I feel like the past two weeks have been a whirlwind! We haven’t had much time to do the things we need to accomplish, let alone blog. Hopefully in the next two or three weeks that will all change. I have lots to catch up on and Lord willing, soon that will happen. In the meantime, I’ve got to nurse an incredibly sore back, return a bunch of things to multiple stores, prepare more for our time overseas, and probably get some cooking in there. I also want to share with you about our precious Compassion child, Enyer. Thanksgiving and Christmas are approaching, which is definitely on my mind! I need to start thinking about gifts, decorationing, celebrating, and worshipping!
So there is something I don’t talk about. I am a recipe hoard. I have a REALLY hard time sharing my recipes. Even if I find them online, I just can’t seem to share them with others.
Yesterday I had breakfast duty during Sunday school. I have a hard time making “breakfast” type food, mainly because they have a lot of eggs in them-which Joe can’t have. But I’m mastering the art of baking/making desserts! So I make sweets and balance them out with fruit! Yesterday I made salted caramel browines. I’ve cut out caffeine again(including chocolate), so I only had a small piece the night I made them. At that moment, I wished I would have made these before the caffeine fast.
All that to say, I’m breaking my bad habits and will post the link to the original recipe I used, as well as all of my modifications. I sadly didn’t get a picture of the brownies-I thought about it after they were all consumed!
Salted Caramel Brownies (original recipe found here)
For the brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chip morsels
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
For the caramel filling:
14oz caramel candies, unwrapped
1/3 cup heavy cream
Coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil and grease foil well with baking spray. Combine butter and chocolate in double boiler and melt, stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well. Slowly add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, and mix well. Add flour and salt, slowly to mixture until well combined. Spread half the brownie mixture evenly into the foil lined pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for additional 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine caramels and heavy cream and melt over medium heat until smooth. Immediately pour over bottom brownie layer. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Top with remaining brownie batter. (It won’t spread so I did small drops of brownie batter all around the pan and it turned out well). Bake an additional 20 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack at least 3o-45 minutes before cutting.
Now is the time to make the day of a special child! Christmas is nearing and Compassion International is now accepting Christmas cards for children who are still waiting for sponsors! Trust me, as a Compassion sponsor, I get more blessings from writing our child in the Dominican Republic, than he probably gets from me.
The details can be found here at Blogging From the Boonies
I love going on vacation, but it never fails that the last day or so, I start longing for my own bed. And my own shower. I know I can’t be the only one that feels this way!
Joe and I were able to get away for a few days, which was definitely much-needed. We headed up to Williamsburg- Joe had never been and I’ve not been since high school. Our first day was spent at Busch Gardens. I wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t ride any coasters. Joe rode Griffon and then called the coasters quit. Guess it’s not so fun when you ride alone! We did do a few of the other rides, and watched Mix It Up. Even though we didn’t ride a ton of things, it was nice to get relax and take our time walking around.
Friday, I was feeling a bit better when we went to Water Country USA. We did a number of the rides there, but definitely didn’t do things like Vanish Point! We did, however, watch those that chose to ride. Major wedgie ride! I did witness a number of fashion no-no’s, so much that I could publish a book. Plus sized women, hear me now! We should never, ever wear bikinis that expose our stomachs and practically our entire chests to the world. And wearing a white t-shirt over it is not acceptable either! There are incredibly flattering swimsuits built just for us! And parents, never should you ever put your infant (~6 months old) on a ride with you. It’s just plain stupid. Your child could have been hurt very badly, all so you could have a few moments of fun!
Saturday and Sunday, Joe and I spent at Colonial Williamsburg. We took in a lot of history, went to dinner at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, and went on a ghost walk. One of the things that I enjoyed was going to the cabinet maker’s shop. They had built a harpsichord, which Joe spent some time playing. They do make things and sell them to the public, or you can order some of the items the different shops around the town make. A harpsichord (which takes almost a year to build) will run you about $40,000-$50,000. And they have a waiting list about 40 persons long. I also enjoyed spending time at the weaver’s shop!
