well blended.
  • Add sugar, eggs, and flour and any mix-ins desired!
  • Pour mix into pan and spread evenly.
  • Bake 24-28 minutes until sides looked baked and toothpick comes out with just a bit of batter on it.


  1. Mary

    Several cute ideas and a brownie recipe, too! Thanks

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well, we quilters are notorious for our nibbles at guild meetings, eh?
      HA! Thanks for stopping by, (Zippy) Mary.

  2. Jill Weatherholt

    How wonderful to see L. Marie and all of her adorable little friends on your blog, Laura. I have a reindeer that she crocheted for me and he stays by my lap top, cheering me on.
    Thanks for introducing us to Ginger, L. Marie. I feel her pain, living with a chronic disease myself. I’m happy to know she received the proper diagnosis so she could go forward with treatment and dietary adjustments.
    Those brownies sound delicious!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, L.Marie shares her little friends, freely!
      Thanks for stopping by, Jill.

    • L. Marie

      The brownies are delicious, Jill.
      I’m so glad you the reindeer is doing his job.

  3. Lori

    Ooh, Yum. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I can imagine how difficult it must be in social events. Nice to meet more fellow Chicagoans.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Hey Lori, thanks for stopping by – Ginger’s story is certainly encouraging in how she’s adapted to such dietary adjustments, yet maintaining a ‘normal’ mom life.

    • L. Marie

      Glad you could meet Ginger, Lori.

  4. L. Marie

    Got the reblog! Yay! Thank you for hosting, Laura, and for honoring Ginger on this day.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for guiding Kitty along in this her VBSC post! And hugs to you and Ginger.

      • L. Marie

        Well, someone has to keep Kitty in check. She has a tendency to take over.

        • laura bruno lilly

          Too true! 🙂

  5. Heather

    This recipe looks really good to. 🙂 Will have to also try out this one. 🙂 xxx

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, can ya believe it? Two gluten-free brownie recipes in a row?
      Take care you two, too!

    • L. Marie

      It’s delicious!!!

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