Friday, September 16, 2011

It's Simple

It's simple.  Precious Husband loves me.  Simple as that and yet so amazing to me.

A few years ago we stayed in a little hotel near the beach in San Louis Obispo.  In our bathroom was a little orange rubber duck.  Sometimes it doesn't take much to make me smile and this little guy made me smile.

As we left the hotel the next day Precious Husband tracked down the housekeeper and asked for a duck for his wife.

It's simple, he loves me.  How blessed I am with my Precious Husband and my own little orange duck.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Books Books Books!

Monday I began the chore I have put off forEVER - cleaning up the enormous number of books I own which seem to multiply like rabbits.  Tuesday I continued the labor of love and today I hope to finish the job.  

My office, my library, my sanctuary and refuge is my favorite room to come to but not when it gets so cluttered and books are stacked ten deep in piles all around my chair.  My chair is the only chair in the room and that is because this real-estate is mine alone and there is no one to blame for the mess but me.  Precious Husband's office is pretty much a mess all the time but the big difference is that when he decides to clean his real-estate he can do it so quickly - amazing to me.  

This cleaning challenge this takes me days because honestly I am slow and I get so easily side-tracked.  I pick up the stack of my mom's journals and read through the one dated 1975 and read about what she was doing the year after Daddy died.  I read about what we did together to prepare for my wedding in '83.  I am glad she journaled because I read about things I have totally forgotten.  She quit keeping her journals because I think she feels her life is a little boring now - that is sure a shame.

I pick up a book and to my delight realize that it is one of my very favorites and that I have two.  In the box it goes to share with someone special that will undoubtedly be blessed with it like I am.  I sit in my chair and leaf through another book that I had forgotten I had and also forgotten how good it is.  Yes, these are all reasons I am still in the process of over-hauling my books.  It will feel so good when I do get done - maybe today : )

If you need a good book I do love to share.  I will even bring a chair in for you to sit and take your time.  We could have tea - I would like that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Chocolate Caramel Cookie Bars

Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars (Martha Stewart Living November 2009)
This is a cookie recipe I made the weekend we had the 4 TLC's.  They are quite rich and most certainly chocolatey. The combination of sweet and salty is just right.  They would be a great addition to a ladies tea party I think.   
For the Crust
4 1/2 ounces (9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for parchment
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
For the Chocolate Caramel
10 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the crust: Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides; butter parchment, excluding overhang. Beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt, and beat until just combined.
2. Press dough evenly into pan, and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
3. Make the chocolate caramel: Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, washing sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, until amber, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, cream, and table salt. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Stir to combine, and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.
4. Pour mixture over crust. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight. Run a knife around edges; lift parchment to remove whole bar from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt. Trim edges, and cut into 16 bars.
On a more personal note Paul and I are off the sugar and trying to undue the damage we did with our cruise to Alaska, trip to Kentucky and simply being undisciplined for too long.  When we changed our eating habits we both felt better and we really must get back to it.  So no more Chocolate Caramel Bars for us but hope you enjoy them if you give the recipe a try.
Linked to today for lots of great recipe ideas.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday's Memo

A Sure Way to a Happy Day

Happiness is something we create in our mind,
It's not something you search for and so seldom find.
It's just waking up and beginning the day
By counting our blessings and kneeling to pray.
It's giving up thoughts that breed discontent
And accepting what comes as a "gift heaven-sent."
It's giving up wishing for things we have not
And making the best of whatever we've got.
It's knowing that life is determined for us,
And pursuing our tasks without fret, fume, or fuss.
For it's by completing what God gives us to do
That we find real contentment and happiness, too.
-- Helen Steiner Rice from Sunshine of Joy

 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy––meditate on these things. 
Philippians 4:8