If you’re ever in Williamsburg, you should definitely go to Food For Thought. We went there Thursday night (conveniently located across from our hotel), and really enjoyed it. Especially their sweet potato cornbread. I’m already researching how to best go about making it since the chef wouldn’t part with his recipe (yes, I asked!). The Cheese Shop with the Colonial Marketplace is definitely a must stop! We had really great sandwiches Saturday and Sunday. They also have amazing sweet potato chips! Our last night in town, we went to The Trellis, also in Colonial Marketplace. It was pretty good. They had great cornbread and pretzel rolls to start with. They get you with the drinks though. If you want soda, you get a warm can with a glass of ice, and you pay by the can. For dinner, Joe had a pork with a rootbeer au jus, which he enjoyed. I had the shrimp and grits. It was ok….but our local seafood joint has MUCH better shrimp and grits! We treated ourselved to dessert-Death by Chocolate, which was AMAZING!
I’m glad we’re back though! The bottoms of my feet were purple by the end of Sunday night. Now I’m back, laundry is finished and I’ve got to clip coupons! Rumors told me that Harris Teeter is starting Triples tomorrow! I’ve got to be prepared! Joe and I are also having breakfast at Chick-fil-a tomorrow…FREE breakfast!
But the thing I’m most excited about? I’ve been invited to Southeastern (SEBTS) to hear David Platt speak this morning. His book, Radical, was on my wish list for a while. Before we left for vacation I saw it on sale (cheaper than Amazon) at Lifeway. I snagged it and started reading it while we were out of town. Ironically, our pastor started preaching on the topic this past weekend about being Radical (for Christ).
Last year many ladies were posting colors as their Facebook status. So much so that the news talked about it. I’m sure men and women who didn’t get the message were curious as to why there were was a rainbow of colors clogging their news feed. It happened to be the color of bra they were currently wearing. Somehow this was supposed to bring attention to breast cancer. I get the link- bras support breasts.
Then it was “I like it on the ___”, which often made people sound…well…. I won’t go there. But it wasn’t about sex (which is what people were led to believe if they weren’t in the know). It was about the location of where they liked to keep their purse. The link to bringing attention to breast cancer? Yeah…thats tough, because I can’t seem to find one.
Recently it was your shoe size but to add inches to the end (I wear a shoe size 9, so I would have written 9 inches). Again, this was somehow supposed to bring attention to breast cancer.
And now it goes a little something like this “I am __ weeks and craving __”. All is based on a chart of your birthday. This not only fails to bring attention to breast cancer, it makes some people sound trashy. I’m sorry, but its true. Do you really want your 13-year-old daughter participating?
So here we are, one month away from Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re bringing attention to breast cancer in all the wrong ways. You may not know this about me, but each day at work we diagnose women and men of all ages with breast cancer. I’ve tested tissue samples of young teenage women who have been positive for breast cancer. It’s not just a disease that strikes older women. Its women of ALL ages and men too!
Breast cancer is a heartbreaking disease! I’ve known so many women who have battled, some who have won and some who have not. Joe’s aunt passed away from breast cancer, leaving behind two kids, a husband, four sisters, and many family members. My next door neighbor growing up battled breast cancer. A number of women in the church I grew up in battled breast cancer. My sorority sister lost her mom when she was a little girl from breast cancer. My coworker beat breast cancer. A young woman I’ve met through infertility struggles is scheduled to have a double mastectomy soon because, if she fortunate enough to get pregnant, her likelihood for getting breast cancer is extremely high due to genetics and the increased hormone levels pregnancy brings on. Shall I continue on?
Then there is the link of breast cancer to the status game. Something someone is my infertility forum posted that needs to be known- “11,000 women under the age of 40 are diagnosed each year with breast cancer and many are treated with chemo. For these women, nearly 80% are left infertile as a result. The same is true for men with breast cancer treated with chemo. How does posting a fake pregnancy announcement honor these women who may never experience that?”
It frustrates me that we’re bringing attention to all the wrong things. For people with breast cancer, vague status messages about random things doesn’t tell their story. It doesn’t help them, encourage them, or even cure them. For people with infertility, fake pregnancy announcements really hurts. Try spending years attempting to have a baby and others think it’s no big deal.
Instead of us participating in these, for lack of better word, stupid games through Facebook, why don’t we all post the name of someone who has battled breast cancer and impacted our lives. And challenge your friends to do so too. Think of the news worthy movement that could be started. We’re remembering those who have fought, those that won, and especially those who we’ve lost. If we start posting important things, statistics, or links to donate to research (such as Susan G. Komen), we can actually make a difference.