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Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Turns out I’m a jet setter.

 

What a shame it would be to visit the fair city of Dublin simply to tour a recycling plant. Am I right? Yes, I’m right. And, because we’ve stockpiled enough points through our evil plastic cards to jet me there for “free”, I’m left with no choice but to swoop in and save the day for my overworked man.

 

This trip was booked very last minute and I’ve been in crazy town trying to get ready for it. Leaving 18, 15 and 13 year old siblings alone for ten days just isn’t as fun as it may sound. Sure, I get to take off into the wild blue yonder, but I’ll be far from carefree.

 

Bills have to be paid. (It’s always nice when the credit cards actually work and the kids are able to flick a switch rather than a lighter to see where they’re going) Emergency cash tucked away (it will be interesting to see what they deem an emergency – pizza anyone?), oodles of food (I use that word loosely), plenty of toilet paper, heaven forbid, a calendar glowing like a string of Christmas lights with multi-colored bulbs encircling the 50 events that could apparently happen at no time other than the ten days we’ll be thousands of miles away, clean clothes, rides organized, laws laid and riots read.

 

Then there’s the baking guilt. Guilt that’s been rising ever since I found out I was going away without them. Thank goodness I haven’t known for long, thank you, oh kind travel Gods, but I still can’t help myself. After all, our last two trips to the greenest of isles are amongst our family’s most treasured memories, so it’s hard to feel good about leaving anyone behind. You know, Ohana n’ all.

 

Luckily though, I’m not made of 100% pure patheticester. I am looking forward to quality time with my husband who is meeting me there after being away for the last week on business and to seeing the many family members I have living in the North.

 

Anytime guilt can be presto’d into something sweet smelling, warm and comforting we’ve uncovered a glistening, no-stick lining, have we not? And, I don’t know about you, but I’m big into magical baking.

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Your guess is as good as mine.

What could possibly keep her from practicing her passion and fortifying her future? She has been in Maui for a week, but that wouldn’t stop her. She’s more motivated than that…isn’t she? She comes from pretty tough stock and I’m sure a touch of wonderful weather and a brilliant blue bay wouldn’t hold her back.

Westin Pool

I know her pretty well and snorkeling, sunning, swimming and a few pretty Pina Coladas could not stand in her in her way.

Maui Beach 1

Pina Colada

But as I flew home with salt on my skin, sun in my heart and memories on my mind, I looked at my family and I knew, Hazy wasn’t stopping, she was simply letting me live.

Sunset

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A kitchen chimp, I have never claimed to be.

Yesterday, my oldest son competed a set of very intense exams and I wanted to do something special for him. But what could I do? Like most kids not living in a third world country, he has most everything he could ever want.

And then it came to me…food! Ah, yes, food. He’s a guy. He’s a teen. It’s perfect! The problem is, I can’t cook. Alright, I can cook, but not like a chef, you know? I couldn’t come up with something special enough. Not something that was; I just finished a Physics, Pre-Calc, Programming and English exam, worthy.

And then I realized I didn’t have to cook, I could create instead. He loves the Rocky Road bars from Blenz. He’s slightly addicted to them but doesn’t get them nearly often enough being that his mother is a Starbucks kinda girl.

As I searched the ‘net for a recipes, (yes, I actually had to look for recipes for Rocky Road) I began to see that there are many versions of what I thought would be a simple endeavor, even for me.

My brain started ticking (it does do that sometimes) and I decided to make my own concoction. Yay me!

Those of you who don’t know me are reading on in wonderment, amazed that I have survived this long, with three kids mind you, possessing such feeble culinary abilities, and those of you that do know me, have signed off, bored with reading what is common knowledge.

I’ve only ever owned one apron. It was a long ago Christmas present from a friend who loves herself just enough to be totally awesome and is, by the way, a fantastic cook. It has a caricature type image of her on the front and says; “I mean really! What did she expect? Did she actually think the surgeon would agree to make her look just like Jennifer? Everyone knows you can’t just replicate that kind of breathless beauty!”

I swear I couldn’t make that up if I tried. I now use it for cutting my husband’s hair.

So, I donned my new, still tagged apron and melted half a kilo of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a glass mixing bowl atop a pot of bubbling water, added five scoops, okay maybe half a jar of creamy peanut butter, a few handfuls of extra smashed walnuts and many…many tiny, fluffy marshmallows.

Apron 1

The one point where I believed, not surprisingly, that I had screwed it up was when I chose to sheepishly add some condensed milk. I admit I knew it was risky, but went ahead anyway. If you don’t know already, and you probably do, that shizzle brings melted chocolate to a halt. What is that about? To fix it, and I figured this out all by my lonesome, I poured in some regular milk. It took several minutes of sweat ‘n’ stir but gradually the mixture returned to its flowy, Wonka river-like state.  Whew!

My son was thrilled and I don’t think it was just about the Rocky Road. Sometimes it’s really just the simple things.

RR Bars

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