Sunday, February 19, 2012

Young Women New Beginnings, Food, and Family Mishmash

Sammy the Superstar
At church the kids line up in front of the Bishop’s office for candy handouts. It has become Sammy’s routine to run to the front of the line, cutting in front of everyone and stick his chubby hand in the candy bowl for the biggest sucker he can find.
I watched him trot down the hall with a sticky face and hands. In the meantime, his fans – which include many of the Young Men and Young Women in our ward, were reaching out to Sam, hoping for a little contact and Sam, like the superstar he is, nonchalantly trotted past them with hardly a glance.
On Valentine’s Day we had New Beginnings in our ward – to welcome the incoming girl – we only have one coming in this year, and to welcome our newest girl that recently moved in.  The theme, being on Valentine’s Day was “Let You Heart So Shine” – combining the theme for the year with the Holiday. 
Side note – as I headed out the door Mike irritably asked why we were having the activity on Valentine’s Day.  This is coming from a man who thinks that V-Day was invented by Hallmark.  Although, he did good this year and bought me a couple more beads to go on my bracelet.  He did good.
Anyway – the girls did a great job.  The decorations were cute and the program was sweet.  We played a round of “Value Charades”.  It was entertaining to watch each group act out their interpretation of the value.  People were pretty quick to guess the value because after all, there are a specific few and we repeat them every Sunday in church.  I took some pictures of the event.  See if you can guess which value is being acted out.  Also, there is a photo of me in my bright pink jacket conducting the girls in song.  I am not that good at it.  The girls sounded great though.
See those pretty Rosette Balls?  Cathleen and I spent quite a bit of time assembling those lovely tissue flowers. All those crafts on Pinterest look soo dang cute, but putting them together can eat up quite a bit of time.
I told a friend of mine that I would post the recipe to the caramel turtle brownies so here it is.  FYI – read the recipe first then do it… I tend to just jump right in and start putting ingredients together without pre-reading.  Hence, all my baking disasters.
      Quicker Turtle Brownies
      Why this recipe works:
      Instead of making a caramel sauce from scratch, we doctored up store-bought caramels. We parbaked the bottom layer and used nuts as a barrier to keep the caramel from sinking completely through the brownie.
      Makes 16 brownies
      Hershey’s Unsweetened Baking Bar is our taste-test winner. Toast the pecans in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant.
      • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) cake flour
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
      • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
      • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
      • 2 large eggs
      • 2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
      • 20 soft caramel candies
      • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
      • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) pecans, toasted and chopped
      • 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Make foil sling by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so that they are as wide as 8-inch baking pan. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Spray with vegetable oil spray.
      • 2. Combine flour, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl. Microwave butter and chocolate in large bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk sugar, eggs, and 1½ teaspoons vanilla into chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing until combined. Scrape ¾ cup batter into prepared pan and spread into even layer. Bake until center is just set, 12 to 14 minutes.
      • 3. Meanwhile, microwave caramels, cream, remaining ¾ teaspoon vanilla, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons caramel mixture for topping. Sprinkle parbaked brownies with half of pecans and pour remaining caramel mixture evenly over pecans. Top with remaining brownie batter and remaining pecans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.
      • 4. Let brownies cool in pan on wire rack for 1 hour. Reheat reserved caramel mixture in microwave for 30 seconds, drizzle over brownies, and let sit for 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan and cut into 16 pieces. Serve. (Brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

      Just some photos to show you.
      Photo of the day (I don’t remember which day)
      TIME – almost time to get Sam up from his nap and go pick up Ben from his after school program.
      Photo of the day (again I don’t remember which)
      Drink – Trader Joe’s has this yummy and spicy hot chocolate – with cayenne pepper and cinnamon.  I like to mix it with a little bit of Ghirardelli rich dark chocolate mix to cut the spiciness – and make it last longer.
      Another photo of the day
      Something I hate to do
      “How did my bum get so big?”
      Sammy doesn’t really need to increase the size of his belly, but he likes to be impressive.
      “Take a picture of me MOM!”
      I’ll be back soon!

      1 comment:

      1. I'm the same way with recipes. Lately I've been using recipes off of blogs with photos and that's helped...some. Your boys are too cute! Hope you guys are doing well.